Sanskrit Manuscripts : Devīkavaca

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> A hymn in praise of the Goddess Durgā. Manuscripts containing this text were considered amulets (<i>kavaca</i>, lit. "armour"), charms protecting the person who carries them from various kinds of evil influences (see Gonda 1977: 247). The manuscript is a single birch bark sheet, an uncommon writing material in Nepal ("The bark of the birch [<i>bhūrja</i>, vulgarly <i>bhōj</i>] is used in Nepāl only for charms and amulets, of which I brought home one specimen [Add MS 1578]. At least I never saw or heard of a book of this material" Wright 1877: 316). This text is closely related to the <i>Devīmāhātmya</i> (included in <i>Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa</i>), the <i>Argalāstotra</i> and the <i>Kīlakastotra</i> (it is often found in multi-text manuscripts together with these three texts, see Rodrigues 2009: 544, Slaje 1990: 131-2, and Janert 1970: 52, 78), and to the <i>Varāhapurāṇa</i>. </p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>This item is included in the Library’s 600th anniversary exhibition <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/linesofthought/artifacts/writing-on-bark/'><i>Lines of Thought: Discoveries that changed the world</i></a> which runs until 30 September 2016.</p>


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