[Advaita-l] Contradictions between Shankara and his disciples

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 5 06:33:27 CST 2004

Thanks Kartik for focussing on the issues raised by SSS.  Yes I read
those pages of the Book ' The method of the Vedanta'.  

Frankly, I find some of the differences that SSS finds between Shankara
and his disciples are rather very subtle and some times involve much ado
about little things.  I have not studied the text completely and I was
hoping you will be able to focus each one to discuss. I fully agree with
SSS statement that in the final analysis one must resort to the verdict
of Vedas and reasoning. Let us take the two examples you have provided. 
The Upanishad statement as presented states in parallel construction:

1. The human world is to be won .....by begetting a son, and not .....
2. The world of ancestors is to be won... ..       (the subordinate
clause involving an exclusion statement is missing)
3. And the world of gods is to be won .............(again the
subordinate clause for exclusion is missing) 

Shankara adds missing exclusion based on the parallel constuction.
Sureshvara is right in the objecting exclusive statement if if is either
obvious that the exclusion is not correct. If Sureswara had provided
sufficient evidence from Veda that exclusive statement is unnecessory
restrictive then he is right.  'We know from Vedas .. ' does not say
much about the conflicting evidence. Unfortunately SSS, at least in
those pages did not provide the evidence from Vedas that Shree Sureswara
provides that other means are also available to justify his stand.  Here
the issue is important for whatever it is worth since exclusion of other
means if they are available will provide unwarrented restrictions.  

> In his VArttika here, sureshvara maintains -The word 'only' applies in
the case of
> the son alone, for we know from the Veda that the world of the
> ancestors and the world of the gods can be attained by resort to more
> than one means. 
>This is the only correct explanation of the
> upanishhadic text, and the other explanation (i.e. that given in shrI
> Shankara's commentary) is faulty. Only this explanation is to be
> accepted, and not the one that is seen to be faulty." (BVV 1.5.280-1).
> ---

Let us take the second example: 

> Then there is the case of PadmapAda's panchapAdikA:
> ---
> We find in Shankara's Brahma sUtra bhAshhya (BSB) the expressions
> "This
> very superimposition, thus defined, the wise call 'Ignorance' (1.1.1,
> introduction), and Name and Form (nAma-rUpa), imagined through
> ignorance as if they were the true form of the Lord..."...
> But in the PanchapAdikA we find it said that Ignorance 'is spoken of
> in
> many different ways in the Vedas, smritis, Epics and PurANas, such as
> Name and Form (nAma-rUpa)..."...
> Here there is a clear contradiction between the commentary of the
> BhagavatpAda and the PanchapAdikA. For, in the commentary, name and
> form are said to be IMAGINED THROUGH Ignorance...But in the
> PanchapAdikA they are said to BE Ignorance and mAyA [Emphases
> author's].

Here I find little bit of much ado.  Ignorance is the cause and the
naama ruupa is the effect - as non-apprehension causes misapprehension. 
But effects are not different from cause - they can be considered as
cause itself in different form - as some times pramaaNa, means of
knowledge, is used even to indicate that to be known  by the means of
knowledge, although Shankara is more exact.

my 2C.

These are just comments out of interest - please continue.  

Hari OM!

> ---
> There are more examples of contradictions between Shankara and his
> disciples. SSS explains what can be done to resolve the
> contradictions:
> "Where the commentary and the subsidiary explanation conflict, one
> must
> resort to the verdict of the Veda and reasoning."
> Regards,
> Kartik
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