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Published: 06.11.2014. Category: Music Tattoo Designs

The so-called Karma-ka??a manuscript in the Bodleian Library in Oxford is a very peculiar text. Firstly, the manuscript has a twin, found in the collection of the British Library in London, which is not available on JAINpedia. Then, the title under which both manuscripts have been catalogued is potentially misleading. The manuscript contains numerous inaccuracies of translation and explanation, which, coupled with poor penmanship, make the work difficult to understand. There is little information about the author, commentator, translator and sponsor of the manuscript but what there is shines interesting light on the creation of this unusual artefact. The manuscript is undoubtedly perplexing in its mix of various languages, scripts and religious doctrine and terminology. The Bodleian Library and the British Library each hold a manuscript copy of an otherwise unknown text. They appear to make up a set of four manuscripts, with two copies made of one text and two of another text. An interesting handwritten remark on the first page of the British Library manuscript calls it 'A curious book'. A following remark by another reader is even more telling: '[Jains] are very numerous and the Buddhists have merged with them'.
The two manuscripts catalogued as Karma-ka??a in the Bodleian Library and the British Library seem to form a group with two other manuscripts.
The Bodleian Library holds one manuscript of each text, with the two other manuscripts in the collections of the British Library.
All the manuscripts were copied for Claude Martin, a French collector in India in the late 18th century.
The manuscripts are written in a mixture of two scripts, representing three different languages. The two other manuscripts with the same handwriting are copies of a similar text, named as the 'Panchasat Gathas fifty verses Exposition of Jain tenets'. However, the title in the libraries' catalogues is incorrect, because it is based on a wrong reading of the transcription in Persian on the same page. In 1842 the Bodleian Library bought a pair of manuscripts from the Oxford Sanskrit Professor, Horace Hayman Wilson.
Unfortunately, only a small part of the history of these objects can be traced with certainty. For these four manuscripts, the most striking feature is the presence of two different scripts – the Devanagari script and the Arabic script. Even though both the manuscripts in the British Library and the Bodleian Library are labelled Karma-ka??a, the text belongs to a work more widely known as the Karma-prak?ti. The Karma-prak?ti, a brief treatise on the nature of the bond between the soul and karma, is credited to Nemicandra, a thinker of the Digambara sect, who was active in the 11th century.
There are strong similarities between these texts by Nemicandra, with identical verses used in both compositions.
The practice of calling the Karma-prak?ti the Karma-ka??a appears to be longstanding, with many historical sources using the latter name. The Karma-prak?ti's attribution to the Digambara philosopher Nemicandra is supported by the tradition, although there is no proof of this authorship. Authors of commentaries on the Karma-prak?ti unanimously credit it to Nemicandra, but there is no decisive evidence available to support or disprove either outlook, as is common with historical Indian literature.
For the modern editor of the 1964 Karma-prak?ti, Hiralal Shastri, Nemicandra composed this text before the Gommatasara as it is aimed at helping beginners in karma theory.
One example is Paramanand Shastri, who believes that the Gomma?asara Karma-ka??a was faulty so Nemicandra decided to correct these errors by adding gathas – verses – and creating a new text. This table details how many of the 161 verses in the Karma-prak?ti are found in other works. If the Gomma?asara came earlier, the Karma-prak?ti could have been based on the longer treatise.
Many historical sources use the title of Karma-ka??a for the text in the manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and the British Library. The commentary by Hemraj that accompanies the text in these manuscripts specifies Karma-ka??a as the title.
Similarly, in his commentary at the beginning of the 17th century, Sumatikirti names it Karma-ka??a.
It is very probable that the translator thought of the text in these two manuscripts as the Karma-ka??a, as his contemporaries would have done.
However, the name chosen by Hiralal Shastri, the editor of the 1964 critical edition, is Karma-prak?ti.
There are some examples online of this text being named Karma-prak?ti, such as this manuscript in Varanasi, India, available on the website of the International Digamber Jain Organization. The rich collector Claude Martin commissioned the Brahmin Dilaram to translate into Persian Hemraj's commentary on the Karma-prak?ti, which is attributed to Nemicandra. Dilaram opens his work with invocations in three languages, each appealing to a different god or prophet. Dilaram carefully follows the ordering of the original verses but his translation stops with verse 87. These are qualities of the soul along with energy – virya – which also relates to the physical body. For example the destructive – ghatiya – karmas are ranked before the non-destructive – aghatiya – karmas.
These verses explain how the union between body and karma is 'compact and dense' because there is an infinity of karmic particle on each spatial point of the soul. The text describes how, when karma comes to fruition – udaya – it produces an effect – bhava – on the soul.
These feelings of attraction or aversion are directed towards objects, people and emotions and take varying degrees of intensity. Nemicandra further adds that karmic bondage must be distinguished according to its nature, duration, intensity and space. These verses describe how the four 'destructive' – ghatiya – karmans hinder true perception. These verses explain how 'destructive' karmans can also dull correct perception because they involve wrong belief.
These two verses detail how the nama-karmans determine which of the five bodies will be attached to the soul in its next birth. Some karmans influence the physical body in which the imperfect soul is embodied during a 'birth'. Sa?hanana-karma – which influences the body's joints – also determines where the soul will be reborn, whether within the paradises or the hells. The sa?hanana-karma also determines the spiritual stage – gu?a-sthana – which the soul is able to attain in a given lifetime. The 17th-century commentary by the Digambara scholar Hemraj is fairly conventional in form. The commentary loosely follows the traditional two-part form of the padartha and bhavartha.
In the first stage, the padartha, a short gloss of the words in the text gives their Sanskrit form, not their original Prakrit form, and their meaning.
Hemraj’s commentary is bilingual in the sense that it contains Sanskrit explanatory sentences followed immediately by a Hindi paraphrase.
Hemraj may have been taken the explanations in Sanskrit from a previous commentary or may have composed them himself. The Sanskrit religious terms in the vernacular commentary are rarely explained, usually remaining unchanged. Most of the work is written in the local form of literary Hindi known as Braj or Braj Bha?a, which is still spoken in a vast area of northern India, including Agra. Translating the various languages of the text of the original work and its commentary into another language requires high levels of multi-lingual fluency.
The translation is in Persian, the main language used for writing and administration in northern India for hundreds of years.
Further, at some points the translator Dilaram transliterates Sanskrit into Arabic script, increasing the effort required to read the text. One of the main difficulties in understanding the Karma-prakr?ti in these two manuscripts arises from Dilaram's translation and interpretation of Hemraj’s commentary.
The Karma-prakr?ti was originally composed in Jaina Sauraseni while the commentary is largely in Braj Bha?a and Sanskrit.
Persian was the dominant language in northern Indian society until the beginning of the 19th century and was for a long time the sole administrative language in Awadh. The community of language and culture between the Persian territories and the Indian kingdoms created a continuous Perso-Islamic identity, extending the traditional Ajam, the non Arabic-speaking regions of the Muslim world, further to the east. The use of Persian was particularly strong in the Nawabi realm and was used long after the emergence of Urdu among learned Muslim communities. The brahmin Dilaram mastered the Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit languages, which sets him apart from the usual method of translation in the previous centuries.
Even if the many difficulties of the original text forced Dilaram to translate rather awkwardly, too many errors in the translation point to an incomplete education in Persian.
Many other irregularities can be found on every page, making his translation difficult to read.
One remarkable feature of the two manuscripts of the Karma-prakr?ti is the presence of complete Sanskrit sentences written in Arabic script.


On the whole, these sentences show a coherent transliteration system which shares much with previous attempts, such as those of Akbar's translation bureau and Abu’l-Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari and Dara Shikoh’s Sirr-e-Akbar.
Dilaram's translations of other Jain texts, such as the Panca-stikayasara, also reveal this approach. Although he was a Hindu brahmin, Dilaram seems to have absorbed some Muslim concepts and terminology.
The Persian commentary on verse 81 is an example of how Dilaram's argument goes beyond the original text and exemplifies how he misinterprets Jain doctrine and apparently twists it according to his own religious beliefs.
This excerpt illustrates how an evidently baffled Dilaram interpreted the text according to his own understanding of religion, making it fit into a broader Vedantic or Hindu frame.
Dilaram’s brahmanic background permeates his translation and drives him away from the letter of the Karma-prak?ti. A mystical or moral precept is often attributed to some aspects of the Jain text that are, at face value, completely devoid of it.
Dilaram refers constantly to the authority of the Vedas and to the danayan-i bid or ?aliman-i bid –'knowers of the Veda' – which borrows the Sanskrit word vedavid. In another example, Dilaram glosses the different bandhas – 'karmic bondage' – in the commentary, when he quotes a devotional Hindi doha – 'couplet' – by Tulsi Das.
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Sanskrit is one of the world's most ancient languages and is derived from the same proto mother language as Latin and Greek so many of the words are common.
Happy Realisation organises workshops on Sanskrut language and decodify shloks under the guidance of an international teacher. Baha’is believe that Buddhism constitutes a vital part of the divine plan, representing a strong link in the chain of progressive revelation throughout the ages. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born sometime around 500 BC, give or take 100 years, at Kapilavastu in Nepal. The traditional life story handed down largely in common among all Buddhists is quite full. Some of the stories told of the Buddha sound like myths — but it is always easier to spot the myths of another religion than the myths of one’s own. As with the stories told of the Buddha, the authenticity of Buddhist scripture has problematic aspects, too. Originally, the Buddha’s teachings were divided into nine categories (spellings below vary): sutra (prose), geya (prose and verse), vyakarana (answers to questions), gatha jataka (stories of past births), udana (inspired utterances), itivrttaka (memorable sayings), vedalla (catechism) and adbhutadharma (marvelous qualities), but sometime after the Buddha’s death, a simpler categorization took effect and scripture was divided into nikayas (“volumes” in Pali) or agamas (“scriptural collections” in Sanskrit). The first volume in those scriptural collections is called the vinaya (in both Pali and Sanskrit) and it contains instruction about monastic discipline.
We can glean a sense of the immensity of the problem of the authenticity of the Buddhist scriptures from the awareness that the discourses alone make up many thousands of pages, many times larger than the Christian Bible, taking up the equivalent space of at least 50 volumes in modern editions. Baha’is believe that Buddha was a Manifestation of God, like Christ, but that his followers do not possess His authentic writings.
Of course some forms of Buddhism are not focused on idols, but Buddhism, like all religions, is in need of renewal. The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith. Tom Tai-Seale is an associate professor of public health at Texas A&M University and a lifelong student of religion. Please tell us a little about yourself, and a Baha'i in your area will get in touch with you. Born in a remote coastal village in southern India, Amma first began to embrace the people in her village as a way to ease their suffering. Best known for her embrace, Amma also oversees an award-winning network of international charities. Everyone is always welcome: one-day visiting tourists, longer term visitors or serious spiritual seekers. Details of satsang programs conducted by Amma's monastic disciples in various cities in the Americas. Amritapuri is located in the picturesque village of Vallikavu, in the southern Indian State of Kerala. The fourth annual Sanskrit Retreat Intensive will be held at Amrita University from July 8 - August 9, 2013.
Students will study the ancient language while getting a first-hand view of its cultural context through arts performances, scenic tours of the South Indian landscape and philosophical study of some of its scriptures.
More information, including registration information, prerequisites and the daily program schedule, can be found at Amrita University. An 18th-century Persian translation of a 17th-century Braj commentary on a Prakrit treatise attributed to an 11th-century Digambara philosopher, it was commissioned by a wealthy Frenchman from an Indian Brahmin. These two manuscripts are copies of one translation, produced in the same year by the same individual for one sponsor, but their paths to different British institutions are unknown. The original text is provided in Jaina Sauraseni, a Middle Indic Prakrit used by Digambara scholars, and Sanskrit, along with the Persian translation of the commentary.
The title of Karma-ka??a was used by the Sanskrit commentator, but the text is usually called the Karma-prak?ti, which means 'nature of karmic categories'. The Hindu translator seems to misinterpret Jain doctrine to chime with the beliefs of his own background and also introduces concepts and terms from Islam.
However, this document stands at a crossroad of languages, religions and cultures as a rare testimony of the complex intercultural exchanges experienced by a Brahmin in late 18th-century India. It is called Karma-ka??a in the library catalogues, after the Persian and English headings on the first page of the text, where it is further described as a 'Treatise (?) on Piety – Jain doctrines translated from Prakrit into Persian. A French collector in India commissioned all four manuscripts in the 18th century but how they arrived in the UK in the 19th century is largely unknown.
The standard of copying is quite poor and some of the translations and interpretations of Jain concepts are inaccurate, making the manuscripts difficult to understand. It probably reflects the writer’s puzzlement faced with a fairly unintelligible text on what may look a dubious subject. It bears witness to general European ignorance about Jains at that time, which continued after the 1807 publication of Colebrooke's seminal article. These other manuscripts have the same handwriting for headings in English and Persian, and are also copies of a single text, the Panca-stikayasara – Compendium on the Five Entities – by Kundakunda. After his death his collection of Indian and Persian manuscripts was split up, with many now held in British institutions. The writing in Devanagari, which is used for the text and its Sanskrit translation, is hard to read because of its poor quality.
This gives the original name as Pancastikaya-sara – Compendium on the Five Entities – which corresponds to a well-known book by the celebrated Digambara philosopher Kundakunda.
The British Library – at that time the British Museum – acquired the other two manuscripts in 1861, from a London bookseller, Bernard Quaritch. They are believed to have been in the collection of the French polymath Claude Martin in Nawabi, Lucknow, as he commissioned the copies.
Looking further, it becomes plain that behind these two scripts there are not only two languages, but three.
These manuscripts follow the practice of various commentators, who designate the text as Karma-ka??a. The name for the Karma-prak?ti in these two manuscripts is the Karma-ka??a, which is the same title as another, more famous, work attributed to Nemicandra. Some earlier scholars have tended to assume that Nemicandra wrote the Karma-prak?ti before the Gomma?asara but some modern scholars have disputed this convention. It is likely, therefore, that the translator of these two manuscripts, along with other commentators and translators, knew this text as Karma-ka??a. One traditional view holds that Nemicandra composed the Karma-prak?ti before his renowned Gomma?asara whereas another opinion in the tradition thinks it is a later work.
Called the Karma-prak?ti, this new version was conceived as 'a late compendium' aimed at introducing students to the specific subject of karma (Introduction to Shastri 1964). However, if the Gomma?asara is later, the author may have reused verses from his earlier text in the longer work. However, it is usually known as the Karma-prak?ti in contemporary scholarship, after the title used in the 1964 critical edition. He does not fully justify his decision, but seems to take this title because one of the manuscripts he used to produce his work called it the Karma-prak?ti.
Hemraj's original commentary was in the vernacular language of Braj, the main language for prose in this period, with some sentences in Sanskrit. Karma is a fundamental principle in Jain belief and is extremely complex and detailed, with numerous categories, effects and causes. These serve as an early indication of how the translation draws on the concepts and terminology of three separate faiths. Some verses are skipped in both the British Library and the Bodleian Library manuscripts, accounting for the different numbering in the modern edition, which includes all the verses. Because of the soul’s activity, the 'soul body' vibrates and attracts karmic particles, called karman – 'action' – by the Jains. Matter can be described according to sapta-bha?gi-naya – 'formulation of sevenfold predication' or 'formula of seven assertions'. However, the fourth destructive karma – antaraya – is ranked last, after the non-destructive types of karma. The exception is the first non-destructive karma – ayus – which is the same throughout a single reincarnation.
Nemicandra counts nine no-ka?ayas, including the three vedas in this category.This type of karma determines the sex of the person, whether feminine, masculine or neuter.


These verses describe how the nama-karmans determine the body, which in Jain belief is made of atoms of matter – pudgala. There is a complex correlation between the nature of the joints and the number of heavens and hells in which the soul can be born. Primarily in Braj Bha?a, a vernacular language of northern India, the commentary contains numerous Sanskrit terms and phrases for technical concepts.
Yet although the commentary is written chiefly in Braj or Braj Bha?a, it contains many technical Sanskrit words from the Digambara doctrine.
These Sanskrit-like words used in the vernacular are called tatsama – 'identical' in Sanskrit.
Before the emergence of modern Hindi in the 19th century, Braj was the main language of Hindu literature for several centuries across a larger area than nowadays. In addition, the Karma-prakr?ti is a technical treatise on the complicated doctrinal topic of karma and a good grasp of the subject is needed to translate it accurately and convey the subtleties of Hemraj's commentary. The standard of the Persian in the manuscripts suggests that the translator's knowledge of the language was imperfect, making the translation hard to understand.
Dilaram seems to misunderstand Jain doctrine and in some areas often obscures the Jain beliefs of the text by introducing terms and concepts from Hindu and Muslim thought.
Dilaram almost never translates the Sanskrit sentences in Hemraj's commentary but he consistently translates the Braj Bha?a into Persian, the principal language of the period in North India, although his Persian is inaccurate in many places. It was also the main language used by Europeans and employees of the East India Companies when dealing with local officials, employing a private scribe called a munshi as an intermediary.
However, in 1837 Urdu replaced Persian in the Nawabi court and in administration in the North Western Provinces. In the 16th century the Mughal Emperor Akbar set up a translation bureau, where Hindu pandits and Muslim scribes worked together to produce Persian translations of Classical Sanskrit texts. His rather idiosyncratic style demonstrates that his command of Persian was not full, despite the claims at the end of his translation of the Karma-prak?ti.
He often uses various translations for a single technical term, further obscuring the overall meaning. The phonetic differences between Sanskrit and Persian make these transcriptions almost undecipherable for a casual reader. This may be an indication of the diverse environment in which a Hindu worked for a European on a Jain text, in which tenets from one religion are freely explained in terms borrowed from others.
Even though Dilaram specifies here one of the most important Jain tenets – ahi?sa, meaning compassion and non-violence – it stands out as one of his scarce mentions of precise Jain doctrine. He constantly inserts comments at odds with Jain creed and which can be related to Advaita Vedanta (see D’Onofrio 2010 for the same diagnosis of the Sirr-i-Akbar, a 16th-century Persian translation of the Upani?ads supervised by the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh).
Nemicandra’s Karma-prak?ti and Hemraj’s commentary are more concerned with the subtleties of Jain psychophysics and not with directly moral teaching.
Please send cash in envelopes ( not cheques or money orders as it costs more to process ) to Ukindia, P.O. At the moment because of time commitments I am going to leave the lessons as they are but may come back to them later. Buddhist teachings were not written down until the first century before Christ – a period of at least 300 years from the time Buddha himself lived. This problem of authenticity plagues many Faiths, including Judaism, Christianity and (to a lesser extent) Islam. Your email address will solely be used for delivering the latest articles to you and absolutely nothing else. The translation uses Indian and Arabic scripts, frequently badly written, making the manuscript hard to read without good knowledge of all the languages and scripts. Entitled 'Observations on the Sect of Jains' the article clearly sets the Jain religion apart from other faiths in India. They must have left Lucknow just after Claude Martin’s death in 1800, with the bulk of his Persian manuscripts sold at auction in Calcutta. His Gomma?asara – Compendium [composed for] Gomma?a – is divided into two parts, the second of which is the 'Karma-ka??a' – 'Chapter on Karma'.
Despite this, however, contemporary scholars know the text as the Karma-prak?ti from its 1964 critical edition. The fact that a substantial number of verses from the Gomma?asara Karma-ka??a and other texts are found in the Karma-prak?ti can be used to support either position.
This represents a conservative view, which holds the tradition to be right until it is proven wrong.
Shastri claims that this later reworking was not done carefully, giving the example of verse 117 of the Karma-prak?ti, which is the same as verse 47 in the Gomma?asara Karma-ka??a. The number of karmic particles is defined through calculation and is added to those shed after they have been exhausted or because of the soul’s activity.
This is because Nemicandra states that it is caused by the last three non-destructive karmas, which chiefly affect the physical body.
The four grades of passions determine where the soul is next reborn or embodied, which is in one of the four main places in the Jain universe. The commentator sometimes provides more detailed explanation of the gathas, which are very succinct, on the whole. These unexplained terms make it quite difficult for a student to use the commentary without proper guidance. Although it is mainly thought of as a Hindu language, Jain scholars in the past often used it. However, the translation in the two so-called Karma-ka??a manuscripts is frequently confusing, underscored by the epithet of 'curious book' added on the title page of the British Library copy.
In some cases he uses Islamic terms for Hindu concepts to discuss aspects of Jain philosophy. Even so, the Urdu spoken in Lucknow remained very close to Persian when it started to replace it as a written language. Dilaram uses Arabic internal plurals as singulars, adding the Persian suffix -ha when he wishes to form a plural. Since the Karma-prakr?ti discusses a key principle of the Jain religion – karma – in some detail, his translation could lead to a misunderstanding of the complexities of Jain beliefs. Coming right at the end, it suggests all the things the translator did not say in earlier parts, whether from ignorance or the way he wrote his commentary.
If you dont know the script at the end of this lesson do the Hindi lessons first Many ancient Indian texts on Science and Mathematics were written in Sanskrit. If there are any readers out there who want to volunteer to do the changes please get in touch.
It contains records of the Buddha’s public discourses or teachings (dhamma in Pali and dharma in Sanskrit).
There will also be several field trips and performances, which will be linked to readings and discussions.
It deals with the religious doctrine of karma and is a technical work exploring the many details of the Jain concept.
The same handwriting is recognisable on both copies, which must have belonged to the same librarian or former owner before they were separated.
The translation of the commentary in this manuscript, however, does nothing to clarify the unique qualities of the Jain tradition. Many of these manuscripts found their way into the libraries of famous scholars, such as Colebrooke. It highlights the likely bewilderment of readers struggling to make sense of the mixture of languages, scripts and religious doctrine in the manuscripts. Although these all make the original text hard to grasp, these elements point to an environment where ideas from various religious faiths were discussed freely. One reason for this apparent misinterpretation is that Dilaram often appears to approach the text from his own background in Hinduism, explaining theories in terms and analogies that are familiar to Hindus.
Within this eschatological framework, the enumeration of the heavens and the hells in the last gathas is given a new meaning.
Eventually a third volume appeared, called the abhidhamma in Pali and the abhidharma in Sanskrit. If you look at the present practice of the Buddhist religion, you will see that there is little of the Reality left. It is attributed to the Digambara thinker Nemicandra, whose most famous work, the Gomma?asara – Compendium [composed for] Gomma?a – includes a lengthy examination of karma, called the Karma-ka??a. Dilaram's translation often blends Hindu and Muslim terms and references to explain what appear to be misunderstandings of Jain doctrine, expressed in poor Persian.
Compounding this erroneous approach to Jainism is his frequent framing of Jain doctrine in Muslim expressions and concepts. Dilaram's interpretation exceeds what is, above all, a technical exposition on sa?hanana-karma, which links the joints in the physical body to the various levels of the triple world in which the soul is born.
The Karma-prak?ti may have been mistaken for this work, since it seems to share the same author and subject matter, and it may even have been a reworking of the Karma-ka??a. You can even see many Sanskrit books in these places are written in either of the scripts as mentioned above. The scholar Hiralal Shastri, editor of the 1964 modern edition, believes the Gomma?asara Karma-ka??a is a reworking of the Karma-prak?ti.



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