(We will) say (in answer to such a query): For a living man, the nature of mind, thinking 'I am the doer', 'I am the enjoyer', 'I am happy', 'I am unhappy' etc., leads to suffering and bondage; the removal of these is jivanmukti-liberation in life.
Born probably in A.D. 1296, as the eldest son of Mayana and Srimati, Madhava or Madhavacarya-that was his pre-monastic name-was educated by his father first and later by Vidyatirtha (circa A.D.1380), Bharati-krsnatirtha (circa A.D .1356 ) , sankarananda ( circa A.D. 1417) and Srikanthanatha (circa A.D. 1356).
It was he who established the city of Vijyanagara (which later on developed into the mighty Vijayanagara Empire) with the assistance of two ksatriya warriors Harihara and Bukka.
He continued to guide the rulers of the kingdom till his last days. He was also the pontiff of the Srngeri Saradapitha (one of the four monasteries established by sankara (circa A.D. 788-820) from A.D. 1377 to 1386.
In the post-sankara period, he was one of the best exponents of Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
Out of the nine works attributed to him the following ones are more well-known:
It was under his inspiration and guidance, that his younger brother, Sayanacarya (circa A.D.1387) wrote detailed commentaries on all the four Vedas, now well-known as Vedarthaprakasa.
This treatise Jivanmukti Viveka is in prose and is spread over five chapters.
The first chapter (jivanmukti-pramana-prakarana) proves the possibility of the Jivanmukti state by quoting profusely from many anthoritative works like the Bhagavadgita, Bhagavata, Laghu-yoga-vasistha, Mahabharata as also the Suta-Samhita.
The second chapter (Vasana-ksaya-prakarana) deals with the practical methods of overcoming and eliminating vasanas or tendencies carried over from many lives, by suggesting appropriate remedies.
The third chapter (Manonasa-prakaranal deals in detail, with the subject of manonasa or ' (apparent) destruction of the mind' by drawing heavily from the Yogasutras of Patanjali (200 B.C.). `Manonasa' simply means the destruction of the tendency of the mind to rise by itself impelled by the old tendencies.
The next chapter (Svarupa-siddhi-prayojana-prakarana) describes five kinds of advantages such as protection of knowledge, austerity and destruction of sorrow which a Jivanmukta yogi gets in life, resulting in great bliss.
The last chapter (Vidvat-samnyasa-prakarana) is an exhaustive commentary on the minor Upanisad, the Paramahamsopanisad, belonging to the Sukla Yajurveda. It gives practically all information connected with samnyasa, including the code of conduct prescribed for a samnyasin.
This work has been considered a handbook for samnyasins as also other spiritual aspirants.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Children’s Books (79)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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