[Advaita-l] slokah on Vyasa

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 25 13:59:15 CDT 2011

Dear friends,

It is nice that Vidyasankarji gave a good analysis. But to my mind is this hair-splitting really required? Firstly this seems to be against the spirit of what Adi Sankaracharya was trying to tell us in the the first few lines of Mohamudgaram. Secondly why should we be so allergic to the word Madhyamika applied to mean moderation (ie.the avoidance of the extremes) which Nagarjuna used while bringing out Lord Buddha's teachings, whom many believe to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Did not Lord Krishna advocate moderation. Do we not refer to only three main nadis out of the 72,000 and call the Shushumna nadi as the madhyama nadi. The word Madhyamaam used by the Shringeri math itself should be acceptable without raising eyebrows. In Sanskrit there are many things, where eyebrows can be raised but we accept them as these were presumably accepted by Panini hinself.


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Fri, 3/25/11, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] slokah on Vyasa
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Friday, March 25, 2011, 9:16 AM

> Will you please enlighten us with your bhashya on madhyamAM of Satarudriya Patha 
> and also the source of your reference. 
> regs,
> Sriram
> Sriramji,
> I had to reply with reference to vidyashankarji's Email on the word"madhyama"to 
> rudra in namakam.Otherwise,Iam not concerned with satarudriya bhashya,as it is 
> out of context.
> Regs
> N.Srikanta.

Dear Sri Srikanta,
As often in exchanges with you, I seem to have to invoke enormous amounts of
patience. So please return the favor and bear with me.
I assume that members of this list either start with or over time acquire some 
rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and usage. It looks like I have to
sacrifice my assumption in this case.
The Sloka in question salutes the entire paramparA. The word paramparA
is strI-linga and occurs in the accusative singular (dvitIyA vibhakti, ekavacana).
Therefore, all adjectives that refer to this paramparA are also in the same
case, dvitIyA vibhakti, ekavacana. Thus, there is samArambhAM, paryantAM
and madhyamAM (or madhyagAM), referring to paramparAM. There is
absolutely no reason to distinguish between madhyama and madhyamAM
and to assign a buddhist overtone to the second usage. It is simply, I repeat,
simply, the strI-linga version madhyamA, which adds an anusvAra at the end
in the ekavacana dvitIyA vibhakti. This is just as in sItA becoming sItAM, or
latA becoming latAM, or ambikA becoming ambikAM in the analogous instances.
yasyAH paramparAyA Arambhe sadASivas saMsthitaH, sA sadASiva-samArambhA.
yasyAH paramparAyAH madhye SankarAcAryo 'sti, sA SankarAcArya-madhyamA.
yasyAH paramparAyA ante 'sty asmad AcAryas, sA asmadAcArya-paryantA.
tAM guru-paramparAM
(aham) vande.
That is all there is to it.
As such, the reason I brought up the word madhyama in the rudra namakam
is to bring your attention to precisely the same. In the namakam, rudra is called
madhyama. rudra being puMlinga, the word madhyama becomes madhyamAya in
the ekavacana caturthI vibhakti (dative singular). Whereas in our Sloka, the word
paramparA being strIlinga, the word is madhyamA, which becomes madhyamAM
in the ekavacana dvitIyA vibhakti. The context is the analogous application of
Sanskrit grammar, in both the veda and a Sloka composed after the time of 

I have heard madhyagAM used once in a while and accept it as a rare pAThabheda.
It makes sense to me as referring to the paramparA that goes via Sankaracharya,
instead of referring to the paramparA as having Sankaracharya in the middle. That
is all. You may have seen madhyagAM in a book, but please note that the vast
majority have learnt it and have taught it as madhyamAM. Including my Sanskrit
teacher, a traditional paNDita who taught at the Mumbai branch of the Sringeri
matha. The mere presence of variant readings is nothing new. One doesn't need
to make far-fetched interpretations in favor of or against one or the other pATha.
All the additional connotations you put upon these words are of your own making,
with no basis whatsoever except your own preference - whether it is the so-called
Buddhist overtones in madhyamAM or whether other Acharyas have been slighted,
or whether Sankaracharya is somehow demoted by being "in the middle". None of
these supposed interpretations are valid in any way. You may have a personal
preference for one or the other reading in the verse, but please do not tilt at
windmills, as the saying goes.

Seriously, is this much vyAkhyAna on basic vyAkaraNa really necessary on this list?

Thank you,
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