Sri Appayya Dikshita is known to have had written 104 works. The author’s greatness is to be gauged not by the number of works he has written, but by the depth and profundity of his thought. It will be clear to anyone who has had even a glimpse of the genius of Sri Appayya Dikshita in his works of Vedanta and mimamsa.
All the 104 works of Appayya Dikshita are now not current. Only about 60 of them are well-known. The other 44 are only known by their names. A brief resume of the known works of Sri Appayya Dikshita is attempted below:
1. Siddhanta Lesa Sangraha :
This work is a very elaborate and original treatise written by Sri Appayya Dikshita wherein he has gathered and brought together in one place, all different dialectical thinking belonging to the advaitic cult. Traditional scholars and students of Vedanta have a rule that they would start reading the Bhashya only after they finish the Siddanta Lesa Sangraha.In view of this, this work is very much current among scholars and students.
2. Nyaya Rakshamani :
This is an elaborate and independent commentary, on the first pada of the Brahmasutras, which deals with the science of ‘self’ and the ‘universe’. This is also a very well-known treatise of Sri Appayya Dikshita on the advaitic philosophy and is one of the standard works with which his name is generally associated. The book contains a great many original arguments both for the purvapaksha and the siddhanta under each adhikarana.
3. Kalpataruparimala :
Bhagavadpada Adi Sri Sankaracharya wrote a classic commentary on the Brahmasutras of Badarayans. For this commentary or Bhashya of Sri Sankara, a great advaitic teacher, by name Sri Vachaspati Misra wrote another commentary called Bhamati. For this work Bhamati, another subsequent advaitic teacher by name Amalananda wrote an abstruse and difficult commentary called kalpataru. The kalpataru is an extremely difficult piece of work, which would require extensive scholarship to understand. For this work kalpataru, Sri Appayya Dikshita wrote an extensive and easily understandable detailed commentary called the Parimala.
4 and 5. Madhva Tantra Mukha Mardana and its commentary Madhva Mata Vidhvamsana :
Both these works were written in condemnation of the dvaita doctrine of the Madhvas. These two works are now generally prevalent both in the North and in the South. In some of the advaitic seminars these two works are generally given as a test of one’s dialectical skill.
6. Purvottara Mimamsa Vada Nakshtra Mala or Nakshatra Vadavali :
This work contains a mighty dissertation of some of the problems in Mimamsa Vedanta Sastras. The questions and answers given here are intended to explain and make clear the basic truths of the two Mimasa Sastras. These have never been clearly written anywhere else. But Sri Appayya Dikshita states that the tenets contained in them have been accepted as the basis for the truths of the Bhashya.
7, 8, 9 and 10. Chatur Mata Sara Sangraha :
This is also called as Adhikarana Sara Sangraha and Adhikarana Mala. This work contains, in epitome in four sections, the four schools of Vedanta – the Dvaita, theVisishtadvaita, the Sivadvaita, and the Advaita. The work is in the form of a running commentary in prose and verse on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana, treated topically under the several adhikaranas. In this work Sri Appayya Dikshita interprets each school of vedanta according to the most ardent expounder of the school. In some places, the work is also called as Adhikaharana Sara Sangraha. Each of the sections of the Chaturmata Sara Sangraha is known by an individualistic name also.
The three systems of philosophical thinking that are mentioned in this work are as follows:
(i) The 1st is the Madhvamata. This is propagated by a commentary on the Brahmasutras from the stand point of Dvaita Siddhanta. This is also known as Nyaya Muktavali.
(ii) The second is the Visistadvaita of Sri Ramanuja. This is propagated by a commentary on the Brahmasutras from the stand point of Visistadvaita. This work is known by Naya Mayukha Malika.
(iii) and (iv) : The next two philosophical systems with which Sri Appayya Dikshita deals with are Sivadvaita and Advaita. Sri Appayya Dikshita refers to Srikantha mata in his‘Nayamani mala” and Advaita in his Nayamanjari in the adhikarana.
11 and 12. Ramanuja Sringa Bhanga and Tatva Mudra Vidravanam :
These two works are written in condemnation of the philosophy of the Ramanuja and the Madhvas. It does not appear as if these two works have upto now been printed.
From the sixth verse in Sri Dikshita Nava Rathna Malika it is seen that Sri Appayya Dikshita did not write the condemnation of Sri Ramanuja’s philosophy. The Tatvamudra or the practice of branding oneself is common to both the followers of Madhva and Ramanuja’s cults of thought.
Though these two works have been included in the old list of works compiled by Sri Appayya Dikshita still, the authenticity about the authorship is not free from doubt.
The other vedantic works which are generally attributed to Sri Appayya Dikshita are the following :
13. Ramanuja Tatparya Sangraha
14. Commentary in item (13)
15. Sri Vidya tatva vivaranam
17. Adhikarana Saravali
18. Tatva muktavali
19. Nyaya ratnamala
20. Commentary on item (19)
21.Mata sarartha sangraha
22. Siddhanta ratnakara
24. Nyayamuktavali vyakhya
25. Adhikarana panchika
26 and 27. Sikharini Mala and its Commentary Siva Tatva Viveka:
These and the other saivite works of Sri Appayya Dikshita were all intended to propagate Sivadvaita doctrine. They were mainly written to highlight the great qualities of Lord Siva. They were written at a time when polemical warfare between the Vaishnavas and the Saivites in the Vijayanagar days, was rampant and these works were intended to support thesaivite doctrine.
The Sikharinimala is a work in Sanskrit containing 60 verses in Sikharini vritta. The work seeks to propagate the greatness of Sivabhakti and also enlightens us about the supreme power of Lord Siva.
The Siva Tatva Viveka is an elaborate attempt to establish that Siva is the Lord of the Universe. For the Saiva cult no book has done more service than the Siva Tatva Viveka.Even from a purely intellectual point of view, the book will not fail to receive the admiration of all impartial scholars.
28, 29, 30 and 31. Ramayana tatparya sangraha, Bharata tatparya sangraha and their commentaries :
These works called Ramayana tatparya Sangraha, Bharata tatparya sangraha and the two commentaries on the same by Sri Appayya Dikshita are, as their names indicate, works on the two great classics and profess to expound their inner meanings.
These two works and their commentaries are based on the assumption that in both the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, it is only the greatness of Lord Siva that is being propagated.
The Vaishnavas consider the Ramayana as a supreme work extolling this greatness of Prapatti or Surrender. In this work, the above view point is refuted. Sri Appayya Dikshita tries to establish that Vibhishana who is generally held to be the symbol for surrender or Saranagati to the Lord does so only on account of his desire to regain his kingdom and not on account of any desire for salvation.
In the same manner, Sri Appayya Dikshita also proves with a great deal of authority that in the Mahabharata also Bhagavan Sri Vyasa tries to prove that Sri Lord Siva only is the supreme reality. He also explains that in both the Bhagavat Gita and the Anugita also, it is only the greatness and supremacy of Lord Siva that is explained in detail.
32 and 33. Brahma Tarkastava and its commentary :
In these two works suitable replies have been given to the arguments advanced by those who were condemning Lord Siva and his worship. Sri Appayya Dikshita and a number of interesting technical debating points and on the basis of a dialectical analysis of the evidence of the Puranas that Lord Siva is supreme and is the Parabrahma. He also shows in these works the difference between Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva.
34. Sivadhyana Paddhati :
In this work, a description as to how Puja to Lord Siva should be performed mentally has been described in very great detail. The original work alone, without any commentary has been published a long time ago in Grantha characters.
35. Siva Puja Vidhi :
As the title indicates, this work deals with the technique of worship of Lord Siva. This is a fairly well-known work and has been published in print.
36. Sivarchana Chandrika :
This work also deals with the worship of Lord Siva and there is a commentary on it also. Tradition has it that this work was written by Sri Appayya Dikshita in order to teach his royal patron King Chinna Bomma of Vellore the greatness and the method of worhipping of Lord Siva.
37. Sivakarnamruta :
This is a work written in prose with the idea of reestablishing the superior greatness of Lord Siva.
This work comprises of two parts, viz., the arguments against the thesis sought to be proved traditionally called the Purvapaksha and the replies thereto traditionally called theSamadhana. The work has been written in the manner of sastra vakyartha, which is very common in the traditional method of theological disputation.
38. Sri Sivarka mani dipika :
Srikantacharya wrote a great commentary on the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana, seeking to derive from it the sivadvaita doctrine. It is generally believed that Srikanta lived after Sri Sankara and before Sri Ramanuja. The present work of Sri Appayya Dikshita is an elaborate commentary on the Srikanta bhashya.
The Srikanta doctrine is generally called also as the Saiva visishtadvaita. There is a close resemblance between the advaita of Sri Sankara and the Sivadvaita of Srikanta.
Sri Appayya Dikshita very graphically describes dvaita as the lowest step, visishtadvaita as the middle step and sivadvaita and advaita which are very close to each other as the highest steps. Sri Appayya Dikshita calls himself again and again in this work as a follower of the advaita doctrine, but the followers of sivadvaita also calim him as one of their great Acharyas.
The Sivarka mani dipika displays the most thorough-going knowledge of mimamsa, vyakarana, nyaya, rhetoric, and in fact of the whole field of Sanskrit literature. WhatVachaspati, Sudarsana and Jayatirtha have done for the Bhashyas of Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva, Sri ppayya Dikshita has done for the Bhashyas of Srikanta. In many places the book is more an original discussion than a commentary. As an intellectual treat, there is not a more learned and well reasoned and interesting work than the Sivarka mani dipika. To the Siva bhakta, the book is a priceless treasure. The author pronounces Srikanta to have been a practiser of the Dahara Vidya. He detects this fact by a critical examination of Srikanta’s references to the different vidyas.
39. Sivadvaita Nirmaya :
This is a very small work in which the doctrine of Sivadvaita has been easily explained.
40 and 41. Anandalahari Chandrika :
This work purports to explain the essence of Srikanta Bhashya in easy terms. The Chandrika is the author’s own commentary on his own work.
Sri Appayya Dikshita makes clear in his work that Srikanta Bhashya has been written in very close approximation to the trend of thought of Sri Sankara in his Brahmasutra Bhashya that Srikanta propagated his cult on the understanding that sagunopasana is only the first step to nirgunopasana, and that it was the real intention of Srikanta that the final truth lies only in Suddhadvaita. The great dialectical skill of Sri Appayya Dikshita, is fully reflected in this work, where he tries to narrow down the differences between the apparently divergent schools of thought, and tries to show that the advaita of Sri Sankara is the real eternal truth to which all others try to approximate.
42. Bhasma Vada Vali :
From the title of the work it can perhaps be inferred that this is a work on the greatness of wearing the Vibhuti which is quite common among the Saivites.
43 and 44. Ratnatraya Pariksha and its commentary :
In this extremely short work containing only very few verses, which Sri Appayya Dikshita calls as the three gems or ratna traya, Sri Dikshita proves on the basis of the pramanas of the Puranas, that Siva is really the Parabrahma, that it is the Sivasakti in the female form that is known as Parvati, and that it is the same sakti which is known as Narayana in the male form, and that on account of these, Hari, Hara and Ambika, all the three have Brahmatva, and that it is not necessary to fight among ourselves as to who is greater and who is smaller, since all the three are derived only from the same eternal source.
45. Siva Mahima Kalikastuti :
This is a work in 25 verses praising Lord Siva. By handling the slesha or the technique of using words and phrases that can be interpreted in two different manners, the author is able to expound in this work some of the principles of mimamsa. Sri Dikshita himself must have written a commentary or vyakhya on this, since the verse, as they exist today, could not be fully understood without a commentary, as the intricate details of the mimamsa sastra have all been brought forward in this work by means of similes. Moreover, in this work all the details of Ishti, pasu, etc. given in the karmakanda, all details of yagas like the Soma yaga, and the upasana of Lord Siva as given in the gnanakanda have been explained as per the rules of mimamsa, with slesha alankara. Hence a commentary is very essential to grasp the correct meaning of this.
This Stuti, in addition to explaining the Vedantic truths, is also replete with the rules of purva-mimamsa. Vedanta is described as the divine parijata tree here.The idea is that like the Parijata which is the tree of Devas and which grows in the Nandanodyana and which fulfils all desires, so does Vedanta which gives to a devotee all the purusharthas. This Stuti can be compared to a bouquet made of Parijata flowers. The fragrance that emanates is the Purva mimamsa rules. Without a knowledge of them Vedanta cannot really be understood. Hence this is said to contain the essence of both the systems of thought.
46 and 47. Pancharatna Stuti and its commentary :
These are short devotional works.
The other Sivadvaita works generally attributed to Sri Appayya Dikshita are :
49. Sivadhyana Paddhati vyakhyana.
50. Sivapurana tamasatva kandanam.
52 and 53. Vidhirasayana and Sukhopayojini :
This is a well-known and renowned work containing details of the three great doctrines or “vidhis” which are well-known in the Mimamsa Sastra.
Sukhopayojini is a commentary on the Vidhirasayana. Since these and the other Mimamsa works of Sri Appayya Dikshita were well-known in the northern parts of our country also during his own life time, one scholar by name Khandadeva who belonged to the next generation and who also propagated the Mimamsa doctrines speaks of Sri Appayya Dikshita as “Mimamsaka Murdhanya”.
54. Upakrama Parakrama :
The upakrama and the upasamhara are two technical terms. In this work, the prominence and importance of upakrama are brought out. This work is an elaborate discussion of theupakrama nyaya of the mimamsa as applied to the vedanta. This is common to both Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa.
55. Chitrapata :
This teaches the rules of Mimamsa.
56. Mayukhavali :
This is a commentary on the work Sastra dipika of Parthasarathi Misra.
The following two works are also generally attributed to Sri Appayya Dikshita.
57. Tantrika mimamsa.
58. Dharma mimamsa paribhasa.
59. Paniniya tantravada nakshtra mala :
This work consists of 27 questions or prasnas on vyakarana or grammar, along with the explanations for them.
60. Yadavabhyudaya Vyakhyana:
This is a vyakhyana or commentary on the Mahakavya Yadavabhyudaya written by Sri Vedanta Desika the great Vaishnavite teacher. Just like the 15th Sarga of Kiratarjuniyamand the 21st Sarga of Maghakavya, one Sarga of Yadavabhyudayam contains the sabda chitra.
The Yadavabhudaya is one of those works through which Sri Appayya Dikshita reached the height of his glory.
61. Kuvalayananda :
This is also a very well-known and a standard text on the alankara sastra which teaches arthalankara. All the old treatises on the subject have been analysed and re-edited by the author, and the entire work was written in a very pleasing and clear manner with the help of examples and introducing some new alankaras also. Students of alankara generally read the Kuvalayananda as the first standard work. This has two commentaries on it, one called the Chandrika and the other called Rasika Ranjani.
62. Chitra Mimamsa :
This is an elaborate descriptive work with full examples of the Lakshana of the more important Arthalankaras. Following this pattern, Sri Jagannadha Pandita wrote his famousRasagangadhara. The Chitra Mimamsa has been written in the traditional sastraic manner.
63. Vritti Vartika :
This work deals with the Vrittis which are described in the Alankara Sastras as Abidha, Lakshana and Vyanjana. This is a small work.
64 and 65. The Varadarajastava and its commentary :
It is said that Sri Acharya Dikshita had written a work called Varadaraja Vasantotsava Varnana. Sri Appayya Dikshita in his Varadarajastava describes the divine beauty of the Lord in 106 verses of exquisite beauty and charm. It is as if he has adorned the beautiful form of the Lord with a garland as it were of 106 verses. He has himself written a commentary on this. In it he explains in great detail the Lakshanas of the various alankaras handled by him in the main work.
For every great work of composition what is indispensable is not so much the mere technical skill as the inner shining beauty called the pratibha. This pratibha consists of five elements,namely, Atisayokti, Vakrokti, Slesha, Pada Saushtava and Sabda Madhurya. A kavya is said to be a great one only if it contains all these elements. The varadarajastavais full of these and is forever shining as an ornament of beauty to the Lord Varadaraja.
66. Atmarpanastuti :Tamil translation
Sri Appayya Dikshita who demonstrated his complete mastery over descriptive verses in his Varadarajastava has in the Atmarpanastuti dealt with equal facility with mystic poetry and makes the inner self melt as it were by his exquisite poetry. In this work, we see the profound maturity of the true devotion to the Supreme Lord. The Atmarpana or surrender of oneself, is the very acme or end in the various stages of devotion to the Lord. There cannot be a greater stage in one’s evolution than this. This work seeks moksha or release as a final end. This reflects the inner mental state of a great devotee, in whom the ego has become fully extinct. The state of one who surrenders himself to the Lord is a stage of complete detachment. What he wants is eternal happiness. What he aims at is only release from the bondage of the never-ending cycle of births and deaths.
The disjointed prattle of Sri Appayya Dikshita in a stage of intoxication became this stutikavya which is generally known as Unmatta Panchasati, because all the fifty verses in this work, were composed at a stage when Sri Appayya Dikshita had no control over his mental faculties. From this work the fact that Sri Appayya Dikshita had completely identified himself with the ninth stage of self-surrender or atma samarpana in bhakti yoga became very clear. In this work, Sri Appayya Dikshita has totally surrendered himself to Lord Siva with a deep prayer that he should be given complete freedom from the cycle of births and deaths and be identified in the advaitic state of oneness with Lord Siva.
Sri Sivananda Yogi, a biographer of Sri Appayya Dikshita has written a commentary on this work.
67. Apitakuchambastava :
Once Sri Appayya Dikshita had gone to Tiruvannamalai for darshan of Lord Arunachaleswara there. There he was laid with a severe fever. At that stage he prayed to the Goddess of that place, Apitakuchamba for relief from his suffering and this work composed in that context is now known as Apitakuchambastava.
68. Manasollasa :
In this very small work, Sri Appayya Dikshita teaches to his own mind complete detachment and vairagya. He instructs his mind that it should pray to Lord Pasupati in a state of utter detachment, and see some way by which the next janma could be avoided.
69. Nigrahastaka :
Sri Appayya Dikshita during his propagation of Saivism, had to incur the enmity of a number of persons. Once when he was out traveling, certain professional killers were engaged by his enemies to kill Sri Appayya Dikshita. At that stage when his life was in danger, Sri Appayya Dikshita prayed to the Lord in these eight verses to protect him and to bring destruction to his enemies. His obstacles were then removed and his enemies were also killed by the grace of the Lord.
70. Hari Hara stuti :
In the great kshetra, Chidambaram, the temple to Sri Govindaraja, the Vishnava Lord, which was closed for worship was thrown open again for worship during the time of Ramaraya, the regent of Vijayanagar, through the good offices of one vaishnavite teacher Doddacharya. Sri Appayya Dikshita who had no distinction between Siva and Vishnu, fully welcomed this. In honor of that great event he wrote the Harihara Stuti. This contains ten verses. In each both Siva and Vishnu are praised alternatively. It is well-known that in Chidambaram one can have darshan of both the Lords at the same time.
71 and 72. Durga Chandra kala stuti and its commentary :
This durgastuti is like a mantra sastra designed to avert poverty, fear from enemies, fear from death, several difficulties, several unanticipated disasters etc., for devotees and is in fifteen verses. The Devi mahatmya and the other anecdotes about the devi given in Varahapurana, Harivamsa, Bhagavata etc., are given in condensed form in this work. Traditionally the descendents of Sri Appayya Dikshita do the japa of this work during their Sandhya worship.
73 and 74. Aditya Stotra ratna and its commentary :
In this work are described in great detail and also following the injunctions of the smritis, stutis and puranas, the principles about Aditya or Lord Sun, his chariot, or Ratha, the orbit or Rathachara, his horses etc. In it are also described the laws of the suryopasakas, the greatnesss of the rays of aditya, Lord Sun, the greatness of Lord Siva who remains hidden as the inner principle of the suryamandala and the good that will accrue as a result of suryopasana. The phalastuti in the work mentions that by studying the work constantly, one will be removed from all illness and will obtain all greatness.
75. Sri Margabandhu pancha ratna :
This work is about Lord Marga Sahayesvara of Virinchipura who was the family deity of Sri Appayya Dikshita and his family. In the month of margali, traditionally in South India, in the early morning people go round the streets with the noise of conches and doing bhajan and kirtan.
76. Sri Margasahayalingastuti :
This is a very short work in praise of he family deity of Sri Appayya Dikshita namely Lord Margasahayesvara of Virinchipura, written in the Upajati vritta.
77. Gangadharastaka :
This is not available to us in full. This is in praise of the family deity of Sri Appayya Dikshita.
The following works are also generally attributed to Sri Appayya Dikshita.
78. Krishna dhyana paddhati
79. Paduka sahasra vyakhya
81.Krishna dhyana paddhati vyakhya
82. Arunachalesvara stuti
85. Margabandhuchampu svakula daivata stuti rupa
86. Vishnu tatva rahasyam
In addition to the above works, the following fifteen works are also ascribed to Sri Appayya Dikshita taking up the total to 104.
91. Commentary on item 90
92. Nama sangraha mala (Abhidana kosa rupa)
93. Commentary on item 92
94. Sabdaprakasa-kosa rupa
95. Prakrita chandrika
96. Amarakosa vyakhya
97. Tinktha sesha sangraha
98. Panchasvara vritti
99. Prabodha chandrodaya tika
100. Vasumati chitrasena vilasa natakam
101. Hamsa sandesa tika
102. Lakshana ratnavali vykhya
103. Hari vamsa sara charita vyaakhyav
104. Dasakumara charita sangraha
The full exhaustive list of 104 works attributed to Sri Appayya Dikshita is given above. As per this, he has written 25 works on Vedantic topics, 26 works on Sivadvaita themes, 7 volumes on mimamsa, one each on Kavya Vyakhyana, and Vyakarana vyakhyana, 3 on Alamkaras, 26 works of a devotional nature and 15 works of a miscellaneous character thus totaling 104. It is only further research and careful comparison of various manuscripts and proper editing of them, that can finally establish the authenticity of the authorship of all the manuscripts of works by Sri Appayya Dikshita. But that he wrote these works on these variety of themes seems beyond doubt.
This information is courtesy of Srimad Appayya Deekshitendra Grantavali Prakasana Samiti, Hyderabad.
1. History of appayya deekshita (In Tamil)