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CHAPTER-V
THE COLOPHON OF PALMLEAF MANUSCRIPTS
In the foregoing chapter we have focused on the evidence of using palmleaf and
palmleaf manuscript from sculpture-and- inseriptions. In lieu of that- evidence-we-ha-ve to
ascertain, what sort of information actually a palmleaf manuscript contains. Here we will
proceed our discus-sioo- to- the- palmleaf manuscfipt itself and its- impottanee-espeeially the
information contained in the colophon of a manuscript. Earlier as it has been mentioned that
the subject matter of a manuseript is- usually divided- into- fe-ur seetien&- T-he-details- ef the
segments are follows:
AU manuseripts- begin· with werds-&f ademtioo-&f tbe-geds Of-ged These may have been written down by the authors themselves or in absentia they may have
been inserted· by the-seribes:- 'fhe-usual- fomntla-is-in·Ofiya- namas~·banadurgii-mato-~r om
sri ganeshiiye namall.
Every prose or poetry work in Oriya is preceded by this formula.
Sometimes-other· femmlas--are used-befere- the-beginning &f texts-oF some--peetiG \\\Orks.
Sometimes the formulae of adoration are written at the beginning of a section also.
Occasionally even for speeial- reasons it is--fuund-in-the-midd-le-of a-chapter- in·mafN:lSC\ipts.
In the Oriya manuscripts the words of adoration or invocation portion is known as Marigalii
caraJ?G. The Marigalii- cararta- means- it is- a-prayer- to- gOO- or cosmic energy.
1
It is a devotional prayer. found in short before the starting ofthe..main theme of~script.
248
We-~rally
find the prayer or homage of the author to the universal or personal god in the beginning of
each wOfk before-writffig-the-subjeet matter. 'Fbe-writer-·er-autOOF to-earn-the blessin~ and
inspiration from the cosmic energy does this invocation. It must have impact upon the author
for concentration of mind and outflow of thought The ManusaiJhii Marr.cf_ala 2 manuscript
may be taken as a specimen in this context:
Here the author pays homage to- Srr6um;·
re: the-mastet of all· or univetsal teachet. If\ this
way the writer begs sheltet at the feet of Sri 9uru:
mobhi miitrii sabda bhotariga namipiima
dJ:biiksata pahirojah mamah dhupa
abtrio~a mama haraja.
3
(Means- the-author pmyed te-the supreme being, cosmic eneFgy, ro-dfive oot-~~es, to
quench his thirst by taking the offerings (devotion) from him. It is the request of the devotee
befere- the- almighty universal- ·master, t&- dmw- the-- sympathy - and- inspiratWR- -~ the
completion of the work.)
2
Manusabhii Mm1t!ala,SUP"ML, Section:IV:Religion & Philosophy, Script-Oriya, Acc.No.l72, Auth:Bhima
Bhoi, Lang: Oriya, Find spot: Boinda (Orissa), Date: c.l323 siila.
3
ibid., Folio- I.
24-9
In the N{simha PurtD7a4 manuscript the writer pmyed to god Gane~ for destro1;'ing
his obstacles-. The- author-starts-his- work:-with-$rt6anesaye nama~z; abhighnamastu: Then
the writer invoked lord
N~;simha
as known from the following verse:
aniidi parama kiirar~;a
devamiinabe agocara ... .......
5
(Means- the-writeF has- hewed his- head- at the feet-of lord Nt'Simha, wOO- is--eadless,- etepJ.al,
\
and the ultimate cause and whose activities would not be known to the gods and human
beings-. Her~ has-been- invelred fi-rst- as-per the-Hirulu ·traditien-,
as-he-is--ileseribf as
agrapfijya (first to be worshipped). 6 Then the author paid obeisance to lord Nrsimha. who
may be regarded his- peFSOOal goo.
II. The main theme or body or text of the manuscript
7
The main therne of the manuscript· occurs just after the Marigala caraf!a. The author
narrates- here the subjeGt mattef. Some times-- aloog with . the main-- theme- were- atta._ched
various stories, different branches of learning like medicine, religion, history, philosophy,
astronomy, astrok>gy, tanlrieism, et£, t&-contlate the volume. This-portion of the-~ript
is otherwise called as 'wax of a candle'. The part of which contains the subject matter is
called the- central theme of a work The text of. the body is-either found- in-the form. ot=wose
or poetry or both in some cases. It depends on the will of the writer.
4
Acc.No.l2, SUP:ML, Script-Oriya, Author-Pitambara Das, Scribe-Harihar Rath, Findspot-Haldipiili, Date-
Samvat 1915.
ibid., Folio-1.
~rd Gan~a is invoked at the beginning of every Hindu ritual. Further he is the god of learning.
7
The text or body ofthemanuscripLMajoJ: part of the mann scrip tis co.veredhy th_,e text.
5
250
III. Conclusion
The-extreme-point orf)art ofthe-t~a-manuscfiptis-callefr-the end orcoool~sion.
This part is employed for the result or effect of the work. Sometimes it presents valuable
information-regafdffig-the-authOfShip-ofthe text beth-in-absent and present ofthe colephon.
Eor instance the ending_ verse of the &imudrika La~ar{a
manuscripts, we found the autOOt:sh-ip- of the
~
8
and Miigha Mahii_tmya
9
The- former- ment-ions- grantha kfrtii
!
munirvyaso lekhanas[l1 viniiyaka/J means the author of this grantha- (book) is Vina~aka.
10
While latter refers n~simha diisara tanaye niimatii kt¥Za diisahoye it implies the fact that
11
the autlwr of the- werk Krushna- Das- was- the son of Nrusimha- Das-, In- ~less
manuscript it played a vital role to provide valuable informatioh about the study and the
authm:ship.
IY~Colophon
12
Whi-le following the brief informatioo- oo- GO!ephoo- as- mentiooed- in-the introd~tion