on zankara's date - 2

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Tue Jan 18 00:43:51 UTC 2000

In a message dated 1/10/00 7:21:31 PM Central Standard Time,
ramakris at EROLS.COM writes:

> Is the memory of
>  people so bad that he can't be credited with a "wave of mAyAvAda" in
>  some text supposedly written about 50 years later? This is assuming
>  that the text refers to sha.nkara in the first place.
>  In any case,  I frankly doubt if the Tamil text refers to sha.nkara.
>  If it did, it would be the *first* non-orthodox school to refer to
>  sha.nkara! Nakamura has shown all the non-othodox schools like Jains
>  and Buddhists who came **after** sha.nkara refer to either Bhaskara or
>  only Mandana Mishra.

I am surprised at this. mANikkavAcakar (M) was not a Jain or Buddhist and no
Tamil zaivite would consider M to be of the non-orthodox school. Along with
appar, campantar, and cuntarar, he forms the group of four zaivite religious
preceptors (Ta. camaya kuravar). To the extent some advaitins believe that
Saundaryalahari  praises campantar, M cannot be considered non-orthodox.
Moreover, he had a special association with Chidambaram temple where the
rituals are claimed to be vedic and not agamic. Also, M debated Buddhists in

M's reference to mAyAvAda occurs in a section where he mentions that
proponents of different philosophies tried to convince him of the merits of
their respective views. (He is not referring to something that happened
before his time.) Here, he distinguishes mImAMsA from mAyAvAda. While the
proponents of all other schools are mentioned in the plural, the references
to the mAyAvAda hurricane (caNTamArutam cuzittu aTittu Aarttu) and the
proponent of lokAyata (ulOkAyatan2) are in the singular. One cannot but
conclude that there was an extremely powerful proponent of mAyAvAda
encountered by M. The question is: was it zaGkara or maNDana mizra (MM)? If
MM was so famous, why do we not have many inscriptional references to him in

kAntaLUrccAlai had students from lATa, karnATa, mAlava, kanauja, golla,
marahaTTa, soraTha, Dhakka, zrIkaNTha, and saindhava, according to
kuvalayamAlA. The breadth of subjects studied in that college and the
scholarly interchange that seemed to be going on in the 8th century and the
fact that pArttivacEkarapuram college (modeled after the former) did not have
any vEdAnta study even after a century make it worth revisiting zankara's
suggested date of 700 AD.

S. Palaniappan

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