Life and Literary career of Vidyapati

Vidyapati lived in the second half of fourteenth century. The exact years are not known, but the Tithi was Kartik Dhawal (bright half) Trayodashi. The ancestors belonged to the Gadha Bisaphi family of Maithil Brahmins of Kashyap Gotra. The ancestry is traced as Vishnu Thakur –> Haraditya –> Karmaditya –> Devaditya –> Dhireshwara-> Jayadatta -> Ganpati -> Vidyapati.

Devaditya had seven sons. The eldest Vireshwar was the Minister for peace and War under the Karnata King of Mithila Mithila, Maharaja Sakrasingha. He was the author of Dharmshastra treatise Dasakarmapaddhati. His son Chandeshwar Thakur was a great scholar of Politics, Astronomy and Dharmshastra.

The second son of Devaditya, Ganeshwar Thakur was the author of Sugatisopana and Gangapattalaka. His eldest son, Ramadatta, wrote Dasakarmapaddhati and Mahadaanpaddhati and the younger son, Govindadatta was the author of Govindmanasollas, a devotional work on Vishnu. Both the sons of Ganeshwar died issueless.

The third son of Devaditya, Dhireshwar had two sons: Jayadatta and Kirtti. Jayadatta also had two sons : Gauripati and Ganapati. This Ganapati was the father of famous Vidyapati. The fourth son of Devaditya was Jateswara the Bhandarika (store keeper); the fifth was Haradatta the Sthanantarika (Transfer Officer); the sixth was Lakshmidatta the Sandhivigrahika ( Minister for peace and war); and lastly the seventh was (Rajaballava) a courtier. They all semm to have died childless.

The father of Vidyapati, Ganpati married the daughter of Srikara of the family of Buddhabalae named Ganga Devi. His ancestors held high posts in the courts of the Kings. So did Vidyapati Thakur. It will not be out of place to mention that the “paddhatis” of Vireshwar and Ramadatta are followed in Mithila even today and the Nibandhas of Chandeshwar still form the basis of the social and religious life of Mithila.

He was very close to the queen “Lakhima” of Raja Shivasingh Singh, and finds mention in so many of his poems.

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