Taittiriya Upanishad: Commentatorial Tradition

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 24 01:19:10 CDT 2000

In an earlier post, I had listed the notable commentators of the Chhandogya
Upanishad. In this post, I list the commentators of the TU, primarily with
the help of the Catalogus Catalogorums. Most anonymous commentaries and
modern (post 1900 CE) works are left out and the list has been made as much
chronological as possible. In many cases, there is no data available on the
authors. Corrections are most welcome.


Taittiriya Upanisad
1.  Vrtti of Kaundinya: According to Taittiriya Kandanukramani and the
Grhyasutras of Apastamba, Baudhayana and Hiranykeshi, Kundin or Kaundinya
wrote a Vritti on the Taittiriya texts. The nature of this vritti is not
made clear, although a 'Kaundinya Kalpa' is mentioned in the Tantravarttika
of Kumarila Bhatta. Therefore, there is insufficient evidence to conclude
that Kaundinya indeed wrote a commentary on the Taittiriya Upanishad. The
Siksha text of Kaundinya on the Taittiriya Shakha however survives and has
been printed.
2.  Bhashya of Guhadeva: The explanation of Guhadeva on a mantra occurring
in the Taittiriya Aranyaka is quoted  in a commentary on Nirukta. Since the
Vedantin Shri Ramanujacharya recalls Guhadeva as his ideological predecessor
in his work 'Vedarthasangraha', it is often surmised that Guhadeva must have
authored a commentary on the Taittiriya Upanishad. However, the evidence is
clearly insufficient to warrant such a conclusion.
3.  Bhashya of Kapardiswamin: He is the famous author on numerous texts of
the Apastamba and Bharadvaja sub-schools of the Taittiriya Yajurveda.
Although Shri Ramanujacharya remembers him as his ideological predecessor.
However, he is not known to have written commentaries on any Upanishad or
even on the Apastamba Dharmasutra (which has the Vedanta like
Adhyatmapatala). His works do show however that he was a Vaishnava. Hence
Shri Ramanujacharya invoked his authority to demonstrate that followers of
Vedic religion can be Vaishnavas as well and therefore the Shri Vaishnava
doctrine is not unorthodox.
4.  Bhasya of Sri Shankaracharya: According to tradition, this was the first
Upanishad on which Shri Shankaracharya commented because he himself belonged
to the Taittiriya Shakha. The Bhashya starts with mangalacharna shlokas,
which is uncharacteristic of Shankaracharya's works. Perhaps, the tradition
is indeed true and Shankaracharya intended these shlokas to be construed as
the mangalacharana shlokas for all his works. In one of these shlokas, he
reverentially bows to his predecessors and states that he is following their
views in writing his commentary on the Upanishad. It is unclear however
which predecessor he is referring to.
5.  Varttika of Sri Suresvaracharya on Shankaracharya's commentary on the
6.  Kuranarayana: Commentary written from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta
7.  Vijnanatman, disciple of Jnanottama
8.  Bhatta Bhaskara's Jnanayajna Bhashya: Portion of commentary on the
entire Taittiriya Yajurveda Samhita/Brahmana/Aranyaka
9.  Bhasya of Sri Madhvacharya: Chief exponent of Dvaita Vedanta
10. Tika of Anandagiri on Shankaracharya's Bhashya on the Taittiriya
11. Anandagiri's Tika on Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashya Varttika of
12. Tika of Vyasatirtha on Madhvacharya's Bhashya on the Upanishad
13. Shankarananda: Dipika on the Taittiriya Upanishad
14. Madhavacharya: He wrote a commentary on 12 Upanishads called the
Anupamaprakasha. He was the elder brother of Sayanacharya.
15. Sayanacharya's Bhasya (part of commentary on the entire Taittiriya
16. Sudarshana, disciple of Vadhula Shrinivasa (15th cent. C.E.): Written
from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta perspective
17. Taittiriya Upanishad Aloka of Vijnana Bhikshu
18. Govindaraja: He wrote a commentary called Mitakshara on the  Taittiriya
Upanishad from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta perspective.  He lived in the 16th
cent. C.E.
19. Rangaramanuja: A brief commentary written from a Visishtadvaita Vedanta
20. Shrinivasa Yajvan
21. Bhashya of Balakrishnanada: Written from a Shuddha Advaita Vedanta
22. Dara Shikoh: Translation into Persian with the help of Pundits of
23. Bhaskararaya (early 17th cent. C.E.): Commentary on Taittiriya Upanishad
24. Ramasubrahmanya Shastri (17th cent. C.E.): 'Vilasa' on the Taittiriya
Upanishad from a Vishistadvaita Vedanta perspective
25. Vyakhya of Krishnananda
26. Anonymous commentary called Laghudipika by the pupil of Krishnananda and
27. Narasimhayati (d. 1707 C.E.): Disciple of Vidyadhishatirtha. His name as
a householder was Satyabhinava. His commentary is written from a Dvaita
Vedanta perspective
28. Narayanamuni (early 18th cent. C.E.): Disciple of Ramendra Saraswati.
Wrote commentaries on 43 Upanishads from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta
29. Raghavendrayati: Prakashika on the Upanishad from a Dvaita Vedanta
30. Vivarana of Achyuta Krishananda Tirtha (18th cent. C.E.): From an
Advaita Vedanta perspective.
31. Tatparyadipika by Advaitananda
32. Anonymous commentary by a disciple of Shrinivasa of Shrivatsa gotra
written from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta perspective
33. Vadhula Varadacharya: Commentary from a Vishishtadvaita Vedanta
34. Vishvanubhavayati: Sangati on the Taittiriya Upanishad
35. Anandasvarupayati: Vyakhya on the Upanishad
36. Vijnanatmabhagavat: Vivritti on the Upanishad
37. Bhashya by Appannacharya: Published from Adyar and from Mysore.
38. Anonymous commentary by the son of Appannacharya and pupil of
39. Shrinivasa Bidarhalli pupil of Yadupatyacharya: His commentary is called
'Padarthadipika'. Written from a Dvaita Vedanta perspective
40. Anandajnana: Different from the Anandagiri mentioned above. He was a
native of Kerala and eventually ascended the Kanchi Kamakoti Matha. He wrote
commentaries on all the Upanishad Bhashyas of Shankaracharya
41. Bhashya by Deshikacharya
42. Varadatirtha: Commentary called Taittiriyakasara
43. Govindaraja: Commentary on Taittiriya Upanishad. Different from his
namesake above.
44. Balabhadra Sharman: He wrote a commentary on the Taittiriya Upanishad
from a Shuddha Advaita perspective.
45. Jnanamritayati: Written from Advaita Vedanta perspective
46. Tarakabrahmananda Saraswati: Disciple of Raghavananda and
Gopalanathayati. His commentary is called 'Arthasamgraha.'
47. Upanishadabrahmendra Yati: Manuscript of his commentary exists.
Kevaladvaita Vedanta perspective.
48. Shivanandayati: Tippana on Taittiriya Upanishad
49. Venkataramachandra Sharman: Marathi Tika published from Poona in 1814
50. Damodara Shastri: A manuscript of his commentary is available at
51. Pundit Bhimasena Sharma: His commentary (in Hindi) was published by the
Sarasvati Press of Allahabad in 1895
52. Satyapriyatirtha: Vivarana on Taittiriya Upanishad
53. Kanthamati Sharma: Commentary is written from a Shuddhadvaita
54. Shyamalal Goswami: Tika published from Calcutta in 1907
55. Sitanatha Dattabhushana: His commentary, called 'Shankarakripa' is
written from an Advaita Vedanta perspective and was published from Calcutta
in 1908 C.E.
56. Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya: Vyakhya published in 1910-1911
57. Jayagopala Bhatta: Commentary written from a Vallabha Vedanta
perspective. Commentary is in Gujarati and was published in 1919 from
58. Hindi translation by Pt. Satavalekara
59. Swami Sharvananda: English translation
60. Swami Gambhirananda: English translation
61. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan: English translation
62. Eknath Easwaran: English translation
63. Patrick Olivelle (1997 and 1999): English translation and notes on
related Indological literature.

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