[Advaita-l] Incomplete works - What to make of it?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Mon Nov 6 01:32:36 EST 2017

​​Namaste Adityaji,

On Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 10:59 AM, Aditya Kumar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> I am wondering if we can rely on incomplete works to come to a definite
> conclusion. Incomplete works are never a good sign. Specially, how does
> this weigh against works that are completed with proper introduction and
> summary to end. Those familiar with tradition know very well that an author
> seeks the blessing of ishta devata for the intended work to be fruitful. So
> if the work is not completed, should we consider it as an inauspicious sign
> OR works that are wrongly attributed OR any other thoughts?

​​I don't think tradition considers an incomplete work as a sign of
inauspiciousness when a prayer is made. More than wrong attribution, it may
be possible that some part is lost (eg, Charyakhanda of Haritayanasamhita
of Tripurarahasya fame).

Yet, your question and another related one about the prayer is dealt with
in a Tika under Tarkasangraha so:

Doubt: There are many texts without मंगलाचरणम् and still complete and
Answer: The orthodox ​tradition say​s​ that the prayer is बहिः​ ​कृतम्
prayed outside of the text or even in earlier birth.
Doubt: There are many texts with prayer, but incomplete.
Answer: ​The prayer helped get what is complete​d​, but for the incomplete
part, ​a ​new prayer is needed. This means that the obstacles/ forces
countering the work are stronger than the prayers created adRShTa for.

The reason I said forces as an option to obstacles is because sometimes the
work is not meant to be. Some Acharyas may drop the work midway when they
know so! Other Acharyas do not write further because they feel that they
have said all that was to be said and not knowing that the work may appear
as incomplete for those who think each verse should be commented upon (eg,
HH Chandrashekara Bharati Swamiji said that he had commented on everything
to be commented upon before all verses had ended in Vivekachudamani). Then
there may be other reasons unknown to us.
--Praveen R. Bhat
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