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

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 10 22:31:34 CST 2017

Dear Vidyasankarji,

Thank you for the mail, and supporting the importance of lateral thinking. in any investigation.ha 

Knowing the problem is half the solution, so the saying goes. It seems most of the people who shows concern for the date of Adi Shankara, have not really tried to look for the problem areas, some of which are created by some spokesman from the matha itself, at different times in the past. Most of the people want to have a status-quo and dump the issues under the carpet. That is against the ancient Indian ethos. Lord Ram says in the Ramayana about the importance of truth very clearly, He means that one has to care for the truth and that does imply that untruths should not be nourished.

Advaitins may think of the Vyavaharika as being of lesser importance than the Paramarthika, but the vyavaharika world is the karma-bhoomi, available to us for trying to live life like the past mahajanas lived. In science we know that only theoretical knowledge without practical is incomplete so also the advaitic knowledhge without practising that in karma, is not complete. This is despite the saying we do not believe in jnana-karma samucchaya. Hope you will agree. So let us take that our efforts should  be not to nourish what is doubtful and look for the truth.  


On Tue, 1/10/17, 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>
 Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>, "Venkatraghavan S" <agnimile at gmail.com>
 Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 7:11 PM
 Indeed, Sunilji. A
 researcher should examine alternate hypotheses and use
 lateral thinking. One of those alternatives for an impartial
 researcher is to consider seriously that the entire question
 of raising doubts about the authorship of gItAbhAshya by
 Sankara bhagavatpAda is quite baseless! 
 And another application of lateral
 thinking would be to decide not to over complicate the
 problem. Intricately coupling the authorship question with
 the date question and with the Sankaravijaya question and
 with the Matha question and the subsequent lineages question
 only results in greater and greater confusion. Yes, these
 are related problems and cannot be made completely separate
 problems address, but a researcher will tie himself up in
 knots if he ties these various questions into complicated
 knots. He can get better clarity by not clustering them all
 together and by proceeding in a methodical
 regards, Vidyasankar
 On Jan 10, 2017 4:00 PM,
 "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
 You took objection to my examining the authorship of
 Abhinava Shanaka, when my examination of the Authorship of
 Sri Vidyashankara was not found suitable. A researcher does
 not given up if one possibility falis, he tries the other
 possibilities. The researchers have the habit of lateral
 thinking in search of truths.
 Anyway, you seem to argue well and congrats. May be you
 should take up in earnest.  solving the muddle concerning
 the date Adi Shankara.
 Sunil KB
 ------------------------------ --------------
 On Tue, 1/10/17, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
 vedanta.org> wrote:
  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] The Bhashyas of Adi
  To: "Vidyasankar Sundaresan" <svidyasankar at gmail.com>
  Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
  Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 6:44 AM
  Namaste Sri
  I agree, we
  need not get caught up with the number 16. It was
  interesting coincidence - to the extent
  that what Sri Sunil said about the
  Shankara vijayam is verifiable and true, this would be
  evidence from
  another Sankara vijayam that
  corroborates it.
  certainly don't agree with the view that Adi Sankara
  not write the
  gIta bhAShya - the attempts
  thus far in this thread to prove otherwise, by
  attributing it to various other personalities
  have been a bit bizarre.
  Sri Sunil first brought up VidyAsankara as an
  author of the gIta bhAShya.
  However, when it
  was pointed that Bhaskara quotes Sankara bhAshya and
  therefore VidyASankara cannot be the author,
  that theory was abandoned. The
  new theory
  was to say that Abhinava Sanakara wrote it. When the
  postulate a new author in the first place
  was raised, Karmarkar's paper was
  to question the authorship of the bhAshya. However,
  contents of it were refuted, we did not
  get any substantive response to
  arguments. Instead it was argued that Pathak wrote a
  the birth of Abhinava Sankara in
  788 AD. However when it was pointed that
  Pathak said no such thing in the paper that was
  cited, the argument changed
  to the
  manuscript pointing to a nava Sankara instead. Now that
  refuted too. In the interim there was a
  brief, pretty arbitrary segue into
  allocation of bhAShyas to Sankara based on the number
  chitsukhA's Sankara vijayam. I
  truly wonder where this will end.
  On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at
  12:33 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
  svidyasankar at gmail.com>
  > Dear Sri
  > A
  late response to your note about the number 16. Yes, if
  go by the
  > description in the DiNDimA,
  we can add up to that number. However, there is
  > no textual source or oral tradition that
  says only 16 commentaries were
  > written
  by Sankara bhagavatpAda. I was wondering if Sri
  > some textual source in mind when he
  said that he had heard Sankaracharya
  had composed 16 bhAshyas. It turns out that he is
  to a
  > bRhacchankaravijaya, a text that
  nobody seems to have ever seen. (That can
  > be an entirely independent topic of
  discussion, by the way.)
  > The DiNDimA commentary on the mAdhavIya
  was written in the year 1798. Just
  about a century later, we have the printed collection
  Vani vilas
  > press. The founder of that
  publishing house and general editor,
  Balasubrahmanya Iyer, took great care in ensuring that
  texts he
  > published were traditionally
  handed down and accepted by the Sankaracharya
  > of his time. We see other commentaries
  included in that collection, so in
  > my
  opinion, we should not get too hung up over the number
  > I really look askance at
  Sri Bhattacharya's attempt to remove the
  > gitAbhAshya from that list, searching for
  other texts instead, to somehow
  > make up
  16 commentaries, one way or the other. Combined with
  > assumptions about a mythical
  nava Sankara and the historical vidyA Sankara,
  > uncertain dates, unavailable texts,
  speculative jumping to conclusions, it
  all results in massive confusion, wouldn't you say?
  > Best regards,
  > Vidyasankar
  > On Jan 6, 2017 4:51 AM,
  "Venkatraghavan S" <agnimile at gmail.com>
  >> Namaste
  Agreed. I was pointing this out not to suggest that Adi
  Sankara only
  >> wrote 16 bhASyas, but
  in response to Sri Vidyasankar's question for a
  >> source for the number 16.
  >> Until Sri
  Sunil mentioned it in this thread, I wasn't aware
  >> attributing 16 bhASyas to
  Shankara, but the proposition appears to have
  >> some merit.
  >> Regards,
  >> Venkatraghavan
  >> On 6 Jan 2017
  9:39 a.m., "V Subrahmanian" <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
  >> wrote:
  >>> On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 1:56 PM,
  Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
  >>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-
  >>>> Namaste Sri Vidyasankar,
  >>>> The number of the works that
  are called bhAshya in the mAdhavIya Sankara
  >>>> vijaya (I sent the references
  earlier) when read in conjunction with the
  >>>> DiNDima appear to be 16 in
  number. The next verse in the Sankara vijaya
  >>>> says that Adi Sankara wrote
  innumerable granthAs such as upadeSa
  >>>> sAhasri,
  >>>> so these are apparently
  classified in a different category compared to
  >>>> bhAShyas.
  >>> There
  is also a text called 'hastāmalaka-bhāṣyam'
  which is admitted in
  >>> the
  tradition to be a commentary penned by Shankara on the
  verses given out
  >>> by the
  disciple Hastamalaka. This text is also published by
  Vani Vilas
  >>> Press, Srirangam.
  >>> vs
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