[Advaita-l] RE: Sankaracharya

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 13 16:22:09 CDT 2004

> >
> >>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 
> >>subject of whether the book was written by Swami Vidyaranya or not.
> >
>I do not know where you are reading from.

I agreed with you that he did not get into the authorship question. However, 
since you brought it up anyway, I discussed the other side of the story. 
After all, the first people to question the authorship of the Madhaviya were 
affiliated with the Kanchi Matha.

>Let me know what has not been critically analyzed to promote this
>controversy. Each statement by the followers of both the mutts, have been
>CAREFULLY TWISTED to find evidence against the argument. Welcome to the
>tradition of Maya...

I beg to differ. Proper critical analysis does not require twisting of 
statements. When I say critical analysis, I refer to careful and exact 
reading, followed by evaluation and comments. I do not mean critical in the 
sense of simply finding fault.

>I do not want to start another controversy here. What is believed about 
>Sadasiva Brahmendra is that he lived for many centuries. That was one of 
>reasons he is still the biggest mystic of His times as well as our times.

Be that as it may, it still does not help one reconcile the problem of 
dates. If I remember right, Gururatnamalika gives a date of 1565 for the 
passing away of Paramasivendra Sarasvati. You call for examining concrete 
evidence. Well, there are inscriptions in Tanjavur, of grants given in the 
mid-1700's to Brahmana scholars who were co-students of Sadasiva Brahmendra. 
Now, one may believe that Brahmendra lived for many centuries, but surely, 
he should have been an old yogi in the 1700's, not young enough to be still 
attending a Veda Pathasala. On the other hand, if he was a young boy in the 
early 1700's, his guru, Paramasivendra Sarasvati, could not have lived in 
the 1500's. It is a simple matter of common sense here, not controversy.

>When people seem to have evidence to prove Sri. Bhagavadpada lived 1200
>years ago, they do not have the exact date for an event which happened 200
>years ago.

That Adi Sankara lived about 1200 years ago, not 2500 years ago, is based on 
inferential arguments, not on concrete material evidence. In any case, this 
pitting of 1200 vs. 200 years is an invalid argument. An excavation may 
unearth a fossil dating back to millions of years, the date being arrived at 
by inference, but we may never know the days and times of birth of our 
great-grandmothers, due to lack of birth certificates. Nevertheless, we do 
know the approximate period during which our great-grandmothers may have 
lived, don't we?

>I do not want us to get into perpetual arguments. Anybody can believe in
>anything, that is the beauty of tradition and faith.

The point is that one can have faith and tradition, but one doesn't have to 
pit them against good reason. It does not have to be a matter of faith that 
Adi Sankara lived 2500 years ago. That is all.

Best regards,

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