[Advaita-l] slokah on Vyasa

Gautham Shenoy R gautham.vedanta at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 22:14:32 CDT 2011

Namaste Sri Sunilji,

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 11:59:15AM -0700, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:
> Dear friends,
> It is nice that Vidyasankarji gave a good analysis.
> But to my mind is this hair-splitting really required?

I'm still a novice here, so kindly pardon this endeavor of mine.
IMHO, in this context I believe that hair-splitting is required.

Each one of us could have understood the shloka differently based on our
understanding of the intended purpose, context and grammar.
We could be happy with this understanding if we were in isolation.

But we are discussing this on a public mailing list, which is a platform
for many of us to interact. I suppose this is the purpose of joining the

Hence when an interpretation for a particular shloka is given, it gives 
an opportunity for others to understand that interpretation, analyse it from
their perspective and even compare it with the interpretation that they
have. One would like to do this to see if the given interpretation

	a) Extends one's own interpretation in some way.
	b) Stands satisfiable independent of one's own interpretation.
	c) Contradicts ones own interpretation.

Even to understand if the case is a), b), or c) one has to implicitly do some

If it turns out to be c), then one makes one's analysis explicit on the list.

In this particular case, the analysis was required because there was an
attempt to understand the shloka in a manner which seemed contrary to the
intended purpose of the shloka.

Now IIRC one tries to given an alternate interpretation when the primary
primary meaning in the context of the shloka is either inconsistent
or redundant or incomplete.
To know the primary meaning one has to take the aid of vyAkaraNa.
I believe this is what Sri Vidyasankarji has done here.

> 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.

In fact I believe the contrary has been discussed by Sri Jaldharji
on this list sometime previously:

> 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.

Because that interpretation does not fit in this particular context.
IOW if Lord Buddha is indeed an incarnation of Lord Krishna or not,
and did or not our acharya advocate moderation, does not seem to have
any significance in a Shloka that discusses the guru-parampara.

> 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.

But then one needs to ask if anything goes ? You yourself say
"In Sanskrit there are many things...", but one still needs to analyse and
understand if _this_ particular thing is one of those many things
or not, right ?

> Regards,
> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

Thanks and Regards

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