[Advaita-l] Appayya dikshita

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Thu Aug 24 01:26:49 CDT 2006

Antharyami wrote on August 23, 2006:
 Sri Appaya dIkshita cannot be claimed as an AdvaitI since he widely
differs to Adi Sankara and opposed to many of the prAcIna advaita vernacular
Appaya dIkshitha is well known for his desperate attempt to establish Siva
parathva (Siva as paraBrahman) is on totality against prAcIna advaita held
by Adi Sankara including his direct disciples until MadusUdana Saraswati.
  Appaya dIkshitha propounded SivAdvaita and made vyAkyAna  of
KandaBAsyam which is noway in line with the advaita vEdAnta vernacular
Henceforth true advaitI's do not (should not) follow or include Appaya
dIkshita to our system.
The statement that Appayya dIkshita cannot be considered to be
an Advaitin is most surprising. Every Advaitic teacher has acclaimed him as
one of the greatest Advaitins. Gowda Brahmananda Sarasvati, in his
commentary on Siddhantabindu of Madhusudana Sarasvati says: VedAnta Sastra
means, 'the five texts- brahmasUtra, the commentary on it by SrI Sankara,
the further commentary on it by Vachaspati Misra, the commentary on the
latter by Amalanada named Kalpataru and the commentary on that by Appayya
Dikshita, named Parimala'. In the context in which this statement is made
VedAnta means only advaita vedAnta. This is the
very high place that such a great advaitin as Brahmananda has bestowed on
Appayya Dikshita. In the book 'Preceptors of Advaita' Y. Mahalinga Sastri, a
highly reputed scholar says: "Among the three great Dravida acharyas who
expounded advaita philosophy, the earliest is known only by quotations from
his lost commentaries. The second was Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada himself.
Srimad Appayya Dikshita was the third". In the face of all this it is
strange that any one should say that he was not an advaitin.

Are there any specific instances where he has differed on any material point
from Sankara? Madhusudana Sarasvati also differed from Sankara in the
interpretation of some of the slokas in bhagavadgIta—please see page 18 of
the Introduction to the English translation gUDhArthadIpikA published by
Advaita Ashrama. But on this ground nobody says that Madhusudana Sarasvati
was not an advaitin. SureSvara has also differed from Sankara on some

 Appayya Dikshita has no doubt written a commentary on SrIkanThabhAshya on
the brahmasUtra. If that makes him a non-advaitin then by the same yardstick
what should be said about VachaspatimiSra who has written commentaries on
nyAya texts and on vyAsa's yogabhAshya? He should also be considered to be a

As regards his 'desperate'attempt' to establish Sivaparattva, Appayya
Dikshita himself says in a sloka: "Let the purport of the upanishads be
VishNu or Siva. We who are adherents of advaita vedAnta have certainly no
quarrel about that. But my effort is only to break the perverse argument of
those whose minds are consumed by the blazing fire of hatred of Siva. Let it
not be thought, on this ground, that I harbour hatred against VishNu". He
has established his impartiality by composing a commentary on the
yAdavAbhyudaya of the great viSishtAdvaitin VedAnta deSika.

In the book 'Preceptors of Advaiata'. Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastri says about
Appayya Dikshita;

"Appayya Dikshita wrote the chaturmatasAra to elucidate the philosophical
thought respectively of the four prominent schools of interpreters of the
vyAsa-sUtras. The nayamanjarI deals with advaita, the nayamaNimAlA
withSrIkanThamata, the nayamayUkhamAlikA with Ramanuja's philosophy and the
nyAyamuktAvalI with Madhva's philosophy. His remarkable catholicity of
outlook and thoroughness of method, his impartiality and absence of
prejudice, his unerring sense of values and not the least of all, his
earnest search for the truth, shorn of all bias or petty-fogging are all
evident in these writings".

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