Pre-shankaran Advaitins

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Oct 12 18:00:32 CDT 2000

Hello all :

    In light of the recent discussions on certain
not so well-known vedantins, I would like to know the
following :

1) Are there any extant commentaries on the Brahma-sutra
   before ShrI Shankara?

2) Are there any references to AcharyAs before ShrI
   GaudapAda in any of the works of ShrI Shankara and his

3) How exactly do we deduce the "philosophies" of
   pre-shankaran vedantins if their commentaries are no
   longer extant?  It seems to me that each and every
   can and would cliam them as their own just to gather the
   weight of tradition.

4) Supposing that it is indeed possible to extrapolate the
   philosophy of pre-shankaran vedantins from references in
   the texts of others, what relevance would it have on
   Advaita?  So, can post-shankaran vedantins claim that
   ShrI Shankara took "liberties" with Vedantic exegesis
   based on the philosophies of pre-shankaran authors?

5) Last but not the least, I have heard that even the
   Shankaran tradition maintains that ShrI Shankara did not
   "invent" anything new but merely established what was
   a very ancient teaching.  If that is the case, why is
   there such a paucity of information on Vedantins
   between ShrI Ved Vyas and ShrI GaudapAdAcharya?  Has the
   Shankaran tradition attempted to explain this?

Thanks in advance,

-Vivek Aanand Ganesan

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