Brahmasiddhi

(‘establishment [of the nature of] Brahman’)

The Brahmasiddhi of Maṇḍana Miśra (A.D. 800) is one of the four major independent treatises of Advaita Vedānta belonging to the Siddhi-group. The other three are: Naiṣkarmyasiddhi of Sureśvara (A. D. 800), Iṣṭasiddhi of Vimuktātman (A.D. 1200) and Advaitasiddhi of Madhusūdana Sarasvatī (A. D. 1500).

The traditional view that Maṇḍana Miśra and Sureśvara were one and the same person has not been accepted by scholars of repute in the field.

The work is in four chapters: Brahmakāṇḍa, Tarkakāṇḍa, Niyogakāṇḍa and Siddhikāṇḍa. It is in the form of verses (kārikā) and long annotations (vṛtti). Out of the four commentaries said to have been written, that of Śaṅkhapāṇi has been traced and utilised by the savants interested in it.

In the Brahmakāṇḍa, nature of Brahman is discussed. The Tarkakāṇḍa discusses questions regarding perception and whether ‘difference’ can be perceived at all. The Niyogakāṇḍa—the longest of the four chapters—refutes certain views of the Mīmāṁsā school. The Siddhikāṇḍa, the shortest, tries to show that the Upaniṣadic texts treat this world of multiplicity as an appearance due to avidyā or ignorance.

The Advaita Vedānta as propounded here differs from that of Śaṅkara in certain respects. Yet, it is considered as an important handbook of Advaita.

See also MAṆḌANA-MIŚRA.