A Renaissance Man in Memory: Appayya Dīkṣita Through the Ages

Abstract

This essay is a first attempt to trace the evolution of biographical accounts of Appayya Dīkṣita from the sixteenth century onward, with special attention to their continuities and changes. It explores what these rich materials teach us about Appayya Dīkṣita and his times, and what lessons they offer about the changing historical sensibilities in South India during the transition to the colonial and postcolonial eras. I tentatively identify two important junctures in the development of these materials: one that took place in the first generation to be born after his death, when the idea of him as an avatar of Śiva was introduced, and another at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, when many new stories about his encounters with his colleagues and students surfaced. The essay follows a set of themes and tensions that pertain to Appayya Dīkṣita’s social and political affiliations, his sectarian agendas, and the geographic sphere of his activities. These themes and tensions are closely related and prove to be surprisingly resilient, despite the many changes that occurred during the five centuries of recollection that this essay sketches. This overall coherence, I argue, is integral to Appayya Dīkṣita’s sociopolitical context and self-chosen identity.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Abbreviations

ADVĀ:

Śrīmadappayyadīkṣitendravaṃśābharaṇa of Tyāgarājādhvarin. In Mahalinga Sastri 2002:154–185.

ĀSS:

Ānandasāgarastava of Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita Ed. with a commentary by H. V. Nagaraja Rao. Mysore: Sudharmā Prakāśanam, 1999.

CM:

Citramīmāṃsā of Appayya Dīkṣita with the Sudhā commentary of Dharānanda. Ed. Jagadīśa Chandra Miśra. Kashi Sanskrit Series 207. Varanasi: Chowkhamba, 1971.

GĀV:

Gaṅgāvatāraṇa of of Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita. Ed. Bhavadatta Śāstri, Paṇḍit Śivadatta, and Kāśīnāth Pāṇdurang Parab with introduction by T. S. Kuppuswami Sastri. Kāvyamālā 76. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagara Press, 1902.

KUĀ:

Kuvlayānanda of Appayya Dīkṣiīta with the Rasikarañjana commentary of Gaṅgādhara. Ed. R. Halasyanatha Sastri. Kumbhakonam: Sree Vidya Press, 1892.

NC:

Nalacarita of Nīlakaṇṭa Dīkṣita. Ed. Syamadasa Sastri. Varanasi: Chaukhambha, 1987.

NRM:

Nyāyarakṣāmaṇi of Appayya Dīkṣita. Ed. S. R. Krishnamurthi Sastri, N. Ramakrishna Sastri, and P. Sri Ramachandrudu. Hyderabad: Srimad Appayya Deekshithendra Granthavali Prakasana Samithi, 1971.

NVC:

Nīlakaṇṭhavijayacampū of Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita. Ed. C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, S. Kuppuswami Sastri, and N. Raghunathan. Madras: Sanskrit Education Society, 1972.

Parimala:

The Brahmasūtraśāṅkarabhāṣya with the Bhāmaātī, Kalpataru, and Parimala commentaries. Ed. M. Anantakrisna Sastri and Bhargav Sastri Sastracarya. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagara Press, 1938.

PRĀM:

Prapannāmṛta of Anantācārya. Ed. Swami Rāmanārāyaṇācārya. Varanasi: Somani Trust, 1966.

ŚADV:

Śrimadappayyadīkṣitendravijaya of Śivānanda Yogī. Ed. Gaṇapati Śāstri. Madras: Dixon Press, 1921.

ŚĀMD:

Brahmasūtrabhāṣya of Śrīkaṇṭhācārya with the Śivārkamaṇidīpikā commentary of Appayya Dīkṣita. Ed. R. Halasyanatha Sastri. 2 vols. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagara Press, 1908. Reprint, Delhi: NAG Publishers, 1986.

ŚDMĀ:

Śāstradīpikā of Pārthasārathimīśra with the Mayūkhāvalī commentary of Appayya Dīkṣita. Ed. P. Subrahmanya Sastri. Srirangam: Vani Vilas Press, 1939.

ŚLĀR:

Śivalīlārṇava of Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita. Srirangam: Vani Vilas Press, 1911.

ŚOM:

Śivotkarṣamañjarī of Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita. In Filliozat 1967:101–158.

VLK:

Vasulakṣmīkalyāṇam of Veṅkaṭasubrahmaṇya Adhvarin. Ed. K. Raghavan Pillai. Trivandrum Sanskrit Series 224. Trivandrum: Oriental Research Institute and Manuscript Library, University of Kerala, 1968.

VR:

Vidhirasāyana of Appayya Dīkṣita. Ed. P. S. Ramachandrudu. Srimad Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali Series 8. Hyderabad: Srimad Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali Prakasana Samithi, 2007.

YĀB:

Yādavābhyudaya of Vedānta Deśika with the commentary of Appayya Dīkṣita. Ed. U. T. Viraraghavacharya. Madras: Ubhaya Vedanta Grantha Mala, 1969.

YP:

Yātrāprabandha of Samarapuṅgava Dīkṣita. Ed. Kedarnātha. Kāvyamālā 90. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagara Press, 1936.

References

  1. Aiyaswami Sastri, N. (1929). Tantrasiddhāntadīpikā. Journal of Oriental Research, 2, 247–250.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bader, J. (2000). Conquest of the four quarters: Traditional accounts of the life of Śaṅkara. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bronner, Y. (2004). Back to the future: Appayya Dīkṣita’s Kuvalaāyānanda and the rewriting of Sanskrit poetics. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 48, 47–79.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bronner, Y. (2007). Singing to God, educating the people: Appayya Dīkṣita and the function of stotras. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 127(2), 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bronner, Y. (2011). A text with a thesis: The Rāmāyaṇa from Appayya Dīkṣita’s receptive end. In Y. Bronner, W. Cox, & L. McCrea (Eds.), South Asian texts in history: Critical engagements with Sheldon Pollock (pp. 45–63). Ann Arbor: Association of Asian Studies.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bronner, Y. (forthcoming). South meets north: Banaras from the perspective of Appayya Dīkṣita.

  7. Bronner, Y., & Shulman, D. (2009). “Self-surrender”, “Peace”, “Compassion”, and “The mission of the goose”: Poems and prayers from South India by Appayya Dīkṣita, Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita and Vedānta Deśika. New York: New York University Press / JJC.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bronner, Y., & Tubb, G. (2008). Blaming the messenger: A controversy in late Sanskrit poetics and its implications. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 71(1), 75–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Filliozat, P.-S. (1967). Oeuvres poétiques de Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita. Publications de L’Institute Français d’Indologie, No. 36. Pondicherry: Institut Français d’Indologie.

  10. Gopalachariar, A. V. (1909). Life of Sri Appayya Diksita. In A. V. Gopalachariar (Ed.), Yādavābhyudaya of Vedāntadeśika (vol. 2, pp. i–xxxii). Srirangam: Vani Vilas Press.

  11. Government of Madras. Public Department. (1912). Epigraphy: Recording the annual report of the assistant archaeological superintendent for epigraphy Southern Circle, for the year 1911–1912. G. O. No. 919. Madras: Government of Madras.

  12. Granoff, P. (1984). Holy warriors: A preliminary study of some biographies of saints and kings in the classical Indian tradition. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 12, 291–303.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Granoff, P. (1985). Scholars and wonder-workers: Some remarks on the role of the supernatural in philosophical contests in Vedānta hagiographies. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 105(3), 459–467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Granoff, P. (1986). The miracle of a hagiography without miracles: Some comments on the Jain lives of the Pratyekabuddha Karakaṇḍa. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 14, 389–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Granoff, P. (1989a). Jain lives of Haribhadra: An inquiry into the sources and logic of the legends. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 17, 105–128.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Granoff, P. (1989b). Religious biography and clan history among the Śvetāṃbara Jains in North India. East and West, 39(1–4), 195–215.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Krishnamurti Sarma, B. N. (1939–1940). The truth about Vijayīndra Tīrtha and Taraṅgiṇī-Rāmācārya. New Indian Antiquary, 2, 658–672.

  18. Kunjunni Raja, K. (1980). The contribution of Kerala to Sanskrit literature. Madras: University of Madras Press.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kuppuswami Sastri, T. S. (1902). See GĀV in Abbreviations.

  20. Mahalinga Sastri, Y. (1928). Appayya Dīkṣita’s age. Journal of Oriental Research, 225–237.

  21. Mahalinga Sastri, Y. (1929). More about the age and life of Śrīmad Appayya Dīkṣiīta. Journal of Oriental Research, 140–160.

  22. Mahalinga Sastri, Y. (1951). The life of Raju Sastrigal. In Swami Sivananda (Ed.), Saints and sages (pp. 3–74). Yoga Vedanta Forest University Series 29. Rishikesh: Yoga Vedanta Forest University.

  23. Mahalinga Sastri, Y. (Ed.). (1952). The “Ratnatrayaparīkṣā” of Appayya Dīkṣita. Mysore: Seshadri Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Mahalinga Sastri, Y. (2002). Śrīmat Appayya Tīkṣitar avarkaḷi jīviya caritam. M. Rangarajan (Ed.). Madras: Surabhi Printers.

  25. McCrea, L. (2009). Appayya Dīkṣita on the semantics of metaphor. Paper read at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyoto, Japan, September 2.

  26. Mesquita, R. (2000). Madhava’s unknown literary sources: Some observations. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Minkowski, C. (2011). Advaita Vedānta in early modern history. South Asian History and Culture, 2(2), 205–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Mysore Archeological Department. (1918). Annual report of the Mysore Archeological Department for the year 1917. Bangalore: Government Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Parameswara Aithal, K. (Ed.). (1968). Descriptive catalog of Sanskrit manuscripts. Vol. 4, pt. 2. Madras: Adyar Library and Research Center.

  30. Raghavan, V. (1941–1942). Some Appayya Dīkṣitas. Annals of Oriental Research, 6, 1–4.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Raghavan, V. (Ed.). (1952). Śāhendravilāsa: A poem on the life of King Śāhaji of Tanjore (1684–1710). Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Series, no. 54. Tiruchi: Kalyan Press.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Rājakōpāla, C. (1982). Sarvatantra Svatantarar: Śrīmat Appayya Tīkṣitēntirar Tivya Carita Saṅkraham. Chennai: Śrī Caṅkara Pakta Jana Capā.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Rama Sharma, M. H. (1980). The history of the Vijayanagar Empire: The last phase decline and disappearance (1569–1679). Bombay: Popular Prakashan.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Ramesan, N. (1972). Sri Appayya Dikshita. Hyderabad: Srimad Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali Prakasana Samithi.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rao, A. (2011). A new perspective on the royal Rāma cult at Vijayanagara. In Y. Bronner, W. Cox, & L. McCrea (Eds.), South Asian texts in history: Critical engagements with Sheldon Pollock (pp. 25–44). Ann Arbor: Association of Asian Studies.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Rao, A. (2014). Re-figuring the “Rāmāyaṇa” as theology: A history of reception in premodern India. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Sharma, B. N. K. (1961). A history of the Dvaita school of Vedānta and its literature (Vol. 2). Bombay: Booksellers’ Publishing Co.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Shulman, D. (2012). More than real: A history of the imagination in South India. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Stoker, V. (2012). Polemics and patronage in sixteenth-century Vijayanagara: Vyāsatīrtha and the dynamics of Hindu sectarian relations. History of Religions, 51(2), 129–155.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Subramania Sastriar, K. V. (1933). Śrīmadappayyadīkṣitendravijaya, Madurai.

  41. Unni, N. P. (1995). Nilakantha Diksita. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Venkataraman, S. (1901). Appayya Dikshita. The Light of Truth or Siddhanta Deepika, 4(12), 261–268.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yigal Bronner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bronner, Y. A Renaissance Man in Memory: Appayya Dīkṣita Through the Ages. J Indian Philos 44, 11–39 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-014-9251-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Appayya Dīkṣita
  • Biography / hagiography
  • Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita
  • Śivānanda Yogī
  • Mannargudi Periyar
  • Śaivism / Vaiṣṇavism