vande guruM shankaram
Both Nityotsava [of Umanandanatha] and Saubhagyodaya [Rameshwara Suri's Vrtti on Parashurama Kalpasutra] have their own pros and cons. Kalpasutra – being the `Sutra', is cryptic and various interpretations of the same are possible. Like Shankara's Bhashya was what correctly conveyed the absolute truth of bAdarayana's Vedanta sutras, mere scholarship would not possibly be sufficient to interpret the real purport of these Sutras. I personally think intuition would be necessary as well. Both Rameshwara Suri and Umanandanatha do not seem to completely convey what the sUtrakAra actually tries to communicate through the sUtras. Again, we need to take refuge under Sri Bhaskararaya, who, apart from being a distinguished scholar, is undoubtedly inspired by Amba herself. Some claim umAnandanAtha's Nityotsava was examined and approved by Bhashararaya himself. Rameshwara claims that his commentary conveys the actual intent of the sUtrakAra. But we need to examine why these works were written at all?
ratnAloka – a commentary on Kalpasutra. Parts of it are available with Sri Ramachandran Iyer of Tirunelveli. A close examination of this reveals that Rameshwara Suri had no idea of this work as there are striking differences between the two commentaries.
saubhAgya chandrodaya – a commentary on Srividya Ratnakara of Vidyanandanatha, an encyclopedic manual of Srividya.
tripurasundarI bAhya varivasyA – a detailed manual of worship of lalitA based again on kalpasUtrAs – with relevant aspects not covered in Kalpasutras described from other tantras.
The reason for either Umanandanatha or Rameshwara Suri to write independent works is justified, if Bhaskaracharya's works were insufficient to completely bring out the essence of the intended subject. Knowing Bhaskaracharya well, one can reject this claim even without actually reading any of the said works. A reading of parts of ratnAloka indeed strengthens one's faith in Bhaskararaya's scholarship and intuition. Also, their works lack the insights of sampradAya handed over a lineage of great masters. As Bhaskararaya observes – sampradAyaikasiddhatvena swashAstre – sampradAya is the key to understanding many secrets of swashAstra, which is shrIvidyA shAstra here.
Let's consider an example. The revelation of sarvamantrAsanI vidyA is as below in nityA ShoDashikArNava –
punaraadyaaM mahaavidyaaM shivachandrasamanvitaam |
kR^itvaa kaamapradaa vidyaa sarvamantraasanasthitaa || 1 -113
This simply means, add shiva (ha) and Chandra (sa) before every bIja of mahAvidyA (bAlA here) to obtain sarvamantrAsana vidyA. The last letter of bAla already has a sakAra. So do we add another `sa' to this bIja? Both Rameshwara and Umanandanatha interpret the relevant sUtra blindly here and use two interposed sakAra-s. But Bhaskaracharya clearly advocates the use of a single sakaara here - charamabiije sakaaraantarayogo naastiiti sampradaayaH [setubandha]. This shows the lack of traditional knowledge on the part of both Umanandanatha and Rameshwara Suri. So, it is best to rely on one's gurUpadesha and then refer to tantrAntara in such cases.