The siddhi literature of Advaita Vedanta

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Mar 16 11:33:28 CST 2000

There are four works called siddhi which are important in explaining
facets of Advaita Vedanta doctrines.

They are in historical order:

Brahmasiddhi of Mandana Mishra

Mandana Mishra was a great scholar in Purva Mimamsa as well as
Vedanta.  In this work he puts forth his own interpretations of Vedantic
teachings.  This work is notable because it is the only example we have
apart from a few quotations of a non-Shankaran Advaita
Vedanta. Shankaracharya complains that in his time there were people who
claimed to be Advaitins but misunderstood and distorted the Advaita
philosophy.  He may well have been referring to people like Mandana
Mishra.  Tradition says that Shankaracharya defeated him in debate and he
repudiated his former beliefs and became Shankaracharyas disciple under
the name Sureshwaracharya.

Naishkarmyasiddhi of Sureshwaracharya

As the name suggests, this work attacks the notion that karma can have any
place in gaining moksha.  Views perhaps held by Sureshwaracharya himself
in his purvashram if the connection between himself and Mandana Mishra is
to be believed.

Ishtasiddhi of Vimuktatman

All I know about this is it defends Advaita theoriess on error and
illusion against opponents such as the Buddhists.

Advaitasiddhi of Swami Madhusudana Saraswati

In precise logical language, defends Advaita Vedanta from the criticisms
of the Dvaita school.

There are modern Advaita works called siddhi as well as works belonging to
the Bauddha, Jain, and Vyakarana schools.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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