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Browsing: Yati-pratikramaṇa with commentary (MS. Sansk. d. 310)

Image: Text ends – colophon

Title: Text ends – colophon

Source:
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
Shelfmark:
MS. Sansk. d. 310
Author:
unknown
Date of creation:
1663
Folio number:
13 verso
Total number of folios:
13
Place of creation:
western India
Language:
Prākrit and Sanskrit
Medium:
ink on paper
Size:
25 x 10 cm
Copyright:
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
JAINpedia Copyright Information

Background

Repentance – pratikramaṇa – is one of the fundamental religious acts in the lives of Jain mendicants and lay people alike. This manuscript deals with monastic repentance – yati-pratikramaṇa. Performed in the presence of the mendicant’s religious teacher or superior, the ceremony of pratikramaṇa involves reciting formulas in Prakrit and making ritual gestures, such as bowing down and joining hands in respect. The culprit first expresses the wish to confess past transgressions and to improve.

The oldest text where the repentance formulas appear is the Āvaśyaka-sūtra, written in Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit. The areas of religious life where monks and nuns may fail are listed according to number. For example, mendicants should repent of lapses involving the:

Given their centrality in religious life, it is no wonder that the repentance formulas have been commented and expanded on in many forms and many languages, whether Sanskrit or the vernaculars. This manuscript is an extensive commentaryvṛtti – in Sanskrit. It quotes phrases from the original Prakrit, and then explains them at length.

The last two lines of the page contain the colophon, which gives the following information:

  • title of the work
  • size of the work according to the traditional unit of counting
  • a wish for prosperity
  • date of copying
  • name of the copyist, who is a Jain monk though his monastic affiliation is not mentioned.

Translation

Text of the colophon:

With this the commentary on the mendicant’s repentance is finished. It numbers 600 granthas. May there be prosperity. It was copied in the year 1719 of the Vikrama era [= 1662 CE], on the third day of the dark half of [the month] Vaiśākha, a Wednesday, by the monk Śāntikuśala.

Transcription

Text of the colophon:

iti samāpto Yati-pratikramaṇa-vṛttiḥ graṃthāgraṃ 600 śrīr astu / saṃvat 1719 varṣe vaiśāṣa vadi 3 dine Buddha-vāre liṣitaṃ Śāntikuśalamuninā

Glossary

Common Era
The period of time starting with the year when Jesus Christ was traditionally believed to have been born. Using CE is a more secular way of dating events in a multinational, multi-religious world.
Gupti
'Self control'. There are three types of restraint relating to this:
  • mind - manas
  • speech - vacas
  • body - kāya.
The guptis are intended to minimise using the mind, body or speech for spiritually unimportant purposes or even aimlessly.
Pratikramaṇa
'Introspection’ in Sanskrit. The elaborate ritual of confession and repentance that involves reciting liturgical texts and performing set gestures at dawn and dusk. It is one of an ascetic's six daily duties – āvaśyaka. For many lay people, pratikramaṇa is the essence of Jainism.
Samiti
Carefulness, which has five aspects. Ascetics can reduce accidental violence by being careful and observing rules in these five areas:
  • motion – īryā
  • speech – bhāṣā
  • cooking, eating and begging for food – eṣaṇā
  • lifting and placing items, moving things – ādānanikśepaṇa
  • disposing of bodily waste – pariṣṭhāpana.
Ṣaṭ-jīvanikāya
The six kinds of living beings distinguished in Jainism:
  • earth-bodies
  • water-bodies
  • fire-bodies
  • air-bodies
  • plants
  • moving beings
They all have to be respected and not injured or destroyed.
Ascetic
Someone who withdraws from ordinary life to meditate and practise physical hardships in order to advance spiritually. Jain ascetics or mendicants beg for food from devout lay followers and wander the land. Also used as an adjective to describe the practice of rigorous, even extreme, physical hardships in the belief that it leads to a higher spiritual condition.
Monk
A man who has taken a public vow to withdraw from ordinary life to formally enter religious life and advance spiritually. Frequently, monks perform physical austerities or undergo physical hardships in order to progress spiritually.
Penance
A voluntary action undertaken to make up for a sin or breach of a religious principle, frequently an act of self-punishment or physical hardship.
Rite
A sequence of actions that must be followed to perform a religious ceremony. The set of actions is largely symbolic, for example offering food to statues symbolises sacrificing to a deity. The ritual actions are often accompanied by set phrases.
Sanskrit
A classical language of India, originally used by priests and nobility. Sanskrit has a rich literary and religious tradition. With only a few thousand native speakers nowadays, it is predominantly used in Hindu religious ceremonies and by scholars.
Prākrit
A term for any of the dead vernacular languages of ancient and medieval India. It may be contrasted with classical Sanskrit, the language used by priests and the aristocracy. The Jains used a large variety of Prakrits, with the Jain canon written chiefly in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit.
Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit
A dialect of the Prākrit language used for many Śvetāmbara Jain scriptures.
Dark fortnight
The half of the lunar month in the traditional Indian calendar in which the moon is at its smallest. It is so dark it is almost invisible.
Commentary
An essay explaining a text. Commentaries on the scriptures are common in the Jain tradition and there are various types, including the:
  • bālāvabodha
  • bhāṣya
  • cūrṇi
  • niryukti
  • ṭīkā.
Colophon
Found at the end of a Jain manuscript, a colophon is similar to the publication information at the beginning of modern books. It usually contains the title and sometimes details of the author, scribe and sponsor. The colophons of Jain manuscripts may also include the names of owners, readers and libraries where they have been stored. They frequently have decorative elements and very commonly contain a wish for good fortune for any readers. Written mainly by the scribes who copy texts, Jain colophons are often written in Sanskrit.
Scribe
Someone who copies manuscripts for a living. Scribes are common in societies where literacy is rare. In the past, however, scribes could not always read and write fluently.
Confession
Acknowledgement or declaration of the truth of a statement. In religious terms, it usually refers to admitting sin or wrongdoing to at least one other person in a ritual. It is normally a necessary step before absolution, which is formal release from guilt or consequences of wrongdoing.
Vernacular
The everyday or common language spoken by people in a particular country or region, often contrasting with the literary form or the national or official language. Similarly, vernacular architecture reflects local conditions and conventions more than other considerations, such as national or international design trends, and may be built by non-professional architects.
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