From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Skandasvāmin lived in A. D. 630. Ancient scriptures in Sanskrit, especially the Vedas, are difficult to understand because of their archaic language and recondite ritual system. A commentary written by scholars coming in the Vedic tradition will be very helpful in unraveling their mysteries. Skandasvāmin is the earliest of the commentators on the Ṛgveda known to us now, and whose commentary, though incomplete as extant now, is available. He was the son of one Bhartṛdhruva and belonged to the country of Valabhī.[1] He was the guru of Harisvāmin, the well-known commentator of Śatapatha Brāhmana. He might have lived around A. D. 625.

His commentary is quite lucid. Apart from mentioning the ṛṣi[2] and devatā[3] he also deals with the grammatical factors involved and quotes several verses from other sources like the Anukramaṇīs.[4] His opines that the Vedic mantras are meant to be used in sacrifices. He has also written a commentary on the Nirukta of Yākṣa.[5]


  1. It is the modern Gujarat.
  2. Ṛṣi means the sage who discovered the mantra.
  3. Devatā means the deity to whom the mantra is dedicated.
  4. Anukramaṇīs means index- works.
  5. He lived in 800 B. C.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore