Question on Patanjali (Kashmir and P's MB) and kApyas

Palaniappa at Palaniappa at
Wed Mar 26 05:19:59 UTC 1997

While I eagerly await the paper from Dr. Aklujkar, I have come across an
interesting reference. I have not succeeded in verifying the source of it. 

In "The BrhadAranyaka Upanishad: An interpretative Exposition" by Swami
Krishnananda, published by the Divine Life Society in 1984, in discussing the
passage 3.3.1 where pataJcala kApya's daughter is possessed by a gandharva,
the translation-cum-commentary reads as follows: "We came to the house of a
great Master by name PataJcala, of the line of Kapi (not Patanjali Maharishi
of Yoga. He is also called KApya)." 

In many of the books on Yoga SUtras I consulted, I did not find any reference
to pataJjali being a kApya. If the reference is true, then it might provide
some additional support to pataJjali being from the northwest. (I assume that
the tradition views both pataJjalis as one.)

Interestingly, there seems to be variant readings of the name of the kApya
mentioned in the upaniSad mentioned above, namely, pataJcala and pataJjala.
This seems to indicate, if the grammarian's name is related to the names in
the upaniSad, then there is a Prakritism in his own name (with c > j after
the nasal J).
Is it not ironic that pataJjali was oblivious to this Prakritism in his own
name, when his attitude towards Prakrit was as described in Deshpande's
"Sanskrit and Prakrit"?

Can 'possession' by a gandharva be taken to suggest that the wife mentioned
in passage 3.7.1 of the above upaniSad is at least culturally non-Vedic?


S. Palaniappan  

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