[Advaita-l] shankara as suhastaH

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Tue Jul 19 01:42:40 CDT 2011

Namaste Anselmo, 
Inspite of my several posts on “suhastaH”, it seems all the 
Mails are getting spammed.  Hence, a new thread on 
I forgot to reply regarding the Atmananda's interpretation 
of the word "suhasta".  You have rightly pointed out that Atmananda 
interprets this as "sankaracharya".  
Let us see the mantra in original first: 
upahavyE sudhugAm dhEnuM etAM 
suhastO godhug uta dohad enAM 
shrEShTaM savaM savitA sAvisan no 
bhiddho gharmas tad u su pra vocham .......26 
The explanation runs as: 
I call hither the cow easy to milk. And the one who 
can milk a cow with "dextrous hand" has milked her. 
May the Sun inspire us with the noblest inspiration. 
The oven is kindled.  This verily i speak out. 
There is another interpretation: 
I invoke this milch cow which gives plenty of milk that the milk-man 
with "deft hands" may milk her.  May Savitr grant us this 
excellent milk (for our soma yaga).  The pravargya (sacrifice) 
is lighted.  Therefore i earnestly pray. 
Here, "suhasta" is taken as dextrous hands of the milk man who 
is milking the cow (kAmadhEnu). 
Shri Atmananda interprets the Cow (dhEnu) to be Veda (shruti) and 
compares the Milk Man with Sankara because it is Sankara 
who gave prasthAna traya bhAshyAs (the Milk) which is the 
essence of vedas.  So, if the vedas are cows, then the 
prasthanatrayas bhashyas are the milk and the Sankaracharya 
is the milk man who has "dextrous hands".  
While interpreting this, Atmananda deciphers a code 
in this mantra which is quite interesting to note. 
suhastaH> sukhahastaH > sukhakaraH > sankaraH 
hastaH denote the arms that indicate action. su implies sukhaM (bliss etc.). 
So, su replaced with sukha. hastaH replaced with karaH (arms). 
"su" also means "saM" and karaH when joined with "saMkaraH". 
Who is none other than Sankara Bhagavatpada. 

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