Vopadeva (Maratha, about 1150-1240) was an Indian Hindu grammarian , poet , astrologer , scholar, and physician , possible author of the Bhágavata-purana . [one]


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  • 1 Sanskrit name and etymology
  • 2 Dating
  • 3 Biographical data
  • 4 Works
    • 1 The Mugdhabodha-viakarana
    • 2 The Kavi-kalpadruma
    • 3 The Bhágavata-purana
      • 3.1 Criticisms of Vopadeva’s authorship
    • 5 Notes
    • 6 External links

Sanskrit name and etymology

  • vopadeva, in the AITS system (international alphabet for the transliteration of Sanskrit ). [two]
  • वोपदेव, in Devanagari script of Sanskrit. [two]
  • Pronunciation:
    • [vopadéva] in Sanskrit [2]or
    • [bopdéb] in various modern Indian languages ​​(such as Bengali , Hindi , Marathi, or Pali).
  • Etymology : possibly ‘divine sower’;
    • vopadoes not seem to be a Sanskrit word; the closest word is vapa (cutting hair, shearing wool, according to Horace Wilson); in the Vayasaneyi-samjita the word vapá (‘sower’) appears; in the Shatapatha-bráhmana there is vapaṇa (razor knife), vapaṇī being the barbershop (the place where the barber cut the hair, shaved the beard, and extracted diseased teeth and molars). [two]
    • deva:‘god’ [2]


According to the research of the French Eugene Burnouf (1801-1852), Vopadeva would have flourished in the second half of the 13th century. [3] On the other hand, other authors affirm that Vopadeva lived in the 12th century AD. C. [1]

Biographical data

Acharya Vopadeva was a scholar well versed in aiurvedic herbalism , viakarana ( Sanskrit grammar ), and yiotish (Hindu astrology). [4] He wrote a commentary on the Sharngadhara-samjita of Sharngadhara [4] [5] He was the son of one Keśava, [2] an important physician. [4] He was a disciple of Pandit Dhanéswara [2] or Dhanesh . [4] He was a friend of the linguist Jemadri , [4] who was the commentator on the Ashtanga-jridaia(written around 600) by Vagbhata . [4] Jemadri wrote commentaries on two works by Vopadeva, the Muktaphala and Jari-lila . [4] According to the British sanskritologist Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899), Vopadeva lived at court together with Jemadri . He may have been a court minister. Vopadeva was the royal physician of Majadev [4] – also known as Deoguiri-Iádav – the king of Devaguiri (present-day Dowlatabad ). [two]

He lived in the Maratha country , in southern India. [6]

Vopadeva belonged to the defunct village of Vedpur (in present-day Amravati district, in the Vidarbha region of central India ), which was the capital of King Simjarash , on the banks of the Vardha River. [4]


This Vopadeva (or another author named Vopadeva) is credited with various works:

  • the Bhágavata-purana[two]
    • the Jari-lila(which modern Hindus call Hrileela ), commentary on the Bhagavata-purana . [6]
    • the Sloka-chándrika(a treatise on Ayurvedic quackery and herbalism). This could have been written by another author named Vopaveda. [7]
    • the Mukti-phalaor Mukta-phala (‘the fruit of spiritual liberation ‘), and
    • the Paramajamsa-priya(‘the one loved by the supreme swans [the renouncers]’),
  • 10 works on viakarana (Sanskrit grammar) [4]
    • the Mugdha-bodha-viakarana, a Sanskrit grammar manual; [two]
    • the Kavi-kalpa-druma(index of Sanskrit roots); [two]
    • the Jridaia-dípaka-nighantu, a nighantu (‘glossary’), which was edited and published by Acharya Priyavrata Sharma). [4]
    • the Mukti-phalaor Mukta-phala (‘the fruit of spiritual liberation ‘); according to the Duryana-mukha-chapetika [1]
    • the Reimaviak-arania(another grammar manual). [one]
    • the Vopadeva-shataka, a kavia (type of poem). [two]
  • 3 works on sajitia (literary composition, rhetoric) [4]
  • 9 works on vadia-sastra (writings on quackery and herbalism) [4]
    • the Shata-sloki-chandra-kala[8] or Sloka-chándrika or Shata-sloki . [4] (a treatise on aiurvedic quackery and herbalism). This could have been written by another author named Vopaveda. [9]
  • 9 works on yiotish (Hindu astrology) [4]
  • the Paramajamsa-priya(‘the one loved by the supreme swans [the renouncers]’); according to the Duryana-mukha-chapetika [1]
  • Commentary on the Siddha-mantra, a work of his father, Késhava. [4]
  • Various comments on his own works. [4]

The Mugdhabodha-viakarana

The grammar manual entitled Mugdhabodha has a high reputation, especially in Bengal , and was commented on by one Durgadasa . Both the text and the commentary were edited in Calcutta in 1861; [10] earlier editions – such as that of Otto von Böhtlingk (1815-1904), than the first edition in the West, published in 1847 in Saint Petersburg (Russia) – only contained the text of the Mugdhabodha , without the commentary. [one]

The Mugdhabodha differs from Panini’s great work both in its arrangement and in its terminology. It uses a simpler and more beginner-friendly grammar system than Panini’s system (which is written in a far-fetched and extremely short style, which makes it almost incomprehensible). [11] Without Durgadasa’s comment, the Mugdhabodha would not have the information that Panini’s grammar possesses. However, Vopadeva’s work is valuable because it mentions the post- Vedic and classical Sanskrit formations, which did not appear in Panini’s work (which only dealt with the Vedic ones ). [one]

The Kavi-kalpadruma

Vopadeva also composed a verse catalog of Sanskrit roots , called Kavi-kalpa-druma (published in Calcutta in 1848), and a commentary on it, the Kieya-kamadhenu . [one]

The Bhágavata-purana

According to a general tradition prevailing in India, Vopadeva was also the author of one of the most renowned Puranas , the Bhágavata-purana . [one]

A small treatise, the Duryana-mukha-chapetika (‘a slap in the face of the wicked’), is contrary to this tradition, and maintains that the author of this Purana was not Vopadeva but Viasadeva . [one]

In that treatise, Vopadeva is assigned three other works of a religious nature:

  • the Sloka-chándrika(a treatise on Ayurvedic quackery and herbalism). This could have been written by another author named Vopaveda. [12]
  • the Mukti-phalaor Mukta-phala (‘the fruit of spiritual liberation ‘), and
  • the Paramajamsa-priya(‘the one loved by the supreme swans [the renouncers]’),

Criticisms of the authorship of Vopadeva

The Bhágavata-purana quotes verbatim from the Uttara-guita-bhashia , [13] the commentary of Gaudapada (720-780) – the guru of Govindapada, who was the guru of Shankaracharia (788-820) -. Vopadeva’s detractors claim that it is not possible that Vopadeva would have cited a text written three centuries earlier – possibly because the Bhágavata-purana is the most important text of Visnuism – and that it would rather have been Gaudapada who would have cited – in 760― the text of the Bhágavata , which therefore would have to have been published before 760, and therefore could not have been written by Vopadeva.

In 1168, the elderly King Bal la Sena (1083-1179) [14] wrote in verse 57 of his Dana-sagara (‘the ocean of charity’), that he would not mention the Bhāgavata-purāṇa in his composition because because that purana did not contain the glories of dāna (‘charity’). [fifteen]

Vopadeva claims to have written the Bhágavata-purana under the pseudonym Vyāsadeva . [fifteen]

Bhāgavatam is considered by many people to be a creation of Vopadeva. Vopadeva was an assembly minister to King Hemadri of Devagiri. It appeared in the 13th century AD. However, many Hindus do not consider the Bhāgavatam to be a creation of Vopadeva. The Vaiṣṇavas charge that this misleading accusation was created by Shaktas (followers of the goddess Shakti ) envious. No matter what they say, the truth is that it was indeed Vopadeva who composed the Śrīmad-bhāgavatam . 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 AD 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.


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