KOmAndUr Elayavilli (BAladhanvi) KaralapAkkam anantapadmanAbhan
This Web-Page is dedicated for sharing the biography, special achievements and related issues of one of the great Philosophers of 20th Century, SrI “abhinava dESika” UttamUr Tirumalai “VAtsya” VeerarAghavAchArya from India. During his lifetime (1896-1983 A.D.) ,he was revered as a great authority of especially the Philosophy of NyAya -VaiSEshika (Indian Logic), ViSishTAdvaita VEdAnta and Advaita VEdAnta, by all the eminent scholars of different schools of VEdAnta.
He firmly established the Philosophy of ViSishTAdvaita, following the footsteps of the well known premier SrI VaishNava AchAryas like Bhagavad RAmAnuja (1017 – 1137 A.D.),one of the all time great Philosophers and Religious Leaders from India and Bhagavad VEdAnta DESika ( alias VenkatanAtha ,1268-1369 A.D.), a genius and versatile Polymath, adorning a unique place in the history of India as one of the all time great Philosophers cum Poets.
After the unparalleled and original contributions by Bhagavad RAmAnuja and SrI VEdAnta DESika, SrI UttamUr SwAmi in his own merit made many new rich contributions to the Philosophy of ViSishT- Advaita and SrI VaishNava Sat SampradAyam. Apart from writing excellent commentaries to some nof the Philosophical works of eminent SrI VaishNava AchAryas like SrI YAmunAchArya (916-1041 A.D.), SrI RAmAnujAchArya, SrI VAtsya Varadaguru alias NadAdUr ammAL (1165-1275 A.D.), he also made insightful commentaries to almost all the works of SrI VEdAnta DESika, further attesting them firmly to be the guiding light for understanding the simple to esoteric meanings enshrined in the holy VEdas and allied authoritative scriptural texts.
Unlike many other great SrI VaishNava scholars, he had the unique and rare distinction of having attained a high and equal authority over both Upanishads in Sanskrit, as well as Divya Prabandhams of the AzhwArs in Tamil, reverred as Dravida VEdas with NammAzhwAr’s ThiruvAimozhi being hailed as DramidOpanishad.
He commented upon both of these with equal ease, adding great clarity and profound insights.He is thus revered to be one of the all time great Ubhaya-VEdAnta scholars,which refers to mastery in Twin-VEdAnta comprising the sacred VEdas in Sanskrit and AzhwAr’s Divya Prabandhams.
His lengthy hair splitting Polemic work “ParamArtha BhUshaNam” written in refutation to SrI AnantakrishNanSAstri’s “SatabhUshaNi” a criticism on SrI VEdAnta DESika’s SatadUshaNi, is recognized as his magnum opus. In this work, the soundness of the arguments in SatadUshaNi, in successfully refuting the various tenets of advaita vEdAnta are clearly established. Moreover, all the developments in advaita VEdAnta after the periodof SrI VEdAnta DESika are thoroughly considered.
In this work in particular, he has shown his extrordinary mastery of the various intricate issues in both ViSishTAdvaita and advaita VEdAnta, contributed by several scholars spanning many a centuries and has advanced innumerous original arguments with great logical acumen to drive home his point. Soon after the release of this monumental work in 1959, he was honoured to be the very first recipient of the “President Award” in the history of India, for scholarship in Sanskrit,after top-notch scholars of advaita VEdAnta unbiassedly recommeding him to be the befitting scholar to receive that highly prestigious award.
His profound scholarship in VEdAnta was built from his sound mastery of sAmAnya SAstras like NyAya-VaisEshika, Sage Jaimini’s mImAmsa and VyAkaraNa (Sanskrit Grammar esp. as established by Sage PANini ). He was a great authority in both PrAcIna-NyAya (Old NyAya) and Navya-NyAya (Neo-NyAya) and authored some high quality works in this field. His outstanding commentary in a young age, to Udayan – AchArya’s (10th Cent.A.D.) NyAya-KusumAnjali, a very terse text in the style of PrAcIna NyAya won the hearts of innumerous scholars.
It is accepted by all that but for this illuminating commentary in the style of Navya-NyAya, the purport and in-depth meanings of this great PrAcIna NyAya Classic establishing God through Inference could not have been understood.It is well known that this commentary is followed by all teachers and students.His commentary to “Tarka San^graha “, a fundamantal manual of Navya-NyAya,is a Philosopher’s delight. It is a very unique commentary presenting the “SAbdabOdham” for the entire original text, thereby revealing his high-end mastery of Navya-NyAya.His incomplete insightful commentary on NyAya-SUtras of Sage Gautama is awaiting publication from the manuscript stage, after the request of several scholars to enrich the understanding of NyAya Philosophy.
His works on VaiSEshika Philosophy like “VaiSEshika RasAyanam”,a brilliant commentary on the Sutras by Sage KaNAda won deep admiration of eminent scholars like late SrI ChandrasEkharEndra Saraswati (SankarAchArya) of Kanchi. SrI Kanchi SankarAchArya has openly acknowledged during public functions to felicitate SrI UttamUr SwAmi that he was an avid reader of various books of SrI UttamUr SwAmi and that he has not seen a scholar of SrI UttamUr SwAmi’s stature in his lifetime.
His excellent commentary for “MImAmsa NyAya -PrakASa” in a very young age, was very well appreciated by all scholars of MImAmsa, including “PaNDitarAja” SrI D.T.TAtAchArya, an authority of mImAmsa SAstra. His scholarly commentaries for SrI VEdAnta DESika’s SESwara MImAmsa and MImAmsa PAduka speaks volumes on his mastery of mImAmsa SAstra.
His brief work called “Upayukta MImAmsa” is highly celebrated for delineating with clarity on only the essentials of mImAmsa SAstra to be known for the good understanding of SrI BhAshya, the outstanding commentary on Sage VyAsa’s Brahma (VEdAnta) SUtras by Bhagavad RAmAnuja
His detailed commentary on SrI VEdAnta DESika’s “NyAya PariSuddhi” serves as a milestone in the exposition of Epistemology adopted by ViSishTAdvaita. His commenatry and detailed Introduction to SrI VEdAnta DESika’s “NyAya SiddhAnjanam”, and commentary on SrI VEdAnta DESika’s “SarvArtha Siddhi”are cherished by eminent scholars for their lucid and insightful presentation ofsimple to even very advanced aspects of ViSishTAdvaita Metaphysics, Ontology, Epistemology, Cosmology, Eschatology and Theology.
Two of his well celebrated classics in ViSishTAdvaita VEdAnta are
1. An elaborate commentary to shrI BhAshyam — the magnum opus of shrI Bhagavad rAmAnujA
2. A very detailed commentary on swAmi vEdAnta dEsikA’s “AdhikaraNa sArAvaLi”.
In the former work named “shrI BhAshyArta DarpaNa” he has packed several brilliant ideas, arguments, new problems with appropriate solutions in a very lucid style.
His highly insightful explanations on the logical connectivity between the sutras is a treat for the scholars.
After the advent of SrI SudarSana SUri’s (13th-14th Cent. A.D.) “SrutaprakASika”, a well celebrated exhaustive illuminating commentary on SrI BhAshyam as heard from the discourses of SrI NadAdUr ammAL and SrI RangarAmAnuja Muni’s (16th-17th Cent. A.D.) excellent treatise “BhAvaprakASika”, a commentary upon “SrutaprakASika”, this monumental original contribution from SrI UttamUr SwAmi has taken the exposition of SrIBhAshyam to newdimensions.AdhikaraNa SArAvalI is a gem amongst the Philosophical works of SrI VEdAnta DESika with 562 verses in SragdharA meter expounding the purport of each adhikaraNa of Brahma SUtras with innumerous original special insights not presented in SrI BhAshyam. SrI UttamUr SwAmi’s commentary on this is regarded as a masterpiece by proficient scholars.
His bhUmikas ie.Introductions to his works in general are highly learned in nature. Special mention must be made on his two outstanding bhUmikAs of very high order information content:
1. For sri MEghanAdAri sUri’s NayadyumaNi: This very elaborate BhUmikA is a treatise in itself with brilliant summary and expositions of various technical concepts of visishtAdvaitA in contrast with other philosophical systems.