So finally we did find Paramartha Sara – and it is not by Abhinavagupta but the Adi Shesha Version – the full story.
Guruji Prof. Navjivan Rastogi – had first brought this to my attention that he had heard a rumor that Naval Kishore Press in circa 1880s had published a Paramartha Sara with a Hindi Translation. He also apprised me that this text has two authors Adi Shesh and Abhinavagupta – the latter’s version is basically a redaction of the former to be more fine-tuned to Shaivite principals.
A suprisingly happy evidence was received in Ulrike Strike’s Empire of Books – History of Naval Kishore’s Career with the following
This above is clearly attributing this edition to be Abhinavaguptan and now we were convinced that in 1876 for the first time the obscure Kashmir Shaivism had made it to print as the upward historical limit.
Yesterday at World Book Day Ranbir Library, Jammu – the slim text was seen and I got to photograph them.
Management/execution/people/staff/centers everything runs as usual. Finance/Budgeting/Admin/Public Relations/Salaries will now be exclusively handled by SKF.eGangotri will focus on strategy/execution/data acquisition-management only.
This, a very salutary arrangement that will now allow us – given the budget allocation – to atleast double our head-count in 2023 and increase by 5-8 new centers touchwood.
We hope by end of this year we could increase our current average of 2.5 lakh pages/month-1200pdfs/month to double or more of that.
eGangotri continues to ask patrons to give generous tips for archive-worthy libraries and collections so we can enrich the readership options of Indologists.
in a long conversation discussing several areas of mutual cooperation. one of the things that emerged was there 10% monthly bandwidth to digitize external collections.
I immediately jumped on that offer and now our sole-acquired collection – 17 cartons + some more unshipped – can be brood-parasitically dumped to Sanchaya.org for free scanning/upload to archive.org plus more nuanced metadata than our minimilastic.
As an initial experiment one carton of our Lucknow Bhuvan Vani Trust Donation will be shipped to there Bangalore Office. then subsequently the remaining cartons.
Great Time and resource Savings.
Now we can fully concentrate on public and private collections elsewhere
Books in copyright can be digitized as an Exception under Clause 52-1(a)(i) – provided it is for private or personal research.
52. Certain acts not to be infringement of copyright. —
(1) The following acts shall not constitute an infringement of copyright, namely, —
[(a) a fair dealing*** with any work, not being a computer programme, for the purposes of—
(i) private or personal use, including research;
Explanation. — The storing of any work in any electronic medium for the purposes mentioned in this clause, including the incidental storage of any computer programme which is not itself an infringing copy for the said purposes, shall not constitute infringement of copyright.]
*** fair above only refers to ethical behaviour – such as not falsely claiming a work to be yours. it is not related to page-count.
Yet again a much overdue newsletter after much procrastination as last time.
– meeting in San Francisco with Brewter Kahle. Founder of archive.org and Crusader of Open-Accessing Books
– meeting in San Diego with Sthaneshwar Timalsina ji – Nepalese Shaiva Tantra Master and Celebrity Author of Wisdom Writtings.
notable texts digitized:
The most overwheming news shall be the discovery of 43 folios of Ishvar Pratyabhijna Vivritti of Utpal Dev (ईश्वर प्रत्यभिज्ञा विवृत्ति / उत्पल देव) – a text unavailable to Modern Scholarship except in small portions at National Archives, New Delhi and Maharaja Karan Singh’s Library, Jammu.
These 43 folios are also a fragment of the much sought after Text – but some new portions must be in it – they are currently being examined by the Only Scholar who I have given complete access to : Guruji Prof. Navjivan Rastogi.
The 2/3rds that I have released for the Public now are viewable below:
The Owner has forbidden being identified. I would also have made the whole text available to everyone as usual but Guruji wants to publish it first so I am obligated to respect his wish.
Readers may note my first work of digitization had happened at Gurujis residence and without any reservations Guruji had given us complete access to his highly curated multi-decade amassed Collection – hence when I reciprocate Gurujis wish I am only repaying a fraction of the debt I and the Indology Community owe him.
Readers would also find enlightenment about a brief history and importance of this Text the Vivritti of Utpal.
Utpal operating in circa 10th Century CE – wrote the Pratyabhijna Karika (ईश्वर प्रत्यभिज्ञा) – the Foundational Text of the School of Recognition in verse (Karikas). He also wrote a short Prose Commentary on it simultaneously the Vritti (वृत्ति). Both these are extant and have been published optimally.
The Vivritti (विवृत्ति) the longer later Commentary on the Karika – had been unkwown to the early pioneers: KSTS et al.
before the behemoth scholar K.C.Pandey – Gurujis’ (Prof. Rastogi) Guruji – through Ishvar Kaul was able to retrieve a transcript from Sharada.
This transcript was never published and the widow of the Late K.C.Pandey never allowed even Prof. Torella to make a copy. nobody knows what happened to the transcript and one of the greatest chapters in Indian Philosophic writting was lost – withheld by the mindless stubborness of a custodian who had no clue what she was refusing or its impact.
This behaviuor is very similar to what me and my team encounter from many custodians of such manuscripts and who put mindless roadbocks to our work – not just denying access but spreading rumours and sheer non-sense. I dont take it personally but who are they hurting.
The Universe however, had alternate plans to the widow’s inconsideration. The Sharada Original of which the transcript was made for K.C. Pandey – was discovered at the National Archives by Prof. Torella and he has published an excellent edition of the fragments.
Based on these fragments, Prof. Torella has declared they represent the single most important mystical work from the Indian Sub-continent. He also noted that Utpal’s scholarship was overshadowed by Abhinava’s more glamorous stature and receded in currency and esteem but with the hindsight of history and modern tools he proclaims they both are the biggest co-equal Giants of Indian Mysticism.
The 2nd witness of this text in Devanagari with additional material was digitized from Maharaja Karan Singh’s Libray by us – the text had been scribbled in the colophons of a Vimarshini – and identified and published by Prof. Isabelle Ratie ( no not the Consort of Kandarpa the Cupid – who was reduced to ashes by the 3-Eyed One for his cosmic prank; not also the subject of Kalidas’ famous passage the Rati-Vilap (रति विलाप) in his Mahakavya Kumar Sambhav. But our small group at eGangotri did witness a different kind of Ratie-Vilap ( Ratie’s Lament ) – related to delayed release of all folios of Vivritti pending Guruji’s publication – which unlike Lord Siva went un.
Prof. Ratie’s exciting story of the discovery here:
I was introduced to Mrugendra Vinod ji through my Indian American Friend Vipul Patel ji – his batch mate in Baroda University in the 80s.
Mrugendra jis story is illuminating. He pursued higher education in Computer Engineering back in the days when 3 month certifcate-holders from NIT were finding placement in America during the gold-rush of the IT Revolution. all his colleagues are now American citizens and pursuing the American Dream. Mrugendra ji on the other hand lives a life in oblivion in a kuti in varanasi 2 km from the nearest road. pursuing his passion for the Scriptures.
His 60+ Donations can be seen below which includes several photocopies of manuscripts he collected from different Libraries.
So its been more than a year I have being deferring my Newsletter. So finally I overcome laziness. I am on a minor world-tour. started with budget-friendly Serbia/Montenegro/Albania/Kosovo/North Macedonia to NY to Costa Rica and now Yoga rich Bocas El Toro, Panama with the supreme convenience of only using US Dollars. Lots of Happening Discoveries and Digitizations.
Mumukshu Bhawan, Varanasi
We discovered about a unknow library in Mumukshu Bhawan, Varanasi – courtesy Jagadanand Jha ji, Chief Librarian Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Sansthan of Lucknow. Permission was granted very easily but when we started working at the Library with 3 Almirahs of rare books and many manuscripts – my staff discovered there was another Library – supposed to be only for Monastics and locked for as long as anyone could remember. The Managament was most kind in breaking the locks for us and we discovered 10 Almirahs and 2 boxes of books with some manuscripts. Most books were pre-1950s. The 2500 books that we got to scan in the last 1 year can be seen below:https://archive.org/details/@mumukshu_bhawan?and=subject%3A%22eGangotri-35%22
We need another two months to complete the entire Library. Our experience at Mumukshu yet again proves my Thesis – how our Textual heritage is so lavaris(लावारिस)/abandoned mode. In Mumukshu – minus Gita Press and Anand Ashram books – atleast 70% of texts are unique and unknown items which no one can find in any bookstore or even a catalog of a Library. Speaking of our lavaris – abandoned mode – heritage, one of our volunteers shared this pictures of a Library in Ayodhya https://egangotri.wordpress.com/2021/11/21/snaps-of-ram-granthalaya-ayodhya/ and you can see how a amazing resource on Rama Bhakti exists but so ill maintianed and due to non-digitization out-of-bounds to anyone. Other Benares CollectionsOur Work at Jangamwadi has crossed 1000+https://archive.org/details/@jangamwadi
All Paper manuscripts have been digitized. The Palm Leaf Manuscripts are still untouched awaiting repairs. Books are being scanned. 50% of the 8 Almirahs have deen digitized. As usual we digitize the cream first – so most of the important books are already out there