A note on the analysis of two early Rājasthānī Dādūpanthī manuscripts
(Oriental Institute of the CAS, Prague)
Paper short abstract:
Paper presents a method of comparative analysis of internal structure of vāṇīs included in manuscripts produced by members of Dādūpanth in 17th century Rājasthān that can throw new light on their early formation, relative chronology, filiation, and their uses in the spiritual life of the community.
Paper long abstract:
Paper deals with internal structure of sākhī collection of Kabīr included in a huge textual corpus collected by a member of the Dādūpathī commmunity in early 17th century Rājasthān, sets it in context of other authors' works included in the same pothī and compares it with the text in Śyāmasundaradāsa's Kabīra granthāvalī. Analysis shows that the pothī took its final shape gradually and the work involved collaboration of several scribes and/or editors who may have built upon the effort of the original compiler Rāmdās. Close inspection of the page margins has revealed the existence of at least two series of page numbers, a later one written over an erased older sequence, indicating transposition of larger blocks of texts. Main point of this rearrangements appears to be an intention to bring together texts of the five most venerated sants - we can observe gradual emergence of the popular format of pañc-vāṇī. Combined with informations included in colophons inserted in different parts of the manuscript, these findings point to probable existence of at least two other, earlier collections that may have served to Rāmdās as sources of Kabīr's sākhīs and also supplied a model of their thematic organization into sections, or aṅgas. The latter was derived from the already existing sākhī collection of Dādū. Also, presumed existence of earlier or parallel vāṇīs may explain the similarities and differences between the text under scrutiny and Śyāmasundaradāsa's Kabīra granthāvalī of uncertain or contested date.
New approaches to manuscript variations in South Asia