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Anubhutiprakasha Of Vidyaranya

Anubhutiprakasha of Vidyaranya is a metrical exposition of the philosophy of Advaita. Anubhutiprakasha, in twenty chapters, was composed by Vidyaranya who, before he took to asceticism, was known as Madhavacharya. He served the Vijayanagara kings, Harihara and Bukka, as their minister. Anubhutiprakasha is a sub-commentary on Shankara’s commentary (Shankarabhashya) on Upanishads and is in the format of a vartika, which appraises the contribution already made in the bhashya.

Anubhutiprakasha makes a critical Advaitic review of the following Upanishads – Aitareya, Taittiriya, Chandogya, Mundaka, Prasana, Kausitaki, Maitrayani, Katha, Svetasvatara, Brihadaranyaka, Kena and Nrsimhottara tapiani.

Mandukya and Isha Upanishads have been left out as their teachings find full expression in the Nrsimhottara tapinai Upanishad and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad respectively. Vidyaranya follows the Vivarana tradition in explaining the tenets of the Advaita School. He also advocates the theory of avaccheda (delimitation), propounded by the Bhamati School about the creation of the world. He says that the reflected image is identical with the original one with certain properties superimposed on the latter. The properties are indeterminable, which is precisely the pratibimbavada enunciated by the Vivarana school. He maintains the view that concepts like maya and avidya are identical and supports the idea of ekajivavada, according to which the world does not exist independently of being perceived by the one’s self, and this has its basis in the Upanishads.

There are two commentaries on this text – Adarsha by Sivarama Sharma, which is unpublished, and Mitraprakasavivrti by Kasinatha Sarma. A Sanskrit commentary on Anubhutiprakasha, entitled Srutisamyojini, by R Muthukrishna Shastri, was published by the Advaita Sabha, Tiruchi (Tamil Nadu) in 1984.