Pancaratna of the MBh?

gruenendahl gruenen at MAIL.SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE
Thu Jan 4 08:34:56 UTC 2007

Just to add a few details to Dominik Wujastyk's earlier reply:

The "five gems" collected in the Pancaratna are usually attributed to the 
Mahabharata, but only three of them are part of the constituted text of the BORI 
Bhagavadgita (6.14-40),
Bhismastavaraja (12.47), and
Visnusahasranamastotra (13.135)

The Anusmrti is handed down only in Southern mss. of the MBh (14, App. 17B), 
while the Gajendramoksana is hitherto undocumented in the entire MBh tradition, 
although the colophons of countless Pancaratna prints and mss. attribute it to the 
Santiparvan (MBh 12), sometimes to the "AAnu'saasanika" of the Santiparvan, 
possibly reflecting the state of affairs before these two split into separate parvans.

Occasional accretions apart, the Pancaratna text of the Gajendramoksana episode 
is more or less identical with the version preserved in the Visnudharma (chap. 67 of 
my edition, vol. 2), whereas it has no textual parallels with the version of the 
Bhagavata-Purana. What is more, the Visnudharma has the Gajendramoksana 
episode side by side with the Anusmrti (chap. 68).
[A parallel to the Visnudharma version of the Gajendramoksana is found in the 
Vamana-Purana (chap. 58 of the Kasiraj edition), the exact relation of which is too 
complex to unfold here.]

For an electronic text of the Visnudharma see:

As indicated, the Pancaratna is a collection of enourmous popularity, frequently 
used for recitation and available to this day in countless manuscripts and modern 
print version. The earliest reference to the collection as such (though without the 
name Pancaratna)  seems to be in Vidyaakara Vaajapeyin's Nityaacaarapaddhati 
(pre-1500, according to Kane), where the recitation of "the five stotras" is mentioned 
in connection with the cleansing of the temple (pp. 492-495). Interestingly enough, 
Vidyaakara names the Visnudharma and the VamanaP as sources for the 
Gajendramoksana, and the Visnudharma alone for the Anusmrti.

Reinhold Grünendahl


Dr. Reinhold Gruenendahl
Niedersaechsische Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek
Fachreferat sued- und suedostasiatische Philologien
(Dept. of Indology)

37070 Göttingen, Germany
Tel (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 52 83
Fax (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 23 61
gruenen at

In English:

GRETIL - Goettingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages

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