[Advaita-l] Difference in the approaghes of Madhacharya and Shankaracharya

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 13:18:44 CDT 2016

On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 8:22 PM, Srinath Vedagarbha via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> More over Advaita does not accept all Shruti as scripture, in addition,
> preferring to arbitrarily brand some inconvenient ones as "atatvaavedaka"
> and "anuvaadaka," so its own record in this matter is highly questionable.

This is only your misconception. For example, in the Bhashya for the
Ishavasyopanishad 9, at the end Shankara says: न हि शास्त्रविहितं
किञ्चिदकर्तव्यतामियात् [Nothing enjoined by the scriptures can be unworthy
of performance.] In almost all upanishad bhashyas Shankara has shown the
'ekavākyatā', the non-contradictory nature between the karma and upanishad
portions. So, there is nothing that is 'inconvenient' for the Advaitin.

> Brahmatarka is also  quoted by the early 17th century advaitin
> AdvaitAnanda, the author of BrhmavidyAbharaNa on Shankara's BSB.

Can you give the reference? To my knowledge, that text was not available
even at the time of Appayya Dikshita. The author of the above work is a
much later one. It might be a quote from any Madhva work.

> As far as charge of aprasiddha texts are concerned, it also apply to
> others. Aprasiddha Paingi upaniShat is quoted by Shankara.

In this quote from the Bhashya, we can easily see that even though the
Paingi rahasya brāhmaṇam is not available now, the material, the viṣaya,
sourced by Shankara from there is not aprasiddha; it is very much prasiddha
as shown by him from the BG:

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । प्रथमः अध्यायः । द्वितीयः
पादः । गुहाप्रविष्टाधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् १२ - भाष्यम्
अपर आह — ‘द्वा सुपर्णा’ इति नेयमृगस्याधिकरणस्य सिद्धान्तं भजते,
व्याख्यातत्वात् — ‘तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्तीति
सत्त्वमनश्नन्नन्योऽभिचाकशीतीत्यनश्नन्नन्योऽभिपश्यति ज्ञस्तावेतौ
सत्त्वक्षेत्रज्ञौ’ इति । सत्त्वशब्दो जीवः क्षेत्रज्ञशब्दः परमात्मेति
यदुच्यते, तन्न ; सत्त्वक्षेत्रज्ञशब्दयोरन्तःकरणशारीरपरतया प्रसिद्धत्वात् ।
तत्रैव च व्याख्यातत्वात् — ‘तदेतत्सत्त्वं येन स्वप्नं पश्यति, अथ योऽयं
शारीर उपद्रष्टा स क्षेत्रज्ञस्तावेतौ सत्त्वक्षेत्रज्ञौ’ इति ।
नाप्यस्याधिकरणस्य पूर्वपक्षं भजते । न ह्यत्र शारीरः क्षेत्रज्ञः
कर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वादिना संसारधर्मेणोपेतो विवक्ष्यते । कथं तर्हि ?
सर्वसंसारधर्मातीतो ब्रह्मस्वभावश्चैतन्यमात्रस्वरूपः ;
‘अनश्नन्नन्योऽभिचाकशीतीत्यनश्नन्नन्योऽभिपश्यति ज्ञः’ इति वचनात्, ‘तत्त्वमसि’
 ‘क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि’ (भ. गी. १३-२)
 इत्यादिश्रुतिस्मृतिभ्यश्च ।

> Please show me any non-advaitic tradition who holds such texts as
> yoga-vashiShTha,
> adhyAtma-rAmAyaNa etc as valid.

I do not know about Yoga vasishta by any non-advaitic tradition but the
 adhyAtma-rAmAyaNa is held very much valid, a favorite of a vaishnava sect,
which says they are the largest vaishnava sect in India: the one where Sri
Ramabhardacharya is the prominent head. They say they  are followers of Sri
Ramanuja. This Acharya is a scholar in Vyakarana and his doctorate thesis
was 'apāṇinīya prayoga in the adhyAtma-rAmAyaNa'. They hold that work at
great eminence. Once I pointed out that the adhyAtma-rAmAyaNa has a
specific section where the jahadajallakśaṇā is espoused and a criticism of
this lakṣaṇā by Ramanuja.

You can check this too and confirm:


> Why that far, there is big disagreement about texts authored by Acharaya
> Shanakara himslef in the tradition, what to speak about such ancient texts
> such as Brahmataraka etc. not being carried on by advaita tradition.

There has been no non-advaitic Vedanta tradition during the time of
Shankara. We know this from his bhashya where he says:

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.1.20 bhashyam Shankaracharya makes a very
reaching statement:

// sarvopaniShatsu hi vijnAnAtmanaH paramAtmaikatva-pratyayo vidhIyata
ityavipratipattiH sarveShAmupaniShadvAdinAm. //

[That `All the Upanishads teach the idea of unity/identity of the Supreme
and the individual Atman’ is an undisputed understanding of all the
adherents of
the Upanishads.]

From this we come to know that during / prior to Shankaracharya’s time there
were no vedAntic bhedavAdins, dualists, of any shade basing their systems on
the Upanishads.

If there had been texts such as Bodhāyana vritti or Brahma tarka prevalent
in his times, he would have certainly noticed them.

Background color unintended.


> /sv
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