[INDOLOGY] Question

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Thu Sep 3 07:53:48 UTC 2020

Dear friends,

Your discussion calls to mind a somewhat broader question: what do we know of the reception of Śańkaravedānta beyond that tradition itself, particularly during the 9th-11th centuries? The absence of engagement, positive or negative, by others seems puzzling, no?

I will be most interested if you know of any work on this.

Thanks in advance,

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From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:39:23 AM
To: Mrinal Kaul <mrinalkaul81 at gmail.com>; Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Question

Thanks, Mrinal, for this clarification.  This question came up because we have recently joined a Marathi discussion group, where we are reading the अमृतानुभव, a philosophical work of ज्ञानेश्वर, and the person who is leading the discussion is mixing up the Śāṅkara Advaita with Kashmiri Śaivism.  However, it seems to me that Jñāneśvara's own work, along with his more well known commentary on the Bhagavadgītā, the Jñāneśvarī alias Bhāvārthadīpikā, are syncretic works. Jñāneśvara's guru is his own elder brother Nivr̥ttinātha belonging to the Nātha tradition.  So it appears that a brand of Kashmir Śaivism percolated into Maharashtra through the Nātha tradition and it got syncretized with Śāṅkara Advaita and Bhakti traditions.  I am myself just at the beginning stages of sorting all this out, and I would appreciate any suggestions.  With best wishes,

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 6:16 PM Mrinal Kaul <mrinalkaul81 at gmail.com<mailto:mrinalkaul81 at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear Prof Deshpande,

This is a problematic question. Śaṅkara is completely unknown to the authors of non-dual Śaivism or even the dual Śiddhānta Śaivism. In fact Utpala and Abhinava are using the 'advaita' of Bhartṛhari to encounter the 'advaita' of Vijñānavāda Buddhists to establish their own 'advaita' point. So Vedānta at large and particularly Śaṅkara is nowhere in the picture. There is a very nice preface written by Prof Ambikadatta Sharma to the book of Prof Navjivan Rastogi titled 'Abhinavagupta kā tantrāgamīya dharma-darśana' (2013) where he philosophically engages with this question mentioning why historically speaking Śaṅkara does not become important in the case of Śaiva schools of Kashmir, both dual or non-dual.

Having said that, there certainly are references here and there to śāntabrahmavādins, but mostly they are passing references. Vedāntins have never been important for Śaivas. However, I do think there should be a study that clearly reflects upon the two non-dual positions. I am saying this because I have myself seen in my own teaching practice that how easy is it to slip into the shoe of Śaṅkar's advaita when one is teaching Abhinava, for instance. I am trying to work on something. Let us see if I can finish it sooner than later.

Best wishes.

Mrinal Kaul, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH)
Coordinator - Centre for Religious Studies (CRS)
Dr TMA Pai Planetarium Complex
Alevoor Road, Manipal (Udupi) 576 104
Karnataka, INDIA
Tel +91-820-29-23567 Extn: 23567
email: mrinal.kaul@<mailto:mrinal.kaul at manipal.edu>stx.oxon.org<http://stx.oxon.org>

On Wed, 2 Sep 2020 at 22:07, Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
Can someone give me textual references for the refutation of the Shankara Advaita in works on Kashmir Shaivism?  Thanks.

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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