Sanskrit Manuscripts : Vipākaśruta

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This is a manuscript of the eleventh Aṅga of the Jain Śvetāmbara canon known as <i>Vivāgasuya</i> in Prakrit or <i>Vipākaśruta</i> in Sanskrit. This narrative work deals with the consequences of actions in terms of rebirths. The first part, the longest, is about sufferings resulting from bad behaviours <i>duhavivāga</i> and the second part about happiness resulting from good behaviours <i>suhavivāga</i>. It is a lively work staging a variety of characters, including, in the first part, people belonging to non-approved professions or lower strata of the society, such as butchers or fishermen who are parangons of violence. The first part ends on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(46);return false;'>f. 23v</a> line 8. It is divided into ten chapters which are distributed as follows: 1 ends on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>f. 6r6</a>; 2 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(17);return false;'>f. 9r10</a>; 3 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(26);return false;'> f. 13v12</a>; 4 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(7);return false;'>f. 4r9-10 </a> but there is a portion of text missing and chapter 5 starts abruptly; 5 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(29);return false;'>f. 15r11</a>; 6 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(31);return false;'>f. 16r7</a>; 7 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(35);return false;'>f. 18r13</a>; 8 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(40);return false;'>f. 20v15</a>; 9 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(48);return false;'>f. 24v13</a>; 10 on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(46);return false;'>f. 23v8</a>. The second part has also ten sections, but each of them is very short. It is a repetition of a basic pattern with only variations in name. This Cambridge manuscript has a nice layout and script, but is rather faulty. It has no colophon. It is remarkable on the account of a fine painting of the sixteenth Jina Śāntinātha seated in <i>padmāsana</i> within a pavilion on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'> f. 1v</a>. The Jina can be identified through his <i>lāñchana</i>, the antelope depicted on the pedestal. He is being worshipped by two devotees, a man and a woman. Neither the picture nor the Jina have any connection with the text copied but they act as a visual <i>maṅgala</i> supplementing the textual <i>maṅgala</i> opening the text, namely the <i>pañcanamaskāramantra</i>. This page is enhanced by decorative borders as well. This manuscript also offers two fine examples of pages decorated with floral and geometrical motives as opening and closure, known as <i>citrapṛṣṭhikā</i>, both of them different from each other. From <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(4);return false;'>f. 2v</a> onwards each verso folio of this manuscript has three different foliations: 1 to 27, 33 to 57 and 155 to 179, written above one another or side by side. Reading the manuscript, it appears that only the foliation 33 to 57 corresponds to a correct sequence of the text. For example, trusting the two other foliations is misleading in the following case: 11/42/164, 12/44/166, 13/165/43: the proper sequence is given by the foliation 42, 43, 44; 11 - 12 - 13 looks correct but is not. The foliation 1 to 27 is probably later. The presence of the other two numberings would suggest that the manuscript originally belonged to a larger multi-text manuscripts, containing perhaps other narrative Aṅgas of the Śvetāmbara canon.</p>


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