Identity of Bâdarâyaṇa

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February 22, 2001

In many old texts, Badarayana is actually counted separately from Pârâśârya Veda Vyasa. For instance Samavidhana Brahmana 3.9.8 mentions Badarayana four generations or so after Parasharya (who is placed before Jaimini). Sri Sudarsana Suri considers the Samavidhana passage in the beginning of his Srutaprakasika and declares that there were two Badarayanas, one of whom was the same as Vedavyasa.

There is no need to equate Badarayana with Veda Vyasa to settle the authorship of Brahmasutras. Badarayana as a teacher is mentioned in numerous texts, and many of the views cited therein do not occur in the Brahma Sutras. For example:

  • Baudhayana Gryhasutra 3.9.3
  • Baudhayana Srautapravara sutra: 20.2
  • Hiranyakesin Srautasutra: 16.7.23; 22.2.20
  • Hiranyakesin Grhyasutra: 1.25
  • Bharadvaja Parisesasutra 128:
  • Sankarsha Kanda Sutra: 3.2.38
  • Atharvaprayaschitta: Dvaipayana is mentioned in 2.2.3

It is possible that Veda Vyasa combined the Brahma Sutras of Kasakrtsna etc. to create the eclectic text that we know today (since the views of Kasakrtsna etc., are likewise found quoted in many other texts, like those of Badarayana).

Pârâśârya as such is quoted/mentioned in several texts also:

  1. Asvalayana Srauta sutra: 12.15.2
  2. Apastamba Srauta sutra: 24.10.6
  3. Hiranyakesin Srauta sutra: 21.3.14
  4. Baudhayana Srautapravara sutra: 48.15
  5. Vaikhanasa Dharma sutra: 4.6.1; 4.5.9
  6. First Aranyaka of Taittiriya Aranyaka
  7. Katha Aranyaka (do not have the last two texts with me right now)

The equation Badarayana = Veda Vyasa however predates Sankaracharya. For instance, in Sloka Varttika on Mimamsasutra 1.1.5 (which mentions Badarayana), Kumarila Bhatta states the view to be that of Veda Vyasa, which indicates that he equated Veda Vyasa with Badarayana. In commenting on this verse of Shloka Varttika, Umbeka also clarifies that Veda Vyasa is meant. Canto XXVI of Manimekhalai (~500 AD or earlier) also seems to credit Veda Vyasa with the authorship of the Brahmasutras.

I have seen a passage in Padma Purana which gives Badarayana as a synonym of Vyasa […].