[Advaita-l] Saravjnatman s Pancaprakriya

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jan 27 07:59:34 CST 2004

On Wed, 14 Jan 2004, Stig Lundgren wrote:

> 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.

But bear in mind that the division into karma and jnana kandas is on the
basis of subject matter not position.  A work may be called "aranyaka" but
deal with upanishad subject matter.  Or another example Ishopanishad is
part of the Samhita of the Shuklayajurveda.  Not having read the
aitereyaranyaka I don't know if this is the case but it is a possibility.

> 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
> work
> 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.

This could be ideological.  Douglas Brooks in his writings on Shrividya
has noted that Upanishad Brahmayogis' commentaries on Shakta upanishads
tend to follow the more conservative samayachara rather than the more
common but (at least theoretically) more radical Kaulachara.  I agree that
he would have at least acknowledged Shankaracharya as the author had he
known 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.

I think I read in one of the Kamakoti Pitha publications that the
Upanishad Brahmendra matha still exists in Kanchi and its acharyas are
"cousins" of the acharyas of Kamakoti Pitha.  I.e. both their lineages
have a common ancestry.  This would explain the common Indra Saraswati
suffix to their names.

> 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.

Another possibility is based on the fact that the Rgvedic tradition
(aitereya is a shakha of Rgveda) has always been strongest in the
Maharashtra/Goa/Karnataka area.  So this bhashya may have been handed
down amongst Rgvedis in that area while a person from Eastern Tamilnadu
may not have known about it.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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