23. Religions

LIVING RELIGIONS (4)

23.15. Buddhism

See Collection 22

AGAMA SUTRAS

See Collection 22.1

MAHAYANA PRAJNAPARAMITA SUTRAS

See Collection 22.2

MAHAYANA SUTRAS

See Collection 22.3

VIYANA

See Collection 22.4

ABHIDARMA

See Collection 22.5

TANTRA

See Collection 22.6


23.16. Hinduism

VEDA

MS 2097 MS 2097
RIGVEDA-SAMHITA
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, early 19th c., 4 vols., 795 ff. (complete), 10x20 cm, single column, (7x17 cm), 10 lines in Devanagari script with deletions in yellow, Vedic accents, corrections etc in red.

Binding: India, 19th c., blind-stamped brown leather, gilt spine, sewn on 5 cords, marbled endleaves

Context: See also MS 2162, 2163 and 2164, grammar, commentary and performance manual on the RigVeda

Provenance: 1. Eames Collection, Chicago, no. 1956; 2. Newberry Library, Chicago, ORMS 960 (acq.no. 152851-152854) (ca. 1920-1994); 3. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):42.

Commentary: The Rigveda-Samhita is the only surviving recension of the oldest ritual hymns of India. It consists of 1028 hymns, largely organised by subject/matter. It is an anthology collected from the larger number of hymns in use in the many priestly families of ancient India. The language in which hymns were composed is the form of Aryan which was spoken around 1000 BC. Modern scholars think that the corpus of texts was organised in its present textual and linguistic form around 600 BC, but was further orally transmitted from master to pupil until ca. 300-200 BC, when it was finally committed to writing. The Vedas (knowledge) is regarded as the source of Hinduism, directly heard at the beginning of the world-cycle by rishis or inspired sages, and is still a living part of Hinduism. The archaic linguistic forms are the most valuable source for the investigation of the oldest stages of the Indo-European languages, as Homeric Greek and Hittite.

The text preserves a stage of Indian religion quite different from modern Hinduism, the rituals being centred on animal sacrifice and the consumption of Soma, an intoxicating drink, and the pantheon being that of Indo-European steppe-dwellers.

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MS 2162 MS 2162
DASATAYIPRATISAKHYA OF SAUNAKACARYA, GRAMMAR OF THE RIGVEDA
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, 1665, 35 ff. (complete), 12x22 cm, single column, (ca. 10x18 cm), 10-11 lines in Devanagari script, double vertical lines at both sides of the text.

Binding: India, 1665, dark wooden upper cover.

Context: For the full text of RigVeda, see MS 2097 above.

Provenance: 1. Eames Collection, Chicago, Ill., no. 1962; 2. Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill., ORMS 956 (acq.no. 152860) (ca. 1920-1994); 3. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):43.

Commentary: The Dasatayipratisakhya of Saunakacarya is a part of the literature concerned with techniques of deriving the actually sung or recited text of the Rigveda from the root form of the words. The pratisakhyas shows how regular rules and patterns could explain the transformation of the abstract units into the modulated forms used in real speech and in particular in the performance of the hymns of the Rigveda.

The Rigveda-Samhita is the only surviving recension of the oldest ritual hymns of India. It consists of 1028 hymns, largely organised by subject/matter. It is an anthology collected from the larger number of hymns in use in the many priestly families of ancient India. The language in which hymns were composed is the form of Aryan which was spoken around 1000 BC. Modern scholars think that the corpus of texts was organised in its present textual and linguistic form around 600 BC, but was further orally transmitted from master to pupil until ca. 300-200 BC, when it was finally committed to writing. The archaic linguistic forms are the most valuable source for the investigation of the oldest stages of the Indo-European languages, as Homeric Greek.

The text preserves a stage of Indian religion quite different from modern Hinduism, the rituals being centred on animal sacrifice and the consumption of Soma, an intoxicating drink, and the pantheon being that of Indo-European steppe-dwellers.

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MS 5293 MS 5293
VEYAGANA, BOOK OF CHANTS OF THE LITURGICAL KAUTHUMA SAMHITA OF THE SAMAVEDA
MS in Sanskrit on paper, Toddapur, India, 1672, 134 ff. (complete), 14x29 cm, single column, (9x21 cm), 8 lines in archaic Devanagari book script by Vyasacaturbhuja son of Vyasanarahari , 8 lines in Vedic numeric hand gesture music notation.

Binding: Toddapur, India, 1672, poti paper covers.

Context: For the full text of RigVeda, see MS 2097 above.

Provenance: 1. Sam Fogg, cat. 17(1996):56.

Commentary: The Veyagana, also known as the Gramageyagana, is one of the 4 ganas (song-books) of the liturgical Kauthuma Samihita of the Samaveda, providing details of the particular melodies to be employed in the rendition of the samans. Both the Gramageyagana (detailing songs which can be practised in the village) and the Aranyagana (containing esoteric songs meant for study in the forest), belong to the Purvarcika, the first book of the Samaveda.

The music notation goes back to the ancient Vedic period. The numbers above the text lines correspond to specific hand gestures from which the correct tone of the chant could be interpreted. Colophon on the final f.: Thus ends the seventeenth lecture. The Veyagana is complete and ends. The section of the Pavamana ends. In the year 1729 (1672 AD) in the month Phalguna on the second day of the waxing lunar fortnight. Today here in the city of Toddapura in the reign of King Anandasimha this book was written by Vyasacaturbhuja son of Vyasanarahari from Srimala(?). For his own benefit. For the benefit of others. Whether correct or incorrect, blame should not be apportioned to me. May it be auspicious. May it be pleasing. May it be so. It should be protected from oil, it should be protected from water and from loose binding, it must not be left to the rats: thus speaks out the manuscript.

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UPANISHADS

MS 2163 MS 2163
KUMARAVISNUMITRACARYA, RIGVEDAPRATISAKHYAPARSADAVYAKHYA (MAHABHASYAM)
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, 17th c., 391 ff. (complete), 10x20 cm, single column, (5x16 cm), 7 lines in Devanagari script, deletions in yellow, highlighting in red, double vertical lines at both sides of the text. Binding: India, 17th c., dark wooden covers. Chicago, Ill., 1920-1940, cloth folding case, by Newberry Library.

Context: For the full text of RigVeda, see MS 2097 above.

Provenance: 1. Eames Collection, Chicago, Ill., no. 1963; 2. Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill., ORMS 955 (acq.no. 152861) (ca. 1920-1994); 3. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):44.

Commentary: The Pratisakhyas shows how regular rules and patterns could explain the transformation of the abstract units into the modulated forms used in real speech and in particular in the performance of the hymns of the Rigveda. The Rigvedapratisakhya-parsadavyakhya of Kumaravisnumitracarya is one of the later more theoretical commentaries on the Pratisakhya of the Rigveda. The Rigveda-Samhita is the only surviving recension of the oldest ritual hymns of India. It consists of 1028 hymns, largely organised by subject/matter. It is an anthology collected from the larger number of hymns in use in the many priestly families of ancient India. The text preserves a stage of Indian religion quite different from modern Hinduism, the rituals being centred on animal sacrifice and the consumption of Soma, an intoxicating drink, and the pantheon being that of Indo-European steppe-dwellers.

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BRAHMANAS

MS 2164 MS 2162
AITEREYA BRAHMANA, PERFORMANCE MANUAL AND INTERPRETATION OF THE RIGVEDA PANCHIKA
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, ca. 1827, 99 ff. (complete), 19x32 cm, single column, (14x27 cm), 15-17 lines in Devanagari script by 2 scribes, deletions in yellow, corrections in red.

Binding: India, ca. 1828, quarter leather, sewn on 4 cords, in European manner.

Context: For the full text of RigVeda, see MS 2097 above.

Provenance: 1. Eames Collection, Chicago, Ill., no. 1957; 2. Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill., ORMS 962 (acq.no. 152855) (ca. 1920-1994); 3. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):45.

Commentary: The Aitareya Brahmana may have been composed around 600 BC, and is thought to be the oldest of the class of texts called Brahmana, which combine instructions for the performance of the hymns of the Vedas with symbolic and etymological interpretations of the texts. The commentary is based on the division of the text found in the Rigveda Panchika, which divides the texts of the Rigveda into 8 sections (Panchika) instead of the 10 Mandalas of the Rigveda-Samhita. The originators of this traditions were priests who considered themselves able to recite the entire Rigveda in 8 days instead of 10. The Brahmana also provide explanations of the meaning of the gestures and utensils.

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UPA-VEDAS

MS 2175
  1. MUDRAS OF THE VAJRADHATUMANDALA, HAND GESTURES FOR WORSHIP
  2. CARYAGTTAKOSA OF THE VAJRADHATUMANDALA, A COMPLETE CYCLE OF RITUAL CARAYA SONGS
  3. UNIDENTIFIED TEXT

MS palimpsest in Sanskrit and Newari on paper laminated on canvas, Nepal, 17th c., 60 ff. concertina-folded, 8x20 cm, 3 columns, (3x27 cm), 7 lines in Newari script, punctuation and rubrication in red, more than 300 painted illustrations of hand gestures. Text 3 is the underlying text.

MS 2175 MS 2175

Binding: London, 1996, blue cloth folding case.

Provenance: 1. Monastery in Nepal (17th c.-); 2. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):25.

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PURANAS

MS 2174
DEVIMAHATMYA, PRAISE OF THE GREAT GODDESS

MS in Sanskrit on palm-leaf, Bihar or Nepal, 11th c., 32 ff., 5x31 cm, 2 columns, (3x27 cm), 5 lines in an early Bhujimmol script, borders marked with double lines with orange pigmentation between lines, 1 miniature in text.

 

Binding: Nepal, 11th c., carved wooden covers, decorated with 10 miniatures, poti with hole for the binding cord.

Provenance: 1. Monastery in Nepal (ca. 11th c.-); 2. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):40.

MS 2174

Commentary: The Devimahatmya is a work in 700 verses arranged into 13 chapters extolling the greatness of the Goddess and her various manifestations. A single verse of the text appears in an inscription on the Dadhimatimata Temple in the former Jodhpur state dated 608 AD. The present MS seems to be the oldest surviving copy of the text.

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ITHASAS (EPICS)

MS 2099 MS 2099
PAÑCARATNAGITA, THE BHAGAVADGITA WITH ACCOMPANYING TEXTS
MS in Sanskrit on paper, Kashmir, ca. 1800, 253 ff. (complete), 10x15 cm, single column, (6x11 cm), 6 lines in a bold calligraphic Devanagari script, initials and folio nos. in left margin, colophons and punctuation in red, titles in gold, frames in orange, red and black surrounding the text, title pages in elaborate illuminated frames imitating Islamic conventions in gold, red, orange, blue and black.

Binding: Kashmir, ca. 1800, Yellow silk (outside) and cotton printed with red and black floral patterns (inside), sewn on 3 cords.

Provenance: 1. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):50.

Commentary: The Bhagavadgita is regarded as the supreme expression of Indian spirituality.

The Mahabharata is the longer of 2 major epic poems of India, written in Sanskrit ca. 400 BC, based on actual events between ca. 1400-1000 BC. The traditional author or compilator is the sage Vysasa. It is consists of 100,000 couplets (2 rhyming lines sections) in 18 books with a supplement, about 14 times the length of the Iliad.

It includes a mass of legendary and didactic material worked around the heroic narrative of the fighting and story of the 2 related families Kauravas and Pandavas and the god Krishna as Lord Wishnu. Above all it is an exposition on dharma (codes of conduct), including the proper conduct of a king, a warrior, etc. Book VI is the Bhagavadgita (Song of the Lord), the single most important religious text of Hinduism; and the most widely read book next to the Bible.

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MS 2165 MS 2165
ADHYATAMA-RAMAYANA; THE ROMANCE OF RAMA; BOOKS 1 - 9
MS in Sanskrit on cream coloured paper, Rajasthan, India, ca. 1800, 256 ff. (complete), 17x32 cm, single column, (11x26 cm), 14-16 lines in Devanagari script, by several scribes, verse numbers highlighted in orange-red or with red strokes.

Binding: Rajasthan, India, ca. 1800, roughly carved varnished wooden boards with accumulation of chundum, poti without cord holes.

Provenance: 1. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):46.

Commentary: Ramayana is the shorter of the 2 great epic poems of India; composed in Sanskrit ca. 300 BC by the poet Valmiki in ca. 24.000 couplets in 7 books, about 3 1/2 times as long as the Iliad. The division of the Adhyatma-Ramayana into 18 books of roughly equal length was made for didactic purposes. The epic describes the royal birth of Rama in the kingdom of Ayodhya (Oudh), his success of bending the god Shiva's mighty bow and his family's adventures and fights with kings, demons and gods.

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YOGA

MS 5294 MS 5294
HATHAYOGAPRADIPIKA OF SVATMARAMA, HATHA YOGA FOR THE EXTENSION OF LIFE
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, 19th c., 61 (-1) ff., 9x22 cm, single column, (6x18 cm), 8 lines in Devanagari book script.

Binding: India, 19th c., poti paper covers.

Context: There are numerous editions and translations of this text. The only critical edition is published by the Lonavla Yoga Institute.

Provenance: 1. Sam Fogg, cat. 17(1996):69.

Commentary: The Hathayogapradipika is a tract of almost 400 verses on the so-called 'forceful' (hatha) Yoga. The text states that its first stage is the performance of 'bodily postures' (asana) which are well-known from popular books on Yoga; the second is 'the holding of the breath' (kumbhaka) in order to control the life force; then follow as numbers three and four the practices called mudrâ and karana and finally the 'concentration on inner sound' (nadanusandhana). One should therefore not treat this text as a part or expansion of the 'bodily aspect' of Classical Yoga. It is a markedly different system, which, despite aiming ultimately at liberation, lays more immediate emphasis on 'deceiving death', i.e. the prolongation of life. The first chapter of the Hathayogapradipika describes a variety of bodily postures, diet and general topics. The second deals with the control of the life force to be achieved by breathing exercises like holding the breath. The third chapter describes the 10 mudras (literally 'seals') which are said 'to destroy ageing and death'. The fourth chapter describes the liberating experience of trance (samadhi) which is the culmination of the whole training process. If the 'great force', i.e. kundalini is awakened, the life force dissolves and mental activity ceases.

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TANTRA

MS 5295 MS 5295
TANTRARAJATANTRA, THE KING OF TANTRAS
MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, 19th c., 127 ff. (incomplete), 14x29 cm, single column, (10x23 cm), 10 lines in Devanagari book script.

Binding: India, 19th c., poti paper covers.

Provenance: 1. Sam Fogg, cat. 17(1996):80.

Commentary: The test refers to itself as the Kadimata, or with the subtitle used in modern editions, Tantrarajatantra, and is divided into 36 chapters of 100 verses each. It expounds doctrines and practices that form the basis of the cult of the goddess Lalita Tripurasundari (Beauty of the Three Worlds). The text calls itself a Tantra, a scripture that by being part of divine revelation can claim the highest authority. The Tantrarajatantra is remarkable for its sophisticated language and its clear structure, but it is difficult to date the work although the commentator Subhagananda finished his commentary in 1603 AD. The greater party deals with the system of mantras, the details of the mystical diagrams and the Nitya goddesses.

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