[Advaita-l] Web-sites related to advaita

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 12 13:35:27 CST 2005

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com>

> 2. http://www.namboothiri.com/ - generally about nambbothiris
> (brahmins indigeneous to Kerala). They have a page on sa.nkara (of
> course!) - http://www.namboothiri.com/articles/sankaraachaaryar.htm.

I had referred to the above website a while ago (10 Dec 2001), since I
felt there was a discrepancy between the claims of the website and the
advaita tradition. The advaita tradition says that Shankara was a
yajur-vedi (e.g. Sureshvara's commentary on the taittirIya upanishhad
of the kR^ishhNa yajur veda is said to be inspired due to the fact that
Shankara was a KR^ishhNa yajurvedi), but the website says that he was a
rig-vedi without giving any reason whatsoever for this claim. So I'm
not inclined to believe in the material offered on that website that
concerns Shankara (either historical or philosophical).

The Namboothiris remained staunch mImAmsakas in spite of the fact that
Shankara, the premier teacher of VedAnta, hailed from that clan. There
was a book I read a long time back (I think it was Mayeda's
upadeshasaahasrii), where the author said that the Namboothiri Brahmins
were unaware of the advaita philosophy till it be became very popular
in other parts of India -- centuries after Shankara. Even then, they
did so only partially, since they found it difficult to accept the
state of moksha as being free of all karma. My point: ONLY so far as
pUrva mImAmsA is concerned can the Namboothiris be trusted with
providing correct information. Shankara's curse on them for not
permitting him to cremate his mother is well known.

The website is also not clear on why it clubs "dvaita" with "pUrva
mImAmsA", when they say that the namboothiris believe in both
philosophies. That they are mImAmsakas is obvious, but why "dvaita"?
FAQ No:3 
Q-3. I think, the greatest contribution to the Namboothiri community is
that of Sri Aadi Sankaraacharya. It should be prominently displayed in
your website. I have a question: I being a Maadhwa Brahmanan, follow
Dvaitha (Sri Maadhavaachaarya). Which philosophy does Namboothiris
follow? (V Prasanna Krishna, Systems Analyst, USA) 
Ans: Namboothiris also follow Dvaitha but not a follower of any saint
like Maadhavaachaarya or Sankaraachaarya. Namboothiris, from time
immemorial, believed in "Poorva Meemamsa" and "Karma Sidhaantha". Due
to this, Namboothiris always gave importance to performing "Yaagam" and
practising "Bhattavruthi" (knowledge acquisition) rather than following
a single Aachaarya. The strong belief in "Karma Sidhaantha" is also the
basis for the functional classification of Namboothiris. (see the
article "Classification of Namboothiris"). Even Sankaraachaarya himself
taught Namboothiris not to blindly follow a single personality. This
can be clearly seen in everything. 


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