[Advaita-l] Date of Sankara
vijaykartik_2004 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 3 07:04:13 CST 2010
On the question of whether Adi Shankara was born in 6th Century BC or 8th Century AD, I would like to submit as follows:
Bhagavatpada with great efforts established the "supremacy" of Advaita over all other schools
This involved scholarly writing commentaries on the scriptures, debates with the philosphers of different schools etc
It is to be expected that whenever a pathbreaking approach like Sankara's on Advaita gains acceptance, there will be critics and opponents to that philosophy who do not accept this Advaita in its entirety as propounded by Sankara. These persons will also come up with their different or modified theories on the Advaita philosophy as was gaining prominence.
Also such a phenomenon of "challengers" will occur around the same time when Advaita gains prominence and not 1500 years or so after Sankara has strongly established Advaita all over the country.
We all know that Vishistadwaita and Dwaita are such philosophies which either modified or contradicted Advaita as was sought to be established by Sankara. So it is not unreasonable to hold that Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhwacharya also would not have lived very far removed from Sankara's time
We know that Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhwacharya lived between 11th and 13th centuries which are not far from the 8th century AD date of Sankara
On the other hand, If Sankara had lived in 5th Century BC Sri Ramanuja or Sri Madhwacharya would have lived nearly 1500 to 1700 years after Sankara and this is too far removed a date for them to have challenged Sankara's Advaita.
I realise this may not be a rigorous argument as they call it, but my feeling is it deserves consideration since anyhow we already have differences on various aspects in the debate on date of Sankara
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