Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A Proleptic Reading of Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati's The Essential Gaudapada


It took me a week to learn to spell his name so I’m going to refer to him as Sri SSS from now on. Reading his Method of Vedanta and the chapter on Pre-Sankara advaita there is but glancing reference to Gaudapada. Those of you who have read M.V. will be aware that he published it at the age of 84 and considering the amount of scholarship in it, 975 pages of 8 point, where are my glasses, type, you will know that it might well take even a dedicated life that long to master the material therein. I therefore surmised that he had written a separate book on Gaudapada’s Karikas. There it is for free download on his ashram’s site.
english books
under the title The Essential Gaudapada

Before I read in it my prediction would be that he might well say something like this. ( a single quotation mark meaning a non-quote speculative attribution, ye Americans) ‘The apparent difference between Sankara and Gaudapada is that Gaudapada starts at the perfectly realised apprehension of reality and stays there while Sankara works his way through the dialectical stages of successive insight using adhiropa/apavada’. Or words to that effect. I’m not going to read it all, it’s 277 pages long, so highlights but more than ‘just flashing’ on it. How, though, can The Essential Gaudapada be longer than the Karikas themselves?


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