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Veppathur Subrahmanya Shastri - Short Biography

Veppathur Subrahmanya Shastri was a scholar in the philosophical systems of Nyaya and Vedanta. He was born on August 10, 1909, to Venkatarama Shrauti at Veppathur village in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. After his studies, he taught at the Annamalai University and at the Madras Sanskrit College. His great proficiency in the Shastras was recognized by the late Parikshit Maharaja of Kochi, who awarded him the title of ‘Panditaraja.’ He was a recipient of many honors in his lifetime.

Veppathur Subrahmanya Sastri write a commentary called Vivaranam on Lakarartha vichara, a portion of Vyutpattivada of Gadadhara Bhattacharya.

In his Sabdatrangini, he deals with the idea of sabdabodha, i.e., understanding the meaning of the words in a sentence from the viewpoints of grammarians, Mimamsakas, and Naiyayikas, in six chapters called Tarangas. This work shows Shastri’s deep understanding of the subtleties of the Sanskrit language.

The introduction contains a comprehensive history of language-understanding from Gautama of Nyaya-sutras. His essay Prakatarthanubhandhinam Shastrakaram (in Sanskrit) shows his preference for Vivarana School of Advaita (the school that considers avidya – ignorance – as the material cause of the world). The other important independent works written by him are Tantrarthaprasunamalika and Khyatitattva-samiksha. His Tamil writings include Sariraka-Bhashyasara, Sariraka-Mimamsa-Bhashya-Samgraha, which are the summaries of Brahma-sutrabhashya of Shankara, and a Tamil translation of Manasollasa.

His critical edition of Nyayaratna by Manikantha Mishra, with the commentary Dyutimala of Narasimhayajvan, shows his deep understanding of Navya and Pracina Nyaya texts. Veppathur Subrahmanya Shastri edited Brahmanandiya-bhavaprakasika of Panchapakesha Shastri with sub-commentary by himself. His other editions are – Trimsasloki, Avacedakatasara, Nyaya-sara, Nyayakalpalatika on Suresvara’s Brihadvartika and Nyaya Kaustubha.

Veppathur Subrahmanya Shastri passed away on March 17, 1983.