[INDOLOGY] Patanjali in the Puranas?

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be
Thu Jun 22 10:05:36 EDT 2017


A short interesting 'puranic' (in the broad sense) account which should be added about Patañjali as author of both the Mahābhāṣya, the Yogaśāstra and the Nidāna (viz. the Vedic Nidāna-sūtras, not the nidāna-sthāna of the medical  Caraka- or Suśruta-saṃhitā) lays in the  introductory portion of the 11th cent. Ṣaḍguruśiṣya's Vedārthadīpikā (com. to the Sarvānukramaṇī) dealing with lines of Vedic teachers related to Kātyāyana.
A provisory edition of the vv. 25-56ab of the text was provided by F. Max Müller in his Hist. of Ancient Sanskrit Lit. 1859, 1860, pp. 236-239 - here p. 239/1-3 : https://archive.org/stream/historyofancient00mlle#page/238/mode/2up
for the passage on Patañjali:
yatpraṇītāni vākyāni  bhagavāṃs tu patañjaliḥ |

vyākhyac chāṃtanavīyena  mahābhāṣye<ṇ>a harṣitaḥ || 53

yogācāryaḥ svayaṃ kartā  yogaśāstranidānayoḥ |

This reading chāṃtanavīyena is not satisfactory (it should be something qualifying the mahābhāṣya, a word of which reading is also here problematic). Cf. the translation proposed by Max Müller ibid. p. 235 (https://archive.org/stream/historyofancient00mlle#page/234/mode/2up ) + the variant readings he gives in the fn. of p. 239, and the ones + the conjectures provided by A. Weber in his Berlin Cat. of Sanskrit MSS I, 1853, pp. 12-14 (p. 14) (https://archive.org/stream/diehandschriften01preu#page/14/mode/2up , where the vv. 1-7 and 25-66 of the introduction are given). 

Because of the corrupt character of the introductory portion of Ṣaḍguruśiṣya's commentary, Macdonell did not edit it with his edition of the Sarvānukramaṇī (1886; see what he says p. xxi : https://archive.org/stream/katyayana-sarvanukramani-saunaka-anuvakanukramani#page/n23/mode/2up ). Peter M Scharf told me in 2004 that he was preparing a critical edition of Ṣaḍguruśiṣya's Vedārthadīpikā, so there is some hope to get a better text of this introductory portion (which e.g. informs us about Brahma-kārikās composed by Kātyāyana) and the passage concerned with Patañjali.

Best wishes,

Christophe Vielle

Note 1: For the Nidāna-sūtras, see the crit. ed. by K. N. Bhatnagar, 1939 (repr. 1971): https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.407628/2015.407628.Nidana-Sutra#page/n37/mode/2up (= the page with the passage here concerned following Max Müller's reading; the next page and a few other of the book are lacking in this scan). The chandoviciti (first) part of the  Nidāna-sūtra with two commentaries has been crit. ed. again in 2000 as "Chandovicitiḥ of Patañjali" by B.R. Sharma & L.N. Bhatta, Tirupati: Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha.

Note 2: It seems that the misunderstanding (or mistranslation) of Max Müller p. 235 fn. 7: "On these [YS] a commentary was written by Vyâsa, who might be called a descendant of  Śântanu (https://archive.org/stream/historyofancient00mlle#page/234/mode/2up ) explains the following wrong statement (in Portuguese) about Patañjali found at https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patandjáli and http://ocultura.org.br/index.php/Patanjali :"O cometário de Vyasa o define como descendente de Santanu"; which to my knowledge has no support  in the manuscript tradition of the Yogaśāstra (it should be checked in Maas crit. ed. that I have not at hand).


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Christophe Vielle
Louvain-la-Neuve

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