Ramanuja's Summary of the Advaitin's Position - 1

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 2 12:19:28 CDT 2003

--- "M. S. Ravisankar" <ravi at AMBAA.ORG> wrote:
> Kartik wrote:
> >
> >
> > The answer to the question, "If there is only one
> book
> > that I should study, what would it be?" is, as per
> the
> > shrI VaishhNavas, the VishhNu PuraaNa. According
> to
> > the Shankaran tradition, it is the MANDUkya
> upanishhad
> > (with GauDapaada's KArikA and Shankara's
> > sub-commentary). The difference is rather telling.
> >
> It is one thing to say that we consider such and
> such book as the most
> important one in our tradition.


> It is totally another thing to answer the question
> you posed: "If there is
> only one book that I should study, what would it
> be?".

Perhaps, but the difference is in semantics only, when
the question is asked by a mumukshu.

In the book "Hindu dharma", in the chapter on "The
four Vedas", the late Kanchi Paramaachaarya says "It
is believed that those who seek liberation need
nothing to realise their goal other than Mandukya
Upanishad."  (see

This belief stems from the muktika upanishhad, which
begins with Rama instructing Hanuman, "The only means
by which the final emancipation is attained is through
maaNDUkya upanishhad alone, which is enough for the
salvation for all aspirants." (see an old posting by
Giri in soc.religion.hindu at

As regards the VishhNu PurANa being the answer to the
above question for shrI VaishhNavas, I learned from
the discourses of a traditional shrI VaishhNava
scholar, shrI Karunakaran, who used to be (not sure if
he still is) well-known in Madras. He started his
discourse on the VishhNu PurANam with, "A student went
to a teacher and said that he could study only one
book, and the teacher replied that he should study the
VishhNu PurANam." Karunakaran claimed that this was
because the VishhNu PurANa was a complete work on
dharma and moksha, and the shortest of all PurANas
(only 6000 shlokas). I searched the Bhakti list
archives and found the name of one VaishhNava scholar
"SrI VillUr KarunAkaran swAmi". Maybe his were the
lectures I attended, but I cannot be sure.




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