[Advaita-l] Encounter between Madhvacharya and a Sringeri Pontiff

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 06:07:05 CDT 2016

On Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 2:42 PM, D Gayatri <dgayatrinov10 at gmail.com> wrote:

> //Even Advaitins believe that Shankaracharya had a discussion with Veda
> Vyasa. Advaitins, at a level, take such accounts seriously//
> This is the problem with hagiographies that I was trying to point out.

That is no problem for Advaitins; only those who are not Advaitins may have
a problem. The purpose of such accounts is  well served for aspirants of
the tradition just as the accounts of Krishna or Rama do. Shankara and all
the pūrvāchāryas of the tradition did not have any problem with such
accounts about their earlier Acharyas for their quest of the Advaitic
Truth. It is the by stander that has problems.

> Moreover, the ones on Shankara were written hundreds of years after he
> lived. So for all practical purposes, they are not of much historical value.

The one on Shankara that was written much later, is based on an earlier one
that was existing before that. That is what is said in the abridged
version. The earlier version, however, is unavailable now.

Also, the Puranas and Mahabharata and Ramayana are no more than
'hagiographies'.  We only believe that their authors were present when
those events took place. Who can prove it? It is the case with anything
past.  Even with a comparatively recent dating of Madhvacharya or
Vidyaranya or Appayya Dikshita there is no finality.

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