Questions on History of Advaita

Giri gmadras at ENGR.UCDAVIS.EDU
Wed Aug 7 22:26:12 CDT 1996

On Wed, 7 Aug 1996, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> had been consulted. But unfortunately the kaarikaa has not received much
> attention, till this century. Most of the attention was given to the brahma
> suutra.

        I am quite surprised since it is said in the muktika upanishhad
that reading (and practising) mandukya upanishhad alone is enough if the
aspirant is unable to master the 108 upanishhad-s. Naturally, I thought
people would have paid special attention to this upanishhad.

> 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.

        It has been dated as the third oldest upanishhad and between 800-600
BC, leaning towards 800 BC. This is the dating I have seen by modern

> As for the scriptural reference to saguNa brahman etc, such can be found in
> pai.ngala upanishhad.h. Since it was quoted by sha.nkara it must have existed
> previously.

        Actually the words Ishvara and the relation to Brahman are
explained in this upanishhad. Here, the sage, Yaajnavalkya addresses His
disciple Pai.ngala. There were also some questions as to whether the
words paaramaartihika, vyaavahaarika etc were all discussed after
Shankara. This upanishhad talks about it in brief. For example there is a
sentence that says that sentences like tvam brahmasi, tat tvamasi etc
speak of the identity of the Brahman with the paarmaarthika jiiva and not
about the identity with vyaavahaarika and praatibhaasika jiiva-s. The
upanishhad also explains various steps of self-enquiry : shravana,
manana, nididhyaasana etc.
        On a side note, here is where I learnt the reason why sadhu-s are not
cremated but buried.



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