Sri Appayya Dikshita

Sri Appayya Dikshita, the author of the gloss Parimala on Sri Amalananda’s Kalpataru, was a prolific writer of immense intellectual prowess in many domains. He prospered after the first quarter of the 16th century CE. He hailed from Adyapalam, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. Sri Appayya Dikshita stoutly defended Shaivism against attacks from divisive religious forces. He championed the cause of harmony when the society was rife with bitterness and bickering between sections. He earned the patronage of the rulers of Vellore, Tanjore, Vijayanagara and Venkatagiri. He was the teacher of Sri Bhattoji Dikshita of the Siddhanta-kaumudi fame. Among his independent works are Nyaya-rakshamani on the Brahma-sutras, and Kuvalayananda and Chitra-mimamsa within the Alankara-sastra. His Siddhanta-lesa-samgraha is a compendium of ideas and perspectives within advaita. Nyaya-manjari is his gloss on Brahma-sutras as per advaita. Shiva-tattva-nirnaya, Shikharini-mala, Shiva-karnamruta, Ramayana-tatparya-samgraha, Brahma-tarka-stava and Shiva-advaita-nirnaya are some of his other works. The firmness of his conviction in the Supreme Truth and the steadfastness of his devotion to Shiva are reflected in his outpourings, under self-induced intoxication, in the form of his famous Atmarpana-stuti. It is a 50-verse ecstatic utterance of an inebriated Sri Dikshita, as recorded by his disciples in deference to his prior directive. He authored over a century of works spanning various branches of philosophy and Sanskrit literature. It is not without reason that he is spoken of in the same breath as the legendary Sri Vachaspati Mishra before him, in terms of mastery over and contribution to diverse domains.