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Panchadashi – Mahavakya-viveka-prakarana

Panchadashi, the comprehensive philosophical masterpiece by Sri Bharati Tirtha and Swami Vidyaranya, is a compendium of 15 foundational treatises or prakarana-granthas. This epic work is a singular treatise on the entire philosophy of Advaita-vedanta. Panchadashi lays the foundation of the essentials of Vedanta and elucidates the Upanishadic thoughts by revealing the identity of the Self with the supreme Brahman, thus dispelling the ignorance of the Self.

Beginner Course Medium: English

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More about the Course

Panchadashi, the comprehensive philosophical masterpiece by Sri Bharati Tirtha and Swami Vidyaranya, is a compendium of 15 foundational treatises or prakarana-granthas. This epic work is a singular treatise on the entire philosophy of Advaita-vedanta. Panchadashi lays the foundation of the essentials of Vedanta and elucidates the Upanishadic thoughts by revealing the identity of the Self with the supreme Brahman, thus dispelling the ignorance of the Self.

In the fifth chapter, titled ‘Mahavakya-viveka-prakarana’, the four renowned mahavakyas from the Upanishads are taken up for analysis.

Mahavakyas are short concise Upanishadic statements that present the final essence of Vedanta – the identity of the individual with Brahman.

A total of 12 video sessions by Swami Advayananda , divided into 5 lessons, covering the entire fifth chapter of Panchadasi are made available to the registered students.

What You will Learn

  • Purpose of the mahavakyas and the reasons why they are mahat (great)
  • Detailed analysis of the following mahavakyas:
    • “Prajnanam brahma” of the Aitareya-upanishad from the Rigveda
    • “Aham brahmasmi” of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad from the Yajurveda
    • “Tat tvam asi” of the Chandogya-upanishad from the Samaveda
    • “Ayam atma brahma” of the Mandukya-upanishad from the Atharvaveda
  • The context in which the mahavakyas appear in each of the above Upanishads
  • How to decipher and understand the import of the mahavakyas

Why should I do this Course?

Each of the 15 chapters of the Panchadashi are independent topical texts. One need not complete the earlier chapter to proceed to the next. Each chapter adapts a different methodology to reveal the same Truth.

Liberation is the goal that is desired by one and all, either directly or indirectly.

All of us seek completeness, be it the eternality of our Existence, the fullness of Knowledge or endless happiness. This is Liberation. It is our true nature itself and this is expounded by the mahavakyas.

The mahavakyas reveal the direct knowledge to attain Liberation for a qualified seeker.

This fifth chapter, titled ‘Mahavakya-viveka-prakarana’, analyses each of the mahavakyas in great detail and also helps us comprehend how to understand their import.


  • Basic knowledge of Vedanta would be helpful, though not mandatory
  • Good internet connection

Course Details and Duration

  • The course comprises 5 lessons covering 12 audio/video sessions and 5 objective type questionnaires.
  • The recommended duration for completion of the Panchadashi-Mahavakya-viveka-prakarana course is 2 months. The suggested maximum duration is 4 months.

Course Access, Query Resolution Process, Grading and Certification

  • Students can access the course following the User Guideline document that is also sent to registered students to their email address.
  • Students have to attempt the lessons sequentially. For each lesson the student should watch the audio or video file and then attempt the questionnaire.
  • All questionnaires are objective based and on completion of each Lesson/ questionnaire the marks and grade for that lesson will be displayed to the student on the dashboard.
  • Students can download the answer key on completion of a questionnaire.
  • In case of queries or doubts on the subject matter students are encouraged to use the discussion forum. Details of the same will be sent to students on registration. A detailed query resolution process guideline will also be provided.
  • The Course is deemed complete on completion of all lessons /questionnaires, and a final grade will be awarded.
  • Grading system for certification.
    • 80% and above 'O' Grade
    • 60% and above 'A+' Grade
    • 50% and above 'A' Grade
    • Below 50% 'B' Grade
  • Those who successfully complete the course will be given a ‘Course Completion Certificate’ of merit signed by Pujya Swami Swaroopananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide. The digital copy of the same will be sent to your registered email ID.

How do I purchase the Text?

Students are recommended to purchase a copy of the entire Panchadashi, text, containing the verses and translation in English by Swami Swahananda, published by the Ramakrishna Mission.

Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) has published Panchadashi Chapters 5, 10 and 15 with commentary in English by Swami Tejomayananda.

To purchase a copy of Panchadashi – Chapter 5 with commentary in English:

  1. Check this link: Panchadashi – Chapter 5 (English)

Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) has additionally published the entire Panchadashi with commentary in Hindi by Swami Shankarananda. Those who are familiar with Hindi will immensely benefit from this publication.

To purchase a copy of Panchadashi – Chapter 5 with commentary in Hindi:

  1. Check this link: Panchadashi – Chapter 5 (Hindi)
  2. Or
  3. Contact: Sri M. Jayaraman Nair

    In-charge, Chinmaya Vani, Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF)
    Ph: +91 92077 11138 / WhatsApp: 9207398313/ Email id: cifpublications@chinfo.org

A soft copy of the verses will also be made available to all the registered students on the dashboard to be referred to in case of non-availability of the book.

Course Content

The course on Panchadashi – Chapter 5 (Mahavakya-viveka-prakarana) comprises 5 lessons. A brief description of what is covered in each lesson is given below:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to the Mahavakyas
  • Lesson 2: Prajnanam Brahma
  • Lesson 3: Aham Brahmasmi
  • Lesson 4: Tat Tvam Asi

Click here for a detailed Course Content

Course Contributors

Arvind Kannan

Brni. Shubhani Chaitanya

Sumedha Kulkarni

Home Study Course Scholarship Initiative

Envisioned to be a platform to impart knowledge, CIF has always made it a point to make the courses accessible to all the sincere seekers. Students, who are keen to pursue a particular course but have difficulty affording the course fee, can send an email to the homestudycourses@chinfo.org stating the same. They will be given financial assistance to enrol for the course based on the genuineness of request, keenness to study and eligibility.

One can also be a part of this noble venture by contributing to the Home Study Course Scholarship Fund. To know more, send an email to the homestudycourses@chinfo.org.

For Queries

The Administrator - Home Study Courses

Chinmaya International Foundation, Adi Sankara Nilayam

Veliyanad, Ernakulam District, Pin - 682313, Kerala, India

Mob: +91 9207711140

Landline: +91 484 2749676

(Mon–Sat, 9 AM to 5 PM IST)

E-mail: svadhyaya@chinfo.org

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