[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 5, Issue 9 (3. Authorship issues - 2.)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 11 16:41:56 CDT 2003

>1) I think the hacker - Mayeda criterion has been discussed in a compact
>fashion in K.C Pande's book on Shankara ( I think it is a Motilal
>Banarsidass publication). Also this did come up as a matter for discussion

I guess you mean the book called Sankaracharya, by G. C. (Govind Chandra) 
Pande, who has discussed this authorship issue. He has indeed described the 
results of Hacker's and Mayeda's researches. The author is affiliated with 
the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla.

>in a book in Malayalam by V. Panoli which was publshed by the "Mathrubhumi
>Publishing House". My opinion is the former is much more worthwhile. I have
>also read that the Vivekachudamani was given a standing of authenticity 
>bcos of Ramana 's acceptance. Thanks for the other names  who are in this
>field of research. I thought the brihadaranyaka Bhashya too was accepted as

Re: vivekacUDAmaNi, the text has been well accepted within the tradition for 
a few centuries. Ramana Maharishi's acceptance of the book may have exposed 
a few Western scholars to the text, but I doubt if that had any influence on 
the text-critical studies of Hacker and others. As it is, Hacker is inclined 
to take the text as authentic primarily because its manuscripts give the 
author's name as Sankara bhagavatpAda, not just as SankarAcArya.

> > the advaita tradition, which points to its probably having been written 
> > different author. The oldest available manuscripts of the yogasUtra
> > vivaraNa are in Malayalam script. It is said that there was another
> > bhagavatpAda from a Kerala nambUdiri family in the 14th century or so, 
> > may have been the author of this text.
>2) Can you give me the source of the above mentioned malayalam work or what
>publisher has brought out the same?

I must clarify that the yogasUtrabhAShya vivaraNa is not in the Malayalam 
language. It is in Sanskrit, but the oldest available manuscripts seem to be 
written in Malayalam script, with a typically Malayali-fied spelling of 
Sanskrit words, e.g. substition of the letter l for t (malsya for matsya, 
SrIvalsa for SrIvatsa etc). The yogasUtrabhAshya vivaraNa was first 
published in the 1950s, from the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, 
Madras. There is a young Japanese scholar, called Kengo Harimoto, who is 
also re-editing this text using additional primary manuscripts. He works at 
Hamburg, after doing a doctoral program at Pennsylvania, USA, under Prof. 
Wilhelm Halbfass.

>3) Is there any known opinion from the traditional mathas such as Sringeri
>on the matter of authorship? Or kanchi for that matter?

As Jaldhar pointed out, the Srirangam Vani Vilas volumes may give an 
indication, but it should be remembered that quite a few of the works 
published in that series came from manuscripts obtained from sources outside 
Sringeri. One could, for example, take a "holier-than-the-Pope" attitude and 
consider only the texts whose manuscripts came from Sringeri as having been 
continuously studied in the tradition. Anyway, one should note that this 
series does not include commentaries on kaushItakI and SvetASvatara 
upanishads, although both are "principal" upanishads and manuscripts exist 
of commentaries on them, attributed to Sankara.

Re: yogasUtrabhAshya vivaraNa, I may recount a personal conversation with 
Swami Bharati Tirtha, the Sringeri Sankaracarya. He agreed that as this 
vivaraNa has not generally been known within the advaita tradition, it is 
quite likely that it is by a different author. Most academic scholars are 
also inclined to believe that this vivaraNa is not by the Sankara of the 
advaita vedAnta school. Nevertheless, Kengo Harimoto, the young academic 
researcher I mentioned above, has informed me that he finds numerous 
similarities in thought and expression between this vivaraNa and the 
brahmasUtra bhAshya. If he succeeds in publishing his findings vigorously 
and in convincing other researchers of them, then we might see a curious 
case of academic scholarship considering a text as genuine although its 
status within the tradition may be shaky!


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