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Bannanje Govindacharya
Bannanje Govindacharya
Bannanje Govindacharya
Born3 August 1936
Udupi, Karnataka
Died13 December 2020
Ambalpadi, Udupi, Karnataka
AwardsPadma Shri (2009)
SchoolDvaita Vedanta
Notable ideas
ಇರವು ಸಂಪತ್ತಲ್ಲ,
ಇರವಿನ ಅರಿವು ಸಂಪತ್ತು

Bannanje Govindacharya (3 August 1936 – 13 December 2020) was an Indian philosopher and Sanskrit scholar versed in Veda Bhashya, Upanishad Bhashya, Mahabharata, Puranas and Ramayana. He wrote Bhashyas or commentaries on Veda Suktas, Upanishads, ShataRudriya, BrahmaSutra Bhashya, Gita Bhashya and was an orator. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2009.[1]

Early life

Govindacharya was born on August 3, 1936, in the Bannanje neighborhood of Udupi, in present-day southern Indian state of Karnataka.[2] He started his Vedic studies under his father, Tarkakesari S. Narayanacharya, and went on to study under Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji of the Palimaru Matha and Vidyasamudra Tirtha Swamiji of the Kaneyur Matha, both in Udupi. He later studied under Vishwesha Tirtha of the Pejawara Matha.[citation needed]


Vedic studies

Sanskrit scholar versed in Veda Bhashya, Upanishad Bhashya, Mahabharata, Puranas and Ramayana. He wrote Bhashyas or commentaries on Veda Suktas, Upanishads, ShataRudriya, BrahmaSutra Bhashya, Gita Bhashya and was an orator. He wrote new Vyakarana Sutras where Panini left and also did vyakhyana for the words written before Pāṇini. He synchronised all[which?] the philosophical texts to understand the texts composed by Vedavyasa.[3] He was one of the greatest exponents of Bhaagavata chintana and commented on the philosophical meaning of Bhagavata and other Puranas. Even though by birth he was the follower of Madhvacharya, he had studied Mayavada and other philosophies and then read Madhvacharya's Tattvavaada. He was a well-known philosopher, speaker in Sanskrit and Kannada. He has around 4000 pages of Sanskrit Vyakhyana to his name with 50 odd books and around 150 books, including those in other languages. He wrote screenplay for the Sanskrit film "Bhagavadgita" and Shankaracharya. He hailed from Bannanje locality of Udupi in Karnataka, India. He was born in 1936. He was in particular one of the greatest experts on the Madhvas Tattvavada or Madhva philosophy. He is best known for his pravachanas or discourses, which are very popular among Tuluvas and Kannadigas all over the world. His speeches have covered almost all the philosophical texts and amount to more than 10,000 hours. His pravachanas (discourses) have made him a household name among Tuluvas and Kannadigas. He is very popular in Kannanda literary world and hailed by Jnaanapeetha awardee Da.Ra.Bendre. He also wrote on this Naaku-Tanti. His literary achievements also include his translation and commentaries of the complete texts of Shri Madhwacharya. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2009.[1]

Preservation of manuscripts

In 2005–2006, Professor P.R. Mukund (a disciple of Sri Bannanje) along with his colleague Dr. Roger Easton from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Dr. Keith Knox of the Boeing Corporation in Hawaii, undertook the painstaking process of imaging and preserving the original Sarvamoola Granthas authored by Madhvacharya himself. Knox and Easton had earlier imaged fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls and are on the imaging team for the Archimedes Palimpsest project. Bannanje suggested this task as a project of enormous importance and was using the images in his studies of the manuscript.[4][5]

Other contributions

Apart from his voluminous writing, Bannanje also contributed more than 800 articles on various important issues which are published in different books, journals and magazines. He also served as the editor at Udayavani early in his life. He wrote book on life of Shree Madhwa acharya called Acharya Madhva: Baduku-Bareha published by RastraKavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra, Udupi.

Bannanje Acharyaru also did a lot of work to propagate and preserve the Chaturdasha Bhajans, 14 songs in Sanskrit penned by Acharya Madhwa's direct disciples and prominent followers of his philosophy. This is a great contribution to the Madhwa community.

Another notable contribution of his is to the Indian and Kannada film industries. He wrote script in Sanskrit for G V Iyer's movies Bhagavadgeeta, Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Madhwacharya, Sri Ramanujacharya. He also wrote the scripts for the Adi Shankaracharya and Madhwacharya movies. Adi Shankaracharya incidentally was the first ever Sanskrit movie.

His works

Shri Bannanje Govindacharya has many contributions to Vedic scholarship to his name. He authored numerous commentaries, translations and original works on the subject. He also contributed hundreds of articles in magazines and journals. He also travelled all over India and around the world giving discourses in Indian philosophy and Hindu scriptures.

Publications edited

Works of Madhwa : This monumental work is a painstakingly crafted reconstruction of the complete commentary on Madhwa's works by Shri Hrishikesha Tirtha, a direct disciple of Shri Madhwacharya of the 13th CE. It comprises 2000 pages in five volumes complete with footnotes and colophons. Two other works of Shri Madhwacharya, Tithinirnaya and Nyasa Paddhathi which were unknown were discovered and included in this great work.

Translation of major Sanskrit works into Kannada

Apart from the Vedic texts, Shri Bannanje also translated several other Sanskrit works into Kannada. These include,

Short commentaries in Sanskrit

Detailed commentaries in Sanskrit

Some of Bannanje's detailed commentaries in Sanskrit include,

Translation of Sanskrit to Kannada

Upcoming books


Govindacharya died on December 13, 2020, at his home in Ambalpadi in Udupi. He was aged 85. He died due to a Heart Attack[2]

Recognition and honours

Bannanje won numerous awards and various titles were conferred on him by esteemed institutions. Some of these include

Conferences attended

See also


  1. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Renowned Sanskrit scholar Govindacharya passes away at 85". The News Minute. 13 December 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  3. ^ Allard, Syama (11 September 2020). "Veda Vyasa: the sage who compiled the Vedas". Hindu American Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  4. ^ News Article-msnbc Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Digital life for ancient text
  6. ^ a b AKADEMI TRANSLATION PRIZES 1989-2005 Archived 20 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "PIB Press Release". Retrieved 13 May 2010.