Questions on History of Advaita

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Wed Aug 7 13:23:40 CDT 1996

Vidya wrote:

> of later vedAnta schools regarding the status of the gauDapAdIya kArikAs.
> advaita, to which tradition gauDapAda belongs, ascribes all the kArikAs
> to a human author, while strangely enough, both rAmAnuja and madhva quote
> some kArikAs from the first book as Sruti, i.e. apaurusheya. According to
> B. N. Krishnamurthy Sarma, the noted dvaita scholar, the first 27 kArikAs
> are considered to be Sruti in the dvaita school, and hence unauthored.

My guess is that the maanDuukya upanishhad.h was available only as manuscript
form even by say Ramanuja's time and a common mis-conception may have been that
the first chapter was the upanishhad.h since it is called aagama prakaraNa.
Ofcourse if tatvamasi can become (a)tatvamasi anything can become anything. So
these verses might have been interpreted to suit non-advaitic doctrines. The
simple mistake could have been avoided, I suppose if the bhaashhya of sha.nkara
had been consulted. But unfortunately the kaarikaa has not received much
attention, till this century. Most of the attention was given to the brahma

> does not mean that all vedAnta is a post-Buddhist development. The
> AraNyakas and upanishads are all sufficiently old for vedAnta to be seen
> as historically quite ancient.

Does anyone know when the taittiriiya aaraNyaka is dated? It has even ajaati
vaada in it. na puushhaa, na pashavaH, naaditya .... in the first anuvaaka,
commonly known as suuryanamaskaara prashnaH.

As for the scriptural reference to saguNa brahman etc, such can be found in the
pai.ngala upanishhad.h. Since it was quoted by sha.nkara it must have existed
previously. Ofcourse, the words saguNa brahman and nirguNa brahman itself may
not be used. But the idea is clearly expounded.

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
undermine your entire philosophy)           -- strong Vulcan curse

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