[Advaita-l] Re: ONLY ONE PLACE - Panchikarana ?!
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat May 24 15:38:33 CDT 2003
> Let it be a separate issue whether the karana Sharira - is Atma Ajnana.
> Panchikarana Cannot be the Acharya's Genuine work as the description he
>gives " Avidya sabalam Brahma" in Panchikarana
I am well aware that I differ in opinion from Swami Saccidanandendra
Sarasvati with regard to the genuineness of the pancIkaraNa text, but with
all due respect, I believe I have strong reason to do so.
I have discussed this text in detail in my paper. Briefly, my stance is that
the introductory portion, beginning with "sac chabdavAcyam avidyA Sabalam
brahma" and ending with the sentence "adhyAropa-apavAdAbhyAM nishprapancaM
prapadyate" is a pre-Sankaran composition that has got appended to the main
text of pancIkaraNa, which begins with "auM pancIkRta pancamahAbhUtAni ...".
There is no reason to insist that the main text of pancIkaraNa is not a
genuine composition of Sankara's.
My reason is at least seven-fold.
First, auM is not inserted into the middle of a composition, but used at the
beginning. The sentence "auM pancIkRta pancamahAbhUtAni ..." is a natural
beginning to the text called pancIkaraNa.
Second, Anandagiri's commentary on pancIkaraNa attributes this text to
Sankara and begins with an explanation of the line "auM pancIkRta
pancamahAbhUtani ...". Anandagiri does not notice the earlier portion at
Third, viSveSvara sarasvatI's yatidharmasangraha says that the pancIkaraNa
text must be taught to a newly initiated saMnyAsin, and begins with the
sentence "auM pancIkRta pancamahAbhUtAni ...", not "auM sac chabdavAcyam
..." Note that viSveSvara sarasvatI was the guru of madhusUdana sarasvatI.
As such, it is traditional that all saMnyAsins in the advaita tradition
begin their monastic life with a study of this text. I, for one, fail to see
how a non-Sankaran text could have been elevated to this status.
Fourth, the sentence "adhyAropa-apavAdAbhyAM nishprapancaM prapancyate" is
already given as a quote, and attributed to a sampradAyavit, in the
commentary on the gItA, verse 13.13. Given that the gItA commentary is a
genuine text of Sankara's, the said sentence had to have been written by
another author who lived before him. The introductory portion that is now
found with pancIkaraNa may well have been this earlier author's composition.
Indeed, the Varanasi edition of Sankara's works, prepared by Pt. Subrahmanya
Sastri for the Maneshanusandhana Press, omits the introductory portion
Fifth, there are differences between the said introductory portion and the
description given in the vArttika on pancIkaraNa.
Sixth, there are numerous points of similarity between this vArttika and the
naishkarmyasiddhi, so that the attribution of the pancIkaraNa vArttika to
sureSvara must be taken seriously. It cannot be dismissed lightly.
Finally, and seventh, it is too much to believe that not only is the
pancIkaraNa erroneously attributed to Sankara, but also a vArttika on it
erroneously attributed to sureSvara. This takes it beyond simple mistaken
attribution and implicitly postulates that there has been deliberate
creation and misattribution of texts in the tradition. This, I think, is an
unwarranted and a prejudicial opinion.
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