Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 8 20:31:10 UTC 2000

Swaminathan Madhuresan <smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>    These Tamil inscriptions are significant given that the time gap
>  between Sankara and Vidyaranya is not large (about 350-400 years).

A date of 950-1000 CE for Sankara is simply indefensible. No date much later
than 850 would be valid for him. The time gap is at least 500 years. It
seems to me that you want to bring down Sankara's date so as to make it
easier for your theory.

>    A good model is the one proposed by Stein for the Chola heartland
>(Brahmin-Vellala alliance), the relations and accommodations between
>the two groups is mutual.

Mutual perhaps, but unequal nonetheless. The whole notion of redistribution
of ritual honors and economic resources depends in a crucial way upon a
perceived preeminence of the Brahmin. And Stein's model may not be
applicable for other parts of the country or for a different time period.

Throughout these discussions, I get a strong sense of Tamil vs. Kannada (or
more generally Tamil vs. non-Tamil) feeling. The world of Advaita discourse
does not begin and end in Tamil Nadu. As a matter of fact, other religious
traditions seem to have always eclipsed the importance of Advaita in the
Tamil speaking region. No valid picture of the Advaita tradition can afford
to neglect developments in the north, and in the crucial time frame between
the 9th and 13th centuries. I don't see that anyone has really looked at
this in any detail.

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