[Advaita-l] Adi Shankara's Amarushataka

Karthik Subramanian karthikvathula at yahoo.com
Tue May 21 23:21:20 CDT 2013

I have heard many more speak about the Sarasabharathi - Shankara debate episode. Although the episode is not questioned, per se, several doubts abide about the questioning on the Kamashastra subject to the young sanyasin Shankaracharya. Also, can somebody confirm thoughts that the Madhaviyam has been revised in later times and ideas of scholars from different times have been introduced as interpolations. 


 From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, 22 May 2013 2:59 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Adi Shankara's Amarushataka

On Tue, 21 May 2013, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> Dear friends,
> I understand that Adi Shankara's Amarushataka is essentially a deep Advaitic text

It is a collection of verses in shrngara rasa.

> and Appaya dikshita had commented on a verse of this. The commentator Ravichandra is said to have written in his commentary that that the verses of Amarushataka have double meanings but their real import is philosophical.  > It will be nice to hear from the learned members if any study had been carried out on the Advaitc message in the Amarushataka.

An enterprising interpreter can find all kinds of meanings in things but I am rather dubious about any "Advaitic message" in the Amarushataka.  Have you read it?

One poem of Adi Shankara's “Amarushataka” is inscribed on 
> a ‘Stupa’ (Pillar) at Nagarjunakonda in AndhraPradesh. This stupa  can be said to be athree dimensional representation of the Amarushataka. This show that even the Buddhists of his timewere influenced by his Advaita philosophy. This inscription probably also throws some light on the times of Adi Shankara, albeit indirectly.

Note the story of Shankaracharya being temporarily confounded by Mandan Mishra's wife Bharati asking questions on kamashastra during their debate and requesting an adjounment during which he inhabited the body of the recently deceased King Amaru (or Amaruka) is first found in the 14th century Madhaviya Shankara digvijaya.  Earlier mentions of the Amarushataka (several kavyashastras use verses from it as examples) are silent on this topic.  So I think you are getting way ahead of yourself in your analysis of the Nagarjunakonda inscription.  More context is needed.

-- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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