[Advaita-l] Info. on SS reqd.
slu at bredband.net
Wed Aug 3 18:41:03 CDT 2005
Sorry for my somewhat delayed response. You wrote:
> May be Sri Ramakrishna Balasubramanian prabhuji talking about this
> biography of SS...I donot have this book with me...would it be possible
> you to provide reference as to where padmapAda has been attacked
> with derogatory remarks by the author prabhuji. Thanks in advance.
On page 31f, D.B. Gangolli writes:
"In yet another work he [that is, Satchidanandendra Swamiji] proved beyond
doubt that the sub-commentary - 'Panchapadika' -- referred to by the
post-Shankara vyAkhyAnakAras as the work of Sri padmapAdAchArya, a direct
disciple of Sri Sankara, was written by an unknown writer with mischievous
and malicious intentions to discredit the traditional methodology. His
disarming argument in this regards was: 'If we believe that padmapAdAchArya
himself has written this treatise, then the most sensible conclusion that he
is a disciple of Sankara has to be discarded, for a direct disciple cannot
possibly distort his Guru´s tenets in such a manner as to be totally
Well, as we can see, Sri Gangolli´s conclusion says something else than the
quote from Satchidananendra Swamiji he is referring to. In this quote,
Swamiji says nothing about any "mischievous and malicious intentions to
discredit the traditional methodology."
Satchidanandendra Swamiji leaves the door open whether PadmapAda is the
author of the paNcapAdika or not. In his numerous writings he sometimes
refer to the work in the conventional way as written by (or at least
ascribed to) PadmapAda, and sometimes -- when going into detail regarding
this question -- he points out that the authorship is still open to
question. In the introduction to his Sanskrit work, paNcapAdikA-prasthAnam,
Swamiji writes: "Poetical works called Shankara-Vijayas, ascribe the work to
PadmapAda acArya, the direct disciple of Shankara, but no trustworthy
evidence internal or external has been so far adduced by any scholar to
ratify this tradition. Nor do we have any reliable information about any
other work safely assignable to the author."
However, the main thing for Satchidanandendra Swamiji is not whether the
paNcapAdika was written by PadmapAda or not. The paNcapAdika plays a major
role within the Advaita tradition after Shankara, and it has to be analysed
because of that, regardless if PadmapAda is the author.
Personally, I do not share the view (apparently held by Sri D.B. Gangolli)
that someone would have deliberately tried to distort the genuine teachings
of Shankara. What would be the motive for that? Whether PadmapAda is the
author or not is one thing. The paNcapAdika deviates from the works authored
by Shankara. But I don´t think we have to conclude that the author of
paNcapAdika was deliberately trying to fool and misguide us.
I asked my guruji (pandit K.G. Subraya Sharma, a direct disciple of
Satchidanandendra Swamiji) regarding the opinion of Swamiji on this
question. What was the reason that the paNcapAdika deviated from Shankara?
My guruji Subraya Sharma explained that Swamiji believed that the author of
paNcapAdika could perhaps have been influenced by Samkya philosophy prior to
becomming an advaitin. This could maybe explain, Swamiji thought, the
dualistic tendencies in the paNcapAdika (the theory of a positive existing
avidyA as a material cause for adhyAsa etc. etc.).
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