N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 5 17:06:40 UTC 2000

S. Palaniappan> How firm are the dates of vAcaspati mizra
                and bhAskara?

vAcaspati is a common name in north india from the atarvaveda until
more recent times. There is a taruNa vAcaspati mentioning DaNDin's
poetics work. There is a vAcaspatimizra of the 16th century also.
The buddhist author, Jnanazrimitra and his disciple, Ratnakirti quote
one vAcasapatimizra in the 11th century. They are referring to
vAcaspatimizra who is generally dated to mid-9th to 10th century.
Sankara's date is usually backed from this vAcaspati's date. The
existence of a Cambodian inscription mentioning one Sankara
(R. Nagaswamy,  The date of Sankara, JOI (Baroda),  1962 says
Cambodian inscription's Sankara is different from Adi Sankara)
and the vAcaspatimizra's 9/10th century have combined to create
the late 8th/9th century date for Sankara. Perhaps, an Indian author
forwarded the mid-9th century date for vAcaspati and, this caught a
wide acceptance in the West. How many bhAmati mss. are in existence?
Do all(or most) of them give colophons to 850 CE?

Given the fluidity of chronological dates of Indian authors, the
analyzing of vAcaspati's date is essential for knowing Sankara's age.
I read conflicting dates for vAcaspati:
N. Isayeva, Shankara and Indian philosophy, 1993
p. 66 "vAcaspatimizra (the beginning of the tenth century)"
p. 85 "On the other hand, the latest limit is usually determined
by the commentary of vAcaspatimizra on Sankara's work. One of
vAcaspatimizra's is definitely dated ca. AD 840".

References on the dates of vAcaspatimizra? Does he belong to
10th century?

N. Ganesan

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