Sankara and the Authorship Issue

George Hart glhart at BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Feb 26 21:04:51 UTC 2008

It's interesting to note that the meter of the Bhaja Govindam,  
maatraasamaka, is identical to the earliest Tamil meter, akaval, which  
is attested at the beginning of the common era and perhaps before.   
The verb akavu means to sing or dance, and an akavanmakaL (akaval  
woman) was a female bard who told the future.  One can suppose that  
the meter was used by the PaaNan or bard caste (paN is the old Tamil  
word for raaga) when they were performing, at which time they were  
often possessed.  Like maatraasamaka, akaval is comprised of lines of  
16 syllabic instants divided into groups of 4 each.  Akaval is an  
extremely flexible and eloquent meter.  Because in Tamil some of the  
long or shorts are made by position, it does not have the sing-song  
rhythmic quality of the Sanskrit equivalent.  The Tamil meter is  
adorned by many rhythmic and other enhancements that do not exist in  

On Feb 26, 2008, at 12:32 PM, Christophe Vielle wrote:

> For the devotional Bhaja Govindam  - Mohamudgara,
> I note the following two "devotional" editions still available, one  
> (31 v.) with a commentary by Swami Chinmayananda, published by the  
> Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, and one in Malayalam script with a  
> commentary by K. Padmanabha Variar, Kodungallur, 2006 (in two  
> parts : 19 + 14 stanzas, in a different order).
> With best wishes,
> Christophe Vielle
>> 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?
>> Thanks in advance
>> Yaroslav Vassilkov

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