[Advaita-l] Supremacy of Shiva over Vishnu

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 06:51:40 CDT 2016


> //however, the third, ie the analysis of Shankara bhAshya to determine
tAtparya, should be according to sampradAya, and not contradictory to it. //
> Is there any reason why this should be so? For example, does it require
sAmpradAya, to count how many times Shankara has quoted the BU in his BSB?
Or does it require sAmpradAya to know whether or not he has used the word
vivarta anywhere? Aren't these available to perception and inference? And
moreover, what guarantee do you have that the sAmpradAya never evolved and
is static? Aren't there advaitins like Sri SSS who thought that later
advaitins changed the meaning of Shankara's teachings?

In general, interpretation of shAstra to determine tAtparya should be in
line with sampradAya, because Shankaracharya himself said so (BGB 13.2).

I do not believe that counting of the number of times a particular word is
used is a useful determinant of tAtparya, especially if the conclusion
drawn from such an analysis is blatantly contradictory to the whole body of
Shankara bhAshya and sampradAya.  If it is implied that a particular deity
is being referred to as the ultimate import of shAstra by the number of
times Shankara uses that deity's name, then such a conclusion is flawed -
the consistent message of Shankara bhAshya is that nirguna Brahman is the
ultimate reality.

Also, different advaita AchAryas differing amongst themselves does not
imply a contradiction in tAtparya, only in prakriya. The same would be
applicable to Sri SSS also.

> //The second one, ie commentary on the personality of Shankara, I would
argue is probably best preserved in tradition, unless it is argued that
modern scholars have the extra sensory perception to delve back a 1000
years to make any statement on it which is not anything more than
> Does it really require an extra sensory perception? Don't you think, the
works of Shankara or his disciples cannot provide any clues?

Yes it can provide clues. However, any outcome based on such clues cannot
be definite. Because such an inference is not based on pratyaksha. For
anumana to be definite, it has to be on the basis of direct perception.
Only if there has been a prior association of smoke with fire based on
direct perception, can the perception of smoke in the present lead to the
definite conclusion that there is a fire somewhere.

Even if an intelligent guess on Shankara's personality is made based on
these clues, it is just that - a guess. Not a fact.

In line with your comment on Shankara's disciples providing a clue to his
personality, please read the last 10-11 slokas in the last chapter of
Naishkarmya Siddhi - in one of the slokas there (perhaps someone here can
give the exact reference), Sureshvaracharya  compares Shankara with Lord
Shiva, himself to Bhagiratha, and Brahma vidyA to the Ganges. So an
acceptance of Shankara as Lord Shiva himself was prevalent even in
Shankaracharya's times.

> //While you were pointing out that some western scholars' views on
vedAnta should be accepted, you were unprepared to accept any element of
historicity to any traditional accounts preserved in mathas.//
> Sorry, I never said any western scholar's views should be accepted
without question. You are welcome to check my messages. I have no personal
affinity to Hacker's theories. If you have any evidence contradicting
Hacker, you are welcome to present it.//

Indeed you never said that. However the ones that you were accepting, on
matters related to Vedanta, are not in line with tradition.

I am not familiar with Hacker's theories on the history of Sringeri matha.
However if he alleges that preserved tradition is wrong and by subscribing
to his views if you claim that Sringeri history is incorrect, in my view,
the burden of proof is on him and by consequence, you to prove that.
However, that is a topic that I am not interested in - you are of course
welcome to carry that discussion on.


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