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Udyotakara is the author of Nyaya Varttika, the earliest extant commentary on Nyaya Bhashya by Vatsyayana. Udyotakara refers to a Buddhist treatise on logic called Vada-vidhi in his Nyaya-Varttika. This seems to be another name of Vada Nyaya by Dharmakirti. Similarly, Dharmakirti also refers to Udyotakara’s Varttika in his Nyaya-bindu. Udyotakara and Dhamakirti, who thus seem to have referred to each other, were, in the opinion of S.C. Vidyabhushana, contemporaries and flourished about 635 CE. Udyotakara’s family name was Bharadvaja, and in the colophon of Nyaya-Varttika he is styled as Pasupatacharya.

According to Vdiyabhushana, his reference in Nyaya Varttika to Srughna, a town situated near Thanvesvar, the capital of Harshavardhana, give us a clue either to the place of Udoyotakara’s birth or to his patronage by Harshavardhana. But D.N. Shastri is of the view that his reference may be due to the fame of that place.

Subandhu’s Vasavadatta is a good piece of evidence for Udyotakara’s date. The challenge of Dinnaga logic (5th century CE) was met on the orthodox side by Udyotakara in his Varttika. It was to oppose the Buddhist logicians Dinnaga and Nagarjuna that he wrote the sub-commentary Nyaya Varttika. Hence Subandhu’s tribute to Uddyotakara that he was ‘an embodiment of the Nyaya defense’ is fully justified. In this defense of Nyaya, he exhibits a polemical favor.

A study of Varttika shows that Udyotakara’s avowed objective was to point out the inconsistencies in the Buddhist system, such as the denial of self, the doctrine of momentariness, doctrince of sphotavada (unitary word) and the theory of apoha. He also criticizes the definition of the perception framed by Dinnaga. It is believed that Dharmakirti introduced the word ‘abhranta’ in that definition, mainly with a view to meeting the objections raised by Uddyotakara. He most vehemently assails Dinnaga’s definition of inference, his theory of three-aspected logical reason, his doctrine of syllogistic figures, his system of logical fallacies,etc. The criticisms sometimes do  not appear convincing.