a question on manuscript traditions

rajam rajam at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Apr 16 05:44:00 UTC 2010

Dear All,

I'm looking for some information. Was it a practice in ancient India  
to put some sort of a "divine symbol" on every page of a manuscript?  
For example, there's a practice in the Tamil tradition to write some  
symbol (for example, invoking Ganesh) or descriptive word (invoking a  
personal God) on every page of some written work, whether it is a  
legal document, school notebook, exam paper, wedding invitation, and  

I'd like to know whether such practice is pan-Indic, and if so, how  
far does it go in time.

I've been working on a manuscript written in Portuguese to describe  
Tamil; and, in this manuscript (from ~1549) written by a Jesuit  
missionary each folio has Tamil words meaning "Jesus" or "Jesus Mary"  
at the top.

So, I wonder whether this practice is pan-Indic or borrowed from  

I'm aware that Tamil inscriptions start with auspicious terminology,  
but I'd like to know about other traditions.

Thanks and regards,
V.S. Rajam

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