[Advaita-l] How to begin studying Advaita Vedanta : post 1 of 3

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Wed Jan 27 00:12:50 CST 2010

>...This story is taken from a kavya called Patanjalivijaya by 
>Ramabhadra Dikshit (c. 17th century.)
>Traditionally Bhartrahari the grammarian and author of shrngara, niti,
>vairagya shatakas is said to be the half-brother of King Vikramaditya
>founded the Vikrama Samvata era and is therefore c. 1st century BC.)
>was the king of Ujjain until he became disgusted with worldly life and 
>left the throne to his brother.  Their fathers name was Gandharvasen.

The patanjali-vijaya (also called patanjali-carita) of Ramabhadra
Dikshita should only
be taken as a great poetic drama about Patanjali, the author of the
on Sanskrit grammar. It makes not only bhartRhari and vikrama to be
but also adds vararuci and bhaTTi to the family! Each of them is said to
have been
born to the same father, but different mothers. Also, the kAvya gives
the name as
candragupta, not as candraSarmA. These details are unique to this poem
and should
be chalked up to the poetic imagination of Ramabhadra Dikshita. They
should not be
taken to represent any factual historical details. The poet has
imaginatively woven
together three major figures in Sanskrit grammar, namely bhartRhari,
vararuci and
bhaTTi as if they were half-brothers, although the three must have lived
a few centuries
apart from one another.

The last chapter of this kAvya, as published, makes a sudden jump out of
and seeks to identify the candragupta of the earlier chapters with
govinda bhagavatpAda.
This connection is extremely awkward and abrupt, given the poet's focus
on grammarians
rather than advaita vedAntins. One might well wonder if the last chapter
is indeed part of
the original kAvya or whether it got added on by mistake when it was
first printed.

Whatever its limited use may be in dicussions of the history of Sanskrit
grammar, the
historical validity of this kAvya is highly questionable when it comes
to Sankara and
govinda bhagavatpAda-s.
Best regards,

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