Panchadasi or Panchadashi ( Devanagari: पंचदशी IAST paṃcadaśī) is a simple yet comprehensive manual of Advaita Vedanta (अद्वैत वेदान्त, advaita vedānta) written in the fourteenth century A.D (1386-1391) by Vidyaranya (विद्यारन्य), previously known as Madhavacharya (माधवाचार्य).
There is a view among teachers of philosophy that the later portions of this work were written by Bharatitirtha.
Pancha (पंच) is five and dasi (दशी) is ten, are the total fifteen chapters divided into three quintets the three aspects of Brahman, Sat (सत, Vivek), Chit (चित, Consciousness) and Ananda (आनंद, Bliss) aspects of Reality. It elaborates Advaita (अद्वैत, view of Brahman and its derivatives), Consciousness, Jiva, Maya, Prakriti (प्रकृति, prakṛti, primary substance), Mahat (Omnipotent Matter), Buddhi (Intellect), Ahamkara (Ego), Avidya (Ignorance), and ānanda (Bliss).
Panchdasi was written during the later year of Vidyarana's life around 1386 AD.
Vidyaranya was born around 1300 A.D. in Shalivahan (शालिवाहन) South India. Madhava Madhavacharya, Madhavamantri, Madhavamataya were the names which Vidyaranya was known before his turning into recluse.
His father was Mayana (मायण) and Mother Srimati (श्रीमती), two brothers Sayana (सायण), and Bhogantha (भोगनाथ). He had two Gurus Sarvagyvishnu (सर्वज्ञविष्णु) and Bhartiteerth (भारतीतीर्थ). He established Vijayanagar Empire in 1335 AD with the help of Hukkayaray and Bukkaray. He was also Prime Minister of the Vijayanagar empire. Vidyaranya, was also the spiritual head of Sringeri Math in 1377 A.D to 1386 A.D. He died in 1391 AD.
Vidyaranya, who was the spiritual head of Sringeri Math in 1377 A.D to 1386 A.D., and also wrote Drk-Drsya-Viveka, Sarvadarsana Samgraha, Sri Sankara Digvijaya, Jivanmukti Viveka, Anubhuti Prakasa, Vivaranaprameyasamgraha and Upanishad Dipika has been identified with Sayanacharya, the commentator on the Vedas, whose brother he most likely was.
He was closely connected with the foundation of Vijaynagar kingdom. He was the minister of Bukka-devaraya of the Yadava Dynasty of Karnataka, his younger brother was Sayana, and Bhogantha, father was Mayana and Mother Srimati. He had two Gurus Sarvavishnu and Bhartiteerth. He died in 1391 AD.
The Panchadasi is a basic text which introduces into central doctrine of Advaita Vedantic philosophy. Deeper concepts are dealt in more advanced treatise the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and the Bhagavadgita.
The purpose of the life is the realization of the experience of Absolute Existence, which is the highest fulfillment all the aspirations of the whole of creation.
Panchdasi as the name suggest this text, “consisting of 15 Chapters grouped into three quintads. This is very much like the three aspects of Brahman – sat (existence), cit (consciousness) and ananda (bliss), respectively.
- Viveka-panchaka (विवेक-पचंक, viveka-pacaṃka) (dealing with the discrimination of the real from the non-real): Understanding the nature of reality (Viveka) which distinguishes from external world (जगत, jagata) consist of the five elements -Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth and individual (Jiva) consisting of the five sheaths – Annamaya (अन्नमय, annamaya, Physical), Pranamaya (प्राणमय , prāṇamaya, Vital), Manomaya ( मनोमय, manomaya, Mental), Vijnanamaya (विज्ञानमय, vijñānamaya, Intellectual) and Anandamaya (आनन्दमय, ānandamaya, bliss). Pure spirit is encased with five sheaths to delude individual soul as self. Cosmology of creation is described similar to Samkhya (सांख्य,sāṃkhya) philosophy stating the relationship between pure consciousness (Brahman) with material universe.
- Dipa-panchaka (दीप-पचंक, dīpa-pacaṃka) (expounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness) : The second set of five chapters through light (Dipa) on the Pure Consciousness (Brahman) as the only Reality with Existence (Sat). God (Isvara), World (Jagat) and Individual (Jiva) are described in detail with their mutual relationship. Theory of perception and process of the ascent of the Jiva to its supreme goal, liberation from Maya (illusion) to unite with Brahman the Absolute. Meaning and method of meditation the way to contact with Reality is also described in very lucid and candid discourse.
- Ananda-panchaka (आनन्द-पचंक, ānand-pacaṃka) (dwelling on the bliss-nature of Brahman): The last five chapters go into details of Brahman as pure Bliss (Ananda). This is not worldly happiness but complex dissolution into eternal pleasure. Duality of Jiva and God merging into one Consciousness and Existence. This Atman ( Brahman) is the source of ultimate happiness the purpose of human life.
Vidyaranya has succeeded in an eminent way in setting forth the essentials of Advaita which holds that the direct means to release is the path of knowledge (jnana), and as moksa is the very nature of the Self, it is not an experience which is to be brought about through works (karma) ”.
Chapter 1 Tatvaviveka (तत्वविवेकप्रकरणम्) – The discriminative knowledge of the ultimate Reality (main article Tatvaviveka)
Chapter 2 Mahabhutaviveka (महाभूतविवेकप्रकरणम्) – The discriminative knowledge of the five elements
Chapter 3 Panchakosaviveka (पन्चकोशविवेकप्रकरणम्) – The discrimination of the five sheaths
Chapter 4 Dvaitaviveka (द्वैतविवेकप्रकरणम्) – Discrimination of Duality
Chapter 5 Mahavakyavivekaya (महावाक्यविवे)कयप्रकरणम्) – Understanding the import of the Mahavakyas
Chapter 6 Chitradeepa (चित्रदीपप्रकरणम्) – The Picture on Pure Consciousness
Chapter 7 Triptidipa (तिृप्तिदीपप्रकरणम्) – Fulfillment on Realization of Pure Consciousness
Chapter 8 Kutasthadipa (कूटस्थदीपप्रकरणम्) – The Immutable Consciousness
Chapter 9 Dhyanadeepa (ध्यानदीपप्रकरणम्) – Meditation on pure Consciousness
Chapter 10 Natakadipa (नाटकदीपप्रकरणम्) – The lamp of the theatre
Chapter 11 Yogananda (योगानन्दप्रकरणम्) - The Bliss Of Yoga
Chapter 12 Atmananda (आत्मानन्दप्रकरणम्) - The Bliss of the Self
Chapter 13 Advaitananda (अद्वैतानन्दप्रकरणम्) - The Bliss of Non-Duality
Chapter 14 Vidyananda (विद्यानन्दप्रकरणम्) - The Bliss of Knowledge
Chapter 15 Vishayananda (विषयानन्दप्रकरणम्) - The happiness from external objects