[Advaita-l] The Human aspect of Jnanis - 5 (Concluded)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 22 16:12:11 CDT 2010

> I would like to add one more problem, which, I think, has not been covered
> by your posts. When a person such as this writes a spiritual treatise - may
> it be the Brahma Sutra or the Vivekachoodamani - who is the author of it? Is
> it the BMI of the individual? If yes, it will not be Shruti (or revealed
> text i.e. work without authorship). If not, then how does one explain why
> Sankaracharya writes a Vivekachoodamani which has a different import as
> compared to a work by Sri Madhavacharya? This can be also stated differently
> as: if both Sankaracharya & Madhavacharya were self-realized souls, why do
> they have different views on reality?

Dear Sri Mahesh,


I am puzzled by your question that is underlined above. Neither SankarAcArya
nor mAdhvAcArya claims that the brahmasUtra is Sruti. Nor does either author
claim that their commentaries and independent texts are Sruti or equivalent to
it. The brahmasUtra has always been recognized to be the contribution of an
individual author called bAdarAyaNa, who is sometimes identified with vyAsa.
Not even SankarAcArya, whether Adi or titular over the centuries, has claimed
that vivekacUDAmaNi is Sruti. It is recognized to be a prakaraNa grantha by an
author. It is not put into the category of apaurusheya texts that constitute
the Sruti. Nor does advaita tradition ask you to grant Sruti status to Sankara
bhagavatpAda's bhAshya-s or prakaraNa grantha-s. It is a different case that
a student needs to study these texts with the greatest care to assimilate them
well. However, the truth of advaita does not depend upon giving Sruti and
apaureshayatva status to these texts. When advaita readily admits that Sruti
itself is transcended in the highest brahman realization, is there any need to
further state the patently obvious? Namely, that the bhAshya-s and grantha-s
of advaita vedAnta, derivate of Sruti as they are, also are transcended ...

Wherein lies the problem then? Is there a need for an expectation of infallibility?
Since when does a doctrine akin to papal infallibility become a necessity for any
Hindu tradition? Isn't a doctine of infallibility in fact the greatest fallibility that is
a hindrance to gaining true insight?




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