Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 751

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 751

Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Philosophy > Shankaracharya > SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO MAN IN MODERN TIMES
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO MAN IN MODERN TIMES
Pages from the book
SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO MAN IN MODERN TIMES
Look Inside the Book
Description
About the Book

National and emotional integration is the need of the hour in Indian context. In the global and Universal context equality and brotherhood of man, non-violence, respect for Nature and non-pollution of her elements are burning issues today. Centuries ago Sri Sankara, towering philosopher of Bharat, lived a life and preached an art of living that helped the country in the maintaining, by and large, her emotional and cultural, if not political, oneness through her tumultous age. His philosophy of non-dualism stresses the fundamental unity and total harmony of all beings, animate and inanimate. "Unity alone is real; love it and take refuge in it" the Acarya preached. As the present book shows, all this is a panacea for all the ills of the humanity, now choked in an atmosphere that is dense and polluted with excesses of the industrial and technological revolutions, the political and social upheavals, and an allround degeneracy in morality and ascendancy of violence.

 

About the Author

Dr. S. Srinivas Sankaranarayanan (b. 1926) began his education in the Krishnayajurveda in traditional way; became Nyaya Siromani and M. A. in History and Politics; took Doctoral degree in Ancient Indian History; and studied Advaita Vedaanta. He was Gazetted Officer for 21 years in the Epigraphy Branch, Archaeological Survey of India; Director and Professor in the Oriental Research Institute & Department of Indian Culture, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, for 10 years; and U.G.C. Professor for 3 years in the Department of Sanskrit, University of Madras. Since 1986 he is Hon. Prof. In the Adyar Library & Research Centre, Madras. The title.

Vedasastraratnakara has been conferred on him by Sri Paramacarya, Kanchi Kamakoti Pitham (1984). He is the recepient of Bharat President's Award of Proficiency in Sanskrit (1994). To his credit he has some 100 published research papers on different Indological and Philosophical topics and 9 books in Sanskrit and English.

 

Foreword

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA has said that India was saved from mate- rialism twice-once by Lord Buddha, second time by Sri Sankara- carya, through his philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Great world teachers of Sri Sankara's eminence never cease to be relevant in any period of world history; they go on influencing world thought. That is the reason why even today Sri Sankara is being studied and written upon. Only in India, his contribution and importance in our history is yet to be correctly assessed, not only due to the lack of sufficient historical materials, but because of prejudices and pre-conceived notions about him.

Sri Sankara's life history is steeped in legends. A great per- sonality of his stature dazzles the people around him and he passes into a legend even in his life-time. As centuries roll on, the legends gather more and more accretions, and then it becomes difficult to separate the fact from fiction. Nevertheless, there are many com- mon factors in the Sankaravijayas (Sankara biographies) written on him through the centuries by various authors. To collect the essential facts from these Sankaravijayas and present a brief bio- graphical account is one of the many difficult things which the eminent scholar Prof. S. Sankaranarayanan has accomplished in this book entitled, Sri Sankara: His Life, Philosophy and Relevance to Man in Modern Times.

In other chapters, Sri Sankara's philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and relevance of Sri Sankara to us in modern times have been dis- cussed succinctly. The controversies regarding the date of Sri Sankara has been discussed in an appendix.

Normally, erudition goes against brevity. But the learned author has managed to bring together the essential facts of the Acarya's life and teachings and his relevance to modern man, within a brief compass, thus making it possible for a modern reader to read the book. Prof. Sankaranarayanan has drawn his material from numerous original sources and they have been well- documented.

I believe that this publication would be a valuable addition to the literature on Sri Sankara and I congratulate the author for a task well-done.

 

Preface

ACARYA SRi SANKARA Bhagavadpada was a great and multi- faceted personality. His contribution to the cultural and religious integration of India is enormous and magnificent. He practised, preached and propagated the unique Upanisadic philosophy of oneness of all beings. In 1988 the Government of India decided to pay homage to this great son of Bharat by celebrating Rashtriya Sankara Jayanti Mahotsava; a National Committee under the Chairmanship of Sri Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, was constituted, and the Department of Culture, Ministry of HRD and the University Grants Commission jointly organized regional, national and international seminars, on philosophy, personality and achievements of Sri Sankara, The proceedings of these Seminars have been published. The Co-ordinating Com mittee then recommended that the Department of Culture should bring out a suitable book on Sri Sankara's life, philosophy and relevance to the present time. I was assigned this work by the Department of Culture.

The aim of this book is to present in a cogent manner what we know about the life and works of Sri Sankara as can be gathered from the various Sankaravijayas written centuries after Sri Sankara, all claiming to be biographies of that Teacher, but containing obvi- ous anachronisms, contradictions and inaccuracies. These legends, if examined with discretion carefully, can yield at least some reliable information about that Teacher, about the people of that age and their beliefs regarding Sri Sankara.

The chapter on Sri Sankara's philosophy takes up for detailed study the three basic tenets given in the famous line: Brahma Sat yam , jagan mithya, jivo Brahmaiva naparah, The last Chapter brings out the relevance of Sri Sankara's teachings to the modern man. My plan was to avoid the controversy on the date of Sri Sankara ; but since readers may be interested in that problem, it has been dealt with in an appendix. Another appendix is devoted to the Mathas said to have been established by the Acarya and the identification of the place where Sri Sankara is alleged to have ascended the Sarvajiiapitha. Appendix III is on the Works of Sri Sankara.

A critical review of the tenets of Sri Sankara's philosophy and his refutation of rival schools like the Samkhya, the Mimamsa, etc., are beyond the scope of this book. The original Sanskrit source materials used in writing this book are the Sankaravijayas and the Acarya's own works: detailed references are not given to these sources; but references to secondary sources have been given wherever necessary. For writing the last two chapters I have been fundamentally influenced by the brilliant speeches (in Tamil) of the Paramacarya Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swami of Kanchi and by the immortal writings of Swamy Vivekananda. Hence I have given no references to them.

The script of the book was submitted to the Department of Culture in 1990. In due course the Department referred it to the Committee of Experts. After their close scrutiny the Experts approved the script and strongly recommended its publication. Thereupon the Department granted financial aid for its publi- cation. Permission was also given to have it printed by the Vasanta Press and included in the Adyar Library General Series. For all these I am deeply grateful to the Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Department.

I am highly indebted to Professor K. Satchidananda Murty, then Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission, and Member of the National and Co-ordinating Committees of the Rashtriya Sankarajayanti Mahotsava, for recommending my name to write this book. Earlier, when he was the Vice-chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, he appointed me as the Director of Oriental Research Institute of the University; and en- couraged me to bring out a critical edition, with English translation. of Abhinavagupta's Gitarthasangraha commentary on the Bhagavad- gita. He was also mainly responsible for my getting the UGC Professorship (1987-89) in the Sanskrit Department of the Univer- sity of Madras.

The script of my book was seen by the late V. S. Seturaman (Retired Professor of English, Sri Krishnadevaraya University) who made valuable suggestions for improving the language. I am highly obliged to him. I am sorry that he passed away in 1993 before seeing the book in print. The late Mahamahopadh- yaya Pattabhirama Sastri of Varanasi, Professor Mandana Mishra, the then Vice-Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, Shri G. Venkataramani, LA.S•., Shri R. S. Rangarajan, LA.S. (both Deputy Secretaries, Dept. of Culture), Sri K. Subrahmaniam, I.A.S. (Retd.), Sri C. R. Sundara- rajan, I.R.S. (Retd.)-all helped me in getting the book published. Professor K. Kunjunni Raja, Director, Adyar Library and Research Centre kindly lent me some rare and useful old books and souve- niers from his personal library for my work. I am thankful to all these persons.

Mrs Radha Burnier,International President of the Theosophical Society and Chairperson of the Adyar Library Council gave per- mission to get the book printed in the Vasanta Press and included in the Adyar Library General Series. She has also contributed a Foreword to it. I am obliged to her for all these.

Swami Smarananandaji, presently President of the Sri Rama- krishna Mutt, Mylapore, has blessed the book with his Foreword. My grateful Pranams to him.

 

Introduction

India, the Bharatavarsa is well known for its vast ness. This is a country with an extent equal to that of the entire continent of Europe, only Russia being excluded. Reputed scholars point out that besides being so vast, India is also one among the countries like Egypt, Mesopotamia etc., where historians, arch aeologists and anthropologists trace the dawn of human civilization and the rise of Thoughts and ideas that have, ages after ages, moulded the character values and destiny of mankind. However, the most striking difference between India and other countries is this: In her history we observe an unbroken cont nuity of her ancient civilization, whereas the older cultures and civilizations of countries like, Egypt, Sumeria, Babilonia, Persia etc., have disappeared long ago. In India, since the days of her earliest known civilization of Harappa and of the Vedas, the self- same Gods and Goddesses are being worshipped; the same hymns of the Vedas are being chanted; and the same religious practices are being observed-of course the passage of centuries has left its inevitable and re- freshing marks of evolution on all these-from Kanya- kumari, her southernmost tip touching the Indian Ocean, upto the northernmost Himalayas. Hence a study of India's ancient culture and civilization is an exercise in understanding and appreciating her most living culture. On the other hand, to study those of other countries is only to satisfy one's own academic curiosity.

What is the secret behind this unparallelled longevity of Indian culture? The secret is that Hinduism, the centre and heart of Indian culture continues to pulsate with a unique energy through millennia. The great strength of Hinduism is its receptivity and all-comprehensiveness. It cares not to oppose the progress of any other system. For, it finds no difficulty in embracing and accommodating other systems-as long as they do not try to destroy its roots-within its fold. Wherefrom does Hinduism derive this unique strength? Impartial experts in the history of world-religions say that it derives its strength from the Vedas. Hinduism is Vedic way; it is a self- perpetuating religion, tracing its multidimensional developments back to the Vedas and the Upanisads. The Vedic way, noted for its constant spiritual reinter- pretation, is a way of life which is self-renewing, self- preserving and which therefore, for the individual and for the world, may be eternal. Hence, unlike in the case of other ancient religions it is not death, but development and unfolding that have been the charac- teristic features of Hinduism: It is for this reason the Vedic Dharma is traditionally known as 'perennial' (sanatana).

Hinduism has been lucky enough to have a galaxy of spiritual interpreters and reinterpreters. The list of them includes the Lord Visnu, Krsna, Yajnavalkya, Vyasa, Vardhamana Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Sri Sankaracarya and many other illustrious men of wisdom. An attempt is made here in this book to study the life, mission, philosophy and achievements of Sri Sankara briefly and to understand the relevance of his teachings to us in modern times.

 

CONTENTS

 

    PAGES
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1-21
  Rabindranath Tagore's love for India, 1. Indian culture as compared with other early cultures of the world 1-2. Longevity of Indian culture owes much to the interpreters and reinterpreters of Hinduism and its philosophy down the ages. Sri Sankara is one among them-and his uniqueness, 2-3. Sources for studying his life; their general review, 3. Absence of authentic contemporary accounts of Sri Sankara's life, time and work-legendary character of the available biographies, more than thirty-five, Sankaravijayas 4-5. Among them all, those by Anandagiri and Madhava are popular, 5-15. Criticism: they are very late and full of exaggerative and hyperbolic statements, 16. The chief motive of the authors of these biographies is mainly to sing the glory of the Acarya; to drive home to the faithful the importance of his teaching and the sanctity of the places he visited and authority of the Mathas he established, 17-18. History and philosophy of history as conceived by the early Indian thinkers-They did not attempt writing regular history (in the modern sense of the term), for fear that it would disunite the multi-racial Hindu society, 18-19. Like the Puranas, epics and other Indian classical works, these biographies too reflect the Indian mind and spirit of the age. Hence a student of Indian culture and philosophy can ill afford ignoring these biographies in spite of their inherent inaccuracies, contradictions, super natural elements etc., and inspite of many of them being composed in the age of Vijayanagar empire, probably to mark the Hindu revivalism of that age 19-21.  
CHAPTER II: THE BACKGROUND-HISTORICAL, SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS 22-38
  Bhartrhari on the advent of extraordinary man; importance of analysis of background of every historical event, 22. The twofold division of the dharma of Bharat; its decline and its restoration by the Divine, 23. Condition of Dharma on the eve of Sri Sankara's arrival, 25. The supremacy of Buddhism, 26. The vulnerability of the Hindu society-The power and popularity of the Sankhya logic and philosophy, 26-28. The position of the Yoga, Vaisesika, Nyaya and Purvamimamsa schools, 27. The Bhakti school, 29. The condition of Vedanta, before Sri Sankara; Northern school of Vedanta, developed by Bhartrprapanca, Gaudapada and Govinda Bhagavatpada . The alleged Buddhistic features of Gaudapada's Karikas, 32. Southern School of Vedanta-Brahmanandin, Dramidacarya, Sundara Pandya, 35. Difference between the two schools. Sri. Sankara, the synthetizer of both the schools and the Bhakti school, 36. With the advent of Sri Sankara commences the chapter of supremacy of South India over the North in the history of Indian philosophy, 37.  
CHAPTER III: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA: (1) BIRTHAND RENUNCIATION 39-69
  Veda Vyasa and Max Muiller on the limitations of logic. Mystery about Sri Sankara's real life, 39. The scenic land of Kerala, Parasu-Ramaksetra, 41. The beautiful village Kaladi there, watered by the river Purna-meaning of kaladi, 42. A Nambudri Brahmin family of the Atri clan there-greatness of the seer Atri, 43. The pious Atreya Sivaguru-the significance of his name-his education and his marriage with Aryamba-significance of her name-family life of the couple, 44. Penance of the couple in the temple of Siva Mahadeva for a child, 46. The Lord's strange boon to them-pregnancy of Aryamba-the Lord Siva Mahadeva Himself is born as her son, Sri Sankara to propagate Advaita Vedanta-the births of other Gods to help the Lord-chronograms giving the details of the date of Sri Sankara's birth, 48. Sri Sankara, a supernatural child-he is Astamurti and beyond, 50. His primary education and getting grace of the Mother Goddess, 51. Death of Sivaguru-Sri Sankara's upanayana, 52. Ancient Indian education system, 53. At the age of five, Sri Sankara goes to gurukula and attains mastery in all branches of knowledge in three years-his boon to a poor woman, 55. At the age of eight Sri Sankara returns home-his devotion to his mother and his miracle of drawing nearer home the far off Purna for her convenience, 56. Kerala king Rajasekhara's visit to Sri Sankara, 57. Saga Agastya foretells the future of Sri Sankara, 58. Sri Sankara intends to be a samnyasi, 59. The episode of mysterious crocodile-Sri Sankara becomes a samnyasi, 61. The myth and reality in this episode, 62. Sri Sankara leaves mother and Kaladi, 63. NOTES On: the tradition of Sankara's being a native of Kaladi and a Nambudri brahmin, 64: the mysterious birth of Sri Sankara, 65-the tradition regarding his birth-star and birth-day, 67: the legends of his getting the boon of the Goddess; the reality behind the myth of his drawing the far-off river nearer home; bhiksacarana; his samnyasa, 69.  
CHAPTER IV: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA: (II) THECOMMENTATOR AND DEBATOR 70-118
  Merutunga and George Eliot on ancient stories, 70. Sri Sankara proceeds to north, becomes a disciple of Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of the Narmada and gets his apatsamnyasa regularised by that teacher. He learns Vedantic lessons from this teacher; Vivekacudamani, 71. Antecedents of Govinda Bhagavatpada and his preceptor Gaudapada, 73. During the rainy season Sri Sankara, by playing a miracle, contains the great furious floods of the Narmada and saves the preceptor's life, 74. On the advice of the latter, Sri Sankara goes to Kasi to write bhasyas, Pentad on Kasi and Octads on Visvanatha, Annapurna, Kalabhairava and Manikarnika, 75. Initiation of Visnusarman as monk Sanandana becomes Padmapada, 77. The context of composing the Bhajagovindastotra in Kasi, 78. Encounter with a mysterious Candala (God Sri Visvanatha in disguise) and the composition of the Manisapancaka-The Candala's advice to Sri Sankara to write bhasyas, 79. The latter goes to Badrikasrama, writes his unique bhasyas when he was twelve and propagates Advaita philosophy, 82. The fame of the Sankarabhasya-Ganga, 83. Sri Sankara completes his sixteenth year and has a strange and difficult encounter with Veda-Vyasa in disguise, 84. At the end Vyasa appreciates the Acarya's work and gives him a boon of sixteen additional years of life, 84. Four stages in the lives of great intellectuals-Sri Sankara now enters the fourth stage, namely that of propagation of science as a full-time job, 87. The king Maurya Asoka and the monk Sri Sankara: a comparison, 88. Construction of the Badari Narayana temple, 89. Aryamba is on her death bed at Kaladi and Sri Sankara remembers his debt to her, 90. He suddenly appears by the side of the mother. His teaching to her. Her mukti and the Acarya's performance of her funeral ceremony-stout opposition by his kinsmen. Why he thought it fit to perform the obsequies, not minding the traditional taboo, 91. His strange curses on his kinsmen. King Rajasekhara meets the Acarya, 92. With disciples Sri Sankara commences his journey for propagating philosophy and the arrives at the holy Prayaga to meet Kumarila Bhatta , the celebrated author of the reputed Mimamsavarttika, 93. Bhatta's antecedents: he is an incarnation of Kumara Karttikeya-His education and reputation-He stealthly learn Buddhist philosophy directly from Buddhist monks, 94. His expiatory act of a slow process of self-immolation by husk-fire, 97. The touching scene of the Acarya's meeting with Kumarila Bhatta in the midst of husk-fire, 98. Bhatta's praise of the Acarya's work-His advice to the latter to meet the former s most learned pupil Visvarupa Mandana Misra in scholarly disputation. Kumarila Bhatta's death, 99. Sri Sankara arrives at Mahismati-His first strange meeting with Misra and the latter's angry words, 100. Antecedents of Mandana Misra and his leaned wife Ubhaya Bharati alias Sarasavani: they are incarnations respectively of the God Brahma and his consort Goddess Sarasvati, 101. The famous protracted scholarly duel between the Acarya and Misra-The latter's wife Ubhaya Bharati is the arbitrator-Unusual bets, stakes and conditions are laid down for the disputation, 102. Sri Sankara's victory, 104. Now the arbitrator Ubhaya Bharati enters the debate in support of her husband and puts questions to the monk Acarya on matters connected with the science of sex-Sri Sankara asks for time and plays a miracle: he enters the body of the king Amaruka, just dead, moves with the queens, attains proficiency in sex-science too, returns back, ably answers the points raised by the opponent and wins the final victory, 105. The allegory contained in the episode of the disputation, 106. Sri Sankara's victory marks a new era in the history of Indian philosophical thought, 107. Omniscient Sri Sankara. Misra embraces samnyasa under the new name Suresvara and becomes Acarya's disciple, 108. NOTES ON: the place where Sri Sankara met his preceptor-Mahavakyas, 109. Historical significance indicated by the episode of Sri Sankara's miracle of containing the Narmada-floods, 110. The name Padmapada of the disciple and his native place, 111. The episode of Sri Sankara's encounter with the divine Candala. Modern researchers doubt regarding the authenticity of certain works that claim Sri Sankara's authorship-Actual location of his writing the bhasyas. The importance of the philosophical topic of disputation of Sri Sankara and Veda Vyasa and the significance of their meeting, 112. Construction of temple at Badari, 113. Transcendental nature of the Acarya's violation of the law and tradition for his mother's funeral. Buddhists' reluctance to teach their philosophy to non-Buddhists, 114. The myth and reality contained in the episode of Kumarila Bhatta's antagonism and bigotry against the Buddhists-Controversy regarding the identity of Visvarupa, Mandana Misra and Suresvara, 115. The home-town of Visvarupa Mandana Misra, 116. The inequality of the bet and stakes accepted by the parties of the debate, namely Sri Sankara and Mandana-the ill-built nature of Ubhaya Bharati's interlude, 117.  
CHAPTER V: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA:(III) TRIUMPH, PILGRIMAGEAND MUKTI 119-153
  Sarngadhara and Abhinava Kalidasa Madhava on the greatness of saints, 119. Places and territories of Sri Sankara visited on Pilgrimage, 120. The sects and subsects he encountered with, 122. The teachers of different philosophical schools he debated with and won, 123. His aim in these acts, 124. Lord Narasimha saves his life from a bigoted Kapalika-The Mimamsaka Prabhakara's dumb and retarded son becomes the Acarya's gifted disciple Hastamalaka-Hasta-malakiyabhasya of Sri Sankara, 125. Hastamalaka's antecedents-The dull disciple Giri turns to be the poet philosopher Totakacarya, a disciple of Sri Sankara, and composes the Totakastaka and Srutisarasamuddharana, 126. The most merciful Sri Sankara teaches Advaita to a leper-Ekasloki. Episode of the Kapalika Krakaca being killed by his own deity whom he has instigated against the Acarya, 127. Sri Sankara has an attack of the deadly disease bhagandara but providence cures him of it, 128. Sri Sankara worships gods and goddesses in Kedaranatha, Kanci, Tiruvidaimarudur etc., 130. Local traditions connecting the Acarya with the temples of Mukambika at Kollur, of the Mother Goddess at Tiruvorriyur, of Sri Venkatesvara at Tirumala-Tirupati, of Sri Ranganatha at Sri Rangam, of Jambunatha at tiruvanaikkovil, and so on, 131. Sanmataasthapana and the admission of the Kapalika cult too into the fold, 132. Establishing Mathas in different places for propagating Dharma and philosophy and the legend of his bringing Siva-Lingas from Kailas, 133. Padmapada writes the Pancapadika commentary on the Sarirakabhasya of Sri Sankara while Suresvara composes versified commentaries on the Taittiriya and the Brhaddaranyakabhasyas of Sri Sankara and also writes the Naiskarmyasiddhi, 133. Sri Sankara ascends the Throne of Omniscience, 138. On completing his thirty-second year, after delivering his last sermon (Upadesapancaka), the Acarya, already a Jivanmukta, attains final bliss (Videhamukti), by casting off his physical frame; Sri Sankara, the loftiest man born in Bharat, lives for ever, 140. It is not improbable that he dropped his body simultaneously in five places, viz. Kanci, Kedaranatha, Badarinatha, Dattatreyastrama and Trichur, all the five claiming to be places of his samadhi, 141. A parallel case supplied by the triple samadhi, of the saint Sadasiva Brahmendra. The fact is that men of realization is never born and never dies, 149. NOTES ON: Nilakantha Siva, Abhinava Gupta, Laksmana etc., 151; sutra, bhasya and varttika in general, 152; the Dattatreyasrama, Atri and Anasuya, 153.  
CHAPTER VI: PHILOSOPHY OF SRI SANKARA 154-209
  The Rgveda, the Kathopanisad and the Gaudapadakarika on the path of Advaita, 154. The culture of Bharat and its unique inquiries into the Dharma and Brahman-Atman, 155. Contribution of Sri Sankara-His philosophy is very vast and deep. Yet, because it is so crystal clear, he could express it in a simple hemistich of sixteen syllables consisting three short statements, 156. Methodology of and prerequisites for inquiry into Atman, 157. Going to the revered teacher, learning Vedanta lessons in all humility and investigating and reflecting on the ultimate purport of the Upanisads, with a strong faith of positive nature; the role of logic, 158. Importance of these three statements. A lesson from the history of man; and the aims of religion and philosophy, 159.  
  (1) Brahman is Reality: The two apparently contradicting Upanisadic definitions of Brahman, 160. They speak of Brahman in two levels, 163. How the Brahman, the World and the Embodied are mutually related, 164. Nature of relation in general, 165. All relations are imaginary, 166. This explains why different religions strike discordant notes in explaining the so-called inter-relation among God, World and Man. In fact these three are identical; but their mutual identity allows apparent differences, 167. The Self is Self-luminous-the I-consciousness is pseudo-self-Brahman-Atman limited by the internal organ is the embodied Self. This limitation is due to the strange inexplicable power, 168. How differentiation could crop up in the Consciousness even though his has no second, 169. Isvara, Antaryamin, Sutratman, Mahaprana, Virat, Vaisvanara, Brahma, Visnu, Rudra and other gods, 169. Sri Sankara's philosophy is in tune with the concept of personal gods, 173. The status of Reality of God in Advaita. Necessity of God, 174. Definition of Reality as 'Absolute Being'-Reality. Existence is Brahman-Atman alone, 176.  
  (2) The World is Illusory: This statement is based on the Upanisads, the supra-mundane means of cognition. The means of perception inference etc., contradict it. But they are undependable because they too fall within the world, we are discussing about, 179. The causes alone are real and the effects are unreal-Brahman-Atman is the cause of the world, the effect, 182. Both Brahman and the world cannot be reality, 183. Plato on worldly experience, 184. The world appearance is rather a manifestation of what is real and this manifestation is a sort of making known by the inexplicable maya sakti and not bringing into being, 185. The criticism that Sri Sankara is a crypto-Buddhist is answered, 186. The theories of causation advocated by the Sankhya, the Buddhist and the Advaitin, 187. Mahendra Varman on the Buddha's appropriating the Vedantic ideas-The three-fold realities in Vedanta, 189.  
  (3) The Embodies Self is Brahman Itself and is not different from It: 190. Four objections raised and answered. The unreal nature of the embodied one, 198. An episode of the kidnapped prince, 199. Thou Art That 200. Examples of balance, mathematical equation and kataka powder, 201. Self-realization creates nothing new, but destroys obstacles in realizing the pure Self, 203. The necessity of hard work, right conduct, discharging one's obligations of all sorts and so on, 204. The importance of devotion to God and of earning His Grace, 205. The strange charge that Advaitic notion is demoniacal one and its answer, 206. NOTES ON: the Mayasakti; the criticism of Sri Sankara as crypto-Buddhist, 209.  
CHAPTER VII: RELEVANCE OF SRI SANKARA TOMAN IN MODERN TIMES: 210-266
  The Rgveda on the Divine help to the seeker marching on spiritual path, 210. Two objections of modern men against the relevance of non-dualistic philosophy of Sri Sankara and their assumption: the modern progress in science and technology can go ill together with Advaitic thought because the latter advocates renunciation over the above work and because being totally devoted to scriptures, it is bereft of logic, 211. Francis Bacon's maxim: 'Knowledge is power' and the Biblical declaration: 'In much wisdom lies much grief', 213. The threat generated by the modern science and technology is real and it gives rise to deep apprehension in the minds of sober men even in modern times, 214. A spiritual seeker need not necessarily be a samnyasain, 215. The Acarya's philosophy is highly logical, though he places scriptures, i.e. the revealed literature on a higher pedestal, 216. His genius lies in supporting the scriptural declarations themselves by his unshakable logic and reasoning, 217. Relation between reasoning and revelation according to the Acarya. Interpretation of Man as 'Rational Animal', 218. Modern science and technology have turned to be two demons rising against their own creator, the humanity itself, 220. Advaitic principles are both clearly practicable and highly benefitial and can cure all the ills of modern man's technological revolution, 221. Bertrand Russell on the modern man with defects of slave-turned-master; Advaita Vedanta principles have the potency to set right these defects, 222. The necessity of religion: illustrations from history, 223. Comparison between religions based on non-dualistic philosophy and those built upon dualistic thought, 225. Indeed with the rise of science as the religion of modern man began 'the death of God,' as external deity. But in Sri Sankara's philosophy God is ultimately not an external deity but only man's innermost Self itself, 226. The Advaita Vedanta views the entire universe, with all beings, conscious and unconscious as one joint family and views the main's relation with the nature's elements as that of descendant-and-progenitor and of product-and-its-material, 227. The Advaita principles have the power and force to cure the modern man's defect of slave-turned-master, descendant-despising-progenitor and of product-degrading-its-material, 228. Mahatma Gandhi's Ramdhun and Advaita, 230. His religion of truth and Advaita, 231. Perfect ahimsa is possible only in Advaita, 232. Advaita enthrones the glory of unity in the midst of exasperating divisive factors, 233. Man, particularly the Indian of to-day should learn, imbibe and pass on the value of this philosophical heritage to the future generations, otherwise, he would go back to a savage state, 234. The nature of Sri Sankara's message to ordinary men, 235. Sri Sankara on acquiring riches, 236; and on politics 237. The significance of the Acarya's advice on eating, and on quantity and quality of food, 239. Sri Sankara and Mahatma Gandhi on the evils of drinking alcohal, 243; and on sex, 244. The Acarya gives tips in this respect, 245. He exalts spiritual education over and above all the other things, 246. He illustrates and laments how man alienates his own inner joy to the worldly objects, 247. He established the theory that the substratum always remains totally free from all the qualities (good and bad) of what is superimposed on it. It implications, 248. His analysis of the fundamental cause for all quarrels among men and his prescription of its sure cures, 249. He teaches wisdom for the benefit of all the people of all denomination, 250. Three misconceived charges. (2) He has failed to give due importance to the virtue of love-to-all. And (3) he has unjustifiably denied the members of the forth casts the right of studying Vedanta, 252. These charges are answered: The first charge is incorrect, 253. The second is baseless, 254. The third charge is answered in detail by analysing the turns of events in Indian history and by the logic followed by thinkers of ancient India, 255. Epilogue, 262. NOTES ON: What we owe to Sankara-The name Hinduism, the meaning of Sanmati, 264. Gaudapada on total Non-injury, 265. Problem of identity of Karna, a great hero of the epic Mahabharata A verse of Bhavabhuti, the dramatist, 266.  
APPENDIX I: DATE OF SRI SANKARA 269-282
  Kenopanisad on what is known yet unknown. The difficulties in fixing the date of Sri Sankara-The hypothesis of 788-820 A.D. based on one legend as against the other dates of many other legends-Its popularity-The Cambodian inscription of Siva Soma on Bhagavat Sankara, 269. Like Sri Krsna, Jesus Christ and other great teachers of the world, Sri Sankara belongs to all ages, 270. The problem of the date of Sri Sankara belongs to the realm of history, 271. Being of much later origin, all legends are to be ignored-Hence depending only on the internal evidences found in the Acarya's works, modern scholars fix the date at c. 700 A.D., 271, But the Acarya's refutations of the Vaisesika theories of Atomism and Inherence, betrays his ignorance of the works of Uddyotakara (6th century) and Prasastapada, (4th-6th century), 272/273. His confutation of Buddhist Vijnanavada exhibits his near-total unfamiliarity of the works of the great Buddhists like Dignaga (c. 400 A.D.) and Dharmakirti (c. 600 A.D.), 273. His most vehement and often repeated attack on the philosophy and the Upanisadic interpretations of the Sankhyas could have been written only in an age much earlier than the 7th-8th centuries, 274. Bhavabhuti (700-750 A.D.) and Mahendravarman I Pallava (570-630 A.D.) knew the doctrines enunciated by Sri Sankara-Bhavabhuti perhaps speaks of Padmapada, said to be Sri Sankara's disciple, 275. The Acarya was very much aware of the Visnu-Kapilavatara concept of the earlier age, but he was totally unaware of the Visnu-Buddhavatara concept that originated in the 5th-6th centuries, All these facts perhaps place the Acarya in an age much earlier than the 7th -8th century, 276-277. No doubt some Vijnanavada passages quoted by Sri Sankara are traced in the works of Dignaga and Dharmakirti. But they seem to have originated in some earlier works on Vijnanavada that came to be before Christ, 278. True, according to tradition Suresvara is a direct disciple of Sri Sankara-and in one of the passages Suresvara is found mentioning the name Dharmakirti and refuting his views, 279. But that passage is of doubtful authenticity and there is no reliable evidence to establish that Suresvara was Sri Sankara's direct disciple-He was a student of some later Sankaracarya, 281. The Sankaravijayatraditions mix up various life-accounts of different Sankara-caryas and roll them into one-Hence the difficulty, 282. Similar instances are not wanting in different traditions of ancient India, 284. Padmapada's description of Sri Sankara as 'one who has wiped off all the marks of time', 285.  
APPENDIX II: THE TWIN CONTROVERSIES 288-305
  Tryon Edwards on prejudices, 288. The first is the heated controversy about the number of Mathas claiming to have been established by Sri Sankara-The prejudiced treatment of the question by partisan authors of Sankaravijayas. Meaning of matha, 289. Out of necessity Sri Sankara could have founded more Mathas than the ones we find now-Many of them disappeared due to historical factors, 290. Kanci, as a strong centre of Buddhism and as a seat of Sankaramatha, 282.  
  The second controversy is about the place where Sri Sankara is alleged to have performed the feat of ascending what is called 'the seat of the omniscient'. Was it in Kashmir? Or, did it happen in Kanci?-Discordant notes struck by the Sankaravijaya--legends, 293/294. The illogicality and inappropriateness of these legends, 296. The fiction and fact contained in these legends, 302. Sri Sankara broke the long philosophical isolation of Kashmir. Sankaracarya temple in Srinagar. Sri Sankara is the cultural and philosophical integrator of the entire Bharat, 304.  
APPENDIX III: WORKS OF SRI SANKARA 305-310
  There are nearly one hundred and seventy works that claim Sri Sankara for their author-They fall under the heads Sutrabhasyas, Upanisadbhasyas, miscellaneous Bhasyas, Advaita Manuals, Devotional Hymns and works on Yoga and Tantra. The authenticity of many of these works is debatable.  

Sample Pages









Click Here for More Books Published By Adyar Library and Research Centre

 

SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO MAN IN MODERN TIMES

Item Code:
IDG124
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2001
ISBN:
8185141142
Language:
English
Size:
8.6" X 5.6"
Pages:
375
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 570 gms
Price:
$35.00   Shipping Free
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO MAN IN MODERN TIMES

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 14921 times since 24th Mar, 2019
About the Book

National and emotional integration is the need of the hour in Indian context. In the global and Universal context equality and brotherhood of man, non-violence, respect for Nature and non-pollution of her elements are burning issues today. Centuries ago Sri Sankara, towering philosopher of Bharat, lived a life and preached an art of living that helped the country in the maintaining, by and large, her emotional and cultural, if not political, oneness through her tumultous age. His philosophy of non-dualism stresses the fundamental unity and total harmony of all beings, animate and inanimate. "Unity alone is real; love it and take refuge in it" the Acarya preached. As the present book shows, all this is a panacea for all the ills of the humanity, now choked in an atmosphere that is dense and polluted with excesses of the industrial and technological revolutions, the political and social upheavals, and an allround degeneracy in morality and ascendancy of violence.

 

About the Author

Dr. S. Srinivas Sankaranarayanan (b. 1926) began his education in the Krishnayajurveda in traditional way; became Nyaya Siromani and M. A. in History and Politics; took Doctoral degree in Ancient Indian History; and studied Advaita Vedaanta. He was Gazetted Officer for 21 years in the Epigraphy Branch, Archaeological Survey of India; Director and Professor in the Oriental Research Institute & Department of Indian Culture, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, for 10 years; and U.G.C. Professor for 3 years in the Department of Sanskrit, University of Madras. Since 1986 he is Hon. Prof. In the Adyar Library & Research Centre, Madras. The title.

Vedasastraratnakara has been conferred on him by Sri Paramacarya, Kanchi Kamakoti Pitham (1984). He is the recepient of Bharat President's Award of Proficiency in Sanskrit (1994). To his credit he has some 100 published research papers on different Indological and Philosophical topics and 9 books in Sanskrit and English.

 

Foreword

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA has said that India was saved from mate- rialism twice-once by Lord Buddha, second time by Sri Sankara- carya, through his philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Great world teachers of Sri Sankara's eminence never cease to be relevant in any period of world history; they go on influencing world thought. That is the reason why even today Sri Sankara is being studied and written upon. Only in India, his contribution and importance in our history is yet to be correctly assessed, not only due to the lack of sufficient historical materials, but because of prejudices and pre-conceived notions about him.

Sri Sankara's life history is steeped in legends. A great per- sonality of his stature dazzles the people around him and he passes into a legend even in his life-time. As centuries roll on, the legends gather more and more accretions, and then it becomes difficult to separate the fact from fiction. Nevertheless, there are many com- mon factors in the Sankaravijayas (Sankara biographies) written on him through the centuries by various authors. To collect the essential facts from these Sankaravijayas and present a brief bio- graphical account is one of the many difficult things which the eminent scholar Prof. S. Sankaranarayanan has accomplished in this book entitled, Sri Sankara: His Life, Philosophy and Relevance to Man in Modern Times.

In other chapters, Sri Sankara's philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and relevance of Sri Sankara to us in modern times have been dis- cussed succinctly. The controversies regarding the date of Sri Sankara has been discussed in an appendix.

Normally, erudition goes against brevity. But the learned author has managed to bring together the essential facts of the Acarya's life and teachings and his relevance to modern man, within a brief compass, thus making it possible for a modern reader to read the book. Prof. Sankaranarayanan has drawn his material from numerous original sources and they have been well- documented.

I believe that this publication would be a valuable addition to the literature on Sri Sankara and I congratulate the author for a task well-done.

 

Preface

ACARYA SRi SANKARA Bhagavadpada was a great and multi- faceted personality. His contribution to the cultural and religious integration of India is enormous and magnificent. He practised, preached and propagated the unique Upanisadic philosophy of oneness of all beings. In 1988 the Government of India decided to pay homage to this great son of Bharat by celebrating Rashtriya Sankara Jayanti Mahotsava; a National Committee under the Chairmanship of Sri Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, was constituted, and the Department of Culture, Ministry of HRD and the University Grants Commission jointly organized regional, national and international seminars, on philosophy, personality and achievements of Sri Sankara, The proceedings of these Seminars have been published. The Co-ordinating Com mittee then recommended that the Department of Culture should bring out a suitable book on Sri Sankara's life, philosophy and relevance to the present time. I was assigned this work by the Department of Culture.

The aim of this book is to present in a cogent manner what we know about the life and works of Sri Sankara as can be gathered from the various Sankaravijayas written centuries after Sri Sankara, all claiming to be biographies of that Teacher, but containing obvi- ous anachronisms, contradictions and inaccuracies. These legends, if examined with discretion carefully, can yield at least some reliable information about that Teacher, about the people of that age and their beliefs regarding Sri Sankara.

The chapter on Sri Sankara's philosophy takes up for detailed study the three basic tenets given in the famous line: Brahma Sat yam , jagan mithya, jivo Brahmaiva naparah, The last Chapter brings out the relevance of Sri Sankara's teachings to the modern man. My plan was to avoid the controversy on the date of Sri Sankara ; but since readers may be interested in that problem, it has been dealt with in an appendix. Another appendix is devoted to the Mathas said to have been established by the Acarya and the identification of the place where Sri Sankara is alleged to have ascended the Sarvajiiapitha. Appendix III is on the Works of Sri Sankara.

A critical review of the tenets of Sri Sankara's philosophy and his refutation of rival schools like the Samkhya, the Mimamsa, etc., are beyond the scope of this book. The original Sanskrit source materials used in writing this book are the Sankaravijayas and the Acarya's own works: detailed references are not given to these sources; but references to secondary sources have been given wherever necessary. For writing the last two chapters I have been fundamentally influenced by the brilliant speeches (in Tamil) of the Paramacarya Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swami of Kanchi and by the immortal writings of Swamy Vivekananda. Hence I have given no references to them.

The script of the book was submitted to the Department of Culture in 1990. In due course the Department referred it to the Committee of Experts. After their close scrutiny the Experts approved the script and strongly recommended its publication. Thereupon the Department granted financial aid for its publi- cation. Permission was also given to have it printed by the Vasanta Press and included in the Adyar Library General Series. For all these I am deeply grateful to the Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Department.

I am highly indebted to Professor K. Satchidananda Murty, then Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission, and Member of the National and Co-ordinating Committees of the Rashtriya Sankarajayanti Mahotsava, for recommending my name to write this book. Earlier, when he was the Vice-chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, he appointed me as the Director of Oriental Research Institute of the University; and en- couraged me to bring out a critical edition, with English translation. of Abhinavagupta's Gitarthasangraha commentary on the Bhagavad- gita. He was also mainly responsible for my getting the UGC Professorship (1987-89) in the Sanskrit Department of the Univer- sity of Madras.

The script of my book was seen by the late V. S. Seturaman (Retired Professor of English, Sri Krishnadevaraya University) who made valuable suggestions for improving the language. I am highly obliged to him. I am sorry that he passed away in 1993 before seeing the book in print. The late Mahamahopadh- yaya Pattabhirama Sastri of Varanasi, Professor Mandana Mishra, the then Vice-Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, Shri G. Venkataramani, LA.S•., Shri R. S. Rangarajan, LA.S. (both Deputy Secretaries, Dept. of Culture), Sri K. Subrahmaniam, I.A.S. (Retd.), Sri C. R. Sundara- rajan, I.R.S. (Retd.)-all helped me in getting the book published. Professor K. Kunjunni Raja, Director, Adyar Library and Research Centre kindly lent me some rare and useful old books and souve- niers from his personal library for my work. I am thankful to all these persons.

Mrs Radha Burnier,International President of the Theosophical Society and Chairperson of the Adyar Library Council gave per- mission to get the book printed in the Vasanta Press and included in the Adyar Library General Series. She has also contributed a Foreword to it. I am obliged to her for all these.

Swami Smarananandaji, presently President of the Sri Rama- krishna Mutt, Mylapore, has blessed the book with his Foreword. My grateful Pranams to him.

 

Introduction

India, the Bharatavarsa is well known for its vast ness. This is a country with an extent equal to that of the entire continent of Europe, only Russia being excluded. Reputed scholars point out that besides being so vast, India is also one among the countries like Egypt, Mesopotamia etc., where historians, arch aeologists and anthropologists trace the dawn of human civilization and the rise of Thoughts and ideas that have, ages after ages, moulded the character values and destiny of mankind. However, the most striking difference between India and other countries is this: In her history we observe an unbroken cont nuity of her ancient civilization, whereas the older cultures and civilizations of countries like, Egypt, Sumeria, Babilonia, Persia etc., have disappeared long ago. In India, since the days of her earliest known civilization of Harappa and of the Vedas, the self- same Gods and Goddesses are being worshipped; the same hymns of the Vedas are being chanted; and the same religious practices are being observed-of course the passage of centuries has left its inevitable and re- freshing marks of evolution on all these-from Kanya- kumari, her southernmost tip touching the Indian Ocean, upto the northernmost Himalayas. Hence a study of India's ancient culture and civilization is an exercise in understanding and appreciating her most living culture. On the other hand, to study those of other countries is only to satisfy one's own academic curiosity.

What is the secret behind this unparallelled longevity of Indian culture? The secret is that Hinduism, the centre and heart of Indian culture continues to pulsate with a unique energy through millennia. The great strength of Hinduism is its receptivity and all-comprehensiveness. It cares not to oppose the progress of any other system. For, it finds no difficulty in embracing and accommodating other systems-as long as they do not try to destroy its roots-within its fold. Wherefrom does Hinduism derive this unique strength? Impartial experts in the history of world-religions say that it derives its strength from the Vedas. Hinduism is Vedic way; it is a self- perpetuating religion, tracing its multidimensional developments back to the Vedas and the Upanisads. The Vedic way, noted for its constant spiritual reinter- pretation, is a way of life which is self-renewing, self- preserving and which therefore, for the individual and for the world, may be eternal. Hence, unlike in the case of other ancient religions it is not death, but development and unfolding that have been the charac- teristic features of Hinduism: It is for this reason the Vedic Dharma is traditionally known as 'perennial' (sanatana).

Hinduism has been lucky enough to have a galaxy of spiritual interpreters and reinterpreters. The list of them includes the Lord Visnu, Krsna, Yajnavalkya, Vyasa, Vardhamana Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Sri Sankaracarya and many other illustrious men of wisdom. An attempt is made here in this book to study the life, mission, philosophy and achievements of Sri Sankara briefly and to understand the relevance of his teachings to us in modern times.

 

CONTENTS

 

    PAGES
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1-21
  Rabindranath Tagore's love for India, 1. Indian culture as compared with other early cultures of the world 1-2. Longevity of Indian culture owes much to the interpreters and reinterpreters of Hinduism and its philosophy down the ages. Sri Sankara is one among them-and his uniqueness, 2-3. Sources for studying his life; their general review, 3. Absence of authentic contemporary accounts of Sri Sankara's life, time and work-legendary character of the available biographies, more than thirty-five, Sankaravijayas 4-5. Among them all, those by Anandagiri and Madhava are popular, 5-15. Criticism: they are very late and full of exaggerative and hyperbolic statements, 16. The chief motive of the authors of these biographies is mainly to sing the glory of the Acarya; to drive home to the faithful the importance of his teaching and the sanctity of the places he visited and authority of the Mathas he established, 17-18. History and philosophy of history as conceived by the early Indian thinkers-They did not attempt writing regular history (in the modern sense of the term), for fear that it would disunite the multi-racial Hindu society, 18-19. Like the Puranas, epics and other Indian classical works, these biographies too reflect the Indian mind and spirit of the age. Hence a student of Indian culture and philosophy can ill afford ignoring these biographies in spite of their inherent inaccuracies, contradictions, super natural elements etc., and inspite of many of them being composed in the age of Vijayanagar empire, probably to mark the Hindu revivalism of that age 19-21.  
CHAPTER II: THE BACKGROUND-HISTORICAL, SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS 22-38
  Bhartrhari on the advent of extraordinary man; importance of analysis of background of every historical event, 22. The twofold division of the dharma of Bharat; its decline and its restoration by the Divine, 23. Condition of Dharma on the eve of Sri Sankara's arrival, 25. The supremacy of Buddhism, 26. The vulnerability of the Hindu society-The power and popularity of the Sankhya logic and philosophy, 26-28. The position of the Yoga, Vaisesika, Nyaya and Purvamimamsa schools, 27. The Bhakti school, 29. The condition of Vedanta, before Sri Sankara; Northern school of Vedanta, developed by Bhartrprapanca, Gaudapada and Govinda Bhagavatpada . The alleged Buddhistic features of Gaudapada's Karikas, 32. Southern School of Vedanta-Brahmanandin, Dramidacarya, Sundara Pandya, 35. Difference between the two schools. Sri. Sankara, the synthetizer of both the schools and the Bhakti school, 36. With the advent of Sri Sankara commences the chapter of supremacy of South India over the North in the history of Indian philosophy, 37.  
CHAPTER III: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA: (1) BIRTHAND RENUNCIATION 39-69
  Veda Vyasa and Max Muiller on the limitations of logic. Mystery about Sri Sankara's real life, 39. The scenic land of Kerala, Parasu-Ramaksetra, 41. The beautiful village Kaladi there, watered by the river Purna-meaning of kaladi, 42. A Nambudri Brahmin family of the Atri clan there-greatness of the seer Atri, 43. The pious Atreya Sivaguru-the significance of his name-his education and his marriage with Aryamba-significance of her name-family life of the couple, 44. Penance of the couple in the temple of Siva Mahadeva for a child, 46. The Lord's strange boon to them-pregnancy of Aryamba-the Lord Siva Mahadeva Himself is born as her son, Sri Sankara to propagate Advaita Vedanta-the births of other Gods to help the Lord-chronograms giving the details of the date of Sri Sankara's birth, 48. Sri Sankara, a supernatural child-he is Astamurti and beyond, 50. His primary education and getting grace of the Mother Goddess, 51. Death of Sivaguru-Sri Sankara's upanayana, 52. Ancient Indian education system, 53. At the age of five, Sri Sankara goes to gurukula and attains mastery in all branches of knowledge in three years-his boon to a poor woman, 55. At the age of eight Sri Sankara returns home-his devotion to his mother and his miracle of drawing nearer home the far off Purna for her convenience, 56. Kerala king Rajasekhara's visit to Sri Sankara, 57. Saga Agastya foretells the future of Sri Sankara, 58. Sri Sankara intends to be a samnyasi, 59. The episode of mysterious crocodile-Sri Sankara becomes a samnyasi, 61. The myth and reality in this episode, 62. Sri Sankara leaves mother and Kaladi, 63. NOTES On: the tradition of Sankara's being a native of Kaladi and a Nambudri brahmin, 64: the mysterious birth of Sri Sankara, 65-the tradition regarding his birth-star and birth-day, 67: the legends of his getting the boon of the Goddess; the reality behind the myth of his drawing the far-off river nearer home; bhiksacarana; his samnyasa, 69.  
CHAPTER IV: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA: (II) THECOMMENTATOR AND DEBATOR 70-118
  Merutunga and George Eliot on ancient stories, 70. Sri Sankara proceeds to north, becomes a disciple of Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of the Narmada and gets his apatsamnyasa regularised by that teacher. He learns Vedantic lessons from this teacher; Vivekacudamani, 71. Antecedents of Govinda Bhagavatpada and his preceptor Gaudapada, 73. During the rainy season Sri Sankara, by playing a miracle, contains the great furious floods of the Narmada and saves the preceptor's life, 74. On the advice of the latter, Sri Sankara goes to Kasi to write bhasyas, Pentad on Kasi and Octads on Visvanatha, Annapurna, Kalabhairava and Manikarnika, 75. Initiation of Visnusarman as monk Sanandana becomes Padmapada, 77. The context of composing the Bhajagovindastotra in Kasi, 78. Encounter with a mysterious Candala (God Sri Visvanatha in disguise) and the composition of the Manisapancaka-The Candala's advice to Sri Sankara to write bhasyas, 79. The latter goes to Badrikasrama, writes his unique bhasyas when he was twelve and propagates Advaita philosophy, 82. The fame of the Sankarabhasya-Ganga, 83. Sri Sankara completes his sixteenth year and has a strange and difficult encounter with Veda-Vyasa in disguise, 84. At the end Vyasa appreciates the Acarya's work and gives him a boon of sixteen additional years of life, 84. Four stages in the lives of great intellectuals-Sri Sankara now enters the fourth stage, namely that of propagation of science as a full-time job, 87. The king Maurya Asoka and the monk Sri Sankara: a comparison, 88. Construction of the Badari Narayana temple, 89. Aryamba is on her death bed at Kaladi and Sri Sankara remembers his debt to her, 90. He suddenly appears by the side of the mother. His teaching to her. Her mukti and the Acarya's performance of her funeral ceremony-stout opposition by his kinsmen. Why he thought it fit to perform the obsequies, not minding the traditional taboo, 91. His strange curses on his kinsmen. King Rajasekhara meets the Acarya, 92. With disciples Sri Sankara commences his journey for propagating philosophy and the arrives at the holy Prayaga to meet Kumarila Bhatta , the celebrated author of the reputed Mimamsavarttika, 93. Bhatta's antecedents: he is an incarnation of Kumara Karttikeya-His education and reputation-He stealthly learn Buddhist philosophy directly from Buddhist monks, 94. His expiatory act of a slow process of self-immolation by husk-fire, 97. The touching scene of the Acarya's meeting with Kumarila Bhatta in the midst of husk-fire, 98. Bhatta's praise of the Acarya's work-His advice to the latter to meet the former s most learned pupil Visvarupa Mandana Misra in scholarly disputation. Kumarila Bhatta's death, 99. Sri Sankara arrives at Mahismati-His first strange meeting with Misra and the latter's angry words, 100. Antecedents of Mandana Misra and his leaned wife Ubhaya Bharati alias Sarasavani: they are incarnations respectively of the God Brahma and his consort Goddess Sarasvati, 101. The famous protracted scholarly duel between the Acarya and Misra-The latter's wife Ubhaya Bharati is the arbitrator-Unusual bets, stakes and conditions are laid down for the disputation, 102. Sri Sankara's victory, 104. Now the arbitrator Ubhaya Bharati enters the debate in support of her husband and puts questions to the monk Acarya on matters connected with the science of sex-Sri Sankara asks for time and plays a miracle: he enters the body of the king Amaruka, just dead, moves with the queens, attains proficiency in sex-science too, returns back, ably answers the points raised by the opponent and wins the final victory, 105. The allegory contained in the episode of the disputation, 106. Sri Sankara's victory marks a new era in the history of Indian philosophical thought, 107. Omniscient Sri Sankara. Misra embraces samnyasa under the new name Suresvara and becomes Acarya's disciple, 108. NOTES ON: the place where Sri Sankara met his preceptor-Mahavakyas, 109. Historical significance indicated by the episode of Sri Sankara's miracle of containing the Narmada-floods, 110. The name Padmapada of the disciple and his native place, 111. The episode of Sri Sankara's encounter with the divine Candala. Modern researchers doubt regarding the authenticity of certain works that claim Sri Sankara's authorship-Actual location of his writing the bhasyas. The importance of the philosophical topic of disputation of Sri Sankara and Veda Vyasa and the significance of their meeting, 112. Construction of temple at Badari, 113. Transcendental nature of the Acarya's violation of the law and tradition for his mother's funeral. Buddhists' reluctance to teach their philosophy to non-Buddhists, 114. The myth and reality contained in the episode of Kumarila Bhatta's antagonism and bigotry against the Buddhists-Controversy regarding the identity of Visvarupa, Mandana Misra and Suresvara, 115. The home-town of Visvarupa Mandana Misra, 116. The inequality of the bet and stakes accepted by the parties of the debate, namely Sri Sankara and Mandana-the ill-built nature of Ubhaya Bharati's interlude, 117.  
CHAPTER V: LIFE OF SRI SANKARA:(III) TRIUMPH, PILGRIMAGEAND MUKTI 119-153
  Sarngadhara and Abhinava Kalidasa Madhava on the greatness of saints, 119. Places and territories of Sri Sankara visited on Pilgrimage, 120. The sects and subsects he encountered with, 122. The teachers of different philosophical schools he debated with and won, 123. His aim in these acts, 124. Lord Narasimha saves his life from a bigoted Kapalika-The Mimamsaka Prabhakara's dumb and retarded son becomes the Acarya's gifted disciple Hastamalaka-Hasta-malakiyabhasya of Sri Sankara, 125. Hastamalaka's antecedents-The dull disciple Giri turns to be the poet philosopher Totakacarya, a disciple of Sri Sankara, and composes the Totakastaka and Srutisarasamuddharana, 126. The most merciful Sri Sankara teaches Advaita to a leper-Ekasloki. Episode of the Kapalika Krakaca being killed by his own deity whom he has instigated against the Acarya, 127. Sri Sankara has an attack of the deadly disease bhagandara but providence cures him of it, 128. Sri Sankara worships gods and goddesses in Kedaranatha, Kanci, Tiruvidaimarudur etc., 130. Local traditions connecting the Acarya with the temples of Mukambika at Kollur, of the Mother Goddess at Tiruvorriyur, of Sri Venkatesvara at Tirumala-Tirupati, of Sri Ranganatha at Sri Rangam, of Jambunatha at tiruvanaikkovil, and so on, 131. Sanmataasthapana and the admission of the Kapalika cult too into the fold, 132. Establishing Mathas in different places for propagating Dharma and philosophy and the legend of his bringing Siva-Lingas from Kailas, 133. Padmapada writes the Pancapadika commentary on the Sarirakabhasya of Sri Sankara while Suresvara composes versified commentaries on the Taittiriya and the Brhaddaranyakabhasyas of Sri Sankara and also writes the Naiskarmyasiddhi, 133. Sri Sankara ascends the Throne of Omniscience, 138. On completing his thirty-second year, after delivering his last sermon (Upadesapancaka), the Acarya, already a Jivanmukta, attains final bliss (Videhamukti), by casting off his physical frame; Sri Sankara, the loftiest man born in Bharat, lives for ever, 140. It is not improbable that he dropped his body simultaneously in five places, viz. Kanci, Kedaranatha, Badarinatha, Dattatreyastrama and Trichur, all the five claiming to be places of his samadhi, 141. A parallel case supplied by the triple samadhi, of the saint Sadasiva Brahmendra. The fact is that men of realization is never born and never dies, 149. NOTES ON: Nilakantha Siva, Abhinava Gupta, Laksmana etc., 151; sutra, bhasya and varttika in general, 152; the Dattatreyasrama, Atri and Anasuya, 153.  
CHAPTER VI: PHILOSOPHY OF SRI SANKARA 154-209
  The Rgveda, the Kathopanisad and the Gaudapadakarika on the path of Advaita, 154. The culture of Bharat and its unique inquiries into the Dharma and Brahman-Atman, 155. Contribution of Sri Sankara-His philosophy is very vast and deep. Yet, because it is so crystal clear, he could express it in a simple hemistich of sixteen syllables consisting three short statements, 156. Methodology of and prerequisites for inquiry into Atman, 157. Going to the revered teacher, learning Vedanta lessons in all humility and investigating and reflecting on the ultimate purport of the Upanisads, with a strong faith of positive nature; the role of logic, 158. Importance of these three statements. A lesson from the history of man; and the aims of religion and philosophy, 159.  
  (1) Brahman is Reality: The two apparently contradicting Upanisadic definitions of Brahman, 160. They speak of Brahman in two levels, 163. How the Brahman, the World and the Embodied are mutually related, 164. Nature of relation in general, 165. All relations are imaginary, 166. This explains why different religions strike discordant notes in explaining the so-called inter-relation among God, World and Man. In fact these three are identical; but their mutual identity allows apparent differences, 167. The Self is Self-luminous-the I-consciousness is pseudo-self-Brahman-Atman limited by the internal organ is the embodied Self. This limitation is due to the strange inexplicable power, 168. How differentiation could crop up in the Consciousness even though his has no second, 169. Isvara, Antaryamin, Sutratman, Mahaprana, Virat, Vaisvanara, Brahma, Visnu, Rudra and other gods, 169. Sri Sankara's philosophy is in tune with the concept of personal gods, 173. The status of Reality of God in Advaita. Necessity of God, 174. Definition of Reality as 'Absolute Being'-Reality. Existence is Brahman-Atman alone, 176.  
  (2) The World is Illusory: This statement is based on the Upanisads, the supra-mundane means of cognition. The means of perception inference etc., contradict it. But they are undependable because they too fall within the world, we are discussing about, 179. The causes alone are real and the effects are unreal-Brahman-Atman is the cause of the world, the effect, 182. Both Brahman and the world cannot be reality, 183. Plato on worldly experience, 184. The world appearance is rather a manifestation of what is real and this manifestation is a sort of making known by the inexplicable maya sakti and not bringing into being, 185. The criticism that Sri Sankara is a crypto-Buddhist is answered, 186. The theories of causation advocated by the Sankhya, the Buddhist and the Advaitin, 187. Mahendra Varman on the Buddha's appropriating the Vedantic ideas-The three-fold realities in Vedanta, 189.  
  (3) The Embodies Self is Brahman Itself and is not different from It: 190. Four objections raised and answered. The unreal nature of the embodied one, 198. An episode of the kidnapped prince, 199. Thou Art That 200. Examples of balance, mathematical equation and kataka powder, 201. Self-realization creates nothing new, but destroys obstacles in realizing the pure Self, 203. The necessity of hard work, right conduct, discharging one's obligations of all sorts and so on, 204. The importance of devotion to God and of earning His Grace, 205. The strange charge that Advaitic notion is demoniacal one and its answer, 206. NOTES ON: the Mayasakti; the criticism of Sri Sankara as crypto-Buddhist, 209.  
CHAPTER VII: RELEVANCE OF SRI SANKARA TOMAN IN MODERN TIMES: 210-266
  The Rgveda on the Divine help to the seeker marching on spiritual path, 210. Two objections of modern men against the relevance of non-dualistic philosophy of Sri Sankara and their assumption: the modern progress in science and technology can go ill together with Advaitic thought because the latter advocates renunciation over the above work and because being totally devoted to scriptures, it is bereft of logic, 211. Francis Bacon's maxim: 'Knowledge is power' and the Biblical declaration: 'In much wisdom lies much grief', 213. The threat generated by the modern science and technology is real and it gives rise to deep apprehension in the minds of sober men even in modern times, 214. A spiritual seeker need not necessarily be a samnyasain, 215. The Acarya's philosophy is highly logical, though he places scriptures, i.e. the revealed literature on a higher pedestal, 216. His genius lies in supporting the scriptural declarations themselves by his unshakable logic and reasoning, 217. Relation between reasoning and revelation according to the Acarya. Interpretation of Man as 'Rational Animal', 218. Modern science and technology have turned to be two demons rising against their own creator, the humanity itself, 220. Advaitic principles are both clearly practicable and highly benefitial and can cure all the ills of modern man's technological revolution, 221. Bertrand Russell on the modern man with defects of slave-turned-master; Advaita Vedanta principles have the potency to set right these defects, 222. The necessity of religion: illustrations from history, 223. Comparison between religions based on non-dualistic philosophy and those built upon dualistic thought, 225. Indeed with the rise of science as the religion of modern man began 'the death of God,' as external deity. But in Sri Sankara's philosophy God is ultimately not an external deity but only man's innermost Self itself, 226. The Advaita Vedanta views the entire universe, with all beings, conscious and unconscious as one joint family and views the main's relation with the nature's elements as that of descendant-and-progenitor and of product-and-its-material, 227. The Advaita principles have the power and force to cure the modern man's defect of slave-turned-master, descendant-despising-progenitor and of product-degrading-its-material, 228. Mahatma Gandhi's Ramdhun and Advaita, 230. His religion of truth and Advaita, 231. Perfect ahimsa is possible only in Advaita, 232. Advaita enthrones the glory of unity in the midst of exasperating divisive factors, 233. Man, particularly the Indian of to-day should learn, imbibe and pass on the value of this philosophical heritage to the future generations, otherwise, he would go back to a savage state, 234. The nature of Sri Sankara's message to ordinary men, 235. Sri Sankara on acquiring riches, 236; and on politics 237. The significance of the Acarya's advice on eating, and on quantity and quality of food, 239. Sri Sankara and Mahatma Gandhi on the evils of drinking alcohal, 243; and on sex, 244. The Acarya gives tips in this respect, 245. He exalts spiritual education over and above all the other things, 246. He illustrates and laments how man alienates his own inner joy to the worldly objects, 247. He established the theory that the substratum always remains totally free from all the qualities (good and bad) of what is superimposed on it. It implications, 248. His analysis of the fundamental cause for all quarrels among men and his prescription of its sure cures, 249. He teaches wisdom for the benefit of all the people of all denomination, 250. Three misconceived charges. (2) He has failed to give due importance to the virtue of love-to-all. And (3) he has unjustifiably denied the members of the forth casts the right of studying Vedanta, 252. These charges are answered: The first charge is incorrect, 253. The second is baseless, 254. The third charge is answered in detail by analysing the turns of events in Indian history and by the logic followed by thinkers of ancient India, 255. Epilogue, 262. NOTES ON: What we owe to Sankara-The name Hinduism, the meaning of Sanmati, 264. Gaudapada on total Non-injury, 265. Problem of identity of Karna, a great hero of the epic Mahabharata A verse of Bhavabhuti, the dramatist, 266.  
APPENDIX I: DATE OF SRI SANKARA 269-282
  Kenopanisad on what is known yet unknown. The difficulties in fixing the date of Sri Sankara-The hypothesis of 788-820 A.D. based on one legend as against the other dates of many other legends-Its popularity-The Cambodian inscription of Siva Soma on Bhagavat Sankara, 269. Like Sri Krsna, Jesus Christ and other great teachers of the world, Sri Sankara belongs to all ages, 270. The problem of the date of Sri Sankara belongs to the realm of history, 271. Being of much later origin, all legends are to be ignored-Hence depending only on the internal evidences found in the Acarya's works, modern scholars fix the date at c. 700 A.D., 271, But the Acarya's refutations of the Vaisesika theories of Atomism and Inherence, betrays his ignorance of the works of Uddyotakara (6th century) and Prasastapada, (4th-6th century), 272/273. His confutation of Buddhist Vijnanavada exhibits his near-total unfamiliarity of the works of the great Buddhists like Dignaga (c. 400 A.D.) and Dharmakirti (c. 600 A.D.), 273. His most vehement and often repeated attack on the philosophy and the Upanisadic interpretations of the Sankhyas could have been written only in an age much earlier than the 7th-8th centuries, 274. Bhavabhuti (700-750 A.D.) and Mahendravarman I Pallava (570-630 A.D.) knew the doctrines enunciated by Sri Sankara-Bhavabhuti perhaps speaks of Padmapada, said to be Sri Sankara's disciple, 275. The Acarya was very much aware of the Visnu-Kapilavatara concept of the earlier age, but he was totally unaware of the Visnu-Buddhavatara concept that originated in the 5th-6th centuries, All these facts perhaps place the Acarya in an age much earlier than the 7th -8th century, 276-277. No doubt some Vijnanavada passages quoted by Sri Sankara are traced in the works of Dignaga and Dharmakirti. But they seem to have originated in some earlier works on Vijnanavada that came to be before Christ, 278. True, according to tradition Suresvara is a direct disciple of Sri Sankara-and in one of the passages Suresvara is found mentioning the name Dharmakirti and refuting his views, 279. But that passage is of doubtful authenticity and there is no reliable evidence to establish that Suresvara was Sri Sankara's direct disciple-He was a student of some later Sankaracarya, 281. The Sankaravijayatraditions mix up various life-accounts of different Sankara-caryas and roll them into one-Hence the difficulty, 282. Similar instances are not wanting in different traditions of ancient India, 284. Padmapada's description of Sri Sankara as 'one who has wiped off all the marks of time', 285.  
APPENDIX II: THE TWIN CONTROVERSIES 288-305
  Tryon Edwards on prejudices, 288. The first is the heated controversy about the number of Mathas claiming to have been established by Sri Sankara-The prejudiced treatment of the question by partisan authors of Sankaravijayas. Meaning of matha, 289. Out of necessity Sri Sankara could have founded more Mathas than the ones we find now-Many of them disappeared due to historical factors, 290. Kanci, as a strong centre of Buddhism and as a seat of Sankaramatha, 282.  
  The second controversy is about the place where Sri Sankara is alleged to have performed the feat of ascending what is called 'the seat of the omniscient'. Was it in Kashmir? Or, did it happen in Kanci?-Discordant notes struck by the Sankaravijaya--legends, 293/294. The illogicality and inappropriateness of these legends, 296. The fiction and fact contained in these legends, 302. Sri Sankara broke the long philosophical isolation of Kashmir. Sankaracarya temple in Srinagar. Sri Sankara is the cultural and philosophical integrator of the entire Bharat, 304.  
APPENDIX III: WORKS OF SRI SANKARA 305-310
  There are nearly one hundred and seventy works that claim Sri Sankara for their author-They fall under the heads Sutrabhasyas, Upanisadbhasyas, miscellaneous Bhasyas, Advaita Manuals, Devotional Hymns and works on Yoga and Tantra. The authenticity of many of these works is debatable.  

Sample Pages









Click Here for More Books Published By Adyar Library and Research Centre

 

Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to SRI SANKARA (Shankaracharya): HIS LIFE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELEVANCE TO... (Philosophy | Books)

Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya (Shankaracharya)
by P. George Victor
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD138
$30.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Life and Thought of Sankaracarya (Shankaracharya) An Old and Rare Book
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDD883
$35.00$28.00
You save: $7.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Life and Thought of Sankaracarya
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: NAC629
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
I have always been delighted with your excellent service and variety of items.
James, USA
I've been happy with prior purchases from this site!
Priya, USA
Thank you. You are providing an excellent and unique service.
Thiru, UK
Thank You very much for this wonderful opportunity for helping people to acquire the spiritual treasures of Hinduism at such an affordable price.
Ramakrishna, Australia
I really LOVE you! Wonderful selections, prices and service. Thank you!
Tina, USA
This is to inform you that the shipment of my order has arrived in perfect condition. The actual shipment took only less than two weeks, which is quite good seen the circumstances. I waited with my response until now since the Buddha statue was a present that I handed over just recently. The Medicine Buddha was meant for a lady who is active in the healing business and the statue was just the right thing for her. I downloaded the respective mantras and chants so that she can work with the benefits of the spiritual meanings of the statue and the mantras. She is really delighted and immediately fell in love with the beautiful statue. I am most grateful to you for having provided this wonderful work of art. We both have a strong relationship with Buddhism and know to appreciate the valuable spiritual power of this way of thinking. So thank you very much again and I am sure that I will come back again.
Bernd, Spain
You have the best selection of Hindu religous art and books and excellent service.i AM THANKFUL FOR BOTH.
Michael, USA
I am very happy with your service, and have now added a web page recommending you for those interested in Vedic astrology books: https://www.learnastrologyfree.com/vedicbooks.htm Many blessings to you.
Hank, USA
As usual I love your merchandise!!!
Anthea, USA
You have a fine selection of books on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Walter, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India