[Advaita-l] Atmajnaanopadeshavidhi

akhanda akhanda at vsnl.com
Mon Apr 11 08:16:45 CDT 2016

Thanks Jaldharji for that exhaustive and informative analysis.

In any case, I am enjoying the text, it has a unique and concentrated 
focus on the Vedantic prakriya of avastha traya viveka.

Anil Gidwani

On 09-Apr-2016 11:01 AM, "advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org via 
advaita-l-bounces"@lists.advaita-vedanta.org wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Apr 2016, akhanda via Advaita-l wrote:
>> Does anyone know if the Atmajnaanopadeshavidhi has been written by 
>> Shri Shankaraachaarya__?_
> Many writings have been attributed to Shankaracharya through the 
> years. An ambitious author might get a generous boost to the 
> circulation of his work by attaching it to the name of the most 
> prestigious figure in astika culture.  Or seeing as the mathadhipatis 
> are also known as Shankaracharya,
> something written by one of these later Shankaracharyas might have 
> gotten confused over time with Adi Shankaracharya.
> Historians (Deussen, Hacker, Mayeda, and Belvalkar are some of the 
> chief scholars on this subject) try and resolve these issues by 
> comparative methods.  Starting from the premise that the author of the 
> brahmasutrabhashya is the "genuine" article, the various stotras and 
> prakaranas are examined on stylistic and doctrinal grounds.  If for 
> example some work taught the supremacy of karma over jnana or was 
> dedicated to some non-vedic Deity, that would be signs that it is not 
> genuine.  So, for instance, most historians reject all the shrividya 
> works (saundarya lahari, prapancha sara etc.) on the grounds that an 
> Advaitin would not write "tantrik" works.  This shows the drawbacks of 
> this approach.  From an Indian cultural point of view there is no 
> reason why one couldn't be both.  And it is not always applied 
> systematically.  For instance there is a vivarana on yoga sutras.  Why 
> would an Advaitin write on a rival darshana?  But some historians do 
> think it is genuine. In any case each scholar has their list of which 
> works they consider genuine. And thats another problem.  All these 
> lists are contradictory. upadeshasahasri is the only prakarana which 
> is unanimously accepted by all authorities as being an authentic work 
> of Adi Shankaracharya.
> So personally I don't bother with all that.  To me "authentic" means 
> what the parampara has believed to be authentic.  For instance Swami 
> Anandagiri has written authoritative tikas on the prasthana trayi 
> bhashyas.  If he has written a tika on some minor work (and he has 
> written many,) that to me is a good sign it is genuine.  Same if has 
> been quoted or commented on by the other stalwarts such a Swamis 
> Vidyaranya, Madhusudan Saraswati, Svayamprakasha etc.  Also early in 
> the 20th century, the Vani Vilas press of Shrirangam put out a series 
> of the complete works of Shankaracharya edited by a board of pandits 
> under the guidance of Shringeri.  If a work is not included in that 
> collection, it is a good sign in my opinion that it is fake.  However 
> it must be said that they did miss a few such as Kaupinya panchaka or 
> the aforementioned yogasutravivarana.  Overall its a pretty good guide 
> in my opinion.
> Back to your original question, what about atmajnanopadeshavidhi? Well 
> it seems that the historians do not regard it as genuine though no 
> particularly good reason is given.  And it is not included in the Vani 
> Vilas collection as Ryan mentioned.  On the positive side, I am told 
> there is an Anandagiri tika on it (though I haven't seen it.) If this 
> is true, I would be inclined to consider it genuine.

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