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Siddhanta Bindu – Work On Advaita Philosophy

Siddhanta Bindu is a commentary on Dasasloki of Adi Shankaracharya by Madhusudana Saraswati. It is said to have been written for the benefit of his pupil Balabhadra. Siddhanta Bindu is a brilliant compendium of Advaita Vedanta, dealing with almost all its salient features.

The text consists of four chapters, i.e., an introduction and elaboration regarding tat (that), tvam (thou) and asi (are), on the famous mahavakya (the great statement) tat-tvam-asi (that thou art) in Chandogya Upanishad. The words ‘that and thou’ primarily convey the sense of Ishwara (pure consciousness associated with antahkarana, the mind.) The difference lies in the respective adjuncts. So the contradiction in the identity conveyed by ‘that thou art’ is resolved by taking into account the secondary meanings conveyed by the two words, the pure unconditioned consciousness.

While elucidating all these, it refutes the view of other schools of thought and establishes its own. It also states the views of various other thinkers of the Sankara School.

The work in some places adopts an aphoristic style, which implies a deeper meaning than what appears on the surface.

There are various commentaries on this work, like Nyaya-ratnavali of Brahmananda Saraswati, Laghu vyakhya of Narayana Tirtha, Siddhanta Bindu Sandipana of Purushottama. Tattva Viveka of Purnananda and also a commentary by Vasudev Shastri Abhyankar of recent times.

Though this work is a commentary on Dashashloki, it can very well be considered an independent work on Advaita.