[Advaita-l] Madhusudana Saraswati

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 17 17:01:41 CST 2012

Dear friends,

May I present before you some aspects of Madhusudana Saraswati's scholarship on Advaita. This appears to show that he had inherent intimacy with Advaita from the very beginning, even though he passed through the influence of the Chaitanya school.

It is known that Madhusudana Saraswati wrote Vedanta- kalpa-latika before Bhakt- rasayana, which in turn was written before his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, which in turn was written before his Advaita siddhi. It is also interesting to note that in the preface to the "Vedanta-kalpa-latika" of Madhusudana Saraswati, which has been edited with an Introduction, English  translation and Appendices by late Professor R.D. Karmarkar, the editor (Prof. Karmarkar) writes as follows:

The Vedantakalpalatika by Madhusudana Saraswati is a well-known Sanskrit manual embracing all important topics relating to Vedanta philosophy. It is most probably the first work written by the author, who all the same thinks highly of it, as is clear from the ambitious title bestowed upon it. The aim of the writer is to show how the non-Advaita philosophic doctrines fail to give a true evaluation of the ultimate reality, which must be admitted to be Nirvisesa and nirdharmaka, of one is to do proper justice to both Sruti and Tarka.

That  Madhudana Saraswati's wrote the Advaita-siddhi after he wrote his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita has been reported by Ramajna Pandeya. This is also indicated in the following comment of Anand Hubliji. 


In the advaita siddhi,
we find that Madhusudana has described himself as "shraddhAdhanena muninA
madhusUdanena", where the word "muni" indicates that he was a sannyAsin when
he wrote the work. But we do not find a similar description in the gUDhArtha
dIpikA which makes it plausible that he was not yet a sannyAsin when wrote



Sunil KB

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