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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 02:11:29 CST 2017

On Jan 6, 2017 12:06 PM, "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 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.

Dear Sunilji,

I never said that nobody knows how many bhAshyas were written by Sankara
bhagavatpAda. That is a misunderstanding of what I said. Of course, our
AcAryas do have a reckoning and as I listed in my earlier mail, they don't
add to 16. Rather, I asked about your source text that enumerates 16.

Nobody has seen the bRhac-chankara-vijaya. T S Narayana Sastry was
approximately the only person who claimed to have seen portions of this
text. I don't remember seeing this number 16 in his book on Sankara.

> 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
> 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. .

Indeed, but I'm not the one speculating about how and why he passed away.
And at a comparative scholarly level, Raghavan, Ingalls, Mayeda and others
had already addressed the doubts that he raised.

Best regards,

> REgards,
> 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
>  Dear
>  Sunilji,
>  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
>  that.
>  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
>  authorship!
>  Best
>  regards,Vidyasankar

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