[Advaita-l] Adi Shankara Vs Vyasa debate in the Shankara Digvijaya.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 08:39:32 CDT 2012

With reference to the above debate on what points Adi Shankara and Vyasa differed,it is possible to surmise from the BSB.Vyasa,though he is a Vedantin,his transition from the Purva Meemamsa to the Uttara Meemamsa was gradual,unlike Adi Shankara,who was a Sanyasin.Vyasa and Jaimini,the author of "Dharma jignasa"were contemporaries,if what we learn from history.Veda Vyasa,also followed,Karma Khanda rituals.But,Adi Shankara,at the strart of his BSB states in the "Adhyasa Bhashya"commenting on the "Athatho Brahma Jignasa",explaining the word "Atha"says that one can start Brahma Jignasa"if one has the qualities of "Viveka,vairagna,shama damadhi shatka sampath".Therefore,it is clear that Adi Shankara was a Jnani right from the beginning itself.One can dicern the maturity,farsightedness,delving into the sutras,stating the Purva paksha,objections,the tentative positions and stating the final siddhantas.But,Veda Vyasa started with the Karma khanda rituals like
 Yajna,Yaga and became a Vedantin after the revealation.One can also see this by studying the various sutras which have reference to the Purva meemamsa.To a question how the rebirth takes place,On questioning by Vyasa,Adi Shankara,though a Sanyasin ,quotes from the Chandogyopanishath,how the jiva descends to the earth and gets deposited in the "Anushayis"like rice etc.and by the rain grow on earth.These grains
iare consumed as food by Purusha,and by the "Panchagni"converted into "VIrya"gets 
deposited in the womb,and garbha is formed by the combination of "Shukla and Shonita"and the offspring is born. 
Thus,even earlier to the Kama shastra question by Ubhaya Bharathi,wife of Mandana Mishra,Shankara knw about the Kama Shastra,as his Bhashya on the Chandogyopanishath states.Similarly,the release of the jiva at the time of his death,the jiva takes along Prana,mind and the tanmatras.This particular question belongs to the "karma khanda",i.e the Puva Meemamsa.The answer to this question might be contained in the Jaimini,Dharma Sastra,Grhya sutras,and the Brahmanas.As this belongs to the  Purva meemamsa,and the BS and BSB is a text on Vedanta,Shankara has not added any Addendum as an explanation with his bhashya to the Sutra,:"Tadanantara Pratipattau ramhati samparikshvattah prashna nirupanabhyam".
1.I remember to have read an account of this story in the book,"Guruvilasa Tarangini"on Shankara Digvijaya by Hosakere Chidambaraih,who was associated with HHSriSri Sri
Sachidanandendra Sarawathi Swamiji of Holenarsipur,many years ago as a small boy.The book which was with me was lost after it lost by pages.This book was an excellent book in Kannada.I donot know whther this book is still available.This book was published by "Kavyalaya"publications in Mysore.Iam yet to see an edition of this book.
2.Another book brought by Adhyatma prakasha Karyalaya of Holenarsipur in the form of story differs from the above account.
3.Along with the above Shankara Digvijaya which closely follow the Madhaviya Shankara digvijayam there is also 'Keraliya Shankara Digvijayam"which I am yet to see.But,there is a general consensus on "Madhaviya Shankara Digvijayam".
I feel though the debate between Vyasa and Shankara might have taken place,in the Shankara Digvijayam,Shankara is glorified by this debate as it is on Shankara.Not only this,some scholars,say that Shankara differed from Gaudapada on the sutra,"Vaidharmyacca na svapnadivath".They say that,Shankara allowed relative reality on Jagrath avastha,than Svapna,whereas Gaudapada held that both states are similar.This we study from the BSB and the bhashyas on Gaudapada Karikas.

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