Sanskrit Manuscripts : Catuḥśaraṇaprakīrṇaka


Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A manuscript of the <i>Catuḥśaraṇaprakīrṇaka</i> of Vīrabhadra ( Virabadda ) with an anonymous Sanskrit commentary. The <i>Prakīrṇaka</i>s or ‘Miscellanies’ are a peripheral category of the Śvetāmbara canon which includes a collection of various texts in verse (mostly) or in prose and verse written in Jaina Māhārāṣṭrī Prakrit. In contrast with other groups of this canon, this one is characterized by its fluidity, having between 10 to 20 texts, including some disputed texts dubbed ‘supernumerary <i>Prakīrṇaka</i>s’. Hence all Śvetāmbara Jains do not give the <i>Prakīrṇaka</i>s the same status and authority as the other categories in their canon of holy writings and even contemporary Jain monastic authorities admit that there is no fixed tradition about these texts. In some respects the <i>Prakīrṇaka</i>s can be thought of as supplementary to the rest of the Śvetāmbara scriptures. Directed chiefly at monks and nuns, most of them expand on subjects mentioned in texts from the other classes of <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>scripture</a>. The most important topic they deal with is the practice of fasting to death (known under the terms <i>sallekhanā</i>, <i>bhaktaparijñā</i>, <i>saṃstāra</i>, <i>mahāpratyākhyāna</i>). The <i>Catuḥśaraṇaprakīrṇaka</i> which is copied here is one of the undisputed texts in the group and one of the most widely copied or commented. It is accompanied by an anonymous Sanskrit commentary (<i>avacūri</i>). This manuscript in the Cambrige University Library was used by K.R. Norman (1974) for his critical edition and translation of the text. </p>

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