[Advaita-l] dakSiNAmUrti stOtra from sUta saMhita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Jun 16 02:09:07 CDT 2012

On Fri, 15 Jun 2012, Shrisha Rao wrote:

> F. Otto Schrader already noted in respect of the अल्लोपनिषद् in 1908 in vol. 1 (pp. 136--137) of the Adyar Library catalogue (see http://www.virasadhana.com/Catalogues/Catalogue%20of%20manuscripts%20in%20Adyar%20Library%20Vol%201.pdf for the same):
> Begin quote:
> This curious work, as is well known, has been composed to serve Akbar's 
> idea of a world religion.  In the South of India it is not recognized,* 
> in spite of (or, perhaps, because of?)# the widely spread opinion that 
> Mahomedans are skilled in the Atharvaveda, but in the North it is not 
> only reckoned to the Atharvaveda, but actually recited by the Brahmins 
> at the Vasantotsava or any occasion when selected texts of the four 
> Vedas have to be read in the house of a Dvija.  Of course, it is not 
> admitted that Allah is the Mahomedan god, but the word is believed to be 
> a synonym of Varuna.
> (*) Some years ago, a palm-leaf MS. of it as in the Adyar Library, but it was rejected by the then librarian.
> (#) The Atharvaveda, excepting the Upanisads, is nearly unknown in Southern India.
> End quote.
> I find it strange that Schrader would conjure up a theory proclaiming a 
> "widely spread opinion that Mahomedans are skilled in the Atharvaveda."

If Atharvaveda = tantra = "black magic" then it might be plausible.  If 
you remember over a decade ago there were a number of ritual child murders 
in UP which led to widespread panic about "tantrikas"  If I recall 
correctly the chief culprit arrested was a Muslim.

Vasanta Panchami is a somewhat important utsava in Bengal which is what I 
assume he means by "the North" though if Gujarat can be considered north 
it is less significant for us.  Saraswati puja is done on that day and it 
is a tradition as part of it to read the first rk/sutra/shloka of the 
various shastras.  (This is actually part of the brahmayajna which should 
be done daily but for many this might be the only day in the year they do 
it.)  Even then I have never heard of the upanishads being read especially 
not this Allah upanishad which it seems only came to notice due to the 
Theosophists who are totally unreliable as informants.

> It is quite a ridiculous theory for various obvious reasons, and is not 
> supported by any evidence save this very assertion of Schrader.

Did Schrader ever even visit India?  I think he was one of that old 
fashioned breed of Indologist who did all his research in Sanskrit from a 
desk in Germany.  Most of these comments seem to be based on garbled 
gossip he might have heard or read about from people who actually had been 
to India.

>  The 
> other footnoted claim that the Atharvaveda is "nearly unknown in 
> Southern India" is perhaps more true though gratuitous and unnecessary 
> to state as a cause of the lack of acceptance of the अल्लोपनिषद् in the 
> South -- why not grant that people there (like the unnamed former 
> librarian of the Adyar Library) do not accept the text because they 
> consider it spurious, a view held by Schrader himself?

Having "established" that it was accepted in North India there had to be 
some explanation right?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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