Samkhyan terminology (was Re: A text dealing with Ayurveda)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 27 18:17:53 UTC 1999

Vishal Agarwal wrote:

>Dear Sri Sundaresan,
>Appropos your excellent post, I just want to make a small comment--you have doubted the authenticity of 'Pancikarana' of Adi Samkaracarya. In my opinion, the doubts are unfounded since this text even has a Varttika attributed to Suresvaracarya on it. (In addition to traditional commentaries by Anandajnana et al). This validates the authenticity of the text.

Au contraire, I am questioning the assumptions
behind the reasons given to doubt the attribution
of pancIkaraNa to Sankara. One major
assumption is that the terms tanmAtra, avyakta,
mahat and ahaMkAra indicate an exclusively
sAMkhyan origin. This argument is independent
of the presence or otherwise of commentaries by
Suresvara and Anandajnana. As I said in my
earlier post, I think it is a hasty conclusion to say
that the pancIkaraNa is not by Sankara. As for
the commentary by Suresvara, that is apparently
not a sufficient reason to accept the attribution.
Note the parallel instance with mAnasollAsa,
Suresvara's commentary on the dakshiNAmUrti

>Secondly, I direct you to Sri Samkaracarya's commentary on the 18th Chapter  of BG (do not recall the exact verse), where he uses Samkhyan concepts to explain a particular verse. The Purvapaksin then raises an objection- "How come you now accept Kapila samkhya considering that you have censured it earlier?" The Acharya responds- "What we have censured earlier is the duality preached by Kapila Samkhya. Else, they are indeed an authority on the science of Gunas."

I don't recall this in the 18th chapter. Do you
mean the 13th chapter, where Sankara explicitly
starts from the 25 tattvas of sAMkhya in his
commentary on verse 5? In any case, there are
also similar instances of a "qualified acceptance"
of sAMkhya in his Brahmasutra commentary.


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