[Advaita-l] BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti - 5 (Other References)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Wed Feb 14 07:12:38 CST 2007

On 2/8/07, Stig Lundgren <slu at bredband.net> wrote:

> These two quotes shows that
> Satchidanandendra´s critical attitude toward later commentaries (for
> instance Vivarana and Bhamati) is due to his view that those commentaries
> might actually be confusing to those who would try to understand what
> Shankara himself says in his books. Hence, Satchidanandendra thinks that one
> ought to study Shankara´s own works, rather than rely on later commentaries.
> The critical remarks by Satchidanandendra about later vedantic
> interpretations should be considered in the light of this.
> So, are all Vedantic writings after Sureshvara useless? No. But parts of
> them might create unnecessary confusion on those specific point where they
> teach doctrines not found in Shankara´s own writings. However, all the other
> parts of all those later works would NOT create any confusion simply because
> they do not say anything that differs from Shankara (or from Gaudapada and
> Sureshvara). After all, we must not forget that post-Shankara vedanta has
> everything in common with Shankara, apart from some (albeit important) parts
> of the doctrine.
> But we should not be surprised to find that Satchidanandendra Saraswati
> Swamiji in his writings focuses on those points where he believes the
> differences are to be found. When he is analyzing the development of the
> vedantic doctrine, then the focus is on the differing areas rather than on
> the teachings common to all advaitins.

Sorry for the late response.

Thanks for the thoughtful response. But the question is simply this:

Is the "standard" advaita tradition composed of Vidyaranya,
Madhusudana Saraswati, Abhinava Vidyatirtha, Ramana Maharshi, etc.,
who do accept the pa~ncapaadikaa derived doctrines, sampradaayavits or
not? The answer should be in the binary - yes or no, it cannot have
Clintonian wafflings. My reading of SSS is that he think they are NOT.
Would any man call the standard tradition a procession of the blind
leading the blind in that case? Let's just have some plausibility
here. We need explanations, and not explaining away differences.

Simply put, if they are indeed sampradaayavits, and we are to believe
that they attained brahma-j~naana, there is really no need for me to
examine yet another set of works by a new author who claims that they
can cause confusion. Further, it is a self defeating proposition to
claim that they are sampradaayavits, but can cause "needless
confusion". It goes against their very *nature* of being

On the other hand, if they are not sampradaayavits, it indeed does
make sense to read the works of SSS.

BTW, what did post Sankara-Sureshvara authors understand correctly?
Let's see: they did NOT understand avidyaa, maayaa, role of shruti vs
reason, they did not do the three-state analysis correctly, their
doctrines were tainted by yoga and nyaaya. Ooops - that covers pretty
much the entire advaita doesn't it? So what is it that is useful in
Post Sankaran authors?

The question may be put in the reverse to the best representatives in
the standard tradition. As a matter of fact the question regarding
SSSs works was put to Sri Bharati Tirtha Swamigal himself (related to
be by a very reliable source) and Shriisannidhaanam basically said
that it is not of the sampradaaya. This happened about 3 years back.
At that time I had convinced myself that the pa~ncapaadikaa, etc., had
misinterpreted shankara after reading SSSs works. This incident
bothered me and I started thinking a bit more, and now I am convinced
it's actually the other way around. More on the philosophical problems
in SSSs works later (yes I have been saying this for a while, but it
will be soon I promise).

To Ravishankar Venkataraman: Praise for devotion to Shankara does not
mean unqualified approval, and accepting that his teachings are to be
accepted as the sampradaaya.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list