Fwd: Authorship of Bhaja Govindam - A Question

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Wed Mar 8 20:59:59 CST 2000

The details are given in T.M.P. Mahadevans, "The Hymns of Sankara".
Please refer to that book. It's available even from amazon or bn.com,
quite cheap $15 or so. I know that some people get annoyed by
discussions on authenticity, please ignore the rest if you want to
save yourself some grief.

Prof. Mahadevan notes that there is a commentary by Sri Svayamprakasha
Yatindra on the stotram. This is available in manuscript form. In this
manuscript *neither the refrain bhaja govindam nor the verse referring
to the person studying the grammar* is to be found. I have mentioned
this before, the verse on studying grammar is uncharacteristic of
sha.nkaras genuine works. Apparently Sri Svayamprakasha calls the
verses he comments on as a prakaraNa grantha and not a stotra. Prof
Mahadevan says that the twelve verses he comments on are 2, 29, 8, 4,
11, 3, 18, 26, 12, 13, 24ab + 25cd and 17. These numbers refer to the
order in Prof Mahadevans book (he follows the "traditional;" order),
but the subset occurs in a different order in Sri svayamprakAshas

I have not spent too much time on it, but the verses seem to agree
quite well with Sri Satchidanandendra Sarawati Swamins philological
and philosophical analysis of sha.nkaras works. See vedAnta prakriyA
pratyabiGYA, many thanks to Shubhanu for introducing me to Sri
Satchidanandendras works through his posts on the list. The
philological criteria were formulated independently by the Indologist
Hacker also. It seems to me that this subset is indeed a genuine
composition of sha.nkara. Of course, with such a short composition you
cannot be 100% sure.

Quite possibly some bhajana-ghoshhti kind of verses got tagged on to
the original composition after Sri svayamprakAshas time. As can be
clearly seen, many of these do not reach the depth of the 12 verses
given above.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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