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Title: Panchadasi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Paramananda (Hinduism), Indian philosophy, Vidyaranya, Hindu philosophy, Sutra
Collection: Advaita Vedanta, Hindu Philosophy, Indian Philosophy, Sanskrit Texts, Vedanta
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Author Vidyaranya
Country India
Language Sanskrit
Subject Philosophy
Genre Vedanta

Panchadasi, written in the Sanskrit Sloka-format, is a book of instruction for the followers of Vedanta who want to have a clear presentation of the truths of Advaita. It is an advanced introductory text intended either to unfold the entire subject of Vedanta necessary for attaining enlightenment or to serve as a foundation for further study of Vedanta. It is a standard text on the philosophy of the Vedanta.[1] The author of this text, Vidyaranya, also known as Bharatitiratha, is one of the most popular post-Shankara Advaitic thinker associated with the "Vivarana school", he presents very precise definitions of most important terms of Advaita.[2]

This text, “consisting of 15 Chapters grouped into three quintads: - a) viveka-panchaka (dealing with the discrimnation of the real from the non-real), b) dipa-panchaka (expounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness), and c) ananda-panchaka (dwelling on the bliss-nature of Brahman), very much like the three aspects of Brahman – sat (existence), cit (consciousness) and ananda (bliss), respectively. Vidyaranya has succeeded in an eminent way in setting forth the essentials of Advaita which holds that the direct means to release is the path of knowledge (jnana), and as moksa is the very nature of the Self, it is not an experience which is to be brought about through works (karma) ”.[3][4]

Vidyaranya, who was the spiritual head of Sringeri Math in 1377 A.D to 1386 A.D., and also wrote Drk-Drsya-Viveka, Sarvadarsana Samgraha, Sri Sankara Digvijaya, Jivanmukti Viveka, Anubhuti Prakasa, Vivaranaprameyasamgraha and Upanishad Dipika [5] has been identified with Sayanacharya, the commentator on the Vedas, whose brother he most likely was..[6]

Vidyaranya in his Panchadasi has been most eloquent in stressing that Brahman it is the one Self-luminous effulgence which does not rise or set along the interminable course of time.[7] and compared meditation, that is not without its great use, to samvadi - bhrama i.e. delusion which culminates in a fruitful result.[8] He was closely connected with the foundation of Vijaynagar kingdom.[9] [10] Also called Madhavacharya, Vidyaranya was born in Vijayanagara (Golconda) and was the minister of Bukka-devaraya of the Yadava Dynasty of Karnataka, his younger brother was Sayana. [11] According to one view the best known commentary on the Vedas by Madhavacharya and called Vidyaranyabhashya was discovered in the Sringeri Math; it was not written by Vidyaranyaswami whose tomb is in the Virupaksha Math in Hampi, the erstwhile capital of Vijaynagar Kingdom, and who was the compiler of Panchadasi and not its author. [12]


  1. ^ Swami Chinmayananda. Journey of a Master. Chinmaya Mission. p. 424. 
  2. ^ Ed. Eliot Deutsch, Rohit Dalvi. The Essential Vedanta: A new source book of Advaita Vedanta. World Wisdom, Inc. p. 353-359. 
  3. ^ Swami Swahananda. Pancadasi of Sri Vidyaranya Swami. Sri Ramakrishna Math. p. ix,xvii. 
  4. ^ Swami Krishnananda. The philosophy of the Panchadasi (1982 ed.). Divine Life Society. p. iii. 
  5. ^ Swami Swahananda. Pancadasi of Sri Vidyaranya Swami. Sri Ramakrishna Math. 
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Prema Nanda Kumar. Dakshina: A Literary Digest of South Indian Languages 1986- 1988. Sahitya Akademi. p. 89. 
  8. ^ Satya Pal Ruhela. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. Diamond Pocket books (P) Ltd. p. 253. 
  9. ^ Farooqi Salma Ahmed. A comprehensive history of Medieval India. Pearson Education India. p. 143. 
  10. ^ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay Vol.22. p. 370. 
  11. ^ Subodh Kapoor. Encyclopaedia of Ancient Indian Geography Vol.2. Genesis Publishing (P) Ltd. p. 620. 
  12. ^ Helena Petronva Blavatsky. The Theosophist Vol.9. Kessinger Publishing. p. 432. 
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