[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 47, Issue 3

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 20:51:05 CST 2007

praNAm.h shrI Ramesh,

> ** Your statement above is not correct. Sankara himself mentions the
> works of several ancient (pre-gauDapAda) advaitins in his writings,
> though these works are not extant today.  In fact, the concept of
> saMpradAya comes out quite strongly in Sankara's writings. For a brief
> overview of this matter, pl have a look at the the section on
> pre-Sankaran advaitins on Vidyasankar's website.
> Other sources such as the bauddha bhAvaviveka and the grammarian
> bhArtR^ihari also make references to advaitins.

I am aware of these earlier advaitins, but this is what the dvaitins would
say -- that there is no continuity from vyAsa to the earliest historical
person X (who happens to be bhagavAn upavarSha; btw upavarSha was respected
both by mImAmsakas and vEdAntins, and Hajime Nakamura in his work on early
vEdAnta notes that upavarSha was likely not an advaitin accepting the
unreality of the world.) I am not using the upaniShadic and purANic figures
because both the traditions could quote amply from those sources. (Also,
there seems to be a chain of teachers prior to Ananda tIrtha, although it's
not clear if they were vEdAntins.)

In addition let us also remember that there are several works that are
> neither part of the prasthAnatrayI nor written by well-known
> historical saMpradAyavits but which nevertheless support advaita
> *completely*. These include aShTavakra gItA, R^ibhu gIta, tripura
> rahasya, yoga vAsiShTha, etc. Many of these are probably very ancient
> pre-gauDapAdan texts. There are also other saMpradAya-s that are
> advaitic, such as many of the nAtha lineages.

Please note that for vEdAnta, dharmashAstras, itihAsas and purANas are
probably the only sources commonly accepted by both the traditions (Also, in
my limited exposure to dvaita vEdAnta, I haven't seen much emphasis even on
the dharmashAstras.)

praNAm.h shrI Abhilash,

> Sorry to be belaboring this.

No problem. I just wanted to find the traditional position on such issues.

It is *Anandgiri* who is saying that gaudapada won the
> *grace* of narayana. How is it comparable with the
> other episode?

What I was saying was this: Anandagiri is an accepted sampradAyavit. And he
makes a claim. The claim is either true or not. You are saying that such
claims cannot be true (and I am not sure if that is the traditional
position). If the claim is not true, Anandagiri is indulging in false
speech. This brings up the same possibilities -- either Anandagiri is
deluded, or malicious (if we eliminate the case that what he says is true).
This then raises the question of how good deluded or malicious people can be
in guiding others to mOkSha?

Other possibilities I could think of is that Anandagiri just used
metaphorical language or he wanted to promote bhakti amongst followers of
gauDapAda etc. But I wanted to know what the position of the tradition is on
such issues?  (Btw, the possibility of metaphor could be extended to Ananda
tIrtha too.)

praNAm.h shrI Ravishankar,
       I agree totally with your observations on this issue.


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