[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta - Shri Bharati Tirtha Svami's words

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 10:53:08 CDT 2005

On 8/4/05, Stig Lundgren <slu at bredband.net> wrote:
> Dear Sri Anand Hudli,
> > Why is absolutely necessary to interpret vedanta exactly as Shankara did?
> > Remember, Shankara did not invent a "shankara philosophy."
> Well, the problem is that there is a general confusion regarding what
> Shankara actually says in his works and what doctrines he really propagates.
> If different and sometimes even clashing opinions are all referred to
> without discrimination in the name of Adi Shankara and his school, then
> confusion will result. There is no question of throwing all the later
> commentators into the garbage can, but I think it is very useful for the
> students and aspirants of Vedanta to know what do Shankara says, what do the
> Bhamati school says, what do the Vivarana says etc. etc.
> Warmest regards
> Stig Lundgren

Dear Stig,

But this is nothing new. As early as the 12th century, citsukha has
already noted that there is a multitude of "means", but that they all
teach advaita and in my opinion has effectively "reconciled" all the
"conflicting" viewpoints.

There is really no point in splitting hairs about what sha.nkara
"really" teaches because:

a) there are "significant" differences in sha.nkara's own works - re:
the bR^ihadaaraNyaka vs the suutra bhaaShya
b) there are "significant" differences between sha.nkara and sureshvara.

(Note the significant within "")

Whitewashing the differences between sha.nkara and sureshvara as not
"significant" is subjective. What is not significant for you (or SS)
may be significant for someone else. What is significant for you (or
SS) may be insignificant to me and the rest of the "traditional"
advaita gang. Followers of SS calling the "traditional" advaitins as
not being "true" to sha.nkara, while liberally using sureshvara's
works, is then a case of the proverbial pot and kettle. Not of course
to mention the differences within sha.nkaras works itself.


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