[INDOLOGY] Query: Date of the Bhagavatam

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at gmail.com
Tue Jul 21 03:19:46 UTC 2015

Since no one has yet replied to this, perhaps there is not much new on this
question. As we all know, the continuing upabṛṃhaṇa, expansion or
supplementation, of the purāṇas makes them almost impossible to date
accurately. Since their older parts may be separated from their later parts
by centuries, are we seeking the date of their latest redaction?

In the critical edition, *The Bh**āgavata* (ed. H. G. Shastri, Bharati K.
Shelat, K. K. Shastree, B.J. Institute of Learning and Research, Ahmedabad,
1996-1999), an "Epilogue" volume was published in 2002 (vol. 4, part 3),
which has just over two pages on "Time and Composition of the BGP" (pp.
15-17). K. K. Shastree there concludes (p. 16): "It means that the time of
composing the BGP is not earlier than the latter half of the 7th cent.,
A.D. and not later than the first half of the 8th cent., A.D."

However, Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare in the Introduction to vol. 1 of his English
translation of *The Bh**āgavata-**purāṇa* (1976, p. xxxvi) points out
that a *Purāṇa
**Bhāgavata* is named in the Jaina text, *Nand**ī-s**ūtra*. Since this
Jaina text can be dated around 500 C.E., some version of the *Bh**āgavata-*
*purāṇa* existed then. This is in his section, "The Date and Authorship of
the Bh.P.," pp. xxxiv-xlii. He begins this section by listing thirteen
proposed dates for the *Bh**āgavata-**purāṇa*, ranging from 1200 B.C. to
1300 A.D., and their sources. Included here is the date proposed by
purāṇa specialist R. C. Hazra, author of the 1940 classic work, *Studies in
the Pur**ānic Records on Hindu Rites and Customs*, as 600 A.D.

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.

On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 2:15 PM, George Hart <glhart at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> I would be most grateful if someone could post (or email me) the latest
> ideas about the date of the Bhagavatam. Working mostly with Tamil, I’m not
> in the loop about such matters and I need to say something in the
> introduction to my translation of the *Akanāṉūṟu*. (Of course, I will
> acknowledge any help). Thanks. George Hart
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