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As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa which summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. (You can read the Brahma Sutras here.). Now as I discuss in this answer, the Brahma Sutras were originally part of a 20-chapter unified Mimamsa Shastras, consisting of the 12 chapters of the Purva Mimamsa Sutras, the 4 chapters of the now-lost Devata Kanda Sutras, and the four chapters of Brahma Sutras. My question is about the Devata Kanda Sutras, a work by Vyasa's shishya Kasakritsna which was devoted to analyzing the Samhitas of the Vedas in order to find information about the gods and how to meditate on them.

As I discuss in this question, the Devata Kanda Sutras are now lost, but they were lost relatively recently, so we have a lot of information about them. This quote from a Purva Mimamsa work called the Prapancha Hridayam mentions some of the commentators on the Devata Kanda Sutras:

The Mimamsa Shastra is contained in a text of 20 chapters. Of these, the first 16 chapters constitute the Purva Mimamsa. In this Mimamsa Shastra, the Purvakanda deals on issues of Dharma, and is compiled by Jaimini. The last 4 chapters constitute the Uttara Kanda or the Uttara Mimamsa and are compiled by Vyasa for dealing with the nature of Brahman. On this Mimamsa Shastra of 20 chapters, Bodhayana wrote a Bhashya that bore the name Krtakoti. Fearing that the great length of this commentary would cast it into oblivion, Upavarsha somewhat abridged it. Even this commentary might be considered too voluminous for study by people of dull wit - fearing thus, Devasvamin considerably abridged Upavarsha's already abridged commentary. Bhavadasa also wrote a commentary on Jaimini's Shastra. Of the 2 kandas comprising the Dharma Mimamsa Shastra, Sabara wrote a very brief commentary on the Tantra Kanda, ignoring the second kanda- Sankarsha Kanda. And likewise, Sankarshana wrote a brief commentary on the Devata Kanda. On the Brahma Kanda, Bhagvatpada, Brahmadatta and Bhaskara etc. too wrote commentaries with different interpretations of the Sutras.

I'm interested in the part in bold. As I discuss in this answer, in the worldview of the Pancharatra Agamas, Vishnu has four Vyuha forms, namely Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. So my question is, is the Sankarshana who wrote a commentary on the Devata Kanda Sutras the same as Vishnums Vyuha form Sankarshana?

One reason I suspect that they are the same is because of what Shiva tells Kartikeya in Vidyaranya's Madhaviya Shankara Digvijaya, the traditional biography of Adi Shankaracharya

The Veda has three strands in its comprehensive teaching - the ritualistic, the meditative and the gnostic.... Now, coming to understand My design and following My instruction, Hari and Sesha have already been born as the sages Sankarshana and Patanjali for the resuscitation of the middle section of the Veda dealing with meditation and have produced texts on Bhakti and Yoga. And I have now promised to the Devas, as you know very well, that I shall undertake to rejuvenate the gnostic teachings which form the ultimate purport of the Veda. Now, you have to do your part of the work, and that is the revival of the ritualistic section of Brahma (the Veda) condified by Jaimini; and thereby gain the reputed name of Subrahmanya (promoter of Brahmanya), besides the commonly known name of Kumarila Bhatta, the preacher of the Vedic Karma-Kanda. In order to refute and confute the Buddhists who are attacking the Vedic teachings and to establish the Vedic way of life, you have to be born in the world.

So Vidyaranya seems to be saying that Shiva's son Kartikeya incarnated as Kumarila Bhatta to write a commentary on the Purva Mimams Sutras, which analyze the Karma Kanda or Brahmanas of the Vedas, Vishnu incarnated as Sankarshana to write a commentary on the Devata Kanda Sutras, which analyze the Madhyana Kanda or Samhitas of the Vedas, and Shiva incarnated as Adi Shankaracharya to write a commentary on the Brahma Sutras, which analyze the Jnana Kanda of the Vedas. (I'm not sure how Patanjali fits in though.) So at least Vidyaranya considers the commentator Sankarshana to be an incarnation of Vishnu.

Another reason is that the last three Sutras of the Devata Kanda Sutras, which you can see in my question here, are in praise of Vishnu, so it would makes sense if the text has some connection to Vaishnavism. In any case, are there any other Purva Mimamsa or Vedanta works which shed light on this?

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    Patanjali is Sankarshana aka Sesha. I think it's not Vishnu who incarnated as Sankarashana but Adi Sesha incarnated as Sankararshana (though Adi Sesha is also Vishnu). – The Destroyer Jun 4 '17 at 5:57
  • But it says "Hari and Sesha have already been born as the sages Sankarshana and Patanjali for the resuscitation of the middle section of the Veda dealing with meditation and have produced texts on Bhakti and Yoga." So Hari was born as Sankarshana and Sesha was born as Patanjali. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 4 '17 at 13:34

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