d. 1386 Madhava.

A hand-book of Hindu pantheism. The Panchadasi of Sreemut Vidyaranya Swami online

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Online Libraryd. 1386 MadhavaA hand-book of Hindu pantheism. The Panchadasi of Sreemut Vidyaranya Swami → online text (page 1 of 28)
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Translator, "Vedantasara," &c.






Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature,
65/2, Beadon Street.


[ A/l rights reserved. ]

Printed by H. C. Dass,

"Elysium Press" 65J2, Beadon Street^ Calcutta,


For one so deservedly reputed, as the author of the
PanCHADASI, which holds a high place in the realm of
Vedantic Philosophy, it is but proper, that a short notice
of his life and writings should go along with its English
version. But in the matter of biography, there never was
a time, nor is it even now the case, — when any attention
was paid to it. India boasts of a literature which is
unique ; every department of learning bears the stamp
of genius, — originality, deep research, and profound and
sublime thoughts. Unfortunately the lives, that were
spent in thus enriching the Sanskrit, and opening up a
world of new ideas|and new philosophies, were allowed
to drop in time into the gulf of eternity, without
leaving any trace of their struggles and sufferings, their
joys and pleasures, beyond the simple fact that they
lived and died. Suppression of self or egoism was a
religious principle with them ; and this may to a certain
extent account for the lack of authentic records of the
lives of our great men and good. And, if to this be
added the certain fact, that they lived quite unosten-
tatiously, with very slender means, barely enough to
satisfy the simple wants of the flesh (already reduced
to starvation limits) ; without that artificial halo, which
encircles the mushroom authors of the day : it will be
evident that the incident of such lives as theirs would
neither be interesting nor profitable. We had no press
that could puff in those days j the art of printing was
yet in the womb of distant futurity ; the renown of a
scholar was confined in the narrow circle of his nativity,



where a solitary student would be found engaged in
receiving, and he in imparting, rnstruction to them. His
pupils, gradually spread his fame and worth ; for, after
finishing their course, they turn into new pastures, and
set themselves up as professors. In this way, the learn-
ed scholar draws pupils from remote places, who copy
their teachers' manuscripts and writings, and, are taught
in them. Under circumstances so repressive and trying it
is a matter of congratulation that, what is yet left us, is
a standing monument, imperishable like time itself, and
undying like glory. With the paucity of materials for
a suitable biography, so much of fiction has been trans-
planted on it that we had one time thought of giving
up the idea ; but recollecting that a blind uncle is better
than none, we begin our task.

Madhava, Madhavarya, Madhvacharya, and Madha-
vamatya were the names by which Vidyarana Swami
used to pass prior to his turning into a recluse. He
was born in the fourteenth century of the Christian era
at Golconda. It appears that Vijayanagar was the
capital of Bukkka I, whose family priest and minister
our author was. Very little is known of his early life.
His parents, as may naturally be expected from their
connection with the reigning family, were in affluent
circumstances and very highly respected. His father
was, as he himself speaks of him in his commentary on
Parasar's Law Book, " Narayan of- good renown," and
mother, — Sreemutty. He had two more brothers, called
Sayan (the great Commentator of the Rig Veda)* and

* Unfortunately some Oriental scholars confound him with his
brother, the subject of this memoir. Both the brothers, Sayan
and iMadhav, had their separate Commentaries on the Vedas.



Somenatli. They belonged to the Bharadwaj Gotra and
Bodhvayani Shakha of the Black Yajur Veda. He
wrote many works, allof which attest his learning and
erudition. Next to Sankaracharya, he is everywhere
recognised as an authority on the doctrine of Non-du-
ality. He wrote on Medicine, Grammar, Astrology,
besides writing Commentaries on the Four Vedas known
by the name of Madhavaprokash ; Commentaries on
the Brahma Mimansa or Adhikaran Mala; Commen-
tary on Parasar's Law Book ; Ayiumitiprakash Brahma
Gifa, or a critical analysis of the doctrine of non-duality
based on the Sriift, and a review of Madhava, Ramanuja
and Sankar's views. Here also he has added his com-
mentary for elucidating the text, and called Prakashika ;
Jivanmuktiviveka ; D rigdrishvaviveka and the gloss of
Aparokshyanuvuti. His Sarvadarshan Sangraha tresits
of fifteen systems as follow : — (l) Charvaka-darshna,
(2) Buddha-darshana ; (3) Arhata-darshna ; (4) Rama-
nuja-darshana ; (5) Puranprajna; (6) Nakulis-pasupat ;
(7) Shaiva ; (8) Pratyabhijna ; (9) Raseshavar ; (10)
Aulik ; (11) Akshapada ; (12) Jaimini ; (13) Panini ;
(14) Sankhya ; and (15) Patanjal. Among his minor
works are Jaiminya Naymala, Acharmadhava and
Sank a rdigb ijaya .

It is neither profitable nor interesting to enter
into details about the various anecdotes current about
Madhava's snpernatural gifts. For instance, it is said,
that with a view of propitiating the Gayatri Devi he had
collected several learned Brahmins from various parts
of the country, and on the auspicious occasion regularly
commenced the Gayatripurashcharana, but he was un-
successful in meeting her. This made him indifferent to
worldly enjoyments, and ultimately turned him into a re-


cluse. Then Gayatri insisted upon him to ask for a boon,
and Madhava requested her to cause a shower of gold in
tlie Karnatic, so that every one may become rich. This
was actually fulfilled. Later in life he settled himself in
the Sringeri Math founded by Sankaracharya of which
he became the reputed head. Here his last work Pancha-
dasi was written, but as he did not live long to finish
it, the work was left to his Guru Bharatitirtha Muni, who
wrote the latter nine books and thus completed the
fifteen books of which the Panchadasi is made.*

N. D.

* And so it did happen that with this short Biographical
Sketch of the author, the English translator of the Panchadasi
paid his tribute of Nature. He died in his 47th year on the 14th
of March, 18S7 at 5-30 a. m., deeply regretted by all who knew
him, H. D.


■ 1 ■j Q c-Hsm


Salutations be to my Guru Sree Shankarananda who
is non-different from the Supreme Self and who is the chief
resort for the destruction of infatuity and its attendant evils
derived from conceit and egoity, leading to ineffable misery
every being acting under the influence of free will, like to
those fearful animals — the dog, crocodile and others living ia

2. Love and reverence to the said Guru will produce a
pure heart, and enable the individual to distinguish the Real
from the non-real objective world together with the elements
of which it is made. This I proceed to consider.

3. To establish the identity or oneness of the Everlasting
Intelligence and Bliss — Parabrahma — with the Individuated
Self, it is necessary that the latter must also have the same
everlasting intelligence and bliss. With this view, the non-
difference of knowledge as helps the individual in the cogni-
tion of several objects is being cited here. We distinguish a


thing by its name, for instance a golden earring and a golden
bangle are equally derived from gold, the difference in their
shape determines their individuality.

4. And if this be omitted, the remaining gold is one in
both, yet each has its name. In the same way, the Individual
Spirit is one with the Universal: — the difference consists in
their associates, which if left out, there remains only one
consciousness. Hence the individual state being one of ever-
lasting intelligence, it is one with the Absolute. But this re-
quires proof and for such a purpose it is necessary, in the
first instance, to establish consciousness as one and if that
can be done, then it is eternal and true, for what is always
one, is eternal.

5. There are three states of consciousness (a) waking, (d)
dreaming, and (c) dreamless slumber. The first is defined
as that condition when consciousness takes hold of a subject
by the instrumentality of the senses. In the conciousness of
the wakeful state are floating sound, touch, make, taste and
smell — ether, air, fire, water and earth — (i.e.,) multiform sub-
jects. What floats, is an object of cognition, subject, etc., and
that in which it floats is consciousness. The respective con-
sciousnesses which enable us to cognise an object by touch,
sound, etc., may appear different and multiform, but such
difference and diversity exist only in the subject or object
which consciousness covers — while consciousness is one and
alone ; and that difference in the subject or object is easily
recognisable by the individual characteristics or features pre-
sentin it.

6. For instance, a cow and horse are different from one
another, a pitcher is also a separate object from a cloth ; hence
for variety, all objects are different from similar other objects
and for oneness consciousness whether as regards sound touch,
sight or in any other condition is non-different. In short, the
condition which enables an individual to form an idea of an
object by touch or sight, or by its sound, has reference to one


and the same consciousness, and what appears to us different
viz., sound quite distinct from touch, is due to the diversity of
the objects. Therefore the consciousness present in the waking
condition is one, but the subject or object of such conscious-
ness is several, and for this multiformness we are apt to
mistake the one and impartite consciousness as several, but if
we can shake off such difference-creating-a-mistake then
consciousness appears as one.

7. This intelligence is the Atma (Self) and for his being
the receptacle of supreme felicity, he is full of bliss. If
from extreme misery one is disgusted with his self, yet it can-
not be said that self is not an object of love, for no one
desires that he may be miserable, or that he may die; on the
contrary every one desires that he may live long, and that he
may enjoy happiness. This proves the self to be the centre
of affection.

8. The affection for a son, or towards a friend is all for
self, if it were otherwise, then we would have felt equally for
an ascetic. But love for self is not actuated by any considera-
tion in the way as it influences our connection in regard to a
friend — for it is quite possible, and it happens so, for a rupture
to take place with a son ; but this is neither possible nor does
it ever occur in the case of an individual's love for self.
Hence the principle of individuality or self is blissfulness.

9. The individual spirit or self, having thus been shewn
by the foregoing demonstrations to be eternal, intelligence,
and full of bliss is expressed by the word Twam (Thou) ; the
Parabrahma, Universal Spirit or Supreme Brahma as express-
ed by the word Tat (That) is eternal intelligence and bliss
(this is self-evident.) Hence their non-difference is the object
which is explained in the Vedanta. This will subsequently
be pointed out.

10. Having thus established the Atma to be full of bliss
it remains to be seen whether or not, happiness is manifested
always. If it is not manifested, then Self cannot be the seatoE


supreme felicity ; for unless an ojbect appear beautiful, it can-
not excite our love ; moreover, even if it is manifested, Self
cannot be styled to be the seat of happiness, for naturally
after having derived^ happiness, there is no inclination for
finding out its cause, hence where is the possibility of attach-
ing felicity to him ? And as after having tasted such supreme
and ineffable happiness, there is no more hankering left
for the gratification of worldly desires, therefore love for self
owes its originjto no other second principle for which it is said,
the semblance of bliss attached to the Atma is both mani-
fested and its reverse.

12. As in an assembly of boys recanting the Vedas the
voice of no one boy can be singled out plainly, though it is
audible, hence it can be said to be audible and inaudible at
the same time, similarly for an impediment the manifestibility
of Self being full of bliss and its opposite condition are present
at the same time.

13. The nature of the impediment which prevents the
manifestibility of the supreme happiness of the Atma, though
always present, is now being declared. That which is eter-
nally present, but which appears to be non-eternal is called
an impediment, or obstacle. In this way, the supreme felicity
of the Atma is ever present but from being blinded by the
poison of worldly desires, such felicity appears to be imper-
manent and ill defined, a result of what is called an obstacle,
which prevents its manifestibility, though it is ever present.

14. What is the cause of obstacle' As in the foregoing
example of an assemblage of boys, the cause of the obstacle
which prevents the voice of a single boy being heard is the
combining of several voices loudly recanting, so in the present
instance the cause of the obstacle which prevents the mani-
festibility of the supreme felicity of the Atma is Avidya which
has neither a beginning nor end and is indescribable.

15. This Avidya o\\&& \ls ox\g\x\io Prakrili. Prakrili\s
the shadow of the Supreme Brahma with the three attributes


of Sa/wa, Raja, and Tamas, it is subtle. It is of two kinds,
Mdya (Illusion) and Avidya (Ignorance.)

16. Though equally derived from Prakriti their constitu-
tion differs; for Mdya is made of the pure Saiwa. The reflec-
tion of intelligence in Mdya after having subdued it, is called
the omniscient, Iswara (the Lord).

17. The reflection of intelligence in Avidya and entirely
subservient to it is called the Jiva (Life soul) ; purity or
insentiency of Ignorance and its varying shades determine the
constitution of a Deva, man, cow, horse, etc. It is likewise
called the cause-body ; and one having a conceit for this cause-
body is called Prdjna.

18. Now to ascertain the Astral body {linga sharira) the
five elements require to be considered. From the aforesaid
Prakrilt {y[M.Qx) abounding in {Tamas) darkness, by the com-
mand of Iswara (Lord) were derived first ether, next air, fire,
water and earth for the enjoyment of Prdjna and others.

19. [ Prakriti^ Matter has been shown to possess the
three properties, Saiwa, Raja, Tamas, hence the elements
which are derived from it, must also have them in common —
for [the qualities of a cause-body are transmitted to its pro-
ducts.] From the satwavic particle of each of the five elements
are derived in a consecutive order the several senses viz., from
the good particles of ether, — the ear, from air, — the skin, from
fire, — eye, from water, — tongue, and from earth, — nose.

20. From the collective totality of goodness of the five
elements is derived the internal organ {antakarana) which for
a difference of its formation is divided into Manas (Mind) and
Booddhi (Intellect) the first is characterised by doubts and the
second by certitude.

21. From the intermediate meddlesome or active {Raja)
quality present in each of the five elements, are derived in a
serial order, speech and the five organs of action. That is to
say ether is the cause of the organ of speech, air — the hands,
fire— the feet, water — the anus, and earth— the genitals.


22. The collective totality of the same Raja as pres«nt in
all the five elements is the progenitor of Pnbia{\\\.2\ air) which
for a variety of function is divided into

(a) 'Prana' the air situated at the tip of the nose.

(b) *Apana' the air residing in the anus.

(c) 'Satnana which helps the digestion of food.

(d) 'Udana' situated in the throat.

(e) ' Vyana which resides in all parts of the body.

23. The five senses, five organs of action, five vital airs,
the mind and intellect constitute the seventeen character-
isticts of the subtle body otherwise called Linga sharira.
Hence to determine it, the foregoing explanation concerning
the origin of ether, etc., was necessary.

24. Prajna associated with the impure goodness abound-
ing in ignorance, for the conceit that he is the subtle Astral
body is calledS7czzy(7j; i,x\^ hivara associated with the pure
goodness abounding in illusion for a similar conceit is called
Hiranyagarbha. Here the conceit in the subtle body being
identical in both, their actual difference consists in this :— that
Taijas is the distribute segregate, and hwara collective totality
of all Astral bodies. That is to say Iswara or Lord has conceit
that he is the collective totality of all Astral bodies while
Taijas has a conceit for his individual subtle body only.

25. This Hiranyagarbha knows that he is non-different
and inseparable from all collective subtle bodies with which
he is associated. Hence he is called a collective totality. In
the same way from want of knowledge Taijas is a distributive

26. Having thus dealt with the subtle Astral body and
its associates Taijas, Prajna and Hiranyagarbha and Isivara,
the origin of the gross'physical body is now being considered.
With this object quintuplication is to be explained, hwara
With a view of providing adequate food and drink for Prajna
and other beings and their place of enjoyment, and for the
production of the four varieties of gross bodies, viviparous,


oviparous, earthy and germinating, divided each of the five
elements, ether and the rest, in the following wise : —

27. He divided each element into two equal parts, took
the first half of each, divided it into four parts, and added to
it, (one eighth), each first portion of the other elements.

28. From this quintuplication of the elements has been
produced the Brahma's egg, and the fourteen abodes from
Bhur to Fatal etc., together with all the enjoyable things and
the necessary bodies capable of enjoying them * Hiranya-
garbha for the conceit that he is present universally in the col-
lective totality of all gross physical bodies is called Vaiswanara,
or Virat [for he manifests in divers forms] Taijas for its pre-
sence in the distributive segregate of individual gross physical
body and for the conceit that he is a Z>^vfl, man, cow, horse,
etc., is designated Visiva.

29. Now the unspiritual and (ignorant) of these Devas and
men for enjoying happiness and suffering woe, in this state of
existence have recourse to actions which again lead to future
re-births for similar enjoyment and suffering in proportion
to their merits and de-merits. Thus being hurled into con-
tinual re-births, they are debarred from ever enjoying true

30. As in the instance of an insect falling into a whirlpool,
pass from one whirlpool to another in an attempt to extricate
itself, failing which it is prevented from attaining to happiness.

31. As the same insect for previous good actions from
the kind hearted interference of an individual is rescued from

* " From the said fractional combinations of the elements have
likewise been evolved, one above the other, the several abodes
designated as Bhur, Bhuvar, Swar, Mahar, Janas, Tapas and
Satya ; and one below the other, the nether spheres.severally called
Atala, Vitala, Sutaia, Rasatala, Talatala, Mahataia, and Patala,
together with Brahma's egg, the four physical (gross) bodies with
their adequate food-grains and drink." — Vide Dhole's Vedanta-
sara, p. 25.


the whirlpool and deposited under the shade of a tree on the
river bank to enjoy happiness.

32. So these ignorant and unspiritually inclined Bevas
and men for previous good actions of a prior existence, having
received instruction from a teacher, devoted to Brahma, come
to differentiate the Atma from the five sheaths Annamaya, etc.,
and attain to supreme felicity (z>.,) emancipation.

33. What are the five sheaths ? They are the Afinamaya,
Pranamaya, Maftomaya and Anandamaya. They cover the
Alma like a sheath, hence they are designated kosha (sheaths).
As the silk-worm after having woven its sac becomes confined
and is subjected to much inconvenience, so these five-sheaths
cover the Atma, render him forgetful ef his real nature and
hurl him into a relationship with the external world.

34. Now for an examination of these sheaths. The result-
ing product of quintuplication of the elements is the physical
body. This is designated the Afinamayakosh or the foodful
covering. The subtle Astral body having within it the five
organs of action developed from the active Raja, together
with five vital airs constitute what is called the Life-sheath

35. The five organs of sense (eye, hearing, etc.,) the re-
sulting product of the satwavic quality with the Mind {Mafias)
which is full of doubts represent the mental sheath. But in
connection with the Spiritual Intelligence — the faculty of
certitude — {Booddhi) the five senses form the cognitional

36. Ignorance (Avidya) which has been described as the
cause-body has a particle of satwavic or good quality, which is
impure; this with its inherent tendency for delights, pleasuies,
love and affection, etc., is termed the {Attandamayakosh)
' Blissful sheath' ; in other words the Aima for his conceit in
each of these five sheaths receives a separate appellation,
that is to say in connection with food, foodful ; life sheath,
vital ; with knowledge, cognitional ; and bliss, blissful.


37. The Supreme Atma is to be differentiated from the
five sheaths for which He has a predilection or conceit by the
methods of Anvaya and Vyatireka. If by the discriminating
powers of intelligence, one's own Alma be disintegrated or
separated and rendered distinct from the five sheaths, then is
discovered his condicion of everlasting intelligence and bliss,
consequently the condition of the finite as represented by ths
Jiva is annihilated and he merges into the indication of
Brahma, with which he is one.

38. In the dreaming state, consciousness belonging to
the gross physical body — the receptacle of food — (hence
foodful) is absent, but the Atma is not wanting in manifestibi-
lity. He is present as a witness even here and such a con-
dition is termed * Anvaya' or connection as cause and effect.
[The oft quoted example of " I knew nothing then" is a trite
example. Here the phrase signifies that all consciousness
is at an end, but then the knowledge of such a condition is
itself an experience of a certain amount of consciousness,
otherwise for one to say on waking that he knew nothing while
asleep will be impossible. Now this signifies that the mind
in its ordinary state is a double combination of Atma plus
mind, we are so much in the enjoyment of this twin medley,
that its least disturbance as in fits, or trance where the mind
sleeps, or in the dreaming condition when the mind ceases to
receive the reflection of the Attna,~i\x\\ of intelligence,— we
say we know nothing, here the literal condition of the Atrnd
continues as active as ever, it is only the mind that is cut oflf
from the influence of receiving the reflected intelligence which
is its habitual wont. The Atma is a witness of what the mind
fails to perceive and such a condition is what is meant by the
term just used,] while that other condition in which the active
manifestibility of the Atina continues in the absence of con-
sciousness in the gross physical body \i. e., the consciousness
of the gross body disappears in spite of the presence of Self]
is called ' Vyatireka' or dissimilitude. By these two methods


the Aima is clearly discernible to be quite a separate thing
from the gross phvsical body, — the foodful sheath.

39. Carrying the same argument to the next stage, viz.,
that of dreamless slumber the duality of Self and the subtle
Astral body will be clearly established. To be more explicit,
we have seen that the A/ma is full of manitestibility and is
ever so, now in the dreamless slumbering condition, the sub-

Online Libraryd. 1386 MadhavaA hand-book of Hindu pantheism. The Panchadasi of Sreemut Vidyaranya Swami → online text (page 1 of 28)