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Akhandananda Muni – Short Biography

Akhandananda Muni was an ascetic who lived during the early part of the 14th century CE. He wrote a sub-commentary titled Tattvadipana on the commentary Vivarana, which in turn is a commentary of Panchapadika of Padmapada. Padmapada was direction disciple of Adi Shankaracharya. Since Adi Shankaracharya (9th century CE) wrote his Bhashya on Brahmasutra of Badarayana from the Advaitic point of view, his own disciples and others such as Sureshvara, Padmapada, and Vacaspati Mishra continued the tradition, and composed, along with their independent works, several commentaries on Shankara’s Bhashya.

Padmapada’s commentary Panchapadika, on the first five sections of the Bhashya of Shankara was commented upon by Prakasatman through his Panchapadika vivarana. Akhandananda wrote a commentary on this called the Tattvadipana.

Akhandananda was a disciple of Akhandanubhuti, his deeksha-guru (the teacher who initiated him into asceticism). Anandagiri, also called Anandajnana, was also his guru and taught him Vedanta. Both these teachers have been mentioned by Akhandananda at the beginning of his work. Panchapadika is considered to be the foremost of the commentaries on Shankara’s Bhashya, which directly reflects the views of Shankara on Advaita.

Akhandananda Muni’s exposition of the Panchapadika-Vivarana, the Tattvadipana, literally ‘that which illuminates Truth’, also deserves a similar place.