[Advaita-l] [advaitin] The Bhashyas of Adi Shankara

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 6 00:33:32 CST 2017

Dear Vidyasankarji,

Glad to see your clarification that, to your knowledge, nobody knows how many bhashyas were written by Adi Shankaracharya.  May be some pf the pontiffs of some of the Shankara-maths would know this. I understand that the Brihatsabnkaravijaya gives the number as 16. 

As regards the term "Prasthanatrayi", it was not specifically used by Adi Shankara and the term came to be used only from the time of Madhusudana Saraswati.

As regards the Bhagavadgitabhshya, I still wonder why the bhashyakara did not use the original Bhaagavadgita of 745 verses. I will use your own language. Prof. Larmarkar is not there now to defend his paper. . 

Sunil KB

On Thu, 1/5/17, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] The Bhashyas of Adi Shankara
 To: "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Date: Thursday, January 5, 2017, 8:40 PM
 To begin
 with, please let us know your source for the statement that
 Sankara bhagavatpAda wrote 16 bhAshyas. I am not aware of
 such a specific number given in any of the Sankaravijaya
 texts or in any of the sub-commentaries on his works. To my
 knowledge, it is not as if such a number is given in
 pancapAdikA or bhAmatI or naishkarmyasiddhi or
 sureSvarAcArya's vArttikas or in later texts like
 ratnaprabhA or kalpataru, parimala etc. It is not even
 mentioned in Sankaravijaya texts like mAdhavIya,
 anantAnandagirIya, vyAsAcalIya etc.Do you know what is the
 original source for giving the number 16? If you have that
 information, please share it with the list. We hear a lot of
 different things in our lives, but we cannot live our lives
 believing every single thing we hear.
 It might well be that no one has
 seriously bothered to refute this number 16 so far, simply
 because no one had actually given such a detail with any
 great seriousness. Your bringing it up at this juncture is
 my first introduction to this idea. Unless a proposition is
 made with the force of either logical pramANa or a
 traditional sampradAya behind it, nobody bothers to put
 forth any alternative proposition(s) on the subject. As
 I've mentioned before, proofs by assertion and
 repetition don't stand up to scrutiny and we have to be
 careful in evaluating various sources of information and
 drawing conclusions from them.
 If you go back to the comprehensive
 publication of the complete works of Sankara (as
 traditionally attributed) published from the Vani Vilas
 Press, Srirangam, with the blessings and approval of the
 then Sringeri Jagadguru Acharya, you will find the
 following, in addition to the bhAshyas on the prasthAna
 traya. These are the bhAshya-s on vishNu sahasranAma,
 sanatsujAtIya, adhyAtma paTala,
 lalitAtriSatI, hastAmalakIya-stotra and
 nRsimhapUrvatApanIyopanishat. Philological / Indological /
 academic research scholars raise doubts on the authorship of
 these six texts. No matter how you view the pada and vAkya
 bhAshyas on kenopanishat, you will see that the total number
 of bhAshyas does not add up to 16. If you simply accept the
 yardstick of the century old Vani Vilas Press edition, no
 questions asked, you are already at the number 19. If you
 discount all the texts other than bhAshyas on the prasthAna
 traya, you are at the number 13.
 Please note that a bhAshya on the
 SvetASvataropanishat and the vivaraNa on the
 yogasUtrabhAshya are not included in this and other earliest
 printed publications, but others belonging broadly within
 the Sankaran tradition may think that these are also genuine
 works, whereas academic critical scholars would dispute
 As you can see,
 there is no good way to substantiate a proposition that Adi
 Sankara wrote 16 bhAshyas. It really makes me wonder where
 you heard that statement making such an enumeration. That
 said, I am glad that you are now coming around to accepting
 the SAnkara bhAshya on the bhagavadgItA as being of genuine
 On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at
 10:03 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 wrote:Dear friends,
 Regarding the total 16 Shankarabhashyas, we can make it
 easier if we  take that 12 bhashyas (i.e.  the
 Bhagavadgiabhasya + Brahmasutrbhashya + the ten major
 Upanishad bhshyas) as confirmed.
 Then,  we have to fill in only four remaining places with
 four Shankara bhashyas out of the following 7 bhashyas...If
 I have left out any other contender(s), you may kindly add
 those too, to these seven contenders.
 Nrsimhapurvatapaiyaupanishad bhashy
 Shvetasvataraupanishad bhashys
 )Kenopanishad vakyabhashya
 Lalitatrishati bhashya
 Sanatsujatiya bhashya
 Vishnusahasranama bhashya
 I shall be thankful if you can kindly come out with your
 Sunil KB

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list