Jñānaśrīmitranibandhāvali as a Multiple-Text Manuscript
The project will investigate the so called Jñānaśrīmitranibandhāvali (JNA) as a ‘multipletext Manuscript’ (MTM). It had been discovered in Tibet and contains twelve works by the 11th century philosopher Jñānaśrīmitra, who was one of the prominent teachers at Vikramaśīla, a famous Buddhist University in East India. JNA is the codex unicus for the Sanskrit text of all the works. This written artefact appears to consist of three codicological units, two of which include one work each, while the third unit is itself a collection of shorter and longer treatises. Nonetheless, it actually has been treated as one object both by its Tibetan owners and by modern scholars. Moreover, the format and layout of the units bear significant similarity not only to each other, but to a certain set of manuscripts which all might have been produced within an institutional framework of East Indian Buddhist universities.
The problem of the complex multi-layered structure of this collection should be studied – through comparing its textual materials within the one multiple-text unit, between the units themselves as well as against texts of other related manuscripts, both collectively and individually. Methods of studying MTM are already well established in Western philologies, though they have not yet been widely employed in Indian studies. For this research project, some of them should be adopted and adjusted if necessary. Finally, this project aims at a critical edition of one of the texts in order to test the observations and methods in application to JNA. Īśvaravāda appears to be the most appropriate for this role.