SV: [INDOLOGY] Utilising printed edition for a critical edition

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at GETMAIL.NO
Sun Mar 25 13:14:16 UTC 2012

Dear members of the list,


I have a question concering the editions of the Kamasutra in the Kashi Sanskrit Series. The first edition came in 1912 (editor Sri Damodar Lal Goswami, KSS 29), the second in 1934 (editor Madhavacharya), 1964 (editor Devadatta Shastri, KSS 29) and 1997 (editor Ramanand Sharma, Bitthaldas Sanskrit Series 4). The only edition available to me here in Oslo is the 1964 edition KSS 29. 


My question primarily concerns the two KSS editions: is the Sanskrit text (mula and Yashodhara’s commentary) identical in these to editions, or did Shastry make changes in the Skt. text?


Best regards,


Lars Martin Fosse


Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse

Haugerudvn. 76

0674 Oslo - Norway

Phone: 47 22 32 12 19

Mobile: 47 90 91 91 45

Email: lmfosse at

            lmfosse at


Fra: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] På vegne av Dipak Bhattacharya
Sendt: 24. mars 2012 17:03
Emne: [INDOLOGY] Utilising printed edition for a critical edition




There was a well-meant advice: <While it may be necessary to collate printed editions, it may not be required to report their readings in a critical edition> But this raises some questions.

There is an understood assumption here that the editor has distinguished between an emendation effected on the previous edition and an original MS reading retained in that and has represented the previous goings on without creating any misconception about MS readings. In actual practice this understood rule has often been flouted often leading the reader to wrong ideas about MS-readings.  

I can give two examples where the rule has been flouted.

Caryācaryaviniścaya H.P.Śāstri Bangiya Sahitya Parishat, Calcutta 1916 

Caryāgītikoṣa P.C.Bagchi and Śānti Bhikṣu Śāstrī, Visva-Bharati 

When H.P.Ś retains an MS-reading and Ś.B.Ś emends he reports the 1916 edition’s reading with H. This creates the impression that H.P.Ś had emended the MS reading while the same has been retained by Ś.B.Ś. But the opposite is the case. 

Thus, vs. 1d, païṭho MS; Ś.B.Ś. païṭhā; Ś.B.Ś critical apparatus marks païṭho with H meaning that it is the reading selected by H.P.Ś.  But there was no selection to make because it was the MS reading. All such MS-readings retained by H.P.Ś have thus been marked with H. There are seven such reports in the first five verses alone.

On the other hand MS readings emended by H.P.Ś. with notice in the Critical apparatus have not been reported as emendation and the MS reading can be found only in the 1916 edition. Thus Commentary vs.1d sadvartmovagamāya MS; *sadvartmāvagamāya H.P.Ś;   Ś.B.Ś repeats H.P.Ś without mentioning the MS reading.

Such lapses will be found in the VVRI edn. Of the AVŚ too.

AVP 18.22.10c jātaṃ jātrīr yathā hṛdā́; Visva Bandhu edits the parallel AVŚ 20.48.2c as jātáṃ jánir yáthā hṛdā́. The c.a. just notes jātrī́r yáthā śaṃ.pā meaning S.P.Pandit’s edition has jātrī́r while Whitney reads jánir. It is missed that Whitney’s mss too read jātrī́r. Since the twentieth kāṇḍa was not translated by Whitney only those who have access to the 1856 edition will know that the reading jātrī́r is the uniform AVŚ reading that is confirmed as the original AV reading by the AVP and that jánir is an emendation by Whitney.


In both cases unscientific reporting of the printed text reading creates wrong impression about the original reading.





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