Pancadasi is a book of categories dealing with the different aspects of Vedantic philosophy. The major emphasis of this book is to help the sincere seekers in getting the perfect vision of the Truth without any doubt whatsoever, in the philosophical aspects of the Truth. The author indicates very distinctly in the beginning of his composition, that this text is composed for the sincere seekers of Truth who have pure minds with single-pointed devotion for knowing the Truth. Any student of Vedantic philosophy is incomplete in his studies without a thorough study of Pancadasi.
There are many commentaries in different languages on this text. However, the commentary of Sri Ramakrishna is considered to be the most authentic and to the point. Sri Rsmekrisbne was a direct disciple of the two authors of Pancadasi namely Sri Vidyaranya Svami and His Guru Sri Bhiueti Tirtha.
The scheme of the thought presentation is divided under three categories namely:
1. Chapters dealing with discrimination.
2. Chapters dealing with illumination.
3. Chapters dealing with bliss.
The first five chapters mainly deal with the discrimination, predominantly on 'Sat' aspect of the Truth. The second five chapters deal with the 'Cit' aspect of the Truth while the remaining five chapters deal with the 'Ananda' aspect of the Truth.
In the above classification, there is no exclusion of the other two aspects of the Truth while dealing with a predominantly particular aspect of the Truth.
It is believed by the different commentators that the first six chapters were written by Sri Yidyaranya Svami and were presented to His Guru, Sri Bharati Tirtha and the latter added the remaining nine chapters to make it into a volume of 15 chapters. Hence the name Pancadasi .
The present publication on Pancadasi is brought out in the Chinmaya style of commentaries wherein the original sloks or verse is followed by transliteration, word-to-word meaning, running translation of the Samskrita sloka and a short commentary on different words and the thoughts. We have used the international transliteration symbols for writing the Samskrita words in Roman script. However, the splitting of the transliteration is strictly on the basis of the phonetic sounds rather than the breaking of Samskrita words as per the grammar rules. This was done for a simple purpose that a student who is not able to read the Devanagari script is able to join the chorus chanting along with other students who are chanting the original text in a Vedantic class-room. This has been the tradition of imparting knowledge in our Chinmaya style wherein every verse is chanted by the teacher and the student joins the chorus chanting of the same verse.
The present book is an outcome of the Grace of Parama Pujya Gurudev (Svamiji Chinmayananda) who encouraged me in many ways and also blessed the commentary that was shown to Him during Dehra Dun Yajna in October 1992.
This book is the result of the sincere efforts put forth by the students at Delhi Chinmaya Mission who were very regular in attending the classes in spite of the difficulties. The lectures were recorded, transcribed, edited and finally given the shape of a book. Those who were involved in the preparation of the manuscript need special thanks. Without their untiring efforts, this book would never have come out. To name them, I remember the following with special reverence, Mrs. Saraswati Doraiswami and Mrs. Gayatri Balakrishnan.
The students who were instrumental in encouraging me to take up this text need and deserve the foremost appreciation.
The computer composition of the entire text was done by Mrs. Uma Kumar, Sri. Gopal krishnan and staff of CCMT. The proof- reading was rendered by Sri Vishwamitra Puri who took pains to go through the total manuscript.
Parama Pujya Svami Tejomayananda was kind enough to go through the manuscript and suggested some changes which has given the book a better look. His blessing is a continuation of Param Pujya Gurudev's sankalpa' for the completion of this book. I have no words to express my gratitude for His encouraging suggestions and guidance.
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