Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Turning over an old leaf

This is so cool
News from the Olds


I love the image of drinking in new knowledge from ancient palm leaf manuscripts. In some areas, palm leaves are still being painstakingly inscribed with sacred information.

Lontar is deeply venerated by Balinese, anyone who wishes to read lontar regularly needs to undergo a consecration ritual (mawinten) which must be performed by a brahman priest. Lontar cannot be sold or thrown away when damaged but it can be burned with proper ceremony and offerings.

A recent archaeological project collected palm-leaf manuscripts in the state of Chhatisgarh (formerly part of Orissa state).

In the first phase of a survey conducted by the National Mission for Manuscripts and assisted by locals, around 2,000 manuscripts have been collected from various archaeological and remote sites in Chhattisgarh...

But, how do the manuscripts contain words in "texts in Sanskrit, Oriya and Devnagiri" - since Devanagiri is a script, not a language? I think they mean that Devanagiri script was used to write the Sanskrit.

The photo at left shows an ancient manuscript in Kerala, in the possession of my friend Murali in Tiruvilwalmala, whose family have been Ayurvedic vaidyas for 17 generations.

I believe the script and language shown is ancient Tamil. (Someone know for sure?)

Originally, the pages would have been strung together with a thread through the central holes.

Hinduism Today's specialized news service, Hindu Press International, is where I saw this story, and a great source for all kinds of Hindu-related news items.

In the ongoing "pick on the foreigners" thread, Nepal's Pashupatinath temple has added insult to injury by charging perceived "foreigners" (read: people who don't look Nepali...so if you are Assamese Indian, or a Singapore Tamil, you are scot-free) double the previous entry fee - even though "foreigners" are prohibited from entering the actual temple, lest they pollute the hallowed grounds.

It's still okay to through plastic bags of trash into the nearby river and spit on the ground, though. No fines levied for that.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Thats something very rare I've ever seen. How they made it possible to write on the palm leaves..and its still existing..

shobin
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