[Advaita-l] ŚIKHARIṆĪMĀLĀ (A Garland of Verses Composed in Śikhariṇī meter) Sri Appayya Dikshitar

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Mar 26 04:08:09 EDT 2021

Śiva-smaraṇam on Pradoṣam: ŚIKHARIṆĪMĀLĀ (A Garland of Verses Composed in
Śikhariṇī meter)

Śrīmad Appayya Dīkṣitendra had embarked on an important mission His
lifetime- to show the scriptural authority on Śiva-pāramya (Supremacy of
Lord Śiva) in response to those bent upon resenting it. Though He was a
committed spokesperson for Ādi Śankarācārya’s school of Advaita Vedānta, He
took the path of Śrīkaṇṭha Śivacārya’s school of Śivādvaita Vedānta to
engage Himself in the battle against Śivadveṣa. He wrote an exhaustive
commentary on Śrīkaṇṭhācārya’s Brahmasūtra-bhāṣya, and many polemical
works. Most of his works on polemics are written in the form of Stotras on
Lord Śiva. These are the Brahmatarka-stava,
Bhārata-tātparya-sārasaṃgraha-stotra, Pañcaratna-stuti, Śikhariṇī-mālā and
Āditya-stotraratnam. All of these Stotras on Lord Śiva are well structured,
cogently delivered, and replete with illustrations and applications from
the Brahmasūtras, Upaniṣads, and the Itihāsa-purāṇas. There is also a
graceful way in which Dīkṣitendra handled the maelstrom of religious ideas
that Śiva-bhaktas of those days met both on a popular and scholarly level.
He has answered the ākṣepas raised by others over the past centuries by
presenting them to his beloved Lord in the form of a deep and intimate
conversation between himself and the Lord. His deep and exalted
Śiva-bhakti, coupled with meekness towards his opponents, is the hallmark
of this group of Stotras composed by him.
The opening verse of Śikhariṇī-mālā is a maṅgalācaraṇam in the form of
contemplating on the mūrti of Lord Dakṣiṇāmūrti. In the first three
quarters of the second verse he laments at the misinterpretation of the
Parā-vidyā or Upanishad-vidyā, 1) परशिवपरोत्कर्षप्रख्यापनैकपरायणा (one
whose only objective is to reveal the Supremacy of Parama-śiva), 2)
पवनतपनव्यासाद्युक्त्युत्करैः उपबृंहिता (one who is purported by Mahapurāṇas
like Vayu-purāṇa, by Upapurāṇas like Āditya-purāṇa, by Vyāsācārya’s
Mahabharata and by the other Smṛtis, Kalpasūtras and Śivāgamas) and 3)
कुमतिपरिषच्चेतःकीलायितार्थनिबन्धना (one whose original purport acts as a
dagger against the minds of the assembly of the ill-witted). In the fourth
quarter he glorifies the Parā-vidyā (जयतु नितरामाद्या विद्या जनस्य
हितैषिणी). In doing so, he has also revealed the objectives of composing
this work and how he has organized its contents in the first three quarters
of this verse.
1) To establish the Supremacy of Lord Śiva without uttering a word denying
the Bhagavat-tattva of Lord Viṣṇu and
2) To answer the ākṣepas raised by some scholars on the Bhagavat-tattva of
Lord Śiva.
1) श्रुत्यर्थविचारः (Deliberation on the meaning of the Śrutis or the Vedas
and Upaniṣads) from verses 12 through 35
2) उपबृंहणार्थविचारः (Deliberation on the meaning of the Upabṛṃhaṇas or the
Itihāsa-purāṇas) from verses 36 through 62.
The Śikhariṇī meter begins from the third śloka and ends with the
sixty-second. By chanting this wonderful Stotra everyday one gets the
result of studying the Upaniṣads and the Itihāsa-purāṇas and attains


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