புதன், 21 அக்டோபர், 2015

Yadavaprakasha: A Brief Biography

ராதே கிருஷ்ணா 21-10-2015

Yadavaprakasha: A Brief Biography

Here is a brief biography of Sri Yadavaprakasha. I have left out the
references which can be supplied upon request. The matter below
represents only the bare outline of my proposed website on the


Yadavaprakasa (11th Cent. C.E.)

Life and Age:

According to Sri Vaisnava traditions, he was a very renowned scholar
of his
times and students came to his school at Kancipuram from great
distances to
be his disciples. He is said to have been a follower of
Samkaracarya. The
traditional biographies of Sri Ramanujacarya paint him in very dark
Sri Ramanuja is said to have disagreed with his teacher over the
Advaitic interpretations of the Scriptures. The final break between
the two
is recorded as a very emotional event. Sri Yadava Prakasa was
expounding the
meaning of the phrase 'Kapsyasam pundarikam' in Chandogya Upanisad
to Sri Samkaracarya's interpretation (' red like the buttocks of a
when tears of distress fell from Sri Ramanuja's eyes. When the
teacher asked
the cause of tears, Sri Ramanuja replied that he was pained at such a
frivolous interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, and proposed a new
etymological interpretation ('the Lord whose eyes are red like a
blossomed by the Sun').

It has also been speculated that he followed Mandana Misra's school
Advaita Vedanta. His philosophy, in reality, is a form of the

Later in his life, he is said to have accepted Sri Ramanuja as his
under the influence of his mother, who was a devotee of Lord Varada.
inititiating him to the Sri Vaisnava order of ascetics, Sri Ramanuja
him a new title- Govinda Jiyar, and asked him to compose a compendium
rules for Sri Vaisnava ascetics. This compendium was named

Works of Yadavaprakasa
1. Commentary on the Brahmasutras: This is refuted by Sri Ramanuja at
several places. In his Srutaprakasika, Sri Sudarsana Suri reproduces
gist of his commentary at the end of virtually every `adhikarana'
(topic of
2. Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: This is referred to by
Sudarsanacarya in
Srutaprakasika, by Venkatanatha in Tatparyadipika and by Vyasaraja in
3. Vaijayantikosa: This is a lexicon and has been published. Of all
famous Sanskrit lexicons available, this is the longest one.
4. Yatidharmasamuccaya: This is a manual on the duties of ascetics,
and is
the most comprehensive text in its class. It is said to have been
upon the wish of Sri Ramanujacharya, his past disciple turned Guru.
5. Commentary on Pingala's Chhanda Sutras: Again, a very scholarly
work and
explains the historical evolution of the laukika chhandas from Vedic
6. Taittiriya Sarvanumkramani

Citations from works of Yadavaprakasa:
Few verbatim citations from his works are found but his views are
alluded to
in several places.
A. Vadaratnavali of Visnudasacarya:
Visnudasacarya is a follower of the Madhva's Dvaita school of
Vedanta. In
chapter 5 of this work, the following verse of Yadavaprakasa is cited-
Veda is unreal, the Buddhist scriptures are unreal; The authority of
one and
the other is unreal; The knower is unreal; intelligence and its fruit
unreal- You and the Buddhists have accomplished the same result."
This verse
is actually to be found in the Vaijayantikosa of Yadavaprakasa.
B. Vedarthasamgraha of Ramanuja:
1. " The third school (of vedantins) assumes that the individual soul
Brahman are different and non different: It follows that Brahman is
identical with soul and that in the same way as Saubhari is different
himself, the Lord is different from his incarnations, everyone is
from the Lord." According to Sudarsanasuri's commentary on
called Tatparyadipika, this is the opinion of Yadavaprakasa.
C. Sri Bhasya of Ramanuja
D. Sarvartha Siddhi of Venkatanatha or Vedantadesika28
1. At I.69, the following view on the theory of Time (kala) is
attributed to
Yadavaprakasa- "Kala is beginningless and endless, but continuously
transforms itself through moments by which the divisions of time as
days and nights can be spanned, through which again transformations
of all
changeable objects can be measured. In this view, the conditions are
relative from the point of view of each person, who collects the
time units and forms his own conception of minutes, hours and days
from his
own point of calculation according to his needs."
E. Tattvamukta-kalapa of Venakatanatha or Vedantadeshika
1. Action removes the obstruction in the way of attaining moksa,
knowledge actually leads to moksa. Thus, he s to a modified
jnana-karma smuccayavada.
2. At 2.16, a view is attributed to Yadavaprakasa according to
which "the
individual souls are parts of Brahman which is a pure being. Just as
atoms in the Universe are many and differ from one another and from
the individual are also different from one another and from Brahman.
in this
view, there is no problem in accounting for the difference that
between the happiness or suffering of different individuals and also
3. Yadavaprakasa defends the theory of Brahmaparinamavada against the
objection that the defects inherent in the world would apply to
Brahman also
by stating that consciousness is present in all things in the
Universe. If
it is not directly experienced, it is due to the fact that it is
latent, in
the same way as odour, though present in the gem (being a material
is not cognized. That consciousness is present everywhere is proved
on the
strength of the scriptural texts. The Upanishadic text says :
Everything is
Brahman. Another text points out that Brahman itself is constituted
of the
three entities- the Lord, Consciousness and the Insentient. In view
of the
fact that the whole Universe is Brahman, the Upanishad even speaks of
fishermen as Brahman. Thus, Brahman which is capable of undergoing
modifications is present in everything in the Universe. That is, the
which is constituted of cit, acit and Isvara in an unmanifest form
manifest as cit, acit and Isvara. The example given to explain this
is a
piece of multicolored cloth. The colors present in the three
threads become manifest in the woven cloth.
4. Brahman is the material cause only in an indirect sense and
admits the concept of sakti as associated with Brahman.
5. Sarvartha Siddhi I.69: Yadavaprakasa states that kala is
and endless but continuously transforms itself through moments by
which the
divisions of time as hours, days and nights can be spanned, through
again the transformation of all changeable objects can be measured.
In this
view, the conditions are relative from the point of view of each
person, who
collects the passing time units and forms his own conception of
hours and days from his own point of calculation, according to his

F. Tatparyacandrika of Vedantadesika:
1. On Gita 2.28: "Avyaktavyaktadisabdanam
yadavaprakasoktasbrahmadiparatvasya ca prakrtanubyogajnapanayoktam"
this fragment, it appears that Yadava Prakasa connected the
terms `Avyakta'
and `Vyakta' with states of Brahman while according to Desika, they
states of Prakrti. This shows that Yadava Prakasa was a pantheist.
2. On Gita 3.10: Here, the reading of Yadava Prakasa is given as
`Sahayajnaah' and rejected.
3. On Gita 3.15: "Yadavaprakasadyuktam Brahmasabdasya
sphotadiparatvamaksaranam tadvancakatvadikam ca
nirastam." From this it appears that Yadavaprakasa accepted
4. On Gita 3.36: Here. a textual variant in Yadava's commentary is
and dismissed. Curiously, this variant reading is identical to the
occurring in the longer recension of Gita comprising of 745 verses.
5. On Gita 11.37: Here, Desika reads 5 additional verses that occur
in the
commentary of Yadava Prakasa (1 of Arjuna followed by 4 of Krsna
followed by
3 more. He then states that an additional verse is also found after
Desika declares all these verses as spurious. Incidentally, none of
verses is found in the longer version of Gita100 although some are
found in
the Kasmirian recension of the text commented upon by Abhinavagupta.
6. On Gita 11.53: Here, the commentary on Gita 6.42 is quoted. The
state that higher and higher yogins respectively become denizens of
Svetadvipa or the planet of Narayana, soldier of Visnu, head soldier,
sentry, fan wielding servant of Vishnu, a minister of Visnu and
finally he
becomes co-existent with Visnu." From this citation, it is clear that
was an ardent Vaisnava.
7. On Gita 13.1: Here, the view of Yadava that `the last three
chapters of
Gita are of the nature of Khilas (Appendices) that discuss several
is stated and criticized."
8. On Gita 18.66: Yadava is reported to have commented that
by `sarvadharman
parityajaya' is meant abandonment of `virodhi dharmas' (evil
G. In Srutaparakasika of Sudarsana Suri (Chatuhssutri portion):
1. In the introduction part (pg. 12)103, Sudarsana says that in his
on Brahmasutra 1.1.1, Yadava raises a doubt regarding the meaning of
word "Brahman" and then concludes that "Knowledge of Brahman alone is
enjoined for man- this is the meaning of the sutra. Knowledge of
and other entities in the systems of Kapila and Sugata etc. are not
here." Later, Sudarsana (pg. 25) states that according to Yadava, the
Brahmasutras were a natural sequel to the Purva Mimamsa Sutras.
2. Pg. 53: Meaning of Avidya in Isopanishad 11: Sudarsana Suri quotes
Yadava's interpretation of the word as- "Avidya sabda
upeyavirodhinivartakakarmavaciti." i.e. The word 'avidya' denotes
Karmas that are a hindrance in the efforts to attain salvation, i.e.,
actions and the like. This corresponds to his commentary on Gita
F.8 above).
3. Pg. 172: Sudarsana Suri states that in his commentary on
1.1.1, Yadava states that "Dukhatrayabhighatajnanantaram
purusapravrtereva hetoh- Brahmaiva jijnasa, na tu pradhanadini."
Yadava interprets Brahmasutra 1.1.1 according to Samkhya Sutra 1.1
states that the means of removal of threefold afflictions is not
of Pradhana, as stated in the Samkhya Sastra, but rather a knowledge
Brahman- this is the import of the first sutra.
Sri Sudarshana Suri actually reproduces the interpretation of
on EACH adhikarana of Brahmasutras- we have not dealt with it here.

Views of Yadavaprakasa:
These can be discerned from the citations above. In short, according
Yadava Prakasa, Brahman is of the nature of pure Universal Being,
with 3 distinct powers as consciousness, matter and God, and through
these 3
powers it passes through the various phenomenal changes which are
held up in
it and at the same time, are one with it, just as the one ocean
appears in
diverse forms as foam, billows and waves

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