Preface

 

Texts & Abbreviations:

VR = Vttaratnākara.

P = Vāsudev Laxmaṇ Shāstrī Paṇśīkar (ed), Vittaratnākara of Śrīmat Kedārabhaṭṭa, with the commentary by Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭa (3rd Edition Bombay, 1906). As on the whole this edition seemed to be the most reliable I have made it the basis for the present work.

V = Welivitiye Sri Sorata Thero (ed), Vruththarathnakaraya (1926, reprinted Colombo, 2001). This edition has the text printed in Devanāgari at the front of the book, and this has been used for noting the variants, except where otherwise stated. The Vyākhyā contains a transliteration of the text into Sinhala script, and Ven. Sorata's very useful commentary. There are many additions to the text in the Vyākhyā as explained in the foreword, however there are also many differences in the readings, and some omissions, which have not been explained.

S = Very Rev. C.A. Seelakkhandha Mahā Sthavira (ed), Vrittaratnākara by Pandit Kedārabhatta, with its commentary Vrittaratnākarapancikā by Prof. Srī Rāmacandra Kavi Bhārati (Bombay, 1908).

Dh = Śrī Dharānanda Śāstrī (ed), Śrī Bhaṭṭakedāraviracitam Vttaratnākaram (1st printing Delhi, 1972, reprinted 1999); the text as printed at the beginning of the book (pgs xiii - xxiii) has been compared for the variant readings.

 

Other works consulted:

ChŚā = Paṇḍit Kedāranāth of Jaypur (ed), Chhandas Śāstra by Śrī Piṁgalanāga, with the commentary Mitasañjīvanī by Śrī Halāyudha Bhaṭṭa (3rd edition Bombay, 1938). The most authoritive work on Sanskrit prosody, written as sūtras, rather than as kārikās, as with VR, ChM, SB, Vutt. etc.

ChM = Vāsudev Laxmaṇ Shāstrī Paṇśīkar (ed), Chhandomañjarī of Gaṅgādāsa (Bombay, 1906). Published together with P.

ŚB = Vāsudev Laxmaṇ Shāstrī Paṇśīkar (ed), Śrutabodha of Kālidāsa (Bombay, 1906). Published together with P.

Vutt: Vuttodaya, The Composition of Metre, by Ven. Saṅgharakkhita, Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (forthcoming). Vuttodaya is an edited translation of Vttaratnākara into Pāḷi made by Saṅgharakkhita Mahāsāmi. We can often see from the translation what reading Ven. Saṅgharakkhita had in the manuscripts he was following and this sometimes helps us to reconstruct the text of Vttaratnākara, at least so far as it was known in 12th century Śrī Lanka.

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The immediate purpose in preparing this edition of Vttaratnākara was to have a text to accompany the edition of Vuttodaya that is currently under preperation. Vuttodaya itself is an edited translation of the Sanskrit work, and we therefore are in an almost unique position of being able to show what the lines looked like in the Sanskrit, together with its Pāḷi translation.

Although in the body of the text the normal sort of variants occur, in the Samavtta section (Ttīyo 'dhyāyaḥ) in particular the variations are very great. The samavtta metres are the main metres used in the Classical period, and it seems everybody felt free to augment the metres listed in this section, so that it is almost impossible to see what the original text must have looked like.

Because of this, in preparing this edition I have tried to err on the side of caution, and have only admitted a kārikā into the text, when it is supported by all the editions consulted. Verse 5 of the present work states that the book will describe 136 metres (only). As it stands it is not easy to see how this number can be reconciled with the number of metres that are now actually described in the text.

The Sama-, Ardhasama-, & Viṣamavtta sections alone account for 127 metres; and if we count the metres in the Mātrāvtta section there are 25 metres (or 33, if we include the Vaktra variations in the count).

When we compare the present text of Vttaratnākara with Chandaḥ Śāstra & Vuttodaya, we can see that there are some metres in the former text not found in either of the others, nearly all of these occur in the Samavtta section of the text, which is where the main variations occur anyway. If we were to exclude those metres from the text, the number given in verse 5 would in fact be about correct. It is not always clear how we should, in fact, count the metres. Does Vaktra count as 1 metre or as 8? Should we count Āryā as 1 or 6? 01

I would therefore suggest that all the metres in the Samavtta section upto Pāṅkti in Supratiṣṭhā (i.e. vss 65 - 70), are probably additions; Perhaps added for the sake of completion.02 and the same applies to the following metres: Śaśivadanā 72; Vasumatī 73; Mauktikamālā 104; Upasthitā 105; Maṇimālā 118; Prabhā 125; Mālanī 126; Elā 144; Candralekhā 145; Narkuṭaka 153. I have therefore placed these metres in brackets in this edition, although nothing definite about their status can be made until someone examines the manuscript evidence and establishes an authorative edition.

In this edition I have adopted certain usages, like normally writing cch in place of ch after short vowels; omitting the doubling of certain akṣara after r, e.g. āryā, in place of āryyā; ardhā, in place of arddhā; prakīrtita, in place of prakīrttita, etc. These variants, which occur in the editions consulted, are merely orthographical, and have therefore not been noted in the variant readings.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu,
2003/2547

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