[Advaita-l] Adi Sankaracharya's bhashyas

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Tue Jun 30 12:25:47 CDT 2009

>My query was regarding the bhashyas or commentaries only . Some people
think that
>Adi Sankaracharya wrore the bhashya on Svetasvatara Upanishad
immediately after
>writng the bhashya on the Vishnusahasranama and that the commentary on
the Bhagavad
>Gita was written only after the bhashya on Svetasvatara. Yet some other
people think that
>Adi Sankaracharya did not write any bashya on Svetasvatara. I think
there is a similar
>confusion on the authorship of the Narasimhatapaniya upanishad also. 

All legends about the order in which Adi Sankara bhagavatpAda wrote the
bhAshyas should be taken only as legends. There are many variant
traditions, some of which have the strength of time behind them, while
others are merely stories spun by somebody or the other. Even otherwise,
variant traditions arise naturally from the fact that the advaita
vedAnta tradition is spread all across India, not limited to a
locality/community and there have been many titular Sankaracharya-s down
the centuries.

Re: SvetASvatara upanishat, the dominant tradition is that there is no
SAnkara bhAshya on this text. Between 1901 and 1910, when the then
Sringeri Jagadguru oversaw a massive effort to publish all the known
texts attributed to Sankara bhagavatpAda, the SvetASvatara bhAshya was
not included. Please note that this collection did not limit itself to
manuscripts available only at Sringeri, but made extensive enquiries and
obtained manuscripts from numerous other institutions across India. So,
one must necessarily pick and choose even within tradition(s), not
randomly but as dictated by a self-consistent logic.

>As regards the
>Viveka Chudamani there seems to be no doubt that Adi Sankaracharya
wrote the
>Saundarya Lahari. However it appears that the Anandalahari portion
could have been
>written by another author. 

I'm unable to follow whether the above comment was supposed to be about
vivekacUDAmaNi or about the saundaryalaharI. There is one fairly old
commentary on the saundaryalahari, which attributes this poem to one
pravarasena, but all other commentators attribute it to Sankaracharya. 


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