birgit kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Wed Jan 5 18:50:40 UTC 2000

"N. Ganesan" wrote:

> Given the fluidity of chronological dates of Indian authors, the
> analyzing of vAcaspati's date is essential for knowing Sankara's age.

> References on the dates of vAcaspatimizra? Does he belong to
> 10th century?
This is just off the cuff -
I think the most recent contribution to this issue is Walter Slaje,
"Untersuchungen zur Chronologie einiger NyAya-Philosophen", in: Studien
zur Indologie und Iranistik, 11/12 (1986), 245-278.
For the relative sequence of VAcaspati's works, see esp. Srinivasa Ayya
Srinivasan, "VAcaspatimiZras TattvakaumudI - ein Beitrag zur Textkritik
bei kontaminierter Ueberlieferung", Hamburg: Cram, de Gruyter & Co.
(1967), pp.54-64.

Slaje is mostly concerned with the *relative* chronology of Jayanta,
Trilocana, BhAsarvajJa, VyomaZiva and VAcaspati. Based on an examination
of the views of these philosophers on four different subject-matters,
Slaje concludes that they can be accorded three subsequent periods: (1)
Jayanta/VyomaZiva, active around 900 C.E., (2) Trilocana, whose main
period of activity occurs after that of Jayanta, (3) BhAsarvajJa as a
younger contemporary of VAcaspati, both of whom can be placed around the
middle of the 10th century *earliest*.
At the same time, the date of Udayana features as a terminus ante quem
for VAcaspati - since Udayana's LakSaNAvalI was composed 984/5 (Zaka
906), and since Udayana (a) wrote a commentary on VAcaspati's
NyAyavArttikatAtparyaTIkA and (b) Udayana defends VAcaspatimiZra against
JJAnaZrImitra (in combination with a few other factors, see Srinivasan).
Hence, a dating of VAcaspati, or, to be more accurate, his NyAya works in
the latter half of the 10th century seems plausible.

[There is also the issue of the NyAyasUcInibandha, attributed to
VAcaspati and dated 898. Srinivasan doubts the authorship of VAcaspati.
Certain scholars interpret this as a Vikrama-date = 841 C.E. Slaje thinks
that *if* the NSN is a work of V., then the date must belong to the
Zaka-era = 976/7 C.E.]

> 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.
At least I have no idea how one can arrive at absolute dates for the
works of JJAnaZrImitra and RatnakIrti unless one presupposes an absolute
date for VAcaspati, or at least for those of his works that the two
Buddhist authors refer to - you might have a circular argument here, or
at least one that is so vague that it does not provide any clues about a
more precise dating of V.


Birgit Kellner
Institut f. Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde / Institute for Tibetan and
Buddhist Studies
Universitaet Wien / Vienna University

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