Vijayendra Tirtha
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Vijayendra Tirtha
Vijayindra Tirtha
Vitthalach?rya ()

Religious career
GuruSurendra Tirtha, Vyasatirtha [1]
SuccessorSudhindra Tirtha
Literary worksLaghu Amoda, Upasamhara Vijaya, Chakra Mimamsa
HonorsSarvatantrasvatantra [2]

Vijay?ndra T?rtha (also known as Vijayendra T?rtha) (c.1514 - c.1595) was a Dvaita philosopher, dramatist and dialectician. A prolific writer and an unrelenting polemicist, he is said to have authored 104 treatises expounding the principles of Dvaita and defending it against attacks from the contemporary orthodox schools of Vedanta. He held the pontifical seat at Kumbakonam under the rule of Thanjavur Nayaks where he participated in polemical discussions with the Advaita philosopher Appayya Dikshita [3] Inscriptions from that era record grants of villages received by Vijayindra for his triumph over theological debates .[4] Legend ascribes to him mastery over 64 arts and his erudition, writes Sharma, "is evident from a few of his works bearing on Purva Mimamsa, Nyaya and Kavya literature".[2]


Almost nothing is known about his early life and family. Most of the information on Vijayindra is derived from a few inscriptions and two hagiographies: R?ghavendra Vijaya and Gurugu?astavana. Born as Vitthal?charya in a Kannada-speaking Deshastha Madhva Brahmin family,[5] he studied Vedanta, Mimamsa and Nyaya under the philosopher Vyasatirtha. [6] He also received training in Kavya (poetics), Natya (drama) and Alankara (rhetoric). Aged 25, he moved to Kumbakonam at the behest of Surendra Tirtha, the erstwhile pontiff of the Vibhudendra mutt. [note 1] Vitthala eventually succeeded Surendra as the pontiff with the title Vijay?ndra T?rtha.[7] Inscriptional evidence and traditional accounts note that Vijayindra received patronage from Aliya Rama Raya and grants from Sevappa Nayak of Tanjore. [6] [2] He was involved in severe polemical discussions with his rival and friend Appayya Dikshita, with several of his works dedicated to refuting the claims of Appayya. [8] After his death in 1595, his mortal remains were enshrined in the mutt at Kumbakonam. He was succeeded by Sudhindra Tirtha.


Vijayindra tirtha is credited with as many as 104 literary works of which many are non-extant. A few that remain mainly consist of commentaries on the works of Vyasatirtha (Laghu Amoda) and Madhva (Tattvaprakasika Tippani), polemical works refuting the works of Appayya Dikshita and several treatises dealing with the issue of compatibility of Dvaita with Mimamsa (Chakra Mimamsa). A few poems and three dramatical works have been attributed to him as well.[9]

List of Notable Works

104 works are attributed to Vijayindra of which only sixty are extant. Except for a few notable works, many remain unprinted. The manuscripts are preserved in mutts at Nanjangud, Mantralayam and Kumbakonam.

Name Description References
Tattvamanimanekyapetika Commentary on Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Madhva [10]
Gudabhavaprakasika Commentary on Tattvodyota of Madhva [10]
Tattvaprakasika Tippani Summary of Tattva Prakasika of Madhva [10]
Laghu Amoda Commentary on Nyayamruta of Vyasatirtha [1]
Nyayamauktikamala Commentary on Tatparya Chandrika of Vyasatirtha [11]
Yuktiratnakara Commentary on Tarka Tandava of Vyasatirtha [11]
Pramana Paddhati Vyakhyana Gloss on Pramana Paddhati of Jayatirtha [12]
Adhikaranamala Treatise on the Mimamsa elements in Nyayamruta [12]
Chandrikodahrta Nyaya Vivaranam Treatise on the Mimamsa elements in Tatparya Chandrika [13]
Appayya Kapola Chapetika Refutation of the works of Appayya Dikshita [13]
Madhva Kantako Dhara Rebuttal to Madhvatantramukhabhanga of Appayya Dikshita [14]
Chakra Mimamsa Defence of mudradharana from the viewpoint of Mimamsa [note 2] [13]
Bhedavidyavilasa Polemical treatise emphasising the doctrine of five-fold difference [15]
Paratattva Prakasika Criticism of Appayya Dikshita's Sivatattvaviveka [14]
Brahmasutra Nyayasangraha Gist of Brahma Sutra distilling elements from Anu Vyakhyana of Madhva [16]
Siddhanta Sarasara Viveka Polemical tract against the tenets of Visistadvaita and Shiva Advaita [17]
Ananda Taratamya Vadartha Polemical tract against the tenets of Visistadvaita [17]
Nyayadhvadipika Manual on the Mimamsa elements in Dvaita [18]
Upasamhara Vijaya Rejoinder to Upakrama Parakrama of Appayya Dikshita [18]
Pistapashu Mimamsa Treatise arguing for the usage of flour-made animals for rituals [19]
Mimamsa Naya Kaumudi The compatibility between the works of Madhva and Mimamsa is explored [19]
Advaita Siksha Polemical rebuttal to Advaitadipika of Narasimhasrama [20]
Shaiva Sarvasva Khandanam Treatise arguing for the supremacy of Vishnu [20]
Subhadra Dhananjaya Drama on the marriage of Arjuna and Subhadra [21]
Narayana Sabdartha Nirvachana Monograph on the etymology of the word Narayana [22]
Turiyasiva Khandana Polemical tract arguing against the fourth stage of consciousness of Advaita [23]
Tatparya Chandrika Kuchodya Kuthara Refutation in favour of Tatparya Chandrika by Vyasatirtha []


  1. ^ According to the songs of Purandara, Surendra, impressed by the brilliance of the young Vitthala, asked Vyasatirtha to gift him Vitthala
  2. ^ Mudradharana is the Vaishnavite practice of branding the symbols of Vishnu on the body


  1. ^ a b Sarma 1937, p. 551.
  2. ^ a b c Sharma 2000, p. 172.
  3. ^ Sharma 2000, p. 165.
  4. ^ Vriddhagirisan 1995, p. 56.
  5. ^ Hebbar 2005, p. 306.
  6. ^ a b Sharma 2000, p. 171.
  7. ^ Sharma 2000, p. 168.
  8. ^ Heras 1927, p. 553.
  9. ^ Sharma 2000, p. 173-189.
  10. ^ a b c Sharma 2000, p. 173.
  11. ^ a b Sarma 1937, p. 552.
  12. ^ a b Sharma 2000, p. 176.
  13. ^ a b c Heras 1927, p. 522.
  14. ^ a b Sarma 1937, p. 554.
  15. ^ Sarma 1937, p. 557.
  16. ^ Sharma 2000, p. 179.
  17. ^ a b Sharma 2000, p. 180.
  18. ^ a b Pandurangi 2004.
  19. ^ a b Sarma 1937, p. 556.
  20. ^ a b Sharma 2000, p. 188.
  21. ^ Sharma 2000, p. 189.
  22. ^ Fischer 2017, p. 121.
  23. ^ Fischer 2017, p. 130.


  • Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti (2000). A History of the Dvaita School of Ved?nta and Its Literature, Vol. 2, 3rd Edition. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-8120815759.
  • Hebbar, B.N (2005). The Sri-Krsna Temple at Udupi: The History and Spiritual Center of the Madhvite Sect of Hinduism. Bharatiya Granth Nikethan. ISBN 81-89211-04-8.
  • Vriddhagirisan, V (1995). Nayaks of Tanjore. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 978-8120609969.
  • Sarma, R. Nagaraja (1937). Reign of realism in Indian philosophy. National Press.
  • Pandurangi, K.T (2004). Nyayadhvadipika. Dvaita Vedanta Studies and Research Foundation.
  • Hebbar, B.N (2004). The Sri Krsna Temple at Udupi. Nataraj Books. ISBN 978-1881338505.
  • Fischer, Elaine (2017). Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520293014.
  • Heras, Henry (1927). South India Under the Vijayanagara Empire: The Aravidu Dynasty, Volume 2. Cosmo.
  • Mahalingam, T.V (1937). Administration and Social Life Under Vijayanagar: Administration. University of Madras.

External links

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