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

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 27 11:11:30 CST 2009

The members may find it interesting to note that one Muslim scholar authored a paper to suggest that Adi Sankaracharya was influenced by Islamic scholars, who were present in Kerala in the 8th century CE. 
I personally look forward to reading the paper by the Vikram University professor, which was referred to by Vidyasankarji, when that becomes available. I would also like to know on what basis the Sringeri authorities do not give importance to Sudhanva's inscription.

--- On Sat, 12/26/09, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Conference on that Date of Adi Sankaracharya in October, 2002
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 3:56 PM

> > http://www.hvk.org/articles/0103/314.html
> I don't get it. This says:
> > Putting an end to controversy, sankaracharyas across the country today 
> > unanimously accepted April 3, 509 BC as Adi Sankaras exact date of
> > birth.
> and then it says:
> > Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Dwarka Jyotirmath, Badrinath 
> > Govardhanpeeth and Puri unanimously accepted the date and said there was 
> > no need for debate on the subject.
> What about Sringeri? What kind of unanimity is that?

This thread has taken a life that I didn't expect! For the record, there is no indication that any of the said Sankaracharyas even attended this conference. The most they may have done would have been to send a letter of benediction or a reiteration of their matha's official stances and lineages. And of course, the omission of Sringeri is glaringly obvious, but that is nothing new to someone who has been watching the way these issues pan out in India nowadays. After all, one can generate unanimity by suppressing all facts and opinions to the contrary.


So, the link to the news item about this supposedly scholarly conference precisely proves my point about the political motivation behind the entire exercise. Dr. Shrikant Jichkar, quoted in the news item, was one of the thousands of Indian politicians with moderate successes in India's electoral politics. On the one hand, he was well-read enough, with diverse interests and university degrees, but on the other, he was primarily a politician, interested more in power play than in anything else. As I said in my earlier post on this topic, in the world of political expediency, what is right and true does not matter and those who want to prove by assertion and by repetition think they can safely marginalize those who do not wish to be vocal about publicizing themselves. 


That's about it. The reason I could not be more specific about the article on the so-called Sudhanva grant, written by a professor from the university at Ujjain, is that I do not have physical access to it at the moment. It appeared in one of the commemorative publications from Sringeri, sometime in the 1970's or the 1980's. When I visit India early next year, I may be able to hunt it down and share it with the list, if readers are interested.


Before signing off and requesting an end to this thread from everybody, let me just address some of Sunil Bhattacharjya's questions about the Sringeri reecord and about the supposed "Western inspired controversy" about Sankaracharya's date. In the older publications from Sringeri that mentioned 44 BC, the writers took the Vikramaditya of the Sringeri record to be the king of the Vikrama era. This lead to them assigning 800 years to Suresvara. In later times, when it seemed more reasonable to give up this assumption, based on a lot of evidence and historical research, the Sringeri publications have adopted the 8th century date. Throughout all this, they have always stuck to what their internal record says and their lineage. The only thing that changed is the correspondence to the dates reported according to the modern common calendar. Why is this so hard to understand? After all, for thousands of years prior to British rule, no one in India ever used the
 Western calendar. In a
 ny case, even if someone wants to harp on the date of 44 BC given in older Sringeri publications, how does it strengthen a case for 509 BC?!! And before talking of whether someone lied then or someone is lying now, why not pick up a copy of Swami Tapasyananda's translation of the Madhaviya Sankaravijaya and read the official letter from the Sringeri authorities clarifying their position?


As for the so-called controversy created by Western scholars, really, this is one issue where all the controversy has been created not by Western scholars but by Indians whole-scale. The real truth and what people like to believe can be very different things, but one's personal belief does not change the truth. The Kollam era in Kerala, traditionally linked to the times of Adi Sankaracharya, was not created by Western scholars. The Sringeri record was not created by Western scholars. And as hard as it may be to accept, there is no other traditional institution whose records stand up to independent historical scrutiny the way Sringeri records do and there is no other traditional institution that has made its records available to scholars for independent study, the way the Sringeri Matha has. I have given numerous references to publications both from Sringeri and by independent writers in the past on this list, so to pretend otherwise is just disingenuous.



Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft.
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list