on zankara's date - 2

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Feb 14 02:42:55 UTC 2000

Dr. Palaniappan wrote:

<<<Based on the current discussion so far, the only date that seems to
fixable is vAcaspati mizra in the 10th century. I shall defer to
experts as to whether we can arrive at a similar certain date for
kamalazIla. >>>

I apologize for the long delay in reply. I have been swamped with
work. Hackers comment regarding Vacaspati Mishra is quite incorrect
and has been refuted by many Indologists. Eg, Prof. Kunjunni Raja says
"Prof Hacker's argument that Vacaspati refers to the Nyayamanjari and
must therefore be later than Jayanta Bhatta need not be taken
seriously, since it is now clear that the Nyayamanjari referred to by
him is not Jayantabhatta's work, but that of Vacaspati's teacher
Trilochana."   That's from the foreword to the "Bhamati of Vacaspati,"
by Prof Suryanarayana Sastri and Prof C. Kunhan Raja.  The same point
is also made in Potters Enyclopedia.

Another interesting paper in the literature is S.Sankaranarayanan,
"The colophon in the Bhamati: A New Study," ALB, Vol 49, pp.34-61. I
think it's a very good paper. The author also refers the works of
Vacaspati called nyAyashUcInibandha and nyAyasUtroddhAra which have
dates in their colophons. He has determined that the date in the
former must be a scribal mistake and the date given in the latter is
906AD. The good thing about this paper is that it takes into account
the relative chronology of udoyatakara, Vacaspati and udayana. None of
the other previous works on Vacaspatis date have taken this into
account in a proper manner.

I had a hearty laugh when I read the statement by someone about what
"respectable Indologists" think of Vacaspatis date in a reply to a
good point made by Vidyasankar about the confusion of historical dates
in India. Of course, this kind of snide remark, without properly
reading the literature is nothing new. We have even had the problem of
suspicious attacks from phony web e-mail accounts in the past. Anyway,
there's nothing so certain about Vacaspatis date. Even Potter refers
to the two different dates, but does not make any comment on
"certainty" in Vacaspatis date.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post. Nakamura comes to
the conclusion that Bhaskara's bhedAbheda must ahve been more
important than advaita and that the latter came to prominence only
later, by examining Buddhist texts. Your study certainly contradicts
that, at least in Tamil Nadu. So, it's certainly an important addition
to studying the history and relative importance of various schools. It
should make a convincing argument for taking into account inscriptions
when studying the history of schools like advaita. Most studies
concentrate on philology.


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