[Advaita-l] SrI viShNu SUri's bhAShya on Sri Rudram

Ravisankar Mayavaram abhayambika at gmail.com
Thu Jul 27 13:34:02 CDT 2006

Since I posted the original message, I will respond here as briefly as

1. My main source of information is RK Math book on Rudram by Swami
Amritananda. He include the commentary of Sri Suri along with Sayana and
Bhatta Bhaskara.  And he has very high regard of Sri Suri and  I share that
regard with him.

2.  When Sri Suri wrote his commentary, he had access to other traditional
commentaries. Hence it is not that he was unable to understand them and
after reading portions of his original text (for 2nd anuvAka), his level of
scholarship is so evident. I would not doubt his competence in this matter.

3. Interpreting inner meanings of a vedic text is not disrespectful to the
text.  It is another way of looking at it. If that is an error, I think one
will find many before him who have done that.

4. When you are bent of reading  a specific meaning into a text, there is a
good probability you will distort it (to fit your purpose) and may even
stretch it beyond reasonable limits. I have not studied Sri Suri's work in
depth  to pin point such errors. But I do want to understand in depth at
some point in time.  If one were to call Sri Suri incompetent for this, I am
sure there are many before him who are and should be accused of the same
crime. Some of my vaishnava friends say that Sri Sankara does a similar
thing to Brahma Sutra and Ramanuja is faithful to it (we have discussed this
issue in the past)

First time when I read the bhAshya of IshAvAsyopanshad, I went gaga over it
and was (and am) impressed by the brilliance of Sri Sankara. Later I wanted
to get a different perspective and went to dvaita site to read Raghavendra's
understanding. To my shock I found that their work prAkAshika by vAdirAja
tIrtha compared the way Sri Sankara handled the upanishad to a monkey
handling a garland and it is only indicative of his perverse nature[1].
Views differ, each person comes to a conclusion based on his/her own biases.
Swami Amritananda may  think of Sri Suri as great and Mr. Aiyar may think of
him as incompetent. But when you accuse someone of imcompetence, you should
take specific portions of the text and show how that interpretation is
incorrect and so on.

Very little is knownabout Sri Vishnu Suri (biographically), hence the best
is to judge him for yourself  based on the written text.

My 2c.

With best wishes,


[1] http://www.dvaita.net/pdf/shruti/isha/ibtcomm.pdf
from page 12/87 (roman page v) Both the tıka and the Prakasika take issue
with Sankara's interpretations in many instances, and the
Prakasika in particular condemns Sankara's handling of the Upanisad as "akin
to a monkey's (rude
and unappreciative) handling of a necklace of precious gems"
(markat.osvakaragata ratnam¯al¯ay
iva) and "only indicative of his own (perverse) nature" (svasvar
¯upapradar´sanaparameva). However,
it is not to be supposed that the Prakasika can only claim calumny for its
singular achievement: it
may indeed be observed that the errors in the interpretations criticized are
beyond dispute, and cannot
be wished away by pious outrage.

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