New listmember: shrI Mikael Aktor

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Tue Oct 27 16:52:08 CST 1998

On Tue, 27 Oct 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:

>  Can you write briefly about the major results of your paper?

The Sankaravijayas of mAdhava and anantAnandagiri are the most well known
texts. Regarding other texts,

1. bRhat Sankaravijaya attributed to citsukha by T. S. Narayana Sastri
(author of "The Age of Sankara" - Madras 1916) - unavailable work,
attempts to locate manuscripts have failed, from 1910 to 1998. It is also
supposed to have been written by a direct disciple of Sankara, so that the
13th century citsukha (author of tattvapradIpikA [citsukhI], disciple of
jnAnottama) cannot be the author. Narayana Sastri's manuscripts, if he had
any, seem to have vanished without a trace. In my opinion, this work by
citsukha is simply a figment of imagination, as no other author has quoted
from it, nor does anybody else say that citsukha wrote a Sankaravijaya.

2. prAcIna Sankaravijaya attributed to Anandagiri - same as above, with
respect to manuscripts. However, a number of different sources mention
that Anandagiri, the author of numerous TIkAs, also wrote a Sankaravijaya.
It is likely that such a work existed once, but has now been lost.
Importantly, acyutarAya, author of a commentary on mAdhava's
Sankaravijaya, describes the text written by Anandagiri as both "bRhat"
and as "prAcIna," and quotes some 58 verses from it. But the attribution
is doubtful, as many of these are found in another semi-purANic text
called Sivarahasya.

3. Sankaravijaya of anantAnandagiri - mistakenly identified with 2 above,
very often, and by very many scholars. I've shown that anantAnandagiri has
to be a post-14th century author, and cannot be identical with Anandagiri,
who lived in the 13th century (most probably). Also, 19th century editions
of this text (Bibliotheca Indica series) and the 20th century edition
(from U. of Madras) present significantly variant readings. A critical
reading of manuscripts is necessary.

4. Sankaravijaya of mAdhava - a very popular text. mAdhava is usually
identified with vidyAraNya, but the authenticity of this text has been
seriously questioned in recent times. I've analyzed arguments for and
against thinking that this text is due to vidyAraNya, but it is difficult
to come to a conclusion one way or the other. However, the arguments
offered to doubt the genuineness of the text have been shown to be quite

There are a few other texts and minor variant traditions about
SankarAcArya, which I've taken into account as part of the discussion.
I've also described various traditions of the daSanAmIs, including the
tradition of mahAvAkyas used in the monastic initiation procedure, the
connection of Advaitins with the worship of dattAtreya in central India
etc, and the way in which modern scholars like Paul Hacker and Hermann
Kulke have handled these traditions. The discussion is brought up to date,
by looking at the traditions of the maThas and ASramas that are currently
important. I would have liked to discuss the historical role of
mantra-SAstra and SrIvidyA texts within the Advaita tradition, but didn't
get into it, for want of space. This will probably go into a discussion of
another text that I'm reading, the SankarAbhyudaya of rAjacUDAmaNi
dIkshita, a well known 17th century poet.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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