[Advaita-l] Madhusudana Saraswati

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 01:17:19 CST 2012

Dear Sri Sunil,

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 11:01 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Rajaram: I really glad to note that you have revised your views about
Madusudana from one *who did not understand Advaita in the beginning* to
one who had *inherent intimacy with Advaita from the very beginning*. It
is laudable to revise views in the face of facts. However, you continue
stick to the popular myth that he was influenced by Gaudiya Vaishnavam.
This view amongst scholars is based on stories *not any literary evidence*.
The best evidence is that his scheme of bhakti in BhR is preceded by a
similar one Rupa Gosvami's. However, there are fundamental differences. As
I mentioned in my earlier posts, the notion of rasa schemes is present in
not only Alankara Sastras but also in Sridhara Swami's, Muktiphala etc.

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.

Rajaram: According to Prof. Sanjukta Gupta (rf. The Philosophy of
Madhusudana Introduction) both Gudartha Dipika and Advaita Ratna Rakshana
refer to Advaita Siddhi, which suggest that they came later than the
Advaita Siddhi. Even in Advaita Siddhi, he says in the midst of polemics,
"I know no *reality *higher than Lord Krishna". So, there is no way to
separate Madhusudana from his philosophical conviction in Advaita and his
concept of Bhakti to Lord Krishna.

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.

Rajaram: According to Dr. Sanjukta Gupta, Samkshepa Sarirka Sara Sangraha
was written first because this work has no reference to any other work and
possesses none of his particular views. Now, it is important to note that
Sarvajnatma Muni accepts Eka Jiva Vada where liberation is only an
artha-vada. Madhsudana also accepts eka jiva vada and it is very useful to
his theory that bhakti rasa is eternal. As the particular jiva is not
actually liberated though it is one with Ishwara, it is possible for it to
re-appear by Ishwara sankalpa (e.g. Nara-Narayana as KrishnArjuna). .

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

Rajaram: He refers to himself as Madhusudana in other works. So, he was a
sannyasi earlier also. This theory is not plausible.

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