SrI VijayIndrar and Appayya DhIkshidar

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Fri Aug 6 16:18:14 CDT 1999

Jaldhar Vyas wrote:

> Here's another one.  In Swami Sanatanadeva Udasins' (The Udasin sampradaya
> mixes Advaita Vedanta with elements of Sikhism) introduction to the
> Gudarthadipika of Swami Madhusudan Saraswati on the Gita, he says that
> after the publication of the Advaitasiddhi, Vyas Tirth sought to refute it
> and he became a student of the great Madhusudana.  After a while he had
> learned enough of Advaita to be able to write his rejoinder, Nyayamrt.
> Madhusudan congratulated him on his effort and Vyas Tirth is said to have
> replied that it was only through his teachers grace he was able to write
> the work.

The story is accurate in its foundation, but inaccurate in its
details.  It can easily be determined that the nyAyAmR^ita was the
antecedent of the advaita-siddhi (with no prejudice to either side)
simply by looking at the two texts.  Advaitins of various eras from
Brahmananda Sarasvati down to Anantakrishna Shastri have also accepted
this for a fact.  Therefore, Vyasaraya did not study under Madhusudana
as suggested.  However, there is a story that the author of the
nyAyAmR^ita-taraN^giNI, a person by name of `Vyasa' Ramacharya, had
gone to Bengal, Madhusudana's home country, to study the
advaita-siddhi from him, and after each day's lesson, would sit down
in the evening and write a refutation of what he had been taught!  At
the end, he made two copies of the work, which he called the
taraN^giNI, one which he gave to Madhusudana himself, and the second
which he carried back to his people.

This story is resported by Anantakrishna Shastri, and also by
K.T. Pandurangi, so it is at least bipartisan, if not accurate.  I
also seem to recall Pandurangi writing that Ananda Bhattaraka, the
author of the nyAyAmR^ita-kaNTAkoddhAra, the other rejoinder to the
advaita-siddhi, was also a fellow student of Ramacharya under
Madhusudana, but this story rests on even more thin evidence.  It
should be observed, for instance, that Ramacharya's attitude towards
the advaita-siddhi is free of rancor, even in the presence of
insoluble disagreement; the kaNTakoddhAra is far more forthright.
Thus Ramacharya's studentship under Madhusudana is at least plausible,
but not so Ananda Bhattaraka's.

> Just because they disagreed vehemently with each other in debates, doesn't
> mean that thinkers of the calibre of Appyaya Dikshita or Raghavendra were
> unable to get along in real life.

True, except that Appayya and Raghavendra weren't contemporaries.
Coming back to the old issue, I agree with Ramakrishnan that it is
unlikely that Vijayindra and Appayya were chums to such an extent that
the former would counsel the latter to continue in his ways!  We can
assume that they had the basic courtesy of decorous exchange of ideas,
but no more.  Also note that Vijayindra wrote several works to
challenge Appayya's ideas, some aggressively titled
(`appayya-kapoLa-chapeTikA', etc.).


Shrisha Rao

> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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