Panchadashi 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 Panchadashi.
There are many commentaries in different languages on this text. However, the commentary of Sri Ramakrishna is considered to be most authentic and to the point. Sri Ramakrishna was a direct disciple of the two authors of Panchadashi namely Sri Vidyaranya Swami and His Guru Sri Bharathi Tirtha.
This is a powerful text that gives an insight into deep mysteries of life. When one gets an item for happiness, another is already created in the mind. A person gets a million dollars that seemed a good target for happiness, the next target for two million is on the wall and so on one is embroiled in the motion of life until one dies, and then there is no further target. This is the reason why most people are miserable at death. Life seems totally un-fulfilled.
All happiness does not sum up to fulfillment; all things in the world do not sum up to Infinity. People do everything in life to become happy, but what they are missing is bliss, which has no opposites; which is complete fulfillment and a moment when there are no desires left to complete.
Is there a way to reach that moment? There is no moment in the future. It is here, and now. We are already there, but we have forgotten. We have this treasure worth millions, hidden in us, but we have forgotten. The moment we come to know about it, we are no poorer, and we do not need anything else.
The first five chapters mainly deal with the discrimination predominantly on ‘Sat’ aspect of the Truth. The second five chapters deal with the ‘ Cit’ aspects of the Truth while the remaining five chapters deal with the ‘Ananda ‘ aspects of the Truth.