Shaivas and Smartas

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 9 13:00:42 CDT 2002

>(Though we have important differences with them
>too.)  Shri Appaya Dikshita is a famous example of an Advaitin who started
>life as a Shaiva and converted to our sampradaya later on.

Appaya was a dikshidar - dikshidars are the temple priests of the famous
Nataraaja temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. AFAIK they are considered as
smaarthaas only.

So Appaya was always part of our sampradhaaya. Siva Advaita and his other
Vedaantic inclinations (including Dvaita) only reflects the breadth of his
intellect and scholarship.

Also Appaya's work on Shaivism is not a classical Saiva Siddhaanta text - in
contrast to the dualistic metaphysics of the Saivas Appaya tries to give a
non-dual interpretation of Saiva philosophy and that's the reason his
philosophy is also called Siva-Advaita.

On a related note in the Hindu recently, in the section on book reviews,
there was a mention of a translation of a work of Appaya's which deals with
all the Vedaantic schools and also Saiva Siddhaanta.

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