[Advaita-l] Shankara authenticates Shiva

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 01:44:35 CDT 2016

On Aug 18, 2016 11:33 AM, "D Gayatri via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Interesting that you chad oncluded in the original message on this
thread that Sankara's *partial* quotes from the Mahabharata
> > implies that the *whole* section of the Mahabharata must be genuine and
taken at face value!
> >
> >
> >
> >  "The first quotation of Shankara is from Mbh 12.338.1 in the critical
edition. The complete verse is as follows"
> >  ...
> >  "Since Shankara quotes this incident from both these chapters (328 and
329 of Shanti parva), these incidents are
> >   not interpolations as they have been authenticated by the great
Shankara himself"
> >
> > As a matter of fact, Sankara quotes the Jabala Upanishad (JU) verses
several times in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya (BSB):
> >
> >  BSB 1.2.32: quoted JU verse 2
> >  BSB 2.1.3: quoted JU verse 5
> >  BSB 3.4.20: quoted JU verses 4 and 5
> >
> > And the JU runs to only about a couple of pages, whereas the
Mahabharata section on Purusha Suktam runs to more than three pages!
> >
> > The point is - if you can extrapolate Sankara's PARTIAL quotes from the
Mahabharata as proof of acceptance of the entire section of the text,
> > then one can equally well extrapolate Sankara's PARTIAL quotes from the
Jabala Upanishad as proof of acceptance of the entire text of the JU!
> This requires some explanation, so I will give it here. I will start
> with an extreme example, so that it is easier to understand. If
> Shankara quotes from the Mokshadharma, then does it mean any of the
> following -
> 1. The entire Mokashadharma is authenticated?
> 2. The entire Shanti parvan is authenticated?
> 3. The entire Mahabharata is authenticated?
> It does not mean any of the above, since the Mokshadharma,
> Shantiparvan and Mahabharata are a set of disjointed episodes, though
> there is a core story in the Mahabharata. There is no uniform
> continuity in the Mokshadharma, so quoting one topic in a section,
> does not lead to authentication of other topic in another section (or
> even the same section). Here, it does not matter whether the text is
> long or short. What matters is the natural continuity between sections
> or topics. What also matters is whether the topics are compatible with
> advaita-vedAnta.
> When then can you say that if Shankara quotes something, it is
> authenticated? You can say that when there is a natural continuity
> between the quotes and none of section(s) contradict advaita-vedAnta.
> In the instance, I have given from the Mahabharata, there is a natural
> continuity between the quotes. Anyone can verify the natural
> continuity of the quotes here -
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2016-August/041878.html
> First the topic is whether there are multiple or single pursha(s).
> Then views of Samkhya and yoga are presented. (This, Shankara
> considers as pUrva-paksha)
> Then it is stated that Purusha is one.
> Then Shankara quotes the words of Brahma, to his son Shiva, that the
> Pursusha (Narayana) is the inner Self etc
> Because of the following, we can say that this incident is
> authenticated by Shankara -
> 1. There is a natural continuity in this episode  of the Mahabharata
> and Sri Shankara's quotes follow the exact same sequence and are also
> naturally continuous. A pUrva-paksha is presented first and then the
> pUrva-paksha is refuted and the siddhAnta is presented.
> 2. All the quotes are present at the same place in BSB.
> 3. None of this section contradicts advaita-vedAnta. It is perfectly
> compatible with advaita-vedAnta because it says there is in reality
> only one purusha.

The message alone is authenticated by Shankara and not the element
involving who said that to whom. Shankara has always said that the
background of that message is inconsequential. It is no more than Vidya
stuti. So Shankara does not approve Shiva is Brahma's son. That part is
> Now, let us come to the Jabala quotes. You say, Shankara quotes verses
> (sections) 2, 4 and 5. It is to be noted that there is no natural
> continuity between the verses (sections) in the Jabala Upanishad, as
> far as it addresses different topics. Verse 2 addresses the topic of
> Atman. Verse 3 addresses the question of what japa leads to
> immortality? (Very interesting to note that in verse 3, which is the
> rudram chanting verse, Atman is not even mentioned). Verse 4 talks
> about sannyAsa. Verse 5 talks about Brahmana. So there is no
> continuity in the topics and the topics that are addressed in the
> different verses are disjointed. When the topics are disjointed, the
> length of the text does not matter. Short or long, the quotation from
> one topic does not authenticate any other topic, unless that other
> topic is also quoted.
> It is more interesting to note that even though Shankara quotes from
> verses (sections) 2, 4 and 5, he does not quote from verse 3, which is
> supposedly in the middle of these verses. This could either mean the
> verse (section) 3 is an interpolation (high probability given that it
> is much shorter compared to other verses) or Shankara does not agree
> that chanting the rudram is a means to immortality or (this is my
> favorite argument, since many people have employed it here), Shankara
> considers verse 3 as mere arthavAda since it directly contradicts his
> philosophy that jnAna alone leads to moksha.
> Hence, it is to be concluded that in the jAbAla upanishad, Shankara
> does not authenticate rudram chanting, even though he quotes other
> verses from the upanishad. As I said, here the key is not whether the
> text is long or short, but whether there is continuity in the topics
> addressed and whether the sections are compatible with
> advaita-vedAnta.
> A final point. There are instances, not only in the Mbh, but also in
> puranas, saying that visiting this sacred place or that sacred place,
> leads to this world or that world or even immortality and moksha.
> Given that the core of advaita-siddhAnta is that jnAna alone leads to
> moksha, all these instances should be taken as (again, I will quote
> the favorite argument of members here) *arthavAda*.

Rudra japam is moksha sadhana as Japam is artha bhavanam. There Rudra is
shown as vishwa rupa. That world is his manifestation. This nididhysanam
leads to moksha. VSN too has Kim Japan muchyate. Shankara there in the
section cited innumerable vedantic passages and established Advaita. So by
no means it is an arthavada.

Interpolation argument is extremely weak since none can succeed in proving
it. What one does not like or finds uncomfortable is branded

> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list