, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 573–576 | Cite as

A Survey of Modern Scholars’ Views on Śaṃkara’s Authorship of the Bhagavadgītābhāṣya

  • Niranjan SahaEmail author

Ādi Śaṃkara (ca. eighth century CE), generally called Śaṃkara, the famous commentator of the Brahmasūtra-s and of the principal Upaniṣad-s, and the systematic propounder of Non-dualism (Advaita) in Vedānta philosophy, is the most influential among the ancient commentators of the Bhagavadgītā (whose commentary on the Gītā is the earliest extant commentary on it available). While the authorship of first two works (i.e., the commentaries on Brahmasūtra-s and on principal Upaniṣad-s) is attributed to Śaṃkara with almost no uncertainty, the controversy among both the oriental and occidental scholars on his authorship of the commentary on Bhagavadgītā still looms in academia—the apparent reason of which might be that, unlike the Brahmasūtra-s and principal Upaniṣad-s, the Bhagavadgītāseems to have more dualistic consideration, a factor opposed to the very nature of Advaita Vedānta philosophy. However, this short article makes a survey of the views of those scholars to point out that the...


Modern scholars’ views Śaṃkara Gītābhāṣya 



I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Theodore N. Proferes (SOAS, University of London, my PhD supervisor), who set me in doing a survey of commentarial tradition of the Bhagavadgītā at my earlier stage of preparing draft chapters. Besides, Halder, my brothers, students Utsav etc. are always there.


  1. Bhagavadgītā (1999), Śrīmadbhagavadgītā with the commentaries Śrīmat-Śānkarabhāshya with Ānandagiri; Nīlakanṭhī; Bhāshyotkarshadīpikā of Dhanapati; Śrīdharī; Gītārthasangraha of Abhinavaguptāchārya; and Gūḍhārthadīpikā of Madhusūdana with Gūḍhārthatattvāloka of Śrīdharmadattaśarmā (Bachchāśarmā) (sic), ed. Wāsudev Laxmaṇ Shāstrī Paṇsīkar, Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan.Google Scholar
  2. Dasgupta, Surendranath (2000-2007) A history of Indian philosophy, vol. I, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass (reprint; 1st Indian edition, 1975).Google Scholar
  3. Hacker, Paul (1947) ‘Śaṅkarācarya and Śaṅkarabhagavatpāda’ (sic), NIA, IX: 175-186.Google Scholar
  4. Halbfass, W. (1995). Philology and confrontation—Paul Hacker on traditional and modern Vedanta. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  5. Hirst, J., & Suthren, G. (1990). The place of teaching technique in Śaṃkara’s theology’. JIP, 2, 113–150.Google Scholar
  6. Ingalls, Daniel H. H. (1952) ‘The study of Śaṁkarācārya’, ABORI, XXXIII: 1-14.Google Scholar
  7. Ingalls, Daniel H. H. (1953) ‘Śaṁkara on the question: Whose is avidyā’?, PEW, III.1: 69-72.Google Scholar
  8. Karmarkar, R. D. (1958) ‘Did Śaṅkara write a bhāṣya on the Bhagavadgītā ?’, ABORI, XXXIX, III-IV: 365-371.Google Scholar
  9. Mainkar, T. G. (1969) A comparative study of the commentaries on the Bhagavadgītā, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass (2nd edition).Google Scholar
  10. Mayeda, Sengaku (1965) ‘The authenticity of the Bhagavadgītābhāṣya ascribed to Śaṅkara’, WZKSO, IX: 155-197.Google Scholar
  11. Potter, K. H. (ed.) (1998) Encyclopedia of Indian philosophies (Advaita Vedānta up to Śaṃkara and his pupils), vol. III, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited (reprint; 1st Indan edition, 1981).Google Scholar
  12. Raghavan, V. (1968-1969) ‘Bhāskara’s Gītābhāṣya’, WZKSO, XII-XIII: 281-294.Google Scholar
  13. Sarma, B. N. Krishnamurti (1932-1933) ‘Śaṁkara’s authorship of the Gītā-bhāṣya’ ABORI, XIV: 39-60.Google Scholar
  14. Schrader, F. Otto (1934) ‘Ancient Gītā commentaries’, IHQ, X: 348-357.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNarasinha Dutt CollegeHowrahIndia

Personalised recommendations