[Advaita-l] Sankaracharya

Ravishankar Venkatraman sunlike at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 10 15:40:53 CDT 2004

>The biography of prime importance to four of the Shankara Maths --
>Sringeri, Badri, Dwaraka and Puri -- the "Shankara dig-vijayam"
>authored by Swami Vidyaranya, does NOT mention the Kanchi Math.
I will tell you what different traditions hold here. Sringeri mutt holds the 
view that the Madhaviya Sankara Vijayam was written by Swami Vidyaranya. 
Even Kanchi Paramacharya has described the beauty of Madaviya Sankara 
Vijayam in his lectures, which were later translated and printed in the book 
"Adi Sankara: His Life and Times". His Holiness did not get into the moot 
subject of whether the book was written by Swami Vidyaranya or not.

As an aside while talking about tradition, several western authors including 
Janathan Bader, date the book to a much later period, and hence do not 
attribute to Swami Vidyaranya.

Siva Rahasyam, primarily accepted as the source by Kanchi mutt, describes at 
least three incarnations of Lord Siva in the Kali yuga. The first avatara is 
Sri. Adi Sankara, the second one Swami Vidyaranya, and the third being Sri. 
Appayya Dikshita.

It is also worthy to note that Madhaviya Sankara Vijayam DOES NOT mention of 
any specific mutt except the Sringeri mutt. It says that Sankara established 
mutts in Sringeri and other places. So the tradition of the four mutts is 
not from Madhaviya Sankara Vijayam, but could be attributed to other texts.

>In the same manner, the Kanchi Math derives its lineage from the
>Sringeri Math. Where is the problem with understanding or accepting

The primary problem in accepting this is mainly from the dates given for the 
start of Kumbakonam mutt. It is easy to see that a lineage existed in 
Kumbakonam and Kanchi before the middle of 1800s(I am not sure of the exact 
year), and even in 1700s based on stone inscriptions in different temples in 
Kumbakonam. Added to these are the material evidences presented by Kanchi to 
date back their existance further.

It is hard for me to believe that a branch of Sringeri mutt was started in 
Kumbakonam, primarily because of the conflicting dates, and how much ever 
some one may argue, I would ask them to go back and look at relevant history 
in the last few centuries.

I do not think that HH Sringeri Sankaracharya would like this polemics, as 
His Holiness invited Sri. Jayendra Saraswathy swamigal to Sringeri, when all 
Sankaracharyas signed a joint statement on Ayodhya.

play of Maya to divert us from the focal point. The supreme Guru and the 
Supreme Person Sri. Bhagavatpada has truly taught us Advaita and the power 
of Maya in his own biography. This is the message from Kanchi Paramacharya 
about this moot subject.

God bless,

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