Is the earliest mention of Kasthamandap from Shreematottaratantra?

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NS 956 āṣā śu 5

 Śrīmatottaratantra

NGMPP A 0196-06, Acc.No.: 2-279, Tantra, Sanskrit, Devanagari, paper, complete, 42 x 17 cm, fols. 263.

iti śrīmatottare śrīkaṇṭhanāthāvatārite śrīcandradvīpavinirgate yoginīguhye vidyāpiṭhe śrīmatasāragarbhanirṇa(7)ye śrīcaturvviṃśatisāhasrasaṃhitāyāṃ sārasamucaye śrīmattottare paṃcaviṃśatimaḥ paṭalaḥ samāptaḥ ǀǀ   ǀǀ śubham ǀǀ   ǀǀ (8) ǀǀ    ǀǀ    ǀǀ

yādṛśī puşṭakaṃ dṛṣṭvā tādṛśī likhitaṃ mayā ǀǀ     ǀǀ

yadi śuddham aśuddhaṃ vā mama doşo na (9) dīyate ǀǀ    ǀǀ

samvat 1893 sāla āşāḍhaśudi 5 ro 3 tad dine śrīśrīśrīmatottaramahāmaṃthāna prathamapaṭṭala saṃpūrṇaṃ ǀǀ (fol. 263v6-9)

 This Śrīmatottaratantra is scribed in VS 1893 (NS 956/1836 AD)

 Catalogued by KT/RS, 2015-10-01

 

Is the earliest mention of Kasthamandap from Shreematottaratantra ?

– Kashinath Tamot

An email received in 22 September 2017 from Research Group of Campaign for Rebuild Kasthamandap (CRK) with question-marked subject “Earliest recorded mention of Kasthamandap ?”. There it is requested to help in interpretation and expected “it would be wonderful if you can provide an easy-to-understand interpretation of this so that we can share on our website and Facebook page.”(shristinaster@gmail.com) There are attachment of Mr. Yogesh Raj’s article and facsimile of the document claimed to be the earliest mention of Kasthamandap.

Mr. Yogesh Raj, a promising scholar of Bhaktapur, had published a colophon from a unknown manuscript Preserved by Suresh Jyoti Shakya, Sukuldhoka, Bhaktapur, in Pasuka (4:10/2000 June 15), a monthly research booklet. In his article _ colophon of VS 1164 of reigning period of Simhadeva of Shivadeva, not published up till now  -he claimed:

  1. Tantric consecrating place existed (in Bhaktapur) in 12th Century.
  2. Simhadeva should be later generation of Shaktisimha Ram-Vardhan as he is named Varddhan in this text.
  3. This is the earliest document mentioned Kasthamandap ?

I was examining this colophon since 2000 CE.

I found the text is Shreematottaratantra. Present missing end sentences of the text could be completed as below from later copy (VS 1893) of the manuscript. (See Haraprasad Sastri’s A Catalogue of … Durbar Library Nepal, I, 1905:258/NGMPP A196/6:263 verso 6-9)

From this reading we cannot say, ‘vidyapithi’ mentioned here is related to Bhaktapur. It is merely copy manuscript, not necessarily related to Nepal. King Simhadeva is not Varddhana. The word is famous ‘pravardhana (augumenting the state) used for eulogy of the king.

There are some problems to accept the date is Vikram Samvat 1164. Shaka Samvat is common in Medieval Nepal. Vikram Samvat 1273 (NS 336) was used first time in Nepalmandal by a pandit came from Gurjaradesha (Gujarat, India) in a manuscript Amriteshvarapuja. (Petech 1981;81, Mediaval History of Nepal) So, era given here 1164 might not be VS, but commonly SS. Simhadeva/Shivadeva’s reigning period is NS 221-243 (1100-1123 CE), which fits if present date is VS 1164 (NS 228/1108 CE).

Let us see the figure of the date. Headline is broken. The third figure may be 9 instead of 6. If so, we can say the date is SS 1194 (NS 393/1273 CE). There is the king(Jaya)Sihamalladeva in Nepalmandal ruling shortly since NS 391-393 (1271-73). He ruled after Bhimdeva (1258-70) and before Ananta Malla (1275-1308). Sihadeva might have started to write Malla. In this way there is possibility of the date to be SS 1194 instead of VS 1164.

The word ‘Kasthamandapavasthitena’ (remaining in K) is also unusual, instead of popular Kasthamandapadhivasina (residing in the Vicinity of K). Present ending phrase seems to be incomplete and left blank to write scribe’s name or others.

More evidence needs to accept the date 1164 as Vikram Samvat, when there is possibility of being 1194 of Shaka Samvat.

23 Sept. 2017

 

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