[Advaita-l] Age/History of Sankara

vijay kartik vijaykartik_2004 at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 7 03:29:21 CDT 2006

There is this famous theory which says that there were at least 5 Sankaras whom people confuse with the original Sankara.
  This includes Muka Sankara who wrote Muka Panchasati
   and Abhinava Sankara who is said to haved lived between 788 AD and 820 AD and who is claimed to be the reason for confusion with Adi Sankara who actually lived 2500 years back etc......
  The strange thing is all the 5 Sankaras only lived in Kanchi and nowhere else.
  I have always learnt in my younger days that Mukapanchasati was written by Muka Kavi and no reference to Kanchi parampara. But nowadays it is different. Same is the case with Bhagavannama Bodhendra. Books before 50 years or so did not mention any Kanchi mutt affiliation to Bodhendra but nowadays it is different.
  Then there is suddenly "research " about how Sankara established a mutt not at Sringeri but only at Kudali and how Kanchi Mutt strongly patronised the Swamijis of the Kudali Mutt and spread messages in Chennai even in 1960's that Kudali alone is the true mutt and not Sringeri ....
  A select group of"reputed scholars" have been propagating new versions such as above since the 1950's and it is no secret who used to patronise these "scholars".
  On a slightly different note, how many of us know that Vedanata Desika was trained by a guru of the Kanchi Mutt- this is what the Kanchi mutt website says. Not just that- the Guru who taught him was Vidya Sankara who actually was a Guru of the Sringeri Mutt and in whose memory the famous Vidya Sankara temple stands.
  Do the Vaishnavas agree to this part about Desika? I am quite curious.
  You keep saying the same thing over and over and you say it through people who carry credibility-- everything becomes history and truth.
  Vijay Kartik
  Shyam Subramanian <shyamsub at gmail.com> wrote:
  vijay kartik wrote:
> One hates to say this, but certainly a lot of "sponsored research" was conducted and published in the last century on some of these topics relating to Sankara's life.
> Lots of new theories and evidence was brought out suddenly in the last century ,each one of these reports reinforcing what another research report said. The irony is, a lot of these reports sought to bring versions of Sankara's life almost unknown till that time.
> The added irony is that, anyone who tries to highlight the conflicts of these reports with accepted traditions/ known history is branded as negative and narrow-minded. 
Don't you think it is necessary to give some references when you make 
such claims, especially for the benefit of the kanchi matha supporters 
(who obviously have no reason to believe or reject it otherwise). FYI, I 
am a devotee of the sringeri matha. (and yes, you are not explicitly 
mentioning kanchi here but your first line and previous mails do 
indicate so).

Regarding W.R.Antarkar, some of Antarkar's papers, especially the ones 
relating to the sankara vijayams are at http://www.easterntradition.org 
, (a website hosted by people who believe in the 5BCE date for adi 
sankara but who simultaneously reject his writing of the bhashyas!). 
This website also has Narayana Sastri's "The Age of Sankara" which (in 
my opinion strictly) is so full of bias in its criticism of the 
madhaviyam and the sringeri matha that even Antarkar rejects Sastri's 
claims about the madhaviyam (though he does consider it again at the 
end). Some of the contents of Sri Vidyasankar's paper (and counterpoints 
by Sri Ravishankar and further replies by Vidyasankar) are at 
(search for "sankaravijaya texts") and at 
His criticism of Antarkar is not there but he gives his refutations to 
some of the points Antarkar has raised . I request Sri B.Shridhar to 
read both and check for himself which of the opinions is biased (or 
rather, more biased).

Finally, I would like to add that I do consider SrI candraSekharendra 
sarasvati to be a jIvanmukta and respect him for being a Srotriya and a 
brahmanishTha. I would like to ask, as was asked by Sri Amuthan, is a 
jIvanmukta necessarily a sarvaj~na too?

I hope I am being objective here.


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