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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sun Jan 1 03:18:45 CST 2017

Namaste Sunil ji,

On 31 Dec 2016 8:58 p.m., "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

Namaste Venkataraghavanji,

Thank you for your mail. may I request you kindly to send me a photocopy
of  T.K. Gopalaswamy Aiyengar's paper titled "BhAskara on the
Gita" presented at the GIta SamIkshA conference held in Tirupati on March,


Would you think that Abhinava Shankara, another very famous avatara of Adi
Shankaracharya, could have written the Bhagavadgita bhashya, if and when
all evidences confirm that  a fresh bhashya on the Bhagavadhita was needed
to be written by Sri Vidyashankara to refute  Sri Ramabujacharya's
Bhagavadgitabjashya, as one advaitic  bhashya was already therein Sri
ramanujacharya's time.

This is a hypothetical question that involves the acceptance of several
unproved assertions, so I would rather not answer.

This will be satisfy the objection that language style of the
Bhagavadgitabhshya was different for Adi Shankara's other bhashyas.

You still have not shared what these differences are, so we cannot examine
this. Please bear in mind that Prof. Karmarkar's paper (which I have only
seen references to, but not the paper itself) that denied the authorship of
Gita bhAshya to Shankara was published in 1958, before the newly discovered
BhAskara bhAshya was published (1960), so he could not have known about
this piece of evidence when he wrote what he did.

In any case, factual, objective evidence of BhAskara quoting Shankara
verbatim will outweigh weaker, subjective proof such as language
differences. Language differences could be due to a whole host of reasons: it
is a common occurrence that same author may use different writing styles at
different times, sometimes within the same text, a different person may
have transcribed what may have been Shankara's lectures on the gIta to his
shishyAs etc. We need not assume straight away that a different person
wrote it.

One possibility is that Sri Vidyashankara had just to refute only the
version with 700 verses on which Sri Ramanujacharya wrote his bhashya.

In my view that is an impossibility, based on what I sent. There is no way
BhAskara could have referred to ShAnkara bhAshya if Sri VidyAshankara was
the author - it is a chronological impossibility. Sri VidyAtIrtha, or
VidyAshankara, lived between 1229-1333 AD according to the Sringeri
website, whereas Bhaskara lived around 800AD.

But if any one before Sri Ramanujacharya wrote the advaitic bhashya on the
Bhagavadgita, then the question as to why the 45 verses were omitted still

I don't know the answer to that question. It could simply be the version of
the GIta that Shankara had been taught had only 700 verses. It could be
that he thought that the other verses, if they existed in his time, were
interpolations. It could be that they were interpolations after his time.
Why does that disprove Shankara's authorship though? Whoever wrote the GIta
bhAshya, the question would remain.

If Bhaskara quoted Shankara, there is no doubt that Shankara bhAshya
preceded his and by consequence, Sri Ramanuja's. So the basis for your
objection - that it could have been 700 verses as a response to Ramanuja -
is invalid.


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