Bhagavata Purana Chanted Jan 21, 2010 11:00:26 GMT -6
Post by Nitaidas on Jan 21, 2010 11:00:26 GMT -6
Legend has it that he once walked all the way from Sri Rangam to Kashmir only because he had heard there was an interesting manuscript (not the Bhagavata) so if it was around in his time he would certainly have known about it and quoted it.
Good points, gerard. Since the ground-breaking work of Paul Hacker and Hajime Nakamura, very few of the works attributed to Sankara are now considered really his. Those that remain are his commentaries on the Brahma-sutra and some of the Upanisads and the Upadesa-sahasri. Basically, only the works that have commentaries by one of Sankara's immediate disciples. Even the Gita-bhasya is contested. Certainly none of the stotras made the cut. As far as Ramanuja is concerned, I have seen arguments by better scholars than Eidlitz in favor of his and his teacher's knowing and citing the Bhagavata. Why he did not comment on it is a puzzle. Nevertheless, I suspect it was around before him. Of the early commentators on the text, Hanumat and Citsukha, the dates are uncertain. The Library of Congress places Citsukha in the 13th century, which is not very early. There is no date for Hanumat and no sign of his commentary. Nandamisra unfortunately identifies him as the great monkey devotee of Rama, just a small example of the historical confusion found in some of our Caitanyite commentaries.
As I mentioned before, I think there are distinct strata in the Bhagavata. One scholar has compared it with a barley corn. There are outer layers that are more recent and an inner kernel that is more ancient. The outer layers tend to be commentaries on the inner layers and to reveal a familiarity with a later phase in the intellectual history of India. The concept of rasa as an aesthetic experience is one example. There also appears to be a reference to the Alvars of South India who belong to the 8-10h cents. CE in the 12th Skandha. But that is all part of the outer shell. The inner kernel is harder to place. I hope that as I continue to chant it, distinctions in the complexity of the language will become apparent when I get to the inner core. Of course, the author(s) of the outer core probably also edited the inner core, so the difference in language may not be as great.