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Title: Selected chapters from the Catuṣpīṭhatantra
Author: Szántó, Péter-Dániel
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The present thesis contains a. partial critical edition; corresponding partial translation; and a discussion of the Catupithatantra (CP), a hitherto almost completely unstudied Buddhist scripture. The text was written most likely in the latter half of the 9th century in East India, it is one of the earliest samples of what later became known as the corpus of yoginitantras, and it was highly influential on the Indian subcontinent up to the 12th century. It teaches the cult of a group of goddesses headed by Jnanadakini, although the pantheon was later reshaped to include several minor deities and a. chief male god, Yogambara. The GP is written in the most idiosyncratic. register in the history of the Sanskrit language; parts of it arc virtually meaningless without the help of a commentary. I therefore edited the text along ,with the corresponding passages from the Nibandha, a commentary by a. tenth-century Eastern exegete, Bhavabhatta. The thesis consists of two volumes. The first volume consists of five chapters. After a short prologue in which I summarize my findings (1), I give an introductory study (2) in which I discuss my approach and methodology (2.1), the scanty previous scholarship on this text (2 .2), the title; structure, and taxonomical position of the scripture (2.3); thereafter I give a brief outline of contents and advance a hypothesis concerning the target audience (2.4): the next sect ion discusses the date of the text by listing its earliest attestations (2.5); in the penultimate sub-chapter I discuss the stylistic, iconographic, doctrinal/ritual; and linguistic peculiarities of the text (2 .6); the study concludes with a discussion of sites where the study of the text and worship of its pantheon arc attested (2.7). The third chapter is a survey of the literature of the CP (3). Since almost none of this material has been published, particular emphasis is given to the presentation of manuscripts. I have grouped the CP literature into scriptural works (3 .1), exegetical works (3.2), initiation manuals (3.3), and satellite texts (3 .4). After some concluding remarks (4) I give in the fifth chapter an annotated translation of about half of the CP. The chapters falling outside this selection arc presented in synopses. (5 .1-16) The appendix volume contains a critical edition of the chapters I have translated in chapter 5. For the edition 1 have used three palm-leaf and two paper manuscripts for the CP and three palm-leaf manuscripts for the commentary. With the exception of the best manuscript of the commentary, which comes from Vikramasila in Bihar; all codices were produced in Nepal. The appendix volume closes with a bibliography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Buddhism--Sacred books--Criticism, Textual ; Buddhism--Sacred books--Language, style ; Sanskrit philology ; Manuscripts, Sanskrit