Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica

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

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sanskrit Manuscripts from Tibet

Sanskrit manuscripts from Tibet; (1) Vimalaprabhā commentary on the Kālacakra-tantra, and (2) Pañcarakṣā, reproduced by Lokesh Chandra. — New Delhi, Aditya Prakashan, 2010, 144p., 29x43cm. (Sata-Pitaka Series; Indo-Asian Literatures, Volume: 629) ISBN 9788177420944. US$ 33.50 (or 1500 rupees in situ).

Before I begin to say a few words about this new publication it should be noted that this is not a review, but rather a small number of reminders for myself and anyone interested of what I saw yesterday at Biblia Impex Pvt. Ltd. (Daryaganj, Ansari Road 2/18, just behind the OUP store). Sanskrit Manuscripts from Tibet (dated 2010!), edited by Lokesh Chandra, contains reproductions of what the editor believes to be two manuscripts. I merely browsed through the introduction and I don't recall seeing anything hinting at where LC came across these manuscripts.

The first is a well-written Vimalaprabhā, but don't feel too excited: unfortunately this also breaks off right in the commentary to the fourth chapter. The elusive fifth paṭala thus continues to be attested in a single ms. at the Asiatic Society (which is now unavailable "because it broke in half", as reported earlier on this blog). I would not be surprised if it had disappeared altogether since then; the venerable Society is in shambles. But perhaps we have the elusive fifth somewhere in Beijing?

The second is 'a' Pañcarakṣā, but it is immediately obvious that the collection is not the work of the same scribal hand, and perhaps not even the product of the same century. LC oddly dates the collection to the 9th century, but I don't believe this for a minute. The earliest of the lot seems to be the Mahāsāhasrapramardinī.

Before I could take more notes the friendly salesman pushed a catalogue in front of me, and later produced the Sarnāth edition of the Abhayapaddhati. But this is a story (not altogether pleasant) for another time.

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Manuscripta Buddhica 1

Most of you will probably have read about this already on several mailing lists. I think I'm not alone when I say that this series should continue to flourish until the end of the kalpa.

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