[Advaita-l] Age/History of Sankara

B Shridhar kameshwarii at gmail.com
Sat Oct 7 11:46:08 CDT 2006

While we can have counter arguments for arriving at the age of sankara but I
feel the guru parampara of the various sankara mutts should be considered
the most authentic. The books, manuscripts, evidences can be changed through
the course of time but the data which is transmitted from guru to guru via
their parampara has to be held in higher esteem. Based on such data, each of
the major recognised mutts - Dwaraka, Puri, Kudali, Badri (?), Kanchi have
accepted a 2,500years history for adi sankara which again is reiterated
through their number of peethadipathis. I too have high regard for the
sringeri acharyas for their profound knowledge but we are now  discussing
age of sankara.

We were originally discussing about your point 6>. We also have to
understand we were discussing about the age of sankara, so automatically you
were not discussing about the ramana ashram or the ramakrishna mission but
the sankaracharya mutts. Now thus each mutt have their own guru parampara
and their disciples are happy with them in their own unique guru-shisya
relationship. Now by your statement (Point 6) you are asking everyone to be
vigilant and not to take such mutt's claim lying down. but then again why
not?  It is upto the disciple which you should allow him to be as he wants
to be.
Your point will be valid only in case we need to conduct a historical
research and not as a student of advaitam.

Yours Truly
B. Shridhar

On 10/4/06, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >3. Renounce the belief that any great person who lived in India in the
> past
> >would had to have lived before Christ. Countless great men and women have
> >lived in India not only in the very distinct past, but also roughly in
> the
> >two millenia after Christ.
> >
> >Now while rest of sankaracharya mutts proclaim an age of sankara to be
> >before christ (through their guru parampara of more than 70 acharyas),
> >only
> >shringeri mutt claim for a post christ dated age for sankara. Now by his
> >statement one is asked to open his mind to consider a post christ dated
> age
> >for sankara.
> Yes, all I am asking is for you to keep an open mind about the Sringeri
> maTha tradition. I don't know whether that is too much to ask. After all,
> while it may seem as if Sringeri is alone in not saying that Sankara lived
> 2500 years ago, the fact remains that Sringeri's important (I would say,
> almost central) place in the tradition is rejected only by a few, for
> whatever reason.
> I would also draw attention to the fact that verses giving Sankara's birth
> in a year corresponding to 788 AD, the Kerala tradition linking Sankara's
> life to the founding of the Kollam era, etc are all, the reference in the
> Tamil work, Kongudesa Rajakkal, which has Sankara's birth in the 14th year
> of Vikramaditya - all of these are centuries-old sources for a date that
> is
> not-5th century BCE. To claim that all traditional institutions accept a
> 5th
> century BCE date is far-fetched, to say the least.
> Unfortunately, Antarkar does not take these other sources into account
> properly. By the way, when I say I have cited and discussed his papers, it
> means precisely only that. It does not mean that I have agreed with his
> conclusions.
> >
> >Another example being :
> >
> >6. Renounce the beliefs that, if an institution is prominent today, or if
> >it's head is worthy of respect, it has been always prominent throughout
> >history or that all the historical claims of the said insitution are
> >correct.
> >
> >In the general perspective one can take these statements logically but
> when
> >one understands the bais of the writer then one cant help requesting
> >restrain from such a seasoned scholar on such sensitive issues. For any
> >student, the Guru and the mutt which he heads is the ultimate by whose
> >grace
> >alone he can even grasp and visualise advaitam.
> >
> For whatever it is worth, I would suggest considering the guru to be
> separate from the institution he happens to be associated with. You need
> the
> grace of the guru, not the institution. The student's relationship with
> the
> Guru is a personal one. The institution exists only for social, historical
> and other non-personal reasons, and comes with the baggage of people other
> than the guru - the attendants, the administrators, the treasurers, the
> secretaries - most of whom do not merit the status you should give to the
> guru.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
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