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Sāyaṇa (Kannada; with honorific Sāyaṇācārya; died 1387) was an important commentator on the Vedas. He flourished under King Bukka Raya I and his successor Harihara II, in the Vijayanagara Empire of South India. He was the son of Māyaṇa, and the pupil of Vishnu Sarvajna and of Samkarananda. More than a hundred works are attributed to him, among which are commentaries on nearly all parts of the Vedas; some were carried out by his pupils, and some were written in conjunction with his brother Vidyāraṇya or Mādhava.


Sayana's major work is his Vedartha Prakasha (literally, "the meaning of the Vedas made manifest"), or commentary on the Vedas. His commentary on the Rigveda was edited by Max Müller, 1823-1900. A new edition, prepared by the Vaidik Samshodhan Mandala (Vedic Research Institute) of the Tilak Maharashtra University in Pune, under the general editor V. K. Rajwade, was published in 1933 in 4 volumes, and is available online at the Internet Archive website.[1] The core portion of the commentary was likely written by Sayana himself, but it also includes contributions of his brother Mādhava, and additions by his students and later authors who wrote under Sayana's name. "Sayana" (or also Sāyaṇamādhava) by convention refers to the collective authorship of the commentary as a whole without separating such layers.

He has also written many lesser manuals called Sudhanidhis treating Prayaschitta (expiation), Yajnatantra (ritual), Purushartha (aims of human endeavour), Subhashita (Collection of moral sayings), Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), Sangit Sara (The essence of music), Prayaschitra, Alankara, and Dhatuvrddhi (grammar)[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Internet Archive search - 'Sayana's commentary'
  2. ^ Vijayanagara Literature from book History of Andhras, p. 268f.
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: sasay to zorgot from book 'Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, p. 3885f.


  • Max Müller, Rig-Veda Sanskrit-Ausgabe mit Kommentar des Sayana (aus dem 14. Jh. n. Chr.), 6 vols., London 1849-75, 2nd ed. in 4 vols. London 1890 ff.
  • Rgveda-Samhitā Srimat-sāyanāchārya virachita-bhāṣya-sametā, Vaidika Samśodhana Mandala, Pune-9 (2nd ed. 1972)


  • B R Modak, Sayana, Sahitya Akademi (1995), ISBN 81-7201-940-8.
  • Siddhanatha Sukla The Rgveda Mandala III: A critical study of the Sayana bhasya and other interpretations of the Rgveda (3.1.1 to 3.7.3) (2001), ISBN 81-85616-73-6.