Keeping the faith

Aditya Prakashan specialize in books on Buddhism and Hindusim. They have published all the books under the renowned Satapitaka Series from the International Academy of Indian cultures, New Delhi for the last few decades. The latest few books in this series are featured in this post.

In at No. 629 in the series is Sanskrit manuscripts from Tibet: Vimalaprabha commentary on the Kalacakra-tantra, and Pancaraksa, reproduced by Lokesh Chandra. This volume is a facsimile edition of two ancient Sanskrit manuscripts from Tibet, which were actually used by Indian acaryas and Tibetan lotsavas for translation into Tibetan. They are valuble for the comments of the lotsavas written in the cursive Tibetan script on the palmeaves themselves. The two texts are: (i) Vimalaprabha commentary on the Kalacakra-tantra, and (ii) Pancaraksa. The script of the manuscript of Vimalaprabha shows that it was written in Magadha and belongs to the early 11th century. It is the earliest manuscript of the Vimalaprabha. Jagannath Upadhyaya, Vrajavallabh Dvivedi and S. S. Bahulkar edited the commentary and original Tantra in 1986-1994 from the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath. They used six manuscripts, three of them in Devanagari script, two in Newari script, and one in old Bengali script. The present manuscript is the oldest of them, and merits a new edition. The five texts of the PANCARAKSA have been treated as separate titles in the Kanjur (Toh. 558, 559, 561, 562, 563). They were translated by with the help of Silendrabodhi, Jnanasiddhi, Sakyaprabha, Jinamitra and Danasila, during the reign of Ral.pal.can who ruled from 817 to 836. It was a period of great literary activity, when a common terminology was developed by a royal commission with eminent Indian and Tibetan scholars for the translation of complex philosophic ideas. The outcome of this historic effort was the Mahavyutpatti, which is an astounding linguistic work of transforming a primal Tibetan language into a valid literary language of Classical sophistication. The Sanskrit manuscript of the Five Raksa texts reproduced here should go back to the early ninth century. It is a glorious symbol of the foundations of the literary heritage of Tibet.

Oversize (29 x 43 cm) in hardcover, 144 pages, Rs 1500. ISBN: 9788177420944

And Nos. 630 and 631 are the two-volume set, Buddhist Poetry, Thought, and Diffusion encompasses the research of the greatest Indologists of the West from 1923 to 1973 in a pan-Asian approach. From Sanskrit they passed into Tibetan, from kavyas to the transcendence of philosophical subtleties in the Abhisamayalankara, from Sogdian to Chinese across the deep sands of Central Asia, from Queen Ken Dedes of the Majapahit to the sublime science of Maitreya, from the mudras of the Durgati-parisodhana mandala to the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva's meditational way in the Dasabhumika-sutra which was translated into Chinese in AD 297 by Dharmaraksa, the great Yueh-chih master who spoke thirty six languages of the Central Asian kingdoms. With a foreword by Lokesh Chandra, these volumes collect the works of Harris Birkeland, Oslo; J. J. L. Duyvendak, Leiden; P. H. L. Eggermont, The Hague; C. L. Fabri, Leiden; B. Faddegon, Amsterdam; Erik Haarh, Copenhagen; H. Hackmann, Amsterdam; Walther Heissig, Bonn; E. H. Johnston, Banburg; Sten Konow, Oslo; Per Kvaerne, Bergen; N.D. Mironov, Ariana, Tunisia; Georg Morgenstierne, Kristinia; E. Obermiller, Leningrad; J. Rahder, The Hague; Nirmala Sharma, New Delhi; W. F. Stutterheim, Batavia (Now Jakarta); F. W. Thomas, Oxford; Friedrich Weller, Leipzig.

In hardcover, 1218 pages, Rs 2750, ISBN: 9788177420951.