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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 5 02:02:03 UTC 1999

Vishal Agarwal <vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:


>Tradition also ascribes the authorship
>of a Tantric text called the 'Yogataravali' (recently sung by Madonna) to
>Govindapada- who was the direct teacher of Sri Samkaracarya. In addition,
>he is also said to have composed the text 'Rasahrdaya' and is said by
>tradition, to have lived a long life by the use of drugs.

Well, such traditions are very problematic in their origins. Consider this -
Paramahamsa Yogananda (of the Self-Realization Fellowship) writes that one
guru known only as Babaji is the same as Govinda Bhagavatpada. And there
have been many who have identified themselves as 'Babaji' as he supposedly
never dies. Now, anyone who knows some advaita vedAnta should know that
physical death is hardly something to be avoided or postponed through the
use of drugs or the 'alchemy' of the rasa-siddhas. What weight should one
attach to such traditions?

Isn't it much more possible that texts like Rasahrdaya were attributed by
their authors to the guru of Sankara, in order to lend themselves the aura
of orthodoxy and authenticity associated with the Sankaran tradition?

As for the hymn on Dakshinamurti, mAnasollAsa, the prapancasAra and its
vivaraNa, a discussion of their traditional attributions and critical
scholarly skepticism regarding the same would be endless, so I refrain from
getting into it. Suffice it to say that the reasons given to doubt the
attribution of mAnasollAsa to Suresvara reveal a very poor assessment of
what Suresvara says in his undisputed works, namely his vArttikas on the
taittirIya and bRhadAraNyaka bhAshyas.


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