By Swami Harshananda
Significance of Śrīkaṇṭha
Śrīkaṇṭha is one of the important ācāryas who have written commentaries on the Brahmasutras. He advocates a type of Śaivism as contained in the Vāyavīya-samhitā of the Śivapurāṇa. According to him Brahman is Śiva. Prakṛti and jīvas are his parts as it were. Evolution of the world takes place as per his will and supervision. Though, he is the nimittakāraṇa or the efficient cause, he is the upādānakāraṇa or the material cause also since prakṛti is his part.
Ideology of Śrīkaṇtha
Śrīkaṇṭha considers that the performance of Vedic sacrifices and the prescribed duties without any selfish motive, prepares a person for the realisation of Śiva. Man or the soul is free to do good or bad as per his sanskāras carried over from the previous lives. However, Śiva the merciful, is ever eager to help him to do good and get liberation. The souls are the conscious knowers, both by way of the senses and by the manas. By following the path of jñānayoga, the threefold impurities of the mind are removed and self-knowledge is fully manifested. It is almost like the knowledge of Brahman.
In the state of liberation, the soul has no body but enjoys bliss through the mind. If it wants, it can also create its own body and enjoy all happiness. It is never again brought under the control of karma. Śrīkaṇṭha’s philosophy may be termed as Śivaviśiṣtādvaita, because of its similarity to Rāmānuja’s system.
Commentary by Śrīkaṇtha
Appayya Dīkṣita has written an excellent commentary called Śivārkamanidīpikā on the bhāṣya of Śrikaṇṭha. It is not known when exactly Śrīkaṇtha lived. Some scholars suggest that he lived in A. D. 1270 and was from Andhra Pradesh.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore