[Advaita-l] Advaita and Bhakti

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 9 19:14:30 CDT 2011

Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

“Does he refer to pre-ramanuja advaitins in his
works? Thx.”


Yes, SSS has written extensively on Advaitins pre
Shankara and pre and post Ramanuja. For the English and Sanskrit works, you
will find full details in Chapter IV of Vedanta Prakriya Pratyabhijna (VPP) his
Sanskrit Magnum Opus, translated into English by AJ Alston as The Method of the


You will find a short overview of the various
schools of advaita Vedanta pre-Shankara and up to sarvajnAtman in the English
Introduction to the above work, which has been published separately as How to
Recognise the Method of Vedanta. In this he quotes Shankara Brihad Up Bhashyam
2-1-20 and BSB 2-1-11 wherein it is clear that according to Shankara, the Vedanta
tradition up to his time was exclusively advaitic with not a hint of the
teachings of Madhva and Ramanuja to be found prior to Shankara himself. The
dualist schools referred to by Shankara are other darshanas such as Sankhya and
Yoga (see BSB 2-1-3 dvaitino hi te sAnkhyA yogAscha nAtmaikatvadarshinaH).
There is a tantalising hint in the intro to VPP that Sri Swamiji intended to
write a second volume that would have covered the Vedanta schools after
SarvajnAtman to modern times as well as the positions of Ramanuja and Madhva. I
have confirmed with the Karyalaya that notes to such a manuscript do exist, but
it is not clear whether they can be turned into a full publication. As an aside
there is also a manuscript of a commentary to Aitereya Aranyaka (the portions
before the Upanishad) with a commentary that Sri Swamiji had ascribed to
Shankara. Again it is not known if this publication will ever see the light of


You will also find details of pre Shankara schools
in Sri Swamiji’s Suddha Shankara Prakriya Bhaskara. In this work we find a
detailed discussion of teachers before Gaudapada, specifically Dravidacharya,
Upavarsha and Brahmanandin, as well as a refutation of Ramanuja’s derivation of
the context of their teachings and links to his own system. There is also a
detailed discussion of pre Shankara advaita schools that were refuted by
Shankara and his grand preceptor Gaudapada. This work also has a lengthy and
detailed comparison of the Vedanta and Buddhist tradition to refute the view
that Gaudapada was a crypto-buddhist.


You will find the English books How to Recognise
the Method of Vedanta and Suddha Shankara Prakriya Bhaskara on the Karyalaya
website via the links provided by Sri Lalitaalaalitah in the English Section
(which also includes Sri Swamiji’s short English work on Narada Bhakti Sutras).
Those conversant with Kannada may also know of references in Sri Swamiji's Kannada works.


This is probably not the forum for a detailed
discussion of Sri Swamiji’s writings. Those interested in that can join the
Satchidanandendra list or can email me privately with any further questions on
Sri Swamiji’s writings, so as not to detract from the main focus of this
advaita-l forum. 


Regards Subhanu


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