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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 328-331

Bhattar Harichandra: The first commentator of Charaka Samhita


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DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.108815

PMID: 23723636

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Bhattar Harichandra was the first commentator who wrote 'Charakanyasa' commentary on Charaka Samhita after completion of redaction process by Dridhabala. Two manuscripts of this commentary are available with number 9290 and 13092 in Asiatic Society of Kolkata and Government East Library, Chennai respectively. Yadavji opines that Bhattar Harichandra belongs to the period of Chandragupta - II (375 A.D. - 413 A.D.) while Acharya Priyavrat Sharma considers the period of Yashodharaman (6 A.D.) as the period of Bhattar Harichandra. As far as external evidence is considered Banabhatta another notable Sanskrit poet quoted Bhattar Harichandra in his work Harshacharitam. Banabhatta was contemporary to Chandragupta. Charaka Samhita enjoyed much reputation during Chandragupta Mourya - II period. Agnivesha Tantra was redacted during the period of Kanishka (2 A.D.) and then onwards it was referred by titles like Sahasanka and Vikramaditya. Among Navaratna (Nine gems), Shanku and Vaitala Bhatta are included. But in the authors opinion it should be commented as "Shankuvaitala" and "Bhatta". The name Bhatta in his context may be referring to Bhattar Harichandra. Based on the external evidences it may be concluded that Bhattar Harichandra was contemporary to Chandragupta period i.e. 375 A.D. - 413 A.D. (4th to 5th century).


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