[Advaita-l] SSS and madhva

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 15:33:02 CST 2007

praNAm.h shrI Abhilash,

  There is however a crucial difference between the two. Does gaudapada
anywhere claim that he learnt the sampradaya from some a-historical shuka?
It is the tradition that holds so in glorification of its teacher.
Glorification of one's teacher by ascribing some supernatural feats to him
is not uncommon and cannot be taken as willful deception by the teacher

  In case of madhva it is different. He himself claims that he met vyasa and
learnt it from him and then somewhere else he claims himself as incarnation
of vayu. How seriously are we to take such claims? It leaves us with only
two possibilities: either he was innocent but himself deluded in thinking
that he met vyasa or he deliberately used deception to prove his theory.
Which one is worse?


I agree with most of your analysis. Though two issues remain (I understand
there is probably more in the upaniShats to support the conclusions of
advaita vEdAnta than dvaita vEdAnta, but without getting into those details,
let me focus on how this notion of a sampradAya is logically insufficient,
and that there is an element of faith involved. And if faith is involved,
one cannot find fault if some people choose to have faith in Ananda tIrtha
rather than, say, shaN^kara and his maThas. Please note that I am trying to
present a dvaitin perspective here):
-- There is no history of a sampradAya before gauDapAda. So, how is one to
know that there was indeed a bonafide sampradAya that was propagated by
gauDapAda. If you say there is no history of a sampradAya (for dvaita
vEdAnta) before Ananda tIrtha, the same is true for gauDapAda.
-- In addition to the reasons you have given for Ananda tIrtha's claims (i.e.,
he was either deluded or being deliberately malicious), it could be that he
was indeed vAyu and indeed learnt from vyAsa (however fantastic the claim
may sound.)

The point being -- The notion of an unchanging anAdi kAla sampradAya does
not rest on solid ground (at least at this time).

Also, on a slightly different note, I wanted to confirm what the position of
the sampradAya (for example, the shrungEri maTha) is wrt episodes like
gauDapAda and shuka. Do they treat it as historical reality or not? (If not,
why is the glorification done? Is the point to emphasize that people like
gauDapAda are comparable to a-historical stalwarts like shuka (while knowing
full well the unreality of the episodes)?) Thanks.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list