Besides the famous works based on the prasthanatraya, Andhras have made great many independent contributions to prakarana granthas. Prakarana probably needs a definition.
शास्त्रैकदेशसम्बद्धं शास्त्रकार्यान्तरे स्थितम्
आहु: प्रकरणं नाम ग्रन्थभॆदं विपश्चित:
It is a treatise which confines itself to a section of a sastra but also deals with other relevant items in order to enable a thorough understanding of the sastra. The prakarana granthas extant can be classified into four types.
1. Those that explain the doctrines of Advaita. Example:- Panchadasi.
2. Those which condemn the anti Advaita doctrines and to ensconce Advaita firmly in the minds of Advaitins. Ajnanadwhantachandabhaskara comes under this category.
3. Those which present the rich experiences of the writers. Anubhutiprakasika is an example for this type.
4.Those which are rich in explaining the doctrines of Advaita in a literary way. Yogavasista can be said to be an example for this category.
The Prakarana works written by the scholars are explained here advisedly in an alphabetical order.
AJNANADWHANTA CHANDABHASKARA :
Amareswara Sastry of Kambhampati family was a renowned scholar and devotee of Lord Dakshinamurty. He was blessed with self - realization by the Lord. Incidentally, his guru in flesh and blood was also called Dakshinamurthy.
Amareswara Sastry authored a work Ajnanadhwantachandabhaskara wherein he discussed philosophical subjects such as the nature of Jiva and Iswara, Knowledge; the means to get rid of vasanas and the concept of Jivanmukthi. According to him, liberation is removal of impediments of bondage. When one endeavours and gets rid of nescience, the Atman shines like the sun. In fact this is the literal meaning of the title Ajnanadhwantachandabhaskara. Dr. Ch.S.Subrahmanyasarma critically edited and published this work.
Kamakshi, whose identity will be discussed in the forthcoming chapter, wrote this work. This is a commentary on the Advaitasiddhi of Madhusudana Saraswathi. This work gives the gist of Advaita Siddhanta. In this work the three types of realities, i.e., Pratibhasika, Vyavaharika and Paramarthika are vividly explained. This scholarly work was published by SriVidya press.
ADVAITA BRAHMATATTVA PRAKASIKA:
Veeraraghava Yajwan of Inguva family wrote this work. This production, published in Nellore, explains the main tenets of Advaita.
The Author of this book was Lakshmidhara of Cherukuri family. He was a scholar of Purvamimamsa and Uttaramimamsa, and a brother of another
eminent Vedantin, Kondubhatta, author of Shaddarsiniviveka. His greatness lies in the fact that celebrated scholars like Purnanandasaraswati and Vamsidhara Vasudeva Sarvabhauma showered encomiums on his work.
Being authored by Advaitanandatirtha, this work is also known as Panchopanishattatparyadipika wherein the gist of five Upanishads - Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka is given in an easily intelligible style. This work was published by Brahmavidyapress.
Advaitadeepika of Kamakshi,
Advaitaratnakara of Narayanatirtha,
Advaitamataprakasa of Ayyannadikshita,
Advaitaratnaprakasa of Amareswarasastry
are worthy but less known works.
ANUBHUTHI PRAKASIKA :
Vidyaranya composed this work. It consists of twenty chapters and gives the essence of twelve Upanishads. It was published by Nirnaya Sagar press.
APAROKSHANUBHUTI DIPIKA :
This is a commentary on Aparokshanubhuthi of Sankaracharya, written by Vidyaranya.
ATMA TATTVA VIVEKA SARA :
This work, written by Ramanandasaraswathi, gives the essence of Atmajnana. It also differentiates higher knowledge from lower knowledge. This book
is available in Mysore library.
ATMA PARIKSHA :
Bhaskaradikshita, son of Umamaheswara, was patronised by Raghunathanayaka authored this book which was divided in to eight chapters, and which went into a deep discussion of ego.
ATMA VIDYA VILASA :
Atmavidyavilasa of Sadasivabrahmendrayati glorifies the greatness of self- realization.
There are four Siddhi type of works. They are Advaitasiddhi of Madhusudandsaraswathi, Istasiddhi by Vimuktatman, Brahmasiddhi, authored by Mandanamisra and Naishkarmyasiddhi written by Sureswaracharya. There are many commentaries on these works by many exponents of Advaita. Chitsukha commentated on the Brahmasiddhi of Mandana. The purpose of writing Brahmasiddhi by Mandana is to ascertain the real nature of Brahman, the Supreme Reality, one without a second. Chitsukha followed the ideas of VachaspatiMisra in composing this work. Chitsukha's commentary, named Abhiprayaprakasika, describes the philosophy of MandanaMisra in highly glorifying tones.
BHAVATATTVA PRAKASIKA :
The same Chitsukhacharya wrote a commentary on Naishkarmyasiddhi of Sureswaracharya. This work is available in the form of manuscript in Madras Government Manuscripts Library [ R.3271].
JIVANMUKTHI VIVEKA :
Vidyaranya wrote this book. It has five chapters in an admixture of prose and poetry. The concepts such as Jivanmukthi ( liberation while living ); annihilation of vasanas; annihilation of mind; realization of one's own nature and the nature of Vidvatsanyasa are vividly dealt with as well as the two types of Vairagya; two types of liberation. Besides many commentaries written by many authors on it the Telugu translation by Acharya Pullela Ramachandrudu is considered to be the best in so far as explanatory notes are concerned.
This is a scholarly treatise of Sriharsha. It is one of the most distinguished classics of Advaita Vedanta, as the views of Naiyyayikas which were of a contradictory nature are demolished in order to establish Advaita. Chitsukha wrote a commentary on this work which is known as Bhavadipika. Another compelling commentary is by Gundayya Bhatta. Other commentators are:
Paramahamsacharya - Sadasivabrahmendrayati
Nyayamakarandatika - Chitsukha
This work , named after the author as Chitsukhi written by Chitsukha, contains four chapters, Samanya, Avirodha, Sadhana and Phala. This work is intended to defend Advaita from the onslaughts of anti-Advaitins. It is considered to be the Magnum opus of Chitsukha. Chitsukha in this work tries to deal with all the problems of Advaita logically. Specifically, he attacked Naiyyayikas, and, for this purpose, he adopted the method borrowed from Sri Harsha. Through the works of Chitsukha, we infer that he had intimate acquaintance with a vast area of literature. In
Tatvapradipika, Chitsukha established the self - luminosity of Atman. He argues that the self shining nature of Atman cannot be denied because the sriti says that Atman is self – luminious
आत्मन: स्वप्रकाशत्वं को निवारयितुं क्षम:
The very title means it contains fifteen chapters. Vidyaranya was its author and it is considered to be one of the most important works on Advaita which, paradoxically, easy for even a beginner to understand but quite tough for even a master Advaitin to comprehend. Another speciality of this work is that it is the first as well as the last book on Advaita.. This work is so popular that it is read everyday by many people like Bhagavad-Gita. Ramanandasaraswathi wrote a commentary on Panchadasi and his commentary is named Visuddhadristi. In recent times, Rayaprolu Lingana Somayaji wrote a commentary on Panchadasi, and his commentary is known as Kalyanapiyusha.
Tyagarajamakhin or Tyagarajasastrin wasa versatile and a distinguished Advaitin who wrote many books on Advaita Vedanta. By the colophons of his works it is known that he was a pupil of Anantananda and belonged to Kasyapagotra. He himself claimed to have belonged to Andhradesa. Panchakosavimarsini is a small work containing five stanzas, proclaiming that the soul is different from the five-fold sheath supposed to encompass the soul. Every stanza contains the author's name.
Example.: ततस्त्यागराज: स्वरूपोSहमेव|
In all the poems Atman was distinguished from the five-fold sheath through the instrument of negation, giving the reasons.
न चाSहं शरीरं जडत्वात्पृथक्त्वात्
न च प्राणवर्ग:पिपासादिमत्वात् |
मनो नाSपि संकल्पमूलाश्रयत्वात्
This work is available in manuscript in the Adayar library.
UPADESA SIKHAMANI :
The same Tyagaraja wrote another work named Upadesasikhamani, consisting of 18 verses and it describes the benefits of devotion to God and unworthiness of worldly pleasures as taught by Sri Sankara and other Acharayas. The verses are some sort of a parady of Bhajagovindastotra of Sankara.
भज गौरीशं भज गौरीशं भज गौरीशं मुग्धमते
भज गौरीशं भज गौरीशं भज गौरीशं मुग्धमते ||
सत्यं वद रे धर्मं चर रे कृत्याकृत्य विचारं कुरु रे
कालो याति गृहीत्वा देहं व्यर्थं मा कुरु मानुषजन्म ||
VIVEKA CHUDAMANI :
In the field of Advaita, this book is very popular and inspiring and is ascribed to Sankaracharya. Being one of the major prakarana works, it has a number of commentaries to its credit. Of all the commentaries, that written by His Holiness Chandrasekharabharathi of Sringeri is worth mentioning. Sri Nori Srinathavenkatasomayaji and Acharya P.Ramachandrudu have translated it in an inimitable style..
YOGA VASISTA :
The Yogavasista, also known as Vasista-Ramayana, is a philosophical treatise and is in the form of popular lectures. What is striking is that the same idea is repeated again and again in different expressions and poetic imagery. It has a number of commentaries and has been summerised in verse form by some writers whose works also have commentaries on them. Mummadideva of Kotikala village and the grandson of Nagamamba and Trivikramacharya and the son of Alladasuri, the writer of Bhamathitilaka composed a commentary on Yogavasista. His commentary is very extensive and it is known by name as Samsaratarani. Among Telugu works, based on Yogavasista, the work Sriramavasistasamvadamu written by Vedanti Shanmukhadasa of the 20th century, is noteworthy. He borrowed many ideas not only from Yogavasista but also from other Vedanta works. Bhagavatula Narasimha Sarma of the 20th century authored a work Sriramunivairagyamu-Guru prabodhamu , which is a gist of Yogavasistha.
Although many more competent scholars have written excellent commentaries on Prakaranas, they have been omitted ( not overlooked ! ) for the sake of brevity.