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Books On Shankaracharya

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Important Books on Vedanta

Of Shankaracharya's works the most important is the Brahma Sutra Bhasya, which is acclaimed as a masterpiece not only for its acute logical analysis, but also for its graceful style.

His other important works are the commentaries on the principal Upanisads such as Isa, Kena, katha, Prasna,Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Chandogya, and Brhadaranyaka.

Shankaracharya also wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, which is a masterpiece reconciling all seemingly contradictory aspects of not only the Gita but also all the Shastras. Sankara’s Brahma-Sutra-bhashya has served as a basic document for further commentaries and sub-commentaries of great philosophic insight and logical thoroughness. His disciple Ananda Giri wrote a commentary called Nyayanirnaya, while Govindananda (sixteenth century) wrote another commentary known as Ratna-prabha. Vacaspati Misra wrote another commentary on Sankara’s Bhasya, known as Bhamati. On it Amalananda (thirteenth/fourteenth century) wrote his Kalpataru which is commented upon by Appaya Diksita in his Kalpataru-parimala. Padmapada, another disciple of Sankara, wrote a commentary known as Pancapadika dealing with the first four sutras. Suresvaracarya wrote Naiskarmya-siddhi which is partly in prose and partly in verse and consists of four chapters dealing with such topics as the nature of avidya (ignorance), analysis of the dictum ‘Tattvamasi’ (That thou art), nature of Self and non-Self, and distinction between Self and non-Self. On the Vedanta doctrine of liberation,Vidyaranya's (A.D. 1350) Jivanmukit-viveka is regarded by scholars as an excellent treatise. His another work of note is Pancadasi, a popular treatise in verse on Vedanta.

Sarvajnatmamuni (A.D. 900) wrote Samksepa-sariraka based on the teachings of Sankara’s Bhasya. Sriharsa’s (A.D. 1190) Khandana-khanda-khadya is a well-known work on Vedanta dialectics in which the author establishes the unassailability of Shankaracharya's doctrine. Sankara Misra, Raghunatha, and Citsukha wrote commentaries on it. Citsukha has also written an independent work on Vedanta dialectics known as Tattva-dipika. Dharmarajadhvarindra’s (A.D. 1550) Vedanta-paribhasa is a celebrated work on Vedanta logic and epistemology, which was commented upon by his son Ramakrsnadhvarindra in his Sikhamani and by Amaradasa in his Maniprabha. Madhusudana Sarasvati (sixteenth century A.D.) wrote his Advaita-siddhi which is regarded as a comprehensive treatise on Advaita Vedanta. He used the dialectics of Navya-Nyaya in arriving at his conclusions. His other works of importance are Gita-gudhartha-dipika (a commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita), Prasthana-bheda, Advaita-ratna-raksana, Nirvana-dasaka-tika, Vedastuti-tika, Atmabodha-tika, etc. Other notable works on Advaita philosophy include Sadananda Yogindra’s (sixteenth century) Vedantasara, Prakasananda’s (sixteenth century) Vedanta-siddhanta-muktavali, and Sadananda Yati’s (eighteenth century) Advaita-brahma-siddhi.