Was ShrI Shankara a Vaishnava?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Aug 16 01:40:31 CDT 1999

Other posts have already answered your question but I wanted to throw in a
little factoid from our history that sheds some light on this.

I have on occasion mentioned the 19th century Gujarati Vaishnava saint
Swami Sahajanand.  In the collection of his talks called Vachanamrt, there
is a story of how he one day met a group of what the text calls
"Shuska" Vedantins (fake or charlatan Vedantins) who claim they don't need
to worship any God because they follow the path of Knowledge.  The
response is interesting.  The Swami says Shankaracharya really meant to
advocate the worship of Vishnu Bhagavan because he said "Bhaja Govindam,
Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam mudhamate!"

Now this is a sectarian work so we have to take what it says with a pinch
of alt but it's interesting that even a completely traditional person
could entertain the notion that Shankaracharya was a Vaishnava.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

On Tue, 10 Aug 1999, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

> 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.
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