This book reproduces line drawings of the pantheon of deities described in chapter 6 of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya from two 17th-century Nepalese manuscripts Drawing of the 64 Yoginis according to the Devi-Purana found in an appendix to both manuscripts are also reproduced. The line drawings from Nepal should prove to be of great importance to the study of Hindu iconography. Comprehensive and almost complete sets of illustrations of pantheons such as this one are rarely found.
In addition to the line drawings, this volume reproduces the Sanskrit text of chapter 6 of the printed edition of the printed edition of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya (published in Kathmandu in 1966), which is not accessible.
The Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya, also called Laksanasarasamuccaya, Laksanasamgraha and Laksanasamuccaya, is a text of the 11th or 12th century and is attributed to Vairocana. It is a work on the construction and installation of lingas compiled from various Agamas. The present book discusses its authorship and date, the contents of its individual chapters, and analyses in detail the iconographic features of the deities described in chapter 6.
Gudrun Buhnemann is professor at the Department of Language and Cultue of Asia, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Her recent publication include Iconography of Hindu Tantric Deities (2 volumes, Egbert Forsten, 2000-2001) and Mandalas and Yantras in the Hindu Traditions (Brill, 2003)
In 1990 I compiled (with M. Tachikawa) two sets of line drawing from Nepal illustrating the deities in chapter 6 of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya. The publication, titled The Hindu Deities Illustrated according to the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya, was published by the former Center for East Asian Cultural Studies, Tokyo. Part I, for which I alone was responsible, includes a study of the text and the line drawing, while part 2, to which M.Tachikawa affixed his name, comprises the reprinted materials. The publication was received favorably and generated positive reviews in academic journals. However, due to the absence of a distributor and the high cost of the book, it has not been available in South Asia. Therefore it appeared to be desirable to bring out an edition of the book that would both be affordable and accessible to artists and scholars in South Asia, especially Nepal.
Instead of merely reprinting the book, I have taken the opportunity to rework the entire material over a course of time. The result is a completely revised version of the publication, for which I alone am responsible as the author. In addition to a study of the text and the line drawing, this volume includes a reproduction of the two sets of line drawings and of chapter 6 of the printed text of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya (Kathmandu 1966). While the 1990 edition also included a reproduction of chapter 6 from manuscript 4.331, this has been omitted here. When I completed my research for the 1990 edition in Japan, only limited library resources were at my disposal, and I had no access to Nevari scholars. I had to rely mostly on Jorgensen's dictionaries of the Nevari language have become available. During a stay in Kathmandu I had the opportunity to check the Nevari inscriptions with Mr. Kashinath Tamot, whose assistance I gratefully acknowledge. I also wish to thank Dr.k P. Malla and Dr. Rudralakshmi Shrestha for their help in this connection. With the help of these scholars it was possible to correct some errors in the listing of Nevari equivalent of the iconographic attributes (section 2.3). I have also updated the other sections in this book by incorporating new materials. For a comprehensive general introduction to the subject of painters' Model books and sketch-book from Nepal, the reader may refer to M. Blom;s study Depicted Deities: Painter's Model Books in Nepal (1989), in which the author also reproduces some drawings from the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya.
In this book I have made every possible effort to present the original line drawings from the two manuscripts with a detailed documentation, including two tables listing the iconographic characteristics of deities. It is however, not the aim of this book to present an in-depth study of the Sanskrit text of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya. The text of chapter 6 is an available only in one edition, and one which presents many problems. I have therefore consulted two additional manuscripts. These are manuscript 4.331, preserved in the National Archives, Kathmandu (= Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project, reel no. C77/1). A new edition of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya is planned by a team of the India Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, but is unlikely to appear in the near future. I would like to thank Dr. B. Baumer, Varanasi, and the past coordinator of the project, for making a preliminary version of chapter 6 of this edition available to me. For an in-depth study of chapter 6 of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya, it would further be desirable to compare the text with similar passages from other texts. These texts should include the Aparajitaprcchha, ascribed to Bhuvanadeva and written in the twelfth century, in which A. Gail identified a similar passage and the Agni-Purana.
I would like to thank Mr. Bishnu Kanta Sharma of the National Archives, Kathmandu, for permission to reproduce the two sets of line drawings and Dr.M. Blom, Utrecht, for lending me a microfilm copy of manuscript 548 of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya from the Kaiser Library, Kathmandu, which she obtained in the 1980s.Finally, I thank Mr. Philip Pierce, M.A., for editing third book for style.
Bibliography and Abbreviations
Index of Deities' Names
Reproduction of the Two Sets of Line Drawing (Manuscripts 1.331 and 1.1314)
The Text of Chapter 6 of the Pratisthalaksanasarasamuccaya
(from the Printed Edition)
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