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January 27, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Panchadasi text by Swami Vidyaranya is a comprehensive manual of Advaita Vedanta… enjoying popularity with those who are looking for clear and doubtless comprehension of the truths expounded throughout Upaniṣad, Brahma Sūtra, and Bhagavad Gītā.

Meaning text is meant to reconcile potential contradictions between major text of Advaita (essence of non-duality).

There are two types of Advaita works:

  1. Those intended to serve as books of instruction for liberation (mokṣa) for the follower.
  2. Those which demonstrate through means of dialectics, how no opposing philosophy can negate Advaita's impeccable logic.

Pancadasi text belongs to the first type. Swami Vidyāraṇya says the aim of his work is to teach the supreme truth in an easily understandable manner to those whose hearts have ALREADY been sufficiently purified through various spiritual practices (sādhana).

Because only a pure mind can appreciate each verse conveying from different aspects… that the self (ātman) which is of nature of consciousness (Brahman) – is constant and therefore real. While the phenomena constituting the world/experiences are inconstant and therefore non-real (anātman).

Pañcadaśī employs sound logic to bring student to vision of oneness, once the student applies suffice self-inquiry onto each verse learned. This eventually aligns students understanding to  supreme Truth.

About Pañcadaśī

Pañcadaśī means fifteen. Because it has 15 chapters (pañcadaśa-prakaraṇa). The 15 chapters are grouped into 3 sections.

  1. Chapter 1-5, viveka-pañcaka: dealing with the discrimination of the real from the non-real. Sat (existence) aspect of the Truth.
  2. Chapter 6-10, dīpa-pañcaka: expounding the nature of the Self as pure consciousness. Cit (consciousness) aspects of the Truth.
  3. Chapter 11-15, ānanda-pañcaka: dwelling on the limitless nature of Brahman. Ānanda (limitlessness) aspects of the Truth.

Therefore book's 1500+ verses provides an all-rounded explanation of sat-cit-ānanda (nature of Brahman), which is elucidated with precision and sequential order.

For example, the basic skill that the disciple should develop in him/herself is the ability to discriminate the real from the non-real. The text indicates various step-by-step methods which discrimination could be gained.

One of the most useful methods is the analysis of the three states of experience (waking, dream, deep sleep). Through such analysis one realizes that the Self persists in all the states while the objects vary and are inconstant.

Example of analysis we perform in class…

Self which is consciousness is of one essence and does not undergo any change (samvid-ekarupā na bhidyate, 1, 4). Time makes no difference to it, nor space. Plurality of objects does not introduce any split in the Self.

The same conclusion may be reached by an investigation into the five sheaths (kośas) that seemingly cover the Self. The five sheaths are: physical (anna), vital (prāṇa), mental (manas), intellectual (vijñāna), and blissful (ānandamaya).

The principle which is applied in this investigation is: what is grosser, more external and less pervasive – is LESS real than… what is subtler, more internal and more pervasive.

Applying this principle one arrives at the truth that the Self is supremely real because it is the subtlest and the innermost being which is non-dual (advaitam).

Lineage? Text used?

Original verses are in Sanskrit. Sanskrit to English translations from various Advaita authors all communicate an identical message. Because traditional Advaita Vedānta is standardized in it's terminology and methodology.

For this reason all translations and commentaries support each other. Texts utilized from: Swami Dayananda, Paramarthananda, James Swartz., Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Math.

About Attendance:


We have already started the text. Advanced/intermediate Advaita Vedānta students are welcome to join anytime.

Before coming, kindly FIRST contact me to notify your intention. Because classes are not satsangs for random walk-in's. It's an advanced 1+ year ongoing fortnightly program. Therefore students commitment is expected.

It is free as is standard in the tradition. Donations accepted but not asked for.

Keywords: kosha, atman, anatma, anatman, pancadasi, satchitananda, satcitananda, koshas, prana, vijnana, anandamaya


Andre Vas
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