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Veda Vyasa and Adi Shankara

This Sunday we have a story from Deivathin Kural about the debate between Vyasa and Shankara.

We have already seen that Adi Shankara had written a commentary on Veda Vyasa's Brahma Sutra. Vyasa wanted to show the greatness of the commentary to the world.

So, Veda Vyasa came in the form of an old brahmin to debate with Adi Shankara. If Vyasa had come in his original form, Adi Shankara would not speak out because of his humbleness. The debate started and whatever Shankara said, although Vyasa felt happy within himself, would always object the statements. Shankara would counter that with an appropriate response.

The debate went on for several days. Acharyaal's disciples who were watching this debate between the 2 great people wondered "who is this old man? Seems like he would win our Guru!!" and on seeing Acharyaal's lighting response, they would think "Whatever points let the old man say, but can he never defeat our Guru!".

Padmapada thought "Who is this old man be? He is debating with our Guru tirelessly". With his divine vision, he realised that the person his Vyasa himself.

"Well! Our Guru is Lord Shiva's form while Vyasa is Lord Vishnu's form. If Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are decided to play a game of debate, what can we servants do.

சங்கர: சங்கர: ஸாக்ஷாத் வ்யாஸோ நாராயண: ஸ்வயம் |

தயோர்-விவாதே ஸம்ப்ராப்தே கிங்கர: கிங்கரோம்யஹம் ||

Shankara: Shankara: Sakshat Vyaso Narayana: Svayam |

Thayor Vivade Samprapthe Kinkara: Kinkaromyaham ||

In this, Kinkaromyaham, can be be split as Kim(கிம்) and Karomi(கரோமி) and Aham (அஹம்). After splitting, it becomes Kinkara: Kim Karomi aham which means, "What can I do"?

Saying thus, paadmapada prostrated at the feet of Adi Shankara and Vyasa

On hearing this shankara was astonished and felt overwhelmed with devotion, happiness and humbleness . "Oh respectful one! If you agree with my commentary on the Sootra, please take your original form."

The old man came to his original form as Vyasa. "I have come here to convey my whole hearted agreement. Shankara kept the Bhasyam at Vyasa's feet and said "There is nothing for me to do after my commentary has earned your approval. I am 16 and it is time for my life to come to an end. Oh! Respectful Sage, Please give your permission to return my abode".

Vyasa replied "No No, Even though this commentary will get spread to the world by your disciples, there are some things only you can do. Hence, you will need to be in the world atleast for another 16 years". He thought of extending Shankara's lifetime using Brahma. Brahma, then appeared there and the trinity were there(Shankara-Shiva, Vyasa-Vishnu, Brahma-Brahma). Brahma then gave the approval for the extension of Shankara's lifetime. Thus, Shankara's lifetime extended upto 32 years.



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