[Advaita-l] Age/History of Sankara

Ravishankar Venkatraman sunlike at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 7 16:29:07 CDT 2006

We have had enough discussions in the past on this subject in this website. 
Not only here but also in other major forums in the internet, people have 
spent many hours fanatically arguing to see that there is no end. If it 
were, we would have gotten the right answer by now. There are people in this 
forum that cannot get over this. Some way or other, they want to keep this 
topic alive or some other so-called controversy between Kanchi and Sringeri.

As far as Sri. Sankara’s life, I did a careful analysis in the past very 
systematically for the sake of my own understanding. Here is my conclusion - 
nobody can prove anything in totality, nor disprove anything. You can prove 
and disprove so many things based on partial lists or evidences, but that 
does not cover the entire history from Sri. Adi Sankara. Similar to the 
checksum errors in personal computers, there is always a checksum error when 
we try to put all the pieces together.  Faith in one’s own Acharya and 
personal emotions take precedence over objective analysis.

I have participated in these discussions very seriously earlier. I wanted to 
stay away this time totally for obvious reasons, but I find myself to be a 
non-perfect sAdhakA to stay away from topics of interest.

One of the intrinsic properties of anything which is old, traditional and 
mystical is always the complexity in some dimensions. Things are not black 
and white and it should not be also. Such was the life of Sri. Adi Sankara – 
a distinctive, exceptional personality and a Supreme Guru. Why do people 
have to fight over His life and works? Even not-so-old personalities such as 
Sadasiva Brahmendra’s life are filled with such mystical characteristics. 
His adhistanam (samAdhi-sthalA) is supposed to be in 3 places in Tamilnadu. 
I think that this is what makes Sanatana Dharma unique. Puranas and Itihasas 
have contradicting stories and anecdotes which are overlooked all the time. 
We have Smritis contradict each other on occasions, but people accept them 
as different customs in different ages.

Right at this moment, Hinduism is undergoing a major challenge and it needs 
to be strengthened by a Renaissance. Some of the challenges are credible 
threats coming from external sources, while others are internal 
destabilizing the very foundation. I categorize this topic in the latter 
category. Each one of us is doing a major harm to oneself as well as to the 
Hindu cause by debating this -- Nahi nahi rakshati dukrnkarane…

God bless,

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