Was ShrI Shankara a Vaishnava?

Sankaran Panchapagesan panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU
Wed Aug 11 15:25:47 CDT 1999


> I remember reading in one of Natalia Isayeva's book that there is a
> prevalent opinion that ShrI Adi Shankara was a vaishnava. Is there any
> substance to this claim?
> -Vivek.

I remember reading in Natalia Isayeva's book "Shankara and Indian
Philosophy", that one Paul Hacker (famous scholar?) had proposed that
Shankara was a Vaishnavite. But Isayeva herself rejects it because it
overlooks the tradition's view that Shankara was the author of devotional
poems on Shiva and Shakti. She also says that Paul Hacker probably
proposed it because of his own Christian bias, whose concept of a benign
God is close to Vishnu.

In the archives of Soc.Religion.Hindu, starting September 1996, there is a
big discussion on Shankara and Vaishnavism between Ramakrishnan and Mani
Varadarajan (who was claiming that Shankara was a Vaishnavite) and others.
This is at:

Start reading from Mani Varadarajan's post on the thread
Re: ARTICLE : Just say no to "Hinduism". and Ramakrisnan's replies to

Also read Ramakrishnan's post "Shankara and Vaishnavism" in the SRH
archives of October 1996:
and the replies to that too.

They are very informative and will probably answer your questions.


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