[Advaita-l] Re: itihAsa purANa in the bR^ihadAraNyaka

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Thu Jul 27 13:47:04 CDT 2006

Namaste Ramaji,
          Let me assure you that your writing style is impeccable. I
might have misled you by the subject line. What I intended was whether
Sankaracharya interpreted the itihAsapurANaM reference in the
Chandogya too in a similar way. The reason I was wondering was that I
have the translation of the Chandogya by Swami Gambhiranandaji, where
he identifies itihAsa with the MahaBharata and names them to be the
fifth Veda (contrary to what Vidyasankarji states in his article).
Perhaps Swami Gambhiranandaji was using other Tikas (Anandagiri) when
writing his translation. But I just wanted to be sure what
Sankaracharya's position was, and I didn't have his Bhasya in Sanskrit
at hand to check.

Personally, I feel Sankaracharya's position is more acceptable for the
reason that Vedas are deemed eternal, while the MahaBharata is not.
Thus, the reference itihAsa could not have meant MahaBharata, for
example, in the Treta Yuga.

Hari Om.


P.S. Hopefully your frustration levels have gone down a bit :-)

> Shankaras comment on this passage is brief. He merely repeats the
> passage regarding the Rg , yajur and says these are indeed names.
> Finally he repeats the last words naamavai-etat. His only comment here
> is that meditating on name as brahman is similar to thinking that the
> image is ViShNu. To wit, it is convenient for concentrating/upaasana,
> but not the reality.
> Shankara makes no comment regarding the rest - itihaasa, puraaNa, etc.
> So he does not identify the itihaasa with the bhaarata in the
> Chaandogya. I have already said that he explicitly interprets itihhasa
> and puraaNa as the the stories in the veda itself. I have also already
> pointed out that Sureshvara disputes him on this as durukta. What more
> justification is needed to think that Shankara did not identify the
> bhaarata as the itihaasa in the Brhad? In fact, there is no
> justification for thinking that Shankara interpreted itihaasa as the
> bhArata, etc., in the Chhandogya.
> Not to be rude, but I have been noticing that many people don't seem
> to be reading my mails before replying. Is my writing style extremely
> obscure and/or tedious? A serious question, since I am constantly
> trying to improve my writing style.
> Rama

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