[Advaita-l] Was Madhusudana Saraswati A South Indian?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 19:04:49 CST 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjukta Gupta <sanjukta.gupta at orinst.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: Was Madhusudana Saraswati A South Indian?
To: Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com>

Dear Mr. Venkataramani.

You are right, indeed there exists hardly any Hagiography which which
concerns both Gaudiya Vaisnava school and Madhsudana Sarasvati. But there
exists Advaita Vedanta tradition which refers to him and does not connect
him with south India. He spent most of his active life in Varanasi and
there are plenty of evidence of that.

The family chart or, tree provided by definite Vasavali texts are not to be
discounted. In a Brahmana wedding you must know your seven generation of
fore fathers by their names and at least four of them  with their spouse.

He certainly was an independent scholar and his definition of bhakti
certainly do not follow anybody from the Bengal Vaisnava group. So what! He
was an advaitin monk of the Dasanami sampradaya. Ha was a Vaisnava but not
a follower of Caitanya.

Best wishes,
Sasnjukta Gupta.

 On 29 Jan 2012, at 20:26, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

 Dear Professor Sanjukta,

We would like to know your comments on the following please.

The top three arguments in favour of Madhusudana Saraswati's Bengal origin

   - Hagiography
   - There is a Bengali family which claims lineage
   - His views on bhakti rasa are similar to that of gaudiya vaishnavas

My counter to the above are as follows:

   - Hagiography is not supported by any literary evidence (e.g. his
   interacting with gaudiya vaishnavas)
   - Family tree is only a later day construction
   - His views of bhakti rasa are not unique to Gaudiya Vaishnavas because
   they are known to the writers of Alankara Sastras but most importantly to
   Sridhara Swami and ealier works such as Jnaneshwari, Muktiphala, Ashtapadhi
   and notably Harivamsa, which was known to Sankara himself.

I think he is from South India because

   - He spends a lot of effort to attack Sri Vaishnavam and Madhwa schools
   - He does not recognize any influence by Gaudiya Vaishnavas or even
   show knowledge of the existence of this school

I do not yet have a positive record to prove that belongs to South India.
 Best Regards
Rajaram Venkataramani

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