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Re: Lost Shlokas of Srimad Bhagavad Gita - TOI Article.

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Tue Jul 25 2000 - 10:09:33 PDT

> HYDERABAD : Dr.Vedavyas, renowe scholar and former civl servant, was
> awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt) by the Andhra
> University for the discovery of 45 extra sholkas of the Bhagavad Gita.
> Dr.Vedavyas was also the recepient of a doctorate degree of the same
> university.

It is very surprising that this is big news. I wonder what kind
of background research the authorities of the University did before
granting the D.Litt. to Mr. Vedavyas.

The truth is that for centuries, a Kashmiri recension of the Bhagavad Gita
has been known to scholars, both Indian and Western.  This recension has
45 extra slokas and is based on manuscripts found in the northernmost 
part of modern India.  The German scholar Rudolf Otto did a comprehensive
study of these slokas nearly a century ago. In his opinion, they were
genuine, but traditional opinion varies.

Sri Vedanta Desika in the 'tAtparyacandrikA' also cites many slokas that 
commentators prior to him included in the Gita.  Sri Desika himself
says something to the effect that 'only God knows whether these slokas
are geniune or not'.  Sri Desika himself prefers to stick to the text
as commented upon by Sri Sankara and Sri Ramanuja, which consists of
700 slokas.

In short, I doubt that Mr. Vedavyas has unearthed anything new; it is 
likely that he has taken a new twist on a well-known version of the
Gita, one that was found only in one corner of India.

rAmAnuja dAsan,
Mani

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