[Advaita-l] Bhagawat Gita an obscure text?
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Nov 15 00:32:29 CST 2012
On Thu, 8 Nov 2012, Suresh wrote:
> Is it true that the Gita was an insignificant text until Adi Sankar
> commented on it?
> There aren't many commentaries on it prior to his,
> probably because no saint or scholar thought it worth his time.
As was mentioned in this thread Shankaracharya himself mentions that there
were many commentaries in existence in his time; enough to cause confusion
as to the true tatparya of the Gita which is why he intended to write a
> But once
> Sankar wrote his commentary, it has almost become a tradition for every
> school to write one.
Actually the Vishistadvaita tradition also provides evidence of ancient
commentators (though naturally favoring their views.)
> Today Gita and Hinduism have become synonymous.
This is a post-19th century phenomenon only stemming from the urge of the
reformers to have a "Hindu Bible." But that doesn't mean it was obscure
> My question, however, is, why would Sankar choose such an insignificant
> text when the Upanishads were much more respected and valued? If he had
> to, why not something else (like yoga vasista or something with a more
> advaitic tilt)?
Shankaracharya hardly picked it out of a hat. As was mentioned by Shri
Subrahmanian elsewhere in this thread, the Brahmasutras themselves quote
the Gita. The central issue amongst early Mimamsakas was what is the
ultimate purport of the Vedas? kevalakarma (karma is supreme - Purva
Mimamsakas) kevalajnana (jnana is supreme - Advaita Vedantins) or
jnanakarmasamucchaya (some kind of combination of karma and jnana - every
other Vedantin.) The Gita presents the crux of this issue with vivid
urgency. This is what has attracted so many thinkers to it.
Abhinavagupta, a Shaiva, even wrote a tika on it!
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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