Vidyaranya
(c. 1450 C.E.)
   Vedantic philosopher
   Vidyaranya was a well-known philosopher in the tradition of SHANKARA. He is thought to be the brother of Sayana; Sayana is the commentator on the VEDAS. Vidyaranya composed several texts. The Sarvadarshanasangraha is a discussion of different philosophical views. The Panchapadika-vivarana is considered an excellent and thorough summary of the non-dualist philosophical per-spective; Vivarnaprameyasangraha explores the same theme in a more scholarly fashion.
   Vidyarana’s Jivanmuktiviveka discusses those beings who have already been liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth but remain in embodied existence. Finally, Panchadashi is a popular com-pendium in verse of Vedantic thought, known for its clarity and accessibility. Here he outlines his own understanding of the nature of the ultimate brahman, describing the maya or illusory world appearance as being in a sense a power of the BRAHMAN. Brahman is the underlying pure reality, while all names and forms are the false discolor-ation over the pure whiteness, as it were, of the ultimate reality.
   Further reading: S. N. Dasgupta, History of Indian Phi-losophy, 5 vols. (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975); T. M. P. Mahadevan, The Philosophy of Advaita, with Special Reference to Bharatitirtha-Vidyaranya (London: Luzac, 1938); Swami Tejomayananda, Pancadasi of Svami Vidyaranya, chaps. 5, 10, and 15 (Mumbai: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, 1999).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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