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85 Provided the passage was actually authored by Sāyaňa. Chapter 1. ]) and reads: vyākhyāya nigamābhijñaų pañcamasya caturthakam | adhyāyaņ sāyaňācāryaų pañcamaņ vyākaroty atha || Having explained the fourth adhyāya out the fifth [aşţaka], Sāyaňācārya – versed in traditional doctrines – elucidates the fifth one. The context of the passage suggests that a proper qualification must have been considered to be essential to claim the right for the elucidation of the Vedic portion in question. 5: śrīmatisutaų sudhīų sāyaňācāryaų.

See also Baladeva Upadhyaya in his introduction to VBhBhS, p. xiii; SSN, p. 13; MODAK 1995: 25. 34 A Commentator in Service of the Empire become half-legendary. There is, in fact, very little “tangible” historical evidence to corroborate this. Little factual information can be found in the usually laconic and general references to Sāyaňa in contemporary historical works. ” 40 Sāyaňācārya – as he is most often respectfully referred to – is credited with no fewer than eighteen regular commentaries to different Vedic texts, and also with a good number of other works belonging to different traditional disciplines of knowledge.

51 Even less lucky concerning the attention of modern scholars was the RSBhBh,52 the introduction to Sāyaňa’s commentary on the Ŗgveda, in my opinion an independent work and a sophisticated piece of learned śāstric literature. 54 47 This seems to be changing recently with a new interest among scholars towards socalled traditional commentaries as representing an independent scholarly and literary genre deriving from its own historical circumstances. 48 Cf. Gonda who describes Sāyaňa’s commentary as “proposing many anachronistic misinterpretations, defending wrong etymological or grammatical explanations, failing in the coherent explanation of stanzas and sentences as wholes, and inserting unnecessary discussions” [GONDA 1975: 41].

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