[Advaita-l] Statements attributed to Sankara Bhagavatpada

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sun May 30 06:19:00 CDT 2010

--- On Sun, 5/30/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Statements attributed to Sankara Bhagavatpada
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010, 12:13 AM

On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 10:01 AM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear friends,
> I have two queries and shall be grateful if the h onorable members can
> throw some light on these. The queries are as follows:
> 1)
> I came across a book in Assam which quoted the English translation of a
> Sanskrit verse, reportedly composed by Adi Sankaracharya, just before he
> left his mortal frame. The passage appeared in DAWN, Vol. III, August, 1899
> - 1990 (Edited by Satis Chandra Chatterjee. Reissued 2000, Jadavpur
> University in Association with National Council of Eucation, Bengal. p. 278)
> The translation is as follows:
> O' Lord Pardon me the three sins committed by me. I have by contmplation
> clothed Thee who art shapeless. I have in praise describe thee in who art
> indescribeable andd I have ignored Thine Omnipresence by visiting the
> tirthas or pilgrimages to shrines."
> Kindly let me know if Adi Sankaracharya composed any "Aparaadh Kshamaapana
> stotra", which contains the Sanskrit verses corresponding to the above
> lines.
> 2)
> Adi Sankaracharya composed the Pada-bhashyas of the major upanishads
> including Kena.
> But he had subsequently composed a Vakya-bhashya on Kena.  Has anybody
> among the innumaerable followers of Adi Sankaracharya through the ages
> explained why Adi Sankaracharya took that step in case of Kena and what
> additional message he gave in the Vakya-bhashya.
> Regards,
> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya


Here is a reply to the second question above:

While commencing the gloss for the Kenopanishad VAkyabhAshya, Sri Anandagiri

केनेषितमित्यादिकां......उपनिषदं  पदशो व्याख्यायापि न तुतोष भगवान्भाष्यकारः,
शारीरकैर्न्यायैः अनिर्णीतार्थत्वात् इति न्यायप्रधानश्रुत्यर्थसंग्राहकैः
वाक्यैः व्याचिख्यासुः....

An attempted translation of the above is:

// Even after writing the pada-bhAShya BhagavAn BhAShyakAraH was not happy
as the purport of the Upanishad had not been derived/established on the
lines of the rules followed in the BrahmasUtras.  Therefore with a view to
explain with the predominantly nyAya-specific sentences that bring out the
meaning of the shruti He proceeds to.... //

Those who have made a thorough study of both the bhashyam-s would be able to
summarize the 'additional message' the vAkya Bhashyam conveys.

I think that is a very generalised statement that leads to nowhere. Hope we will hear of some detailed stuies on this. Kena is unique in the sense that it talks of Brahman in a positive way. Can this be the reason why Adi Sankara wanted to write more about this in a separate Vakya-bhashya? The scholars who have studied this in detail would know.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
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