Info on Swami Saccidanandendra?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Tue Dec 3 13:53:59 CST 1996

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996, Anand Hudli wrote:


>   Saccidanandendra seems to be quite convinced that the Vivekacudamani
>   is not a work of Shankara's, but rather of Shankarananda who also
>   wrote a Gita Bhashya. He compares the writing style, choice of terms, etc.,
>   and arrives at this conclusion. As you say, he takes the prasthaana traya
>   of Shankara as the standard against which he compares any work attributed
>   to Shankara.

I didn't know this piece of information. SankarAnanda's AtmapurANa is very
well-known as are his upanishad-dIpikAs. I have not seen vivekacUDAmaNi
attributed to him in the tradtion, but of course it is quite possible for
confusion to arise between SankarAcArya and SankarAnanda in later times.

>   On the other hand, given the fact that Swami Chandrasekhara Bharati
>   of Sringeri wrote a commentary on the Vivekacudamani, it is clear that
>   the treatise is treated as a genuine work of Shankara, in that tradition.

I don't know if Swami Candrasekhara Bharati definitely says something
about the authorship of the vivekacUDAmaNi in his commentary. However, I
do recollect that the first verse, which is a salutation to Govinda is
usually seen as serving the double purpose of saluting kr.shNa and
govinda, Sankara's guru. I can check about this from the commentary, but I
guess the Sringeri tradition does attribute vivekacUDAmaNi to Sankara,
because Swami Abhinava Vidyatirtha says so in his introduction to the
printed edition of his guru's commentary. Significantly, Paul Hacker
thinks that the attribution is genuine, both from applying his criteria of
Sankara's authorship and from the colophons of all extant manuscripts.
This is unlike the case of a text like the dr.g dr.Sya viveka, which is
attributed to Sankara in some manuscripts and to bhAratI tIrtha in others.

>   Swami Saccidanandendra similarly analyzes another work attributed to
>   Shankara, MahaavaakyadarpaNa, and concludes that it too is a work of
>   Shankaraananda. This work is of the same calibre as the Vivekacudamani,
>   but is not as popular, for some reason.
> > Finally, I am unaware if the Sringeri tradition has a final view on which
> > works are Sankara's and which are not. True, the Vani Vilas collection of
> > Sankara's works that was sponsored by Sringeri between 1910 and 1920,
> > includes a whole bunch of texts that are doubted by modern scholarship.
> > However, in this collection, manuscripts collected from all over India
> > were collated and published, along with the manuscripts obtained from
> > Sringeri itself. If a manuscript's colophons said that it was composed by
> > Sankara, it was included in the collection. But, rather than discard all
> > the minor texts except upadeSasAhasrI, it would be better to evaluate the
> > texts on a case by case basis and then come to a conclusion regarding
> > authorship.
> >
>   Part of the confusion may arise from the fact  that every head of a
>   Math is  called a Shankaracharya.
>   When he writes a book, etc., he may simply add a colophon saying it was
>   written by Shankaracharya, and people in another century mistake it to
>   be a work of Adi Shankaracharya!

SankarAnanda was a guru of vidyAraNya. It is from around vidyAraNya's time
that one starts seeing evidence for the heads of maThas being called
SankarAcAryas themselves. This could well be a source of mistaken
attribution of texts to Sankara.

> > However, the Swami's contention that one has to go back to Sankara's works
> > to understand advaita vedAnta is well taken. As he points out, the
> > controversy between the later bhAmatI school of vAcaspati miSra and the
> > vivaraNa school of prakASAtman (following padmapAda) has been blown out of
> > proportion and exploited by the dvaitins. He points out very cogently
> > where both vAcaspati miSra's bhAmatI and padmapAda's pancapAdikA differ in
> > crucial concepts from Sankara's bhAshyas on the vedAnta-sUtras and the
> > chAndogya and br.hadAraNyaka upanishads.
>    I have heard that in dvaita polemical works there is *no* criticism
>    of Shankara's works, but only of the panchapaadikaa and bhaamati and
>    their related commentaries. If that is true, it is very interesting.

I don't know about Jayatirtha and others, but Anandatirtha himself
(Madhva) mainly criticizes the views of the ishTa-siddhi, a work by

>     Madhusuudana Sarasvati is much closer to Shankara and
>    Sureshvara, as far as his philosophy goes, and his advaita siddhi
>    has not yet received a significant response from  the dvaitins.

Yes, I think so too, although the dvaitins claim that one Ramatirtha
has responded to Madhusudana Saraswati's arguments. S. N. Dasgupta devotes
the better part of one of his volumes of "History of Indian Philosophies"
to the dvaita-advaita debate. It makes for very interesting, although
somewhat dry reading.

S. Vidyasankar

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