on zankara's date - 2

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Jan 10 20:20:49 EST 2000


Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> 1. Forget the Cambodian inscription, and the Sankaravijaya silence
about a
> Khmer student. All the hagiographies are late texts, and can be
safely set
> aside for purposes of chronology. They do carry other kinds of
useful
> historical information regarding the development of the Advaita
Vedanta
> tradition, but not for deciding Sankara's date.

The teacher shivasoman is never described as a Cambodian, but as the
guru of an Indian king who settled in Cambodia. That aside, I don't
even see the point of this whole exercise. Currently sha.nkara is
supposed to have died at 820CE (majority opinion). Is the memory of
people so bad that he can't be credited with a "wave of mAyAvAda" in
some text supposedly written about 50 years later? This is assuming
that the text refers to sha.nkara in the first place.

In any case,  I frankly doubt if the Tamil text refers to sha.nkara.
If it did, it would be the *first* non-orthodox school to refer to
sha.nkara! Nakamura has shown all the non-othodox schools like Jains
and Buddhists who came **after** sha.nkara refer to either Bhaskara or
only Mandana Mishra. Kashmir Shaivites,  also refer to only Mandana
Mishra. In the nyAyA and vaisheshhika texts also there seems to be no
mention of sha.nkara. So there is no prima facie reason to even
hypothesize that some Tamil text refers to sha.nkara, unless there is
some significant evidence. It could well be other advaitins.
Especially, given the fact that Nakamura cites some reasonably
compelling evidence to push sha.nkaras date to around 700CE.

Rama



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