Prakarana Granthas of Adi Sankara

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Fri Mar 22 04:57:30 CST 2002

ken knight wrote:

> --- 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
> teachers?
> 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
> water.'
> 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

I also generally tend to agree with Ken.
If one is studying for academic discussions only, then
analysis of authorship, date, history, place where
composed etc.may be of importance or relevance.

If one is using the text for insights, does it matter
very much who wrote it?

The subject matter which we are talking about is
such that, beyond certain level, the seeker him/her
self is able to judge.

Also, is it not a tradition in our country that a pupil
follows the path indicated by the guru strictly? Why
doubt bonafides of the pupil?

Remember, doubts will do you more damage than the
doubtful authorship/text.

Of course, the text under consideration should pass
the scrutiny regarding adherence to general direction
of original teaching.

Remember the 24 gurus of Dattatraya? Learn from
whatever source you feel is able to push you a little
along the Path. No one has absolute monopoly of
the Key.
I hope I am not offending anyone by saying so.

That is my opinion (again from experience.)
-- Himanshu

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list