Sureśvara

Sureśvara (also known as Sureśvarācārya, was a 9th-century Indian philosopher, who studied under Śankara. Śankara is said to have entrusted to Sureśvara his first monastic institution, the Sringeri Sharada Peetham. Sureśvara is believed to have founded the famous Naduvil Matham in Thrissur.

Little is known for sure about Sureśvara's life. According to a strong tradition within Advaita Vedānta, before he became a disciple of Śankara, Sureśvara was known as Maṇḍana Miśra, a Mīmāmsāka. After being defeated in a debate by Śankara, Miśra renounced his life as a householder and became a sannyāsin. Whether this Maṇḍana Miśra was the same as the author of Brahmasiddhi is questioned by modern scholars on the basis of textual analysis.

Sureśvara was the Advaita tradition's Vārttikakāra (commentator), meticulously and critically examining Śankara's work. In his non-commentary work, the Naiṣkarmyasiddhi, he presents Avdaita philosophy clearly and simply.

Maṇḍana Miśra has often been identified with Sureśvara.[1] Sureśvara (fl. 800-900 CE)[2] and Maṇḍana Miśra were contemporaries of Śankara.[1] Both explained Śankara "on the basis of their personal convictions."[1]

According to Kuppuswami Sastri, it is not likely that Maṇḍana Miśra, the author of Brahmasiddhi, is identical with Sureśvara, but the tradition is correct in describing Maṇḍana Miśra and Śankara as contemporaries.[3] His critical edition of the Brahmasiddhi also points out that the name Maṇḍana Miśra is both a title and a first name, which is a possible cause for a confusion of personalities.[3] Maṇḍana Miśra's brand of Advaita differs in certain critical details from that of Śhankara, whereas Sureśvara's thought is very faithful to that of Śankara.[3]

According to Sharma, Hiriyanna and Kuppuswami Sastra have pointed out that Sureśvara and Maṇḍana Miśra had different views on various doctrinal points:[4]