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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 28 08:57:14 CST 2009

Anbu Sivam wrote:

> Obviously Vidyasankaraji has not (didn't want to) read Sri Ravisankar
> Mayavaram's post!

Thanks for speculating about what I did or didn't do, but I did read my co-moderator's post.

However, I just don't see how anything that I said went against what he wrote, nor how your

views about Chiranjeevis fit in this context. If sureSvara is a Chiranjeevi, that tradition is not

recorded anywhere in the Sankaravijaya texts. In fact, there is a well-recorded tradition that

sureSvara was reborn as vAcaspati miSra, in order to complete the mission of writing a

sub-commentary on the brahmasUtra bhAshya.


It is easy to create myths and it is easy to see contradictions between different myths or

even different versions of the same myth. It is not necessary that anybody who disagrees

with a specific myth is a "secular" investigator. Give me the legends and myths in old texts,

whether in  Sanskrit or Tamil or Marathi or Bengali. Spare me the modern myths created within

the last two hundred years, some of which are nothing more than knee-jerk reactions to

British rule and the presence of European Christianity in India.



Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:


>I would also like to know on what basis the Sringeri authorities do not give importance to Sudhanva's inscription.


Simple. As per all reports, Sringeri Matha has no such inscription in its possession, nor do they

have any tradition that such an inscription ever existed. There are so many variant traditions

pertaining to Sankara bhagavatpAda in the whole country. Why should one of the most

important lineages with arguably the most authentic tradition accept anything other than their

own handed-down tradition?


It is perfectly well-known within Hinduism, that different traditions and minor variations on the

same traditions can co-exist, without leading to controversy. Different Puranas give different

details of the same legends pertaining to the same people. That is not a problem at all. What

IS a problem, is the modern tendency to artificially fit an imaginary consensus on such variants,

based on the current flavor of politics, and in the process, attempt to denigrate and marginalize

anybody and everybody who doesn't subscribe to this unnecessary tendency. What I see in

these attempts to "prove" that Sankara lived in 509 BC, to assert that the later date was a

controversial one created by Western scholars to devalue Indian antiquity and to assert that

anybody who accepts a later date is a fool taken in by Western chicanery is precisely that -

an attempt to denigrate and marginalize the Sringeri lineage, one of the most important ones in

Sankarn tradition, merely because they have seen no need to do anything other than stick to

their own tradition. If this is massively inconvenient for the purposes of some people, so be it.

Thus it is, that although in 1993, the Sankaracharyas met in person and themselves acknowledged

that they have different views on the life and times of Sankara bhagavatpAda*, about ten years

later, others organize "conferences" and issue press releases claiming "unanimity". There is

another term for this process in modern parlance. It is called "manufacturing consent".


If I succeed in locating the article by the Ujjain professor when I go to India in 2010, I will post

more details. Other than that, I have said all I that want to on this subject. 


Happy new secular year wishes,



* vayaM matabhedinaH (we are of differing views) - Sanskrit statement issued in Sringeri in 1993,

personally signed by the heads of Sringeri, Puri, Dwaraka, Badrinath and Kanchipuram Mathas. This

statement is publicly available, as it was issued within a few months after the Ayodhya fiasco in 

1992, and Hindu and Muslim religious leaders were actively trying to resolve that controversy.
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