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Re: SANKARA'S POETRY

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Fri Mar 19 1999 - 11:12:49 PST

Sri Srimahavishnu wrote:
> There is one blasphemous SlOka in "soundaryalaharI" which makes the so
> called soundaryalaharI a "durgandhakUpam" and one of the ugliest
> works in sanskrit.that SlOka does not deserve to
> be mentioned in this great list ...

Please DO cite this sloka.  An assertion needs to
be backed up by evidence. I am not denying what
you are saying is true; I just do not know. Now
that you have made this assertion, I am sure many
of us are curious as to what this sloka is.

I also find it unnecessary to call a work "ugly"
because *we* doctrinally disagree with it.  
Further, disagreeing with a poem on a religious
basis should not make us incapable of appreciating
it on a purely poetic or rhythmic level.

Regarding Sankara's authorship of this stotra:

Mere unwillingness on our part to accept that Sankara
could praise other deities while at the same time
praise Vishnu should not be the basis for concluding
that Sankara did not author this stotra. Recall that
Sankara's is not a Sri Vaishnava, not a paramaikAnti
by our definition, and certainly not a Visishtadvaitin;
his philosophy is very different and accepts various
deities as "signposts" to the Absolute. While I find
his philosophy illogical and unsatisfying, I see no
need to impose my belief system on him.

There is a tendency to exalt Vishnu in many of
Sankara's works -- but please don't confuse him,
a great scholar and philosopher no doubt, with an
acharya of our tradition, who operates under a very
different set of philosophical and religious principles.
Sankara's direct disciples praise other deities in 
their authentic works. Why would their acharya have
done any differently?

This all the more serves to underscore the uniqueness
and 'aikAntitva' of our tradition and our acharyas.

rAmAnuja dAsan
Mani