From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Ubhayabharati, UbhayabharatI, Ubhayabharati

The traditional biographies of Śaṅkara[1] like the Śankara-digvijaya of Mādhava-Vidyāraṇya[2] state that after Śaṅkara vanquished Maṇḍana Miśra, a great scholar of Mīmānsā philosophy, his wife Bhāratī challenged him for an intellectual debate. She was finally humbled by Śaṅkara and like her husband, she too decided to become a recluse and a disciple. She is said to have followed Śaṅkara to Śṛṅgeri and settled down there. She has been described as an incarnation of Sarasvatī born on earth due to a curse of the sage Durvāsas.

The temple of Śāradāmbā at Śṛṅgerī is her temple. Since she acted as a judge in the debate between Śaṅkara and Maṇḍana, for both of them, she came to be known as Ubhayabharatī.[3] Her original name has also been mentioned as Sarasavāṇī, Vāṇī and Ambā.


  1. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  2. He lived in 14th century A. D.
  3. Ubhaya means both.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore