[racchabanda] Adi Sankara's time


Many newspapers said according to tradition, the Sankara maTha is before 5 centuries BC. It is also said that the present pontiff is the 70th. That gives approximately an average of a 35 year tenure. Personally I feel it is an inflated value. To get some statistical data, I searched the average tenure for the pontiffs in the eight Udupi maThas. On the average there are 32 pontiffs so far and the average tenure is about 22 years. If this figure is used for the kAnchi maTha, for 70 pontiffs we will get a total span of about 1500 years. That means Adi Sankara's period is about that time. In saundaryalaharI, verse 75 talks about pArvati nursing a drAviDa SiSu with her breasts. It is generally believed that that child is tiruj~nAnasaMbandar, who is said to belong to the 7th century AD. Sankara must have written his poem only after this. So Sankara's period must be after tiruj~nAnasaMbandar, that is in the latter part of 7th century or so. This gives a period of about 18-19 years for 70 pontiffs which agrees with the 22 year period for Udupi swamIjis. Therefore I must conclude that Adi Sankara could not have existed before the Christian era.


Posted by: "J. K. Mohana Rao" <jkmrao@yahoo.com>
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