By Swami Harshananda
Mānasollasa (‘that which exhilarates the mind’)
There are two well-known works of this name.
The first is an exhaustive gloss (vārttika) by Sureśvara (A. D. 800) on the famous hymn Srī Daksināmurti Stotra of Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820). The total number of ślokas or verses on the ten verses of the original is 367. It discusses all aspects of Advaita Vedānta and also tries to refute other schools like Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṅkhya and Saiva. There is also a detailed exposition of the mahāvākya (the great sentence or Vedic dictum) tat tvam asi.
This Mānasollasa has a Sanskrit commentary, Mānasollāsa Vrttānta, by one Rāmatīrtha (17th century A. D.). This commentary explains the original hymn also.
The second one is a voluminous work on the dharmaśāstra and allied branches, by the Cālukyan king Someśvara III who ruled from A. D. 1126 to A. D. 1138. This work is also called Abhilasitārtha-Cintāmani. It has five books, each containing 20 chapters. It deals with 100 different topics connected with the royal household and the royal court.
Some of the subjects dealt with in this work are: general and religious ethics;
social service; marriage and rearing of children; making of idols; private and inter-state law; architecture; painting; astrology; alchemy; music and musical instruments.
The original author himself has given his own commentary called Dharma-pradipikā.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore