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Vimuktatman - Advaita Writer Of Ancient India

Vimuktatman is a well known Advaita writer and teacher. He belonged to somewhere between 850 AD and 1050 AD. He was a disciple of Avyayatman Bhagavat Pujyapada. His work Ishta Siddhi is an important work on Advaita metaphysics and epistemology.

Vimuktatman is referred to as an authority on Advaita philosophy not only by Advaita scholars like Madhusudhana, Citsukha, Amalananda, Sarvajnatman and Bharati Tirtha but also by Ramanuja in his Sri Bhashya and Vedanta Desika.

Vimuktatman holds the removal of nescience by knowledge is neither real, nor unreal, nor both, nor neither but belongs to the fifth category (Panchama Prakara). If it were also real like Brahman it will revolt against the non-duality (Advaita). If it were unreal, it will mean that there has been no removal of nescience at all and the Advaita theory of release will be defeated. If it were neither real nor unreal, it will share the nature of indeterminability of nescience and hence will not be a removal o nescience at all. If it were both, it will be a contradiction in terms. He also suggests that removal of nescience is Brahman itself and not another category, positive or negative. He even admits that removal of ignorance is indeterminable; this indeterminability is not the same as that of nescience because it is not indeterminable by knowledge while nescience is.

Vimuktatman makes an exhaustive analysis of error. He criticizes Mandana and Vachaspati. He belongs to the Vivarana School of Advaita. He holds that there are as many nesciences as there are objects. He observes that the atman (self) is itself bound and released, too.

Source - Ishta Siddhi (1990) (English translation with an Introduction and notes) P K Sundaram - Swadharma Swarajya Sangha - Chennai
Encyclopedia of Hinduism - Volume XI - page 359 - IHRF