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

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Mon Dec 14 10:03:04 CST 2009

Dear Sri Vidyasankar,

You can blame me for this... I asked what conclusion that supposedly
scholarly conference had come to...


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Vidyasankar Sundaresan
Sent: 14 December 2009 15:07
To: Advaita List
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Conference on that Date of Adi Sankaracharya in
October, 2002

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

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

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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