[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 14:53:50 CDT 2005

On 7/28/05, bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
> The key thing to note is Sri sureshvarAchArya and Sri padmapAdA are
> direct disciples of Sri Sankara. Hence, their knowledge of what
> Sankara thought on a particular point does not rely on  texts alone
> but more on  their direct personal interaction with him. I think any
> difference expressed in their work must have had the sanction of
> Sankara. And probably with a definite purpose.
> praNAm Sri Ravi Mayavaram prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> But it is interesting point to be noted here is SS says in his book
> paNchapAdikA that prakAshAtma yati who has written vivaraNa commentary on
> paNchapAdika nowhere says that paNchapAdika is the work of direct desciple
> of shankara i.e. padmapAda.  He cites more than one reason like this in the
> introduction to that book.

The point is that right at the beginning of the pa.ncapaadikaa, there
is a verse comparing sha.nkara to shiva. By a "via negativa" approach,
sha.nkara is equated to shiva. shiva has bhuuta ga.nas around him,
while sha.nkara has ascetic disciples, shiva has a black mark on his
throat, while sha.nkara has none, etc. The purpose is clear, basically
equating sha.nkara to dakshiNaamuurti. Now the interesting point is
that the description of sha.nkara is clearly as if the person
composing the verse was right at the spot witnessing the scene of
sha.nkara teaching his disciples. I believe I have posted this verse
on the list before.  Also note that the sub-commentary on only the
first four suutras are available now.

Now let us think why any author would compose a verse like this unless
sha.nkara was his guru? Of course according to the person who has
written the biography of Swami Satchidanandendra claims Padmapaada was
a charlatan trying to gain legitimacy for his thories (actually he
more or less states that Padmapaada was a rogue). Surely Padmapaada
could not have fooled every author who lived within 100-200 years of
sha.nkara? On the other hand almost every author right after sha.nkara
(within 100-200 years)  accept Padmapaada as a genuine exponent of
sha.nkara. And surely not every one in the 1200 years were fools?

As Anand rightly pointed out, the schools being addressed by the
authors can change some of the argumentation and style. But the
central theme brahma-aatma-ekatva and jnaandeva kaivalyam is the
common theme of pretty much every advaitic author after sha.nkara.  We
can see that the points being addressed by sureshvara have already
started changing from sha.nkara. sha.nkara brushed off the question of
the aashraya of avidyaa in his upadeshasaahasrii. But the question has
occupied quite a bit of sureshvaras naishhkarmya siddhi. SS who
charges that later authors like Padmapaada and sarvjnaatman were
preoccupied with this question of aashraya, while sha.nkara was not is
quite hard-pressed to explain sureshvara. He consoles himself by
saying that sureshvara just wants to point out that brahman is the
substratum of everything. But surely sureshvara could have done that
without this multi-page discussion of the aashraya of avidyaa?!


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list