[INDOLOGY] svacchandatantram - date

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 23:17:30 EDT 2015


Such passages are indeed many of them rather similar (cf. also Kiraṇatantra 59:3ff; Mataṅgapārameśvaratantra, vidyāpāda 25:15ff;
Suprabhedāgama, yogapāda 2:35ff). But it seems to me that just a little closer to your passage (or at least equally close) may be the corresponding lines of the Guhyasūtra of the Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā, a text which is the source of more than a thousand verses of the Svacchandatantra.
As elsewhere, the rather irregular Sanskrit of the Niśvāsa has been smartened up to become the Kashmirian version of the Svacchandatantra upon which Kṣemarāja comments (and which is printed in the KSTS edition).  It would be rather natural for it to be brushed up in slightly different ways when quoted in some other śāstric text.

I haven’t gone back to check our transcription, but this is roughly how it appears in the ninth-century Nepalese manuscript:

mānuṣākṣinimeṣasya caturbhāga[s] tuṭi[ḥ] smṛtaḥ 7:22
tuṭidvayaṃ lavo jñeyaṃ nimeṣan tu lavadvayam
kāṣṭhā cāpi hi vijñeyā nimeṣā daśa pañca ca 7:23
triṃśatkāṣṭhā kalā jñeyā muhū[r]ttaṃ tais tu tṛṃśabhiḥ
muhūrtās tu punas triṃśa(d aho)rātran tu mānuṣam 7:24
tṛṃśaś cāpi ahorātrair mmāsam paitryan tu rātryaham

Nonetheless, given the relatively wide spread, in scholarly circles of the Sanskritic world, of the Svacchandatantra (the Niśvāsa, by contrast, appears never to have received commentary, except in Cambodia), it is not impossible that Vyomaśiva’s quotation should in fact have been drawn from the Svacchandatantra in an earlier state of text: it would be worth checking one of the old Nepalese palm-leaf manuscripts of the Svacchanda to see how those lines are transmitted there.

As for the date of the Guhyasūtra, only informed guesses are possible.  Some discussion is to be found in the introduction to the first volume of our edition of the Niśvāsa published from Pondicherry/Hamburg.

Dominic Goodall
École française d’Extrême-Orient
Pondichéry


> On 23-Aug-2015, at 10:42 pm, Elliot Stern <emstern at verizon.net> wrote:
> 
> I’m looking for any information or discussion about the dating of svacchandatantram. I am of course aware that any dating of this text is likely to be approximate.
> 
> Background for the question: Vyomaśivaḥ gives a what appears to be his own definition of a moment (kṣaṇaḥ), and then quotes another text for definitions of larger time units.
> 
> tathā hi paramāṇoścāvaruddhanabhodeśatyāgopalakṣitaḥ kālaḥ kṣaṇaḥ |
> 
> 		taddvayaṃ lava ityukto nimeṣaśva lavadvayam |
> 		kāṣṭhā nimeṣāḥ pañcadaśa ceha prakīrtitāḥ ||
> 		triṃśatkāṣṭhā kalā proktā kalāḥ triṃśanmuhūrtakaḥ |
> 
> ityevaṃ māsāderapi lakṣaṇaṃ prasiddhaṃ grāhyam~| (vyomavatī, ed. Gaurinath Sastri, 1.128.9-14).
> 
> 
> This seems to derive from svacchandatantram:
> 
> kṣaṇadvayaṃ tuṭirjñeyā taddvayaṃ tu lavaḥ smṛtaḥ // SvaT_11.201 //
> lavadvayaṃ nimeṣastu jñātavyo gaṇitakramāt /
> daśa pañca nimeṣāśca kāṣṭhā caiva prakīrtitā // SvaT_11.202 //
> triṃśatkāṣṭhāḥ kalā jñeyā muhūrtastriṃśadeva tāḥ /
> 
>  The Mysore ms. of vyomavatī improves the comparison to svacchandatantram:
> 
> tathā hi paramāṇoḥ svāvaruddhanabhodeśatyāgopalakṣi[81v8]taḥ kālaḥ kṣaṇaḥ tadvayaṃ ca lavaḥ prokto nimeṣaśca lavadvayaṃ kāṣṭhā nimeṣāḥ pañcadaśa ceha prakīrttitāḥ triṃśatkāṣṭhā kalā proktā kalātriṃśanmuhūrttakaḥ ityevaṃ māsāde[81v9]rapi lakṣaṇaṃ purāṇāaprasiddhaṃ grāhyamiti
> 
> Also, if anyone knows a closer comparison for the verses Vyomaśivaḥ cites, please provide the reference. I am aware that the mahābhāratam and other texts have similar verses, but svacchandatantram so far appears to be the best candidate for source. 
> 
> Elliot M. Stern
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