IS VYASA THE SAME AS BADARAYANA?

 

P.V. SHASTRI

 

            For the past about seven centuries Veda Vyasa and Badarayana were regarded to be the same individual under different names by Sanskrit scholars like Mallinadha and Venkatavadhani and Andhra writers as Tikkana and Srinadha. But the following 14 grounds I venture to bring to the notice of the world that they were neither identical nor of the same age.

 

            The Mahabharata was written by Vyasa and his disciples. On about 70 occa­sions in that epic his name found a mention wherein he was referred as Vyasa, Dwaipayana, Krishna-Dwaipayana, Satyavateya, Paraserya but never for once as Badarayana.

 

            Some derive the word Badarayana from ‘Badari’ a tree which abounded in ‘Brindavana’ meaning thereby as one living in that forest. The word Dwaipayana means one who lives in an island. Badarivana is on the banks of the Ganges, whereas the is­land, Vyasa’s birth place, is in the Jamuna. So how can the two localities be considered the same?

 

            Nannaya, the foremost Andhra Poet and a grammarian, refers Vyasa in 13 places in that part of the Mahabharatha written by him. But now where is found the mention of the word Badarayana.

 

            Kshemendra, a famous poet of Kash­mir was a contemporary of Nannaya. He was the writer of 33 works of merit. In his ‘Bharata Manjari’ he writes that Vyasa appeared to him in a dream and blessed him and said “You will expound the truth of my Mahabharata,” in obedience to which he wrote “Bharatamanjari” of 8800 slokas. He wrote Vyasashtaka and his extreme devo­tion for him made him call himself Vyasadasa. In 30 places of Bhraratamanjari there is a reference to Vyasa but not even once as Badarayana.

 

            Being “Vedavibhagakartha,” Vyasa, throughout the Mahabharata was found sermonising on the importance of Karma or action and the fruit thereof. Jaimini Maharshi, his disciple closely following in his master’s foot-steps wrote ‘Purvami­mamsa’ which advocated Karma. Some Pundits believe that it inculcates ‘Atheism.’ A few may say ‘does not Bhagavatgita a part of the Mahabharata teach Brahmagnana?’ But Lokamanya Tilak, one of the eminent thinkers, avers that it teaches Karmayoga. Vidyasekhar Pundit Akkiraju Umakantam contributed certain articles to the paper ‘Andhra Vangamaya’ to the effect that Vyasa’s teachings were more for Artha and Kama i.e., wealth and want than for Dharma and Moksha, i.e., duty and salvation.

 

            In his Shariraka Bhashya (Com­mentary of Brahma Sutras) His Holiness Sri Sankara Bhagavatpadacharya cited several authorities from Bharata and Bhagavadgita in support of the views of Badarayana as he was considered by him to be different from Vyasa. If they were one and the same, Sri Sankara would never have committed the error of quoting his writing in his own support. So even in Sankara’s opin­ion Vyasa and Badarayana were two different persons.

 

            Lokamanya Tilak, author of Gitarahasya wrote he was of the same opin­ion and that subsequent writers might have considered him as almost identical with Vyasa as he might have supplied certain portions of the Mahabharata that might have been found wanting by his time. Sri Puranapanda Malliah Sastri also was of the same opinion as is evidenced by the foreword to his translation of Brahmasutra Bhashya into Telugu.

 

            Sri Sitanandha Tattawabhushan, the famous writer in English of Krishnagita, Krishna-Purana, and Shastriya Brahmavada, explicitly asserted in his translation of Brahma-sutra Bhashya in English the same fact.

 

            Sri Saprey in his Bharata Mimamsa wrote that Badarayana lived in 3rd century B.C. It must have been so as is apparent from his denunciation of Buddha and Jaina principles that originate about the 5th Cen­tury B.C. and were gaining ground gradually.

 

            One other fact confirmed me more in my conviction. Vyasa had five disciples, Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, Suka and Vyasampayana. Badarayana in his ‘Sutra Dharmam Jaiminiratayeva’ considers Jaimini’s principle as long prior to his sutras. If Badarayana was Vyasa it could never be imagined that he would have referred to them as long prior to his. Hence, Badarayana can never be the same as Vyasa (Krishna­dwaipayana) the teacher of Jaimini and his mates, nor even his contemporary.

 

            When I with a full knowledge of the above facts finished my history of the Mahabharata agreeing with them, I hap­pened to come by, while studying Painini’s grammar for certain purpose, the several lists of words regarding the formation of their derivatives, the rule ‘Nadadibhyi Phuk’ 4.1.99 in that group which indicated ‘gothrapatyavidhi’ how to form the words indicating the geneological descent from a single word. In the list beginning with ‘nada’ is included the word ‘Badara’. The Rule lays down that the first syllable is to be elongated adding “Ayana” to the last. Then the words will read as Nadayana, Sakatayana, Jalamdharyana, Badarayana etc. Now their meaning has to be ascertained. It is appar­ent that they must be next in descent or by two or more removes from their original. Not resting with the above rule Panini laid down another rule ‘Atha Ing’ to differentiate sub­sequent descent. In consequence of which the first descent transforms ‘Nada’ as nadi and ‘Badara’ as ‘Badari’.

 

            Badaryana in his Brahmasustras mentioned the views of ‘Badari’ his father or grandfather: For the above reasons Badarayana, was conclusively either the grandson or the great grandson of ‘Badara’ his son being Badari. Vyasa is the son of Parasara whose father was Shakthi Maharshi who was the son of Vasista. The above facts set at rest beyond any doubt the controversy respecting the identity of Badarayana and Vyasa who are two differ­ent individuals of two different ages.

 

            I was for sometime doubting whether the word “Badara” was not wrongly included in Nadadi list of60 words. But after a time it so chanced that I had a look into “Ganaratha Mahdathi’ the work of Sri Vardhamana Pandit of the 2nd Century A.D. My doubt was dispelled by finding the word ‘Badara’ in his ‘Nadadi’ list. He wrote that his work was done after consulting eight grammarians.

 

            The veda is more authoritative to us than even grammar. Now are extent nine Samaveda Brahmanas of which Tandya is the biggest. Vamsa Brahmana a portion of Tandya gives us hereunder a list of teachers of Samaveda in their order.

 

            Prajapathi, Brihaspathi, Narada Vishvaaksena, Parasarya, Vyasa, Jaimini, Poushyindhya, Parasuryayana, Badarayana, Tandi and Satyayana who in their turn twice taught it to several others. From the above it is evident that Vyasa is five generations and Jaimini four above Badarayana. There is one Badarayani, the son of Badarayana in the list of Teachers in order, of Adharva Veda.

 

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