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

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 1 16:52:09 CST 2017

 Dear Vidyashankarji,
 I think you have not known that my doubts about the
 authorship of the Bhagavadgitabhashya by Adi Shankara, arose
 only after I came to know about Prof. Karmarkar's analysis.
 It looks as if due to prejudice many have not cared to read
 the paper of Karmarkar. So there is no case of
 force-fitting, and it was only the open way of examining new
 Good that now I find that the general opinion is that Sri
 Vidyashankar had not written any text. But there must be
 some reason why both the Kudali Sringeri and the Sringeri
 mathas have the grand Vidyashankar temples in their
 premises, but similar honour to the other post-AdiShankara
 pontiffs are miising. 
 Regarding Nava Shankara or Abhinava Shankara, it was Shri
 Pathak who got the three page document on that according to
 which this Nava Shankara was born in 788 CE. Shri Pathak
 published a paper on that. It is interesting to see that the
 Sringeri matha also claimed the date of their first
 mathadhipati from that time. This probably gave an
 impression to some scholars like Udaivir Shastri that the
 Sringeri math was established by this Abhinava Shankara.
 Abhinava Shankara, for your kind information is one of the
 pontiffs of the Kanchi Kamakoti matha.
 As regards Shri Niranjan Saha's paper I wrote back to him in
 private as he asked for a review of his paper. I am yet to
 hear from Shri Saha.  
 I don't condemn the mathas other than the Sringeri matha,
 and I also look with an open mind at what others are saying,
 even if they differ from the opinion of the Sringeri, for
 which I have great respect. I wish I belonged to the inner
 circle of the Shringeri matha, so that I could have helped
 the matha to undo the wrongs the historians had done to that
 Sunil KB
 On Sun, 1/1/17, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at gmail.com>
  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Works of Sri
  To: "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
  Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>,
 "Venkatraghavan S" <agnimile at gmail.com>
  Date: Sunday, January 1, 2017, 9:54 AM
  In general, if you want to answer questions of
  textual and historical import, you have to have a more
  basis first to ask questions, not just some doubts and
  hunches. Secondly, you should try not to force fit data to
  preconceived conclusions.
  It looks like you are determined, somehow or
  the other, to come up with a different author for the
  gItAbhAshya than Adi Sankara. So, in your estimation, it
  must be anybody else, either an entirely mythical and
  non-historical abhinava Sankara or the historical
  vidyASankara who has traditionally not been known to have
  written any texts at all. 
  Our list member, Niranjan Saha, has already
  shared with you, by private email, a very recent paper
  surveying the academic scholarly output regarding the
  authorship of the gItAbhAshya. Please read it with some
  I don't understand why you would throw out
  both the tradition that says that this bhAshya is by Adi
  Sankara and also the bulk of the modern scholarship that
  concludes that this traditional attribution is right.
  Instead, you are basing your argument upon a solitary
  that is now quite outdated, along with a highly
  attempt at reconstructing history. The entire exercise is
  very strange indeed!
  Best regards,
  On Jan 1, 2017 2:29 AM,
  "Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
  Thank you for your mail. may I request you kindly to send
  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, 1970.
  Would you think that Abhinava Shankara, another very
  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
  written by Sri Vidyashankara to refute  Sri
  Ramabujacharya's Bhagavadgitabjashya, as one advaitic 
  bhashya was already therein Sri ramanujacharya's time.
  This will be satisfy the objection that language style of
  the Bhagavadgitabhshya was different for Adi Shankara's
  other bhashyas.
  Tthe Bhagavadgitabhashya does not have 745 verses, even
  though the Gita press edition of the Mahabharata clearly
  shows that the Bhagavad Gita had 745 verses. One
  is that Sri Vidyashankara had just to refute only the
  version with 700 verses on which Sri Ramanujacharya wrote
  his bhashya.  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
  Sunil KB
  ------------------------------ --------------
  On Sat, 12/31/16, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
  vedanta.org> wrote:
   Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Works of Sri
   To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
  <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
   Date: Saturday, December 31, 2016, 10:06 AM
   One thing we can use to determine objectively
   if Shankara bhagavatpAda
   wrote the gIta
   bhAshya, or if it was a later advaitin in his
   to see if there is any evidence from
   other commentators that are
   proximate to him.
   It is
   widely accepted that BhAskara, a bhedAbhedavadin, who
   said to have
   lived around c. 800 AD
   ("BhAskara the VedAntin", Daniel Ingalls), is
   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
   Now turning to
   the question if there are any references to
   bhAshya in any of BhAskara's works.
   Unfortunately, not too many surviving
   of BhAskara are available to us. Thankfully, there are
   available from his gIta bhAshya (9
   chapters of his gIta bhAshya are
   by the Benares Sanskrit University, edited by Dr.
   Subhadropadhyaya, 1964).
   In the few fragments of the BhAskara gIta
   bhAshya available today, there is
   interesting comment he makes when commenting on sloka
   नित्यं य
   कथं स पुरुषः
   पार्थ कं घातयति
   कम् ॥ २१ ॥
   These are Shankara's words in his
   commentary to the bhAshya:
   तुल्यत्वात् *विदुषः
   सर्वकर्मप्रतिषेध एव
   अभिप्रेतो भगवता*
   Turning to BhAskara, he
   quotes Shankara in the bhAshya to the same verse:
   अत्र क्लेशभीरव:
   केचित् स्वमतं
   वर्णयन्ति *विदुष:
   भगवता* इति.
   In commenting on this verse, BhAskara
   criticises Shankara's bhAshya by
   that Shankaracharya is simply attributing his own views
   Krishna when he says "in this
   context, Krishna's view is that for the wise
   person total renunciation of karma is
   Its quite
   clear here that BhAskara is quoting Shankara's gIta
   verbatim. Given that BhAskara also
   quotes Shankara in his Brahma sUtra
   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
   (The above references to
   BhAskara's bhAshya and his quotation of
   bhAshya are from T.K.
   Gopalaswamy Aiyengar's paper titled "BhAskara
   Gita" presented at the GIta
   SamIkshA conference held in Tirupati on March
   1970. The proceedings of the conference have
   been published by Sri
   University, Tirupati. It is available in electronic
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