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Re: Validity of the Samhitas (was Re: Am Namo Narayanaya)

From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (
Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 17:19:29 PDT

Krishna Susarla wrote:

> >Sri Adi Shankara says in his Bhasya that he rejects the Pancaratra
> >(Samhitas) as authority, this is due to his misunderstanding of the roles
> >of the Vyuhas like Sankarsana. He misunderstands that the Pancaratra
> >mistakenly propounds an origin of the Jivatma. It in fact does not. Later
> >Sri Ramanuja pointed this out in Sri Bhasya. Also Sri Yamunacharya has
> >written Agama Pramanya which deals with proving the authenticity of the
> >Agama (Samhitas, there are two Vaisnava Agamas, the Pancaratra and the
> >Vaikhanasa). And then later Sri Vedanta Desika has written Pancaratra
> >Raksha which also deals with the same subject, ie proving the authenticity
> >of the Pancaratra (Samhitas) as Pramanam.

Sorry, I am not replying to HKS's mail, I deleted the original by

Sri Sankara's problem with the pA.charAtra is not just the one you
mentioned. He is very careful to dismiss the entire pA.ncarAtra as shown
by his statements on Brahma sUtra, II.ii.45, where he says there are
_many_ kinds of contradictions in the pA.charAtra. He also says that the
pA.charAtra casts a slur upon the veda-s and hence contradicts it. It is
a common misconception that he is against only this aspect since he
singles it out. Why he singled out this particular aspect is very
interesting. I don't want to go into that here. But take a look at 

"An Unknown Source in Sankara's Refutation of the Pancaratra", by G.
Oberhammer, ABORI, Vol LVIII & IX, pp. 221-233.

for why he singles this aspect out. It has a pretty good analysis.