Sanskrit Manuscripts : Sārasvataprakriyā


Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> A 15th-century almost complete paper copy of the <i>Sārasvataprakriyā</i> of Anubhūtisvarūpācārya , the seminal text of the Sārasvatavyākaraṇa, a grammatical system that originated in North India in the first centuries of the second millennium CE, possibly sponsored by a Muslim ruler (Belvalkar 1916: 93), and gained great popularity in later times. It aims to teach Sanskrit grammar through a simple and pragmatic approach. Its core appears to comprise approximately 700 <i>sūtra</i>s, probably composed by a certain Narendra, whose name is mentioned by some ancient commentators. However, this original body of rules does not survive independently in any manuscript source, but only as incorporated into the work of Anubhūtisvarūpa, who is credited with arranging the <i>sūtra</i>s in the present topical order and complementing them with explanatory statements (<i>vārttika</i>s), thus reaching a total of almost 900 rules, accompanied by examples (Saini 1999: 179-80). Nothing is known of either Narendra or Anubhūtisvarūpācārya, but judging from the name the latter is likely to have been an ascetic. According to Belvalkar (1915: 96-7), he must have flourished between 1250 and 1450 CE, when he is mentioned by the earliest known commentator, Puñjarāja of Mālva. Written in 1443 (year 1500 of the Vikrama era), this manuscript is therefore an early copy of the <i>Sārasvataprakriyā</i>. According to the colophon, it was copied by a scribe named Mahaṃlāl for a brahman named Bhābhā who belonged to a lineage of <i>mahāyājñika</i>s (literally, “performers of the great Vedic sacrifices”), in the town of Vijayapura during the reign of king Vīrabhāṇa. The town is not identified, but judging from the variety of western Devānāgari in which the manuscript is written, it was probably located in western India. Later on the manuscript seems to have been acquired by a Jain library, as suggested by the numerals – probably a classmark – found on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(120);return false;'>final folio</a>. </p>

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