Logos univie fwf

Final Report of the Pilot Project (01.8.2004 - 30.9.2006)

The major aims of the project were (1) to build up a solid foundation for a first critical edition of the Nyāyabhāṣya (NBh) on the basis of the collation of all available manuscripts (mss.), secondary textual sources and the evidence of the printed editions, (2) to take first steps towards the establishment of a critical text of the NBh, and (3) to study the sūtrapāṭha of the Nyāyasūtra (NS) as transmitted in the NBh and sūtrapāṭha mss.

Two trips to India (cf. 2.1.3) resulted in an unexpected wealth of ms. materials to be collated (cf. 2.1.2). The many available mss. with their numerous variant readings, together with the data of the printed editions and the evidence of the secondary testimonies to be considered in the establishment of the critical edition (cf. 2.1.2), required the use of a special software for the efficient registering and handling of all information. It was decided to adopt a highly sophisticated software, the Classical Text Editor (CTE) developed by the philologist Stephan Hagel, Austrian Academy of Sciences, for critical editions of Classical texts. Dr. Hagel was so kind to integrate special features for Indological users into the CTE. The settings of the CTE were fixed not only for the text of the critical edition, but also for the future web version of the full collational data and future computer-aided statistical and phylogenetic analyses of the ms. readings. In order to manage the constantly growing mass of information on the available materials, a database was established and regularly updated.
With the progress of the collational work and increasing understanding of the textual transmission of the NBh, the editorial policy needed revision; the complex history of transmission, illustrated, e.g., by the fact that the rough division of the mss. into two groups (cf. below, 2.1.2) does not correspond to the division between northern and southern India, required that more information should be gathered from the mss. Therefore all variants in the use of daṇḍas and other kinds of punctuation up to the end of the trisūtrībhāṣya were collected in a separate apparatus. Another apparatus was assigned to the secondary testimonies and an apparatus for variants in the printed editions introduced; a separate sūtra concordance was established during the research on the genealogy of the printed editions (cf. again 2.1.2).

Some fifty mss. of the NBh could be made available to the project. The analysis based on the examination of selected variants gathered in the course of their collation on the trisūtrībhāṣya suggests that the mss. can be divided into three groups representing three versions of the text, namely, the V(ulgata), the J(aisalmer) version represented by the Jaisalmer ms., and the K(erala) version represented by the Trivandrum ms. and its 20th-century Madras transcript. V is further divided into two sub-versions designated as a and b. The large majority of the printed editions of the NBh is represented by b; the text on which the collation was based (Thakur 1997) conflates J and b whereas according to our analysis J’s readings more often agree with a than with b. Eight sub-versions could be established for version a (with 4, 3, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 and 1 ms. respectively) and six sub-versions of version b (with 4, 1, 4, 3, 3 and 9 mss. respectively). Note that version b has been defined more loosely than version a; especially b6 is to be further analyzed. Three mss. grouped under b(a) transmit version b, but are contaminated by ms(s). of version a. Eight mss., among them one written in Maithilī script, have not yet been classified. A group of another eight mss. is not available for the first adhyāya, and fifteen mss. are either inaccessible for various reasons (8), still to be procured or in the process of being procured (6), or have been excluded from collation as modern transcripts (1).

The hypothetical stemma of all mss. available for the trisūtrī-portion of the NBh may be represented as follows:

Hypothetical stemma based on the collation up to NBh 1.1.3

In view of their fundamental importance for the establishment of the critical text, the procurement of copies of the two Jaisalmer mss. was a high-priority desideratum. On the occasion of Kang and Muroya’s trip to India, His Holiness Muni Jambuvijayaji, who is highly respected by the authorities at Jaisalmer Jñāna Bhaṇḍāra, kindly offered his assistance in arranging for copies of these and other relevant Nyāya mss.; because of the recent strict policy of the Bhandar, even a highly esteemed monk cannot pass on further copies without the permission of the Jaisalmer authorities, which means that it is quite difficult for lay persons to gain access. It is truly fortunate that thanks to the efforts of the Muni our application for permission was positively approved. Copies inter alia of a NBh ms. probably dating to the fifteenth century and of further commentaries on the NS reached Vienna just after the conclusion of the project, but in time for the start of the follow-up project on November 1st 2006. Copies of the oldest extant codex of the NBh known to us (c. 1223 CE), not yet been utilized for any edition, should follow soon. The significance of these mss. will be immeasurable.

An important component of the project work was the description of the mss. A comprehensive scheme of ms. description prepared by Preisendanz and Muroya was used; some minor modifications made the data entry more efficient and improved legibility. Already existing descriptions had to be amended with the increase of information on the mss. gathered during the on-going collational work. About twenty mss. were fully described and some seventy data sheets, including tables of peculiar akṣaras, transliteration of colophons, etc., prepared. Furthermore, diplomatic editions of the two mss. written in Telugu and Malayalam script were prepared for the trisūtrībhāṣya and the NBh on the first adhyāya for effective handling and easy consultation of information contained in these difficult-to-read mss.

Selected, historically important printed editions of the NBh were collated for approximately 55% of the text. The preliminary analysis of the variants suggests two distinctive groups: (1) BE, C1E, C2E, C5E, C8E, D2E, D3E, P1E, V2E, V3E, V4E and V8E, and (2) DaE together with D1E. It was possible to establish three sub-groups of the first group containing editions which relatively often share their readings, namely, (1) C1E, C2E, C7E (eclectic), P1E and V1E, (2) BE, D2E and D3E (eclectic), and (3) P2E, V3E, V4E and V7E (eclectic). Some first observations could be made concerning the relationship between the mss. available to the project and the mss. used for existing editions. For example, the editio princeps C1E has the same readings as ms. group b1; B1E, C8E (under the siglum “T” or “ṭi”) and P1E most probably utilized a ms. of group b4; ms. “B” or “vi” used for C8E seems to belong to group b6, and is possibly identical with P6D; V2E seems to have utilized a ms. of group b1 or b6, i.e., ms. “1”, and two mss. related to b3, i.e., mss. “2” and “4”. In a few cases, printed variants are not attested by the collation of mss., and it is to be suspected that unrecorded and possibly lost manuscripts were used, or that the editors silently emended the text. The editions other than DaE, D1E, C5E in some of its readings, and V2E with a few readings of ms. “3” are based on mss. of group b, which thus represents the generally accepted text. The readings of the other dominant group of mss., namely a, are only indirectly discernable in printed editions through the related variants of the Jaisalmer ms. as reported in DaE and D1E.

Independent textual testimonies, e.g., direct quotations, references and paraphrases in other works, were collected, in addition to the pratīkas in the commentarial literature, often on the basis of available manuscripts to enhance the reliability of the critically established text and in order to deepen the text-historical understanding. In the case of the quotations, parallels and discussions directly related to the NBh, the available manuscripts of the Nyāyamañjarī and the Nyāyabhūṣaṇa were consulted; these testimonia most probably represent a stage of the textual transmission of the NBh preceding the one that is reflected in Vācaspati Miśra’s Nyāyavārttikatātparyaṭīkā.
The foundational work outlined above, the detailed treatment of the beginning of the NBh in three research seminars (cf. 2.3) and the regular project meetings resulted in first concrete steps in establishing a critical text, even though the respective collation at the time was not yet complete. This preliminarily established text clearly presents an older, more original version than the commonly accepted published text, mainly represented by readings of K, J and group a, not yet influenced by the Nyāyavārttika and different from the text as known to Vācaspati Miśra, as shown by Muroya in his paper “Some Observations on the Manuscript Transmission of the Nyāyabhāṣya.”

The sūtras of the NS are transmitted in numerous sūtrapāṭha mss. and as an integral part of the NBh. As a first step towards their historical study, a sūtra concordance of adhyāyas 1 to 3.1 was established on the basis of the fifteen collated printed editions. A forthcoming article “Observations on the Nyāyasūcīnibandha” was prepared by Muroya, using Preisendanz’ collection of copies of the Nyāyasūtrapāṭha and Nyāyasūtranibandha mss. and demonstrating that the latter work cannot be by Vācaspati Miśra I. Kang, on the other hand, could show in a forthcoming article on the Carakasaṃhitā (CS) and early Nyāya that the readings of some sūtras as transmitted in K and J reflect a text that is confirmed by the dialectical portions of the CS and more original than the one transmitted in V.

The project started on August 1st, 2004, with Dr. Yasutaka Muroya, joined by Dr. Sung Yong Kang on October 1st 2004, both as full-time post-doc project participants for 24 months. Remaining funds originally earmarked for work contracts in the final phase of the project were utilized to finance a 75% employment for Muroya during August and September 2006.

In 2004 and 2005 two one-month research trips to India were conducted. In 2004, fifteen institutions were visited by Preisendanz and Muroya to locate, examine and describe mss. of the NBh and other Nyāya works and to procure copies, and thirty-five institutions by Muroya and Kang in 2005. Permission to purchase copies of mss. or to digitize them was granted for fifty mss. in 2004, for sixty-six mss. in 2005. The trip in September 2004 to Delhi, Kolkata, Darbhanga, Varanasi, Allahabad and Ahmedabad by Preisendanz and Muroya included visits to little known institutions where mss. catalogues have not yet been published. The places visited by Kang and Muroya were Delhi, Lahore, Srinagar, Ujjain, Khambat, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Allahabad, Vadodara, Patna, Darbhanga and Kolkata. Copies (photocopies, microfilms, digital images) of a number of further mss. could be ordered by mail, also from European libraries.

Thus, in addition to the mss. made available by Preisendanz before the inception of the project, a much higher number of mss. of the NBh and other relevant Nyāya works than expected fortunately became accessible. This resulted in the requirement to organize an archive of this unique collection of valuable research materials and to provide their documentation. Furthermore, the large number of some fifty accessible mss. of the NBh necessitated a much stronger emphasis on collation work than originally intended, but required for the proper evaluation of the mss., the investigation of their genealogical relationship and the development of a working hypothesis concerning the stemma codicum. The project participants were supported in their extensive collation work by advanced students working on a contractual basis. Further work contracts were given to students to collate the readings and variants of selected printed editions of the NBh.

Kang received his Indological training at the University of Hamburg; in addition, he studied philosophy at Seoul National University and at the University of Hamburg. His M.A. thesis dealt with the practice of debate and early Indian logic as described in the CS. Kang was already well versed in Nyāya and other philosophical literature of the early classical and classical period. Muroya, trained at Kyoto University, wrote his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. theses on issues in classical Indian philosophy extremely relevant to the project; like Kang, in addition to the Sanskrit sources of the Brahminical traditions he also used the pertinent early Buddhist texts in Tibetan and Chinese. In the context of his Ph.D. thesis, a critical study of two sections of the NS, Muroya already worked towards establishing a better text of some passages of the NBh, utilizing printed editions as well as secondary testimonia. The competence of both project participants has been greatly enhanced by the project’s pronounced and sophisticated text-critical approach to philosophical works. Through their work on South Asian mss. in different scripts, by stemmatically analyzing, describing and collating the mss. of the NBh, through participation in the development of the collational and editorial conventions and policy, and through involvement in the preparation of the critical edition, they could significantly expand their Indological expertise to include palaeography, codicology and textual criticism. Kang’s forthcoming article on the CS and early Nyāya and Muroya’s article on the textual transmission of the NBh nicely reflect this new perspective of their philosophical–historical research, as do their conference lectures and seminars presented in Kyoto and Edinburgh.

The trips to India provided Kang and Muroya with a chance to become familiar with various South Asian academic institutions and manuscript libraries, to establish contacts with modern as well as traditional scholars and curators, and to enhance existing contacts and cooperations established by Preisendanz. In Kang’s case, his visit to the Punjab University Library (PUL), Lahore, resulted in excellent contacts and the successful initiation of an international project to preserve the Woolner Collection and make it again accessible to the scholarly world. This project will center on the digitization and cataloguing of this collection, involving PUL, the Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB), University of Vienna, and Geumgang University, Korea. An application for an FWF project to fund research on the collection to be conducted at ISTB, with Kang as coordinator, will be submitted in January 2007. Muroya, on the other hand, sensitively communicated the project’s goals and achievements to Muni Jambuvijayaji, established a relationship of trust with him and finally gained access to the otherwise inaccessible world of certain Jain Bhandars in Gujarat.

As a result of the project-related activities outlined above, both project participants have significantly enhanced their scholarly profile and started to built up an international reputation; they also gained valuable experience in sophisticated technical issues of modern textual work and in scholarly teamwork which is rather uncommon in their respective home countries. It is to be expected that after the conclusion of the three-year follow-up project in 2009 they will be top candidates for professorial positions in their native countries.

The project enabled the project leader to continue the research she conducted over more than two decades on various aspects of the NS and NBh and on the Nyāya tradition in general in an atmosphere of stimulating teamwork and fruitful — national and international — cooperation, and to provide it with a new, more reliable textual basis as well as with additional perspectives through the collaboration of the project with the Chicago-based project “Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism.” Some of her earlier hypotheses were confirmed by project findings. The project also provided her with an opportunity to contribute to South Asian Studies in general by laying the foundation for the establishment of a further reliably and critically edited Sanskrit text. Overall the project greatly benefited the reputation of the project leader and of her institution, and further enhanced the international prestige of Austrian South Asian Studies.

During three research seminars on the NBh conducted at the ISTB in 2004 and 2005 by the project leader, assisted by the project participants, advanced students were introduced to work on South Asian mss., to the principles of textual criticism and to the sophisticated hermeneutics of classical philosophical literature. Furthermore, a small group of especially gifted M.A. and Ph.D. students could gain valuable experience in the collation of printed editions, in the reading and collating of mss., in ms. description and in working with the specialized CTE software in the context of work contracts to support the project participants.