Saturday, August 25, 2012


    One of the greatest intellects of which Southern India can rightly boast, is the famous Appaya Dikshita. It is a pity that neither Dr. Weber nor Dr. MacDonnell, in their works on Sanskrit Literature, make any allusion whatever to the name of Appaya, nor do they give the slightest clue to his date, life, works or other whereabouts. Not even a passing reference to him is to be found in the most recent work of the late Professor Max Muller on the "Six Systems of Indian Philosophy." To the Siddhantalesa-Sangraha published at Kumbakonam in 1894, is appended a valuable introduction in Sanskrit from the able pen of Bhattasri Balasarasvati Pandit Narayana Sudarsana. Pandit Manavalli Gangadhara Sastri of Benares has also contributed a Sanskrit introduction to the same work published under the Vizianagaram Sanskrit series in 1890. The "Brahmavidya," a Sanskrit journal edited at Chidambaram contains an article on the life and works of Appaya, and also some correspondence on the subject. It also appears that there is a life of his written by Sivananda Yogi, one of his own blood-relations. This, I believe, has not been printed. A concise introduction without anything of argument is contained in Pandit Halasyanatha Sastri's edition of the Kuvalayananda (Kumbakonam). Dr. Burnell's Tanjore Catalogue and Aufrecht's Catalogue give us a deal of information as to Appaya's works, but do not help us in the least with any detail regarding his life and dates. The introduction to the Parimala (Benares Edition) merely refers us to the authority of Pandit Gangadhara Sastri. In writing the present article I have made liberal use of the mass of information to be gathered from all the sources above enumerated. Especially am I indebted to Pandit Bhattasri Narayana Sastri, whose introduction is the most detailed and complete biography that one could have access to.

    Appaya was born in an age when sectarian quarrels were rife in this part of India among the followers of the various cults that were then, and, unfortunately, are still prevalent, and which rend asunder the bonds of love and union that should join the sons of the same soil, professing practically the same religion, based on the universally accepted authority of a single scripture, the Vedas. The influence of the great Ramanuja was perhaps then at its highest, and, as is generally the case with the product of every historic Reformation, his followers, in their unlimited zeal to spread the gospel of their teacher at any cost, had begun to carry matters so far that philosophy had dwindled into sectarianism, and religion into phariseeism. More of this will have to be considered when we come to take account of the life-work of Appaya Dikshita. Suffice it to say that there existed a real necessity for his presence in this world and for the work which he was destined to perform. Born in an orthodox family, bred up and educated by an able and very learned father, he was equal to the task that was set before him, and it is no matter for wonder that he is the reputed author of so many as 104 works 1 as we learn from the usual colophons to his works. No wonder, too, that tradition paints him as an incarnation of God Siva himself, or, at least, of one of Siva's attendants, with a fraction of the God's divinity in him. Nilakantha, his brother's grandson, describes him, in his work called Nilakanthavijaya, as God Siva who has taken human shape, corresponding to the Kalki avatara of God Vishnu. 2 The belief also exists that it is he that is referred to in the more or less prophetic utterances to be found in the Sivarahasya.3 These consist of two stanzas which predict, that in the Kali age, a Dikshita, born as a devotee of Siva, would restore the almost forgotten Saiva faith to its former condition of vitality and prominence. It is of course impossible to build any conclusion on such scanty foundation, or to draw any inference from one of the many instances in which the popular mind takes pleasure in depicting every more-than-average intellect of a former generation as a direct representative or messenger of the God-head.

Place of Birth.

    In a village known by the name of Adayappalam, in the vicinity of Conjeevaram, which was for a long time the seat of the Chola kingdom; there are people living in the present day, who trace their lineage to the personage that forms the subject of this article. This is strong proof that that village was the place of his birth. We have also corroboration, if needed, in the fact that both Appaya4 and his grandfather5 have written works in praise of the well-known God Varadaraja, whose name adorns the famous Vaishnavite temple of Conjeevaram. The enquiries made by the editor of the "Brahmavidya" and embodied in his article, also corroborate this statement. We do not know on what authority Dr. Burnell writes that "Appaya Dixita's family was settled at Tiruvalankadu or (Svetaranya), a village in the Tanjore District, where his descendants in the sixth degree still exists." Probably this tallies with the colophons to the chapters of Appaya's Sivarkamanidipika, which stat that the author's family was dependent on Chinna Bommanna or Bommaraja, a Nayak of the Tanjore Telugu dynasty6.

Family and Parentage.

    These are matters as to which there is very little doubt. He was a Samavedin, of the Bharadvajagotra, as is evident from the many colophons in which he describes himself as such. His grandfather was known as Acharya Dikshita or, more popularly, Achan Dikshita. This we learn from a passage in the '"Nyayarakshamani"7, and from another which occurs in the prelude to the drama of "Nalacharita" written by Appaya's brother's grandson, Nilakantha.8 He is described as very renowned for his religion and scholarship, and was held in reverence by Krishna Raja (1508-1530 A. D)9, one of the kings of Vijianagar. The number 'eight' appears to be indelibly associated with his name, for, he is said to have performed eight sacrifices, built eight Saiva temples, owned the lands of eight villages, dug eight tanks, and given birth to eight sons.

It seems that he also went by the name of Vakshassthala-acharya Dikshita. This prefix (meaning "the breast") is accounted for by a very curious incident. The rumor goes that, in the presence of God Varadaraja, the Dikshita sung a composition in His praise, with which king Krishnaraja, who was also there as a worshipper, was so much pleased, that he gave that appellation to the learned author. The word "vakshas-sthala" is to be found in that stanza, which is believed to be identical with the one that is quoted in Appaya's Chitramimasa, under the figure of speech named sandeha.10 Achan Dikshita had two wives, of whom the second, Totarambi, was born of a Vaishnava family, being the daughter of one Sri Rangaraja Acharya. This circumstance, together with the fact that Conjeevaram was the center of Visishtadvaita learning, must be carefully borne in mind, as explaining to a great extent the connection, whether friendly or adversary, which Appaya bore to the Vaishnavite teachers of his day. More of this however, later on. Totarambi gave birth to four sons of whom the eldest was named Rangaraja after his maternal grandfather. Of the two sons that were born to Rangaraja, the first was our Appaya, and the other, his younger brother, Achan (or Acharya). There is copious allusion in the works of Appaya to his father, indicative as well of the ability and learning of the parent as of the gratitude and filial love which the son cherished towards him. From these references, which are found in the 'Parimala' at the end of the first chapter,11 and also of the third,12 in the 'Nyayarakshamani'13, in the 'Sivatatvaviveka,'14 and in the second stanza of the 'Siddhantalesa-sangraha'15, it is apparent that he owed almost all his varied erudition to his father, who seems to have bestowed great pains on the training and instruction of his worthy son. Nilakanta, too, in hi 'Nalacharita' referred to above, mentions the name of Rangaraja as the father of Appaya.16 He also learnt the Advaita philosophy of Sankara from Nrisimhasramaswami. Aufreecht learns, from the Nilakathachampu, that Appaya was the son of Rangaraja Dikshita or Adharyu, the guru of Dharmayya Dikshita, brother of Apyo Dikshita (which he corrects into Acha Dikshita in the Appendix), uncle of Narayana Dikshita, and nephew on mother's side of Tatayajvan Karnarabhubhrid guru.17 This 'Appaya' or 'Appayya' is the pure and simple 'Appa' with the familiar Tamil termination. All these three forms are equally familiar to students of Sanskrit literature. That Appya was a Tamilian is evident from the words by which Jagannatha alludes to him in various places.18

Date of Birth.

    This is a point about which there is much conflict of opinion, though it is not involved in any hopeless mystery. This is the one great weakness of the conservative Hindu intellect, which takes every literary work for what it is worth, judging it by its own intrinsic merit, but never in the light of the circumstances under which it was written or by which its author was circumscribed.

    The most important year to be determined, being also easier known, is the date of Appaya's death. We can thence easily fix the date of his birth by an easy process of subtraction, since it is well-nigh undisputed that he lived to the full age of 72. The exact length of his life may be gathered from a stanza in Nilakantha's Sivalilarnava,19 and from the most exquisite stanza which, at the critical moment of his death, escaped the lips of Appaya himself, within the holy precincts of Chidambaram, where he breathed his last.20

    We find Appaya in his 72nd year at Benares in the company of the illustrious Jagannatha (Panditaraya), the author of Bhaminivilasa, and of Bhattoji Dikshita of Siddhanatakaumudi fame. It behooves us in this connection to examine more closely the evidence on which this conclusion is founded, and also the nature of the relation and feelings that existed among three such intellectual giants brought together by destiny in a city, which was then, as it is now, the chief seat of advanced Sanskrit learning. We learn from the Nalacharita of Nilakantha21, which we must take to be reliable authority, that one of Appaya's many contemporaries was Balakavi, whose drama of 'Ratnaketudaya' is perhaps not widely known. This Balakavi would have us believe that, in the first half of the last year of his life, Appaya was in close intimacy with Bhattoji and Jagannatha, and that, in the latter half, he performed a great sacrificial rite at Virinchipuram near Vellore, and thence moved, with his eleven sons and Nilakantha, to Chidambaram, where the closing scene of his life was laid.22 During the short period of his acquaintance with Bhattoji, he taught the latter the Vedantasutras of Vyasa and also made him familiar with his own works against the Madhva sect. This is patent from the many stanzas from Appaya quoted by Bhattoji in his Tatvakaustubha.

The meeting with Bhattoji must have been at Benares. The contention of our Southern Pandit that he came into contact with Appaya on his way to Ramesvaram, seems to be highly improbable. It cannot be proved that Jagannatha ever visited the lower parts of the Deccan, and, since it is shown by his own words that he was both a contemporary and a formidable opponent of Bhattoji and Appaya, it is not too remote an inference to be drawn therefore, that the two latter formed their friendship at Benares, where, beyond all doubt, Jagannatha spent the last days of his chequered life.

    The amusing incident that brought the critical faculty of Jagannatha into active play, must now be mentioned. Bhattoji was a pupil of Sesha Krishna Dikshita, and a co-student of the latter's son Viresvara, who was, in addition, Jagannatha's master. Krishna Dikshita had written a commentary called Prakriyaprakasa on the grammatical work of Prakriyakaumudi. Bhattoji, in his well-known work named Manorama seriously attacked the commentary of his teacher. Jagannatha was very much enraged at this ingratitude of a pupil to a preceptor and to the father of his own guru. He also disliked Appaya for the support he rendered to his adversary. He was once insulted in open assembly by Bhattoji.23 Henceforth he commenced his crusade against the two professors who made common cause with each other. Some of his uncompromising and abusive criticisms of Appaya will be met with in his Sabdakaustubha-Sanottejana,24 in his Sasisena25 and in his Chitramimamsa-khandana,26 and several other writings. But later on we find him reconciled to Appaya, for the latter is rumored to have given him some spiritual advice, when he found him stretched in careless repose on the banks of the Ganges.27 This and the fact that the popularly known 'Gangalakari' of Jagannatha was composed on the very brink of the holy river, lend additional support to the statement that Appaya spent a portion of his life at Benares.

    The probable date of Jagannatha's arrival at Benares is easy to determine. Having for some time been a teacher at the Jayapura college, he went to Delhi, and was for a long time in the good graces of Emperor Shah Jahan. This he tells us in his Bhaminivilasa28, and in the opening portion of his biography of Asaf Khan29. This is likely, nay even indisputable, seeing that Shah Jahan, like his grandfather, Akbar, was a patron of Hindu learning, and his eldest son Dara was so good as to translate some of the Upanishads into Persian. When Aurangazeb dethroned his father and imprisoned him about the end of 1658, Jagannatha lost all his influence at the Moghul court, and was constrained to flee to Benares30. It must have been almost immediately after his return from his Moslem associations that Appaya and Bhattoji encountered him at the sacred city, for the grammarian would not have been justified in addressing him as 'mlecchha' if he had already repented and undergone the expiatory rituals necessary for his re-admission into orthodox Hindu society. If, then, 1658 or 1659 A.D., was the 72nd year of Appaya, as it, in all likelihood, appears to be, the date of his birth must approximately have been 1587 A.D. and that of his death, 1659 A.D. It cannot, at any rate, be earlier.

    The above is the argument of Pandit Bhattasri Narayana Sastri, and I have adopted it in toto as it appears to me to be based on the most solid foundation. He mentions, however, the names of Krishna Raya, Chinna Bomma, Narasimha and Venkatapathi, of whom the three latter figure as Appaya' s contemporaries. He tells us that these four personages lived in the latter half of the sixteenth. He further states that Krishnaraya was a king of Vijayanagar, that Chinna Bomma and Narasimha were his sons, and that Chinna Bomma's son was Venkatapathi. I must admit that I have been able to find out the dates of only two of these, namely, Krishna Raya and Venkatapathi. Krishna Raya ruled over the empire of Vijayanagar from 1508 to 1530 A. D.31. He had only two daughters, but no son.32 This fact sunders the connection said to exist between him and the other three. Professor Haraprasad Sastri says, however, that Krishna Raya left a son Achyuta Raya who reigned from 1530 to 1542 and that the latter's son, Sadasiva, lived from 1542 to 1567.33 It seems more probable that Achyuta was Krishna Raya's brother or cousin. In 1565 the empire was shattered to pieces by the well-known battle of Talikot. On Sadasiva's death, one of his chiefs, Ram Raja, a son-in-law of Krishna Raya, assumed power. After him, his brother Tirumalla, who was recognized king, had to remove his capital to Pennakonda. This was so till 1592 A.D., when Tirumalla's son, Venkatapathi, the then king, made a move to Chandragiri. Venkatapathi reigned from 1585 to 1614.32 It was from one of his descendants that the English obtained a grant of the site of Madras in 1639. The name of Narasimha occurs only in one place, as that of Krishna Raya's father, the founder of a dynasty. Chinna Bomma seems to be entirely unconnected with Vijayanagar, at least, as far as modern archeological researches have been able to prove. The only mention of such a name in Sewell's List is as a digger of a charity-well.34 The full name is Chinna Bomma Mallayya (1531), who lived in the reign of Achyuta Raya (1530 to 1542 A.D.) 35 Perhaps he cannot be the same as the one referred to by Dr. Burnell as the patron of Appaya's family.36 It cannot, however, be doubted, that these are the names of some of Appaya's contemporaries, though their history is not easy to ascertain. Reference is made to Chinna Bomma and Appaya in the Yatraprabandha of Samarapungava.37 Narasimha is alluded to in several stanzas of the Chitramimamsa38 Pandit M. Gangadhara Sastri states that Appaya was the foremost of the eight pandits at the court of Narasimha alias Narasa alias Krishnaraja. In the last stanza of the Kuvalayananda,39 Appaya informs us that he wrote the work at the request of Venkatapathi. But unless something more definite is known about these contemporaries, they are hardly of any help to us in fixing the date of Appaya.


    Pandit Atmaram Jayant assigns the following independent reasons for believing that he was born in 1564 A.D. He infers from a certain stanza40 in the Nilakanthavijaya of Nilakantha, who as stated before, was a contemporary and the brother's grandson of Appaya, that that work was his first attempt in the field of literary authorship. From the use of the present tense in another part of the same work41, he comes to the conclusion that Appaya must have been living at the time of its composition. Now, Appaya is said to have conferred his benediction on Nilakantha42 at Chidambaram, and, therefore, in his 72nd year. Nilakantha began his literary career when he was twelve years old. From the colophon43 to his 'Nilakanthavijaya' we learn that it was written in the 4738th year of the Kali era, that is, about 1636 A.D. If then the work was the first production of its author and written in his twelfth year, the year of Appaya's death must be taken as 1636 A.D., and that of his birth 1564 A.D. This view is rendered probable by the date of Venkatapathi's reign (1585-1614 A.D.);44 for, Appaya must have nearly attained manhood before he was fit to receive the patronage of that king and to write such a masterly work as the Kuvalayananda at his request.

    On the other hand, the learned editor of the "Brahmavidya" of Chidambaram states that Nilakantha wrote the work in question in his thirtieth year, but that he was, in his twelfth year favored with the blessing of Appaya, who was then seventy years old. From these data, he fixes the year of his birth as 1550 A.D. This argument is accepted by Pandit Gangadhara Sastri.

    Again, in his introduction to his edition of the Kuvalayanana, Pandit Halasyanatha Sastri puts forward 1552 A.D., as the date when Appaya was born, and bases his statement on the authority of Sivananda Yogi, one of his biographers referred to before.

    I do not know on what ground Aufreecht fixes the end of the 15th century as the date of Appaya.45


    Enough has already been said of some of Appaya's contemporaries,

    (a)     Bhattoji,

    (b)    Jagannatha,

    (c)    Chinna Bommah,

    (d)    Narasimha,

    (e)    Venkatapathi,

    (f)    Balakavi, and

    (g)     Nilakantha.

    Some more will be considered.

    (h)    Khandadeva, author of Bhattakaustubha. He refers to Appaya in that work.46

    (i)    Sarvabhauma, otherwise known as Uddanda, author of Mallikamaruta, a drama,

    (j)    Ratnakheta Dikshita, a poet, none of whose works are extant.

    (k)    Samarapungava Dikshita, the well-known author of Yatraprabandha.

    (l)    Rajachudamani, son of Ratnakheta Dikshita,

    (m)    Venkatadhvari, the famous author of Visvagunadarsa and Lakshmisahasra,

    (n)    Sadasivabrahmendra, an ascetic and a Paramahamsa,

    (o)    Tatacharya, a great leader of Visishtadvaita philosophy and author of several works on the subject. He was always a rival of Appaya. Several amusing anecdotes are current, relating several passages-at-arms that transpired between them. I reproduce one of them. When Appaya was alighting from his palanquin, Tatacharya flung a joke at the other, alluding to the latter's extremely short stature.47 Appaya, with ready wit, returned the joke, founding it on a pun on words, and crediting his opponent with an utter ignorance of the alphabet.43


    Of the 104 works which Appaya is said to have written, I have been able to find out so many as ninety-three. Several of these are not, at present, extant, but are known only by their names. Some of them, again, are commentaries written by Appaya himself, as was his wont, on his own works. I have arranged them in alphabetical order, and have given a brief description of the more important of them, to relieve the reader of the tedium of a dry catalogue.

(1)    Adhikarnamala

(2)    Apitakuchambastava

(3)    Amarakosavyakhya. This is on the sole authority of Dr. Oppert, and is doubted by Aufreecht.

(4)    Arunachalesvarastuti

(5)    Atmarapanastuti (or Siva-panchasika) A well-known devotional poem. Sivananda Yogi, one of Appaya's biographers, has written a commentary on this work.

(6)    Adityastavaratnam (or Dvadasadityastava). Twelve sragdhara verses in praise of the presiding deity of the Sun.

(7)    A commentary on the above.

(8)    Upakramaparakrama which appears to Dr. Burnell to be a part of some work on Mimamsa.

(9)    Kuvalayananda. The widely known commentary on Jayadeva's Chandraloka, a work on Alankara.

(10)    Krishnadhyanapaddhati.

(11)    A commentary on the same.

(12)    (Durga) Chandrakalastuti, which Dr. Burnell wrongly calls Chandrakalastuti.

(13)    A commentary on the above.

(14)    Chitraputa. A work on Mimamsa.

(15)    Chitramimamsa, the popular Alankara work, which was criticized by Jagannatha in his Chitramimamsakhandam.

(16)    Jayollasanidhi.

(17)    Tatvamuktavali (Vedantic)

(18)    Taptamudrakhandana, directed against the practice, current among Vaishnavas, of scorching the shoulder-flesh with sacred marks.

(19)    Tingantaseshasangraha, a grammatical treatise.

(20)    Dasakumaracharitasngraha.

(21)    Dharmamimamsaparibhasha.

(22)    Nakshatravadavali or Vadanakshatravali. This is perhaps the same as the Nakshatravadamalika (or more correctly Vadanakshatramalika), which Dr. Burnell describes as "a controversial work on certain Vedanta topics, apparently against the Mimamsa."

(23)    Nakshatravadavali, work on grammar, different from the above.

(24)    Nayamanjari, or Nayamanimanjari or Chaturmatasarasangraha, which, according to Dr. Nayamanimala,

(26)    A commentary thereon.

(27)    Nayamayukhamalika. A work on Ramanuja's Vaishnava school.

(28)    A commentary on the above.

(29)    Namasangrahamala. A glossary of familiar terms occurring in standard literary works.

(30)    A commentary on the same.

(31)    Nyayamuktavali, a work explaining the Madhva teachings of Anandatirtha.

(32)    A commentary of the above.

(33)    Nyayarakshamani, also known as Sarirakanyayarakshamani, though Dr. Burnell makes them appear to be two distinct works. According to him it consists of arguments used by the Saivas in explaining the Brahma sutras of Vyasa. Only first chapter is extant.

(34)    Nyayaratnamala, treating of the Madhava school of Anandatirtha.

(35)    A commentary thereon.

(36)    Panchagranthi, a Vedantic work.

(37)    Pancharatnastava.

(38)    A commentary on the same.

(39)    Panchasvaravivriti.

(40)    Parimala. A well-known work. This shows how far the writing of commentaries forms a unique feature of Sanskrit religious literature. The Parimala is a commentary on Kalpataru, which is itself a commentary on Vachaspati's Bhamati, which again is a commentary on Sankaracharya's commentary on the Brahma-sutras. One cannot but be justified in seriously doubting whether the true intention of the primary author who spoke in enigmatic aphorisms can still be discerned after a series of no less than four filters. Commentaries here have invariably been made the occasion for an unfettered expression of the commentator's own views of philosophy and religion, and for this purpose, they sometimes stray from the clear signification of the words in the text, and sometimes get the better of the original by the timely use of pun of words or an alteration of the caesura. The Parimala has been edited at Benares.

(41)    A commentary on the Padukasahasara of Vedantadesika.

(42)    A commentary on the Prabodhachandrodaya of Krishnamisra.

(43)    Prakritachandrika.

(44)    Balachandrika, a commentary on his own Sivarchanachandrika.

(45)    Brahmatarkastava, explaining away statements in derogation of the superiority of God Siva, to be found in Puranas, Itihasas, etc. It consists of 49 verses.

(46)    A commentary on the above.

(47)    Bhaktisataka.

(48)    Bharatatatparyasangraha.

(49)    Manimalika. This is mentioned by Pandit Narayana Sastri. I doubt if this is a different work from the Nayamanimala, referred to above.

(50)    Matasarathasangraha, consisting of 70 verses, concisely explaining the teachings of Sankara, Srikantha, Ramanuja and Anandatirtha. This must be another than the Nayamanjari or Chaturmatasarasangraha above enumerated.

(51)    Madhvatantramukhamardana, a name very expressive of intolerant sectarian zeal.

(52)    Madhvamat khandana.

(53)    Madhvamatavidhvamsana. The above three are works of criticism on the Madhva school.

(54)    Manasollasa, a Vedanta work.

(55)    A commentary on the Yadavabhyndaya of Vedantadesika.

(56)    Ratnatrayapariksha, a comparison and a contrast of Siva, Vishnu and Sakti, as regards the efficacy of worshipping each.

(57)    A commentary on the same.

(58)    Ramanujamatakhandana.

(59)    Ramayanatatparyanirnaya.

(60)    Ramayanatatparyasangraha.

(61)    Ramayanabharatasarasangraha.

(62)    Ramayanasara.

(63)    Ramayanasarasangraha.

(64)    Ramayanasarastava.

(65)    Laghuvivarana (Vedanta).

(66)    Varadajastava or Varadarajasataka, consisting of 100 verses.

(67)    A commentary thereon.

(68)    Vasumatichitrasenavilasanataka.

(69)    Vidhirasayana. A work on Mimamsa, much in vogue.

(70)    Vidhirasayanasukhopajivini. Dr. Burnell states that this is the author's commentary on his own Vidhirasayana, and not, as Dr. Hall says, an independent work in verse confuting the Mimamsa system of Kumarila. This is also called Vidhirasayanasukhopayojani.

(71)    Vishnutatvarahasya.

(72)    Virasaiva. This I base on the sole authority of Aufrecht.

(73)    Vrittivartikam, a work on Alankara.

(74)    Vairagyasataka.

(75)    Santistava.

(76)    Sikharinimala. One of Appaya's standard works. It is in the form of 64 verses which embody the meaning of several select Vedic and Puranic texts as far as they appertain to God Siva in his capacity as the Supreme Being.

(77)    Sivakarnamritam.

(78)    A commentary on the above.

(79)    Sivatatvaviveka, also a well-known work, a somewhat elaborate commentary on his own Sikharinimala.

(80)    Sivadhyanapaddhati, a familiar work of 150 verses.

(81)    A commentary on the same.

(82)    Sivapuranatamasatvakhandana.

(83)    Sivapujavidhi.

(84)    Sivamahimakahkastuti, 25 verses in praise of Siva. This is more or less Mimamsic.

(85)    Sivadvaitavinirnaya or Sivadvaitanirnaya or Advaitanirnaya.

(86)    Sivanandalahari.

(87)    Sivanandalaharichandrika a commentary on the popular Sivanandalahari of Sankaracharya.

(88)    Sivarkamanidipika or Sivadityamanidipika, a commentary on the Sutrabhashya of Nilakanthasivacharya or Srikantha.

(89)    Sivarchanachandrika.

(90)    Sivotkarshamanjari.

(91)    Siddhantaratnakara.

(92)    Siddhantalesasangraha, a widely known Advaitic work. There is a Benares and a Kumbakonam edition of this work, and it is being translated into English by Dr. Arthur Venis of Benares. Dr. Burnell says: "It must be remembered Appaya Dixita was a strenuous supporter of Saiva Vedanta, and that, therefore, works by him which, like the present (Siddhantalesasangraha), prefer indifference, can hardly be taken with safety as representative of the orthodox Vedanta." Pandit M. Gangadhara Sastri, however, strongly repudiates this doubtful theory.

(93)    A commentary on the Hamsasandesa.

(94)    Harivamsasaracharita.49 [49 Add to these Aryasataka and Paniniyanakshtramala, which bring the number of his works to ninety-six]

    Of these works but little need be said. One must necessarily admire the vast learning and the literary courage of the author who chose to write on such varied and unconnected subjects as lexicography, rhetoric, Mimamsa, Sankara's Advaita, and the Saiva, Ramanuja and Madhva schools. One peculiarity that distinguishes Appayya from many other Sanskrit writers is that he has himself furnished a commentary to such of his works as were likely, in his opinion, to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. Another of the same stamp is Annam Bhatta, who has explained his Tarkasangraha in his own Dipika. What a great tranquility would have reigned over our country, if the many authors of religious and philosophical Sutras had, in anticipation of Appaya's method, written their views in full in the form of commentaries on their aphorisms which served no better purpose than that of a convenient mnemonic system! Even of the numerous prayers that he has written, the majority are controversial. It must be said of his poetry that it looks somewhat artificial and far from being literary and artistic. We miss, in his verses, the graceful combination of elegance and philosophy so very characteristic of Sankaracharya's minor poetical works. It must however be state to his credit, that his works in general and his prose writings especially, display extensive knowledge, love of religion, and ingenuity of logical reasoning. The most familiar of his longer works are the Kuvalayananda, the Chitramimamsa, Siddhantalesasangraha, Parimala, Sivatatvaviveka and the Sivarkamanidipika.

J. M. Nallasami Pillai, B.A., B.L.




1 comment:

  1. Great to read the richness of the Hindu culture, it's compilation & documentation by JM Nallasamy Pillai @ now it's presence on thereby, for posterity