By Swami Harshananda
Khaṇḍana-khaṇḍa-khādya literally means ‘sweets of refutation’.
Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) refuted several schools of philosophy in his writings including a bhāṣya on the Brahmasutras. This naturally led to the defense of those schools by their protagonists, which again was contended by the followers of Śaṅkara, thereby giving a fillip to the growth of polemical literature in Advaita Vedānta. One such very important work is the Khandana-khanda-khādya of Śrīharṣa (12th century A. D.).
This work is mainly aimed at establishing the pure self-luminous consciousness or Brahman as the only reality by refuting all the arguments put forward by the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika schools to support the reality of the pramāṇas and the prameyas.
It attempts to prove that all empirical experiences and their objects are only conventional relative truths and not real in the ultimate sense. In this text, Śrīharṣa utilized the principle of khaṇdana or negative and destructive criticism to defend Advaita Vedānta.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore