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Books > Buddhist > The Vastuvidyasastra and Citrakarmasastra Ascribed to Manjusri (Set of Two Volumes)
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The Vastuvidyasastra and Citrakarmasastra Ascribed to Manjusri (Set of Two Volumes)
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Vol-I

Preface

The present volume covers the first three chapters of the Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra(also called Citrakarmasastra), a unique Sanskrit Silpa text which has survived in a single manuscript discovered some years ago at the Cakkkindarama temple near Gampola, Sri Lanka. The existence of this manuscript was known to the late Prof. S Paranavitana in the 1950s, who made futile attempts to obtain it for research. Some years later, the then Director of National Archives. Paranavitana was not fortunate enough to see this precious manuscript during his life time, for the died while a photocopy of the work was being prepared for his use. The Director of National Archives then sent this photocopy to the University of Peradeniya in his search for willing editor, but no one at the University was prepared to undertake the challenging task of editing a corrupt manuscript of a work dealing with a technical subject, and it was, therefore, decided that it should be returned to the national Archives. It was this stage that the photocopy came into my hands through the good offices of Mr. Aryaratne Senadeera, then Senior Assistant Librarian (presently the Librarian), University of Peradeniya, who had been requested to send it back the National Archives.

The work containing some 1600 slokas has seventeen chapters, the first three covering almost half the work and devoted to ancient Buddhist monastic architecture and the remaining fourteen dealing with Buddhist iconography and designated as such (i.e.Cirtrakarmasastra) in their colophons. This volume covers the first part dealing with monastic architecture, edited for the first time and accompanied by a literal English translation.

Since it has not been possible to trace a second manuscript of the work anywhere in the island, the editor was left with two alternatives, one to give the text as it is and correct it by text with the original reading given in the footnotes. The second alternative has been preferred here, the translation being based on the amended text.

The manuscript written in the Sinhalese cursive script is generally legible. Some of the scribal errors in the text give one the impression that the text was dictated to the scribe by some one In the present edition the text is given in the Devanagari script for the benefit of a wider readership.

The Limit of the Editorial Work
No attempt has been made in this edition to correct all the grammatical errors occurring in the text. As almost all the Sanskrit treaties on Silpasastra are notorious for their grammatical monstrosities, absolute purity of language cannot be achieved without substantially altering the text. My attempt has, therefore, been to correct whatever scribal errors have been corrected taking care at the same time that the text is not seriously disturbed, but such instances always indicated with the corrupt version given in the footnotes.

About the Book

The Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra (also called Citrakarmasastra) is the only Sanskrit silpa text of its kind that has so far been found anywhere in India or Sri Lanka. Discovered some thirty years ago in a Buddhist temple in central Sri Lanka, the work exclusively deals with ancient Buddhist monastic architecture and the art of modeling clay images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and others, monastery. The work which the editor assigns to the period between the 5th and the 7th century A.C. is clearly a product of the Mahayana school, which has preserved a very early silpasastra tradition that obtained among the Mahayanists of ancient Sri Lanka.

The present volume includes the first part of the work dealing with monastic architecture, together with an introduction and a literal English translation. The work discusses the ground -plans of twenty- four different types of Buddhist monastery and gives detailed accounts of the architectural features of the five kinds of major edifice, i.e., prasada, bimabalaya, bodhivesman, sabhaand of certain minor edifices. It is hoped that this volume will serve as an invaluable source book for archarologists and research workers on Mahayanic monastic architecture of ancient Sri Lanka, particularly that which is represented by the so-called pabbatta-viharas now in ruins and lying scattered on the outskirts of the city of Anuradhapura.

About the Author

E. W. Marasinghe who obtained his Ph. D. from the university of Calcutta in 1971 is presently Senior Assistant Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. His first Book, The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft, was published early this year (1989) under the Garib Dass Oriental Series. The Present volume is the result of more than ten years of patient and painstaking research carried out by him on a single palmleaf manuscrift of a corrupt text abounding in lacunae, scribal errors and interpolations.

All Sanskrit Silpa texts are notorious for their grammatrosities, and the present work is no exception. The editor's aim has, therefore, been to restore the original text as faithfully as 'genuine' grammatical errors.

A very methodical treatment of the modeling of images from the construction of the wooden armature to the painting of the eyes forms the subject-matter of the second half of the text. This section prefaced by an introduction will be published shortly in the same bibliotheca Indo-Buddica Series under the title Citrakarmasastra.

Vol-II

About the Book

The Citrakarmasastra covers the second half of the ancient Sanskrit silpa, text Vastuvidyasastra devoted to Mahayanic monastic architecture and the art of Image-modelling. The first half of the text dealing with monastic architecture was published with an introduction and an English translation in 1989 by Sri Satguru Publications as No. 67 of their Bibliotheca Indo-Buddhica Series. The present volume presents a very methodical treatment of the subjects of Buddhist iconometry, Iconography and modelling clay images for the image-house of a Buddhist monastery. In its fifteen chapters the work discusses all aspects of image-modelling from the selection of trees for the preparation of the wooden image-core to the painting of the eyes, the finishing touch given to a newly made image.

An image is viewed as a close imitation of the human body. It is, therefore, endowed with all essential components of the human body 'such as the skeleton, nerves, arteries and veins, flesh, skin and complexion in the form of the image- core, astabandha glue, clay, limestone paste and pigments. All these are dealt with in successive chapters in fair detail. Particularly interesting are the sections on the arrangement of statues inside the image-house, construction of the image-core, Buddhist iconography and the rituals connected with the eye-opening ceremony.

The Citrakarmasastra thus happens to be the only comprehensive work so far discovered, which deals with the ancient art of modelling of clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and together with its companion volume on monastic architecture, claims to be the most important treatise on the ancient Buddhist art of the Mahayana School.

Preface

The first part of the Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra (or- Citrakarmasastra) dealing with monastic architecture was published in June, 1989, by Sri Satguru Publications as No. 67 of their Bibiliotheca Indo-Buddhica Series. The present volume covers the latter half of the work devoted to the ancient art of modelling clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the image-house of a Buddhist monastery.

The colophons of all the chapters in this section refer to the work as Citrakarmasastra and this volume has been so designated while the first volume was published, in accordance with its subject- matter, under the title Vastuvidyasastra. Although the original text gives the number of chapters covering this section as fourteen (Chapters IV-XVII), there are in effect fifteen chapters with an- unnamed chapter (on the application of measurements) inserted between the Felling of Trees (Ch .V) and the Planning of the Garbhagrha (Ch. VI). In the present edition this has been rectified bringing the total number of chapters to fifteen.

A brief account of the events that led to the acquisition of this, precious manuscript by the Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka is given in the statement by the Director of National Archives. The reader is also kindly referred to our Introduction to Vol. 1 where the date and the place of the work are discussed at some length.

This volume follows the same plan as that of Vol. 1, i.e., an Introduction followed by the text and the translation placed side by side, illustrations, a Glossary of technical terms occurring in the text and an Index. The manuscript abounding in grammatical and scribal errors and lacunae has been largely amended with the original readings given by way of footnotes. The translation is literal and verse-to-verse and based on the amended text.

The manuscript written in the Sinhalese cursive script is generally legible. Some of the scribal errors in the text give one the impression that the text was dictated 0 the scribe by some one from a Devanagari copy. In the present edition the text is given in the Devanagari script for the benefit of a wider readership.

The Limit of Editorial Work
It must, however, be said that no attempt has been made in this edition to correct all the grammatical errors occurring in the text. As almost all the Sanskrit treatises on silpasastra are notorious for their grammatical monstrosities, any attempt to correct all such errors might result in complete distortion of the original text. The editor's aim has, therefore, been to correct mainly those errors most likely to have been committed by the scribe and restore the original text as faithfully as possible. However, the most obvious mistakes have been corrected taking care at the same time 1hat the text is not seriously disturbed, but such instances are always indicated with the corrupt readings given in the footnotes.

Corrections without Notes
In order to keep the use of footnotes to a minimum, the following corrections have been done without reference to footnotes :

(a) The reduplication of a consonant following 'r', which is of very common occurrence in manuscripts written in Sinhalese characters has been eliminated. E.g. dharmma for dharma, arttha for artha, sarkkara for sarkara, garbbha for garbha, harmmva for harmya, nirnnaya for nirnay.

(b) The wrong use of sibilants and of the two 'n's, cerebral and dental, has been corrected. E.g., prasasyate for prasasyate, dasa for dasa, uttarayana for uttarayana.

(c) Other minor and obvious spelling mistakes.

(d) The sandhi rules have been observed except where their application affects the metre.

(e) The slokas are not numbered in the manuscript. The numbers given in the text are, therefore, the editors own.

The Use of Symbol
Four kinds of symbol, i.e., parentheses, square brackets, the- plus sign and the hyphen, have been used in the present edition :

(i) The parentheses indicate the suggested omissions from the text. These may be single letters, words, phrases or even whole lines, which are considered to be spurious or later interpolations, deliberate or otherwise.

(ii) The editor's suggestions for what is illegible or what appears to be lacunae in the text are placed within square brackets and may be read as part of the text. All the headings and sub-headings inserted by the editor are also- similarly bracketed.

( iii) Lacunae for which no suggestions are offered by the editor are indicated by a plus sign (+) or a series of plus signs.

(iv) There are many instances in the text where hiatus-bridges, generally 'm' and rarely 'n', 'r' or'd' are used for the sake of metre. These are indicated in the edition by means of two hyphens. E.g., bimba-m-alayam for bimba-alayam, muni-n-alayam for munyalayam, sasti-r-angulam for sastyangulam, sukha-d-avahah for sukhavahah.

Square brackets in the translation indicate additions made in order to make the translation read better and the meaning fuller- The parentheses indicate Sanskrit equivalents or further explanations of words and phrases in the translation, which may be conveniently left out.

Acknowledgements
This edition is published by courtesy of the Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka, the present custodian of the manuscript. I am particularly beholden to the Director of National Archives, Mr. G.P.S.H. de Silva, for his authoritative statement on -the discovery of the manuscript and its subsequent acquisition by the Department of National Archives, which certainly enhances the value of this publication.

I wish to record my deep gratitude to Mr. Aryaratne Senadeera, Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, for bringing the manuscript to my notice and for the interest he evinced in the progress of this work ever since.

I owe a special debt of thanks to Mr. Naresh Gupta, of Indian Books Centre, and Mr. Sunil Gupta, who have readily accepted all my works for publication under Sri Satguru Publications, and I am greatly encouraged by their genuine interest in publishing books of academic interest.

My friend Rahju Michael has once again created an attractive jacket design, which I must gratefully acknowledge.

Introduction

The Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra and Citrakarmasastra is a work which is unique in more than one respect. It is the only silpa text so far discovered, which deals exclusively with Buddhist monastic architecture and the art of modelling clay images. Although a number of Silpa texts written in Sanskrit has been found in Sri Lanka,' the Vastuvidyasastra remains up to this day the only work among them, which has preserved a silpasastra tradition truly representative of the Mahayana school. There is no doubt that many other Sanskrit works on Buddhist art were written in Sri Lanka from about the 4th century A.C. up to the 10th century or so, during which period the Mahayanists were vying with the orthodox Theravadins for religious supremacy. But the long-drawn rivalry between the Mahavihara (the earliest and the largest monastery complex at Anuradhapura belonging to the Theravada school) and the Abhayagiri-vihara (the most influential monastery 01 the Mahayana fraternity) and the Chola invasions of the 10th and 11th centuries resulted in the destruction of many valuable works belonging to both schools, and the Mahayanists suffered the worse damage. The magnitude of the damage done to the Mahayanic literature of the Anurudhapura period may be gauged from the fact that, within the course of a single century (i.e., 3rd to 4th century A.C.), two kings, Vyavahara-Tissa and Gothabhaya, and a queen (of King Mahasena), all of whom were ardent supporters of the Mahavihara, burnt whatever Vaitulyan books they could lay their bands on. Since the Theravadins had, by the time of the Chola invasions, established contacts with the rest of the Theravada world, copies of most of the works that belonged to their school could later be obtained from such Asian countries as Burma and Thailand. But it is very unlikely that any Mahayanic works of Sri Lankan origin had ever left the shores of the Island, and their destruction was an irrepairable loss to Mahayanism in Sri Lanka.

The sacred literature of the Buddhists was visited upon by a similar holocaust in the 16th century when the Portuguese razed Buddhist monasteries to the ground, set fire to libraries and want only destroyed the books they contained. In the same century, the Sinhalese king Rajasimha I who renounced Buddhist faith and embraced Saivism threw into fire a large number of religious texts that belonged to Buddhist temple libraries. The survival of the present work even in a single manuscript may, therefore, be described as truly portentuous.

Another unique feature of the present work is that it is differently named in the two sections devoted to monastic architecture and the art of image-modelling respectively. The first section comprising the first three chapters dealing with monastic architecture has been titled in the colophons Vastuvidyasastra while the second half containing fourteen (in effect fifteen) chapters dealing with the modelling of images has been named Citrakarmasastra. However, rather strangely, all the chapters are numbered in one sequence from one to seventeen. Although, strictly speaking, citrakarmasastra means the art of painting (citrakarman), its being used for the title of a treatise on image modeIIing may well be justified by the use of the word citrakara (i.e, painter) for a maker of clay images as well. In Sri Lanka, artists who model images as well as temple painters are still known as sittar as, a word derived from the Sanskrit citrakara.

This second half of the text edited for the first time and published in this volume treats of the art of making clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the Mahayana school, very methodically, from the enumeration of species of trees suitable for the making of the image-core to the painting of the eyes, the finishing touch given to a newly modelled image. Chapter 4 begins with a description of the ten types of ground. These ten types have of course been mentioned earlier in Chapter 3 in connexion with caitya construction where only four types, i.e., Annpa, Jangala, Sadharana and Dhumraka, have been discussed in some detail. It is significant that no other Silpa text that has so far come to light even mentions more than three or four types of ground. In Chatper I again only four types (i.e., Anupa, Jangala, Sadharana and Padmaka) have been enumerated and described.

Next follows a classification of trees into three groups, viz, hard-cored trees, pithless trees and hard-barked trees. Of these hard-cored trees alone are deemed suitable for the preparation of the image-core, particularly the catechu, teak, sandalwood, asana, naga, timisa and arjuna.

Contents

Vol-I

A Note from the Director of National Archives of Sri Lanka
Prefacei-iv
Introductionv-lii
Text and Translation1-195
Glossary of technical Terms197-233
General Index235-251
Illustrations
Vol-II

Prefacexi
Note from the Director of National Archives, Sri Lankaxv
Introductionxvii
Text and Translation1
The Glossary185
Index277
Illustrations
Sample Pages



The Vastuvidyasastra and Citrakarmasastra Ascribed to Manjusri (Set of Two Volumes)

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Vol-I

Preface

The present volume covers the first three chapters of the Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra(also called Citrakarmasastra), a unique Sanskrit Silpa text which has survived in a single manuscript discovered some years ago at the Cakkkindarama temple near Gampola, Sri Lanka. The existence of this manuscript was known to the late Prof. S Paranavitana in the 1950s, who made futile attempts to obtain it for research. Some years later, the then Director of National Archives. Paranavitana was not fortunate enough to see this precious manuscript during his life time, for the died while a photocopy of the work was being prepared for his use. The Director of National Archives then sent this photocopy to the University of Peradeniya in his search for willing editor, but no one at the University was prepared to undertake the challenging task of editing a corrupt manuscript of a work dealing with a technical subject, and it was, therefore, decided that it should be returned to the national Archives. It was this stage that the photocopy came into my hands through the good offices of Mr. Aryaratne Senadeera, then Senior Assistant Librarian (presently the Librarian), University of Peradeniya, who had been requested to send it back the National Archives.

The work containing some 1600 slokas has seventeen chapters, the first three covering almost half the work and devoted to ancient Buddhist monastic architecture and the remaining fourteen dealing with Buddhist iconography and designated as such (i.e.Cirtrakarmasastra) in their colophons. This volume covers the first part dealing with monastic architecture, edited for the first time and accompanied by a literal English translation.

Since it has not been possible to trace a second manuscript of the work anywhere in the island, the editor was left with two alternatives, one to give the text as it is and correct it by text with the original reading given in the footnotes. The second alternative has been preferred here, the translation being based on the amended text.

The manuscript written in the Sinhalese cursive script is generally legible. Some of the scribal errors in the text give one the impression that the text was dictated to the scribe by some one In the present edition the text is given in the Devanagari script for the benefit of a wider readership.

The Limit of the Editorial Work
No attempt has been made in this edition to correct all the grammatical errors occurring in the text. As almost all the Sanskrit treaties on Silpasastra are notorious for their grammatical monstrosities, absolute purity of language cannot be achieved without substantially altering the text. My attempt has, therefore, been to correct whatever scribal errors have been corrected taking care at the same time that the text is not seriously disturbed, but such instances always indicated with the corrupt version given in the footnotes.

About the Book

The Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra (also called Citrakarmasastra) is the only Sanskrit silpa text of its kind that has so far been found anywhere in India or Sri Lanka. Discovered some thirty years ago in a Buddhist temple in central Sri Lanka, the work exclusively deals with ancient Buddhist monastic architecture and the art of modeling clay images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and others, monastery. The work which the editor assigns to the period between the 5th and the 7th century A.C. is clearly a product of the Mahayana school, which has preserved a very early silpasastra tradition that obtained among the Mahayanists of ancient Sri Lanka.

The present volume includes the first part of the work dealing with monastic architecture, together with an introduction and a literal English translation. The work discusses the ground -plans of twenty- four different types of Buddhist monastery and gives detailed accounts of the architectural features of the five kinds of major edifice, i.e., prasada, bimabalaya, bodhivesman, sabhaand of certain minor edifices. It is hoped that this volume will serve as an invaluable source book for archarologists and research workers on Mahayanic monastic architecture of ancient Sri Lanka, particularly that which is represented by the so-called pabbatta-viharas now in ruins and lying scattered on the outskirts of the city of Anuradhapura.

About the Author

E. W. Marasinghe who obtained his Ph. D. from the university of Calcutta in 1971 is presently Senior Assistant Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. His first Book, The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft, was published early this year (1989) under the Garib Dass Oriental Series. The Present volume is the result of more than ten years of patient and painstaking research carried out by him on a single palmleaf manuscrift of a corrupt text abounding in lacunae, scribal errors and interpolations.

All Sanskrit Silpa texts are notorious for their grammatrosities, and the present work is no exception. The editor's aim has, therefore, been to restore the original text as faithfully as 'genuine' grammatical errors.

A very methodical treatment of the modeling of images from the construction of the wooden armature to the painting of the eyes forms the subject-matter of the second half of the text. This section prefaced by an introduction will be published shortly in the same bibliotheca Indo-Buddica Series under the title Citrakarmasastra.

Vol-II

About the Book

The Citrakarmasastra covers the second half of the ancient Sanskrit silpa, text Vastuvidyasastra devoted to Mahayanic monastic architecture and the art of Image-modelling. The first half of the text dealing with monastic architecture was published with an introduction and an English translation in 1989 by Sri Satguru Publications as No. 67 of their Bibliotheca Indo-Buddhica Series. The present volume presents a very methodical treatment of the subjects of Buddhist iconometry, Iconography and modelling clay images for the image-house of a Buddhist monastery. In its fifteen chapters the work discusses all aspects of image-modelling from the selection of trees for the preparation of the wooden image-core to the painting of the eyes, the finishing touch given to a newly made image.

An image is viewed as a close imitation of the human body. It is, therefore, endowed with all essential components of the human body 'such as the skeleton, nerves, arteries and veins, flesh, skin and complexion in the form of the image- core, astabandha glue, clay, limestone paste and pigments. All these are dealt with in successive chapters in fair detail. Particularly interesting are the sections on the arrangement of statues inside the image-house, construction of the image-core, Buddhist iconography and the rituals connected with the eye-opening ceremony.

The Citrakarmasastra thus happens to be the only comprehensive work so far discovered, which deals with the ancient art of modelling of clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and together with its companion volume on monastic architecture, claims to be the most important treatise on the ancient Buddhist art of the Mahayana School.

Preface

The first part of the Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra (or- Citrakarmasastra) dealing with monastic architecture was published in June, 1989, by Sri Satguru Publications as No. 67 of their Bibiliotheca Indo-Buddhica Series. The present volume covers the latter half of the work devoted to the ancient art of modelling clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the image-house of a Buddhist monastery.

The colophons of all the chapters in this section refer to the work as Citrakarmasastra and this volume has been so designated while the first volume was published, in accordance with its subject- matter, under the title Vastuvidyasastra. Although the original text gives the number of chapters covering this section as fourteen (Chapters IV-XVII), there are in effect fifteen chapters with an- unnamed chapter (on the application of measurements) inserted between the Felling of Trees (Ch .V) and the Planning of the Garbhagrha (Ch. VI). In the present edition this has been rectified bringing the total number of chapters to fifteen.

A brief account of the events that led to the acquisition of this, precious manuscript by the Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka is given in the statement by the Director of National Archives. The reader is also kindly referred to our Introduction to Vol. 1 where the date and the place of the work are discussed at some length.

This volume follows the same plan as that of Vol. 1, i.e., an Introduction followed by the text and the translation placed side by side, illustrations, a Glossary of technical terms occurring in the text and an Index. The manuscript abounding in grammatical and scribal errors and lacunae has been largely amended with the original readings given by way of footnotes. The translation is literal and verse-to-verse and based on the amended text.

The manuscript written in the Sinhalese cursive script is generally legible. Some of the scribal errors in the text give one the impression that the text was dictated 0 the scribe by some one from a Devanagari copy. In the present edition the text is given in the Devanagari script for the benefit of a wider readership.

The Limit of Editorial Work
It must, however, be said that no attempt has been made in this edition to correct all the grammatical errors occurring in the text. As almost all the Sanskrit treatises on silpasastra are notorious for their grammatical monstrosities, any attempt to correct all such errors might result in complete distortion of the original text. The editor's aim has, therefore, been to correct mainly those errors most likely to have been committed by the scribe and restore the original text as faithfully as possible. However, the most obvious mistakes have been corrected taking care at the same time 1hat the text is not seriously disturbed, but such instances are always indicated with the corrupt readings given in the footnotes.

Corrections without Notes
In order to keep the use of footnotes to a minimum, the following corrections have been done without reference to footnotes :

(a) The reduplication of a consonant following 'r', which is of very common occurrence in manuscripts written in Sinhalese characters has been eliminated. E.g. dharmma for dharma, arttha for artha, sarkkara for sarkara, garbbha for garbha, harmmva for harmya, nirnnaya for nirnay.

(b) The wrong use of sibilants and of the two 'n's, cerebral and dental, has been corrected. E.g., prasasyate for prasasyate, dasa for dasa, uttarayana for uttarayana.

(c) Other minor and obvious spelling mistakes.

(d) The sandhi rules have been observed except where their application affects the metre.

(e) The slokas are not numbered in the manuscript. The numbers given in the text are, therefore, the editors own.

The Use of Symbol
Four kinds of symbol, i.e., parentheses, square brackets, the- plus sign and the hyphen, have been used in the present edition :

(i) The parentheses indicate the suggested omissions from the text. These may be single letters, words, phrases or even whole lines, which are considered to be spurious or later interpolations, deliberate or otherwise.

(ii) The editor's suggestions for what is illegible or what appears to be lacunae in the text are placed within square brackets and may be read as part of the text. All the headings and sub-headings inserted by the editor are also- similarly bracketed.

( iii) Lacunae for which no suggestions are offered by the editor are indicated by a plus sign (+) or a series of plus signs.

(iv) There are many instances in the text where hiatus-bridges, generally 'm' and rarely 'n', 'r' or'd' are used for the sake of metre. These are indicated in the edition by means of two hyphens. E.g., bimba-m-alayam for bimba-alayam, muni-n-alayam for munyalayam, sasti-r-angulam for sastyangulam, sukha-d-avahah for sukhavahah.

Square brackets in the translation indicate additions made in order to make the translation read better and the meaning fuller- The parentheses indicate Sanskrit equivalents or further explanations of words and phrases in the translation, which may be conveniently left out.

Acknowledgements
This edition is published by courtesy of the Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka, the present custodian of the manuscript. I am particularly beholden to the Director of National Archives, Mr. G.P.S.H. de Silva, for his authoritative statement on -the discovery of the manuscript and its subsequent acquisition by the Department of National Archives, which certainly enhances the value of this publication.

I wish to record my deep gratitude to Mr. Aryaratne Senadeera, Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, for bringing the manuscript to my notice and for the interest he evinced in the progress of this work ever since.

I owe a special debt of thanks to Mr. Naresh Gupta, of Indian Books Centre, and Mr. Sunil Gupta, who have readily accepted all my works for publication under Sri Satguru Publications, and I am greatly encouraged by their genuine interest in publishing books of academic interest.

My friend Rahju Michael has once again created an attractive jacket design, which I must gratefully acknowledge.

Introduction

The Manjusribhasita-Vastuvidyasastra and Citrakarmasastra is a work which is unique in more than one respect. It is the only silpa text so far discovered, which deals exclusively with Buddhist monastic architecture and the art of modelling clay images. Although a number of Silpa texts written in Sanskrit has been found in Sri Lanka,' the Vastuvidyasastra remains up to this day the only work among them, which has preserved a silpasastra tradition truly representative of the Mahayana school. There is no doubt that many other Sanskrit works on Buddhist art were written in Sri Lanka from about the 4th century A.C. up to the 10th century or so, during which period the Mahayanists were vying with the orthodox Theravadins for religious supremacy. But the long-drawn rivalry between the Mahavihara (the earliest and the largest monastery complex at Anuradhapura belonging to the Theravada school) and the Abhayagiri-vihara (the most influential monastery 01 the Mahayana fraternity) and the Chola invasions of the 10th and 11th centuries resulted in the destruction of many valuable works belonging to both schools, and the Mahayanists suffered the worse damage. The magnitude of the damage done to the Mahayanic literature of the Anurudhapura period may be gauged from the fact that, within the course of a single century (i.e., 3rd to 4th century A.C.), two kings, Vyavahara-Tissa and Gothabhaya, and a queen (of King Mahasena), all of whom were ardent supporters of the Mahavihara, burnt whatever Vaitulyan books they could lay their bands on. Since the Theravadins had, by the time of the Chola invasions, established contacts with the rest of the Theravada world, copies of most of the works that belonged to their school could later be obtained from such Asian countries as Burma and Thailand. But it is very unlikely that any Mahayanic works of Sri Lankan origin had ever left the shores of the Island, and their destruction was an irrepairable loss to Mahayanism in Sri Lanka.

The sacred literature of the Buddhists was visited upon by a similar holocaust in the 16th century when the Portuguese razed Buddhist monasteries to the ground, set fire to libraries and want only destroyed the books they contained. In the same century, the Sinhalese king Rajasimha I who renounced Buddhist faith and embraced Saivism threw into fire a large number of religious texts that belonged to Buddhist temple libraries. The survival of the present work even in a single manuscript may, therefore, be described as truly portentuous.

Another unique feature of the present work is that it is differently named in the two sections devoted to monastic architecture and the art of image-modelling respectively. The first section comprising the first three chapters dealing with monastic architecture has been titled in the colophons Vastuvidyasastra while the second half containing fourteen (in effect fifteen) chapters dealing with the modelling of images has been named Citrakarmasastra. However, rather strangely, all the chapters are numbered in one sequence from one to seventeen. Although, strictly speaking, citrakarmasastra means the art of painting (citrakarman), its being used for the title of a treatise on image modeIIing may well be justified by the use of the word citrakara (i.e, painter) for a maker of clay images as well. In Sri Lanka, artists who model images as well as temple painters are still known as sittar as, a word derived from the Sanskrit citrakara.

This second half of the text edited for the first time and published in this volume treats of the art of making clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the Mahayana school, very methodically, from the enumeration of species of trees suitable for the making of the image-core to the painting of the eyes, the finishing touch given to a newly modelled image. Chapter 4 begins with a description of the ten types of ground. These ten types have of course been mentioned earlier in Chapter 3 in connexion with caitya construction where only four types, i.e., Annpa, Jangala, Sadharana and Dhumraka, have been discussed in some detail. It is significant that no other Silpa text that has so far come to light even mentions more than three or four types of ground. In Chatper I again only four types (i.e., Anupa, Jangala, Sadharana and Padmaka) have been enumerated and described.

Next follows a classification of trees into three groups, viz, hard-cored trees, pithless trees and hard-barked trees. Of these hard-cored trees alone are deemed suitable for the preparation of the image-core, particularly the catechu, teak, sandalwood, asana, naga, timisa and arjuna.

Contents

Vol-I

A Note from the Director of National Archives of Sri Lanka
Prefacei-iv
Introductionv-lii
Text and Translation1-195
Glossary of technical Terms197-233
General Index235-251
Illustrations
Vol-II

Prefacexi
Note from the Director of National Archives, Sri Lankaxv
Introductionxvii
Text and Translation1
The Glossary185
Index277
Illustrations
Sample Pages



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