The third volume of the Saktisangama Tantra comprising the Sundari Khanda is now presented to the lovers of Indian mystic sciences. The text in this volume has been collated from four manuscripts obtained from the manuscript libraries of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, the University of Dacca, Durbar Library, Nepal and the Oriental Institute, Baroda. The Dacca manuscript was of considerable help in the preparation of this volume, as it was replete with marginal notes, which restored a large number of Mantras described in the text in a technical manner. But the unfortunate part of it is that the restoration of Mantras is not altogether free from errors or even complete in all instances. Another noticeable drawback in this manuscript is that in the very beginning there is a long lacunae extending over several chapters. The Dacca manuscript begins with the second half of the 253rd verse of the 3rd chapter (printed edition, page 91).
Below is given a brief description of the manuscripts used in the preparation of the present text along with symbols used. B(aroda). Manuscript No. 5603 in the Oriental Institute, Baroda, consisting of 82, 176 and 54 leaves measuring 81/2"x6" is not de-scribed in any Catalogue. It contains three parts only, namely, the Kalikhanda, the Tarakhanda, and the Sundarikhanda. The MS is fairly correct and complete although at several. places the sequence of verses and chapters is disturbed. The colophons are brief.
C(alcutta). Manuscript No. IB. 59 in the Library of the Royal Asiatic society of Bengal consisting of 293 leaves bound in book faun and measuring 121/2"x9". It is briefly described in the Catalogue of Books and MSS in Sanskrit belonging to the Oriental Limy of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, p. 191. Although full of aims and omissions, it supplied many valuable readings. Its colophons are not as brief as the previous manuscript, but no special mice could be taken of the colophons in different MSS.
D(acca). Belongs to the University Library, Dacca. It is numbered 346, and contains all the four parts, namely, the Kali Khanda (fol. 1-77), the Tara Khanda (fol. 78-128), the Sundari Khanda (53 leaves separately numbered) and the Chinnamasta Khanda (75 leaves separately numbered). This MS is written neatly and legibly in the Bengali script. It is not only correct but also contains many novel readings and features not four.d in others. Its marginal notes are of immense value, particularly for Mantroddhara or the restoration of the Mantras. The colophons are clear and elaborate.
N(epal). MS. No. Ta 26 in the Durbar Library, Nepal consisting of leaves 51, 51, 54 measuring 5"x6" and written in bold Newari characters of recent origin. It contains only three parts omitting the Tara Khanda which is already published as the second volume.
We are indebted to the Nepal Government and particularly to Bala Kaji Marichi Man Singh, C.I.E., private secretary to His Highness the Maharajadhiraja Saheb of Nepal for his courtesy in lending the Nepal MS and allowing it to remain with us for a very long time, and for many other favours shown to the Oriental Institute on several occasions. We have also to thank the General Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, and the Vice-Chancellor of the Dacca University for the loan of respective manuscripts of the Sakti-sangama Tantra in their charge, and for allowing them to remain with an for an indefinitely long period, since the publication of the book was delayed beyond measure due to circumstances beyond control.
Here, it may be repeated that an exhaustive and elaborate introduction of this comprehensive Tantra can only be given when all the four volumes are ready in print. Therefore, it is not necessary at the present moment to refer to the subject matter of the present volume in detail. Nevertheless, it is desirable to make a brief reference to the special features presented by the Sundari Khanda.
The most important chapter in the Sundari Khanda is undoubtedly the Desavyavasthaniyama or the "rules relating to the arrangement of countries". This is the seventh chapter (pp. 135-147) which is followed by another chapter describing the Five Divisions (Prasthas) in which India was divided on pp. 148-151. These two chapters are full of geographical information relating to Ancient India.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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