Vedic Religion

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Tue Aug 3 11:20:56 CDT 1999

Ramakrishnan wrote:

> Thanks for the summary of the commentators views on the
> pA.ncarAtra.Although, I think it is not entirely relevant to my point.
> Anyway, please read Oberhammers paper on Sha.nkaras refutation of the
> pA.ncarAtra in the ABORI , "An unknown source in the refutation of the

Will do, although it will take time.  However, all things being the
same, I'd much rather read Shankara himself with the aid of his
commentators to learn what his refutation of the Pancharatra is,
rather than try to get a filtered and possibly discolored version
through a third party (with all apologies to Oberhammer).

> Again, my point was this: From various works (not sha.nkaras alone),
> bhAskaras commentary, yAmunas reply to someone he calls "revered
> commentator", vAcaspati and sha.nkara, it is clear that all four
> commentators (not yAmuna) held that the pA.ncarAtra scriptures talked
> about creation of jIvas. Ramanuja was the first commentator (known)
> who thinks otherwise. So, it is quite likely that this was a later
> evolution of the pA.ncarAtra, or a doctrine of a minor pA.ncarAtra
> text. A further evidence in this regard is that yAmuna is not able to
> produce any bhAshhyakAra who thinks that the pA.ncarAtra is vedic.
> Even the commentator he reveres is against the pA.ncarAtra!

And my point was only that since the Mahabharata and other texts
(Bhagavata and other Puranas, as well as the shathapatha-brAhmaNa) do
accept the Pancharatra, such acceptance cannot be considered an
invention of Yamuna or Ramanuja, although one may disagree with their
theology, or even with their style of defense of the Pancharatra (as
perhaps we both do).

> Madhva does not trust advaita, he did not study it carefully then?
> :-;.

Certainly I would agree that Madhva cannot, by himself, be taken as an
absolute authority on Advaita, and what he says about it should be
thoroughly cross-checked.  The same standard should, of course, apply
to others as well.

> surely
> > make little sense for Shankara to have rejected the Pancharatra and
> > for Yamuna and Ramanuja to have adopted it, in that case.  It should
> > have been the reverse.
> Sure, in a historical analysis fragments of bhAshhyas have to be
> relied on. The end result is that we cannot be 100% sure (as in any
> historical analysis), but can get strong pointers on the evolution of
> various doctrines. of course, even if we had the full bhAshhya, people
> may speculate (like you did) that there may have been other unknown
> bhAshhyas. That is useful for pA.ncarAtra apologists, but not in a
> historical analysis.

However, that was not the only point; I still fail to see why, if
difference in release is *denied* by the Pancharatra, it should be so
vigorously objected to by Shankara who otherwise agrees with it, but
equally vigorously defended by Yamuna, et al, who otherwise disagree
with it.

> AgamaprAmANyam is also available. My mail was a historical analysis
> and unfortunately you have misunderstood my intentions (as seen from
> quoting from kalpataru and other late texts). Oberhammer also gives

No, I just wanted to check what the position of the commentators was.

> arisen. Oberhammers paper is key in my analysis. Let me know if you
> can't get this easily. I owe you one for the paper of Ramachandra
> Dikshitar you sent me.

Thanks, but I probably won't need your help, although it may take me a
few weeks to get up to speed on the material (our library carries the
ABORI, but getting a copy and reading it is what will take time).


Shrisha Rao

> Rama

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