[Advaita-l] shlokah on Vyasa

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 12:01:04 CDT 2011

On 3/23/11, Srikanta Narayanaswami <srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Dear Sarmaji,
> I know that many say it as "madhyamam",but I have also read in many
> books,especially the traditional one as "madhyagam".We know that
> Shankaracharya
> occupied a supreme position in Advaita vedanta,and after him many came as
> Advaita Gurus,especially in Sringeri mutt.I have also seen in this mutt this
> version.To be specific,starting from Sadashiva and ending with
> asmadacharya,Shankara is considered as the Guru who taught Advaita
> clearly.The
> word madhya doesnot mean medium as you have said.But,madhyamam has this
> meaning
> between uttama and the adhama.Therefore,madhyagam is the apt
> choice.Moreover,as
> I have explained before,the word has serious "Madhyamaka"overtones and the
> critics of Shankara may misuse it.
> N.Srikanta.


The word 'मध्यमाम्’ does not connote any meaning that is derogatory to
Shankaracharya or Advaita.  It simply says something about the
position.  There is an expression: अग्रम्, मध्यम्, मूलम्.  मध्यम् in
no way shows that it is of the 'middling' type having the supreme and
lowly on its either side. The word, like many other sanskrit words,
contextually gets a meaning. The VishiShTAdvaita sampradaya has a
similar sounding verse, adapted to their system:

श्रीलक्ष्मीनाथसमारंभां नाथयामुनमध्यमाम्। अस्मादाचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे

Ramanuja does not even have the 'madhyama' place here.  Will it be
correct to say that they hold him to be 'adhama'?  If the word
'madhyama' could have overtones of the mAdhyamika, then even the
VishiShTAdvaitins will have to face that ignominy.


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