[INDOLOGY] Sankara-vijaya Resources Available

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 21:53:51 UTC 2015

When a question relating to a Śaṅkara-vijaya came up here recently, I did a
quick online search and found that very few of these biographies of
Śaṅkarācārya were available on the web. So I have now scanned the ones I
had and posted them, along with three scanned by others, with the Sanskrit
Hindu texts at
http://prajnaquest.fr/blog/sanskrit-texts-3/sanskrit-hindu-texts/. Besides
the two well-known ones by Anantānandagiri and by Mādhava, and also the one
by Vyāsācala, these include seven edited by W. R. Antarkar.

Antarkar had made a comprehensive study of all the available
Śaṅkara-vijayas, both in print and in manuscript (then sixteen in total),
for his 1960 University of Poona PhD thesis: Śaṅkara-vijayas: A Comparative
and a Critical Study. In subsequent years he published several journal
articles pertaining to this topic, and editions of seven lesser-known
Śaṅkara-vijayas (hopefully I did not miss any when I gathered them about
fifteen years ago). But his thesis remained unpublished.

A few days ago by chance I saw that Antarkar’s thesis has been published,
and this was back in 2003! This book is even now not listed on WorldCat,
which only shows the 1960 thesis (and that is held only at one library). A
scan of this book, in two parts (the thesis, and later articles as
appendices), is available at:


In view of the disputes around the Śaṅkara maṭhas that we were just
reminded of by Dean’s post, it may be worth noting that this book is
scholarly research with no connection to any maṭha, contrary to
appearances. As may be seen by the photos of the adhipatis of the Kanchi
Kamakoti Śaṅkara maṭha in its opening pages, this book was published by an
affiliate of this maṭha. I am very grateful to everyone involved in the
publication of Antarkar’s thesis for making it available at long last.

The extant Śaṅkara-vijayas are comparatively late, and their stories often
conflict with each other. One of the latest (nineteenth century) was
published in Germany in 1992: *Śaṃkara-mandāra-saurabha: Eine Legende über
das Leben des Philosophen Śaṃkara, *Text, Übersetzung, Einleitung, by Anton
Ungemach. Antarkar showed in separate articles that the extant
Śaṅkara-vijaya attributed to Ānandagiri (1961 article
<http://easterntradition.org/antarkar%202.pdf>) and the one attributed to
Vidyāraṇya (1972article <http://easterntradition.org/antarkar%203.pdf>) are
later works, not written by those authors. Antarkar commented at the end of
his 1961 article: “not one of the 16/17 biographies of Śaṅkara I have
worked upon inspires confidence in its authenticity to the expected
degree.” However, Antarkar provided good evidence that two old
Śaṅkara-vijayas still existed in the recent past: Bṛhat-Śaṅkara-vijaya by
Citsukha and Prācīna-Śaṅkara-vijaya by Ānandagiri (1960 article
<http://easterntradition.org/antarkar%201.pdf>). Despite his efforts, he
could not obtain them, and these have still not come to light as far as I

Best regards,

David Reigle

Colorado, U.S.A.

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