History of Debate

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 15 21:56:14 UTC 1999

nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote -

>Information can be gathered about a particular work or its author,
>from other works. For Eg KAlidhAsa makes a comment about the Bauddha
>logician DignAga. And information to other sources point to
>DharmakIrti being the disciple of DignAga. ShankarAcharya makes a
>remark about DharmakIrti in his Upadesha SAhasri.
>He we can logically deduce that DignAga was either a
>earlier contemporary or a peer of KAlidhAsa. DharmakIrti would have
>been a peer of KAlidhAsa or probably come later than the poet. And
>ShankarAcharya would have definitely come after DharmakIrti.

Yes, but the situation is quite complicated. If an author is quoted
by name, it is quite the exception, not the rule. For example,
Sankaracharya does not tell us that a particular verse is a quotation
from Dharmakirti. It is Suresvara who tells us that it is
"Dharmakirti-vacanam" which is confirmed from Dharmakirti's
Pramana-lakshana. In most other cases, we are left with the laconic
"kecit vadanti" or "ity apare". Or else, a particular position is
stated without attributing it to a person, and then commented upon.
Vast sections of Suresvara's Varttikas are devoted to refuting one
unnamed pre-Sankaran Vedantin. It is usually assumed by all these
authors that the audience is thoroughly familiar with the earlier
literature so as to be able to trace these quotations without

Even within a particular philosophical tradition, it is difficult to
trace down quotations and attributions. Sankaracharya refers once to
Gaudapada as a sampradaya-vit, and quotes from the Mandukya Karikas.
However, there is no guarantee that all Sankara's attributions to a
sampradaya-vit refer to Gaudapada's works. In Bhagavad Gita Bhashya
13.13, there one such statement that is labeled a sampradAya-vidAm
vacanam, but which is not to be found in Gaudapada's Karikas. In fact,
this particular quotation (adhyAropa-apavAdAbhyAm nishprapancam
prapancyate) can be found only in the text named Panchikarana, which
is attributed to Sankara himself. For later authors, Sankara is simply
a Bhashyakara, Suresvara is simply a Varttikakara, Anandagiri is
simply a Tikakara.

Thus, if Isvarakrishna is not mentioned by name, it is quite
unremarkable. One has to sift through the entire Samkhyan literature,
and *not* find any quotations from the Samkhyakarikas, in order to say
that there is "no mention" of Isvarakrishna anywhere. Which is rather
far-fetched. You might want to read Esther Solomon's works or the
volume on Samkhya in the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies for
detailed discussions.

In any case, where is the crying need to equate Kalidasa with


Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list