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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 07:35:46 CDT 2016

On Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 5:06 PM, D Gayatri <dgayatrinov10 at gmail.com> wrote:

> //How do you assume so?Why can't it be that grants from kings started only
> from the time of Vidyaranya due to his association with the kingdom?//
> Possible. But then it is you who are making the claim that Sringeri matha
> was started by Shankara. Doesn't the burden of proof lie on you, to
> establish the claim?

There is no burden on me to establish the claim since I have no problem
with it. It is you who are claiming to the contrary and the burden is on
you to prove your claim.

> //Why should he say so in the bhashyas which were for the purpose of
> expounding the Vedanta? What are 'authentic' to you need not be so for
> others. How do you conclude that Shankara is incapable of establishing
> mathas or could not have, and composing other works of devotion? //
> Please understand one thing. It is you who are claiming that Shankara
> established mathas or composed devotional hymns. The burden of proof lies
> on the person making the claim. It lies on you, not me.

For the traditional follower, शिष्टैरनुष्ठीयमानत्वात्
अनिन्द्यमानत्वाच्च (Shankara)
śiṣṭāchāra is pramāṇa. And moreover, believing in the accounts of the
purvacharya is not prohibited by the śastras. The Taittiriya Upanishad asks
the aspirant to follow the ways of the sishtas. There is no wanting of any
greater pramana than this for the traditional aspirant. Some of his works
have been annotated by Vidyaranya in the Panchadashi and Madhusudana
Saraswati in the Gudartha dipika. These are Acharyas of the Advaita
tradition. Other works have been authenticated by other Acharyas of the
tradition. That is the evidence for the traditional follower.

> You should understand that nobody is questioning Shankara, nor is he
> expected to answer every question. All that is being asked is - Is there
> any evidence for Sringeri matha before 14th century CE?

Why is this being asked? What is the hidden agenda behind this? Why is not
anyone questioning Ramanuja's date and history? They are on celebrating his
1000th year of advent.

For a traditional follower, the Sringeri matha has existed since the period
of Shankara. Sishtas belonging to the matha following have this pramana:
sishtāchāra.  This pramana is beyond the ken of the academician or
historian. There is no requirement that this pramana is to be recorded
anywhere. Just as Shankara need not give any pramana for his purvacharyas
explaining the upanishads. Even the Upanishadic Acharya says: 'Thus have I
heard from my Acharya  and I say so with that authority.'   इति शुश्रुम
पूर्वेषाम्.....Shankara has no problems with that. So there is no common
ground for a dialogue. Since this is beyond the ken of the historian he
will never be convinced. The cynic can never be convinced. For him, absence
of perceivable evidence is evidence of absence.


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