aklujkar at aklujkar at
Thu Jun 30 17:29:52 UTC 1994

I was hoping that someone more knowledgeable about the subject  would
respond to Mizue Sugita's message of 20 June regarding access to mss of the Anyway, here is the information I have.

First of all, it should be noted that a good edition, I think, of the was made available by Priyabala Shah in the Gaekwad's
Oriental Series in the late 195o's. Dr. Shah used to work with the B.J.
Institute, Ahmedabad, which has a good ms collection detailed in a
three-volume catalogue. 

What the Nag Publishers have put out (a publication mentioned in the
original message) is a reprint of an older edition from Bombay : Sri
Venkatesvara Steam Press. The details of the reprint are:
Sri-visnu-darmottar-apuranam = The Visnu-dharmottara-puranam /
Caru-deva-sastrina pranitaya bhumikaya sanathitam ; Naga-sarana-simha
sampaditaslokanukramanya ca sahitam.  Delhi : Nag Publishers, 1985. 2 v. in
one. LC no. BL 1140.4 V56 1985. 

Other related publications I find in my bibliographic notes are:   


Shri Vishnudharmottara, a text of ancient Indian arts / by Priyabala Shah.
LC no. NX 576 A1 P79 1990[?].  Published from Ahmedabad: [probably] B.J.

Visnudharma -- pada index on disk, meant to accompany the 3-volume work
edited by Dr. R. Grunendahl at Gottingen. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz.

I learn from my friend Dr. Mandakranta Bose that plans have been made at
the Indira Gandhi Centre, New Delhi, to edit the Citra-suutra section

As for access to mss at public libraries in India, my own experience, which
is not negligible, has been on the whole very positive. Much of course
depends on how you come across as a researcher and colleague in the field,
but I found very few curators who would not ultimately  help. The Adyar
Library and Research Centre (Madras), the Bhandarkar Oriental Research
Institute (Pune), the Oriental Insitute (Baroda), the L.D. Institute
(Ahmedabad) are particularly pleasant places to work and, fortunately, have
some of the richest collections. One must, however, remember to ask for
lists of uncatalogued mss after the mss listed in the published catalogues
have been examined. It would be accurate to state that  practically no
collection of Sanskrit mss is fully listed in the published catalogues.

Private collections are an entirely different matter as far as access is
concerned. In general, one must build up much goodwill in earlier tours of
public ms collections, establish contacts, earn confidence and then think
of using the painstakingly collected addresses.  Above all, one must
remember to look at things from the point of view of the owners and
trustees. There is no reason why they should immediately trust a researcher
simply because he comes from abroad or has only two or three days to spend
at the place. Secondly, the rules established for trusts are established by
caring individuals in the light of previous experience and in the belief
that they are protecting the property of a group or community.  While they
may appear to a visitor to move too much in the direction of 'checks', one
should not forget that they have to have a system of checks and balances.
The visiting scholar leaves,but  they have to continue to live in the

Ashok Aklujkar, Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of B.C.,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z2. Tel: (604) 822-5185, (604) 274-5353. Fax
822-8937. E-mail: aklujkar at


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