Prakarana Granthas of Adi Sankara

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Mar 22 03:51:08 CST 2002

--- Srikrishna Ghadiyaram
<srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> Hari Om !!
> I saw some posting in the Advaitin list that
> 'Vivekachoodamani' is not
> Sankara's composition and it is a 16 th century
> text. I saw another post
> claiming that 'Aparoksha Anubhuti' is also not a
> Sankara composition.
> In the light of such comment, I would seek your
> comments on the
> authenticity of these statement. What are the known
> facts about their
> authorship.

Namaste All,
The following is my opinion only and at best to be
placed alongside the valid researches of the scholars.

We have been directed to study sruti in the light of
direct experience.
Can we apply such direction to the texts of great
Where does the principle of verification lie? In our
own heart/intellect or in the studies of others? With
respect to all 'others', ultimately it is the former
that will spark the greater fires of enthusiasm.
If a word from  Vivekachoodamani sparks that deep
moment of insight, vij~nAna as opposed to j~nAna, does
it matter who some other person says is the author?
Who is the author of that explosion of understanding
in our own heart/intellect?
In due course we will have to renounce any formulation
we have imposed upon that moment of understanding in
order to take the next step.

Again, this is my own opinion only but based upon
personal experience.  Some 35 years ago I was being
made to study, at university, Form Criticism and
Source Criticism etc. in order to establish the
correct authorship of the gospel texts. Step by step
the texts were being stripped of authenticity as the
'science' of religion took hold. I was not impressed
by these methods then and am pleased that they have
much less input into university studies nowadays.
Without a consideration of direct experience these
processes can 'throw the baby out with the bath
Analysis means to 'loosen the bonds', not to cut up
the rope and throw it away.

So, while we may justly seek the latest authority on
authorship and some linear, historical progress report
in order to loosen some of the superficial
superimpositions of our own ignorance, it is our own
experience of Truth in the moment now that is of
ultimate value.

Again, this is just my opinion,

Ken Knight

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