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Baneshwar Vidyalankar


Baneshwar Vidyalankar (c 1700-1788) Sanskrit scholar, descendant of Shobhakar, a famous scholar of Guptapalli or Guptipara in the district of Hughli, west bengal. Shobhakar was believed to be the great grandson of Daksha, one of the five brahmans whom Emperor Adishur had brought from Kanyakuvja.

Baneshwar's father, Ramdev Tarkavagish, was a reputed logicist. His grandfather, Bishnusidhanta Bhattacharya, was a sanskrit poet. From his childhood, Baneshwar possessed an extraordinary memory. Under his father's tuition, he became proficient in a variety of subjects in a short time. Learning of his brilliance and erudition, krishnachandra roy, raja of nadia, appointed him court scholar. However, Baneshwar came into conflict with bharatchandra, another scholar, and left Nadia to take refuge under alivardi khan in Murshidabad. From here he moved to Burdwan where Chitra Sen, raja of Burdwan, appointed him court scholar. Baneshwar remained at Chitra Sen's court until 1744 but, after the raja's demise, he returned to Nadia. After staying in Nadia for some time, he moved to Shobhabazar, calcutta, under the patronage of Nabakrishna Dev. He probably remained there until his death.

Eight books of Baneshwar have been discovered so far These are Chitrachampu, Vivadarnavasetu, Rahasyamrta, Tarastotra, Devistotra, Chandrabhisek, and Kashishatak. Chitrachampu, which is about Chitra Sen, contains both historical and geographical information. At the end of the poem, the poet describes the raja's family lineage and his own.

Vivadarnavasetu is a valuable book on Hindu law. At Warren hasting's request, he compiled this book with the help of ten other scholars to help settle disputes according to Hindu law. The book was first translated into French and then into English by nathaniel brassey halhed as A Code of Gentoo Law (1776). [Satyanarayan Chakraborty]