By Swami Harshananda
Mānasollāsa literally means ‘that which exhilarates the mind’.
There are two well-known works with the name Mānasollāsa. Each book has been briefed below.
First Mānasollāsa Book
The first book is an exhaustive gloss (vārttika) by Sureśvara (A. D. 800) on the famous hymn Śrī 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 the aspects of Advaita Vedānta. It also tries to refute other schools like Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṅkhya and Śaiva. There is also a detailed exposition of the mahāvākya tat tvam asi. This Mānasollāsa has a Sanskrit commentary, Mānasollāsa Vrttānta, by one Rāmatīrtha (17th century A. D.). This commentary explains the original hymn also.
Second Mānasollāsa Book
The second Mānasollāsa 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 as 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
- Musical instruments
The author of this book himself has given his own commentary called Dharmapradipikā.
- Mahāvākya is the great sentence or Vedic dictum.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore