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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 6 09:08:56 CST 2010

> It is not, as far as tradition is concerned. All written and oral 
> traditional accounts are
> unanimous in declaring that Sankara indeed did establish maTha-s. 
> > I've heard/read that kAnchi mutt tradition gives a different account 

Please read my statement again. I have not used the number four there.
I am only saying, according to traditional accounts, Sankara established
maTha-s. How many is a different question and is irrelevant for those who
think he did not establish any! I have discussed the Sankaravijaya textual
evidence and oral traditions in much detail in my paper in the International
Journal of Hindu Studies, published ten years ago.


> > prabhuji, if you could permit me, I'd like to put the opinion of Prof. 
> SKR in the fourth camp, i.e. Those who have objectively (without any 
> prejudice & traditional obligations & pressure) analysed in detail all the 
> available written documents & manuscripts and come to the conclusion that 
> there seems to be huge gap between shankara's life time & establishment of 
> maTha-s. After reading Prof. SKR's work on this issue, I dared to put-up 

> > Kindly pardon me prabhuji, I dont think so. Prof. SKR in this work, 
> gives ample references with regard to this issue & finally says shankara's 
> date most probably between 650 and 840 A.D. Prof. SKR fixes the upper 
> limit of shankara's age i.e. 840 based on vAchaspati mishra's available 
> work nyAya sUchi nibhandha, for which, he says, the date has been fixed 
> 841 A.D. Due to copyright violation etc. I donot want to type those 
> details here. IMO, those who read this work of Prof. SKR, donot come to 
> the conclusion that he is hastening his conclusions illogically. 

Fine, perhaps you are right about this fourth camp. I have not read Prof.
Rao's book, so I assumed that his statement about 800 years to sureSvara
was in line with those who insist on a BCE date for Adi Sankara. I still take
issue with his statements about the establishment of maTha-s.


Paul Hacker thinks that it was vidyAraNya who established maTha-s and
then a tradition grew that Adi Sankara himself had established them. What
Prof. Rao is saying is not much different, although he perhaps does not name
any one person in this regard. Also, the excerpts that you posted yesterday
had some statements about Adi Sankara and his works remaining relatively
unknown for a few centuries after his time. This may or may not be so, but
it does not mean that he did not establish maTha-s. After all, if Adi Sankara
remained a little unknown to the outside world for a few centuries, then it
stands to reason that his maTha-s also remained relatively unknown to the
outside world for the same timeframe! There is no reason to assume that a
maTha should have become famous and popular soon after its establishment,
no matter when it was established.

Anyway, we are wandering far afield from the date of Adi Sankara and instead
talking about establishment or otherwise and authenticity or otherwise of the
currently well-known maTha-s. The two are related only insofar as the politics
of this historical debate is concerned, which was my original point when I
started responding to this thread. I think it is patently obvious to anyone why
and how the political alignments are playing out, and I really don't want to
continue this thread any longer.


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