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Document Details :
Title: Matériaux pour servir aux études upanisadiques (III)
Subtitle: La Mudgalopanishad
Author(s): BOUY, Ch.
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 283 Issue: 1 Date: 1995
In his Brahmasūtra-bhāṣya as well as in the B̥rhadāraṇyakopaniṣadbhāṣya and two other commentaries that are ascribed to him and are very probably his works, Śaṃkara repeatedly quotes the scriptural passage (sruti), taṃ yathā yathopāsate tad eva bhavati. This quotation occurs only verbatim in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (X.5.2, 20), a well known Vedic text, and, with a slight variant reading (tathaiva in place of tad eva), in the Mudgala Upaniṣad (khaṇḍa III), one of the one hundred and eight Upaniṣads, the text of which was edited by A. Mahadeva Sastri in The Sāmānya Vedānta Upanishads with the Commentary of Sri Upanishad-Brahma-Yogin (Adyar Library, Madras, 1921, pp. 378-387). The question to be addressed here is the following: from which of these two texts, the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa or the Mudgala Upaniṣad, did Śaṃkara (early half of the 8th century) quote the above passage?
The author of the present article points out that there are, as far as he knows, three extant versions of the Mudgalopaniṣad, a shorter one, a middle one, and a longer one — a fact which did not come to the notice of J. Gonda who published an article on the same Upaniṣad in WZKSOA 12-13, 1968-69 (pp. 101-113). The shorter version (10th-11th c. A.D.?), here called «version A», was cited by Śrī Raṅganātha Muni (early 12th c.), a Vaiṇava Vedāntin, in his Bhāṣya on verse 18 of the Puruṣasūkta (TaiĀIII.12); it teaches the import of the Puruṣasūkta which is said to be the «supreme secret doctrine» (paramarahasya); it is divided into two sections (khaṇḍa). The middle one (17th c.?), here «version B», the source of which is obviously Rangaṅatha Muni's Puruṣasūktabhāṣya 18, is unpublished at the present time but is still extant in manuscript form.
The longer version (C) of the Mudgala, in four sections (khaṇḍa), is found in the corpus of the one hundred and eight Upaniṣads and is connected therein with the ̥Rgveda; it is a deliberate reworking of B, in all likelihood by the compiler of that corpus himself. The text of A, the shorter version cited by Raṅganātha Muni, corresponds to the whole of khaṇḍa II and a great part of khaṇḍa IV, from arogī bhavati up to the end, of version C; it is worth noting that it does not comprise the aforecited scriptural passage quoted by Śaṃkara. Therefore, the text from which Śaṃkara quoted this passage was not the Mudgala Upaniṣad but, as one may surmise, the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa.
Special attention is here drawn to the Puruṣasūkta and its different versions, as well as to Ranganatha Muni's commentary on the Puruṣasūkta of the Taittirīya school of the Yajurveda and its quotations — for several of them bear great resemblance to different passages of A, the earliest known version of the Mudgala— from two works, little known or unknown elsewhere, namely, the Puruṣasaṃhitā of the Śrī÷āstra (the «Holy Scripture» of the Vaiṣṇavas) and the Puruṣasūktasaṃhitā of the Śākalyabrahmaṇa(?).
The paper concludes by providing material for a critical edition of the Mudgala Upaniṣad— a now obvious desideratum.