Picking up the clue from Dr. P.V. Kane’s suggestions about the need of Reconstruction of Sankha-Likhita-Smrti which was lost in its original form in the black hole of time, Shri J.S. Padeshastri, a renowned oriental scholar entrusted the work of its reconstruction to Shri A.D. Thakur, as the subject for his Ph.D. Thesis.
Sankha and Likhita were prominent and ancient Smrtikaras, whose sutras and slokas are scattered in various ancient works on Dharmasastra. Prof. Kane has given 493 quotations collected from 17 works on Dharmasutra of Sankha-Likhita published by BORI Pune.
Dr. Thakur collected 963 quotations from 116 works, including a few Mss. With painstaking, diligent and meticulous care and arranged them in a systematic conventional format of Smrti, pointing out the variants too.
“Reconstructed Text” now seeing the light of day will prove useful and enlightening to the scholars and Researchers.
Dr. Ambalal Dalsukharam Thakur has been a student of M.S. University of Baroda, being a graduate and Post-graduate student of the same University. He also obtained his Ph.D. Degree of the same University under the guidance of Pt. Jagannath Padeshastrti and Prof. Dr. A.N. Jani—the two versatile scholars.
For some period, he worked as a Manuscript Assistant in the Ramayana Department of the Oriental Institute, Vadodara (1959-61). For the most part of his career, he was a Lecturer in Sanskrit at the colleges, affiliated to Gujarat University—Ahmedabad—especially at Sheth P.T. Arts and Science College, Godhra (Gujarat).
Some of his articles are published is some esteemed Journals and Periodicals. He was a devoted teacher, loved by the students and a self-less and ardent social worker. He was associated with the Premannad Ashram, Malsar (Dist. Vadodara) (from 1965 onwards).
It gives me great pleasure to present to the world of scholars this book, entitled “Reconstruction of Sankhalikhitasmrti” of the late Dr. A.D. Thakar, who has been a student of M.S. University and lecturer in the Sheth P.T. Arts and Science College, Godhra (Panchmahal, Gujarat). He undertook and worked under the guidance of the late Shri J.S. Padeshastri, my maternal Uncle and a veteran and versatile traditional scholar of Sanskrit. Dr. Thakur later on completed his research work on the said topic under the guidance of Mm. Prof. Dr. A.N. Jani, Ex-Director, Oriental Institute, Vadodara & Ex-Professor and Head, Deptt. of Sanskrit, Faculty of Arts, Vadodara.
The work, though worth-publishing remained in its manuscript form a considerable period. In the meantime, my work “Devala-smrti—Reconstruction & Critical Study” was published in two volumes by Koshal Book Depot, 3611/5 Narang Colony, Trinagar, Delhi-110035, which was also prepared on the same pattern under the guidance of the above two veteran scholars. Fortunately, on my request, Shri Chandraprakash Gautam of Bharatiya Kala Prakashan agreed to publish this valuable book of Dr. Thakur and he sent its first proof to the author for reading.
The author, Dr. Thakar, though not keeping well due to his ill-health, went meticulously through entire proof, connected it and made it ready to be sent to the publisher. But Alas! All of a sudden, on 9-5-2002 he, the author, Dr. Ambalal Thakur, left this mortal world. On a telephonic talk, day before his demise, he owing to his great affection towards me and great reverence towards, my maternal Uncle, Padeshastriji, urged me to write a foreword to this book, considering me to be a worthy heir of his guru—the revered Shastriji.
The Samkhalikhita Dharmasutra is a very ancient and important Dharmasutra, being referred to by Kumarila, in his Tantravartika, as a sutra that is adhered to by the followers of the Sukla yajurveda—especially Vajasaneyi Recession. Though Mm. P.V. Kane complied and published the Samkha likhita Dharmasutra, on the basis of some selected works, Dr. Thakar has tried to supplement Dr. Kane’s work by making it as exhaustive and perfect as possible, by referring to and collecting sutras and verses from book and even manuscripts. Secondly, Dr. Thakar also collected and complied in a systematic and topic wise form both the sutras and also verses, ascribed to Sankha, Likhita and both, in his research work. This improvement and addition to the work of Dr. Kane, would be no doubt a welcome addition to the hitherto published Dharmasastra Literature.
I deeply regret to note that the work is seeing the light of the day after author’s sad demise. Dr. Ambalal Thakar’s immortal soul will find solace with publication of this book, through posthumously.
“Sankha-Likhita Smrti is an old authoritative work on Dharmasastra. The text is not available anywhere in its original form. Commentators on Dharmasastra works have profusely quoted it in their commentaries. The reconstruction of this old and important smrti by collecting all possible quotations from all the published and unpublished works on Dharmasastra is a long felt desideratum.” This said renowned and veteran scholar in oriental studies, Shri J.S. Pade, Retired Research Officer, Oriental Institute, Baroda. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to work under him as a Manuscript Assistant Prof. Dr. U.P. Shah, the then Deputy Director of the Institute, inspired me for Research Studies under Shri Pade Shastriji.Rev. Shastriji pointed out the theme of “Reconstruction of Sankha-Likhita Smrti with a critical study” expressing the importance of the thrust area as quoted above. I was happy with the subject as the smrti belongs to Vajasaneyi Sakha of Yajurveda, my own Vedic Sakhsa.
Due to my ill-health, the submission was delayed however I am happy that i could complete the reconstruction of the text.
Dr. A.N. Jani, Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Faculty of Arts, and Baroda was kind enough to go through my research work. It was he, who inspired me to complete the work. For this, I am immensely indebated to him. I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude to Rev. Pade Shastriji and Dr. U.P. Shah.
The Reconstruction of the next was facilitated by Rev. Prof. G.H. Bhatt and Prof. Dr. B.J. Sandesara, then Institutional Heads allowing referring the source-works. I take this opportunity to express my heart-felt thanks to both of them.
I express my sincere thanks to Dr. S.M. Dave, Prof. B.N. Gandhi, Shri H.C. Mehta and S.Y. Wakankar, who had taken personal interest and helped me in one or the other way in bringing this work in its complete shape. I am greatly indebted to Dr. M.L. Wadekar, Offg. Director, Oriental Institute, M.S. University of Baroda for writing the forward to this book. It is he who has helped me to bring into light this work in a published form.
I am also greatly thankful to Shri C.P. Gautam of Bharatiya Kala Prakrashan, Delhi for these efforts towards the format and design of this book.
Prof. P.V. Kane made an attempt to reconstruct Sankha-Likhita-Smrti on the basis of the earliest sources. From them he collected various Quotations of Samkha-Likhita. Commentators and the authors of Digests from the times of Visvarupa down to the latest quote very largely from Sankha-Likhita-Smrti. Visvarupa says that Sankha-Likhita pondered over the Dharma promulgated by Manu and composed their work, after drawing upon the Veda.
“Samiksya nipunam dharmamrsibhyo manubhasitam Amnayat Samyaguddhrtya Sankhasca Likhitastatha.
Prof. P.V. Kane categorically states that the Dharmasutra of Sankha-Likhita was once available, though it has not yet been discovered. Therefore, he had to collect their quotations from the numerous books on Dharma-sastras. However he felt that his work of reconstructing the text of Sankha-Likhita-Smrti was not complete and expressed the hope that his reconstruction of Sankha-Likhita Smrti with a critical study” as my subject of research.
Quotations of Sankha-Likhita are found in prose and verse. Prof. Kane has given 463 Quotations in his Reconstruction of Dharma-sutra of Sankha-Likhita published by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona.
As he has stated that this is not a complete version of Sankha-Likhita-Smrti; I have not only traced out the quotations mentioned by Prof. Kane but also has made an attempt to point out the various sources that he had somehow not consulted. Prof. Kane had reconstructed Sankha-Likhita-Smrti on the basis of 17 works. Whereas I have utilized 116 works and a few manuscripts for the reconstruction.
While Prof. P.V. Kane reconstructed Sankha-Likhita-Smrti on the basis of source-works made available to him, he did arrange the quotations in order of the subjects of Smrti but did not name them. He says in the introduction of his text, that “Though the following reconstruction is far from professing to be exhaustive, it will, I hope, serve as a basis for further research....”
I undertook the work which he feels remains incomplete as my subject for Ph.D. “Reconstruction of Sankha-Likhita-Smrti with a Critical Study.” I have afresh reconstructed Sankha-Likhita-Smrti after consulting number of sources, the list of which is appended herewith. I have also tried to study the available varients before finally reconstructing Sankha-Likhita-Smrti.
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