Monday, August 13, 2007

Kosambi on Subhasitaratnakosa

Subhasitaratnakosa is an anthology of Sanskrit verses compiled by a Buddhist scholar named Vidyakara who lived in Bengal from the latter half of the 11th century AD to c 1130 AD. The first edition of this anthology, containing over a thousand verses, was prepared by Vidyakara shortly before 1100 AD. This first edition's palm leaf manuscript was discovered at the Ngor monastery in central Tibet. A second edition of the Subhasitaratnakosa (treasury of well turned verse), increased in size by about one third, containing 1738 verses, was compiled by Vidyakara himself not later than 1130 AD. A paper manuscript of this expanded edition was found in the private collection of the Nepalese Rajaguru, Pundit Hemaraja. The researches of DD Kosambi have shown that an anthology of Sanskrit verses published by FW Thomas in 1912 under the conjectural title Kavindravachanasamuchchaya from a fragment of a palm leaf manuscript represents the second edition of Subhasitaratnakosa.

About Vidyakara, the compiler of the Subhasitaratnakosa, no details are known. Researches of DD Kosambi have shown that Vidyakara was a monk at the Jagaddala monastery (in varendra) and in the compilation of his anthology he used the manuscripts kept in the library of that monastery.

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