dakSiNAmUrti stotra, and Tamil and Kashmir zaivisms

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Tue Jun 1 02:24:49 UTC 1999

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM> wrote:

>Markandeya Sastry concludes the article by saying:
>"As a result of this discussion, one has two alternatives thrown up
>regard to the authorship of mAnasollAsa, --
>(1) The author is not surezvara since the views of pratyabhijJA
system of
>philosophy and the concomitant zaiva school are predominant in it,
or -
>(2) surezvara is the author but he tried to effect a compromise
between the
>zankara-advaita and the pratyabhijJA school.

Vidyasankar has summarized many points. I'll just add a few more
comments. The word pratyabiGYA and comments about the 36 tattvas, has
led some authors like Amarnath Ray and Markandeya Sastri accept that
it accepts Kashmir Shaivism. But, if we read the text carefully, it
can be seen that it is not so. Even the list of 36 tattvas is
drastically different.

>Was the authorship of the only genuine(?) stotra of zankara due to
the need
>to counter the ziva dakSiNAmUrti devotional cult of the Tamil

I don't see why. In his genuine works, sha.nkara is not very bothered
about worship of Gods. It can be seen that he accepted it as a part of
a householders duties, and very likely also accepted it as useful for
the *lay* sannyAsin. But, in his commentary on the kena-upanishhad
pada bhAshhya he very clearly distinguishes between his idea of
self-knowledge and worship of Gods in his commentary to verse 1.5.  He
expicitly mentions Siva, Vishnu, HiraNyagarbha and Indra and
distinguishes their worship from knowledge of the self. So, I think
that it is highly unliklely that he countered some devotional cult by
co-opting some of its features. Sha.nkara usually attacks a system
directly and inclusivism is a rare characteristic in his genuine works
(he does make some concessions in a few places). In any case, the
daxiNAmUrti hymn is not a typical "bhakti" poem, which would counter
the popularity of a devotional cult.

Regarding whether the hymn itself is a genuine work of sha.nkara.
Gussner has come to the conclusion that it is the *only* poem which
can be accepted as a genuine work by using stylometric analysis. I
have some reservations about some of his assumptions (I am not
disputing stylometric analysis itself, like some authors). Vidyasankar
and I are taking a look at the daxiNAmUrti hymn, and it seems it is a
genuine work of Sha.nkara. Regarding the commentary, I feel that part
of it may indeed be by a Sureshvara or some immediate disciple of his.
This is based on some distinctive _stylistic_ features in Sureshvaras
genuine works which I have not seen in any other advaitins works. The
exposition of advaita also resembles Sureshvaras original works than
that of later advaitins. Regarding other poems: There are some other
poems like the shiva bhuja.ngam and a *subset* of the "bhaja govindam"
in its present form, which I feel are genuine works, based on some
peculiar features in these hymns. However, I have not come to a
definite conclusion on these. I think it is highly unlikely that the
shivAnandalaharI and some of the other famous poems are by sha.nkara.
They are very different from sha.nkaras usual works.  Some of the
poems like the vedashArashiva stotra may also be genuine works, but it
is impossible to say anything *definite*. This is because they don't
exhibit any of sha.nkaras distinctive style, while also not going
against his style!

>Why did madhurAja yogin, a disciple of abhinavagupta say in the
>"May the glorious god dakSiNAmUrti (abhinavagupta), who is an
incarnation of
>ziva protect us"?

By the 12th century, daxiNAmUrti was quite famous as a teacher. His
name comes up in the Agama-s and even the late Vishnuite Bhagavata
Purana tries to coopt him as a Vishnuite teacher! So, madhurAja yogins
comments are not very surprising.

>Can one say that the compromise between the zaivism of the Tamil
country and
>zankara's advaita leads to pratyabhijJA ?

Perhaps, but it is highly debatable. Swami Laksmanjoo points out some
key differences in his "Kashmir Shavism: The secret Supreme",
published by the SUNY press. It's a good starting point on comparing
these two systems.


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