[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Works of Sri Vidyashankara

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 12:39:57 CST 2016

Very interesting, Venkat ji. Thanks for the research.

On Dec 31, 2016 11:36 PM, "Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> One thing we can use to determine objectively if Shankara bhagavatpAda
> wrote the gIta bhAshya, or if it was a later advaitin in his tradition, is
> to see if there is any evidence from other commentators that are
> chronologically proximate to him.
> It is widely accepted that BhAskara, a bhedAbhedavadin, who is said to have
> lived around c. 800 AD ("BhAskara the VedAntin", Daniel Ingalls), is a
> close contemporary of Shankaracharya. BhAskara quotes Shankara's brahma
> sUtra bhAshya quite extensively in his own bhAshya to this prasthAna.
> BhAskara, in turn, is quoted by VAcaspati Mishra in BhAmati. Therefore, he
> must have lived between Shankara's and VAcaspati's lifetimes.
> Now turning to the question if there are any references to Shankara's gIta
> bhAshya in any of BhAskara's works. Unfortunately, not too many surviving
> works of BhAskara are available to us. Thankfully, there are some fragments
> available from his gIta bhAshya (9 chapters of his gIta bhAshya are
> published by the Benares Sanskrit University, edited by Dr.
> Subhadropadhyaya, 1964).
> In the few fragments of the BhAskara gIta bhAshya available today, there is
> one interesting comment he makes when commenting on sloka 2.21:
> वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् ।
> कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् ॥ २१ ॥
> These are Shankara's words in his commentary to the bhAshya: हेत्वर्थस्य च
> अविक्रियत्वस्य तुल्यत्वात् *विदुषः सर्वकर्मप्रतिषेध एव प्रकारणार्थः
> अभिप्रेतो भगवता* ।
> Turning to BhAskara, he quotes Shankara in the bhAshya to the same verse:
> अत्र क्लेशभीरव: केचित् स्वमतं भगवत्यारोप्य वर्णयन्ति *विदुष:
> सर्वकर्मप्रतिषेध एव प्रकरणार्थोSभिप्रेतो भगवता* इति.
> In commenting on this verse, BhAskara criticises Shankara's bhAshya by
> saying that Shankaracharya is simply attributing his own views onto Lord
> Krishna when he says "in this context, Krishna's view is that for the wise
> person total renunciation of karma is prescribed".
> Its quite clear here that BhAskara is quoting Shankara's gIta bhAshya
> verbatim. Given that BhAskara also quotes Shankara in his Brahma sUtra
> bhAshya, we can conclude that the Shankara that wrote the gIta bhAshya must
> have lived at the same time as the Shankara that wrote the brahma sUtra
> bhAshya. A reasonable simplification to make is that it is indeed the same
> person.
> (The above references to BhAskara's bhAshya and his quotation of Shankara's
> bhAshya are from T.K. Gopalaswamy Aiyengar's paper titled "BhAskara on the
> Gita" presented at the GIta SamIkshA conference held in Tirupati on March
> 1970. The proceedings of the conference have been published by Sri
> Venkateswara University, Tirupati. It is available in electronic form at
> archive.org)
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
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