Was the Bhagavatam Composed by Vopadeva,
and not Vyasadeva?
BY: HARI PRASHAD DAS
Sep 01, 2012 INDIA (SUN) Response to an accusation by a Bhāgavatam hater.
Translation of the above accusation:
"The composer of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is a scholar named Vopadeva, who has also composed a grammar book named 'Mugdhabodha Vyākaraṇa'. In Vopadeva's writings, we get a proof of the fact that Vopadeva composed it. It is Vopadeva, who under the name of Vyāsadeva has composed this book. The famous author Bankimcandra also says in this regard that - 'Many people consider the Bhāgavatam to be a creation of Vopadeva. Vopadeva was a minister of the assembly of King Hemadri of Devagiri. He appeared in the 13th Century A.D. However, many Hindus do not consider the Bhāgavatam to be a creation of Vopadeva. The vaiṣṇavas accuse that envious śāktas (followers of śaktī) have raised this misleading accusation. Whatever they may say, the fact remains that it was indeed Vopadeva, who composed the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam."
Reply to the accusation:
Of course you are free to make any wild accusations, the insidious deceiver that you are. It's not only you, but many more pot-smoking scholars of the universities of the west who make these wild accusations. If we reply to these accusations by saying that Ādi Śaṅkarācārya wrote the Govindāṣṭakaṁ based on the Bhāgavatam, the mundane scholars start doubting the authorship of the Govindāṣṭakaṁ itself. They start defending themselves by saying that it is not composed by Ādi Śaṅkarācārya.
Therefore, let's show the proof of the Bhāgavatam by showing that it was quoted by Ādi Śaṅkarācārya's guru, Śrī Gauḍapāda, in his commentary on a work known as Uttara-gīta:
If anyone wants to see the entire text of Uttara Gita, they can do so here.
The verse from the Bhāgavatam (10.14.4) is clearly quoted at the end of the second chapter.
It is clearly known that Gauḍapāda, the guru of Ādi Śaṅkarācārya was born much before Vopadeva, since Ādi Śaṅkarācārya himself appeared much before Vopadeva.
Vopadeva appeared in India around 13th Century A.D.
Another great piece of evidence is found in Ballāla Sena's Dānasāgara, which will put a full-stop on this accusation. The Dāna-Sāgara (a composition glorifying charity), was composed around 11th Century. Ballāla Sena (the second ruler of the ‘Sen' dynasty of Bengal) himself was born between 10th and 11th Century A.D.
The author of the Dāna-sāgara clearly says in this verse (no. 57) that he is not referring to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa in his composition because it does not contain the detailed glories of dāna (charity). This edition of Dāna-Sāgara is the critical edition published by the Asiatic Society in Calcutta.
So if references to Bhāgavatam can be found before 13th Century (the time of appearance of Vopadeva), how is it possible that Vopadeva composed the Bhāgavatam? So the accusation of the pot-smokers that the Bhāgavatam was composed by Vopadeva can be finally put to rest!