'MY REFERENCES' [ABOUT PALLAVANS(MAHENDRA VARMA PALLAVAN)] 1) mahendra varma pallava ruled during 600 ad and was one of the famous pallava kings. He ruled with kAnchi as capital. Mamallapuram which is on the coast of Bay of Bengal was due to him. His son narasimha varma pallava was even greater monarch.
2) mahendra varma pallava was a jain initially and converted later to shaiva. He was converted by the famous nAyanmAr thirunAvukkarasar. Of course, thirunAvukkarasar was subjected to quite a torture before the king could realize the greatness of Lord shiva.*
3) He did write works in sanskrit (pallavas did not do much for the tamil language, but one of the last pallavas was great lover of tamil and died hearing a kalambagam sung on him). The works by mahendra varma, if I remember correctly made fun of jainism (and/or buddhism).
4) Whether shankara was before or after mahendra varma is an open question. But mahendra varma had enough reasons to attack the two nAstika traditions (buddhism and jainism). It should be noted that kAnchi was so famous, it was called nagareshu kAnchi. It was a great center of learning during pallava dynasty (which I think lasted till the advent of later chozhas). Kanchi had the presence of four major schools of thought (shaiva, vaishNava, bauddha and jaina). Hence, there were clashes and debates among them all the time. Kanchi was so important in this regard for anyone to ignore.
mahendra varma was a convert, he had all the more
reasons to attack the nAstika tradition. One of the easiest way to discount the opponent is to claim that they anyway copied from us. I think people who are converted are quite hyperactive in attacking the other traditions and supporting the adopted tradition.
Since Mahendra varma's works were in sanskrit, we did not study in our schools, otherwise we would have.
I will close this with famous song of thirunAvukkarasar which he sang in praise lord shiva. This he sang when he was immersed in a chunnaambu kaaLavaay (burning lime bath). This in gist says, when mind is immersed in bhakti towards shiva, even this worst condition will be like,
On the side of a pond, filled with flowers haunted by honey loving bees, when the cool moon is shining, with a sound of flawless veeNa for accompaniment and with a nice cool breeze, during the spring season; compare this comfort and joy, you mind will be in that state of joy always when your mind has sought refuge in the lotus feet of Lord shiva (no matter what the external conditions are).
mAsil vINaiyum mAlai mathiyamum vIsu thenRalum vIngiLaveNilum mUsuvaNDarai poygaiyum pOnRathe Isan endai iNaiyadi nIzhale
By the grace of the lord, saint nAvukkarasar was protected and emerged out the boiling lime bath without any harm.
AUM namaH shivAya