Suryovara Analysis

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It is difficult to fix the exact time of Surēśvara. Surēśvara’s time is believed to be between 800 and 900 AD relying on tradition as provided in the works which give an account of the history of Śaṅkarācārya. Surēśvara was one of the principal disciples of Śaṅkarācārya. He, himself records this fact in the work Naiṣkarmyasiddhi and acknowledges the gracious gift of spiritual illumination from his great preceptor. He mentions his ardent devotion for his Guru and makes it clear that he also composed the work in obedience to his instruction. It can be infered from his negative reference to the Dravidians that he belonged to North India. It could also be a pointer to the fact that he was not getting on well with the other South Indian disciples…show more content…
Kuppuswāmy Śāstri are of opinion that Surēśvara and Maṇḍana Miśra differ entirely in their theories and Surēśvara’s views are basically that of his Guru. Prof. P.P.S. Śāstri is of opinion that after analyzing the thoughts of both Surēśvara and Maṇḍana Miśra, the views and verbal readings of both the persons are the same. Prof. Anantakr̥ṣṇa Śāstri finds a lot of similarities between Maṇḍana Miśra and Śaṅkarācārya and asserts that the Advaita of both point to the same direction. One thing common with all these views is the effort to equate Surēśvara’s views to those of either his Guru or his disputed former self, Maṇḍana Miśra. The actual contribution of Surēśvara to Advaita was not given proper recognition or not brought out in the proper light in the midst of the hue and cry about his identity with Maṇḍana Miśra or it was allowed to fade away in the glowing light of Śaṅkarācārya’s theories. “Although Surēśvara follows Śaṅkara closely and interprets him faithfully, it does not mean that he does not differ from his master on points of doctrine. These differences, however, are of minor importance and do not amount to a difference of philosophiocal views.” 2 These differences, in actual fact, displays Surēśvara’s own individuality to a great extent to such a level that he is accorded an important place among the stalwarts of Advaita Gurus and many Advaitins of later times got inspired from his teachings helping them to a great extend to formulate a brand…show more content…
Surēśvara was one of the direct disciples of Śaṅkarācārya. He was a householder before embracing Sanyasa. The training he underwent under Śaṅkarācārya transformed him in to a spiritual giant. His defense of Advaita and criticism of other schools sprang up from this. Surēśvara is regarded and respected as one of the foremost teachers of Advaita. In the school of Advaita he is popularly known as Vārtikakāra, a term suggestive of respect and authority. Second only to Śaṅkarācārya, he has been provided with a permanent place in the galaxy of Vyāsa and Śaṅkarācārya.
Comprehending Surēśvara’s thought can be comprehended better by having an insight in to his philosophical and religious background. According to tradition, Surēśvara is considered as both an adamant Mīmāmsaka and a staunch Advaitin. It is often difficult to establish a co-relation between these two entirely different thoughts. Yet, it may quite be possible for a spiritual stalwart like Surēśvara with his inward vision, self-criticism and discipline who is always on a continuous search for truth, to make shifts in his thoughts and conclusions. The sum total of Surēśvara’s philosophy roves around the realization of the unity of Brahman and Ᾱtman. This concept of unity is the corner stone of Surēśvara’s philosophy. In this lofty level of the realization of Brahman the entire diversity disappears. The feeling of ‘I’ disappears totally. Only
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