[INDOLOGY] rubrication in Indian mss.

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 11:28:33 UTC 2015

Dear List,

Indeed Vallabhadeva (C10th) understands the birch-bark to be red because of being written upon with vermilion or the like: 

dhāturasena sindūrādidravyeṇa nyastākṣarā likhitavarṇāḥ/ ataś cākṣarāṇāṃ lauhityāt kuñjarabinduvac choṇā lohitāḥ/

But it is perhaps conceivable that they are red because they have been sealed with red sealing wax, which is what is suggested by this echo  in Dhoyī's Pavanadūta:

āttaṃ karṇāt praṇihitapadaṃ sāñjanair aśruleśaiḥ 
baddhaṃ tāpaglapitabisinītantunā bandhanena/
yatra strīṇām adhararucakanyastasindūramudraṃ 
tālīpatraṃ praṇayini jane premalekhatvam eti// 40

James Mallinson's translation reads:

Where palm-leaf decorations taken from the ladies’ ears,
inscribed with teardrops mixed with mascara,
bound with ties of lotus fibres withered by the fever of separation
and sealed with vermilion lipstick, become love letters to their sweethearts.

Dominic Goodall,
EFEO, Pondicherry

> On 26-Nov-2015, at 4:04 pm, naresh keerthi <nakeerthi at gmail.com> wrote:
> Can the following verse from the Kumāra-sambhavaṃ  be taken as having an oblique reference to rubrication? [Unless we take the second pāda to be a qualifier for the rikta version of the bhūrja-patra]
> nyastākṣarā dhātu-rasena yatra bhūrja-tvacah kunjara-bindu-śoṇāḥ |
> vrajanti vidyādhara-sundarīṇam'ananga-lekha-kriyayo'payogam ||  1.7 ||
> Best,
> Naresh Keerthi
> National Institute of Advanced Studies,
> IISC campus
> Bangalore - 12
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