[Advaita-l] Bhaagavata khandanam

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Dec 25 17:54:00 EST 2019

On Wed, 25 Dec 2019, Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l wrote:

> Namaste Jaldhar ji
> I have read that not only Sri Shankara but also Sri Ramanuja has not quoted
> a single reference from the Srimad-bhagavatam.

I believe I mentioned the last time this topic came up that in my Gujarati 
translation of the Bhagavata, the editor has included an article "Shrimat 
Shankaracharya ane Bhagavatni prachinata" (Shankaracharya and the 
Antiquity of the Bhagavata)  It says the prakaranas, 
Vishnusahasranamabhashya, Sarvavedantasamgraha (or Sarvasiddhantasamgraha),
and govindashtaka include quotes from the Bhagavata.  There is also a quote in
a work called chaturdashamataviveka which he ascribes to Shankaracharya 
but was not included in the Vani Vilasa complete edition.

There is a commentary on the Uttaragita ascribed to Gaudapadacharya which 
also quotes from the Bhagavata according to this article.

Now historians doubt the authenticity of a lot of the prakaranas and it is 
true that in the prasthana trayi there is no mention.  But for astikas 
there has to be a stronger counter-argument than that.

> Two major Acharya's before 1100 AD have made no mention whatsoever. The
> latter particularly would have found many agreeable Vaishnava ideas there
> to substantiate his viewpoint.
> One related bit of information - Swami Tapasyananda of RK Mission in his
> long introduction to his English translation of the srimad (Krishna)
> bhagavatam writes that a post-Ramanuja (i e., post 11th century ) southern
> Indian author composed it.  He suggests that the nucleus of the tenth canto
> describing the life of Krishna is much older. But the extant version of the
> text is most likely to be post-Ramanuja. This is just fyi.

The consensus date I have read is 9th century which would be pre-Ramanuja. 
However you should be aware that the factual basis for a lot of these 
historical opinions is very poor and often based on circular logic.  E.g. 
"Shankaracharya did not quote the Bhagavata.  Why?  It was not extent in 
his time." and "Bhagavata was not extent in the time of Shankaracharya? 
Why? He did not quote from it." etc.

The argument for a Southern origin is that the Bhagavata contains many 
unusual grammatical constructions (as Vopadeva noticed.) and this could be 
because they are influences from Dravidian languages.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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