BnF INDIEN 2: Caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam, “Refutation of Doctrines”

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 2 is BnF

INDIEN 2 (ex-Tamoul 1, Fig. 1) from the BnF is a bundle of 178 palm-leaf folios (330 x 25 mm; note that the folios are wider in the middle of the bundle, see Fig. 2).

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 2, bundle — Courtesy of BnF

Fig. 2 — BnF INDIEN 2, bundle, seen from the side — Courtesy of BnF

The bundle comprises several parts:

    • 1 cover folio on the outside, on the front woodplank. It bears the title: சங்கற்பநிராகரணம் Cakapanirākaraam. This title-folio is additional and by another hand. It is probably part of a scheme of classification of the collection of Ariel (for a similar folio, see BnF INDIEN 1, figs. 2 and 5).
    • 1 blank front guard folio.
    • 32 folios with their own independent foliation. They contain the root-text (Tamil mūlam) of the Cakapanirākaraam.
    • 3 unfoliated blank folios.
    • 139 folios with their own independent foliation. They contain the commentary (Tamil urai) to the Cakapanirākaraam. A smaller folio (corrigendum, unblackened) has been inserted in this part, see below.
    • 1 back guard folio, written on recto only and unblackened. It provides a sort of table of contents of the manuscript. This folio is also additional and by another hand.

The manuscript thus contains two main parts: the root-text (mūlam) and a commentary (urai) to this mūlam. The urai contains also the full text of the mūlam, but intespersed with the comments.

The descriptions by Vinson and Cabaton (Figs. 3‒4) are outdated. First, there are more than 139 folios (139 + 1 for Ariel).1 Furthermore, Ariel’s list of “renouncements” (maṟuppu) and “desires” (matam) is in fact the table of contents and, as we will see, there is no question of renouncements and desires.

Fig. 3 — Julien VINSON, Catalogue des manuscrits tamouls, corrected proofreadings, printed by the atelier oriental de l’Imprimerie nationale, 1867‒1868, p. 1.

Fig. 4 — Antoine CABATON, Catalogue sommaire des manuscrits Indiens, Indo-Chinois & Malayo-Polynésiens, Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des manuscrits, Paris, Leroux, 1912, p. 1.

The manuscript is, according to Vinson, from the Ariel collection and cannot thus be later than 1855. Vinson dates it to ca 1780 on unclear grounds. Both the mūlam and the urai parts end with a scribal colophon, stating the date of copy. None of these dates matches exactly Vinson’s approximate date.

According to its scribal colophon (f32r5‒f32v3), the mūlam was copied by Pātūr Cittampalavaṉ after a copy of Amuṟtapāṇi Tampirāṉ, a resident of Pommapuri (pommapuriyil irukkum amuṟtapāṇit tampirāṉ piṟiti ēṭu pāttu pātūrc cittampalavaṉ eḻutam piṟiti)2, in the year Caṟuvatāri (Sanskrit Sarvadhārin). The year Caṟuvatāri is the 22nd year of the Jovian cycle. It occurs every 60 years and could correspond to CE 1828‒1829, 1768‒1769, 1708‒1709, etc.3

According to its scribal colophon (f139v4‒6) the urai was copied by Cittampalavaṉ, of the lineage of Pātūr Vi[cu]vaku… (pātūr vi[cu]vaku?? cantatiyil cittampalavaṉ eḻuttu) in the year Viya, that is, Viyaya (Sanskrit Vyaya). The year Viyaya is the 20th year of the Jovian cycle and corresponds to CE 1826‒1827, 1766‒1767, 1706‒1707, etc. The colophon of the urai mentions also the Kaliyuga era (f139v5) but the year has not been indicated (the space was left blank by the scribe, to be filled in later on, as he was probably not able to determine it at once, see Fig. 5). Had this Kaliyuga year been stated, we would have been able to determine precisely which CE year corresponds to the Viyaya year of the Jovian cycle (and correlatively to the Caṟuvatāri year of the mūlam colophon).

Fig. 5 — BnF INDIEN 2, urai, folio 139, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

An unblackened addendum (f136v6) to the urai colophon (Fig. 6) repeats the same information as for the mūlam, namely that the copy was made after after a copy of Amuṟtapāṇi Tampirāṉ, a resident of Pommapuri.

Fig. 5 — BnF INDIEN 2, urai, folio 139, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

It appears that the urai was written first, even though it comes second in the bundle. As it does not seem that the folios in the bundle have been re-arranged and since both the mūlam and the urai have been written by Cittampalavaṉ and from copies owned by the same Amuṟtapāṇi Tampirāṉ, several explanations comes to mind. The mūlam copy of Amuṟtapāṇi Tampirāṉ might not have been immediately available. Alternatively, by want of time, Cittampalavaṉ could have decided to first copy the urai, which, as stated above, contains also the mūlam. In any case, a bundle meant to accommodate both the mūlam and the urai was prepared and the urai was first copied, leaving enough blank folios in the first part of the bundle, so as to accommodate the mūlam later, which was done two years later.

Our manuscript was thus written in two phases, at the latest in the 1820s, possibly in the 1760s or even earlier. As for replacing it in a spatial and cultural text, we can provisionally conclude that it was written in connexion with a Śaiva “monastery” (mutt, Tamil maṭam). According to the Madras Tamil Lexicon, தம்பிரான் tampirāṉ can designate a non-Brahman monk of a Śaiva mutt, whereas தேசிகன் tēcikaṉ (see Fig. 9) is a common title for the head of a mutt. Further research might confirm that the placenames mentioned in the manuscript (Pātūr, Pommapuri) have some connection with a Śaiva mutt.

The Caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam (“Refutation of doctrines”) is the last of the 14 Meykaṇṭacāttiram, a canon of theological and doctrinal texts of the South Indian neo-saiddhāntika Śaiva school. The work dates to 1313 CE.4 The author Umāpati Civācāriyār does however not appear to be mentioned or named as such in the bundle. The work in the present manuscript is divided into 20 chapters, most of them paired, as the exposition of the doctrine (matam) of the tenants of a specific Śaiva school is followed by its refutation (maṟuppu).

For example, in the left margin of folio 12, verso, of the mūlam (Fig. 7), we find the following running intertitles: பெதவாதிமதம் pētavātimatam and பெதவாதிமறுப்பு pētavātimaṟuppu. This means that on this page the chapter expounding the doctrine (matam) of the pētavātis (Sanskrit bhedavādin, “adherant of the doctrine of dualism”) begins (and ends) and is followed by the refutation (maṟuppu) of the pētavātis’ doctrine.5

Fig. 7 — BnF INDIEN 2, mūlam, folio 12, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

The manuscript contains traces of use:

    • corrigenda (some blackened, others not) are found on several leaves.
    • 1 smaller folio has been inserted between f62 and f63 of the urai and bears a corrigendum, unblackened.
    • a table of contents (unblackened, Fig. 8) has been appended, with a slightly different, and more explicit, naming of chapters, thats is X matam and X matam maṟuppu (“doctrine of X” and “refutation of the doctrine of X”) rather than X matam and X maṟuppu (“doctrine of X” and “refutation of X”) as found in the running intertitles of the manuscript.

Fig. 8 — BnF INDIEN 2, back unfoliated guard folio, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

As for paratexts, besides the corrigenda and additional folios by later users and besides the scribal colophons (which comprises also benedictions/imprecations), others are also from the hand of the original scribe, such as the marginal titles of the mūlam and the urai on their respective first folio (Figs. 9‒10).

Fig. 9 — BnF INDIEN 2, mūlam, folio 1, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

சங்கற்பநிராகரணம் ௳ மாயாவாதிசங்கற்பம் – – அகXவல் ௳

caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam. māyāvāticaṅkaṟpam. akaXval.

Caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam. [Chapter entitled] Māyāvāticaṅkaṟpam. [In the metre named] akaval.

Fig. 10 — BnF INDIEN 2, urai, folio 1, recto, detail — Courtesy of BnF

சிவஞானதெசிகன் றிருவடி வாழ் சங்கற்பநிராகரணம் உரைஉடன்

civañāṉatēcikaṉ ṟiruvaṭi vāḻ caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam uraiuṭaṉ

Let the glorious feet of Civañāṉatēcikaṉ6 prosper. Caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam along with commentary.

Furthermore, we find running intertitles and intermediary statements of completion for the chapters, final statements of completion for the mūlam and the urai, announcement of the urai at the end of the mūlam, a satellite stanza at the end of the mūlam part (f32r3‒4, after the excipit of the mūlam and before the scribal colophon) and another satellite stanza at the beginning of the urai part (f1r1, see Fig. 10).7

Addendum by Giovanni Ciotti & Marco Franceschini (October 17th, 2019)

In f139v5, where the date of copy of the urai is stated, the inked word added by the scribe below line 5 (Fig. 11) should be read as rokaṇiy° (abbreviation, for rokaṇiyum). This is the name of the nakṣatra, which — together with the other details (Jovian year, month of Tai, 4th day) — enables to fix the date of copy unambiguously to January 2nd, 1707.

Fig. 11 — BnF INDIEN 2, urai, folio 139, verso, detail — Courtesy of BnF

As for the date of copy of the mūlam (f32r5), its correspondance in the CE remains uncertain, by lack of details. However, since it seems reasonable to assume that the mūlam was written 2 years later — and not 62! — than the urai, this can be comfortably fixed to 25 February 25th, 1709.

Emmanuel Francis

Chargé de recherche CNRS (CEIAS-UMR 8564, EHESS-CNRS, Paris)

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  1. Obviously, the manuscript was not thoroughly examined, but only its beginning and its end. As the running intertitles of the mūlam and the urai are similar, it was not realised that the bundle contains two successive foliations, whence the count of 139 folios, which corresponds to the urai part only. []
  2. As suggested by Giovanni Ciotti and Marco Franceschini, eḻutam is probably to be understood as an abbreviation of eḻutappaṭṭa, “that was written.” []
  3. On colophons in Tamil see Giovanni Ciotti & Marco Franceschini (2016), “Certain Times in Uncertain Places: A Study on Scribal Colophons of Manuscripts Written in Tamil and Tamilian Grantha Scripts” in G. Ciotti and H. Lin (eds.), Tracing Manuscripts in Time and Space through Paratexts, pp. 59–129, Berlin, de Gruyter (Studies in Manuscript Cultures 7). []
  4. See Dominic Goodall (2000), “Problems of Name and Lineage: Relationships between South Indian Authors of the “Śaiva Siddhānta”,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, 10 (2), p. 211, fn. 20. []
  5. See Madras Tamil Lexicon s.v. பேதவாதசைவம் pēta-vāta-caivam, “A Šaiva sect which holds that the soul gets rid of corruption by the Grace of God and that even in the state of emancipation it bears to God the relation of the beloved to the lover,” and s.v. பேதவாதம் pēta-vātam, “Doctrine of the duality of the universe and the Supreme Soul.” []
  6. This appears be the name of the head of a mutt. []
  7. The stanza found at the end of the mūlam is also commented upon at the end of the urai (f138v1ff.) []

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Emmanuel Francis (May 31, 2019). BnF INDIEN 2: Caṅkaṟpanirākaraṇam, “Refutation of Doctrines” Texts Surrounding Texts. Retrieved July 18, 2024 from

Emmanuel Francis

Chargé de recherche CNRS (CEIAS-UMR 8564, EHESS-CNRS, Paris)

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