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Additional info for A commentator in service of the empire: Sāyaṇa and the royal project of commenting on the whole of the Veda

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The title of OERTEL 1930, Zur indischen Apologetik, which does not mention the name of Sāyaňa at all. 46 We have very few, if any, studies concerning either Sāyaňa’s predecessors, such as Skandasvāmin and Mādhavamantrin, or those who followed him, with the important exception of the seventeenth-century commentator Nīlakaňţha Caturdhara (see MINKOWSKI 2002). While some early commentarial works, like Yāska’s Nir. or Bŗhaddevatā (BŗD), attracted the attention of earlier scholars as supposedly representing a point of view closer to the Vedic material on chronological grounds, it is only recently that a commentarial genre of Bŗhaddevatā has been acknowledged and studied in its specific form (see PATTON 1996).

They must have taken origin somewhere on the Deccan plateau, stretching from its Western hilly region of present Karňāţaka with Śŗģgeri, along the river Tungabhadra and through the rocky hills of the central region to the east, up to the land of Āndhra. D. 1365 and 1387, which means 69 Epigraphia Indica III, p. 15. The last locus may, however, refer either to the guru Śrīkaňţha or to lord Śrīkaňţha (Śiva); the passage is interesting as regards the religious preferences of the author: brahmāňaņ vişňum īśānaņ gaňeśaņ vāgadhīśvaram | śrīkaňţhaņ ca bhajan vakşye puruşārthasudhānidhim || 70 KUNJUNNI RAJA 1999: V.

Like him, too, he was a laborious, painful compiler, whose industry supplied to some extent his lack of originality. (Burnell on Sāyaňa) While the history of the inception and early years of the Vijayanagara empire enjoyed much attention both in India and outside, leading sometimes to much controversy,44 the same cannot be said of the work of Sāyaňa. Highly, but often only nominally respected by traditional and nationalistic circles in India, it first received reluctant and doubtful attention on the part of Western Indologists and soon hardly any interest in it remained within the context of modern academic research.

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