Thursday, February 29, 2024

Advaita History



Scholars have yet to provide even a rudimentary, let alone comprehensive account of the history of Advaita Vedānta in the centuries leading up to the colonial period, though this history is precisely what set the stage for its modern reception. Scholarship on Advaita Vedānta has tended to focus overwhelmingly on Sańkara, the founding figure of the tradition, but our knowledge of the thousand-year period between the Brahmasütrabhäsya and the lectures of Svāmī Vivekānanda remains largely incomplete. 

Introduction to Special Issue: New Directions in the Study of Advaita Vedānta 

Michael S. Allen, Anand Venkatkrishnan. 

International Journal of Hindu Studies (2017) 21:271-274 






The conclusions reached by scholars such as P. Hacker, S. Mayeda (Mayeda 1965a; Mayeda 1965b), among others, identified the works of the historical Sa´ m. kara as limited to commentaries on the Brahma-Sutra ¯ , early Upanis. ads, and the Bhagavad-G¯ıta¯, as well as the independent work Upade´sasahasr ¯ ¯ı. As important as these findings are, they have functioned, at least in the Western academy, as a kind of precedent for what counts as “authentic” Advaita Vedanta. In that way, the mid-twentieth ¯ century Indological concern for philosophically reconstructing early Advaita Vedanta, as well as ¯ the historical biography and authentic works of Sa´ m. kara, brought about a perhaps unintended consequence: later Advaita Vedantic works, particularly texts attributed to ¯ Sa´ m. kara but of later authorship, are all too often judged against the “authenticity” of the Sa´ m. karite commentarial corpus. This judgement, in fact, carries with it the subtle sense that such texts—and their soteriological and hermeneutical modalities—are inauthentic beyond the issue of authorship. 

James Madaio 

Rethinking Neo-Vedanta: Swami Vivekananda and ¯ the Selective Historiography of Advaita Vedanta  

Religions 24 May 2017 



This list has been compiled based primarily on the most recent version (15 April 2010) of the online edition of Potter’s Bibliography and on Thangaswami’s Ko´sa. I have supplemented their findings by referring to Mahadevan, Preceptors of Advaita, some of the secondary sources that Potter lists, the texts themselves and the information available in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum and Raghavan’s New Catalogus Catalogorum 

Christopher Minkowski* 

Advaita Vedanta in early modern history 

South Asian History and Culture 

Vol. 2, No. 2, April 2011, 205–231