on zankara's date - 2

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Jan 15 18:06:41 UTC 2000

In a message dated 1/10/00 7:21:31 PM Central Standard Time,
ramakris at EROLS.COM writes:

> The teacher shivasoman is never described as a Cambodian, but as the
>  guru of an Indian king who settled in Cambodia.

R. C. Majumdar writes, "But by far the most important instance of this kind
is furnished by that of zivasoma, the grandson of a king, maternal uncle of
another king, and the guru of a third king, Indravaraman. An inscription of
this king found at Prasat Kandal Dom contains the following verse about

yenAdhItAni zAstraNi bhagavacchaGkarAhvayaAt |
nizzeSasUrimUrddhAlimAlAlIDhAGghripaGkajAt ||

It means that zivasoma learnt the zAstras from bhagavat zaGkara whose lotus
feet were touched by the heads of all the sages. The French scholar Coedes,
who edited this inscription, rightly conjectured that the reference is
undoubtedloy to the famous zaGkarAcArya of India and the word bhagavat lends
strong support to this. But the real importance of this inscription from
Indian point of view was missed by him. For, as I showed more than forty
years ago, this inscription furnishes the only authoritative evidence of the
date of zaGkarAcArya, so far known to us. As Indravarman ruled from 877 to
889 A.D., his guru zivasoma may be assumed to have visited zaGkarAcArya about
the middle of the ninth century A.D." (Study of Sanskrit in South-East Asia,
p. 19)

> That aside, I don't even see the point of this whole exercise. Currently
sha.nkara is
>  supposed to have died at 820CE (majority opinion).

On the contrary, the discussion has an important point. Even though the
majority opinion may be 788-820, the current trend seems to date zaGkara ca.
700 AD. According to Elliot, "both zaGkaraH and maNDanaH may well have lived
in the late 7th century to early eight century." So, it is worthwhile
exploring the issue to see if we can arrive at a better date satisfying all
the data.

Based on the current discussion so far, the only date that seems to be
fixable is vAcaspati mizra in the 10th century. I shall defer to Sanskrit
experts as to whether we can arrive at a similar certain date for kamalazIla.
If the name vikramAditya is not really relevant as Vidyasankar says, then a
ninth century date can satisfy both Cambodian and Tamil data.

S. Palaniappan

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