Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 7 05:18:17 UTC 2000

The textual argument -

>But due to the prestige of Sankara's name, the attribution to Sankara
>wider acceptance resulting in more manuscripts being produced with
>name. One cannot deduce from this that the name Sankaracarya implies a
>titular Sankaracarya which implies the existence of a maTha. (to be

A titular/honorific Sankaracarya may or may not imply the existence of a
Matha. The recently departed Swami Hariharananda (Karapatri Swami) was
called Abhinava Sankaracarya by his followers, but he himself was never in
charge of a Matha. We know of another earlier Abhinava Sankara, namely
Ramabrahmananda Tirtha, who wrote a commentary on the Satarudriya hymn of
YV. His name does not appear on any Matha list either. In his
Sankarabhyudaya, Rajacudamani Dikshita (17th c.) salutes his guru,
Girvanendra Sarasvati, as a Paryaya Sankaracharya. This name is also not
found on any Matha list. For the textual argument, it is sufficient that one
or the other saMnyAsin was regarded by his followers and disciples as being
equivalent to Sankara in some sense.

It is certainly more economic to assume that such saMnyAsins have been
responsible for many of the texts attributed to Sankara. As noted earlier,
Saundaryalahari is the only exception, in that one commentary gives the name
of a different author. The case is not parallel to that of Nagarjuna or
Agastya or even Vyasa. We don't find a range of subjects from alchemy and
medicine to philosophy in the texts attributed to Sankara. The influence of
Yoga  in these texts is certainly understandable, given the close
relationship between Advaita/Advaitins and Yoga philosophy/practice.

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list