5

One of the most iconic objections against the authenticity of the Srimad Bhagavatam is that it was not written by Vyasa but a thirteenth century Vaishnava, named Vopadeva. The substance for this objection is that neither Adi-Shankaracharya nor Ramanujacharya quoted the Srimad Bhagavatam despite the fact that it is considered an important philosophical and devotional Vaishnava scripture.

These objections against by the Srimad Bhagavatam have been responded by a modern Madhva scholar, Dr. B.N.K Sharma.

According to Dr. Sharma, the Srimad Bhagavatam had been quoted by the Advaitin Guru Gaudapada in his commentary on the Uttara-Gita:

There was a view that attributed the authorship of the Bhagavata to Vopadeva (13th century). But this theory fails when it is noted that Al beruni, the celebrated Arab scholar (1030 AD), refers to Vaishnava Bhagavata in his book on India. Prof Siddheswar Bhattacharya in the Introduction to his work, The Philosophy of the Bhagavata, refers to p 131 of Sachaw's book, Alberuni's India on this question and states: "The question of its composition by Vopadeva melts away by Alberuni's reference to the Bhagavata in which, according to his view, Vasudeva has been extolled."

Prof B. N. Krishnamurti Sarma has something of interest to say on the date of Bhagavata Purana, based on his research work on external evidence for the same, in his learned work on the subject in the Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute of Poona Vol XIV, 1932-33. He states that Gaudapada (7th century) in his commentary on Uttara Gita refers to the Bhagavata Purana in the course of his commentary on II, 46 of the text, quoting the following hemistich: taduktam bhagavate: tesamasau klesa eva sisyate, nanyadyatha sthulatusavaghatinam. This line is to be identified with the second line of Bh X.14.4, which is as follows: tesamasau klesa evasisyate nanyadyatha sthulatusavaghatinam. At the time of publication (1933), this was a welcome breakthrough in the quest for the date of the Bhagavata as it gives the lie to the very fanciful theory of Vopadeva's (13th century) authorship of it, popularized by a set of orientalists, Wilson, Macdonell, Colebrooke and Burnouf. The reference given by Prof Sharma goes to support the theory now held that the Purana must have taken shape in its present form by about the first half of the 6th century, after the Alwar movement (5th to 8th century) in the South had become powerful. Prof Sarma's quotation from Gaudapada, however, gives greater precision. (Introduction to the Swami Tapasyananda's English Translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam)

However, it seems that Gaudapada or Al-Beruni were not the only ones who quoted the Srimad Bhagavatam before Vopadeva as it is evident from the following message on an Advaitin site:

Namaste,

There are many scholars who have listed a number of ‎reasons as to why Srimad Bhagavatam is not authentic. Further, it is said that, it was written by a Vaishnava and attributed it to Vyasa. So Vyasa is not it's original author.

I haven't read Bhagvatam nor compared it to Mahabharta for it's authenticity. But the revisionists are correct to a large extent, in my opinion.

Another point is that, apparently, Ramanuja and Yamunacharya does not mention this text anywhere. ‎ ‎ Do the Advaitins regard it as an authentic work?

Sridhara swamin has commented on this work. He brings out the advaitic purport here and there and also holds Shiva Vishnu abheda. He has also commented on the Vishnu Puranam and says at the beginning itself that this is a fine source for advaitic knowledge.

Dr. BNK Sharma is reported to have identified Srimad Bhagavatam quoted by Abinava Gupta in his BG commentary which preceded Ramanuja. (Source)

What I'm interested is the part in bold. The message claims that Dr. Sharma had also reported Acharya Abhinavagupta to have quoted the Srimad Bhagavatam in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.

My questions are:

• Where, in the commentary of Acharya Abhinavagupta on the Bhagavad Gita, is the Srimad Bhagavatam quoted?

• What is/are the relevant verse(s) from the Srimad Bhagavatam quoted by Acharya Abhinavagupta in his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita?

  • this quote of Abhinava Gupta is disputed, could be a later addition or a part of subcommentary. – Log Tran May 6 at 9:10
  • Adi Shankara is said to have mentioned Bhagavata Purana in his Prabodha Sudhkara. – Spark Sunshine May 11 at 16:30
  • Well, many of the works attributed to Adi Shankara is of doubtful authenticity but thanks for letting me know. @NaveenKick – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury May 11 at 16:32
  • You have Prabodha Sudhakara? – Spark Sunshine May 11 at 16:43
  • I think I might. @NaveenKick – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury May 11 at 17:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .