SSS and Madhva (was Re: [Advaita-l] Review of MarthaDoherty'scomments on Sri Satchidanandendra Sarasvati)

Stig Lundgren slu at
Wed Feb 28 16:34:46 CST 2007

Dear Kartik,

> It occurs to me that there isn't much difference between SSS and the
> dvaitins.

I´m sorry to hear that. May I suggest some further study of SSS´s works,
perhaps? :-)

> was an a-Sampradayavit, as testified by his own Guru.

I don´t know if you have read the review of Martha Doherty´s article (the
very same review referred to in the original posting in this thread). In any
case, in that review is shown clearly that SSS was held in very high esteem
by the Sringeri shankaracharya, the Dwaraka shankaracharya and the Kanchi
shankaracharya. In contrast to you, the Sringeri, Kanchi and Dwaraka
shankaracharyas did not label SSS an asampradyavit. In the review, the
following is stated:

"Attention of the readers are drawn to the opinions of the pontiffs of the
Kanci, Sringeri and Dwaraka shankaracharya Mutts with regard to
[Satchidanandendra] Swamiji. The late Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati
Swamiji of the Kanci Kamakoti Pitha who had invited Swamiji in 1961 to
Karaikudi in Tamilnadu had described Swamiji as a living example of a sage
who had lived all his life steeped in contemplation on the Paramartha. Later
on, in 1979 the Kanci Pithadisha persuaded and prompted the close devotees
of Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji to celebrate his centenary the
next year (Gangoli D.B - Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji Page 2).
His Holiness concurred to the views of Swamiji and expressed it openly in an
interview to Sri Devaraya Kulkarni (Recorded in the Souvenir - Birth
Centenary of Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji). In spite of being the
head of a great institution, the Kanci Pithadisha sent his successor
designate Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji to Holenarsipur to pay respects to
Swamiji (This information is given by HH Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji
Himself). Moreover financial assistance was rendered by the Kanci Kamakoti
Pitha towards publication of Swamiji's works.
    Acceptance of Swamiji's views with regard to mutual adhyasa as avidya by
the Kanci pontiff is confirmed from the recorded speech in Sanskrit rendered
by His Holiness (The audio cassette of the same is available with many of
His devotees. The recorded speech is transcribed by Dr. K. Prashanth, Dept
of Sanskrit Vivekananda College, Chennai - 4, titled Janmarahityam katham
sambhavisyati (Meaning: How birthlessness will take place?). In that
discourse His Holiness states that "The cause of appearance of duality is
mithyajñanam i.e. anyathajñanam (to know a thing as what it is not) and by
the destruction of this anyathajñanam alone birthlessness is attained." Here
it is seen that His Holiness refers to misapprehension (adhyasa) as the
cause of duality and not to any mulavidya, the destruction of which ensures
birthlessness as held by the traditionalists.
The then pontiff of Sringeri Sharada Pitha late Sri Abhinavavidyatirtha
Swamiji had paid a visit to Holenarsipur to meet Swamiji. His Holiness had
offered financial aid for the publication of Swamiji's magnum opus the VPP
["The Method of Vedanta"] at that time. His Holiness said on that occasion,
"By my personal visit many of my doubts have been solved. Having dedicated
your whole life for the propagation of Sankara-siddhanta you are a true
devotee indeed." (Gangoli D.B 1997 ibid Page 30 and The Publisher's Note to
   The pontiff of Dwaraka Sharada Pitha had offered financial assistance
towards the publication of Swamiji's book, Mandukya Rahasya Vivritihi
(Acknowledgements Mandukya Rahasya Vivrtihi by Satchidanandendra Saraswati

An then regarding your claim "testified by his own Guru": When SSS wrote his
book "Mulavidya nirasa" in 1929, his Guru Sri Virupaksa Shastri said that
"The style of the writing of the treatise is good, but the exposition of the
subject matter is against the tradition". In other words, Sri Virupaksa
Shastri said that SSS´s treatment of mUlAvidyA was against tradition. But
this could hardly have been any big news to SSS, since the very point with
that book was to critizise the treatment of mUlAvidyA within tradition!! To
my knowledge, Sri Virupaksa Shastri never called SSS an asampradayavit. And
he never said that SSS´s book "should not be respected by those who are
desirous of liberation", as falsely claimed by Martha Doherty in her PhD on
SSS. This claim made by Doherty is baseless.

> SSS nitpicks on the most insignificant details in post-Sankaran
> authors, to the extent of pointing out extremely minor differences in
> terminology,

Well, after all those "most insignificant details" are such as they gave
rise to the Vivarana and Bhamati subtraditions. So they can hardly be
described as "most insignificant" or "extremely minor", regardless if one
agree with SSS, Vivarana, Bhamati or anyone else...

Warmest regards
Stig Lundgren

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