[Advaita-l] Age/History of Sankara

vijay kartik vijaykartik_2004 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 8 01:55:10 CDT 2006

  It is indeed strange that you are not aware of this 5 Sankaras theory which is propounded by none other than the Kanchi Mutt itself.
  One reference is in our own List archives. please refer:
  As I had mentioned earlier, many such queer theories were formulated each one to validate or defend an earlier queer theory.
  Since each theory conflicted with accepted history and tradition fresh theories were necessary.
  For eg, if Sankara is claimed to have lived 2500 years ago, did he live before Buddha and therefore did not deserve the epithet ' Bouddha matha kandana"
  Ok, propose another theory that Sankara never had anything to do with conquering Buddhistic influence
  Again, some of the books the Kanchi Mutt rely on refer to Sankara having been born in Chidambaram!  How to defend this?
  Ok propound a new theory that actually the one born in Chidambaram was Abhinava Sankara who alone lived in 8th century and who was confused with the real Sankara.
  Again Kanchi Mutt says Samkara ascended Sarvagna Peetha in Kanchi and not at Kashmir as tradition used to say.
  Ok say again that it was Abhinava Sankara who actually went to Kashmir.
  Again if Sankara is back dated to 2500 years, how to counter the claim that then some of the slokas and works do not appear that old?
  Again come out with a claim that some of the works written by later Sankara like Krpa Sankara and Abhinava seem to be confused with Adi Sankara's works.
  Most of the above are still found even in the Kanchi mutt website.
  These are only examples of how there has been lot of sustained efforts to recreate a totally new version of Sankara's life that directly conflicted with accepted tradition till 100 years ago.
  I read Muka Panchashati as part of my Sanskrit literature class and also History of Sanskrit literature syllabus. I can still try to get reference of these text books .
  What about the Kanchi Mutt version about Vidya Theertha and Vedanta Desika?
  VIdyaSankara was a well-known guru of the Sringeri Parampara and his temple in Sringeri is well-known.
  How is it that he is being claimed as belonging to the Kanchi Mutt?
  Again what about the point about Vedanta Desika being a student of the Kanchi Mutt? Ludicrous- one should say.
  Please note that continued efforts at spreading untruths are more likely to hurt Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma principles than any external influence.
  You should be aware that even in the recent years books elaborating on some of the above " theories" are being published by the Kanchi Mutt.
  So tempering and concern about threat to Hinduism should start with everyone.
  We are after all a forum with a few hundred truth-seekers.
  It will be clear from the above that certainly I am not the one with admirable fantasizing skills.

B Shridhar <kameshwarii at gmail.com> wrote:
  Where is this theory of 5 sankaras that you mention? is this theory yours?
I fear that the person who must have taught you about panchadasi must have
forgot to tell you about Muka kavi belonging to the kanchi parampara. Your
insufficient knowledge cannot be a basis of incorrect history.
There has been never a doubt about Bhagavan Bhodendra not to belong to the
Kanchi parampara even in Govindapuram. Which book before 50 years are you
talking about not mentioning the same.
Further do you think that the Kudali mutt has just appeared now?
Your words are just hearsay and just have no basis even for an argument.
Please kindly give sufficient references before you make statements

B. Shridhar

On 10/7/06, vijay kartik wrote:
> 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 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
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2005-January.txt.gz
> (search for "sankaravijaya texts") and at
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2000-June/001047.html.
> 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.
> Regards,
> Shyam
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