A critical apparatus in a Bengali manuscript

A critical edition of a text will usually list variant readings on each page, in an apparatus beneath the text. Over time, scholars have developed a set of signs and conventions to refer to these variations in a compact way.

 

Philipp A. Maas 2006. Samādhipāda: Das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśāstra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert. Page 7.

Philipp A. Maas 2006, Samādhipāda: Das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśāstra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert, page 7.

 

For example, take this page from the first chapter of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra, edited by Philipp A. Maas. The top part of the page contains the text as reconstructed by Maas. Some words are underlined with a wavy line, indicating that the reading is uncertain. Underneath, in an apparatus, he gives the variant readings from manuscripts and other printed texts. First, he indicates a line number, referring to the text above ― here the variants refer to line 12. Then, he lists each lemma ― that is, each place in the text where there is a variant reading. The first lemma here is samādhiḥ. Then he lists the sources that have this reading, by their sigla ― symbols representing manuscripts or groups of manuscripts. Finally he lists the variant readings, followed by additional sigla for manuscripts that have that variant; the first variant here is samādhin.

In Sanscrit 1397, a Bengali-script manuscript dated Śaka 1745 in the colophon (1823/1824 CE), we find a similar system for indicating variant readings. The manuscript contains the Svarodaya, also known as the Śivasvarodaya, a tantric Śaiva manual on breath-based divination. As with many Bengali manuscripts, it uses the candrabindu to indicate corrections and annotations in the text, which we have described previously.

 

Sanscrit 1397, folio 13, verso. Courtesy of the BnF.

Sanscrit 1397, folio 13, verso. Courtesy of the BnF.

 

However, this manuscript also uses the candrabindu to indicate variant readings, presumably taken from another manuscript. To distinguish these variants from corrections and annotations, each variant reading is preceded by the numeral 2 on the left, perhaps as a sort of siglum referring to the other manuscript. At the end of the variant, on the right, the line number of the lemma is given.

 

Sanscrit 1397, folio 13, verso, detail. Courtesy of the BnF.

Sanscrit 1397, folio 13, verso, detail. Courtesy of the BnF.

 

For example, in the centre of the image above, the variant reading পূর্ণে (pūrṇe) is given. It is followed by the number 2, indicating that the variant reading applies to a lemma on the second line. This can be found just below it: the word তদা (tadā), marked with a candrabindu. In addition, superscript daṇḍas are used on either side of the lemma to precisely indicate the boundaries of the lemma.

In some cases, the variant reading has been marked by a series of dots above it, which usually means that the text should be deleted. In this manuscript, however, the scribe seems to be using this convention to indicate that the reading is incorrect or invalid. Like the editor of a critical edition, this scribe doesn’t simply report variants ― he also critically evaluates them.

 

Sanscrit 1397, folio 2, recto. Courtesy of the BnF.

Sanscrit 1397, folio 2, recto. Courtesy of the BnF.

 

Here, for example, in the top margin, the variant reading স্বরহীনঞ্চ (svarahĩnañ ca) is marked with a series of dots above it. The corresponding lemma, স্বর­হী­নোথ (svarahĩno tha), is in the second line of the text below. On closer inspection, it is understandable why the scribe would reject the variant reading.

 

Sanscrit 1397 folio 2, recto, detail. Courtesy of the BnF.

Sanscrit 1397 folio 2, recto, detail. Courtesy of the BnF.

 

The line in the text, at the beginning of verse 17, reads স্ব­র­হী­নোথ দৈ­ব­জ্ঞো (svarahīno tha daivajño). Both svarahīnaḥ and daivajñaḥ agree in gender, number, and case. On the other hand, the variant reading, svarahīnam, wouldn’t make sense. Here is the verse in full:

স্ব­র­হী­নো [ঽ]থ দৈ­ব­জ্ঞো না­থ­হী­নং য­থা গৃ­হং । শা­স্ত্র­হী­নো য­থা ব­ক্তা শি­রো­হি­নঞ্চ যদ্ব­পুঃ ॥ ১৭ ॥

|svarahīno [‘]tha|1 daivajño nāthahīnaṃ yathā gṛhaṃ | śāstrahī|no|2 yathā vaktā śirohinañ ca yad vapuḥ || 17 ||

(folio 2r, line 2)

  1. svarahīnañ ca    2. naṃ

A diviner without [knowledge of] breathing is like a house without an owner; like a speaker without learning; like a body without a head.

Suggested citation

 

Li, Charles. 2021. “A critical apparatus in a Bengali manuscript.” Texts Surrounding Texts: Satellite Stanzas, Prefaces and Colophons in South-Indian Manuscripts (Paris BnF and Hamburg Stabi collections). 19 March. https://tst.hypotheses.org/2372

Charles Li

Charles is the resident postdoctoral researcher at the TST project in Paris.

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OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Charles Li (March 19, 2021). A critical apparatus in a Bengali manuscript. Texts Surrounding Texts. Retrieved July 18, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/uxze


Charles Li

Charles is the resident postdoctoral researcher at the TST project in Paris.

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