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

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 2 01:55:51 CST 2017

Dear Vidysankarji and the members of the advaita group,

Wish you all a happy new year.

Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
On Sun, 1/1/17, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Works of Sri Vidyashankara
 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, 7:46 PM
 I have engaged in discussions with you long
 enough to work out how your doubts arise and when the very
 same doubts become conclusions.
 In my very first response to you on this
 thread, I had drawn your attention to the works of Dr
 Kunjunni Raja, Dr V Raghavan, Prof Sengaku Mayeda and
 others. In particular, I will reiterate that you should
 familiarize yourself with Mayeda's in-depth and
 comprehensive analysis of the authorship issue. Questions
 about style and substance have been answered more than
 satisfactorily in his articles. Prof Karmarkar's stance
 about the authorship of gItAbhAshya has to be ultimately set
 aside. Of course, that will prove to be uncomfortable for
 your theses about the gItA of 745 verses and about the dates
 of Sankara and the maThas.
 As for SrI viyASankara, please note that all
 the old major SakhA maThas of Sringeri have the term
 vidyASankara pAdapadmArAdhaka in their titles. There is no
 rule that every notable guru in maTha history should have
 written commentaries. And there is no rule that a notable
 author should have presided over a maTha.
 It is very easy to ask questions. It requires a
 lot of patience to get to the answers. In the process, you
 have to keep an open mind and be ready to give up
 assumptions and preconceptions whenever necessary.
 I'll stop here. I have no desire to dig
 back into the claimed vs actually documented histories of
 various institutions. I have already said much about them in
 the past and don't see any need to repeat myself. 
 With happy 2017 wishes,
 On Jan 2, 2017 12:46 AM,
 "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
 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 matha.
 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
  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,
  must be anybody else, either an entirely mythical and
  non-historical abhinava Sankara or the historical
  vidyASankara who has traditionally not been known to
  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
  Sankara and also the bulk of the modern scholarship
  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
  very strange indeed!
  Best regards,
  On Jan 1, 2017 2:29 AM,
  "Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
  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
  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
  bhashya was already therein Sri ramanujacharya's
  This will be satisfy the objection that language style
  the Bhagavadgitabhshya was different for Adi
  other bhashyas.
  Tthe Bhagavadgitabhashya does not have 745 verses, even
  though the Gita press edition of the Mahabharata
  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
  his bhashya.  But if any one before Sri Ramanujacharya
  wrote the advaitic bhashya on the Bhagavadgita, then
  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
  <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),
   close contemporary of Shankaracharya. BhAskara
   quotes Shankara's brahma
   sUtra bhAshya
   quite extensively in his own bhAshya to this
   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
   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
   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
   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
   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
   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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