Books & Articles

  • William Cenkner, A Tradition of Teachers: Sankara and The Jagadgurus Today (Columbia, Missouri: South Asia Books, 1983). Examines descriptions of the teacher-student (guru-shishya) relationship by Shankara, his predecessors, and his later followers. Juxtaposes these interviews of the heads of mathas affiliated with Shankara's lineage, including Abhinava Vidyatirtha, the previous acarya of Shringeri. The first, pioneering effort to integrate ethnography with the study of vedanta tradition.

  • Joël Dubois, The Hidden Lives of Brahman: Sankara's in Light of his Upanishad Commentaries and Contemporary Practice (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, forthcoming). An introduction to, and a reexamination of, Shankara's teaching based on his often neglected upanishad commentaries on the Taittiriya and Brhadaranyaka Upanishads, viewed in light of contemporary Brahmin practice at Shringeri. Argues that Shankara views brahman not simply as an abstract ultimate transcending all particularity, but also as an active force, fully connected to the dynamic power of the words and acts of imagination that are integral to vedanta teaching.

  • Paul Hacker, "On Shankara and Advaitism," in Philology and Confrontation: Paul Hacker on Traditional and Modern Vedanta (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995), 27-32. A succinctly articulated critique of historical assumptions about Shankara's lineage, followed by one of the most plausible explanation of the evolution of Shankara mathas. Does not mention Sringeri by name but identifies Vidyaranya, one of the Sringeri matha's most famous teachers, as a key historical figure in the late medieval evolution of Shankara's tradition.

  • Hermann Kulke, “Maharajas, Mahants, and Historians: Reflections on the Historiography of Early Vijayanagara and Sringeri,” in Kings and Cults: State Formation and Legitimation in India and Southeast Asia (New Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1993). [Annotation in progress.]

  • Leela Prasad, The Poetics of Conduct: Oral Narrative and Moral Discourse in a South Indian Town (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007). Deals with the multiple levels of ethical discourse evolving at Shringeri during the modern period, not only among Brahmins but also non-Brahmin Hindus and the smaller populations of Jains and Muslims.

  • Burton Stein, Vijayanagara (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). [Annotation needed.]

  • Sawai, Yoshitsugu, The Faith of Ascetics and Lay Smartas: a Study of the Sankaran Tradition of Sringeri. (Vienna: Sammlung de Nobili, 1992). Focuses on the role of faith (Shraddha) in Shankara's tradition, examined via interviews with contemporary ascetics and householder Brahmins at Sringeri. Analyzes these observations in light of views of renunnciation expressed in Shankara authentic works and in the influential Shankara hagiography, Shankara Dig Vijaya.

    To submit annotated descriptions of relevant books and articles not listed here, contact Dr. Joël Dubois.