[Advaita-l] Narayana - Word

Shrisha Rao shrao at nyx.net
Fri May 30 00:49:34 CDT 2003

On Thu, 29 May 2003, kalyan chakravarthy wrote:

> >The whole posting is rather silly and uninformed.  Sankara himself quite
> >clearly identifies the referent of the BG as Narayana.  Furthermore, the
> >equation of Narayana with Vishnu is even stated in the amara-koshha,
> >created by a Jaina not much later than Panini.
> *Dr.Gupta says that the BG is probably "older" than pANini* (how much older
> is not mentioned nor even speculated)

Dasgupta isn't always right, but on this point his conclusion is correct
though his reasoning is a bit dodgy.  Panini refers to Krishna and Arjuna
(vide `vAsudevArjunAbhyAM vun.h') and also in passing to events from the
Mahabharata/Bhagavata context (e.g., the killing of Kamsa by Krishna).
Therefore, we would be not unjustified in concluding that the epic
predates him.  However, attempting to derive this on the basis of
non-adherence to Paninian grammar in a certain text is not well advised.
Texts that are indubitably more recent that Panini also do sometimes bend
or break his rules, and indeed, Panini himself appears to take liberty
with the rules of his own codification upon occasion (e.g., in his very
first sUtra `vR^iddhirAdaich', whose syntactic structure conflicts with
what he has said elsewhere).

> Unfortunately Shrisha Rao still continues his habit of making too many
> assumptions.

Perhaps I do.  The point remains, however, that the acceptance of Narayana
as the referent of the Bhagavad Gita comes from too high an authority for
you to question easily, or even at all, and that the equation of Narayana
and Vishnu also has been widely extant, even among
non-Vedantins/non-Vaishnavas, for as long as the written record goes.


Shrisha Rao

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