A Myth About Sankara (was Re: [Advaita-l] jnAna-vijnAna,

NARAYANA MURTHY malahanikareswara at yahoo.co.in
Fri Mar 16 14:52:48 CDT 2007

Dear Shyam
              You have addressed some of the issues discussed by me from your angle in a dignified manner (albeit judgmental at occasions).  Hats off! for the gentleness. Bhaskar Prabhu, pardon me, I am following your pattern of presenting the answer.
  Shyam : 
  Coming back to the stature of Shankara's works - these have to the summum bonum of the interpretation of the shruti. They cannot be placed in the same category as the shruti so there is no comparison between the two.
  N.Murthy :
  The elementary knowledge inculcated to a student who undergoes study of Vedanta in a traditional set up is the hierarchy of pramanas.  Sh.Karthik quoted the complete hierarchy and that’s what is also taught to me. With this postulate, we proceed further in the studies. But, you know, there are many who does not agree to this view which is our common understanding.
  Shyam :  my primary allegiance is to the shruti
  N. Murthy : Nice, me too
  Shyam : 
  I shall sit in judgement of Shankara and others' interpretation of the shruti, 
  N.Murthy :
  Very confusing as to “Shankara and others' interpretation of the shruti”
  As taught to me, Shankara’s interpretations are on Brahmasutra, DaSopanishad and Bhagavadgita all grouped together named as “Prasthanathrayam”.  Madhava (As per tradition, we believe it is Vidyaranya) and sayana interpretted Sruti.  Interpretation of Sruti by Shankara is unknown to me – Shyam, If you have any such revealition, let that be made known to all. 
  Shyam :
    I, this great panditah that i am, shall decide which of these interpretations i feels best represents the shruti's import, and..
    I shall reject alternative positions on this issue even it is authored by Bhagwan Shankara Himself" 
    then i am afraid this person is rapidly digging his own spiritual grave.
  N.Murthy :
              I totally agree with you Shyam.  I do not know who this person is.  If he does not dig his own spiritual grave, we can dig one and kick him and close the grave -  right?
  And the serious thing  :
  Here the comparison between the Shankara bhashyam and smruthi is made by Sureshvaracharya and conclusions are arrived by him to the tune that what is observed in the smruthi has to prevail. (hope you refer to this)
  As taught to me as per tenets of Sampradaya, Sureshvaracharya’s conclusion prevail. So far, nobody has quoted or deliberated regarding differences between shruthi and Bhashyam.
  Shyam :
  For this unfolding a tradition of teaching has been established by Shankara and this tradition is what is the sampradaya.
  N.Murthy :
  The term “Sampradaya” has been used in this list by so many people in as many contexts. Since I do not have a technical definition,I do not wish to dispute your view.  But if one defines the term technically it would add weight to the discussions since this term is oft repeated.
  Shyam :
    If portions of writings amongst latter-day Acharyas apparently seem to go against the spirit of what Adi Shankara has said, then these need to be understood in the context of what Shankara has affirmed. And if Shankara has decided to not expound greatly on certain concepts, then one can most certainly assured that these concepts are not central or paramount to the understanding of "aham brahmasmi". To say that latter day commentaries improve our understanding of vedanta over and above Shankara's exhaustive and elaborate bhashyas is indeed preposterous.
  N.Murthy :
  Dear Shyam, although there are differences in the school from where I learn and that of Sh.SSS, there is one strong common factor.  We go in our paths steadfast in a definite direction.
  And What you said one by one :
  Shyam :
    If portions of writings amongst latter-day Acharyas apparently seem to go against the spirit of what Adi Shankara has said, then these need to be understood in the context of what Shankara has affirmed.
  N.Murthy :
  I do not wish to go into the facts as to whether you have “prkanda pandithyam” to make such a statement.
  I just give below the extract of Shrimukham of our Acharya Sh.Sannidanam in this regard which you may see for yourself :

tadanantarakAlikA advaitAchAryAH **

siddhAntamimaM AikakaNThyena pratipAdayanto .pi  pratipAdanaprakAreShu

vaividhyaM anvasaran.h ** |


AchAryas of later times, while **unanimously propounding the same

conclusion, followed a variety of methods in explaining it**.


 tadidaM vaividhyaM siddhAntasya na 


kintu puMsAM pratyak-prAvaNya-saMpAdanAyaiveti

This variety (of methods) is not damaging to the siddhAnta, rather it is meant for achieving inclination (becoming absorbed) in the Self by people.


In SSS school while they go toally for Sankara Bhashya.  While I learn, excerpts from latter acharyas in the lineage of Sharada peetham and others are used in the teachings.  


Yes, at this stage I should say that it is only my belief that works of latter Acharyas do not go against Shankaracharya and my belief gets “Pushti” from the Shrimukham of AcharyavaryA.


And I would not like to give colours to your statements like “Digging  a grave” , “A child cry”.  I simply take it a reproduction from your mind as explained by the students of SSS school.

  Shyam :
   To say that latter day commentaries improve our understanding of vedanta over and above Shankara's exhaustive and elaborate bhashyas is indeed preposterous.
  N.Murthy :
  Again look back at Acharya Srimukham
  Shyam :

  Some of this i humbly feel may be a result of getting too caught up on individual lines,sentences or even portions of these wonderful works and perhaps in the process losing sight of the overall import of the author
  N.Murthy :
  Although, at this stage I am not much knowledgeable, Shankara’s instructions are clearly taught to me
  Although, Acharya Shankara says that simply by going through shasthras one does not get “Vimukthi:” which is attained only through “Atmaikyabodham”.  While defining Sishya lakshana in VC, Acharya Shankara places prerequisites to be  a sishya for brahmavidya.  Although I do not have exact quote, I very clearly remember that he expects pandithya of sishya in “Vyakaranam, MImAmsa  and NyAyam”, the pada vakya pramana.
  Dear friend, what is taught to me is that not just lines, sentences but even a single syllabi word like “cha”, “thu” has releavance in the study of Vedanta.
  Shyam :
  Regarding Sh.SSS
  by no means can be branded a as someone outside the fold of the sampradaya, and that too by people who havent even taken their babysteps in the direction of attaining mumukshutvam. 
  Do you think you are  not in baby steps and having vast knowledge when you brand latter acharya’s teekas go against the spirit of Acharya Shankara.
  In reply to Bhaskar’s mail I already told that by “Asampradayavit” I meant Sh.SSS’s open declaration that latter Acharyas are procession of blind led by blind and have deviated from Acharya Shankara.  But it is true that the term has also an abusive content in it. I agree with you and feel sorry that I should not have used that term. It is sort of “Choti muhn badi bath”.   Yes a student (a sishya per se) when  has to  consider every “Cha” and “Thu”,   should be very selective of the words.  
  But your saying  as to :
  “It would be quite a different story if any of the revered Acharyas of either the Sringeri or Kanchi Mathas had so labeled Him or His teachings, but from what can be seen, such as not even remotely been the case.”
  I do not buy this.  I go by Sh.Rama’s words on this as to what Sh.Sannidanam opined.  It has relevance to me at this stage as to whether I should ignore latter Acharya’s teekas or not. I go by the words of our Acharyavarya. And I know that Sh.Sannidanam’s words are intended to indicate the path to the sishyas are not abusive in content.
  And dear shyam, these are from my limited understanding.  I correct myself wherever needed.  But in Vedanta, the journey in a clear path with a clear direction.  
  I know that my path is on a clear direction.  So do for the students of SSS school
  With warm regards

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