Sankara and the Authorship Issue

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at UCLOUVAIN.BE
Wed Feb 27 13:48:10 UTC 2008

>From a short look on the material I have at hand 
(the two popular editions of the "devotional" 
version referred to infra, and Neve's translation 
of the possible "other" version = Jones version + 
four supplementary verses numbered 2, 5, 8, 10, 
from one Paris ms), it appears that we have 
rather here different recensions of the same text.
Jones-Nève stanza no. 1 = Chinmaya edition no. 2 = Kodungallur edition no. II.1
J-N no. 2 = Ch no. 8 = K no. II.3
J-N no. 3 = Ch no. 11 = K no. II.4
J-N no. 4 = Ch no. 4 = K no. II.10
J-N no. 6 = Ch no. 12 = K no. I.2
J-N no. 7 =  Ch no. 15 = K no. I.7
J-N no. 8 = Ch no. 18 = K no. II.6
J-N no. 11 = Ch no. 24 = K no. II.8
J-N no. 12 =  Ch no. 7 = K no. I.8
N supplementary 2 =  Ch no. 29 =  K no. II.2
N s 5 = Ch no. 26 = K no. II.5
N s 10 = Ch no. 5 = K no. I.4

Hope it may help

Christophe Vielle

>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 Sanskrit.
>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

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).

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