--> Skip to main content

Anandabodha – 11th Century CE Scholar Of Advaita Vedanta

Anandabodha was one of the celebrated thinkers of Advaita Vedanta who put this school of thought on a strong logical pedestal. As he refers to the views of Prakasatman (11th century CE) and is in turn commented on by Anubhutisvarupa (mid-12th century CE), he could belong to a period between 1050 CE to 1150 CE. He was a disciple of Atmavasa.

Anandabodha composed three works – Pramanamala, Nyayadinavali and Nyayamakaranda. Nayamakaranda, a polemical work, was his magnum opus criticizing and refuting the other schools of Hindu philosophy.

Anandabodha established the main doctrine of Advaita Vedanta according to which the world is neither real nor unreal, but different, and hence is called anirvacaniya (non-predictable) on the strength of the example of shell-silver. Purely based on the analysis of the experience of shell-silver, firstly he affirms that one object can both be the material as well as the efficient cause of the effect, and secondly, since destruction of any effect is caused by the destruction of its material cause, as in the case of a pot, so also in the case of an illusion where shell is seen as silver, the same happens.

The perception of silver is sublated when knowledge dawns, and shell is known. Hence, we can say that there is the destruction of this illusion of silver by knowledge, and, by further inference, shell can be considered as the material cause of silver.

He also establishes, on firm logical grounds, that the nature of liberation, as accepted by all, cannot be so unless the non-reality of the world is accepted. According to him, the cessation of ignorance together with the realization of Brahman is liberation.