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Anandapurna – Advaita Author Of 14th Century CE

Anandapurna is a preceptor of Advaita belonging to the 14th century CE. Anandapurna (1350 CE) who bore the title Vidyasagara (ocean of learning), was a prolific writer on Advaita Vedanta. He wrote about ten works. He hailed from Gokarna (in present-day Karnataka) and had two teachers, Svetagiri and Abhayananda. He flourished when Kandarpa, the Kadamba king, and king Harihara II of Vijayanagar were ruling over Goa.

Anandapurna, wrote an independent work on Advaita Vedanta called Nyyacandrika which shows his skills in dialectics. He wrote commentaries on three major works of Advaita, Brahmasiddhi of Mandanamishra, Brihadaranyakavarttika of Sureshvara, and KLandana-khanda-khadya of Sri Harsha. He is also known to have commented on Panchapadika. Brahmasutrabhashya of Shankara gave rise to a host of commentaries and further explanatory expositions. Besides Nyayanirnaya of Anandagiri and Ratnaprabha of Govindananda, Bhamati of Vacaspati Mishra became an authoritative commentary.

Vedanta Kalpataru, the commentary of Anatananda on Bhamati, was commented upon by Appayya Dikshita in his Kalpataru Praimala. Distinct from this Bhamati tradition was Panchapadika on Shankara Bhashya of Shankara’s disciple, Padmapada. Besides Panchapadika Vivarana of Prakasatman, forming the Vivarana School, there are commentaries on Panchapadika by Anatananda and Vidyasagara. The latter work is known as Panchapadikatika. He also wrote Samanvayasutravritti and a commentary on the Mahabharata.

Anandapurna’s commentaries are known for their brevity and lucidity. He rarely digresses and he forcefully establishes the validity of the import of Upanishads. He holds Shankara in great esteem. His critical acumen is superb, which has enabled him to criticize luminaries like Udayana effectively. His commentary on Khandana-khanda-khadya of Sri Harsha is indispensable for a correct understanding of the original. Known as Vidyasagari, this commentary elucidates many intricate points with profound scholarship.