Bhaskararaya

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Bhaskararaya (Bhāskararāya Makhin) (1690–1785) is widely considered an authority on all questions pertaining to the worship of the Mother Goddess in Hinduism. He was born in Maharashtra, was welcomed by king Serfoji II of Bhonsle dynasty in South India, and there upon he settled in Tamil Nadu.[1] According to Douglas Renfrew Brooks, a professor of Religion specializing in Shaktism studies, Bhaskararaya was "not only a brilliant interpreter of Srividya, he was an encyclopedic writer", and that he was a "thinker who had the wealth of Tantric and Vedic traditions at his fingertips".[1] He belonged to the Kaula tradition of the Shakta Tantrism.[2]

Bhaskararaya is the attributed author of more than 40 and range from Vedanta to poems of devotion and from Indian logic and Sanskrit grammar to the studies of Tantra.[3] Several of his texts are considered particularly notable to the Shaktism tradition, one focussed on the Mother Goddess:

  • Commentary on Tripura Upanishad and Bhavana Upanishad[3]
  • Commentary on Devi Mahatmya, titled Guptavali[4]
  • Varivasya Rahasya,[5] is a commentary on Sri Vidya mantra and worship. The Varivasya Rahasya contains 167 ślokas numbered consecutively. It has an accompanying commentary entitled "Prakāśa", also by Bhaskararaya.
  • Setubandha is a technical treatise on Tantric practice. It is his magnum opus. It is a commentary on a portion of the Vāmakeśvara-tantra dealing with the external and internal worship of Śrī Tripurasundarī. This work was completed either in 1733 AD or in 1741 AD.
  • Lalitāsahasranāmabhāsya is a commentary (bhāsya) on Lalita sahasranama.[6][7] This work was completed in 1728 AD.

His Khadyota ("Firefly") commentary on the Ganesha Sahasranama is considered authoritative by Ganapatya.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Douglas Renfrew Brooks (1990). Secret of the Three Cities. University of Chicago Press. pp. x–xii. ISBN 978-0-226-07570-9. 
  2. ^ Douglas Renfrew Brooks (1992). Auspicious Wisdom: The Texts and Traditions of Srividya Sakta Tantrism in South India. State University of New York Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7914-1145-2. 
  3. ^ a b Douglas Renfrew Brooks (1990). Secret of the Three Cities. University of Chicago Press. pp. xiii–xiv. ISBN 978-0-226-07570-9. 
  4. ^ D Kali (2006). Devimahatmyam: In Praise of the Goddess. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-208-2953-4. 
  5. ^ Śrī Bhāskararāya Makhin. Varivasyā-Rahasya and Its Commentary Prakāśa. Edited with English Translation by Pandit S. Subrahmanya-Sastri. The Adyar Library Series: Volume Twenty-Eight. (The Adyar Library and Research Center: Adyar, Chennai, 1976) ISBN 81-85141-30-4. First Edition, 1934. This edition provides the full Sanskrit text for the Varivasyā-Rahasya and its associated commentary Prakāśa, both by the hand of Bhāskararāya.
  6. ^ Lalitāsahasranāma, With Bhāskararāya's Commentary. English Translation By R. Ananthakrishna Sastry. (Gian Publishing House: Delhi, 1986) This edition provides the full Sanskrit text plus English interpretation.
  7. ^ L. M. Joshi. Lalitā-Sahasranāma: A Comprehensive Study of Lalitā-Mahā-Tripurasundarī. (D. K. Printworld Ltd.: New Delhi, 1998) ISBN 81-246-0104-6. Provides an English translation based on Bhāskararāya's Commentary, with references to the Sanskrit source.
  8. ^ Gaṇeśasahasranāmastotram: mūla evaṁ srībhāskararāyakṛta ‘khadyota’ vārtika sahita. (Prācya Prakāśana: Vārāṇasī, 1991). Includes the full source text and the commentary by Bhāskararāya in Sanskrit.