[Advaita-l] Age/History of Sankara

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 01:00:08 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

On 10/3/06, vishwanthan Krishnamoorthy <krishvishy_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
> As a sadhaka, it is immaterial to ascertain the origin
> or creator of a theory on fundamental truths (such as
> the works (attributed to) of Sankara), it should
> suffice if the theory has merits and if it is
> applicable at all times.
> To probe into any aspects other than the works of
> Sankara such as age/time of birth/the number of Mutts
> established etc are only of cosmetic value.

very true. for a sincere seeker, these issues are quite insignificant.
however, i do feel that a critical and objective analysis of these
issues has a significant value for all except those of the
uttamAdhikAri calibre.

most seekers of advaita follow a guru and are deeply attached to some
particular sampradAya. unfortunately, these different sampradAyAs
(like shR~Ngeri, kA~nchi, SSS, svAmi dayAnanda etc.) do not agree with
each other on many issues. and most of these sampradAyAs tend to label
themselves as *the* sampradAya. such being the case, it is but natural
that a sincere seeker attached to one of these sampradAyAs primarily
because of respect or tradition feels hurt or confused when he
interacts with the die-hard supporters of a different sampradAya. and
for those who are attached to a particular sampradAya, it does hurt
very deeply to hear it being criticized by others. such distractions
can be very fatal to the conquest of one's avidyA since they easily
unsettle the mind. it is here that an objective analysis helps. since
truth is something we can and should never run away from, a balanced
and unbiased understanding of facts as they are will render great help
in clearing the mind from unnecessary distractions (as shrI
vidyAsha~Nkar pointed out towards the end of his mail).

i would also like to address some important issues here. is it
necessary that a jIvanmukta be a sarvaj~na in the sense of knowing
anything and everything under the sun? i would say NO. even if a
jIvanmukta makes statements about empirical issues which go against
valid pramANAs, they ought to be rejected. do we respect jIvanmuktAs
for their firm knowledge of the self or for their knowledge of the
world? since it's obviously the former, it is best that we subject to
critical reason the various empirical statements made even by
jIvanmuktAs for our own good. as the upaniShads say, satyameva jayate.
as long as we stick to the truth, there is nothing to worry about even
if we differ in non-adhyAtmic issues from mAhAtmAs whom we revere and
worship. emotion should never rule over reason.

since these issues are very delicate, it is quite possible that they
evolve into ad hominem attacks. i request all members to refrain from
these and just stick to the analysis concerned (be it the issue of
authorship of sha~Nkara's works or SSS's ideas or the historicity of
various sampradAyAs etc.). even if the conclusions of these
discussions tend to favour a particular sampradAya, one need not lose
respect for one's sampradAya or for the various mahAtmAs who have
graced that sampradAya as long as he is confident that it will help
him overcome his avidyA. it is also very important to note that even
the most erudite of our list members are not infallible.

to summarize, let us be bold to face the truth. and let us not get
carried away by unnecessary emotions.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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