Dienstag, 06. Oktober 2015, 18:00 - 20:00 iCal

Editing Priestly Sanskrit.

The Case of S?r?dhara’s Karmapan?jik?

Seminarraum 1 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien


Ein Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Shilpa Sumant

(Gonda Fellow, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden; Deccan College, Post Graduate Reseach Institute, Pune).


In this talk, I wish to concentrate on the Karmapañjik? (KP) as an example of a text written in priestly Sanskrit. This type of priestly Sanskrit may be regarded as a sub-standard variety of the more ‘perfect’, copious and refined Sanskrit language.

The KP is a manual for Atharvaveda Paippal?din priests to carry out the domestic rituals according to that school. It was composed by an otherwise unknown ?r?dhara around the 16th century of the common era. A critical edition of this text in three volumes is under preparation in collaboration with Prof. Arlo Griffiths (EFEO, Lyon). The edition is based on six palm-leaf manuscripts written in Oriya script, each containing approximately 175 folios.

The necessity of composition of paddhatis (guide-books) and prayogas (practical courses of the procedures) arose from the early mediaeval period. This genre of treatises has rarely caught the attention of scholars and hence most of them are still lying in the manuscript form.

It will be interesting to see the features of written priestly Sanskrit by picking examples from the KP. I would like to discuss the non-standard morphology, non-standard vocabulary, unusual sentence constructions and deviations from metrical norms in ?r?dhara’s low register Sanskrit and the consequent difficulties in editing such texts.


Shilpa Sumant received her PhD from the Tilak Maharashtra University in Pune. Her academic career includes position as an assistant in various research projects, teaching activities in Sanskrit, Marathi and Hindi as well as visiting faculty for courses at the University of Pune.

Since 2009 Prof. Sumant has been involved in the editorial work on the Encyclopeadic Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historical Principles. Her central research area is the Atharvavedic ritualistic literataure. She is currently holding the position as Gonda Fellow at the IIAS, Leiden.


Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde


Judith Starecek
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
4277 43502