[Advaita-l] Conference on that Date of Adi Sankaracharya in October, 2002

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 14 09:07:26 CST 2009

Dear Sri Bhattacharya,


To your latest post, I can only say, here we go again!


Let me be very, very emphatically clear about one thing. The Sringeri Peetham and people affiliated to it have published numerous very detailed, highly scholarly books, articles, journals, over the last two centuries. In particular, I am reminded on an article by a professor from Vikram University, Ujjain, about this very topic, in one of the Sringeri publications. Very comprehensive, very impartial and very well-written. If someone wants to do scholarly research, one of the first things to get out of the way is to do a literature search. There are so many resources available nowadays - general Google searches, Library of Congress catalog searches, many different university library searches etc. Before asking the Sringeri Peetham to publish scholarly articles and thereby implying that they are not doing so, please check the record. You will find a lot more scholarship and a lot less unnecessary controversy and tilting-at-windmills from Sringeri than from anywhere else.


Let me also be very, very emphatically clear about another thing. For scholarly research in historical issues, a key necessity is to check the veracity and credibility of so-called sources. Mere vociferousness and volume of publication does not amount to anything. No matter what is claimed to be the record of this or that institution, a researcher needs to double-check with the said institutions about them. The views of the Dwaraka Sharadapeetham authorities about the other institutions, in particular the Kanchi Matha, are a matter of public record. These too can be easily checked. What, may I ask, is the source of this need to associate Suresvara with Kanchipuram, when there has been such a steadfast refusal by all the other original institutions to accept the Kanchi version of events?


Let me ask a few pertinent questions here.


1. Is the date of Adi Sankaracharya dependent upon dates based on AIT?

2. What about Chinese and Tibetan sources? Buddhist Chinese pilgrims came to India and recorded many historical details. Did they also have an imperialist Western agenda, centuries before any Europeans came to rule India?

3. Has anyone seen the original copper-plate from the so-called king sudhanvA from 509 BC? What script was is recorded in and who deciphered it? After all, the evolution of the modern Nagari script from Brahmi is well-known. 


Unless you or the authors of these articles in conference proceedings are willing to address these issues head on, there is merely repetition of assumptions stated as if they were conclusions and not a critical scholarly discussion of any issue.


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