[Advaita-l] Saravjnatman s Pancaprakriya

Stig Lundgren slu at bredband.net
Tue Jan 13 19:21:52 CST 2004

Dear Venkata Subramanian,

> i dont know whether this will interest you.  a friend told me
that the Holenarsipur Swamiji has written a work in Kannada on
the life and works of Sri Shankara.

Do you know the title of this book? Some of Satchidanandendra
Swamijis Kannada works have been translated into English by D.B.
Gangolli, and if this is one of them I surely have it.

> in that he mentions that he has a solitory manuscript of Sri
Shankara's Commentary on the Aithareya Upanishad - first 3
chapters too.  (Currently everywhere, only the 4th, 5th and the
6th chapters with bhashya have been published - from Esha
Atma.......)  This commentary is from - Dvaou Panthanou....(1st
chapter).  He says that the bhashya style and the content shows
that this is a Genuine work of the Acharya.

This is very interesting indeed! Chapters 4, 5 and 6 are
concerned with the knowledge of the Self, while the three
preceding chapters deals with karma and meditation on the lower
Brahman (Hiranyagarbha). Hence - presuming Satchidanandendra
Swamiji´s ascription of the bhashya to Adi Shankara is correct -
Shankara wrote a bhashya on a
text specifically intended for non-renunciates. According to
Shankara, there are 1) those who have renounced the world, 2)
those who strive for "gradual" liberation through meditation on
the lower Brahman, and for whom knowledge and meditation on the
life-breath (prAna) is vital, 3) those who still are attached to
wordly possessions. Chapters 4-6 are for those belonging to
category 1). Chapters 1-3 are for those belonging to category 2)
and the SamhitA is for those of belonging to category 3).

> some of us wrote to the holenarsipur authorities and later
after some effort, they decided to print a devanagari edition on
the complete 6 chapter commentary.  the first copy commentary
script came to me for proof correction.
> i had to take resort to the commentary of Sri Kanchi Upanishad
Brahmendral, whose commentary is available for the 1st 3 chapters
> i was very surprised to see that this swamigal has very closely
followed, (rather in many places even literally followed) the
same commentary in manuscript with Holenarsipur.  i got a doubt
which is earlier.
> at a place in the 2nd chapter, there was a discussion about
mandala devatas, where the upanishad brahmendra swamigal has
cited the view of the manuscript and has taken an independant
view, after lightly criticising the manuscript's view.

Highly fascinating! Obviously then this bhashya text has been
commented upon earlier in the Advaita tradition, but it seems as
if Upanishad Brahmendra Swamigal didn´t regard the bhashya as a
by Adi Shankara himself. I assume he otherwise would have
mentioned Shankara as the author of the bhashya. Moreover his
critique of the bhashya-text seems to imply that he regarded the
bhashya slightly less authorative than a work of Adi Shankara. In
any case, it is obvious that he didn´t regard some of the
standpoints in the bhashya as the final word.

> any way, Sri Acharyal's commentary on the ENTIRE
Aithareyopanishad IS available.  i dont know when the authorities
plan to publish it.

It would be very interesting to know how the bhashya manuscript
came into the possession of Satchidanandendra Swamiji. As you
probably know he got sannyasa diksha in 1948 from a Swami
Bhodanandendra Saraswati, belonging to the Kanchi Kamakoti
lineage. To my knowledge, Swami Bhodanandendra didn´t play any
part in Satchidanandendra Swamiji´s standpoints on Vedanta.
However, the diksha explains why Satchidanandendra got the
Indra-Saraswati suffix typical of the Kanchi swamis (as in
ChandrasekharENDRA, JayENDRA and VijayENDRA). But this is
obviously also the case with Upanishad Brahmendra Swamigal, who
lived in the 18th century. If I am not wrong, this illustrious
swami was actually namned Swami Ramachandendra Saraswati, and he
was a disciple of Swami Vasudevendra Saraswati.

Just a thought: Could it be that the bhashya-text in question was
handed over from master to disciple, from generation to
generation, until it ended up in the hands of Swami
Satchidanandendra Saraswati, belonging to this lineage? It would
be interesting to know the parampara relationship between
Upanishad Brahmendra Swamigal and the Swami Bhodanandendra
Saraswati who gave Satchidanandendra Swamiji sannyasa diksha.

Thanks again for sharing your interesting information about the

Warm regards
Stig Lundgren

> Stig Lundgren <slu at bredband.net> wrote:
> Venkata Subramanian wrote:
> > Stig Lundgren
> >
> > Does the book - Method of Vedanta deal with the issue of
> examining the works of Sri shankara to find which are

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