Sankara and the Authorship Issue

Peter Wyzlic pwyzlic at UNI-BONN.DE
Tue Feb 26 00:48:18 UTC 2008

Am 25.02.2008 um 21:33 schrieb Yaroslav Vassilkov:

> By the way, dear colleagues, do you know any publications bearing  
> on the poem "Bhajagovindam", or "Mohamudgara", attributed to  
> Shankara (except N.M.P.Mahadevan's foreword and commentary to his  
> English translation?

(Disclaimer: I don't have Mahadevan's book at hand, so I don't know  
what he says in this case.)
There is a text different from the "Bhaja Govindam" hymn also called  
"Mohamudgara". I may be wrong but it seems to me that it is a more  
recent phenomenon to call "Bhaja Govindam" by this name, too (which  
is rather confusing). While "Bhaja Govindam" is clearly a devotional  
hymn (and longer), the "other" Mohamudgara is not devotional at all  
(shorter, but with a differing number of verses in the manuscripts).

The first edition (so far I know) of the "non-devotional"  
Mohamudgara  was published by William Jones in Asiatic(k) Researches,  
vol. 1, p. 35 seq. (Sanskrit in Bengali characters with accompanying  
English translation), and later reprinted in the Collected Works of  
William Jones. I have seen it in the French reproduction by Louis  
Langlès in: Recherches asiatiques ou mémoires de la société  
établie au Bengale / trad. de l'anglois par A. Labaume [et al.] - T.  
1. - Paris : Imprimerie Impériale, an XIV = 1805, p. lxxxi-lxxxv

It seems this Mohamudgara was quite popular among 19th-century  
indologists; so, this small work has been dealt with in a number of  
works, e.g.

Nève, Felix: "Mohamudgara - le maillet de la folie ou préservatif  
contre les illusions humaines, poème sanscrit", in: Journal  
Asiatique. - Sér. 3, t. 12 (1841), p. 607-613 [Sanskrit text in  
Devanagari, French transl.]  Also in: Nève, Félix: Les époques  
littéraires de l'Inde : études sur la poésie sanscrite / par Félix  
Nève. - Bruxelles : Librairie Européenne ; Paris : Leroux, 1883, S.  
430-434 [transl. only]

Brockhaus, Hermann: Ueber den Druck sanskritischer Werke mit  
lateinischen Buchstaben / ein Vorschlag von H. Brockhaus. - Leipzig :  
Brockhaus, 1841, p. 85-92: Mohamudgara [Sanskrit in Latin characters  
and German transl.]

Haeberlin, John: Kávya-Sangraha : a Sanscrit anthology ; being a  
collection of the best smaller poems in the Sanscrit language / by  
John Haeberlin. - Calcutta : Thacker, 1847, p. 265  seq.: Mohamudgara  
[Sanskrit in Devanagari] (There is an extended version of this work  
later published by Jivananda Vidyasagara.)

Müller, Friedrich Max: The six systems of Indian philosophy / by F.  
Max Müller. - London ; New York ; Bombay : Longmans, Green, and Co.,  
1899, p. 237-239 [Engl. transl. based upon an ed. with Bengali, Hindi  
and Engl. transl. by Durga Das Ray, Darjeeling 1888]

According to O. Böhtlingk, Pavel Ya. Petrov reproduced this  
Mohamudgara in his Sanskrit anthology:
Петров, Павел Яковлевич: Санскритская  
Антология. Отделение I. Казань, 1846

German poetic reproductions:

Bohlen, Peter von: Das alte Indien mit besonderer Rücksicht auf  
Aegypten / dargestellt von P. von Bohlen. - Theil 2. - Königsberg :  
Bornträger, 1830, p. 375-377

Höfer, Albert: Indische Gedichte in deutschen Nachbildungen / von A.  
Hoefer. - Theil 2. - Leipzig : Brockhaus, 1844, p. 151-154

All the best
Peter Wyzlic

Peter Wyzlic
pwyzlic at

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