Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at WOLFSON.OXFORD.AC.UK
Thu Oct 15 16:38:08 UTC 1998

NEWLY RELEASED from French Institute of Pondicherry/Ecole Fran�aise
d'Extr^eme-Orient, Pondicherry:---
Bha.t.ta Raamaka.n.tha's Commentary on the Kira.natantra,
volume I: chapters 1--6, critical edition and annotated translation,
Dominic Goodall.  
(Publications du d�partement d'indologie 86.1). 1998. 
Introduction, 2 plates (of folios of Grantha manuscripts), Sanskrit
text, English translation, indices. 
pp. cxxv, 487.
This book contains a critical edition and annotated translation of the
first 6 (of 12) chapters of the Kashmirian Bha.t.ta Raamaka.n.tha II's
influential, hitherto unpublished 10th-century Sanskrit commentary on
the Kira.natantra, a scripture of the (old, pan-Indian) Saiva
Siddhaanta.  The Kira.natantra consists of 64 chapters and touches on
every aspect of the cult: its theology, its yoga, its observances, and
its rituals and all that relates to them, including architecture and
iconography.  Raamaka.n.tha's commentary, however, covers only the
first portion of the text, which deals with the cult's doctrines.

After a eulogy of Siva, Ch.1 explains the nature of the soul and the
sequence in which a soul is linked to the evolutes of primal matter to
make it capable of worldly experience; Ch.2 distinguishes the
functions of impurity and primal matter; Ch.3 proves the existence of
a creator god; Ch.4 explains the role of Siva's chief deputy, Ananta,
in stimulating primal matter to generate the gross universe; Ch.5
explains what must precede a soul's receiving salvific grace; Ch.6
explains how initiation and post-initiatory observances vary according
to the abilities of the initiands.

The editor's introduction presents newly uncovered evidence about the
lineage of Raamaka.n.tha, attempts a chronological arrangement of his
extant works, provides the text of a surviving fragment of his
Sarvaagamapraamaa.nyopanyaasa, and discusses the canon of extant
tantras of the "Saiva Siddhaanta that we can assume to have existed in
the 10th century and so to have been accessible to Raamaka.ntha.

The critical apparatus presents the readings of the 4 surviving South
Indian palm-leaf manuscripts of the commentary and, in a separate
register, the readings of 21 manuscripts of the tantra from Nepal
and South India.

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