Gitartha Samgraha (critical Study)

by Partha Sarathi Sil | 2020 | 34,788 words

This page relates ‘Time of composition of the Bhagavadgita’ of the study on Abhinavagupta’s Gitartha Samgraha commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: one of the core texts of Indian Philosophy. The Gitartha Sangraha is written in the light of Kashmir Shaivism and brings to Shaiva metaphysics and Yoga integrated in the Bhagavadgita. This study deals with Abhinava’s vision about the purpose of human existence and the accomplishment of salvation (i.e., self-realisation).

2. Time of composition of the Bhagavadgītā

Determining time of the composition of Sanskrit texts is, truly speaking, a paradox. But as the Bhagavadgītā belongs to the Bhīṣmaparvan of the Mahābhārata, so according to many scholars, the time of the Gītā and the Mahābhārata is the same. There are of course, differences of opinion. Some think that the Gītā is interpolated in the Mahābhārata, but there is lack of sufficient reasoning. Both the oriental and occidental scholars have determined the calculation of time centering the birth of Jesus Christ. Similarly the time of Gautama Buddha is also accepted here as a standard for time calculation. According to Dr. Surendranath Dasgupta, the Gītā was originated before the birth of Lord Buddha, and it is the oldest text of Bhāgavata-dharma. But Dr. Larinsar thinks that the Gītā was composed after Lord Buddha’s birth and even the birth after Jesus Christ. Dr. Telang, a Māraṭhī scholar believes that the Gītā was composed sometimes before 3rd Century B.C. R.G Bhandarkar opines that before 4th Century B.C. the Gītā was written. German scholar Garbe is of the opinion that the original Gītā was written in the 2nd Century B.C. and the Gītā was available at present, belongs to 2nd Century A.D. According to Dr, S. Radhakrishnan, the time of the Bhagavadgītā is 5th Century B.C. Ramesh Chandra Dutta and Pret opine that the Mahābhārata was composed before 12th Century B.C. So, the Gītā belongs to that period. Lokmanya Tilaka has determined the time of the Gītā as 14th Century B.C. by discuss on the calculations of jyotisa like “Māsānām Mārgaśīrṣo’yam” etc. It is therefore accepted by all that the Gītā was composed prior to the Birth of Buddha and Jesus Christ.

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