on zankara's date - 2

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Tue Jan 25 19:47:18 EST 2000

I thank Dr Palaniappan for the 2 mails in reply to me. The one about
shivasoman was extremely informative. Yes, the appellation bhagavat
for the teacher of Sivasoman is a strong (certain?) indication that it
was sha.nkara, the author of the sUtrabhAshhya. Hacker has an article
on the use of bhagavat in the colophons, which I had already mentioned
in one of my mails. Nagaswamy tried to refute this inscription because
it did not gel with the accounts of organizations he was affiliated
with. We can safely ignore that.

Regarding my use of the word "non-orthodox" school to refer to
Manikkavacagar (M) , I may be mistaken. It was my understanding that
M's philosophy is Agama based and not veda based. Is that incorrect?
Some shaivas, for e.g., the pAshupata-s use logic to infer pashupati
(shiva) unlike vedAntic schools, but accept the veda-s as
authoritatative. Their praxis also seems veda based (see Oberhammers
article in "Mantra", ed Harvey Alper). So they would be included in
the orthodox schools. The Kashmir Saiva's would not be considered
orthodox because of their reliance, for the most part, on Agama-s.
What is M's view on the veda and it's use? Perhaps, M belonged to the
trend which tried to reconcile the Agama-s and veda-s, like

There is no reason why M should not have met, for example Suresvara.
His importance is not realized at all by many modern scholars.
Suresvara was extremely influential on later advaitic schools
regarding the locus of avidyA and so on, topics which sha.nkara
refuses to discuss. Or it could be padmapAda, another extremely
influential writer. In fact we could say, that padmapAda decisively
set the trend for later advaitins. Traditionally also he is held to
have hailed from choza desha, for whatever that's worth.

Another point in favor of padmapAda. Take the use of the word
mAyAvAda: HAcker has also shown that this word does not fit
sha.nkara's philosophy at all. Such a word, could however be used to
describe padmapAdas interpretation of sha.nkara. That padmapAda's work
reinterprets sha.nkara has been proved conclusively by
Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swami of Holenarsipur (See for eg vedAnta
prakriyA pratyabiGYA). The objection that there is no inscription
about sureshvara or padmapAda in TN is of no consequence. There is
none on sha.nkara either! There's only one in Cambodia. And Sureshvara
was a disciple of sha.nkara and PadmapAda (if not a disciple) must
have lived not much later, for he is quoted by vAchaspati mishra.

As to Vachaspati Mishras date, I am afraid there is nothing so certain
about this, contrary to what some gentleman has tried to make it out.
I'll try to send a separate mail on this within the next few days.


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