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Some seals of baked earth have been found in North-Western India, Montgomery District, which exhibit clearly pictorial letters.
These writings although not yet deciphered, leave no doubt that the Indian Aryans had their own writing from times immemorial, so that even the Accadian pictograph, very ancient as it is, could hardly vie with it and if it had any connection
, with the Aryan pictograph, that connection must have been of a derivative or an offshoot to an original.
(To be continued.)
IV.-Asahaya, the Commentator of the
Gautama - Dharmasutra and the
By P. V. Kane, M.A., LL.M. Asahāya is one of those eminent and ancient commentators on the Dharmaśāstra whose works once famous are now not available. Dr. Jolly in his edition of Nāradasmțiti (Bibliotheca Indica series) has incorporated a portion of the Bhashya of Asahāya as revised by Kalyāṇabhatta. Even this revised version extends only up to the middle of the fifth adhyāya of the Nāradasmțiti. The exact relation Kalyāṇabhatta's labours to the original Bhāshya cannot be ascertained with precision from the words “दृष्ट्वासहायरचितं नारदभाप्यं कुलेखकैभ्रष्टम्। कल्याणेन क्रियते प्राक्तनमेतद्वियोध्य gaim" “
" (First verse) and " इति असहायनारदभाष्य केशवभट्टप्रोत्साहितकल्याणभट्टपरिशोधित-व्यवहारमातृकायां प्रथमोध्यायः।"
। (at the end of the first chapter of the Introduction). It is probable that Kalyāṇabhatta took very great liberties with the text of the Bhāshya of Asahāya. On page 9, verse 15 'rājā satpurushaḥ sabhyaḥ śāstram gaṇaka-lekhakau' the comment is शास्त्रं मनुनारदविश्वरूपात्मकम्. If this Visvarupa be the same as the commentator of the Yājñavalkyasmțiti (as is most likely), it is difficult to see how Asahāya could regard him as of almost equal authority with Manu and Nārada. Asahāya flourished earlier than Medhătithi i.e. before 900 A. D. and was therefore either a contemporary of Visvarūpa or even earlier than the latter. Višvarūpa is another name of Sureśvarāchārya, the famous pupil of the great Sankarāchārya. In the Parājara-Mādhava (Vol. I, part I, page 57, Bombay Sanskrit series) we read " पदं च वाक्यं (viz. 'माने फलार्थे निमित्त' पाप०
ध० सू० I. 7. 20. 3) नित्यकर्मविषयत्वेन वार्तिके विश्वरूपाचार्य उदाजहार आने फलार्थे इत्यादि ह्यापस्तम्बस्मृतेर्वचः। फलवत्त्वं समाचष्टे नित्यानामपि कर्मणाम् ॥
The verse quoted occurs in the बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद-भाष्यवार्तिक (I. 1. 97) of Suresvara. Therefore the Parāsara Madhava looked upon Visvarūpa and Sureśvara as identical. In the Purushārthaprabhodha of Brahmānanda-bhārati composed in 1476 (probably of the Śaka era, MS. in the Bhau Daji collection in Bombay Royal Asiatic Society) we have the famous work Naishkarmyasiddhi ascribed to Visvarūpa 'इत्येवं नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धी ब्रह्मांशैब्रह्मवित्तमैः। श्रीमद्भिर्विश्वरूपाख्यराचार्यैः करुणार्णवैः' (folio 6). Therefore the reference to Visvarūpa in the comment on the Náradasmriti is probably from the pen of Kalyāṇabhatta. The name of Kalyānabhatta is frequently quoted in the commentary itself (e. g. page 81 तथा चोक्तमेव सामान्य-प्राह-पत्रलक्षणविचारप्रकरणे कल्याणभट्टेन; page 86 'यथोक्तं त्रिषष्टिलेख्य-प्रकरण-कारकल्याण-भट्ट न'; page 89 'कल्याणवतं श्लोकत्रयमस्ति'. Altogether it is difficult to separate Kalyānabhatta's handiwork from the original text of the Bhāshya of Asahāya.
The Hāralatā (B. I. edition) of Aniruddha gives us the interesting information that Asahāya wrote a bhashya on the Gautama-Dharmasūtra. "गौतमः ‘बालदेशान्तरितप्रब्रजितानां
' सपिण्डानां सद्यः शौचम्' (गौ० ध० सू० 14. 44)। यत्र मृतोऽशौचाभ्यन्तरे न श्रूयते तद्देशान्तरम् तत्र मृतो देशान्तरित इति गौतमभाष्यकृताऽसहायेन व्याख्तातम् "। (हारलता page 35). In another place the Haralatā quotes the Gautama-Dharmasútra and the comment of Asahāya thereon, but expresses its disapproval of the views of Asahāya “गौतमः-पिण्डनिवृत्तिः सप्तमे पञ्चमे वा (गौ० ध० सू० 14. 12) अत्रासहायव्याख्या-यदा पिपितामहप्रपितामहास्त्रयो जीवन्ति तदा प्रपितामहादूर्व त्रिभ्य: पिण्डदानम्। इदं तु व्याख्यानं न शोभनं प्रतिभाति । (हारलता, page 97).” These quotations make it clear that the author of the Hāralatā had the Bhāshya of Asahāya on the Gautama.
Dharmasūtra before him. Aniruddha, the author of the Hāralatā, was the Guru of Ballāla Sena of Bengal who commenced his work called Adbhutasāgara in Sake 1090, i.e. 1168 A. D.
It appears that Asahāya wrote a commentary also on the Manusmriti. In the Sarasvativilāsa (Foulke's edition) we read 'धर्मविभागो मनु-याज्ञवल्क्यादि-स्मृतिकाराणां तत्स्मृति-व्याख्यातUITAAF17-Âafafu-faatragattiattafori fatarmi afaceriATTUI 9 da ga" (sec. :3). Here it will be noted that the order in which the four commentators are named requires that Asahāya was cited as a commentator of Manu. This conclusion is further corroborated by the fact that the Vivādaratnakara quotes with reference to the verse of Manu (9. 182 भ्रातृणामेकजातानामेकश्चेत्पुत्रवान्भवेत् 1) the words of Asahaya 'अत्र असहायेनोक्तं पंसां सति भ्राहजे स्त्रोणां सपत्नीपुत्रे क्षेत्रजादयः प्रतिनिधयो न कर्तव्या इति' !page 583).
The foregoing discussion establishes that Asahāya composed Bhāsh yas on three of the most prominent works on Dharmasāstra, viz the Gautama-Dharmasūtra, the Manusmțiti and the Nāradasmțiti. It is a matter of profound regret that the commentaries of such an ancient writer upon these works that are of paramount authority in matters of law and usage should be lost to us. Great efforts must be made by those engaged in the search for MSS. to find out the lost works of Asahāya.
A few words may be said about the date of Asahāya. The Mitāskharā while commenting upon Yājsavalkya (II. 124 भगिन्यश्च निजादंशाहत्वांशं तु तुरीयकम् ) quotes the views of Asahāya and Medhātithi and opposes them to those of Bhāruchi and approves the views of Asahāya 'अतोऽसहाय-मेधातिथिप्रभृतीनां व्याख्यानमेव चतुरस्र न भारचेः'. It is to be noted that some MSS. read TEHCHETT. This is due to the fact that the very name of Asahāya had been forgotten. It is curious that the Bālalambhatti explains the word “asahāya' as an attribute of Medhătithi and takes it in the sense of peerless'. Of all works on yavahāra, the Sarasvativilāsa quotes Asahāya most
frequently. This shows that in the 15th or 16th century his works had not been lost altogether. Dr. Jolly expressed it as his opinion that Asahảya lived earlier than Medbātithi (Tagore Law Lectures, page 5; vide Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, page VII also). His main reason was that both Vijñāneśvara and the Sarasvatīvilāsa place him before Medhātithi whenever authorities on topics of Vyavahāra are enumerated. Dr. Jolly does not appear to have been aware that Medbātithi actually mentions Asahāya by name in his Bhāshya on Janu (VIII. 155 • geriforalt nàa etc.'). Medhātithi flourised about 900 A. D., as he mentions Kumārila by name and appears to refer to the Bhāshya of Sankarāchārya on Chhāndogya-upanishad II. 23. 4 (on Manu II. 83) and as he is regarded as an authority by the Mitāksharā (latter half of 1lth century). Therefore Asahāya must bave flourished before 850 A. D. How much earlier Asahāya lived it is difficult to say,
Some of the doctrines associated with the name of Asahāya may be stated here. It has been already shown above that Vijñānesvara followed the views of Asahāya on the question of the right of sisters when their brothers separated. The Vivādaratnākara (page 578) quotes the Prakāśa as referring to the views of A sahāya on ithe verse of Manu (9. 198 fetarea यद्भवेद्वित्तं पित्रा दत्तं कथंचन । ) that the special rule of succession laid down by Manu applies to all the Strīdhana of a woman belonging to the Kshatriya or lower castes who has a co-wife of the Brāhmaṇa caste 1991 zafafa FIFATITIपलक्षणमिति असहाय मेधातिथिरिति (? थी इति) प्रकाशकारः । The Sarasvativilāsa notes that Asahāya defined daya in the same way as Vijñāneśvara did later on 'qagTufaarautat
असहायविज्ञानयोगिप्रभृतीनां यत्खामिसम्बन्धादेव निमित्तादन्यस्य स्वं भवति तद्दाय
शब्देनोच्यत इति । तन्न सहन्ते भारुच्चपराकप्रभृतयः' (sec. 19). A sahāya seems. to have held that as regards the succession to the Sulka of a woman even step-brothers should be given something, though the major portion would go to full brothers 'अतश्च