Difference between revisions of "Pañcadaśi"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
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Pañcadaśi (‘[a work of] fifteen [chapters]’)
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All the three major schools of Vedānta —Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita— though based on the prasthānatraya (the three basic works), also have special treatises called ‘Prakaraṇagranthas’ which can be termed as textbooks of those schools.
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The Pañcadaśi of Vidyāraṇya Muni (14th century A. D.) who was the pontiff of the Śāradā-Maṭha of Sṛṅgerī (in the present Karnataka State) from A. D. 1377 to 1386, is one such work of the Advaita school. It is a voluminous work of 1571 verses spread out in fifteen chapters (hence the name Pañcadaśi, pañcadaśa meaning fifteen).
 +
 +
These fifteen chapters have been grouped into three pentads: Vivekapañcaka (dealing with the discrimination of the real from the unreal); Dipapañcaka (expounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness) and Ānandapañcaka (dwelling on the bliss-nature of Brahman).
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These three pentads have for their theme, the three aspects of Brahman, viz., sat, cit and ānanda.
 +
 +
It is an elegant work written in a
 +
 +
simple style, though dealing with a tough subject.
 +
 +
There is only one Sanskrit commentary, Tātparyadīpikā, by Rāmakṛṣṇa about whom nothing is known.
 +
 +
A brief account of the contents of this treatise may now be given:
 +
 +
Chapter 1 (Tattvaviveka; 65 verses)
 +
 +
This chapter deals with the nature of the ātman (the Self), prakṛti (Mother Nature), the five bhṅtas (elements like the earth and water), pañcīkaraṇa (quintupli-cation of the elements), the pañca-kośas (five sheaths) and the meaning of the mahāvākya tat tvam asi.
 +
 +
Chapter 2
 +
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(.Pañcamahābhutaviveka; 109 verses)
 +
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Apart from a detailed treatment of the five fundamental elements and their products, this section also deals with the nature of māyā, its characteristics and effects.
 +
 +
Chapter 3 (Pañcakośaviveka\ 43 verses)
 +
 +
The pañcakośas or the five sheaths (like the annamayakośa or the sheath of food) that cover the nature of the ātman, and the real nature of the ātman as sat-cit-ānanda (existence-consciousness-bliss) as also the ultimate identity of the jīvātman (the individual soul) with Brahman (the Supreme Soul or the Absolute) are the topics discussed here.
 +
 +
Chapter 4 (Dvaitaviveka\ 69 verses)
 +
 +
Creation of the world by īśvara (God), the relation of the jīva (individual soul) with īśvara as also the world, division of dvaita (consciousness of duality) into two varieties, what is to be abandoned and
 +
 +
what is to be accepted—these are the subjects dealt with in this chapter.
 +
 +
Chapter 5 (Mahāvākyaviveka; 8 verses)
 +
 +
This short chapter delineates the method of interpreting the four mahā-vākyas or ‘great sentences’ taken from the Upanisads.
 +
 +
Chapter 6 (Citradlpa\ 290 Verses)
 +
 +
If the first five chapters of this work contained the suffix ‘viveka’ in their titles—because they dealt with viveka or various types of discrimination that help in understanding the principles of the Advaita school better—the five chapters from the 6th to the 10th, containing the suffix ‘dīpa’ (= light or lamp) throw light on the subtler aspects of the same school.
 +
 +
In this chapter which is quite exhaustive, comparison is made between the various stages of a citra (drawing or painting) and the degrees of manifestation of Paramātman (the Supreme Self) as cit (pure consciousness), antaryāmin (the inner controller) and so on.
 +
 +
Chapter 7 (Trptidlpa; 298 verses)
 +
 +
This also is a long chapter. Whatever tṛpti or satisfaction a being gets in any experience, is due to the presence of the ātman (Self) only. However, infinite tṛpti can be got only through the knowledge of Brahman.
 +
 +
Chapter 8 (Kutasthadlpa; 73 verses)
 +
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The word ‘kuṭastha’ refers to the undifferentiated, pure, consciousness. Just as general sunlight lights up a wall whereas the same, reflected from a mirror, appears brighter, in the same way, the kuṭastha lights up both the outside world
 +
 +
and the buddhi or the intellect. Ultimately, it is different from both the outside world and the jīva inside, who is only a reflection of consciousness. However, it should be known that this kuṭastha and Brahman are one and the same.
 +
 +
Chapter 9 (Dhyānadīpa\ 158 verses)
 +
 +
This chapter states that upāsanā or meditation on the knowledge gained through a correct understanding of the scriptures, though indirect, can also lead to mokṣa or liberation. Incidentally, the forms of God such as Viṣṇu and so on, are accepted as real for the purpose of meditation since they are sanctioned by the scriptures.
 +
 +
Chapter 10 (Nātakadlpa\ 26 verses)
 +
 +
The lamp (= dlpa) in a dancing hall or the stage of a theatre, lights up everything, by its mere presence. But it is not affected in any way by the happenings on the stage. Similarly the real Self, the ātman, called ‘sākṣicaitanya’ or ‘wit-ness-consciousness’, also reveals all the activities of the body-mind complex without itself undergoing any change. This is the gist of this chapter.
 +
 +
Chapter 11 (Yogānanda; 134 verses)
 +
 +
The spiritual felicity arising out of the realisation of Brahman is the subject-matter of the five chapters 11 to 15. Hence the use of the word ‘ānanda’ in the titles.
 +
 +
There is an experience of ānanda or bliss in the susupti or deep-sleep state. This also is an aspect of the bliss of Brahman. Far greater is the degree of such bliss in the samādhi or supercon-
 +
 +
scious state. This is the gist of this chapter.
 +
 +
Chapter 12 (Atmananda; 90 verses)
 +
 +
The concept that everyone loves or likes another person or object is for his own sake—as described by the sage Yājña-valkya in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.5.6)—is expounded here.
 +
 +
Chapter 13 (Advaitānanda; 105 verses)
 +
 +
Brahman is ānanda or bliss. Jagat or the world is an apparent product of that Brahman and hence is identical with It. The śakti (power) or māyā which produces this world-appearance in Brahman cannot be defined. When this world is ignored as asat (unreal), its true nature as Brahman is realised.
 +
 +
To put it in another way, when nāma (names) and rupa (forms) are considered as important, Brahman appears as a real jagat. When they are ignored and only the basic stuff is noticed, Brahman as sat-cit-ānanda is experienced.
 +
 +
Chapter 14 (Vidyānanda; 65 verses)
 +
 +
Vidyānanda is the bliss got out of the knowledge of Brahman. It has four aspects: absence of sorrow; attainment of all desires; the feeling that one has fulfilled all the duties of life; the sense of having achieved all that is to be achieved in life. This is the essence of this chapter.
 +
 +
Chapter 15 {Visayānanda', 35 verses)
 +
 +
Based on the statement in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.3.32), the author accepts that the happiness (= ānanda) one gets out of the contact of the sense organs with the sense-objects is also an aspect—though a poor one—of
 +
 +
Brahmānanda or bliss of Brahman. The
 +
 +
reflection or the experience of this bliss, however, depends on the degree of purity of the mind.
 +
 +
After describing three kinds of meditation on Brahman, the work ends with a short prayer.
 +
 +
This voluminous treatise on Advaita Vedānta is held in high esteem by scholars because of its lucidity and depth.
 +
 +
 +
==References==
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{{reflist}}
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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== OLD CONTENT ==
 
Pañcadaśi (‘[a work of] fifteen [chapters]’)
 
Pañcadaśi (‘[a work of] fifteen [chapters]’)
 
All the three major schools of Vedānta —Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita— though based on the prasthānatraya (the three basic works), also have special treatises called ‘Prakaraṇagranthas’ which can be termed as textbooks of those schools.
 
All the three major schools of Vedānta —Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita— though based on the prasthānatraya (the three basic works), also have special treatises called ‘Prakaraṇagranthas’ which can be termed as textbooks of those schools.

Revision as of 09:19, 12 October 2014

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pancadasi, PaJcadaZi, Paycadashi


Pañcadaśi (‘[a work of] fifteen [chapters]’)

All the three major schools of Vedānta —Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita— though based on the prasthānatraya (the three basic works), also have special treatises called ‘Prakaraṇagranthas’ which can be termed as textbooks of those schools.

The Pañcadaśi of Vidyāraṇya Muni (14th century A. D.) who was the pontiff of the Śāradā-Maṭha of Sṛṅgerī (in the present Karnataka State) from A. D. 1377 to 1386, is one such work of the Advaita school. It is a voluminous work of 1571 verses spread out in fifteen chapters (hence the name Pañcadaśi, pañcadaśa meaning fifteen).

These fifteen chapters have been grouped into three pentads: Vivekapañcaka (dealing with the discrimination of the real from the unreal); Dipapañcaka (expounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness) and Ānandapañcaka (dwelling on the bliss-nature of Brahman).

These three pentads have for their theme, the three aspects of Brahman, viz., sat, cit and ānanda.

It is an elegant work written in a

simple style, though dealing with a tough subject.

There is only one Sanskrit commentary, Tātparyadīpikā, by Rāmakṛṣṇa about whom nothing is known.

A brief account of the contents of this treatise may now be given:

Chapter 1 (Tattvaviveka; 65 verses)

This chapter deals with the nature of the ātman (the Self), prakṛti (Mother Nature), the five bhṅtas (elements like the earth and water), pañcīkaraṇa (quintupli-cation of the elements), the pañca-kośas (five sheaths) and the meaning of the mahāvākya tat tvam asi.

Chapter 2

(.Pañcamahābhutaviveka; 109 verses)

Apart from a detailed treatment of the five fundamental elements and their products, this section also deals with the nature of māyā, its characteristics and effects.

Chapter 3 (Pañcakośaviveka\ 43 verses)

The pañcakośas or the five sheaths (like the annamayakośa or the sheath of food) that cover the nature of the ātman, and the real nature of the ātman as sat-cit-ānanda (existence-consciousness-bliss) as also the ultimate identity of the jīvātman (the individual soul) with Brahman (the Supreme Soul or the Absolute) are the topics discussed here.

Chapter 4 (Dvaitaviveka\ 69 verses)

Creation of the world by īśvara (God), the relation of the jīva (individual soul) with īśvara as also the world, division of dvaita (consciousness of duality) into two varieties, what is to be abandoned and

what is to be accepted—these are the subjects dealt with in this chapter.

Chapter 5 (Mahāvākyaviveka; 8 verses)

This short chapter delineates the method of interpreting the four mahā-vākyas or ‘great sentences’ taken from the Upanisads.

Chapter 6 (Citradlpa\ 290 Verses)

If the first five chapters of this work contained the suffix ‘viveka’ in their titles—because they dealt with viveka or various types of discrimination that help in understanding the principles of the Advaita school better—the five chapters from the 6th to the 10th, containing the suffix ‘dīpa’ (= light or lamp) throw light on the subtler aspects of the same school.

In this chapter which is quite exhaustive, comparison is made between the various stages of a citra (drawing or painting) and the degrees of manifestation of Paramātman (the Supreme Self) as cit (pure consciousness), antaryāmin (the inner controller) and so on.

Chapter 7 (Trptidlpa; 298 verses)

This also is a long chapter. Whatever tṛpti or satisfaction a being gets in any experience, is due to the presence of the ātman (Self) only. However, infinite tṛpti can be got only through the knowledge of Brahman.

Chapter 8 (Kutasthadlpa; 73 verses)

The word ‘kuṭastha’ refers to the undifferentiated, pure, consciousness. Just as general sunlight lights up a wall whereas the same, reflected from a mirror, appears brighter, in the same way, the kuṭastha lights up both the outside world

and the buddhi or the intellect. Ultimately, it is different from both the outside world and the jīva inside, who is only a reflection of consciousness. However, it should be known that this kuṭastha and Brahman are one and the same.

Chapter 9 (Dhyānadīpa\ 158 verses)

This chapter states that upāsanā or meditation on the knowledge gained through a correct understanding of the scriptures, though indirect, can also lead to mokṣa or liberation. Incidentally, the forms of God such as Viṣṇu and so on, are accepted as real for the purpose of meditation since they are sanctioned by the scriptures.

Chapter 10 (Nātakadlpa\ 26 verses)

The lamp (= dlpa) in a dancing hall or the stage of a theatre, lights up everything, by its mere presence. But it is not affected in any way by the happenings on the stage. Similarly the real Self, the ātman, called ‘sākṣicaitanya’ or ‘wit-ness-consciousness’, also reveals all the activities of the body-mind complex without itself undergoing any change. This is the gist of this chapter.

Chapter 11 (Yogānanda; 134 verses)

The spiritual felicity arising out of the realisation of Brahman is the subject-matter of the five chapters 11 to 15. Hence the use of the word ‘ānanda’ in the titles.

There is an experience of ānanda or bliss in the susupti or deep-sleep state. This also is an aspect of the bliss of Brahman. Far greater is the degree of such bliss in the samādhi or supercon-

scious state. This is the gist of this chapter.

Chapter 12 (Atmananda; 90 verses)

The concept that everyone loves or likes another person or object is for his own sake—as described by the sage Yājña-valkya in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.5.6)—is expounded here.

Chapter 13 (Advaitānanda; 105 verses)

Brahman is ānanda or bliss. Jagat or the world is an apparent product of that Brahman and hence is identical with It. The śakti (power) or māyā which produces this world-appearance in Brahman cannot be defined. When this world is ignored as asat (unreal), its true nature as Brahman is realised.

To put it in another way, when nāma (names) and rupa (forms) are considered as important, Brahman appears as a real jagat. When they are ignored and only the basic stuff is noticed, Brahman as sat-cit-ānanda is experienced.

Chapter 14 (Vidyānanda; 65 verses)

Vidyānanda is the bliss got out of the knowledge of Brahman. It has four aspects: absence of sorrow; attainment of all desires; the feeling that one has fulfilled all the duties of life; the sense of having achieved all that is to be achieved in life. This is the essence of this chapter.

Chapter 15 {Visayānanda', 35 verses)

Based on the statement in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.3.32), the author accepts that the happiness (= ānanda) one gets out of the contact of the sense organs with the sense-objects is also an aspect—though a poor one—of

Brahmānanda or bliss of Brahman. The

reflection or the experience of this bliss, however, depends on the degree of purity of the mind.

After describing three kinds of meditation on Brahman, the work ends with a short prayer.

This voluminous treatise on Advaita Vedānta is held in high esteem by scholars because of its lucidity and depth.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

Pañcadaśi (‘[a work of] fifteen [chapters]’) All the three major schools of Vedānta —Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita— though based on the prasthānatraya (the three basic works), also have special treatises called ‘Prakaraṇagranthas’ which can be termed as textbooks of those schools. The Pañcadaśi of Vidyāraṇya Muni (14th century A. D.) who was the pontiff of the Śāradā-Maṭha of Sṛṅgerī (in the present Karnataka State) from A. D. 1377 to 1386, is one such work of the Advaita school. It is a voluminous work of 1571 verses spread out in fifteen chapters (hence the name Pañcadaśi, pañcadaśa meaning fifteen). These fifteen chapters have been grouped into three pentads: Vivekapañcaka (dealing with the discrimination of the real from the unreal); Dipapañcaka (ex¬pounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness) and Ānandapañcaka (dwell¬ing on the bliss-nature of Brahman). These three pentads have for their theme, the three aspects of Brahman, viz., sat, cit and ānanda. It is an elegant work written in a simple style, though dealing with a tough subject. There is only one Sanskrit commen¬tary, Tātparyadīpikā, by Rāmakṛṣṇa about whom nothing is known. A brief account of the contents of this treatise may now be given: Chapter 1 (Tattvaviveka; 65 verses) This chapter deals with the nature of the ātman (the Self), prakṛti (Mother Nature), the five bhutas (elements like the earth and water), pañclkaraṇa (quintupli- cation of the elements), the pañca-kośas (five sheaths) and the meaning of the mahāvākya tat tvam asi. Chapter 2 (.Pañcamahāhhutaviveka; 109 verses) Apart from a detailed treatment of the five fundamental elements and their products, this section also deals with the nature of māyā, its characteristics and effects. Chapter 3 (Pañcakośaviveka\ 43 verses) The pañcakośas or the five sheaths (like the annamayakośa or the sheath of food) that cover the nature of the ātman, and the real nature of the ātman as sat-cit- ānanda (existence-consciousness-bliss) as also the ultimate identity of the jīvātman (the individual soul) with Brahman (the Supreme Soul or the Absolute) are the topics discussed here. Chapter 4 (Dvaitaviveka\ 69 verses) Creation of the world by īśvara (God), the relation of the jīva (individual soul) with īśvara as also the world, division of dvaita (consciousness of duality) into two varieties, what is to be abandoned and what is to be accepted—these are the subjects dealt with in this chapter. Chapter 5 (Mahāvākyaviveka; 8 verses) This short chapter delineates the method of interpreting the four mahā- vākyas or ‘great sentences’ taken from the Upaniṣads. Chapter 6 (Citradlpa\ 290 Verses) If the first five chapters of this work contained the suffix ‘viveka’ in their titles—because they dealt with viveka or various types of discrimination that help in understanding the principles of the Advaita school better—the five chapters from the 6th to the 10th, containing the suffix ‘dīpa’ (= light or lamp) throw light on the subtler aspects of the same school. In this chapter which is quite ex¬haustive, comparison is made between the various stages of a citra (drawing or painting) and the degrees of manifestation of Paramātman (the Supreme Self) as cit (pure consciousness), antaryāmin (the inner controller) and so on. Chapter 7 (Trptidīpa; 298 verses) This also is a long chapter. Whatever tṛpti or satisfaction a being gets in any experience, is due to the presence of the ātman (Self) only. However, infinite tṛpti can be got only through the knowledge of Brahman. Chapter 8 (Kutasthadlpa; 73 verses) The word ‘kuṭastha’ refers to the undifferentiated, pure, consciousness. Just as general sunlight lights up a wall whereas the same, reflected from a mirror, appears brighter, in the same way, the kuṭastha lights up both the outside world and the buddhi or the intellect. Ultimately, it is different from both the outside world and the jīva inside, who is only a reflection of consciousness. However, it should be known that this kuṭastha and Brahman are one and the same. Chapter 9 (Dhyānadīpa; 158 verses) This chapter states that upāsanā or meditation on the knowledge gained through a correct understanding of the scriptures, though indirect, can also lead to mokṣa or liberation. Incidentally, the forms of God such as Viṣṇu and so on, are accepted as real for the purpose of meditation since they are sanctioned by the scriptures. Chapter 10 (Nātakadlpa; 26 verses) The lamp (= dīpa) in a dancing hall or the stage of a theatre, lights up everything, by its mere presence. But it is not affected in any way by the happen¬ings on the stage. Similarly the real Self, the ātman, called ‘sākṣicaitanya’ or ‘wit- ness-consciousness’, also reveals all the activities of the body-mind complex with¬out itself undergoing any change. This is the gist of this chapter. Chapter 11 (Yogānanda; 134 verses) The spiritual felicity arising out of the realisation of Brahman is the subject- matter of the five chapters 11 to 15. Hence the use of the word ‘ānanda’ in the titles. There is an experience of ānanda or bliss in the suṣupti or deep-sleep state. This also is an aspect of the bliss of Brahman. Far greater is the degree of such bliss in the samādhi or supercon- scious state. This is the gist of this chapter. Chapter 12 (Atmananda; 90 verses) The concept that everyone loves or likes another person or object is for his own sake—as described by the sage Yājña- valkya in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.5.6)—is expounded here. Chapter 13 (.Advaitānanda; 105 verses) Brahman is ānanda or bliss. Jagat or the world is an apparent product of that Brahman and hence is identical with It. The śakti (power) or māyā which produces this world-appearance in Brah¬man cannot be defined. When this world is ignored as asat (unreal), its true nature as Brahman is realised. To put it in another way, when nāma (names) and rupa (forms) are considered as important, Brahman appears as a real jagat. When they are ignored and only the basic stuff is noticed, Brahman as sat-cit-ānanda is experienced. Chapter 14 (Vidyānanda; 65 verses) Vidyānanda is the bliss got out of the knowledge of Brahman. It has four aspects: absence of sorrow; attainment of all desires; the feeling that one has fulfilled all the duties of life; the sense of having achieved all that is to be achieved in life. This is the essence of this chapter. Chapter 15 {Visayānanda; 35 verses) Based on the statement in the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.3.32), the author accepts that the happiness (= ānanda) one gets out of the contact of the sense organs with the sense-objects is also an aspect—though a poor one—of Brahmānanda or bliss of Brahman. The reflection or the experience of this bliss, however, depends on the degree of purity of the mind. After describing three kinds of medi¬tation on Brahman, the work ends with a short prayer. This voluminous treatise on Advaita Vedānta is held in high esteem by scholars because of its lucidity and depth.