[Advaita-l] Two Sankara-bhashyas on Kena Upanishad
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jun 9 01:47:45 CDT 2009
On Mon, 8 Jun 2009, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:
> Has anybody discussed in this group or elsewhere as to why Adi
> Sankaracharya made the only exception in case of Kena Upanishad by
> writing two bhashyas on it and what made him to make this exception?
It has been suggested that the vakyabhashya is based on the commentary of
an earlier Advaitin.
According to the Samkshepashariraka, a commentary on brahmasutrabhashya by
Sarvajnatma Muni, 3.217-221 there were two pre-Shankara Advaitin writers
called atreya vamshiya vakyakara, and bhashyakara.
Swami Madhusudana Sarasvati commenting on the Samkshepashariraka says that
the vakyakara is called Brahmanandin and wrote on chhandogyopanishad
(chhandogya vakyakarena brahmanandina) and one Brahmanandin is quoted by
Shankaracharya in Mandukyakarikabhashya 2.32. Furthermore Swami
Madhusudana Saraswati says brahmanandi virachita vakya rupanam bhashya
karta dravidacharya. Unattributed quotes in brhadaranyakabhashya and
brahmasutrabhashya are attributed to Dravidacharya by the tikakaras.
Shankaracharya directly references Dravidacharya in chhandogyabhashya.
Swami Ananda Giri commenting on this puts two and two together and says
Dravidacharya wrote the bhashya on Brahmanandins vakya mentioned above.
Other commentators on Vedantic works such as Vachaspati Mishra, Swami
Amalananda, Appaya Dikshita, Jnanottama Muni, and Swami Nrsimha Ashram
have also quoted from the otherwise lost works of Brahmanandi and
Dravidacharya. Also apparently Dravidacharya is mentioned in the Vyasa
puja according to Kanchi traditions (but not other mathas.)
So it could be possible that Shankaracharya wrote the vakya bhashya on or
atleast based on Brahmanandin/Dravidacharya.
The problem with this theory is that all seem to agree that
Brahmanandin/Dravidacharya wrote on chhandogya upanishad. If however
chhandogya is taken in the literal sense of "singer of the Samaveda"
then Kena still fits the bill as it too belongs to Samaveda (albeit a
different shakha.) Or perhaps Brahmanandin also wrote a different vakya
That's one theory anyway.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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