[INDOLOGY] YogVashishthaSara

Roland Steiner steiner at staff.uni-marburg.de
Sun Mar 27 09:29:39 UTC 2022

> As far as I know, all the Yogavāsiṣṭhas (including the Sāra and Laghu) are
> considered to be 'Rāmāyaṇas' and as such are ascribed to Vālmīki (the same
> way as the Mahābhārata is traditionally ascribed to Vyāsa).

The recension, which is decisively closer to the original (Kashmirian)  
version of the work than all later versions, bears the title Mokṣopāya  
and, also according to the Kashmirian tradition (cp. the commentary  
[Mokṣopāyaṭīkā] of Bhāskarakaṇṭha [18th century] ad Mokṣopāya I.1.3;  
II.18.2f; III.8.8; VI.224.1), was written by a human author whose name  
has not been handed down (cp. now Walter Slaje: "Vasiṣṭha the Void.  
Inquiries into the Authorship of the Mokṣopāya", in: Zeitschrift für  
Indologie und Südasienstudien 37/2020, pp. 168-204). The still widely  
used book title „Yogavāsiṣṭha“ - unlike Mokṣopāya - does not appear  
anywhere in the text itself, but only in the colophons of a few  
manuscripts in addition to the title Mokṣopāya (sg./pl.).

The numerous later abridgments and excerpts are not attributed to  
Vālmīki even by the Indian tradition. In the colophons of the  
manuscripts of what is now called "Laghuyogavāsiṣṭha", sometimes a  
certain Abhinanda or alternatively an anonymous Kāśmīrapaṇḍita is  
named as the author/redactor, although the authorship must still be  
considered unclear for various reasons (cp. Susanne Stinner: "Sāras,  
Saṃgrahas und 'Laghus': Kurzfassungen des Mokṣopāya", in: The  
Mokṣopāya, Yogavāsiṣṭha and related texts. Ed. Jürgen Hanneder. Aachen  
2005, pp. 91-104, esp. 102-104).

The excerpt known today under the book title "Yogavāsiṣṭhasāra"  
(original title Vāsiṣṭhasāra, „as is clearly indicated in Mahīdhara’s  
commentary“*) in about 200 stanzas, which was edited by Peter Thomi  
(Wichtrach 1999) and has survived in numerous manuscripts, must have  
been compiled before the year 1597 (= date of the commentary [vivṛtti]  
of Mahīdhara on this abridgement). Its author is not known.

* Walter Slaje: „The Mokṣopāya Project: Manuscripts from the Delhi and  
Śrīnagar Collections“, in: The Mokṣopāya, Yogavāsiṣṭha and related  
texts. Ed. Jürgen Hanneder. Aachen 2005, p. 39.

Best regards,
Roland Steiner

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