[Advaita-l] About the genius of Sri Appayya Dikshitendra
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri May 5 02:13:53 EDT 2023
Sri Gokulakrishnan Iyer's post in FB
During the course of a discussion in the Yedathore Matham vidwad-goshthi
that took place in 2019 Chaturmasyam the senior most vidvan of the Sabha
made a remark about Appayya Dikshitendra. He said that Dikshitendra was an
expert in integrating Shastra into Samskrta-saahityam and Saahityam into
This book is one of the best examples to illustrate the comment of that
vidvan. It is Nayamanjari which forms a part of a book called
"Chaturmata-saara-sangraha" or "Chaturmata-lesha-sangraha". The first book
Nyayamuktavali deals with Dvaita Vedanta of Madhvacharya, the second
Nayamayukhamalika with Vishishtadvaita Vedanta of Ramanujacharya, the third
book Nayamanimala deals with Sivadvaita of Srikanthacharya, and the fourth
book Nayamanjari deals with Advaita Vedanta of Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada.
Dikshitendra has written each book in the way a faithful scholar of the
respective Sampradaya would write. He never reveals his heart while
expounding each school's philosophy very beautifully. This book could be
described as a Magnum Opus in the field of Vedanta which is a combination
of four Magna Opera.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Dikshitendra has written not one but
3 Magna Opera in the field of Advaita Vedanta, 1 Magnum Opus in Sivadvaita
Vedanta, 3 Magna Opera in Purva Mimamsa, 1 Magnum Opus in Vyakaranam and 2
Magna Opera in Alankara-shastra. He was such a colossal intellectual.
Here is the unique beauty of this book. It contains more than 380 shlokas.
Each adhikaranam of the Brahmasutras is represented by at least two
shlokas. The first shloka puts forth the Purvapaksha and the second one
puts forth the Siddhanta. The beauty doesn't end with this. He has used
more than 180 vrttams or meters to compose the shlokas. Many vrttams are
rare to find even in standard works of Chandas-shaastram.
This is a Vani Vilas Press edition of the book. What is unique about this
1) It was never published before the time of Sri TK Balasubramanya Iyer and
I do not know if it was published after his time.
2) A very beautiful and insightful introduction has been written in
Sanskrit by Sri Sacchidananda Tirtha Swamigal. At first I mistook him for
Bhashya Swamigal of Mahadanapuram. Later on when I started acquiring other
books of Vani Vilas Press and started studying them I realized that there
was another Sannyasi with the same name. He gives a detailed introduction
to Nayamanjari in technical language which would be understood only by the
students and scholars of Purva Mimamsa and Vedanta. In the second last
paragraph he marvels the intellect of Dikshitendra in composing Nayamanjari
and in the final one describes His charitam in 2-3 sentences.
What is beautiful about his description of Dikshitendra's life?
1) the whole of Dikshitendra charitam is condensed into 1 gadyam (prose)
very beautifully. The language is so beautiful that you will feel like
reading it over and over again.
2) Bhashya Swamigal has condensed the whole of Shankara Bhagavatpada's
charitam into a single shloka (आर्याम्बाजठरे जनिर्द्विजसती) whereas this
Swamigal has condensed the whole of Dikshitendra's charitam into a single
3) both of their names was the same -- Sacchidananda Tirtha -- Bhashya
Swamigal and Mulbagal Swamigal.
Without the efforts of Sri TK Balasubramanya Iyer we would not be able to
enjoy such a book.
All glories to Sri TK Balasubramanya Iyer who published the works of
Dikshitendra for the first time!
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