svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 6 19:22:05 CDT 2006
I will wait for Ramakrishnan to write on the various issues raised in this
thread, but would like to make one point here, regarding the appeal to
I don't think any argument has been made that SSS is wrong because the
tradition has always said something else. Rather, the issues being raised
are of what constitutes the said tradition, along with an argument based on
For example, sureSvara is admittedly very faithful to Sankara in his
writings. Surely, he left a lineage of students and disciples behind him.
Ramakrishnan's question was, if some writers quite external to Sankara's and
sureSvara's disciple lineage came up with the pancapAdikA and its derivative
vivaraNa school, it would certainly have raised a quite heated debate. On
the other hand, no one in all the centuries after Sankara had doubted that
padmapAda was a disciple of Sankara. It is, therefore, not easy to dismiss
an entire sub-school within the advaita tradition by claiming that padmapAda
either entirely misunderstood Sankara or was not a disciple of Sankara at
all. A lot hinges upon whether one splits mithyAjnAna as mithyA + jnAna or
mithyA + ajnAna. The Sanskrit language would allow for both, and if I read
Sankara right, he does indeed allow for both possibilities.
As for tradition, the following question is certainly valid - if an author
of the 20th century dismisses all previous authors within the tradition as
cases of the blind leading the blind, then in what sense do we accept the
said author as part of the same tradition? Furthermore, the probability is
certainly slim that all traditional writers in a thousand plus years have
misunderstood Sankara. For Sri Gangolli to claim that SSS is the only writer
to correctly understand Sankara, because he was a reincarnation of Sankara,
is an appeal to devotion, not to reason. At the most, this can be seen only
as a stuti, not yukti. Followers of other teachers could equally well make
the same argument about their own teachers, and thereby refuse to consider
SSS's position at all.
For me, the fact that SSS formally took to sannyAsa and that he upheld
advaita and wrote on Sankara is sufficient to make him part of the advaita
tradition. It is unfortunate, perhaps, that highly problematic statements
have been made in various publications. For others, this may not be enough,
and that is what the discussion is about.
As an aside, it is a little ironic, perhaps, that after all the controversy
with Virupaksha Sastry (who was also a teacher of Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati
Swami of Sringeri) and others, the SSS centenary commemoration volume from
Holenarsipur carries a benedictory letter from the Sringeri Acharya.
Get today's hot entertainment gossip http://movies.msn.com/movies/hotgossip
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list