By Swami Harshananda
The philosophers of the schools of Vedānta adopted the novel method of story and drama to teach dharma to it's tenets. Kṛṣṇamiśra, who was probably a recluse living in the 11th century CE, has done a good job in his famous work Prabodha Candrodaya. It is said that he wrote it to convince one of his disciples who had no faith in Vedānta. He authored it for the truth and greatness of Advaita Vedānta.
He was closely associated with a king named Kīrtivarma. The drama was first enacted in the presence of king. The drama Prabodha Candrodaya has six acts. It reflects the whole life of a man with a profound philosophical allegory. It is conceived as a struggle between the two powerful sons of the king Manas (mind):
- Moha - delusion
- Viveka - discrimination or wisdom
Moha is born from his queen Pravṛtti (worldly life) and Viveka was born through Nivṛtti (Monastic life). The drama gives us an ingenious picture of the spiritual struggle of the human mind in the form of a vivid conflict, wherein the comic, the erotic and the devotional interests play a prominent part.
In the final battle between Viveka and Moha, the former wins due to the rise of the moon (candrodaya) of knowledge (prabodha). Though Advaita Vedānta is eulogized, Viṣṇubhakti or devotion to Lord Viṣṇu is also advocated to be necessary for mokṣa or liberation.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore