Sunday, January 22, 2006
The Siddhakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra
491 folios (the folios are numbered to 469), 48 × 317 mm, palmleaf, averages 5 lines per folio. (Seen with an art dealer in London, present location unkown. The first folios are here, more shortly).
This early Nepalese palmleaf manuscript is a major witness for the text of the Manthānabhairavatantra, an important scripture of the Kaula Tantric cult of the Western Tradition (paścimāmnāya). It is divided into three or four sections, three of which call themselves Khaṇḍas and presumably contain the oldest strata of the text. They are: Siddhakhaṇḍa is the third and shortest of the three (original?) khaṇḍas of the Manthānabhairavatantra (the others are the Yogakhaṇḍa, Kumārīkhaṇḍa, and there is also a fourth section called the Navanityāyāgādhikāra). The first colophon on fol. 4r gives the full long title of the work:
ity ādyāvatāre mahāmanthānabhairavayajñe anvaye saptakoṭipramāṇe merumārgavinirgate lakṣapādādhike ādyapīṭhāvatārite vidyāpīṭhamārge vimalabhedo[‘]ntaraṣaṭkanirṇṇaye kādibhede ājñāpārameśvare svāminīmate śrīcaturviṃśatisahasrasaṃhitāyāṃ avvā(?)kramabhāṣite ādyoghāvatāraṃ daṃḍakaṃ nāmānandaḥ ||.