[Advaita-l] Interesting article.
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 17 14:09:42 CDT 2012
An objective analysis is difficult as personal loyalties of the scholars to the respective Maths have roles to play. For example a scholar attached to any of the Dwarka or the Puri or the Kanchi-Kamakoti Maths cannot oppose the 509 BCE date even if that scholar comes across some evidence that the 509 BCE date may be doubtful. Similarly will a scholar attached to the Sringeri math ever be able to accept the date of 509 BCE even if he comes across some convincing evidence in support of that? Further even if one can find scholars for whom the truth is above the loyalty to the math there still remains a hurdle and that is the question if the religious authorities of the maths would formally and publicly authorize the scholars representing the maths to come to the discussing table for an objective analysis and give the firm assurance that the math would be prepared to change their stand if that comes out of the discussions with evidence.
Recently I came across a paper by a Japanese scholar discussing these dates on the basis of literary evidences and I felt sad that such work has no practical value owing to the above reasons.
From: Abhishek Madhyastha <abhishek046 at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Interesting article.
One doubt keeps lurking in my mind when this topic comes up. Suppose
we accept the dates proposed by Sringeri Sharada peetham, what
explanation could be given to the guru parampara of the other 3 amnaya
peethams which date before 788AD? Is it really possible that all those
acharyas before 788AD are fake or "created"?
On the other hand, if we accept 509BC as the date, as proposed by the
other 3 mutts, what explanation could be given to the huge gap of over
1000 years that would be generated within the Sringeri Guru parampara?
What happened to all the gurus in between this huge time gap?
On 8/17/12, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Radhe Krishna
>> When the evidence of sudanva’s thamra sAsana was mentioned in the list, I
>> raised questions as
>> to whether such thamra sAsana was subject to carbon dating. That time, if
>> I remember well,
>> Shri vidyasankar explained that a thamra sAsana per se can not be
>> subjected directly to carbon
>> dating. However it so happens that these artefacts are tied together by a
>> cloth or a rope.
>> And that because of this carbon dating could be possible. If I understand
>> properly, it
>> presupposes the presence of some matter like a cloth or rope which had
>> contact with a living
>> matter say human being or animal for conduct of carbon dating. I may be
>> corrected, if I am
> You are right; carbon dating can only be done on organic material, not on
> inorganic material.
> Metal objects as well as sand are predominantly inorganic in nature, so the
> dating will be based
> on organic material that is found in conjunction with the said objects.
>> Regarding the carbon dating of sand near river purna, I have following
>> 1. Is it that pujya kanchi periava has actually told this instance or is
>> it ascribed to
>> him that so and so claims that pujya kanchi periava has narrated this
> This was my first thought too. Thank you for articulating it well. It is
> high time that we, as a
> culture, stopped doing anonymous recounting of such things, leaving a lot to
> the imaginations
> of readers. Every once in a while, a new account like this comes up, raising
> more questions
> than it is capable of answering.
>> 2. From my limited understanding, I doubt that carbon dating could be
>> conducted on sand
>> particles to determine the fact as to how old the sand deposits are there
>> at a particular
>> place. Those having knowledge on this aspect in our list may clarify.
>> Perhaps it could have
>> been done by some other scientific method, if there are any.
>> 3. By whatever scientific method such conclusion have been arrived at, are
>> the papers
>> regarding the conduct of such an experiment available as on date for the
>> scrutiny of people
>> who have expertise on these experiments?
>> 4. Assuming that the result of such a scientific experiment establishes
>> date of sand
>> deposits at different places at different times, one can still take that
>> this part of the
>> theory as scientific. But could connecting such a fact with an incident of
>> Acharya Shankara’s
>> hagiography be still scientific?
> Relative dating of archeological finds relies on the fact that older objects
> lie buried deeper
> than newer objects. In a riverbed, one would have to ask where samples were
> from, whether samples from two different locations gave different ages even
> though they
> were from the same layer depth, whether turnover of material from different
> depths did
> not happen during the timeframe in question because of water flow in the
> river, whether
> the construction of dams along various spots in the river, at different
> times, did or did not
> affect flows and deposition of sand upstream and downstream of those dams
> ... There are
> too many scientific questions that would have to be adequately taken into
> Finally, even if all such questions are asked and addressed to the best
> possible extent,
> connecting it to the known accounts of Adi Sankaracharya's life would still
> leave other issues
> unaddressed. I won't get into those at this stage, but suffice it to say
> that your expression of
> doubt about the scientific nature of such a connection is quite sound.
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