[Advaita-l] Adwaita and God.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 9 09:00:55 CST 2010

>Similar is the
> case with Gaudapada had discussion with leaders of Nishaka clan,and
> Appolonius of Tyana written in a slokah on Guruvamshakavya by
> SrlSadhashiva Brahnendra quoted by His Holiness also.This story being
> discounted by Late Prof Sri.T.M.P..Mahadevan is not true.He has simply
> taken from Vidushekhara Bhattacharya's book,and copied it in his
> book,"Gaudapada-A study in early Adwaita"which doesnot appear to be of
> indepth analysis.Further,T.M.P.Mahadevan being a disciple of the
> Paramacharya would not have discounted it.It requires many references
> which is not available and possible.Simply discounting a story which might
> have occurred has no value.

I was quite surprised by T M P Mahadevan's statement doubting the attribution
of the gururatnamAlA, but I take it as a critical scholarly comment that is not in
conflict with his well-known devotion to the late Kanchi paramacharya.

The point is that poetic accounts, no matter who wrote them, should not be taken
as being 100% factual historically. There may be a kernel of dry historical fact in 
them, but that is not the intention of the poet. Whether gauDapAda met with 
Greek Neo-Platonic philosophers or not, it does not matter for advaita vedAnta
thought and history. And whatever rAmabhadra dIkshita wrote in the patanjali-
carita is also not history. I am sure you are well aware of the controversies that
surround this poem. I will leave this at that and will request you email me privately
if you would like to continue a discussion on this particular issue.

> You have mentioned about Political implications.Pray,what are those
> political implications in this intellectual discussions? .This is a forum
> f
> intellectual discussions and one must take it in the right spirit.It is
> not for winning or losing.It may be right to say digression has no value
> here.

Political implications, as I see them, are as follows. The story that vidyAraNya and
vedAnta deSika were classmates at Kanchipuram also says that both of them were
students of vidyAtIrtha, who was at Kanchipuram. Now, there is a controversy about
whether vidyAtIrtha was ever there, and SrIvaishNavas would take offense at a story
that one of their post-Ramanuja thinkers was a disciple of an advaita teacher. Other
than this particular story, there is no evidence whatsoever to either place vidyAtIrtha
in that city nor is there any evidence to say that vedAnta deSika was his disciple.

Now, vedAnta deSika wrote the SatadUshanI, criticizing advaita, but SrI vidyAraNya
still referred to him with respect to the Ramanuja darshana. This only shows the
greatness and broad outlook of vidyAraNya, in referring to a contemporary. It is not
necessary that they should have been students together, because SrI vidyAraNya also
refers to so many other authors who lived much before him or were his contemporaries.


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