[Advaita-l] ViShNuSUri : The Case Against

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 28 12:39:26 CDT 2006

Here are my opinions on ViShNusUri's alleged scholarship:

1) I agree with T.R. Rajagopala Aiyer's assessment that ViShNusUri is
not a competent scholar of the Vedas, and that ViShNusUri's
rudra-bhAshhya is a work of spurious scholarship. T.R. Rajagopala
Aiyer's book on Rudram is considered so good that it is somewhat of a
reference book among those who know the Rudram and chant it
regularly. E.g. Subhanu Saxena had once asked me to refer to this
"excellent book" to learn the inner meanings behind the Rudra
mantras. T.R. Rajagopala Aiyer's scholarship is beyond doubt, and his
thorough dismissal of ViShNusUri as an incompetent scholar cannot be
taken lightly.

2) T.R. Rajagopala Aiyer's main problem with accepting ViShNusUri's
interpretation is that ViShNusUri gives *forced meanings* to
especially important names of Rudra such as "Prince of thieves",
which SAyaNa interprets in a clear manner. It appears as though
ViShNusUri is trying hard to steer away from understanding the Rudram
as-it-is and promoting his own agenda. There are dozens of
"traditional scholars" whose commentaries are not accepted as
authoritative by the tradition. e.g. Sankara himself says at the
beginning of his GItA BhAshhya that since many have commented wrongly
on this text, he will now write the correct commentary.

3) With all due respects to Swami Amritananda, he is from the RK Math
which has produced great scholars in Vedanta, but the Math itself
does not follow the Karma Kanda portion of the Vedas in the
traditional way. IMO, Swami Amritananda has simply taken a list of
"traditional" commentaries and *assumed* that they are all
authoritative without actually verifying their authoritativeness with
traditional scholars of the Vedas.

4) There was once a posting about how traditional pandits rejected
some parts of ViShNusUri's commentary on the Rudram. If I'm not
mistaken, ViShNusUri is NOT considered an authority on the Rudram in
traditional circles. His is one of those commentaries that was never
seen to be in the same league as SAyaNa and BhaTTa BhAskara.

There will always be differences among advaitins and dvaitins as to
the correct interpretation of the Vedas. To say that Raghavendra
swami has criticized Sankara's commentary is to state the obvious,
and this has no bearing on the matter under discussion.


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