Vivarana is a subschool of classical Advaita Vedanta, established by Prakasatman (c. 975 CE). The name of the Vivarana-school is derived from Prakasatman's Pancapadika-Vivarana, a commentary on the Pancapadika by Padmapadacharya.[1]

Prakasatman was the first to propound the theory of mulavidya or maya as being of "positive beginningless nature".[2] According to Roodurmum, "his line of thought [...] became the leitmotif of all subsequent developments in the evolution of the Advaita tradition."[1]

The Vivarana-school takes an epistemological approach. It sees Brahman as the source of avidya. Critics object that Brahman is pure consciousness, so it can't be the source of avidya. Another problem is that contradictory qualities, namely knowledge and ignorance, are attributed to Brahman.[web 1]