UDDYOTAKARA, A CONTEMPORARY OF DHARMAKIRTI
Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Satis Chandra Vidyabhusana
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
UDDYOTAKARA'S QUOTATIONS FROM DHARMAKIIRTI AND
UDDYOTAKARA is well known as a Braahma.na logician
and author of a sub-commentary on Gotama's
Nyaaya-suutra called the Nyaaya-vaartiika, in which
he mentions two treatises on Logic called
respectively the Vaadavidhi and
The definition of a, proposition (pratij~naa)
given in the Vaadavidhi is thus quoted by
Uddyotakara: Yad api Vaadaavidhau
"saadhyaabhidhaana^m pratij~naa" iti
pratij~naalak.sa.nam uktam...(Nyaayavaaarttika, 1-33,
pp. 121, ASB.). Though in the Vaadavidhi, 'a
proposition is the speaking out of that which is to
be established,' is-given as the definition of a,
In criticizing Dignaaga's definition of a side
(Pak.sa) Uddyotakara extracts a passage from the
Vaadavidhaana.tika in which that definition has been
supported: Yad api Vaadavidhaana-.tiikaayaa^m
saadhayaatiiti 'sabdasya "svaya^m pare.na ca
tulyatvaat svayam iti vi'se.sa.nam"...
(Nyaayavaarttika, 1-33, p. 120, ASB.). "In the
Vaadavidhaana-.tkaa the qualifying clause 'by one's
self' is no doubt justified on the ground that a side
[Pak.sa] taken up by a person is to be established by
himself and not by any other, though it might be
established by the latter as well."
In the following passage Uddyotakara cites the
definition of a discussion (vaada) as given in the
Vaadavidhaana-.tiikaa: Apare tu "sva-para-pak.sa-
vaada" iti vaadalak.sa.na^m var.nayanti
(Nyaayavaarttika, 1-42, p. 151, ABS.). "Others again
define a discussion [vaada] thus: a discussion
consists of assertions for the establishment of one's
own side and refutation of the other side."
THE: TIBETAN VERSIONS
Now, the Vaadavidhi is only another name for the
Vaadanyaaya by Dharmakiirti, while the
Vaadavidhaana-.tiikaa is identical with the
Vaadanyaaya-.tiikaa by Viniitadeva. The original
Sanskrit texts of these two works are not available,
but the Tibetan versions of them, called respectively
Rtsod-pahi-rigs-pa and Rtsod-pahi-rigs-pahi hgrel-wa
are contained in volumes Ce and Ze of the Tangyur.
Dharmakiirti's definition of a proposition
(pratij~naa) quoted by Uddyotakara from the
Vaadavidhi or Vaadanyaayaa is identified in the
Tibetan version of that work with what follows:
Dam-bcah-pa ya^n bsgrub-bya bstan-pahi phyir-ro
(Vaadanyaaya in Tangyur, Mdo; Ce, fol. 399). " A
proposition serves the purpose of showing what is to
Similarly the passage relative to the definition
of a side (Pak.sa) extracted by Uddyotakara from
Viniitadeva's Vaadavidhaana-.tiikaa or
Vaadanyaaya-.tikaa, is identified in the Tibetsn
version of that work with the following: Bdag-
~nid-ma-yin-pahi ^no-wo-ni bdag-~nid-kyi ^no-wo-ni
gshan-gyi ^no-wo ma-yin-no shes-bya-wahi don-to
(Vaadanyaaya-.tiikaa in Tangyur, Mdo, Ze, fol. 50).
"The clause 'by one's self' signifies that the side
[Pak.sa] taken up by a person is to be established by
himself and not by any other."
The definition of a discussion (vaada) quoted by
Uddyotakara from the Vaadavidhaana-.tiikaa or
Vaadanyaaya-.tiikaa is identified in the Tibetan
version of that work with the following: Rgol-wa da^n
phyir-rgol-wa dag-gis ra^n da^n gshan-gyi don
grub-par-byed-pa da^n (ma) grub-pahi don-du
brjod-nas rtsod-pa yin-no (Vaadanyaaya-.tiikaa in
Tangyur, Mdo, Ze, fol. 41). " A discussion consists
of assertions: by a disputant and his opponent for
the establishment of their respective side and
refutation of the opposing side."
DHARMAKIIRTI CITES UDDYOTAKARA
Dharmakiirti in his Nyaayabindu mentions a
'saastra (dogmatic work) which refers evidently to
the Nyaayavaarttika, and a "'saastrakaara" (author of
the dogmatic work) who seems to be the same as
Uddyotakara. The passage of the Nyaayabindu, which
refers to the 'saastra and 'saastrakaara, runs as
follows: Svayam iti vaadinaa yas tadaa saadhanam
aaha. Etena yady api kvacic chaastre sthitasaadhanam
aaha, tacchaastrakaare.na tasmin dharmi.ny
anekadharmaabhyupagame 'pi yes tadaa tenet vaadinaa
dharma.h svaya^m saadhayitum i.s.ta.h sa eva saadhyo
netara ity ukta^m bhavati (Nyaayabindu, ch. iii, pp.
110-11, Peterson's edition). "'By one's self' refers
to the disputant who undertakes to establish a
property. In a certain 'saastra this clause has been
considered redundant: but it serves the purpose of
indicating that though the author of the 'saastra
admits many properties as belonging to a, thing, the
property to be established is the one which is chosen
by the disputant himself and not any other."
The passages quoted above induce me to conclude
that Dharmakiirti, Viniitadeva, and Uddyotakara were
contemporaries, and that the Vaadavidhi and
Vaadavidhaana.tiikaa preceded the Nyaayavaarttika,
while the Nyaayabindu followed it.
SUBANDHU, BAA.NA, HAR.SA, AND HIUEN-THSANG
The Vaasavadattaa, an immortal work of the poet
Subandhu, mentions(1) Uddyotakara as a rescuer of the
1. Nyaayasthitim iva Uddyotakarasvaruupaa^m
Bauddhasa^ngatim iva ala^nkaarabhuu.sitaam...
Vaasavadattaa^m dadar'sa (Vaasavadattaa, p. 235,
Nyaaya, while the Vaasavadattaa itself is
mentioned(1) in the Har.sacarita by Baa.na as a
classical work which humbled the pride of all
previous poets. The Har.sacarita describes Baa.na as
a poet who lived at the court of King 'Srii Har.sa or
Har.savardhana; and the manner in which the poet
introduces himself(2) in the work leaves no room for
doubt that he was a very young man while his patron
the king was mature in age and experience. King
Har.sa reigned in Thaane'svara during the whole of
the period (A.D. 629-44) that the Chinese pilgrim
Hiuen-thsang travelled through India. This leads us
to conclude that Baa.na flourished about A.D. 650.
which is the latest date that can be assigned to
Uddyotakara. As Dharmakiirti lived about A.D. 635(3)
his contempory, Uddyotakara, must have flourished
about A.D. 635-50.
THE RESIDENCE OF UDDYOTAKARA
The name Bhaaradvaaja(4) as applied to
Uddyotakara is derived from the family to which he
belonged, while he
1. Kaviinaam agalad darpo nuuna^m Vaasavadattayaa
'Saktyeva Paa.n.duputraa.naa^m gatayaa kar.na-gocaram
(Har.sacarita, Ucchvaasa i).
2. p.r.s.thato ni.sannasya Maalavaraajasuunor
akathayat "mahaan aya^m bhuja^nga" iti...
Braahma.no smi jaatah somapaayinaa^m va^m'se
Vaatsyaayanaanaam yathaakaalam upanayanaadaya.h
k.rtaa.h sa^mskaaraa.h samyak pa.thita.h saa^ngo
veda.h 'srutaani yathaa'sakti 'saastraa.ni
daara-parigrahaad abhyaagaariko smi kaa me
bhuja^ngataa? (Har.sacarita, Ucchvaasa ii, p. 58,
II'svarachandra Vidyaasaagara's edition).
One day Ring Har.sa while sitting in his court
looked back towards the Prince of Malwa and spoke
of Baa.na as follows: "This [Baa.na] is a great
'bhuja^nga' [snake or dissolute person]." Baa.na
remaining mute for a while replied thus: " I am
by birth a Braahma.na descended from the
Soma-drinking Vaatsyaayana family, have duly
passed through all the sacraments, such as the
wearing of a sacred thread, etc., have studied.
completely the whole Veda with its auxiliary
parts, have listened to the 'saastras to the best
of my power, and have, by accepting a wife, become
a householder: wherein, then, consists my
bhuja^ngataa [snakishness or dissoluteness]?"
3. For the date of Dharmakiirti see my History of
the Mediecal School of Indian Logic, p. 105,
published by the University of Calcutta.
4. Iti 'Srii-paramar.si-Bhaaradvaaja-Paa'supataacaary
pa~ncamo 'dhyaaya.h (Nyaayavaarttika, colophon).
is called Paa'spataacaarya on account of his being a
preceptor or' the Paa'supata 'Saiva sect.
Nothing is definitely known as to the place in
which Uddyotakara was born. The only place mentioned
by him is 'Srugh.na, which is situated on the western
Jumna canal 40 miles north of Thaane'svara. The
passage of the Nyaayavaarttika in which he mentions
'Srugh.na runs as follows: E.sa panthaa.h 'Srugh.na^m
gacchati (Nyaayavaarttika, 1-33, p. 113), " This way
leads to 'Srugh.na." From this it appears that
Uddyotakara, while writing the NyByavaarttika,
resided at Thaane'svara, which was connected with
'Srugh.na by a high road. It was very probably this
route(1) by which Hiuen-thsang reached 'Srugh.na on
April 1, A.D. 635. Thaane'svara was a great centre of
learning about the time when Har.saavardhana reigned
there. It is not unlikely that Uddyotakara received
some time in his career patronage at the court of
Thaane'svara. He seems, however, to have been a
native of Padmaavatii, the modern Narwar in Malwa,
which was a headquarter of the Paa'supata cult, and
in which names such as Uddyotana, similar to
Uddyotakara, occur. It was perhaps owing to the skill
of this able controversialist that Padmaavatii
acquired so much renown as a seat of Nyaaya
philosophy. In the Maalatii-maadhava, a Sanskrit
play composed by Bhavabhuuti early in the eighth
century A.D., we read of Maadhava and his friend
Makaranda going from Vidarbha to Padmaavatiitii to
prosecute their studies in AAnviik.sikii (Nyaaya).(2)
1. Vide Beal's Buddhist Records, pp. 186-90.
Cunningham observes: "The importance of the
position [of 'Srugh.na] is shown by the fact that
it stands on the high road leading from the
Gangetic Doab, via Mirat, Saharanpur, and Ambala,
to the Upper Panjab and commands the passage of
the Jumna. By this route Mahmud of Ghazni returned
from his expedition to Kanoj, by this route Timur
returned from his plundering campaign at Haridwar,
and by this route Baber advanced to the conquest
of Delhi " (Ancient Geography of India, p. 347).
2. Tad idaanii^m Vidarbharaajamantri.naa sataa
Devaraatena Maadhava^m putram
aanviik.sikii'srava.naaya Ku.n.dinapuraad imaa^m
Padmaavatii^m prahinvataa savihitam
(Maalatii-maadhava, Act. I).
The defiance(1) hurled at the Buddhist logicians by
Uddyotakara, in the opening lines of his
Nyaayavaarttika and the host of Buddhist logical
treatises criticized by him in the work, prove beyond
a doubt that he was a logician of no small eminence,
whose name shed lustre on the place of his birth.
1. Yad Ak.sapaada.h pravaro muniinaa^m 'samaaya
'saastra^m jagato jagaada
Kutaarkikaaj~naananiv.rttihetu.h kari.syate tasya
mayaa nibandha.h (Nyaaya vaarttika, opening line).