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Shulapani


Shulapani (c 1375-1460) Smrtikar (an authority on religious rites and rituals) and framer of reformed religious sanctions. He was born in Navadwip, west bengal. He has identified himself as 'sahudiyana' in the introduction of his book. The word perhaps means a sect of Bengal's 'Radhi' Brahmins.

He wrote about 15 books on shraddha (rites concerning death), ekadashi' (fasting on the first day of either of the fortnights), marriage-relationships, vrata (rites aimed at getting wishes fulfilled), tithi (time adjusting the rotation of moon), prayashchitta (rites for penance), durga puja, Rasyatra, dolyatra, Sangkranti (inauspicious times), ayurveda and dattaka (adoption of children). The names of most of his books have the word 'Viveka' in common as Shraddhaviveka, Dattakaviveka, Durgotsavaviveka etc. He has discussed important aspects of the different rituals and cultures of Hindu society in these books. Moreover, his annotation Dipakalika of Yajvavalkaskmrti is one of the most important publications available on the theory and practice of herbal medicine.

Shulapani also mastered Mimamsa and Nyaya philosophy and wrote books on them. Some more books are created to his name but cannot be attributed to him with any creativity. During his time he had no match among the pundits of Gour and Mithila. The renowned philosopher raghunath shiromani was his grandson. [Suresh Chandra Banerjee]