[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 15:20:32 CDT 2005

On 7/20/05, bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> prabhuji your observation that *certain individual points* of shankara &
> surEshvara is really interesting. Kindly clarify whether shankara
> propagated anywhere his own *individual points* without taking care of
> shruti siddhAnta prabhuji.  If shankara's individual points are completely
> in order with shruti...how can then madhusUdana a true representative of
> advaita differs from it??
> Kindly, prabhuji, if possible give the detailed account of those
> differences between shankara & madhusUdana & madhusUdana's justification
> for it.
> Sri VS prabhuji:
> We must remember that in the bR^ihadAraNyaka bhAshya vArttika, even
> sureSvara differs from Sankara, and explicitly so.
> bhaskar :
> Thats interesting too!!! my parama guruji Sri satchidAnandEndra saraswati
> firmly believes that Sri sureshwara is the only advaita AchArya who is true
> to shankara siddhAnta...please give me the specific references to enable me
> to take up with my guruji.

Dear Sri Bhaskar,

Sureshvara has differed from Shankara in a number of places, mainly in
the bR^ihad-vArtikam. A summary of these is given in R.
Balasubramanians study of Mandana Mishra (published by Chowkamba). If
I have the time, I'll try to get these references. Two things come to
mind immediately 1) can only brahmins take up sannyaasa as **means**
to realization? Shankara says yes, sureshvara says no. 2) regarding
the reference to itihaasa and puraaNa in the bR^ihad upanishad,
sha.nkara says they refer not to the standard itihaasas and puraa.nas,
but to the stories in the veda (by the way that happens to be the
orthodox pUrva  mImA.nsA position). Sureshvara says that they can
refer to the bhArata and other standard purANas.

Sri Satchidanandendra is well aware of these and many others and
claims that these are not of "great importance". But the point is if
Sureshvara did not consider it important, why would he bother to
disagree? Clearly what is important or not is in the eyes of the
beholder. The plain fact is that SUreshvara thought it was important
enough to disagree.

Just a quick note. Followers of Sri Satchidanandendra (SS)  typically
claim that only SS "discovered" the discrepancies between authors
after Sureshvara. That's wholly untrue. Citsukha, way back in the 12th
century has explained how many discrepancies can be resolved. There is
no single way of presenting advaita tattvam. The presentation depends
on many conditions including place in history, etc. A notion that "it
is this way and nothing else" is itself a Western notion superimposed
on Shankara. Is it even believable that right after Sureshvara
attained mahaasamaadhi, the teachings of sha.nkara diasppeared, only
to be discovered only 1200 years later?!! It boggles the imagination,
to say the least.


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