[Advaita-l] Info. on SS reqd.

Stig Lundgren slu at bredband.net
Wed Aug 3 18:41:03 CDT 2005

Dear Bhaskarji

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 
> for
> you to provide reference as to where padmapAda has been attacked 
> personally
> 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.).

Warmest regards
Stig Lundgren

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