[Advaita-l] Who wrote Saundarya Lahari?

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 02:26:42 CDT 2015

Whilst I do not have the knowledge to answer your question about
authorship, the question concerning how a son may describe a mother's body
parts brings to mind a story from Srmad Bhagavatam.
The composer, Sri Vyasa had a son - the divine Shri Shuka.
Shuka was a sannyaasin and would walk around naked, oblivious to the world
being immersed in the constant knowledge of the One Atman.
Vyasa would at times follow his son, observing his actions.
One day Shri Shuka was passing through a forest and Vyasa lost sight of him
for a short time.
In hurrying to catch up with him, he cam across a river in which some women
were bathing naked.
On seeing Vyasa, the women immediately blushed and ran to clothe themselves.

This was puzzling to Vyasa who questioned the nymphs saying:
"Why is it that you robe yourselves now that I, an old man who is fully
clothed, appear in front of you?
My son, a youth who is naked has right now passed this way and it is clear
that you did not clothe yourselves on seeing him."

The nymphs answered saying:
"Your son sees nothing but the Supreme Self in All. To him, we are not
female - we are not other than the Self.
As such, we felt no threat from him.
You, however, still see us as women and this betrays that duality is still
perceived by you.
Because you see "man" and "woman," we consider the threat to our honour and
so we have clothed ourselves."

Man and woman are only relevant within the dual world which is not the
I do not find it strange that a sage who has realised the unity of all can
describe anything simply as it is perceived or revealed - without other
notions entering the mind.
Relationships like "mother-son" or "husband-wife" are real only to us who
are ignorant - not to a Self-Realised man.

Yours in Truth

On 29 July 2015 at 06:35, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste
> In the TV programme Satya Darshana I heard Adi Sankara the author of
> Prasthana Traya Bhashya and the best of the Yatis and a Baala Brahmachari
> cannot be author of Saundarya Lahari. How can he describe every part of the
> female body details for 50 Slokas ? Even if you say he is describing his
> Mother how can a son describe body parts of his Mother? Someone may say Adi
> Sankara was Siva Avatara only. Siva can describe His own wife Paarvati and
> Her body because He is Her husband. But why did he say he is Dravida Sisu a
> baby of the Dravida country and drinking Her breast milk Stanya in Sloka
> 75? How can he act as husband in one place and son in another place?
> Someone must have written Saundarya Lahari and put his name as Dravida Sisu
> Sankaracharya.
> There are many Bhashyas for Saundary Lahari? What are Bhaashya Kaaras
> saying? Kindly clarify. Some Dvaitis are taunting me. I have to give a
> suitable reply.
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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