Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume VIII.djvu/39

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
INTRODUCTION. 33

scholar, Professor Goldstücker, on grounds of considerable strength, assigned him to a much earlier date[1]. The question thus comes to this, Is the remark of Professor Târânâtha, above set out, correct? I find then, from enquiries made of my venerable and erudite friend Yagñesvar Sâstrin, the author of the Âryavidyâsudhâkara, that the note of Târânâtha is based on the works of Bhattogî Dîkshita, Nâgogî Bhatta, and Gñânendra Sarasvatî, who all give the same interpretation of the Sûtra in question. It is certainly unfortunate that we have no older authority on this point than Bhattogî. The interpretation is in itself not improbable. Vyâsa is certainly by the current tradition[2] called the author of the Vedânta-sûtras, and also the son of Parâsara. Nor is Bhikshu-sûtra a name too far removed in sense from Vedânta-sûtra, though doubtless the former name is not now in use, at all events as applied to the Sûtras attributed to Bâdarâyana, and though, it must also be stated, a Bhikshu-sûtra Bhâshya Vârtika is mentioned eo nomine by Professor Weber as actually in existence at the present day[3]. Taking all things together, therefore, we may provisionally understand the Bhikshu-sûtra mentioned by \mbox{Pâ}n\mbox{ini} to be identical with the Vedânta-sûtras. But even apart from that identification, the other testimonies we have adduced prove, I think, the high antiquity of those Sûtras, and consequently of the Bhagavadgîtâ.

We have thus examined, at what, considering the importance and difficulty of the subject, will not; I trust, be regarded as unreasonable length, some of the principal pieces of internal and external evidence touching the age of the Bhagavadgîtâ and its position in Sanskrit literature. Although, as stated at the very outset, the conclusions we have deduced in the course of that examination are not all such as at once to secure acceptance, I venture to think that we have now adequate grounds for saying, that the various .and independent lines of investigation, which we have pursued, converge to this point, that the Gîtâ, on numerous and


  1. See his \mbox{Pâ}n\mbox{ini}; and see also Bühler's Âpastamba in this series, Introd. p. xxxii note.
  2. The correctness of this tradition is very doubtful.
  3. Indische Studien I. 470.
[8] D