PataJjali a form of ZeSa

P.Magnone at P.Magnone at
Mon Mar 20 17:42:34 UTC 1995

Here is a couple of (perhaps too obvious?) references:

viSamaviSadharo 'nekavaktraH subhogii ... bhujagaparikaraH ...
devo 'hiizaH
(VyaasabhaaSya's (VII/IX c.) invocatory zloka, not found in all MSS,
ignored by Vaacaspatimizra but known to VijJaanabhikSu, hence rejected by
some as an interpolation)

phaNibhartur ... phaNibhRtaaM bhartraa
(BhojavRtti's (XI c.) intr. zloka 4-5)

Moreover, in LiGgapuraaNa (VII/IX c. ?) I,63,33 ff. ZeSa is mentioned as
the first of the 26 sarpa anuttama originally begotten by Kazyapa on
Kadruu, while PataJjali is the last. Other puraaNas differ: e.g. ViSNu
only has 12, whereas Vaayu names 40; PataJjali occurs in neither.

As for YS II,47, there indeed is a varia lectio ananta/aanantya; among
the commentators reading ananta, Vaacaspatimizra, VijJaanabhikzu,
Raghavaananda Sarasvatii, BhaavaagaNeza, NaagojiibhaTTa, Raamaananda and
Sadaazivendra Sarasvatii refer this to ZeSa, but they are all later than

Paolo Magnone
Catholic University of Milan
p.magnone at


> Madhav Deshpande asks:
> >Second question.  Patanjali is known to KaiyaTa (11th cent. A.D.
> >as an incarnation of Seza, the serpent divinity.  This is also
> >depicted iconographically in the Cidambaram NaTarAja temple.
> >Does anyone know of older iconographic or textual sources for this
> >motif?  I have a suspicion that Saiva Agama texts may contain
> >such references.  I have looked, but have not yet found any
> >older references.
> Somewhat tentatively, could this be related to exegesis of
> Yoga-suutra II 47 ? If I remember correctly, some of the later
> writers understand this as referring to Ananta.

> Lance Cousins.
> Telephone (UK): 0161 434 3646


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list