Vedic manuscripts

Deshpande, Madhav mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Mon Oct 1 23:24:32 UTC 2007

In one of the old ZikSA texts, in the list of six worst reciters (pAThakAdhama), we find likhita-pAThaka "one who reads from a written source."  This shows the attitude of reciters toward written Vedas.  Clearly, even after the Vedic texts were written down, using the written Veda as a source was looked down upon.

Madhav M. Deshpande

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology on behalf of Peter Wyzlic
Sent: Mon 10/1/2007 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: Vedic manuscripts
On Mon, 1 Oct 2007 09:36:35 -0700
  adheesh sathaye <adheesh at OCF.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
> What is the most current assessment of when Vedic texts 
>began to be  transmitted in writing? What is the earliest 
>"hard" evidence--i.e.,  manuscripts and citations? Where 
>did this first start happening, and  in what scripts? 
>Were some Vedic genres (e.g., Upanisads) more  amenable 
>to being represented on paper? Are there any premodern 
> (commentatorial) discussions of this issue? 

In his account of India, Al-Biruni (973-1048) says 
somewhere that the Veda has only recently been put into 
written form, and that the Indians generally prefer oral 
transmission. I don't have the reference at hand, but it 
should be easily located in Sachau's translation.

> And finally, 
>what about  translation? Had the Vedas been translated 
>into vernacular or perhaps  non-Indic languages before 
>European scholarship?

I think, the "Oupnekhat" (or rather Sirr-e akbar), i.e. 
the Persian translation of the Upanishads has to be 
mentioned here.

Hope it helps
Peter Wyzlic
Indologisches Seminar der
Universität Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 7
D-53113 Bonn
Deutschland / Germany

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