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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 presently the oldest surviving commentary on the Brahma Sutras is the Brahma Sutra Bhashya composed by the Advaita philosopher Adi Shankaracharya. But that is by now means the oldest commentary on the Brahma Sutras; there used to be many pre-Shankara commentaries which are now lost.

Now the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Ramanujacharya felt that Adi Shankaracharya had distorted the meaning of the Brahma Sutras, so in writing his commentary on the Brahma Sutras, known as the Sri Bhashya, he relied on the works of as many pre-Shankara commentators as could find, including Baudhayana the Vrittikara, Tanka the Vakyakara, and Dramidacharya the Bhashyakara. This webpage makes an interesting claim about Dramidacharya:

VEda vyAsa bhagavAn composed the brahma sUtras. BOdhAyaNa rishi composed the vrutti grantam – which is a very elaborate explanation of the brahma sUtras. Brahmanandhi composed the vAkya-granta on the same. Brahmanandhi is also called as “danka”. DramidAchArya composed bhAshyam on the sUtras. Therefore these AachAryas of our [Sri Vaishnava] sampradAyam protected and established the same by sUtram, vrutti, vAkyam and bhAshyam. The SrI VaishNava generation of DramidAchArya is still continuing in this period also. DramidAchArya is also known as “naidrava mAdabhUshi AzwAn”. “naidrava mAdabhUshis” are still present in this period in SrI VaishNava kulam.

I'm interested in the part in bold. It's not uncommon for Sri Vaishnavas to call great devotees of Vishnu by the term Alwan, e.g. Ravana's brother is called Vibhishanalwan. But my question is, is it true that Dramidacharya's descendants are Sri Vaishnavas and that they're known as Naidrava Madabhushis?

The term Naidrava suggests they belong to Naidrava Kashyapa Gotra (which is my mother's Gotra). And indeed, that's also stated in this forum post:

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD "MADABHOOSI"?

It is said that when Bharata went to request Sri RAma to return to AyOdhya, Sri Rama declined saying he could not transgress the command of his father. When during the conversation between them (celebrated as "RAMAGITA"), Bharata admired Sri Rama for his devotion to their father. Sri Rama is reported to have referred to KAsyapa Rishi (of Naitrava KAsyapa GOtram fame).KAsyapa's mother was too old to even stand but wanted to be taken for a pilgrimage. KAsyapa put her comfortably on a hammock and carried her all along to fulfill her wish. Sri RAma referred to him as "one who adorned his mother" (Matru bhooshaNam) and that he himself was no bhooshaNam to his father (quite unlike KAsyapa), since he could not even perform the last rites of his father. This word "MAtru bhooshaNam" in course of time got corrupted into "MADa bhoosi". (I understand that all "MADa bhoosis" belong to "Naitrava KAsyapa GOtram"? I am subject to correction !- Editor) Authority: Heard in KAlakshepam and it is said that because of this "Matru sisroosha",KAsyapa attained Swarga and became PrajApathi subsequently - ibid. Notes on AyOdhyAkhANDam (p19)

But are there any works of Acharyas which say that Dramidacharya belonged to Naidrava Kashyapa Gotra, and/or that Naidrava Madabhooshis are descendants of Dramidacharya? And are there any Sri Vaishnava Acharyas descended from this Naidrava Madabhooshi family?

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    Vedanta is not most popular – Rakesh Joshi Apr 13 '18 at 2:22
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    @RakeshJoshi Yes, it is. And as I've said before, we have to distinguish two things. I am not claiming that the word Vedanta is particularly popular. But what is true is that the vast majority of Hindus today belong to sects which subscribe to the Vedanta school, even if many of those sects' adherents have never heard of the word Vedanta. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 13 '18 at 4:12
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Srivatsankachariar in his introduction to the Shatadushani published by Uttamur Svami has written:

Brahmavidāgresariḥ "Ozappākkam Svāmi" iti prasiddhaiḥ rāmānujācāryaiḥ svīyakṛtiṣu "iti dramiḍabhāṣyākāravaṃśatilakasya kāñcīnivāsino rāmānujācāryasya kṛtiṣu" ityādi lekhanāt jñāyate naidhruvakāśyapagotrakūṭastho dramiḍabhāśyakāra iti।

ब्रह्मविदाग्रेसरैः "ஒழப்பாக்கம் स्वामि" इति प्रसिद्धैः रामानुजाचार्यैः स्वीयकृतिषु "इति द्रमिडभाष्याकारवंशतिलकस्य काञ्चीनिवासिनो रामानुजाचार्यस्य कृतिषु" इत्यादि लेखनात् ज्ञायते नैध्रुवकाश्यपगोत्रकूटस्थो द्रमिडभाश्यकार इति।

It is clear that Dramidabhasyakara is one of the genealogical heads of the Naidhruva kashyapa Gotra based on the concluding snippet from the work of Sri Ozhappakkam Svami Ramanujacharya --- "Thus ends the work composed by the jewel of the DramidaBhashyakara lineage, the dweller of Kanchipuram".

Presumably it was well know that this author (Ozhappakkam Svami) belonged to Naidhruva Kashyapa Gotra and his family evidently kept record of having descended from Dramidacharya.

  • Thank you so much for your answer. By the way, do you know anything about Ozhappakkam Svami Ramanujacharya, like what era he lived in? – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 29 '18 at 8:57
  • Not really, but the bibliography in "History of Visista Advaita literature" in VKSN Raghavan (1979) has the following entry that possibly refers to the same person: Ramanuja (Ozhappakkam) (Ushappakam) (20th Cent. A.D.) has written the Vidvanmanohara 75 incorporating several important doctrines of this system. – hashable Apr 29 '18 at 15:54

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