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The Original Sankaracarya by David Reigle

David Reigle

The once universal Wisdom Tradition, whose existence was made known to the modern world by H. P. Blavatsky, had been preserved for long ages in the utmost secrecy. So when Blavatsky brought out a portion of it, she was faced with the problem of making these now unheard of teachings plausible. To address this, she attempted to establish the probability of the existence of such a tradition and to support the correctness of its teachings, by reference to known authors. For this support, she drew heavily on the teachings of Sankaracarya. But it would seem that the ̨a Sankaracarya referred to by Blavatsky and the ̨a∫karåcårya whose writings have conditioned Indian thought for the last dozen centuries or so are not the same person.

Sankaracarya, the preceptor (åcårya) ̨ Sankara, is regarded by Blavatsky as a great teacher of the Wisdom Tradition, or the esoteric Philosophy. In her primary work, The Secret Doctrine, he is referred to as “the greatest Initiate living in the historical ages,” and as “the greatest of the Esoteric masters of India.” The philosophy promulgated by him, the Advaita or non-dual school of Vedånta, is there called the nearest exponent of the esoteric Philosophy.


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The foregoing article was written by David Reigle, and published inFohat, A Quarterly Publication of Edmonton Theosophical Society,vol. 5, no. 3, Fall 2001, pp. 57-60, 70-71, without the notes. This onlineedition is published by Eastern Tradition Research Institute, copy-right 2004; addenda February 2007