Sanskrit Manuscripts : Yoginīhṛdaya

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>These palm-leaf fragments written in Nepālākṣarā contain a fragmentary passage of the third chapter of the <i>Yoginīhṛdaya</i> (a text of the Śrīvidyā tradition and traditionally classed as part of the so-called <i>Vāmakeśvaratantra</i>), starting with verse 3.44d in Kaviraj's edition (1963), and verse 3.41d in Padoux's (2013). The leaves are found in a bundle containing two different fragments belonging to the <i>Vāmakeśvaratantra</i>, one leaf of the <i>Kuśopadeśa</i> (<a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-OR-00722-00001/1'>Or.722.1</a>), as well as hitherto unidentified fragments of Buddhist, Śaiva and generally Tantric texts, to which they don't seem to be related, although they appear to be equally old. Both the kind of palm leaf and the script are different to other folios in this bundle. The section contained in our manuscript is the beginning of the passage dealing with the imposition of the <i>cakra</i> (<i>cakranyāsa</i>). Since the beginning of the quoted text is marked by a <i>siddham</i> sign followed by a benediction to the goddess Tripurasundarī, it appears that this passage was extracted and treated here as a single manuscript, perhaps put together to contain the essential information regarding the <i>cakranyāsa</i> for practical ritual purposes. This may be corroborated by the fact that on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>folio 1r</a> before the beginning of the text, a passage in Nepālākṣarā script was added by a second hand, providing a short note for the procedure to extract the root mantra for worship (the <i>vidyoddhāra</i>), which is not explicitely given in the <i>Yoginīhṛdaya</i> (Padoux 2013: 15). However, the full extent of the manuscript is unknown. The <i>Vāmakeśvaratantra</i> itself comprises two works, our <i>Yoginīhṛdaya</i> and the <i>Nityāṣoḍaśikārṇava</i>, and it is not certain when each of these works were composed and became collectively referred to as <i>Vāmakeśvaratantra</i>. Sanderson suggests that the <i>Yoginīhṛdaya</i> may have been composed at a slightly later date than the <i>Nityāṣoḍaśikārṇava</i> , which has received a commentary by the Kashmirian Jayaratha at the beginning of the 13th century.</p>


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