Sundarapandya's Varttika

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 2 22:32:43 UTC 1999

Dear Sri. Sunderesan,

Following is an a priori response (since the texts are not available to me
right now and I will have to rely on my memory)

Vishal Agarwal <vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
>E. In Samkara's Commentary on Gita 13.13 (Ref. 93)
>Sri Samkaracarya (Ref. 27, Pg. 349) says: "Accordingly here, there is a
>saying of the sampradayavids which runs as follows- "That which is devoid
>all duality is described by adhyaropa and apavada," i.e., by
>and negation, by attribution and denial." It is not certain whether these
>are indeed from the pen of Sundara Pandya and this attribution is merely a

Note that the exact sentence "adhyAropa-apavAdAbhyAm nishprapancam
prapancyate" is present in the pancIkaraNa too, without attribution.

I recall that the words were indeed a quotation in the commentary on BG
13.13. I donot recall the relevant context of Pancikarana, but suffice it to
say here that our Acaryas have often cited their predecessors without
attribution. For instance, the compiler of the extant Yogavasishthha has
used hundreds of verses from numerous Samskrit dramas and minor Upanisdas,
without any attribution (and with or without modifications). Likewise, a
comparison of the Sayanabhasya on RV and the extant fragments of Udgitha
Bhasya on RV show that Sayana has literally copied Udgitha, mostly without
attribution. In doing so, Sayanacarya and the redactor of the extant
Yogavasishthha were guided by 'lokasamgraha' and not 'lokaisshanA'. Could be
speculate that Bhagvatpada Samkaracarya might also have used the words of a
predecessor in Pancikarana without attribution, having internalized the
teachings of Purvacaryas, or being guided by Lokasmgraha? Therefore,
occurance of the same words as an integral portion of Pancikarana do not
mean neceassarily that they are an original creation of Bhagvatpada, for
they do occur as a quotation in the BG Bhasya.

>teaching') for Vakyakara, for Dramidacarya and for Gaudapadacarya. There is
>no proof that the former two accepted the doctrine of adhyaropa and
There is no proof that they didn't accept it either. The paingala upanishad,
which I believe is quoted by Sankara somewhere, has a quite detailed
description of adhyAropa apavAda. The sampradAyavit of this particular
reference is most probably not gauDapAda either, as adhyAropa-apavAda is not
found in his kArikAs.
The extant fragments of Vakyakara and Dramidabhasyakara show that they  did
were 'Parinamavadis' in all likelihood, and believed that Brahman undergoes
modification ot generate the Universe. In this connection, I refer you to
the citation "Parinamastu dadhyadivata' in Bhaskara Bhasya under the B.Sutra
'Prakrtischa pratijna...." Amalananda quotes an even larger fragment in his
Kalpataru under the same sutra which clarifies matters further. You might
say that Sarvajnatma Muni, in his Samksepa Sariraka states that 'Atreya Muni
(=Vakyakara) first declared the world to be exisitent in the Sadvidya
section of Chh. Up. but later declared that the statement on reality of the
Universe was only privisional.' In this regard, I would like to state that
later on, the teachers of Visistadvaita suggested that the Advaitins had
distorted the teachings of Vakyakara and Dramidabhasyakara to suit the
Advaita doctrines. To prove their point, they have cited dozens of
quotations from the Vakya and the Dramidabhasya which lend support to the
view that both were believers in the reality of the world. I left out
Gaudapadacarya because his views are well known.

Without going into the details of the Paingi Sakha, I merely say that
1. The citations from 'Paingi Upanisad' and 'Paingi Rahasya Brahmana' in
Samkara's Sariraka Bhasya deal with the interpretation of the famous mantra
'Dva suparna sayuja..." occuring in RV 1.164. No such corresponding portions
exist in the extant Paingala Upanisad. The Sariraka Bhasya has another
citation from Paingi Brahmana later (B.S. Chap. 3) but that is a different
matter since it deals with Karmakanda.
2. The extant Paingala Upanisad is ascribed traditionally (wrongly?) to
Yajurveda (and sometimes to Samaveda). But the Paingi Sakha belonged to the
3. Based on heresay reports, some scholars state that the grhyasutras,
dharmasutras and Brahmana of Paingins might still be found in private
collections in and around Andavan (T. Nadu). Oppert mentioned the existence
of 4 manuscripts of Paingi/Paingayani/Paingaka.. Brahmamans in T. Nadu more
than a century ago but not of them has been traced.
4. The extant Paingala Upanisad does contain examples like silver in nacre
etc. but not the text cited by Bhagvatpada on BG 13.13

va wrote:
>This doctrine is nevertheless harmonious with the verses attributed
>traditionally to Sundara Pandya.
Is this Sangamlal Pandey's conclusion? I'm quite uncomfortable with the
amount of surmise and conjecture that goes behind this. That Sankara quotes
sundarapANDya towards the end of the adhyAsabhAshya is no guarantee that
sundarapANDya is the author of the statement quoted in the gItAbhAshya.

I had collected this stuff a year back and do not recall exactly. I will
agree however that in more than one place, S.L. Pandey has relied on
untenable conjectures and has made some errors (despite the fact that on the
whole, the text is an excellent summary on Pre-Samkara Advaita Vedanta). If
I remember correctly, the oldest reference that states that the quotation
under BG 13.13, is the introduction to Sankhapani's commentary on
Brahmasiddhi published several decades ago, from Madras. (If this is
accessible to you, please ascertain the same).

I still have to respond to you on Govindapada (I remember!)



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