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Re: Badarayana

VAgarwalV_at_cs.com
Date: Sun Feb 25 2001 - 00:12:09 PST

Please see below:

In a message dated 2/23/01 4:52:53 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
sada@anvil.nrl.navy.mil writes:
 
>  I also have question about Shreemad Bhaagavatam  which is also 
>  attributed to Vyaasa- As I understand Shankara Bagavat paada has not 
>  quoted any thing from Bhaagavatam. Is that text from post Shankara 
>  period?  
VA: The date of Srimadbhagavatam is still a matter of dispute. There are 
certainly several archaisms in the language of the text, which have been 
studied by scholars. J A B van Buitenen curiously takes these archaisms as a 
consious attempt by the Puranakara to give it the semblance of an old work 
(See Pg. 223-242 of Studies in Indian Literature and Philosophy/ J A B van 
Buitenen; Motilal Banarsidass; 1988- a compilation of his scattered journal 
articles). Citations from the Purana occur late (missing even from the 
Vishnusahasranama Bhashya attributed to Bhagvatpada) and to my knowledge, the 
oldest texts citing the Purana are the Matharavrtti on Samkhyakarika of 
Isvarakrishna (again, undated but perhaps close to Shankara's times) and a 
work of Abhinavagupta (his Gitabhashya? Will have to check). Then, the 
Neelakesi, a Tamil Jaina work quotes some verses below which occur in the 
Bhagvatam:

1.  Vyasa, born of a dancing girl, became a great Rishi; Hence, it is tapas 
that makes one a Brahmin, and not his birth.
2.  Sakti, born of a Chandala woman, became a great Rishi. Hence, it is tapas 
that makes one a Brahmin, and not his birth.
3.  Parasara, born of SwapAki, became a great Rishi; Hence, it is tapas that 
makes one a Brahmin, and not his birth.
4.  Vyasa, born of a fisherwoman, became a great Rishi; Hence, it is tapas 
that makes one a Brahmin, and not his birth.
I do not know if these verses occur in some other Purana as well. There are 
other problems- the text of Neelakesi is not dated precisely and I have 
encountered dates from 100 AD to 800 AD. Moreover, the translation that I 
used (A. Chakravarti; Neelakesi, the Original Text and the Commentary of 
Samaya Divakara Vamana Muni; Kumbhakonam; 1936) does not clarify if the 
section of the text is from the original text of Neelakesi or if it belongs 
to a late commentary found on the text. Maybe a Tamil scholar could help us 
decide by checking the original text in Tamil and adding more details on this 
reference.


>Reference to Kapila is there in B. Giita - Ch.10. I assumed 
>  this Kapila is the daarshanika of sankhya.  Lord Krishna, listing his 
>  vibhuuti-s,  says I am kapila muni.  But again there is  Bhagavaan 
>  Kapila as the incarnation of Lord MahavishhNu in Bhaagavatam, 
>  teaching sankhya to his mother.  Vishal, as you might have noticed in 
>  my notes on Brahmasuutra in adviata list, I differentiated these two 
>  kapila-s - that does not mean I am clear on these.  Any help in 
>  sorting out these. 
VA: There are not 2 but 4 Kapilas spoken of in the Puranas!! This might well 
be a later attempt to cover up for the embarassment of earlier prestige of 
Samkhya which became the favorite whipping boy of Daarshanikas of all stripes 
in later times. A certain animosity existed towards Kapila in ancient times 
as well because of the opposition of his followers to the Vedic Karmakanda 
(see the Kapila-Go Samvaad of Mahabharata Shanti Parva). In the Baudhayana 
Dharmasutra, a Purvapaksha is cited wherein Kapila is called an Asura who 
created the Asrama system to delude people. In the Yatidharmasamucchaya of 
Yadava Prakash, a contemporary tradition is noted according to which the 
division of Sannyasins into 4 classes (Bahudaka etc.) was the invention of 
the folloers of Kapila. Thus, the invention of multiple Kapila's could well 
be a reflection of the ambiguity with which Indian tradition looked at him. 
Incidently, his Ashram is said to be at Siddhapur (where the Sarasvati met 
the ocean- close to Chhota Rann of Kutch) and also at Gangasagar (where the 
Hooghly meets the Bay of Bengal). Siddhapur as such was devastated when the 
Islamic invaders destoyed the Rudramahalaya and other shrines there and 
thereafter, the Matrshraddha and other rites of N Indian Hindus associated 
with the site have never been revived. Some of my relatives however still 
undertake pilgrimages to Gangasagar during the Mela there.
A good summary of various Kapilas is contained in 
Chakrabarti, Pulinbehari; Origin and Development of the Samkhya Thought
and
Samkhya darsana ka itihasa; Udayvira Shastri; Virajanand Vaidik Sodha 
Samshthana; Ghaziabad (reprinted by Vijakumar Govindram Hasanand; Delhi)

>  Yes I followed that discussion.   I am aware of Shankara's 
>  interpretation.  If I recall, Shree Madhva also assumes those 
>  suutra-s refer to sankya and yoga only.  I have not yet studied Shree 
>  Bhaashya to see how Bhagavaan Ramaanuja interpreted the suutra-s. 
>  You presented an interesting thoughts in your postings.  I may refer 
>  to them when my notes on the suutra-s reach that point.
VA: Well, just to clarify, my interpretation was not based on the Sribhashya. 
Infact, since you are BS 1.1.4, you should definitely refer to the Sribhahsya 
at this stage because the most lengthy comment is over before this Sutra in 
that work and much of the criticism of Advaita Vedanta is also over by then.


>  >VA: There could have been more than one Brahmasutras. Infact, the 
> references
>  >to specific views of the Acharyas mentioned in the Brahmasutras in other
>  >texts as well forces us to draw this conclusion.
>  
>  Very interesting - more than one Brahmasuutra-s!  Is this conclusion 
>  supported by traditional logicians?
VA: By thetime of Shabara and Shankara, the Mimamsa systems had already 
standardized around the texts of Jaimini and Badarayana (or whoseover is the 
BS-kaara) just as the Vyakarana of Panini eclipsed the texts of his 
predecessors like Apisali, Shakatayana etc. Similar standardization is seen 
in other areas as well- Sakala RV almost absorbing all other Sakhas of RV 
(with exceptions like Malabar and Gujarat). However, in the 
Naishkarmyasiddhi, the Sarirakasutras of Jaimini are clearly mentioned. Refer 
the Suresvaracharya's svopajnavrtti titled 'Sambandhokti' on 
Naishkarmyasiddhi 1.91 wherein the context makes it clear that it is Jaimini 
whose Sariraka sutras are implied (despite unnecessary insertions like 
'tadguru' etc. by the later commentators).


>  
>   I 
>  am not aware of Panchashikha - is this sankhya used in a general 
>  sense as Vedantic knowledge or used as sankhya as darshhana of Kapila 
>  or completely different from these two. 
VA: Panchasikha was the disciple of Asuri, who in turn was the disciple of 
Kapila. Form the penultimate verse of Samkhyakarika, it is clear that Kapila 
and Asuri did not write much on the system (although Kapila is the founder) 
and it is Panchasikha who composed most of the texts of the school ('tena cha 
bahudha krtam tantram'). Under Brahmasutra 2.1.4 as well, Panchasikha is 
called 'Paramarshi' and his text is called 'Tantra' . The actual name of the 
text was 'Sashtitantra' as known from numerous sources. In the course of 
time, Samkhya itself split into numerous schools and the dominant stream was 
the one proposed by Panchasikha (with schools of others like Varshaganya, 
Vindhyavasin and Panchadhikaran- who is quoted by Padmapada in 
Prapancasaravivarana). K, A and Pancasikha are mentioned by name in the 
Srutisarasamuddharanam of Sri Totakacharya (see 
http://www.voi.org/vishal_agarwal/totaka.html )
The extant Samkhyasutras are sometimes called 'Pancasikha pravachasutras' 
which could mean that they are extracted from the Shastitantra. Kramadipika, 
a commetary on the Tattvasamasasutras is sometimes attributed to him.

The attribution of all texts of Samkya to Kapila is similar to attributing 
statements from Sabarabhahsya to Jaimini. Such a practice is seen very often 
in Indian texts- that of attributing later texts to the founders of their 
respective schools. Thus, Vyasabhashya is quoted under Yogasutrakrt 
Patanjali's name sometimes and so on.

To end, the Srutaprakasika quotes an older commentator on the BS to the 
effect that the naastika elements of of Samkhya etc, were added later on. He 
says:
" All the four of the Agamas praised by Badrayana in the Mahabharata were 
originally wholly authoritative and totally without conflict with the Vedas, 
since their original propounders are omniscient lords who are completely 
without any of the faults that would vitiate their intrinsic validity. 
However, in the case of each of these four Agamas, non-authoritative aspects 
in conflict with the Vedas crept in because of faults in the intellects of 
the composers of later books that were based upon and attempted to interpret 
the original Agama. Therefore, Badrayana in the Tarkapada of the Brahma 
Sutras intended to refute those secondary, non-Vedic aspects that were 
imposed upon the original Agamas by later fallible human authors who did not 
correctly grasp the intention of the original infallible composers."
The agamas in question are Samkhya, Yoga, Pancharatra and Yoga.

Regards

Vishal

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