It gives great pleasure in presenting this book: the Vyaghra-Smrti to the world of scholars. Roughly speaking this work can be divided into three parts. In the first part, I have discussed the problems connected with the Vyaghra-Smrti such as its nature, its date, some observations on it, its place in the Dharmasastra literature etc. In the second part, I have critically edited the Vyaghra-Smrti in the light of the two manuscripts-one published at Calcutta and the other from the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona-4. In the third part, I have collected about 142 passages, quoted in the Dharmasastra literature under the of Vyaghra, right from the 11th century A.D. upto the 19th century A.D. To enhance the utility of the second and the third part of this work, I have also added the indices the stanzas quote in these parts, I do not know how to express my deep sense of gratitude to the late Professor Dr. T. G. Mainkar who deserves the credit of initiating me into the field of textual criticism. From time to time, he gave me several directions and spent several evenings with me in reading the first 150 stanzas of the Vyaghra-Smrti. On account of my transfer, however, I could not get the benefit of his able guidance. In all humility, I state that whatever are the merits in this work, they are to be ascribed to my Guru, Professor Dr. T. G. Mainkar; but for the demerits of this work I am wholly responsible. In this context, I may quote the words of Madhusudana Sarasvati to express my feelings; Yad atra sausthavam kimcit tad guror eva me na hi/ Yad atrasusthavam kimcit tan mamaiva guror na hi// I place on record my geart-felt thanks to the Dr. P. V. Kane Memorial Trust, Bombay, for having sanctioned a sum of Rupees Memorial Trust, Bombay, for sanctioned a sum of Rupees three thousand for publication of this work of mine. I have no adequate wealth of words to express my sense of thank fulness to the authorities of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in general and to Prof. Dr. R.N. Dandekar in particular who has always encouraged me in my research activities and allowed me to use the manuscript of the Vyaghra-Smrti in the B.O.R.I. Collection. I am deeply obliged to Dr. Dandekar for having included this publication in the Bhandarkar Oriental Series of the Institute. I can think of no better blessings than this. I also take this opportunity to express my sense of gratitude to Dr. G.B. Palsule and Shri A.N. Gokhale for seeing book through the Press and also to the Bhandarkar Institute Press.
The Present critical edition of the Vyaghra Smrti is based on two manuscripts. One of these two manuscripts is already published in the Smrtisandarbha, Vol. IV, pp. 2491-2028. This edition of the Smrtisandarbha has utilised this manuscript of the Vyaghra-Smrti available in the Government Sanskrit College, Benares. This manuscript is designated as ‘A’ in the present critical edition of the Vyaghra-Smrti.
The other manuscript used for this edition is from the Deccan College Collection, now preserved in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona-4. I take this opportunity to express my sense of gratefulness to the authorities of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute for lending me this manuscript for a pretty long time. This manuscript bears the No. 163 of 1884-86. It Contains 16 folios and in a good condition. It is designated as ‘B’ in the present critical edition.
It may be noted here that MM. Dr. P.V. Kane has mentioned in his History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, part II, p. 1229 that in the Bhadkamkar Collection of manuscripts in the University of Bombay, there is an incomplete manuscript of the Vyaghra-Smrti in 260 verses. This does not seem to be true. On making proper inquiries, the present author is informed that there is no manuscript entitled Vyaghra-Smrti in the library of the University of Bombay.
It may be emphasised here that for the critical edition of the Vyaghra-Smrti, I have also made the best use of the vast Dharmasastra literature and traced out the stanzas of this Smrti in the Dharmasastra and have recorded other readings also.
Vyaghra and his other works
This Smrti has been ascribed to a sage by name Vyaghra.
The name Vyaghra seems to be very ancient,
We find reference to the name Vyaghrapad in the Sarvanukramani of the Rgveda IX. 87. 19-21, particularly along with Vasistha. This enables us to note that this hymn was seen by Vyaghra (prob. A short form for Vyaghrapad ), as the Vedic sages are generally described as mantradrs (Kalidasa, however, in his Raghuvamsa (V.4) describes the sages as ‘Mantrakrtam’ as contrasted with the expression ‘Mantradrsam’ utilised even by Sayanacarya in his introduction to the Rgveda).
Another reference to the name Vyaghra (pad) occurs in the Mahabharata IV.7.12. It may be suggested here that one and the same person could variously be called Vyaghra or Vyaghrapad or Vaiyarapadya. From the discussion in the following parts, it would be evident that all these names refered to one and the same sage. In the passage from the Mahabharata referred to above, it may be seen Yudhisthira refers to himself as Vaiyaghrapadya. Nilakantha, the commentator of the Mahabharata, has offered a beautiful explanation of this expression, from which it is clear that also appears to be the name of the god Yama, from whom Yudhisthira is born.
Another commentator,Caturbhuja, simply observes on the expression Vaiyaghrapadya as kulino gotrena. The commentary Laksabharana explains that from the statement of Bhisma it is quite evident that this Vyaghrapad appearts to be the name of some, the originator of the Some-Vamsa.
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