[Advaita-l] Pancikarana vs. Trivrtkarana (was Re: Dr Mani Dravid)

Antharyami sathvatha at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 22:06:05 CDT 2009

Hari OM~

Pranams, Shri Vidyasankar Sundaresan ji,

More we discuss this issue, more it becomes interesting and more we tend to
disagree. Now I have something new to disagree with you; regarding the
hermeneutics of Amalananda. If you are under the impression that Amalananda
interpolates some of his private pronouncements alien to Bhamati and you
call it ‘misinterpretation’ then in most humble terms may I call this a
grave mistake? – for your view, as I see it, suffers from chronic
chronological mismatch with regard to the genesis of post-Sankara polemics
of Advaita Vedanta. I would like to remind you that the very conceptual
bifurcation of Trivrtkarana and Pancikarana was first imposed upon by the
Vivarana system stemming originally after the period of Prakasatman during
the early quarters of 12th CE; who gave a solid shape to anti-Bhamati
Advaita. On the otherhand Amalananda is widely known to have flourished
during the mid-late quarters of 13th CE. Now, Amalananda’s verse that I have
cited clearly recognizes the bifurcation of Trivrtkarana and Pancikarana,
which reveals that such a dichotomy must have been prevalent even before
Amalananda’s period. Hence the formulation of Trivrtkarana Vs Pancikarana
should have been developed sometime between late 12th & 13th CE ie,
post-Prakasatman & pre-Amalananda era.  Since Kalpataru is the earliest
commentary on Bhamati we may arrive at the fact that the theory of
Pancikarana is made patent to Vivarana by someone not from the Bhamati camp
but otherwise. Who did this? In order to defend Amalananda from your
accusations I treat this to be a very important question that ought to be
sorted out here. As far as I researched I could initially suspect
Nrsimha-bhattopadhyaya who is otherwise known with the pre-fix
Kavitarkikacakravari based on Appaya Diksita’s considerations on both these
authors (Amalananda and Cakravarti) in Siddhanta-lesa-samgraha. Prof
Suryanarayana Sastri places Kavitarkikacakravarti in the late 12th CE; to be
precise, Sakha 1205, which is 1283 CE, ie, well-before of the age of
Amalananda. But the problem remains in getting a direct evidence where
Kavitarkikacarkravarti directs direct criticism against Vacaspati with
regard to Trivrtkarana in establishing the Vivarana version of Pancikarana.
Unfortunately Kavitarkikacakravarti’s works are not available to us except
for the references made by Appayya Diksita in Siddhanta-lesa-Samgraha and
even there the topic of our concern has not been dealt with. So the next
Vivarana follower I could think immediately prior to Amalananda is none
other than our Anubhutisvarupacarya who is well-known for being vehement
views against Vacaspati Misra. Anubhutisvarupacarya, as you may be aware,
makes derogatory statements against Vacaspati like ‘Mandana prsta-sevi and
so on. Scholars like Tripathi, Polagam Ramasastri and others places
Anubhutisvarupacarya during early quarters of 13th CE. Prakatartha-vivarana
is the magnum opus of Anubhutisvarupacarya which is a full-length commentary
on Sankara’s sutra bhasya. Prakatartha-vivarana is popular for its
anti-bhamati views which Amalananda closely notes and replies them in
Kalpataru. In the wake of Prakasatman not dealing with Pancikarana over
Trivritkarana, Prakatartha-vivarana’s stand on the issue holds significant
seminal significance which is pivotal in my view. Commenting upon
Samjnamurtirklptyadhikaranam, Anubhutisvarupacarya makes a deliberate
attempt in favour of Pancikarana (only) against Trivrtkarana. He advocates
that Pancikarana underlies Trivrtkarana in the opinion that latter cannot
stand on its own accord.  In other words, he considers Pancikarana as that
which is implied import of Trivrtkarana; as he captions it to be the
Pancikarana Prakriya. This is, in my opinion, is a sharp hermeneutical turn
initiated by Anubhutisvarupacarya, which is more of a jolt to both Vivarana
and Bhamati schools interms of dimensions and intensity of arguments
putforth more against Vacaspati than pro-prakasatman accent, as I observe it
to be. In his own words, Anubhutisvarupacarya makes the following
statements. ‘Trivrtkarana-abhidhanam ca Chandogyasrutyanusarena-aha – tacca
trivrtkaranamiti, (parantu) Taitiriyakaparyalocanaya tu pancAnam bhutanam
srsterupapaditvat Pancikaranam drastavyam … tasmat
Pancikarana-upalaksanartham trivrtkaranasrutiriti drastavyam|’ and he adds
‘sthaulyam ca Pancikarana prakriyaya darsitamiti sarvesameva bhautikatve na
dosaH kvacit’. Thus Anubhutisvarupacarya when he coins ‘Pancikarana’ as a
‘prakriya’ he makes a deliberate distinction from the Trivrtkarana camp
(which is seen alien to his view) and substantiates it situating himself
well within the ‘Pancikarana-only-not-Trivrtkarana camp’. Here you cannot
get away without recognizing Pancikarana-only camp as insisted upon by
Anubhutisvarupacarya from the Vivarana side. Henceforth, by and large, all
that I want to record here in the very historiographical sense is that

1.      Amalananda is true to both Bhamati and Sankara while all that
he marked about the Trivrtkarana and Pancikarana was only in reply to
Prakatartha-vivarana. Your statement that (quote) “amalAnanda's verse
that you quote is no doubt pithy,but the issue does not end there,
because he attributes to vAcaspatimiSra a view that is not found in
the bhAmatI, and in the process, I am afraid, he misinterprets both
Sankara and vAcaspati in this regard” (unquote) is sweeping,
unwarranted and clearly disregards the chronological course of the
genesis of Advaita Vedanta.

2.       When you fail to recognize the advent ‘Pancikarana only camp’
you again distort the entire post-Sankara polemics of Advaita Vedanta
as carried and extended by the preceptors like Rangarajadhvarin
(Vivarana darpana), Dharmarajadhvarin – paribhasakara, Brahmananda
sarasvati and Vasudeva abhyankar who vociferously advocated
Pancikarana theory refuting the Trivrtkarana (as I has pointed out in
my earlier post) is totally seen as an unwelcome position.

 With Narayana Smrti,


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