Narendra Puri

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat May 20 06:52:09 CDT 2000

----Original Message Follows----
From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM>
Vishal Agarwal <vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

 > Narendra Puri wrote a subcommentary on the
 >Chhandogya Upanishad Bhashya.
This is interesting information. Could you share publication details of this
early subcommentary?
VA: Here (just as it occurs in the title page of the book)--
Samaveda's Chhandogya Upanishad [Upanishadbhashyam - volume 2] with the
Bhashya of Shri Shankaracharya, adorned with the commentaries of Acharyas
Sri Narendra Puri and Aananda Giri and Abhinava Narayananendra Sarasvati
(for ch. 6-7-8 only); under the directions from Shri Swami Maheshananda Giri
Maharaja; edited with introduction notes etc., by Panditaraja
Shastraratnakara etc. by Shri S. Subrahmanya Shastri, M.A.; Mahesh Research
Institute; Mount Abu/Varanasi; 1982 (Advaita Grantha Ratna Manjusha
Note that this publisher has brought out editions of Anandagiri's Tika on
other Upanishads, Anubhutisvarupa's sub-commentary on Mandukya
Upanishad-Karika Bhashya; Laghu Granthas of Bhagvatpada with commentaries by
Suresvara and Padmapada (including on Atmabodha) etc. An unfortunate feature
of the books, which are printed very well otherwise, is that scriptural
citations are not always traced to their sources and so one has to rely on
one's own repertoire.

VS:How is it known that he is prior to Anandagiri?
VA: I deduced that by a mutual comparison of Narendra Puri's work with that
of Anandagiri. The latter skillfully weaves the citations and ideas in the
formers work into his ownTika. (As an analogy, Anandagiri has done the same
with the work of Anubhutisvarupi, of course, refining the language and
making the subject matter more lucid. Sayana has gone a step ahead in his
own Dipika on the Chhandogya Upanishad)
VA: signficant feature of N P's Tippana on C U is that it
 >appears to be the only extant work which quotes lengthy extracts from

VS:This reminds me of a very careful study done by the late Daniel Ingalls,
comparing their two commentaries on the brahmasUtra. He has shown that
entire passages in Bhaskara's commentary are common to Sankaracharya's
commentary, and deduces that both of them seem to have closely followed the
earlier vRttikAra in these sections. Bhaskara also quotes entire passages
from Sankaracharya's gItAbhAshya.

VA: Please post the name of Dr. Ingall's study. I did a similar thing 2
years ago and concluded the same. Note that in the chatuhssutri portion,
Padmapada cricitizes the Vrttikara and Vrttyantara(kara) for some
interpretations and it so happens that these peculiar interpretations are
found in Bhaskara's commentary. Apparently then, either Padmapada knew
Bhaskara's work (who will then become a contemporary of Shankaracharya) OR
Bhaskara was unaware of Pdmapada's work and Padmapada was merely referring
to the Vrtti of Bodhayana (aka Upavarsha in my opinion-- the only source
indicating the difference of Upavarsha and Bodhayana being the
Prapanchahridaya which is basically an Advaita text layered with Bhagvatism
on top of it, as the critical apparatus of the printed edition shows) which
was used extensively by Bhaskara.
Although Sri Ramanujacharya is said to have followed the Vrtti of Bodhayana
very closely, it is strange that he fails to quote Bodhayana at some very
crucial places. For instances, while he quotes Bodhayana to the effect that
'asya sarvasya Brahmatma' on 'sarvam khalvidam brahman'; he does not quote
Bodhayana anywhere to prove that in the state of Pralaya, Prakrti is present
in a subtle state pervaded by Brahman. Maybe because Bodhayana was a
Parinamavadi (well, Sri Ramanuja also claims that Brahman underwent
modification, but with the caveat that Brahman did so through the agency of
Prakriti. He was compelled to do so because in the Ubhaya Vedanta tradition,
Pancharatras are also an authority and according to Bhagvatas/Pancharatrins,
the Lord is pure and holy and cannot be the true material cause of the
Universe which is full of sin and misery. It has to be Maya which is
nevertheless governed by Brahman. Sri Ramanuja has, without alluding to the
Pancharatras, skillfully interpreted the Brahmasutras in a manner that
coincides with certain tenets of Bhagvatism/Pancharatra darshana).
V. Raghavan has also published articles that show how Bhaskara has
pre-supposed Bhagvatpada's Gita Bhashya.
I short, I think that if we take out the 'Upadhi' theory from Bhaskara and
'Adhyasa' from Bhagvatpada's commentary, we come close to Vrttikara's
commentary. The exception is Adhyaya II.1-2 whose commentary on the
Vrttikara is embedded in the Vrttikara prakarana of Shabara Bhashya. This
section seems to affirm the tradition that Vrttikara preceded Patanjali.


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