Shri Sacchidananda Sarawati in his Introduction to the Brahma Sutra Bhashya Kannada translation, Part 1, page 14, which says,

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  1. As in Vedanta other Darshanas are taken up for refuting them, when other Darshanas take up Vedanta for refuting it, the others always consider Vedanta to be Advaita.

This a claim Swamiji is making to prove that Vedanta was considered as Advaita itself even before Shri Adi Shankaracharya.

My question is which are those Pre-Shankara books available today, which considers Vedanta to be Advaita? What did they say about Advaita?

  • 1
    Who is downvoting and why? Do you understand it? Exaplin it. Blind downvoting is bad.
    – user28152
    Aug 4, 2022 at 9:10
  • I think The kannada is speaking about contemporary darshanas
    – Krsna Dasa
    Aug 4, 2022 at 14:20
  • @KrsnaDasa no if you read the whole page it will become clear. He is talking about Pre-Shankara time.
    – user28152
    Aug 4, 2022 at 14:25
  • Then one can consider Ashtavakra and Gaudapada as pre Shankara advaitians.
    – Krsna Dasa
    Aug 4, 2022 at 14:34
  • @KrsnaDasa yes ofcourse. The question is not whether Advaita was present before Adi Shankara or not. The question is whether other forms of Vedanta were present Pre-Shankara.
    – user28152
    Aug 4, 2022 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


There are fourteen purely Shaivite Upanishads, plus the Shvetashvatara Upanishad. All of them are not at all in the spirit of Shankaracharya's Advaita-Vedanta:



And the four Vedic Samhitas and the Brahmanas adjacent to them are essentially the philosophy of Purva-Mimansa, and not Vedanta-Darshana at all:



  • That is not my question
    – user28152
    Aug 4, 2022 at 13:32
  • Most of the Upanishads, Puranas and Itihasas are written in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta. They already existed before the birth of Shankaracharya. The problem only arises with certain Upanishads, clearly Shaivite, clearly Vaishnavism and clearly Shakta. There is also a problem with the Brahma Sutras, because Bhaskaracharya's commentaries, according to scholars, reflect the essence of these sutras more accurately and much better than Shankaracharya's commentaries. Bhaskaracharya was a Vaishnava (Bheda-Abheda). And the problem with the Vedic Samhitas, I already said why.
    – user28071
    Aug 4, 2022 at 14:18

All the four vedas actually and equally say about Advaita , Vishishta advaita and dwaidha. To be honest, pre shankara time faced many anti vedic practices due to misinterpretation of vedas (no much scholars were there to guidefor some time) . It was shankaracharya who gave the advaidic interpretation of vedas. I can't suggest any upanishad to say that vedant is advaidic because, vedas are the three (advaita, vishishta advaita and dvaita together). But you can take anything at a time from the veda. All the books gave explanation of all the 3 but it was shankaracharya who explained the advaita portion alone to my knowledge

  • I'm asking about people of other Darshanas talking about Vedanta
    – user28152
    Aug 4, 2022 at 12:49
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