[INDOLOGY] Nārāyaṇagarta and Kayyaṭa Kashmiri pandits

Michael Witzel witzel at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Feb 11 09:15:57 EST 2014

D. Bhattacharya's memory of our Seventies talks at Leiden about the Tübingen Kashmir MSS is not accurate:

* the unique birchbark MS of the Paippalada Samhita (sent to R. Roth by the Maharaja of Kashmir in the 1870s) is quite safe. It has not been damaged at all in  World War II.  In fact, it has been scanned a few years ago by e-ternals in high resolution (1200 ppi), and is now available on multiple CDs. This includes a few small fragments not included in Bloomfield-Garbe's facsimile edition.

DB is confabulating here: 

* rather,the Tübingen Kaṭha MSS had been flooded by the rivulet Ammer in 1951, which of course does not damage Bhurja MSS written with Kashmiri ink. They have been restored in Munich in the Seventies/Eighties, and are in perfect condition now: The provisional 'restoration' carried out  by Schroeder in the 1890s --- pasting broken leaves together with thin paper--  has been reversed so that all passages are perfectly legible now. They too have been scanned (in part) by e-ternals.  
See the facsimiles in my ed. of Kaṭha Āraṇyaka (HOS, 2004) for the "before and after" condition. 

* The only Kashmir MSS lost in the war are some of the  Katha MSS sent by M.A. Stein to Berlin in the 1890s. During the war they had been stored  --like so many other valuable objects such as Lüders' MS of his "Varuṇa" -- in a mine. While Lüders' MS was messed up by soldiers during the occupation, some of Berlin Katha MSS (a big ṛcaka) have never been recovered. Luckily, Stein had sent old ṛcakas to Tübingen, Vienna, Paris and Oxford as well.


On Feb 10, 2014, at 5:00 AM, Dipak Durgamohan Bhattacharya wrote:

> … a valuable factor in determining the traits of the unique manuscript (sadly, the original destroyed by the war) -- Witzel spoke of the surrounding environment in the seventies. You are most welcome to continue as you have been. What draws my additional attention  -is that the external factors too should get the attention they deserve. .
> All the best wishes.   
> Dipak Bhattacharya

> ============
> Michael Witzel
> witzel at fas.harvard.edu
> <www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>
> Wales Prof. of Sanskrit &
> Director of Graduate Studies,
> Dept. of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
> 1 Bow Street,
> Cambridge MA 02138, USA
> phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, fax 617 - 496 8571;
> my direct line:  617- 496 2990

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