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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

But Kumarila was then at the point of death


style="text-align: justify;">had been left out or slightly touched by S'a@nkara were discussed fully by his followers. But it should always be remembered that philosophical reasonings and criticisms are always to be taken as but aids for convincing our intellect and strengthening our faith in the truth revealed in the Upani@sads. The true work of logic is to adapt the mind to accept them. Logic used for upsetting the instructions of the Upani@sads is logic gone astray. Many lives of S'a@nkaracarya were written in Sanskrit such as the _S'a@nkaradigvijaya_, _S'a@nkara-vijaya-vilasa_, _S'a@nkara-jaya_, etc. It is regarded as almost certain that he was born between 700 and 800 A.D. in the Malabar country in the Deccan. His father S'ivaguru was a Yajurvedi Brahmin of the Taittiriya branch. Many miracles are related of S'a@nkara, and he is believed to have been the incarnation of S'iva. He turned ascetic in his eighth year and became the disciple of Govinda, a renowned sage then residing in a mountain cell on the banks of the Narbuda. He then came over to Benares and thence went to Badarikas'rama. It is said that he wrote his illustrious bha@sya on the _Brahma-sutra_ in his twelfth year. Later on he also wrote his commentaries on ten Upani@sads. He returned to Benares, and from this time forth he decided to travel all over India in order to defeat the adherents of other schools of thought in open debate. It is said that he first went to meet Kumarila, but Kumarila was then at the point
of death, and he advised him to meet Kumarila's disciple. He defeated Ma@n@dana and converted him into an ascetic follower of his own. He then travelled in various places, and defeating his opponents everywhere he established his Vedanta philosophy, which from that time forth acquired a dominant influence in moulding the religious life of India.

S'a@nkara carried on the work of his teacher Gaudapada and by writing commentaries on the ten Upani@sads and the _Brahma-sutras_ tried to prove, that the absolutist creed was the one which was intended to be preached in the Upani@sads and the _Brahma-sutras_ [Footnote: 1]. Throughout his commentary on the _Brahma-sutras_, there is ample evidence that he was contending against some other rival interpretations of a dualistic tendency which held that the Upani@sads partly favoured the Sa@mkhya cosmology


[Footnote 1: The main works of S'a@nkara are his commentaries (bha@sya) on the ten Upani@sads (Is'a, Kena, Katha, Pras'na, Mu@ndaka, Ma@n@dukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, B@rhadara@nyaka, and Chandogya), and on the _Brahma-sutra_.]


of the existence of prak@rti. That these were actual textual interpretations of the _Brahma-sutras_ is proved by the fact that S'a@nkara in some places tries to show that these textual constructions were faulty [Footnote ref 1]. In one place he says that others (referring according to Vacaspati to the Mima@msa) and some of us (referring probably to those who interpreted the sutras and the Upani@sads from the Vedanta point of view) think that the soul is permanent. It is to refute all those who were opposed to the right doctrine of perceiving everything as the unity of the self (_atmaikatva_) that this S'ariraka commentary of mine is being attempted [Footnote ref 2]. Ramanuja, in the introductory portion of his bha@sya on the _Brahma-sutra,_ says that the views of Bodhayana who wrote an elaborate commentary on the _Brahma-sutra_ were summarized by previous teachers, and that he was following this Bodhayana bha@sya in writing his commentary. In the _Vedarthasa@mgraha_ of Ramanuja mention is made of Bodhayana, Tanka, Guhadeva, Kapardin, Bharuci as Vedantic authorities, and Dravi@dacaryya is referred to as the "bha@syakara" commentator. In Chandogya III. x. 4, where the Upani@sad cosmology appeared to be different from the _Vi@s@nupurana_ cosmology, S'a@nkara refers to an explanation offered on the point by one whom he calls "acaryya" (_atrokta@h pariharah acaryyaih_) and Anandagiri says that "acaryya" there refers to Dravi@dacaryya. This Dravi@dacaryya is known to us from Ramanuja's statement as being a commentator of the dualistic school, and we have evidence here that he had written a commentary on the Chandogya Upani@sad.

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