Sanskrit Manuscripts : Kriyākāṇḍakramāvalī

Somaśambhu

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> This old Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript, probably from the fourteenth or fifteenth century, written in hooked Nepālākṣarā, contains the complete <i>Kriyākāṇḍakramāvalī</i>, an 11th-century ritual manual of the old pan-Indian Śaiva Siddhānta, containing instructions covering the regular (<i>nityakarma</i>), desiderative (<i>kāmyakarma</i>), and incidental rituals (<i>naimittikakarma</i>) including initiation (<i>dīkṣā</i>), consecration (<i>abhiṣeka</i>), and the installation of substrates of worship (<i>pratiṣṭḥā</i>). The manuscript is an important early witness and has not yet been systematically used for an edition. It also provides important information regarding the dating of the work itself recorded in the final verse, the reading of which differs amongst the various recensions of the text such as the Kashmirian one, with dates ranging from the mid until the late eleventh century (Sanderson 2007: 420, n. 540). Our manuscript uses regnal years, which have most recently been interpreted by Sanderson (2011: 5) to refer to the reign of the Kalacuri king Karṇa, most probably the seventh year, thus giving us the date 1048/49 CE. Bendall (1883: xxx) mistook the final rubric as the colophon and dated the manuscript to 1437 CE, or N.S. 557, using the system of notation for dates by syllables to decode the phrase <i>sasama samvatsare</i>. Further, the inside of the back cover contains a note with the date 890 CE for the manuscript, which is certainly wrong and based on a misinterpretation and misreading of the final rubric, which is again mistaken as the final colophon. The manual itself is based on the system of the Saiddhāntika scripture <i>Dviśatika-Kālottara</i>, even though the work is in large parts a verse redaction of Bhojadeva's ritual manual <i>Siddhāntasāra</i>, itself heavily drawing from the non-Saiddhāntika scripture <i>Svacchanda</i> (Sanderson 2003: 359-360). Somaśambhu himself was a pontiff of the prestigious Saiddhāntika monastery at Golagī (Gurgi), the Golagīmaṭha, in the kingdom of the Kalacuris of Tripurī (Central India), allegedly founded by king Yuvarājadeva whose reign probably dates to the 10th century (Sanderson 2009: 209-211, Brunner-Lachaux 1998: xliv). His manual appears to have been an influential work and was the principal source for authors such as Jñānaśiva and Aghoraśiva in the South (Brunner-Lachaux 1998: xlix and Sanderson 2003: 360). Some of the text was subsequently incorporated into South Indian scriptures such as the <i>Uttarakāmika</i> and <i>Cintyaviśvasādākhya</i> (Brunner-Lachaux 1998: lvii-lix). Around the second half of the twelfth century, the <i>Kriyākāṇḍakramāvalī</i> received a commentary by Trilocanaśiva (for more on his date see Goodall 2000: 211). </p>

 


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