Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica

Textual and visual odds and ends from India, Tibet, and around.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yet another Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa?

I did not have the time to follow up this one, but perhaps there are some of you out there who are interested. Today I picked up by chance D. K. Kanjilal & K. Kanjilal, Sanskrit and Allied Manuscripts in Europe (Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, Calcutta), apparently a recent acquisition of the Bodleian. The book is a long list of pretty confused notes about various manuscript libraries the authors had the chance to visit in the U.K. and the continent (and there is no index... and there are many typos... but let's forget about all that, it seems like a very useful book).

The author reports a list of Nepalese mss. at the Chester Betty [sic!] Library in Dublin. It's mostly Pañcarakṣās and dhāraṇīs, but one item - he says - is a Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa. Although he says that the ms. is 'very old', he also gives the 17th century as an estimated date. Does anyone happen to know more about this? It sounds like a false lead to me, but you can never know for certain.

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Blogger sdv said...

You mean its by that DK Kanjilal who also wrote the classic “Vimanas in Ancient India?” On a more serious note, he did work in Oxford for a while, and was the first to make some use of that Stein MSS of the Abhijñānaśākuntalam.

8:27 pm  
Blogger PDSz said...

Vimānas as in UFOs? :)

9:54 pm  
Blogger sdv said...

evam etat.

Kanjilal, Dileep Kumar.
Vimana in ancient India = Aeroplanes or flying machines in ancient India / Dileep Kumar Kanjilal.
xvi, 123 p., [14] leaves of plates : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Calcutta : Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, 1985.

LC Subjects:
Aeronautics --India --History.

11:37 pm  
Blogger PDSz said...

I always knew that vimānas were interstellar vehicles and that the Veda is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 years old.

an acquaintance of mine once showed one of Däniken's books where the same 'argument' was made. to prove his claim he had a page from the Veda among the plates. I distinctly remember that it was upside down (heck, if you can read Sanskrit you can presumably read it upside down as well) but I'm not sure whether it was an Agni or an Indra hymn.

11:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tile of Kanjilal's book is actually Sanskrit and Alien Manuscripts in Europe. Von Däniken has been working on a translation into Swiss-German, and I believe he is being assisted by a Sanskritist who himself (rumour has it) is working on the Suomi translations of von Däniken's works.

9:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Are you kidding?

Sanskrit and Alien Manuscripts?

Are you using one of those internet translating functions?

I found this on D. Wujastyk's online bibliography just now:

171. Kanjilal, Dileep Kumar. “Uncatalogued Sanskrit and Other Manuscripts in Europe.” Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute; Annals, no. 55 (1974): 243–253.

anon 2

4:47 pm  
Blogger PDSz said...

Dear Anon2,

Anon1's is an elaborate joke for which I also fell before my morning coffee panicking that I misspelt the title. Glad you brought the Bhandarkar ed. to our attention, perhaps the Skt. Pustak Bhandar ed. is a reprint? (don't try to ask the owner of that venerable institution on College Street, he's quite grumpy and wishes you didn't bother him buying his books - but sometimes he has good days).


4:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm off to check out a copy of Laufer's Prehistory of Alien Aircraft. Cheers!

8:02 pm  
Blogger Indra said...

I have a printed copy of a manuscript calling itself Vimanashastra - said to have been discovered in the libary of the Gaekwad of Baroda.

3:35 am  
Blogger PDSz said...

Dear Indra,
Manuscript copies from Baroda are incredibly expensive nowadays. I'm sure there would be quite a few grateful people if you decided to share this print in a digital form.

12:53 pm  

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