BnF INDIEN 336: Kantappurāṇaccurukkam

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 336 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 336 (ex- Indien 336; described by Cabaton under the entry INDIEN 337, Catalogue sommaire, 1912, p. 49) is a palm-leaf bundle of 110 folios (355 x 35 to 40 mm; Figs. 1‒2).

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 336, the bundle, tied — Courtesy of BnF

Fig. 2 — BnF INDIEN 336, the bundle, untied — Courtesy of BnF

It contains is the Kantappurāṇaccurukkam, a verse epitome, by Campantacaraṇālayacuvāmi, of the Kantappurāṇam, the Tamil version of the Skandapurāṇa. It comes from the Ariel collection and is thus for sure earlier than 1855. There is unfortunately no colophon with date as the manuscript is unfinished and the text stops abruptly on f107v1.

The 110 folios are distributed as follows:

  • 1 title-page folio (Fig. 3), of the type often found with manuscripts from the Ariel collection, placed after the front woodplank.

Fig. 3 — BnF INDIEN 336, title-page folio, recto — Courtesy of BnF

  • 1 front unfoliated folio (Fig. 4), bearing, on its recto, a benediction (Fig. 12) and a satellite stanza (Fig. 13), and, on its verso, some annotations (Fig. 14).

Fig. 4 — BnF INDIEN 336, front unfoliated folio, recto — Courtesy of BnF

  • 107 folios, foliated in Tamil numerals in the left margin (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5 — BnF INDIEN 336, f1r — Courtesy of BnF

  • 1 unfoliated blank back guard folio.

The writing of the manuscript appears to have been a collective work as indicated by the different recognizable hands (Figs. 6‒7) and the variety of the foliations.

Fig. 6 — BnF INDIEN 336, f11v and f12r — Courtesy of BnF

Fig. 7 — BnF INDIEN 336, f29r and f30r — Courtesy of BnF

Furthermore, there are folios foliated but left blank. One interesting and enigmatic case is f77 (Fig. 8), which is blank except for piḷḷaiyār cui and numeral, whereas there is no text discontinuity between f76v (first part of the verse numbered 27) and f78r (second part of the verse numbered 27).

Fig. 8 — BnF INDIEN 336, f76v, f77r and f78r — Courtesy of BnF

As for paratexts, there are many, such as:

  • the benediction வெற்றிவேல் உற்ற துணை veṟṟivēl uṟṟa tuai (title-page folio, recto, left margin; Fig. 9).

Fig. 9 — BnF INDIEN 336, title-page folio, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

  • the title which appears three times: on the title-page folio (recto, centre, Fig. 10), in line 1 of the satellite stanza (front unfoliated folio, recto, centre, Fig. 13), in the first marginal intertitle (f1r, Fig. 11).

Fig. 10 — BnF INDIEN 336, title-page folio, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

Fig. 11 — BnF INDIEN 336, f1r — Courtesy of BnF

  • the benediction வேயுறுதோளிபங்கன் றுண vēyuutōḷipaka uai (front unfoliated folio, recto, left margin; Fig. 12).1

Fig. 12 — BnF INDIEN 336, front unfoliated folio, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

  • the satellite stanza (front unfoliated folio, recto, centre; Fig. 13) praising, as usual, Gaṇeśa. It is distributed verse-wise on the page and mentions, as seen above, the title of the present work.

Fig. 13 — BnF INDIEN 336, front unfoliated folio, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

  • annotations (front unfoliated folio, verso, right; Fig. 14), that is, 5 lines, the first one only being blackened, that provide sort of definitions/lists: the 6 letters (caṭākkaram, Sanskrit a-akara), the 3 impurities (malam), the 5 actions of god (toil),  and the primordial  source (talai), that is, the Upaniṣads.

Fig. 14 — BnF INDIEN 336, front unfoliated folio, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

  • running marginal intertitles (Figs. 11, 15‒16).

Fig. 15 — BnF INDIEN 336, f3r — Courtesy of BnF

Fig. 16 — BnF INDIEN 336, f22r — Courtesy of BnF

  • intermediary statements of chapter completion, with count of verses and, sometimes, further benedictions.
  1. For வேயுறுதோளிபங்கன், see the beginning of  Tēvāram 2.85. []

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