Rāmabhadra Dīkṣita

ID: 96709
Full name: Rāmabhadra Dīkṣita
Gender: Male
Social identifiers: Ācārya, Dīkṣita, Kavi
Alternative names: Ayya Dīkṣita

Rāmabhadra Dīkṣiṭa was born in the second half of the seventeenth century, in the small village of Kaṇḍaramāṇikkam, 40 miles east of Madurai.[1] Patronized by the Maratha king Śāhaji I of Tanjavur (1683-1712), he was one of the residents of the Brahmin agrahara village of Tiruviśanallūr, inaugurated as Śāhajipuram.[2] He mentions the grammarian Cokkanātha Makhī, whose daughter he married, Kṛṣṇānanda Sarasvatī, and Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita as his teachers.[3] Rāmabhadra is often noted by his contemporaries and students as a skilled grammarian and/or a devout bhakta of Rāma. Indeed, he has composed several grammatical treatises, and no less than eleven devotional works to Rāma, of different lengths and kinds.[4] He has written two plays, the Śṛṅgāratilakabhāṇa and the Jānakīpariṇaya Nāṭaka, and a Mahākavya on the life of Patanjali, the Patañjalicaritam.

The chronology given by Thiruvengadanathan dates the śāstric works as the later works, since only these mention Śāhaji I. This might very well be true, but it also seems probable that the hymns and other works have different generic conventions of acknowledgment, or have different sponsoring mechanisms related to temples and festivals. The mention of the presence of Nīlakaṇṭha in the Jānakipariṇaya, as well as a note by his student Veṅkaṭakṛṣṇakavi, who in his commentary on Rāmabhadra's Patañjalicaritam reports that Nīlakaṇṭha asked for the composition of the Bāṇastava (v. 4), implies these two are earlier works.

[1] We know these details, as well as those that will follow unless stated otherwise, from his and his students' explicit references. The two works collecting this information are Sastri, 1904, and Thiruvengadathan, 2002. My guess is that he was born between 1650-1670, based on his teachers and on his patronship.

[2] Out of the 45 scholars mentioned in the land grant of this village, Rāmabhadra is one of the seven scholars who receive the most land shares (four). The land grant is said to be in Marathi, and is given only in translation in the two essays mentioned above.

[3] Specifically, references to Nīlakaṇṭha appear in his Śṛṅgāratilakabhāṇa and in his Janakipariṇaya Nāṭaka (see Thiruvengadathan, 2002, 22), and yet another is given by Rāmabhadra's student, Veṇkateśvara Kavi (see Fisher, 2017, 51 and 211, footnote 45).

[4] The grammatical treatises include the Paribhāṣavṛttivyākhyāna and the grammar part of the collaborative work the Śaḍdarśanīsiddhāntasaṃgraha, as well as the Uṇāḍimaṇidīpikā. See Thiruvengadathan, 2002, 15-17, for a full list of his works, including the stotras to Rāma. Other works include a work on theories of meaning (Śabdabhedanirūpaṇam) and a lost work on siddhānta (Siddhāntasāra).

Related Works
Last update: 22.08.2017 - 23:32
Suggested citation: ariav T. "Rāmabhadra Dīkṣita." Pandit. <http://panditproject.org/entity/96709/person>. Updated on August 22, 2017 11:32 pm IST.
Contributors: Talia Ariav