On Jagadguru Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa,the most famous exponent of the Kāmarūpa school of Dharmaśāstra

On Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa’s life:Gleanings from his own works

Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa,the most famous exponent of the Kāmarūpa school of Dharmaśāstra is,in the tradition of many Sanskrit authors,quite rectinent on his personal life. However he mentions the following details

  • Dāyakaumudī:He was born at a place in the Southern part of the Lauhitya(Brahmaputra)
  • He was in a large part taught by his father(the benedictory verse of the Śrāddhakaumudī)
  • He was a smārta devotee of Nārāyaṇa and pays obeisances to Śiva,Durgā and Sūrya also. This last bit can be gleaned from the Daśakarmakaumudī where the term ‘śrīvāsudevamārādhya…’ is used.
  • He mentions in the end of his Śuddhikaumudī that he accomplished this work in 1534 śakābda(1612 CE)
  • In the colophon to his Grahaṇakaumudī he mentions that he was patronized by Lakṣmīnārāyaṇa of Kāmarūpa.

Siddhāntavāgīśa’s life:Gleanings from other sources

  • Bṛhatrājavaṃśāvalī states that Cilārāya the brother of Naranārāyaṇa brought Puruṣottama Vidyāvāgīśa(the author of the grammatical work Ratnamālā) and Pītāmbara from Gauḍa
  • He was also said to be a court poet of Naranārāyaṇa and probably served in the court of Balinārāyaṇa as well.
  • Maṇgaladair Buranji introduces him as the Dīkṣāguru of the king of Daraṇga,who donated a large amount of property in his province and his descendants still live there.
  • Nagendranath Vasu in his Social History of Kamarupa states that his kaumudīs were followed by the kings,citing the Bṛhatrājavaṃśāvalī,which noted that those who violated the rules and regulations of society as laid down for the various varṇas and āśramas of human society and life by Jagadguru Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa were punished by the king.

Works of Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa

He is traditionally said to have composed 18 kaumudīs(digests of smṛtiśāstra),which are listed popularly as;

  • Daṇḍakaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Pramāṇakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Durgotsavakaumudī
  • Ekādaśīkaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pratiṣṭhākaumudī
  • Saṃkalpakaumudī
  • Prāyaścittakaumudī
  • Tīrthakaumudī
  • Pañcadīkṣākaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Ācārakaumudī

Hiramoni Goswami(on whose introduction this article is based) cites Taranath Goswami’s list as follows

  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Malamāsakaumudī
  • Nirṇayakaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tattvakaumudī
  • Āhnikakaumudī
  • Vivādakaumudī
  • Aśaucakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pañcayajñakaumudī
  • Dīkṣakaumudī
  • Janmāṣṭamīkaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Saṃskārakaumudī

Hiramoni Goswami also cites Ghanakanta Sarma’s list of Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa’s kaumudīs which runs into 28

  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Malamāsakaumudī
  • Nirṇayakaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tattvakaumudī
  • Āhnikakaumudī
  • Vivādakaumudī
  • Aśaucakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pañcayajñakaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Dīkṣākaumudī
  • Janmāṣṭamīkaumudī
  • Saṃkrāntikaumudī
  • Daśakarmakaumudī
  • Tīrthakaumudī
  • Pramāṇakaumudī
  • Patrakaumudī
  • Prāyaścittakaumudī
  • Jyotiṣkaumudī
  • Daṇḍakaumudī
  • Divyakaumudī
  • Sākṣyakaumudī
  • Vyavahārakaumudī
  • Kṛtyakaumudī

Some other works of his that are unpublished amongst digests are Grahaṇakaumudī,etc.(apparently the recently published Śivarātrikaumudī is a part of Durgotsavakaumudī:oral communication). He also is credited with writing commentaries on Vācaspati Miśra’s Dvaitanirṇaya(Dvaitanirṇayadīpikā) and on the tantric digest Śāradātīlaka(Guḍārthaprakāśikā). Very few of his works have been published in print.

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