[Advaita-l] Pancikarana vs. Trivrtkarana (was Re: Dr Mani Dravid)

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Mon Mar 23 15:25:49 CDT 2009

Dear Sri Devanathan,

Here are the publication details - What Determines Sankara's Authorship?
The Case of the Pañcīkarana -  Vidyasankar Sundaresan Philosophy East
and West, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 1-35 (article consists of 35 pages).
URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1400131

I cannot circulate soft copies without violating copyright, but if you email me
(privately, not on the list) your postal address, I can send you a photocopy
via the regular mail.

>In the sadhana-adhyaya the bhasyakara clearly calls the Chandogya portion
>VI.3.4 as the Trvrt-karana Sruti and not otherwise. This itself is a clear 

That is besides the point completely. When chAndogya describes trivRtkaraNa,
why should not the bhAshyakAra describe that passage as trivRtkaraNa Sruti?!!

In the sUtra "saMjnAmUrti kLptis tu trivRtkurvata upadeSAt", the discussion is
not about trivRtkaraNa vs. pancIkaraNa. Rather, the discussion is whether one
should interpret this chAndogya passage as referring to jIva or parameSvara with
respect to sRshTi, and the answer is that it is parameSvara who creates. 

>evidence that Sankara categorically subscribes to the Trvrtkarana theory and
>not the pancikarana process. 

That does not follow, does it? The points I made in my earlier post have not
been addressed at all. So, let me restate:

1. Do you agree that the same Sankara bhagavatpAda wrote a bhAshya on
the brahmasUtra-s and a bhAshya on the chAndogya upanishad?

2. Have you read what chAndogya bhAshya has to say about pancIkaraNa?

If you have, and your answer to Q.1 above is yes, you cannot make your
above statement at all. Assuming that you have read the text and given that
you state with such great confidence that Sankara does not support the
pancIkaraNa process, I am forced to conclude that your answer to Q.1 above
is no. In that case, can you enlighten us on why you think a different author
wrote the chAndogya bhAshya? Your reason cannot be the pancIkaraNa
reference, as that would be a circular argument (sAdhya-sama).

3. In the brahmasUtra bhAshya itself, you are no doubt aware of the first few
sUtras in the 2nd adhyAya, 3rd pada - na viyad aSruteH, asti tu, etc. Have
you worked out the meaning of what Sankara bhagavatpAda has to say
about the mention of AkASa and vAyu in the taittirIya and how that trumps
the non-mention of these two in the chAndogya?

Specifically, you have to agree that AkASa and vAyu are products that are
born. Do you mean to say that somehow they remain nir-vikAra and stay
separate from agni (tejas), ap and pRthvi in the process of combination of
these elements? Where in any of Sankara's works do you find support for
such a conclusion?

4. Where in vAcaspati miSra's bhAmatI is there an argument pitting
trivRtkaraNa and pancIkaraNa against each other? If there is one, I would
like a specific textual reference, as I haven't been able to find any.

5. pancIkaraNa is described in the smRti, specifically, the mahAbhArata.
I have already mentioned that Sankara bhagavatpAda does not see any
conflict between trivRtkaraNa and pancIkaraNa processes. Under the
circumstances, sound reasoning dictates that there is avirodha between
Sruti and smRti in this regard.

Additional points:

i. Where in the sUtra or the bhAshya (or for that matter in bhAmatI) is
there any reference to caraka and SuSruta? What is their relevance in
this discussion?

ii. You must be aware of madhusUdana sarasvatI's siddhAntabindu, a
commentary on daSaSlokI. Please see the discussion under Sloka 8,
especially the passage beginning "trivRtkaraNam eva kecin manyante".
That great author has presented all aspects of this topic in great detail,
much better than I can hope to do and all I can suggest is to read
siddhAntabindu carefully before coming to conclusions about what view
Sankara bhagavatpAda supports.

Of course, I differ from those who interpret the "kecit" in the above
quote as a reference to vAcaspati miSra. In my view, we have to exclude
vAcaspati miSra from the trivRtkaraNa-only-not-pancIkaraNa camp -
there is nothing to that effect in the bhAmatI. To reiterate, I'm willing to
be corrected on this, if you can point to me a specific passage where
vAcaspati does take such a stance about trivRtkaraNa only and not
pancIkaraNa. I am always amenable to pertinent facts, but have little
patience for convoluted arguments.


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