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Re: The Ultimate sharaNagathi and personal beliefs ...

From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (
Date: Fri Jul 25 1997 - 13:10:11 PDT

Krishna Kalale wrote:

I apologize in advance since my post is somewhat tangential to the
purpose of the bhakti list. I'd like to make a point which distinguishes
advaita from the other schools:

>Samkarabhasya states : without 'surrender' to the feet of vasudeva, one
>cannot attain jnana!!! (check it out)

The statement is simply artha vAda meant to glorify worship of vAsudeva.
shrI sha.nkara is quite clear that GYAna alone leads to moxa and is
quite vehement about this in the brahma sUtra bhAshhya-s, upanishhad
bhAshhya-s and also the gauDapAda kArikA bhAshhya. There isn't a
_single_ place where he says that the worship of saguNa brahman is
necessary in these texts.

shrI gauDapAda is quite clear that worship of saguNa brahman is merely a
crutch for those who are not qualified enough. shrI sha.nkara also
expounds on this point very clearly. It is a little know fact (outside
the advaita tradition) that the mANDUkya and the kArikA bhAshhya are
considered superior texts and taught to advanced students only. The GK
very clearly states that people worship saguNa brahman in various forms
and these are merely for people who cannot grasp the tattva instantly.

All commentators including shrI Anandagiri, shrI vidyAraNya etc are also
quite vehement that worship of saguNa brahman is not necessary.

>I strongly feel that Saivism and Advaita got mixed up later as a >historical stance against pure vaisnavism.  In fact, Sri Sankaracharya >might have

I am not sure if Sri Kalale realizes the implications of his statement.
We have written evidence from the time of shrI vidyAsha.nkara tIrtha
that both shiva and vishhNu were equally held as saguNa brahman. In that
case 400-450 years from sha.nkara's time we have the AchArya-s
overturning a cardinal principle of shrI sha.nkara (according to Sri
Kalale) so that they could win the power struggle against the
vaishnavas. I hope our Acharya's, who we consider as jIvanmukta-s
weren't merely such self serving politicians.

>I would really like to know what is wrong with this hypothesis.
>Interestingly, many well known philosophy experts have this view. 

I am aware many "philosophy experts" have this view, especially Western
acdemia. That is mainly because they are from a judeo-christian
tradition and are unable to understand the smArtha mentality which is so
very different.

The daxiNAmUrti stotra: nothing much can be said about the authorship,
but there is a vArttika on it by the name mAnasollAsa ascribed to shrI
sureshvarAchArya. Prof Karl Protter has a very inept analysis of this in
his encyclopedia. There are very many similarities between the
naishhkarmya siddhi (a "genuine" work of shrI sureshvara) and the
mAnasollAsa. I had posted a brief article about this on the advaita list
a few months back. I would strongly advise not making any conclusions
about the philosophy of shrI sha.nkara by reading works of Indologists
like Protter, Ingalls et al.