The “commentary” on the Taittiriyopanishad is entitled Taittiriyaka-vidya-prakashah, that is “the exposition of the teaching of the Taittiriyopanishad” . It is to be seen that almost all Upanishads propound the unity of the Self with Brahman in two ways, first, by negation and second, by the mode of indicative descriptions. Both these methods are to be met with in the Taittiriyopanishad. Indeed this Upanishad is the fountainhead for both methods which converge to the same point in the famous declaration: brahmavidyapnotiparam (the knower of Brahman attains the supreme). What Vidyaranya has accomplished in this independent work is best described as a “meta-commentary”, being not a mere gloss on the existing commentary, but an independent exercise in interpretation of the Upanishads themselves guided at every step by the turns in the commentary of Sankaracharya. In sum it may be viewed as the medieval counterpart of modern academic interpretations of the Upanishads vis-a-vis the exegesis of Sankaracharya.
The prevalent view is that Vidyaranya and the Vedic commentator Sayana were brothers. It is further believed that “Vidyaranya” (lit. forest of learning) is the ascetic name of Madhavacharya, the very powerful minister in the Kingdom of Vijayanagar which came into existence under his aegis in ce1336. He renounced the world when yet at the height of his worldly powers and became an ascetic, who was the thirty-third occupant of the prestigious seat of Sankaracharya at Sringeri.