A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 2

by Surendranath Dasgupta | 1932 | 241,887 words | ISBN-13: 9788120804081

This page describes the philosophy of teachers and pupils in vedanta: a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the fourth part in the series called the “the shankara school of vedanta (continued)”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.

Part 4 - Teachers and Pupils in Vedānta

Philosophy Of Bādarāyaṇa And Bhartṛprapañca

The central emphasis of Śaṅkara’s philosophy of the Upaniṣads and the Brahma-sūtra is on Brahman, the self-revealed identity of pure consciousness, bliss and being, which does not await the performance of any of the obligatory Vedic duties for its realization. A right realization of such Upaniṣad texts as “That art thou,” instilled by the right teacher, is by itself sufficient to dispel all the false illusions of world-appearance. This, however, was directly against the Mīmāṃsā view of the obligatoriness of certain duties, and Śaṅkara and his followers had to fight hard on this point with the Mīmāṃsakas. Different Mīmāṃsā writers emphasized in different ways the necessity of the association of duties with Brahma-wisdom; and a brief reference to some of these has been made in the section on Sureśvara. Another question arose regarding the nature of the obligation of listening to the unity texts (e.g. “that art thou”) of the Vedānta; and later Vedānta writers have understood it differently.

Thus the author of the Prakaṭārtha, who probably flourished in the twelfth century, holds that it is only by virtue of the mandate of the Upaniṣads (such as “thou shouldst listen to these texts, understand the meaning and meditate”) that one learns for the first time that one ought to listen to the Vedānta texts—a view which is technically called apūrva-vidhi. Others, however, think that people might themselves engage in reading all kinds of texts in their attempts to attain salvation and that they might go on the wrong track; and it is just to draw them on to the right path, viz. that of listening to the unity texts of the Upaniṣads, that the Upaniṣads direct men to listen to the unity texts—this view is technically called niyama-vidhi.

The followers of Sarvajñātma Muni, however, maintain that there can in no sense be a duty in regard to the attainment of wisdom of Brahma-knowledge, and the force of the duty lies in enjoining the holding of discussions for the clarification of one’s understanding; and the meaning of the obligatory sentence “thou shouldst listen to” means that one should hold proper discussions for the clarification of his intellect. Other followers of Sureśvara, however, think that the force of the obligation lies in directing the student of Vedānta steadily to realize the truth of the Vedānta texts without any interruption; and this view is technically called parisaṃkhyā-vidhi. Vācaspati Miśra and his followers, however, think that no obligation of duties is implied in these commands; they are simply put in the form of commands in order to show the great importance of listening to Vedānta texts and holding discussions on them, as a means of advancement in the Vedāntic course of progress.

But the central philosophical problem of the Vedānta is the conception of Brahman—the nature of its causality, its relation with māyā and the phenomenal world of world-appearance, and with individual persons. Śaṅkara’s own writings do not always manifest the same uniform and clear answer; and many passages in different parts of his work show tendencies which could be more or less diversely interpreted, though of course the general scheme was always more or less well-defined. Appaya Dīkṣita notes in the beginning of his Siddhānta-leśa that the ancients were more concerned with the fundamental problem of the identity of the self and the Brahman, and neglected to explain clearly the order of phenomenal appearance; and that therefore many divergent views have sprung up on the subject.

Thus shortly after Śaṅkara’s death we have four important teachers, Sureśvara and his pupil Sarvajñātma Muni, Padmapāda and Vācaspati Miśra, who represent three distinct tendencies in the monistic interpretation of the Vedānta. Sureśvara and his pupil Sarvajñātma Muni held that māyā was only an instrument (dvāra), through which the one Brahman appeared as many, and had its real nature hidden from the gaze of its individual appearances as individual persons. In this view māyā was hardly recognized as a substance, though it was regarded as positive; and it was held that māyā had, both for its object and its support, the Brahman.

It is the pure Brahman that is the real cause underlying all appearances, and the māyā only hangs on it like a veil of illusion which makes this one thing appear as many unreal appearances. It is easy to see that this view ignores altogether the importance of giving philosophical explanations of phenomenal appearance, and is only concerned to emphasize the reality of Brahman as the only truth. Vācaspati’s view gives a little more substantiality to māyā in the sense that he holds that māyā is coexistent with Brahman, as an accessory through the operation of which the creation of world-appearance is possible; māyā hides the Brahman as its object, but it rests on individual persons, who are again dependent on māyā , and māyā on them, in a beginningless cycle.

The world-appearance is not mere subjective ideas or sensations, but it has an objective existence, though the nature of its existence is inexplicable and indescribable ; and at the time of dissolution of the world (or pralaya) its constitutive stuff, psychical and physical, will remain hidden in avidyā , to be revived again at the time of the next world-appearance, otherwise called creation. But the third view, namely that of Padmapāda, gives māyā a little more substantiality, regarding it as the stuff which contains the double activity or power of cognitive activity and vibratory activity, one determining the psychical process and the other the physical process, and regarding Brahman in association with māyā , with these two powers as īśvara, as the root cause of the world. But the roots of a very thoroughgoing subjective idealism also may be traced even in the writings of Śaṅkara himself.

Thus in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-bhāṣya he says that, leaving aside theories of limitation (avaccheda) or reflection {pratibimba ), it may be pointed out that, as the son of Kuntī is the same as Rādheya, so it is the Brahman that appears as individual persons through beginningless avidyā ; the individual persons so formed again delusively create the world-appearance through their own avidyā. It will be pointed out in a later section that Maṇḍana also elaborated the same tendency shortly after Śaṅkara in the ninth century. Thus in the same century we have four distinct lines of Vedāntic development, which began to expand through the later centuries in the writers that followed one or the other of these schools; and some additional tendencies also developed.

The tenth century seems to have been very barren in the field of the Vedānta, and, excepting probably Jñānottama Miśra, who wrote a commentary on Sureśvara’s Vārttika , no writer of great reputation is known to us to have lived in this period. In other fields of philosophical development also this century was more or less barren, and, excepting Udayana and Śrīdhara in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, Utpala in Astronomy and Abhinavagupta in Śaivism, probably no other persons of great reputation can be mentioned.

There were, however, a few Buddhistic writers of repute in this period, such as

The eleventh century also does not seem to have been very fruitful for Vedānta philosophy. The only author of great reputation seems to have been Ānandabodha Bhattārakācārya, who appears to have lived probably in the latter half of the eleventh century and the first half of the twelfth century. The mahāvidyā syllogisms of Kulārka Paṇḍita, however, probably began from some time in the eleventh century, and these were often referred to for refutation by Vedāntic writers till the fourteenth century, as will be pointed out in a later section. But it is certain that quite a large number of Vedāntic writers must have worked on the Vedānta before Ānandabodha, although we cannot properly trace them now.

Ānandabodha says in his Nyāya-makaranda that his work was a compilation (saṃgraha) from a large number of Vedāntic monographs (nibandha-puṣpāñjali). Citsukha in his commentary on the Nyāya-makaranda points out (p. 346) that Ānandabodha was refuting a view of the author of the Brahma-prakāśikā. According to Govindānanda’s statement in his Ratna-prabhā , p. 311, Amalānanda of the thirteenth century refuted a view of the author of the Prakaṭārtha. The author of the Prakaṭārtha may thus be believed to have lived either in the eleventh or in the twelfth century. It was a commentary on Śaṅkara’s Bhāṣya , and its full name was Śārīraka-bhāṣya-prakatārtha ; and Anandajñāna (called also Janārdana) wrote his Tattvāloka on the lines of Vedāntic interpretation of this work.

Mr Tripathi says in his introduction to the Tarka-saṃgraha that a copy of this work is available in Tekka Matha; but the present writer had the good fortune of going through it from a manuscript in the Adyar Library, and a short account of its philosophical views is given below in a separate section. In the Siddhānta-leśa of Appaya Dīkṣita we hear of a commentary on it called Prakaṭārtha-vivarana. But, though Ānandajñāna wrote his Tattvāloka on the lines of the Prakaṭārtha , yet the general views of Ānandajñāna were not the same as those of the author thereof; Ānandajñāna’s position was very much like that of Sarvajñātma Muni, and he did not admit many ajñānas , nor did he admit any difference between māyā and avidyā.

But the author of the Prakaṭārtha, so far as can be judged from references to him in the Siddhānta-leśa, gave a separate place to the antaḥkaranas of individual persons and thought that, just as the jīvas could be cognizers through the reflection of pure intelligence in the antaḥkaraṇa states, so Īśvara is omniscient by knowing everything through māyā modifications. The views of the author of the Prakaṭārtha regarding the nature of vidhi have already been noted. But the way in which Ānandajñāna refers to the Prakaṭārtha in Muṇḍaka , p. 32, and Kena , p. 23, shows that he was either the author of the Prakaṭārtha or had written some commentary to it.

But he could not have been the author of this work, since he refers to it as the model on which his Tattvāloka was written; so it seems very probable that he had written a commentary to it. But it is surprising that Ānandajñāna, who wrote commentaries on most of the important commentaries of Śaṅkara, should also trouble himself to write another commentary on the Prakaṭārtha , which is itself a commentary on Śaṅkara’s commentary. It may be surmised, therefore, that he had some special reasons for respecting it, and it may have been the work of some eminent teacher of his or of someone in his parental line. However it may be, it is quite unlikely that the work should have been written later than the middle of the twelfth century[1].

It is probable that Gaṅgāpurī Bhattāraka also lived earlier than Ānandabodha, as Citsukha points out. Gaṅgāpurī must then have lived either towards the latter part of the tenth century or the first half of the eleventh century. It is not improbable that he may have been a senior contemporary of Ānandabodha. His work, Padārtha-tattva-nirṇaya, was commented on by Ānandajñāna. According to him both māyā and Brahman are to be regarded as the cause of the world. All kinds of world-phenomena exist, and being may therefore be attributed to them; and being is the same whatever may be the nature of things that exist.

Brahman is thus the changeless cause in the world or the vivarta-kārana ; but all the changing contents or individual existents must also be regarded as products of the transformation of some substance, and in this sense māyā is to be regarded as the pariṇāmi-kāraṇa of the world. Thus the world has Brahman as its vivarta-kāraṇa and māyā as its pariṇāmi-kāraṇa.

The world manifests both aspects, the aspect of changeless being and that of changing materiality; so both māyā and Brahman form the material cause of the world in two different ways

  1. (Brahma māyā ca ity ubhayopādānam ;
  2. sattva-jāḍya-rūpobhaya-dharmānugaty-upapattiś ca).

Tarka-viveka and Siddhānta-viveka are the names of two chapters of this book, giving a summary of Vaiśeṣika and Vedānta philosophy respectively. The view' of Gaṅgāpurī in the Padārtha-tattva-nirṇaya just referred to seems to have been definitely rejected by Ānandabodha in his Pramāṇa-mālā , p. 16.

When Kulārka had started the mahā-vidyā syllogisms, and great Nyāya authors such as Jayanta and Udayana in the ninth and tenth centuries had been vigorously introducing logical methods in philosophy and were trying to define all that is knowable, the Vedāntic doctrine that all that is knowable is indefinable was probably losing its hold; and it is probable that works like Ānandabodha’s Pramāṇa-mālā and Nyāya-dīpāvalī in the eleventh century or in the early part of the twelfth century were weakly attempting to hold fast to the Vedāntic position on logical grounds. It was Śrīharṣa who in the third quarter of the twelfth century for the first time attempted to refute the entire logical apparatus of the Naiyāyikas.

Śrīharṣa’s work was carried on in Citsukha’s Tattva-pradīpikā in the early part of the thirteenth century, by Ānandajñāna in the latter part of the same century in his Tarka-saṃgraha and by Nṛsiṃhāśrama Muni in his Bkeda-dhikkāra in the sixteenth century. On the last-named a pupil, Nārāyaṇāśrama, wrote his Bheda-dhikkāra-satkriyā, and this had a sub-commentary, called Bheda-dhikkāra-satkriyojjvalā. The beginnings of the dialectical arguments can be traced to Śaṅkara and further back to the great Buddhist writers, Nāgārjuna, Aryadeva, Candrakīrti, etc. Interest in these dialectical arguments was continuously kept up by commentaries written on these works all through the later centuries. The names of these commentators have been mentioned in the sections on Śrīharṣa, Citsukha and Ānandajñāna.

Moreover, the lines of Vedānta interpretation which started with Sureśvara, Padmapāda and Vācaspati were vigorously continued in commentaries and in independent works throughout the later centuries. Thus in the middle of the thirteenth century Vācaspati’s Bhāmatī was commented on by Amalānanda in his Kalpa-taru ; and this Kalpa-taru was again commented on by Appaya Dīkṣita in the latter part of the sixteenth century and the first quarter of the seventeenth century, and by LakṣmlNṛsiṃha in his Ābhoga towards the end of the seventeenth century or the beginning of the eighteenth[2].

Padmapāda’s Pañca-pādikā was commented on by Prakāśātman in the thirteenth century in his Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa, by Akhaṇ-dānanda in the fourteenth century in his Tattva-dīpana, by Vidyāraṇya in the same century in his Vivaraṇa-prameya-saṃgrahay by Ānandapūrṇa and Nṛsiṃha in the sixteenth century and by Rāma Tīrtha in the seventeenth century[3]. The line of Sureśvara also continued in the summary of his great Vārttika (called Vārt-tika-sāra) by Vidyāraṇya and its commentaries, and also in the commentaries on the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka from the sixteenth century onwards. Many independent works were also written by persons holding more or less the same kinds of views as Sarvajñātma Muni[4]. The philosophy of dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi-vāda Vedānta, which was probably started by Maṇḍana, had doubtless some adherents too; but we do not meet with any notable writer on this line, except Prakāśānanda in the sixteenth century and his pupil Nānā Dīkṣita. The Vedānta-kaumudī is an important work which is referred to by Appaya Dīkṣita in his Siddhānta-leśa.

In this work the omniscience of Brahman consists in the fact that the pure consciousness as Brahman manifests all that exists either as actually transformed or as potentially transformed, as future, or as latently transformed, as the past in the māyā ; and it is the Parameśvara who manifests Himself as the underlying consciousness (sākṣin) in individual persons, manifesting the ajñāna transformations in them, and also their potential ajñāna in dreamless sleep. Many other important Vedānta views of an original character are expressed in this book. This work of Ramādvaya has been found by the present writer in the Govt. Oriental MSS. Library, Madras, and a separate section has been devoted to its philosophy. From references in it to followers of Madhva it may be assumed that the Vedānta-kaumudī was written probably in the fourteenth century.

From the fourteenth century, however, we have a large number of Vedānta writers in all the succeeding centuries; but with the notable exception of Prakāśānanda, Madhusūdana Sarasvatī in his Advaita-siddhi (in which he tried to refute the objections of Vyāsa Tīrtha against the monistic Vedānta in the sixteenth century) and probably Vidyāraṇya’s Vivaraṇa-prameya-saṃgraha and Dharmarājādhvarīndra’s Paribhāṣā , and its Śikhāmaṇi commentary by Rāmakṛṣṇa, there are few writers who can be said to reveal any great originality in Vedāntic interpretations. Most of the writers of this later period were good compilers, who revered all sorts of past Vedāntic ideas and collected them in well-arranged forms in their works. The influence of the Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa, however, is very strong in most of these writers, and the Vivaraṇa school of thought probably played the most important part in Vedāntic thought throughout all this period.

These Vedāntic writers grew up in particular circles inspired by particular teachers, whose works were carried on either in their own families or among their pupils; a few examples may make this clear. Thus Jagannāthāśrama was a great teacher of south India in the latter half of the fifteenth century; he had a pupil in Nṛsiṃh-āśrama, one of the most reputed teachers of Vedānta in the early half of the sixteenth century.

He was generally inspired on the one hand by the Vivaraṇa and on the other by Śrīharṣa and Citsukha and Sarvajñātma Muni: he wrote a number of Vedānta works, such as

  • Advaita-dīpikā (his pupil, Nārāyaṇāśrama, wrote a commentary called Advaita-dīpikā-vivarana on it),
  • Advaita-pañca-ratna,
  • Advaita-bodha-dīpikā,
  • Advaita-ratna-koṣa,
  • Tattva-bodhinī, a commentary on the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka,
  • Tattva-viveka (which had two commentaries, Tattva-viveka-dīpana of Nārāyaṇāśrama and Tattva-vivecana of Agnihotra, pupil of Jñānendra Sarasvatī),
  • Pañca-pādikā-vivarana-prakāśikā,
  • Bheda-dhikkāra,
  • Advaita-ratna-vyā-khyāna (a commentary on Mallanārodīya’s Advaita-ratna),
  • and Vedānta-tattva-viveka.

The fact that he could write commentaries both on Sarvajñātma Muni’s work and also on the Vivaraṇa , and also write a Bheda-dhikkāra (a work on dialectic Vedānta on the lines of Śrīharṣa’s dialectical work) shows the syncretistic tendencies of the age, in which the individual differences within the school were all accepted as different views of one Vedānta, and in which people were more interested in Vedānta as a whole and felt no hesitation in accepting all the Vedāntic ideas in their works.

Nṛsiṃhāśrama had a pupil Dharmarājādhvarīndra, who wrote a Vedānta-paribhāṣā, a commentary called Tarka-cūḍāmaṇi on the Tattva-cintāmaṇi of Gaṅgeśa, and also on the Nyaya-siddhānta-dīpa of Śaśadhara Ācārya, and a commentary on the Pañca-pādikā of Padmapāda.

His son and pupil Rāmakṛṣṇa Dīkṣita wrote a commentary on the first, called Vedānta-śikhāmaṇi ; and Amaradāsa, the pupil of Brahmavijñāna, wrote another commentary on this Śikhāmaṇi of Rāmakṛṣṇa[5]. Rāmakṛṣṇa had also written a commentary on Rucidatta’s Tattva-cintāmaṇi-prakāśa, called Nyāya-śikhāmaṇi, and a commentary on the Vedānta-sāra.

Other authors, such as Kāśīnātha Śāstrin and Brahmendra Sarasvatī, had also written separate works bearing the name Vedānta-paribhāṣā after the Vedānta-paribhāṣā of Dharmarāja in the seventeenth century. Under the sphere of Nṛsiṃha’s influence, but in the Śaiva and Mīmāṃsaka family of Raṅgarāja Adhvarin,was born Appaya Dīkṣita, who became one of the most reputed teachers of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. His works have all been noted in the section devoted to him.

He again was a teacher of Bhaṭṭojī Dīkṣita, who in addition to many works on grammar, law and ritual (sṃrti) wrote two important works on Vedānta, called Tattva-kaustubha and Vedānta-tattva-dīpana-vyākhyā, the latter a commentary on the commentary, Tattva-viveka-dīpana , of Nārāyaṇāśrama (a pupil of Nṛsiṃhāśrama) on the latter’s work, Vedānta-tattva-viveka. This Nārāyaṇāśrama had also written another commentary on Nṛsiṃhāśrama’s Bheda-dhikkāra , called Bheda-dhikkāra-satkriyā ; and later on in the eighteenth century another commentary was written on Nṛsiṃha’s Bheda-dhikkāra, called Advaita-candrikā , by Narasimha bhaṭṭa, pupil of Rāmabhadrāśrama and Nāgeśvara in the eighteenth century.

Bhaṭṭojī Dīkṣita’s son Bhānujī Dīkṣita was a commentator on the Amara-koṣa (Vyākhyā-sudhā or Subodhinī). Bhaṭṭojī was, however, a pupil not only of Appaya, but also of Nṛsiṃhāśrama Muni. Bhaṭṭojī’s younger brother and pupil, Raṅgojī bhaṭṭa, wrote two works, the Advaita-cintāmaṇi and the Advaita-śāstra-sāroddhāra, more or less on the same lines, containing a refutation of Vaiśeṣika categories, a determination of the nature of the self, a determination of the nature of ajñāna and the nature of the doctrine of reflection, proofs of the falsity of world-appearance and an exposition of the nature of Brahman and how Brahmahood is to be attained. His son Koṇḍa bhaṭṭa was mainly a grammarian, who wrote also on Vaiśeṣika.

Again Madhusūdana Sarasvatī, who was a pupil of Viśveśvara Sarasvatī (pupil of Sarvajña Viśveśa and pupil’s pupil of Govinda Sarasvatī), lived in the early half of the sixteenth century and was probably under the influence of Nṛsiṃhāśrama, w'ho is reputed to have defeated Madhusūdana Sarasvatī’s teacher, Mādhava Sarasvatī.

Madhusūdana had at least three pupils, Puruṣottama, who wrote on Madhusūdana’s commentary the Siddhānta-tattva-bindu a commentary called Siddhānta-tattva-bindu-ṭīkā[6] ; the others were Bālabhadra and Śeṣagovinda (the latter of whom wrote a commentary on Śaṅkara’s Sarva-darśana-siddhānta-saṃgraha , called Sarva-siddhānta-raha-sya-ṭīkā).

Again Sadānanda, the author of the Vedāīita-sāra, one of the most popular and well-read syncretistic works on Vedānta, was a contemporary of Nṛsiṃhāśrama; Nṛsiṃha Sarasvatī wrote in 1588 a commentary thereon, called Subodhinī.

Devendra, the author of the Svānubhūti-prakāśa, was also a contemporary of Nṛsiṃhāśrama. It has already been pointed out that Prakāśānanda was probably a contemporary of Nṛsiṃhāśrama, though he does not seem to have been under his influence. This shows how some of the foremost Vedānta writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries grew up together in a Vedāntic circle, many of whom were directly or indirectly under the influence of Nṛsiṃhāśrama and Appaya Dīkṣita.

Passing to another circle of writers, we see that Bhāskara Dīkṣita, who lived in the latter half of the seventeenth century, wrote a commentary, Ratna-tūlikā , on the Siddhānta-siddhāñjana of his teacher Kṛṣṇānanda.

The Siddhānta-siddhāñjana is an excellent syncretistic work on Vedānta, which contains most of the important Vedānta doctrines regarding the difference of dharma-vicāra and brahma-vicāra , the relation of Mīmāṃsā theories of commands, and the need of Brahma-knowledge; it introduces many Mīmāṃsā subjects and treats of their relations to many relevant Vedānta topics. It also introduces elaborate discussions on the nature of knowledge and ignorance. It seems, however, to be largely free from the influence of the Vivaraṇa , and it does not enter into theories of perception or the nature of the antaḥkaraṇa and its vṛtti. It is thus very different from most of the works produced in the sixteenth century in the circles of Nṛsiṃha or Appaya. Kṛṣṇānanda lived probably in the middle of the seventeenth century.

He had for teacher Rāmabhadrānanda; and Rāmabhadrānanda was taught by Svayamprakāśānanda, the author of the Vedānta-naya-bhūṣaṇa, a commentary on the Brahma-sūtra on the lines of Vācaspati Miśra’s Bhāmatī. This Svayamprakāśa must be distinguished from the other Svayamprakāśa, probably of the same century, who was a pupil of Kaivalyānanda Yoglndra and the author of the Rasābhi-vyañjikā, a commentary of Advaita-makaranda of Lakṣmīdhara Kavi.

Rāmabhadrānanda had as his teacher Rāmānanda Sarasvatī, the author of the Vedānta-siddhānta-candrikā, on which a commentary was written by Gaṅgādharendra Sarasvatī (a.d. 1826), pupil of Rāmacandra Sarasvatī and pupil’s pupil of Sarvajña Sarasvatī, and author of the Sāṃrājya-siddhi with its commentary, the Kaivalya-kalpadruma.

Prakāśānanda was a pupil of Advaitānanda, author of the Brahma-vidyābharaṇa, a commentary on Śaṅkara’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya —Advaitānanda was a disciple of Rāmatīrtha, author of the Anvaya-prakāśikā (a commentary on the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka of Sarvajñātma Muni) and a disciple of Kṛṣṇatīrtha, a contemporary of Jagannāthāśrama, the teacher of Nṛsiṃhāśrama.

Rāmatīrtha’s Anvaya-prakāśikā shows an acquaintance with Madhusūdana’s Advaita-siddhi ; and he may thus be considered to have lived in the middle of the seventeenth century. Svayamprakāśānanda, again, had for pupil Mahādevānanda, or Vedāntin Mahādeva, the author of the Advaita-cintā-kaustubha or Tattvānusandhāna. It seems very clear that these writers of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries flourished in a different circle of Vedāntic ideas, where the views of Vācaspati, Sureśvara and Sarvajñātma Muni had greater influence than the authors of the Vivaraṇa school of Vedānta.

Another important syncretistic Vedānta writer is Sadānanda Kāśmlraka, author of the Advaita-brahma-siddhi, who lived in the early part of the eighteenth century. The Advaita-brahma-siddhi is an excellent summary of all the most important Vedānta doctrines, written in an easy style and explaining the chief features of the Vedāntic doctrines in the different schools of Advaita teachers. Narahari’s Bodha-sāra may be mentioned as one of the important products of the late eighteenth century[7].

The sort of relationship of teachers and students in particular circles that has been pointed out holds good of the earlier authors also, though it is difficult to trace them as well as can be done in the later years, since many of the earlier books are now missing and the footprints of older traditions are becoming more and more faint. Thus it may be pointed out that Vidyāraṇya was a contemporary of Amalānanda in the fourteenth century, as both of them were pupils of Śaṅkarānanda and Anubhavānanda respectively; these in turn were both pupils of Ānandātman.

Śaṅkarānanda was the author of the Gītā-tātparya-bodhinī and of a number of commentaries on the various Upaniṣads, and also of a summary of the Upaniṣads, called Upaniṣad-ratna. Amalānanda, however, had as teacher not only Anubhavānanda, but also Sukhaprakāśa Muni, who again was a disciple of Citsukha, himself a disciple of Gaudeśvara Ācārya (called also Jñānottama).

Footnotes and references:


See Tripathi’s introduction to the Tarka-saṃgraha.


Allāla Sūri, son of Trivikramācārya, wrote a commentary on the Bhāmatī, called the Bhāmatī-tilaka.


Samyagbodhendra Samyamin, pupil of Gīrvānendra (a.d. 1450), wrote a summary of the main contents of the Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa in six chapters (varṇaka), and this work is called by two names, Advaita-bhūṣaṇa and Vivaraṇa-prameya-saṃgraha. There are again two other commentaries on Prakāśātman’s Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa: the Riju-vivaraṇa by Viṣṇubhaṭṭa, son of Janārdana Sarvajfta and pupil of Svāmīndrapūrna, and the Ṭīkā-ratna by Ānandapūrna. The Riju-vivaraṇa had again another commentary on it, called the Trayyanta-bhāva-pradīpikā, by Rāmānanda, pupil of Bhāratī Tīrtha.

There are, however, two other commentaries on the Pañca-pādikā called Pañca-pādikā-vyākhyā (by an author whose name is not definitely known) and the Prabandha-pariśodhim by Ātmasvarūpa, pupil of Nṛsiṃhasvarūpa. Dharma-rāyādhvarīndra also wrote a commentary on Pañca-pādikā , called the Pañca-pādikā-ṭīkā.


Apart from the two published commentaries on the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka, there is another work called the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka-sambandhokti by Vedānanda, pupil of Vedādhyak§a-bhagavat-pūjyapāda, in which the author tries to show the mutual relation of the verses of it as yielding a consistent meaning. Nrslmhā-śrama also wrote a commentary on the Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka, called the Tattva-bodhinī. One Sarvajñātma Bhagavat wrote a small Vedāntic work, called Pañca-prakriyā; but it is not probable that he is the same as Sarvajñātma Muni.


Pettā Dīkṣita, son of Nārāyana Dīkṣita, also wrote a commentary on the Vedānta-paribhāṣā, called Vedānta-paribhāṣā-prakūśikā.


Brahmānanda wrote on the Siddhānta-bindu another commentary, called Siddhānta-bindu-ṭīkā.


A number of other important Vedānta works, written mostly during the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, may also be mentioned.

Thus Lokanātha, son of Sarvajñanārāyana and grandson of Nṛsiṃhāśrama, wrote a metrical work in three chapters refuting the views of the dualists, called Advaita-muktā-sāra with a commentary on it called Kānti ;

Brahmānanda Sarasvatī wrote the Advaita-siddhānta-vidyotana ;

Gopālānanda Sarasvatī, pupil of Yogānanda, wrote the Akhaṇḍātma-prakāśikā ;

Harihara Paramahamsa, pupil of Śivarāma, pupil of Viśveśvarāśrama, wrote the Anubhava-vilāsa,

and early in the nineteenth century Sāmin, a pupil of Brahmānanda, wrote a big work in twelve chapters, called Brahmānanda-vilāsa.

In this connection it may not be out of place to mention the names of some important works of Vedānta dialectics in refutation of other systems of philosophical views more or less on the lines of those dialectical writings which have been noticed in the present volume.

Thus Ananda-pū na(A.D. 1 600), who commented on Śrīharṣa’s Khaṇḍana-khaṇḍa-khādya, wrote the Nyāya-candrikā in four chapters, refuting the views of the Nyāya, Mīmāṃsā and Vaiśesika;

Ānandānubhava, pupil of Nārāyana Jyotisha, who lived probably in the same century, wrote a similar work, called Padārtha-tottva-nirṇaya;

Jñanaghana, who probably lived in the thirteenth century, wrote an elaborate dialectical work in thirty-three chapters (prakaraṇa), called Tattva-śtiddhi;

Śrīnivāsa Yajvan, who probably lived in the sixteenth century, wrote the Vūdā-valī in twenty-six chapters in refutation of Viśistādvaita and Dvaita views;

Bhavānīsaṅkara also wrote a similar dialectical work, called Siddhānta-dīpikā. As examples of semi-popular Vedānta works of a syncretistic type, such works as

  • the Tattva-bodha of Vāsudevendra,
  • the Guṇa-traya-viveka of Svayamprakāśa Yogīndra,
  • the Jagan-mīthyātva-dipikā of Rāmendra Yogin,
  • the Ānanda-dīpa of ŚivānandaYati (which had a commentary called Ānanda-dīpa-ṭīkār by Rāmanātha),
  • the Svātma-yoga-pradīpabyYogiśvara (which had a commentary by Amarānanda)
  • and the Vedānta-hṛdaya (on the lines of the Yoga-vāsiṣṭha and Gauḍapāda) by Varada Paṇḍita may be mentioned.

This latter work was probably later than Prakāśānanda’s Vedānta-siddhānta-muktāvali, which followed the same line of thought.

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