Classical heritages

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 20 00:22:40 EDT 2009

On 19 Mar 2009, at 22:26, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

>   The National Mission for Manuscripts (  
> works with a figure of seven million, if I remember correctly.   
> NAMAMI has conducted surveys, the results of which are here:
> I find the results raise questions for me: the numbers of MSS seem  
> rather low.  Maybe they are only looking at non-library  
> repositories?  There are other questions: In 2004-5, in Bihar,  
> Orissa and UP, 650,000 manuscripts were documented in about 35,000  
> repositories.  That means each repository had 18.6 MSS.  Nobody has  
> that few MSS.

The NMM database reveals that it has not been covering quite a number  
of larger MS collections so far.

> Is it more meritorious to throw MSS into a river (as documented by  
> Prof. KT Pandurangi in his 1978 booklet "The Wealth of Sanskrit  
> Manuscripts in India and Abroad" ( 
> ).

Oblation into fire is also an option.  The following is from  
Trilocana"siva's C12th Praaya"scittasamuccaya (currently being edited  
by Dr. R. Sathyanarayanan in Pondicherry):

jiir.naa"nga.m yat svasiddhaanta.m pustaka.m tad gh.rtaaplutam| tu hotavya.m hutvaaghora"sata.m japet|| 188||

`A manuscript of one's own tradition that is worn in parts should be  
suffused with ghee and oblated in the fire-pit.  After oblating it,  
one should recite the aghora-mantra 100 times.'

Dominic Goodall
Pondicherry Centre,
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient ("French School of Asian Studies"),

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