About the Book:
In his History of Indian Literature, I.191 M. Winternitz
wrote on the Jaiminiya-Brahmana: "This work is of special interest for the
history both of religion and legend, but unfortunately the manuscript material
is so fragmentary that it cannot be edited," Even such famous Vedic
scholars, as W. Caland and H. Oertel, were not able to establish a satisfactory
The Jaiminiyas possess a vast literature, but
unfortunately it presents a difficulty of language and technique which may
ordinarily be described as insurmountable. Although the MSS were acquired as
early as the 19th Century by Dr. Burnel and others, it was not found possible to
edit them. A few MSS are deposited in some of the Western libraries and a few in
Indian libraries. Efforts have been made in the past 70 years by Europeans and
Indians (notably by Professors H. Oertel and W. Caland who published extensive
extracts) to edit the text, but owing to the iusufficiency of MSS material and
the difficulties of the text the work was always done in fragments. It is for
the first time that this text is presented in its continuity in the present
edition. It was made possible by the discovery of fresh MSS material and by long
and arduous work extending over several years.
After the Vedas, the Brahmanas are our most important
literature. They embody the liturgical details as well as philological and
metaphysical conceptions of rare value. Among the Brahmanas, the Jaiminiya may
now easily be called the premier Brahmana, side by side with the Satapatha which
belongs to the Yajurveda.
The Jaiminiya Brahmana had become rare in India during the
last one thousand years. No amount of labour and time has been spared to restore
the text now to its original purity.
About the Author:
Prof. Lokesh Chandra (born 1927) is the son of the
world-renowned Vedic scholar, the late Prof. Raghuvira. He edited the year-long
sacrifice of Gavamayana according to JB II.1-80. He edited the English
translation of the Sankhyana-srauta-sutra from the papers left by Prof. W.
Caland with a detailed introduction. He has contributed research papers on Vedic
studies to various journals. The edition of the complete text of the JB
culminates the Vedic interest. Ever since he has been busy on the Tibetan
Sanskrit Dictionary, Tibetan historical texts, Gilgit Buddhist Manuscripts vols.
1-10, A New Tibeto-Mongol Pantheon in 20 parts. In recognition of his monumental
edition of the Mongolian Kanjur in 108 volumes the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
has elected him an Honorary Member. He is Hony. Director of the International
Academy of Indian Culture, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1974, and
renominated in 1980. He is Vice-President of the Indian Council of Cultural
Relations and Chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research. He has
travelled extensively in Asia, Europe, USA and Soviet Union for research in
Buddhist art. At present he is engaged in the compilation of a Dictionary of
Buddhist Iconography. He has to his credit around 350 published volumes of
studies, edited texts and facsimile editions in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mangolian,
Manchu, Chinese, Japanese and other lost language of Buddhism.
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