Sri Vachaspati Mishra

Vachaspati Mishra was a scholar of rare eminence who post-dated Sri Shankara. Though he is known for his erudition that not merely spread over various sastras – advaita, samkhya, mimamsa, yoga, vyakarana and nyaya – but also for the depth in each of them, he is widely acknowledged primarily as a champion of advaita. The epithet Sad-darshana-acharya – preceptor proficient in all six darsanas– fits him squarely. Among his numerous works, Bhamati, a detailed sub-commentary on Sri Shankara’s Brahma-sutra-bhashya, stands out as by far the most celebrated one. That it has given rise to Bhamati-prasthana or the Bhamati sub-school in advaita suffices to affirm the stamp of his influence on later philosophers. He comes out there in strong defense of Sri Shankara against, for instance, Sri Bhaskara, a proponent of the Bheda-abheda school. As the legend goes, he named this magnum opus of his after his wife Bhamati, as a token of his gratitude towards her for her devout support to him throughout his prolonged periods of immersion in his writings. A prolific writer, Vachaspati Mishra’s other works include Brahma-Tattva-samiksha, a commentary on Mandana Mishra's Brahma-siddhi, Tattva-bindu, a mimamsa text that discusses language in its relation to meaning, Nyaya-vartika-tatparya-tika, a sub-commentary on Udyotakara’s Nyaya-vartika, Nyaya-soochi-nibandha on the Nyaya-sutras, Sankhya-tattva-kaumudi, a commentary on Isvara Krishna’s Sankhya-karika and Tattva-vaisaradi, a gloss on Vyasa’s Yoga-sutra-bhashya. Some of his works are said to be extinct.