[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta

venkata subramanian venkat_advaita at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 22 23:21:23 CDT 2005

in fact, there are English Translations of Naishkarmya Sidhi and more specifically, the Thaitreyopanishad Bhashya Vartika Translation by Sri Balasubramanian - both of which are published by Madras University; eloborate on this theme of Shankara Vs Sureshvaracharya.   especially, the later work is very lively to read.  There is a reference also to a learnt article by Nilakanta Shastri.
By the way, in the introduction to the Naishkarmya Sidhi commentary (kleshapaharini), Swami Sachidananendra points out to clashes even between Sri Shankara's own commentary (on the topic of Prana Vrithi (i.e. whether Prana is anu or vibhu).  He points out to the scoffing remark of the Brahma Sutra Bhasyakara on the view point held by the Brihadaranyaka Bhashyakara.  If this is the case with the same authoer, we cannot expect that two authors would be identical.  In Vedanta Prkriya Prathyabigna, he reconciles the one major difference between Sri Shankara and Sri Suresvarachayra on Avidya; wherein for the former it is Adhyasa and for the latter it is Mithyaajnana.   Thus, he is aware of even deeper differences if i can say so.
Interestingly, Polakam Sri Rama Shastrigal, the ex. Prof. of Madras Sanskrit college in Vedanta has written a lengthy introduction in his edition of Pancha Padika, where he has taken this issue of Swami Sachidanandendra.  Shastrigal says that Swamiji's views are already there in Nagesha Bhatta.  Swamiji himself has written about this in his compilation of articles published by Adhyatma Prakasha karyalaya.
now the question is - Is Holenarsipur Swamiji the first to "reveal" ?  may be not necessary, but it cannot at the same time be refused that the clarity of thought he has given in his classical works like his commentary on Thaiteriya Bhasya cannot be set aside, it is at par with any other classical work of Advaita, (perhaps even wonderfull !  - if i am permitted to say so)
Ramaji, honestly, i am yet to come across some one so learned as that Swamiji, who can expound the oppposite side.  In fact, whatever objections i have come across against him, are either fully expressed in terse Navya Tarka (for ex. Prajnanandendra saraswathi) (which i dont understand a wee bit) or something which he has already met up.
so, at this Juncture - your article is of immense help to undertake an impartial study.
so Please begin it.

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
On 7/20/05, 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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