by David Reigle

An extensive archive of Sanskrit texts has been assembled over the past thirty-five years in connection with research on the question of the existence of a once universal but now hidden wisdom tradition. In particular, these Sanskrit texts were gathered to one day annotate the so far unknown "Book of Dzyan," a generic title meaning Book of Wisdom (Jnana), used by H. P. Blavatsky for the source of the stanzas translated in her 1888 book, The Secret Doctrine. This ongoing research indicates the likelihood that such a book exists, and therefore that at some point it will become available.

There was always the intention to eventually make these Sanskrit texts widely accessible, and this has now become possible on the web. This archive of the Eastern Tradition Research Institute includes almost all known printed Sanskrit Buddhist texts, many Sanskrit editions of the primary Hindu texts, and the major Sanskrit and Prakrit Jaina texts. The Sanskrit Buddhist texts will be posted first, as being more in demand, since they are harder to find than the Hindu texts.

These are digital image scans of the original editions. They show the text exactly as it was printed, without the inevitable introduction of typographical errors when these texts are input to make electronically searchable files. They also make it possible to find specific references to specific page numbers in specific editions. Most importantly, they make available a full library of Sanskrit texts, many of which are rare and hard to find. As we continue the search for the Book of Dzyan, it is our hope that others will find these online Sanskrit texts to be useful in their own study or research.

Tags: buddhist, hindu, jain, jaina, reigle, sanskrit, text

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The next ten items include three sutras, the words attributed to the Buddha. The Lankavatara-sutra was of particular interest to Japanese scholars and practitioners, because it is supposed to have been taught in China by the first Patriarch of the Ch'an or Zen school, Bodhidharma. Thus when Bunyiu Nanjio, a Shinshu Buddhist priest from Japan, was sent to England in 1876 to learn Sanskrit at Oxford and study the Buddhist texts in their original language, he made a transcript of the Lankavatara-sutra.

Nanjio copied this from a manuscript from Nepal that was preserved in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society in London. He then revised his copy in comparison with another manuscript preserved in the Cambridge University library, and also partially collated his copy with a second manuscript at Cambridge. After he returned to Japan, a friend collated the three Chinese translations of this sutra, and on this basis he and Nanjio made some corrections to the Sanskrit text. Some time later, Ekai Kawaguchi brought to Japan a manuscript of this sutra from Nepal, and Junjiro Takakusu brought to Japan some leaves of a palm-leaf manuscript of this sutra from Nepal. Both of these sources were used to make further corrections. But this is a very difficult text, and many of the old Buddhist Sanskrit words used in it had long been forgotten in India. So more help was needed. This was provided by Unrai Wogihara, who corrected Nanjio's transcript on the basis of the carefully and literally made Tibetan translation of this sutra, again checking it with the three Chinese translations. They at that time were also able to use an edition of the first part of the Lankavatara-sutra that had been published in India in 1900, prepared by Sarat Chandra Das and Satis Chandra Acharya Vidyabhusana. This partial edition is essentially a transcript of a manuscript, and thus for critical purposes has only the value of such. But at the time it was published, when nothing else of this sutra was available, that value was a lot.

Then, a devanagari font had to be newly manufactured in Japan, and the final corrected copy had to be laboriously set up in type there. With the help of friends, both in labor and in funding, the job was at last accomplished. The first complete printed edition of the Sanskrit Lankavatara-sutra, after Bunyiu Nanjio's initial transcription made around 1883, was published in 1923, forty years later. This provided the world with a good, basic, working edition of this important sutra in its original language. It provided a solid basis for better understanding this difficult text. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki utilized it to make his English translation, published in 1932. Suzuki had also prepared a full tri-lingual index to this sutra, Sanskrit-Chinese-Tibetan, Chinese-Sanskrit, and Tibetan-Sanskrit, published in 1934 (with a first edition in 1933, minus the last two sections). The scanned photocopy of this index posted here lacks the Chinese-Sanskrit section. My apologies for this to those who read Chinese. On my trips to major libraries to gather materials I am often short on time and funds, and sometimes things like this must get omitted. Perhaps I can obtain it on another trip and add it to this file later.

With all this effort on the part of Bunyiu Nanjio and friends, this difficult text is still in need of further revision, as noted by scholars who work on it. Already in 1931, S. Wakai published a revised edition of the first chapter in Journal of the Taisho University. This is posted here. P. L. Vaidya's 1963 edition of the Lankavatara-sutra is based on Nanjio's edition. In 1976, Kosai Yasui published twenty pages of corrections to Nanjio's edition in his book in Japanese, Bonbun Wayaku Nyuryogakyo. These corrections are posted here. Jikido Takasaki apparently published a revised edition of the sixth chapter, titled, A Revised Edition of the Lankavatara-Sutra, Ksanika-Parivarta, Tokyo, 1981. Despite efforts, I have not been able to locate a copy of this book in North America.

The other two sutras now posted have their own stories, which can be read in their prefaces and introductions. A two-page English "Note" to the Gandavyuha-sutra, edited by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki and Hokei Idzumi, 1934-1936, can be found after p. 240, where the next fascicle begins. We there learn that Kaikyoku Watanabe had prepared a transcript of this lengthy sutra, collated with whatever manuscripts he could access, that was destroyed in the great fire following the earthquake in 1923. The edition of this text by Suzuki and Idzumi, utilizing six manuscripts, has a long story, like the Bunyiu Nanjio edition of the Lankavatara-sutra. After this edition of the Gandavyuha-sutra was published, in spite of many difficulties, it, too, was seen to need further corrections. After World War II, conditions in Japan were far from optimal. A revised second edition was published in 1949, as a photographic reprint of the first edition. Corrections were printed in the margins. The offset printing did not turn out well, under the then prevailing poor conditions. Therefore, many of the pages are not easy to read. I have gone through this edition, and noted and copied all the pages on which corrections were entered. These are given here in a separate file. P. L. Vaidya collated an additional manuscript for his 1960 edition of this sutra.

The Gandavyuha-sutra is the concluding part of the very extensive Avatamsaka-sutra, the so-called Flower Ornament Sutra (there is a full English translation from Chinese by Thomas Cleary). This is known for its grandiose vision of cosmic worlds, and worlds within worlds. It is in this way similar to the large Hindu text, Yoga-vasistha, which also describes worlds within worlds, although in a different way.

The Avatamsaka-sutra also includes the Dasabhumika-sutra, which describes the ten bodhisattva stages. Because of its importance, it, too, circulated as an independent text. The main text, written in prose, was edited and published in 1926, by Johannes Rahder. The linguistically more difficult gathas or verses that accompany the prose text were edited separately by Rahder and Shinryu Susa. These were published in the Eastern Buddhist, 1931-1932. In 1936, a beautifully printed edition of the whole text, in devanagari script, was published in Tokyo. It was edited by Ryuko Kondo. All three of these editions are posted here. The 1967 edition prepared by P. L. Vaidya is based on Rahder's edition. Rahder also prepared a Glossary of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese Versions of the Dasabhumika-Sutra, published in 1928. This glossary is posted here. In 1996, Kazunobu Matsuda photographically reproduced two old and good manuscripts of this sutra from the Nepal National Archives. As with all three of these sutras, there is a need for a new and improved edition. Yet when we see the amount of effort and sacrifices made to prepare for us the existing editions, we can only feel extremely grateful to these pioneering editors.
We pause in our posting of Buddhist texts, in order to get a start on posting Jaina and Hindu texts. For Jaina texts, we begin with the Tatthvarthadhigama-sutra. We hope this makes an auspicious start for the Jaina texts.

The Tattvarthadhigama-sutra has aptly been called the Jaina Bible. It is in a class all by itself as the single most important compendium of Jaina teachings in existence. It is regarded as the standard sourcebook of their religion by both the Digambara and Svetambara branches of Jainism. The Svetambaras know its author as Umasvati, while the Digambaras know its author as Umasvami. It is written in concise Sanskrit sutras, like the Hindu darsana texts are. According to the Svetambaras, Umasvati wrote his own bhasya or commentary on his concise sutras. The Digambaras do not accept the authenticity of this commentary, so the primary commentary they use is the Sarvartha-siddhi by Pujyapada. There are some differences in the number of sutras, and in the wording of the sutras, between the text of the Tattvarthadhigama-sutra as accepted by the Svetambaras and as accepted by the Digambaras.

The first printed edition of the Tattvarthadhigama-sutra with Umasvati's bhasya was edited by Mody Keshavlal Premchand and published in three fascicles in the Bibliotheca Indica series from Calcutta, 1903-1905. The following year another edition of this text along with a Hindi translation by Thakura Prasada Sarman was published in the Rayacandra Jaina Sastramala series from Bombay, 1906. Twenty years later yet another edition of this text with Umasvati's bhasya was prepared by Motilala Ladhaji and published in the Arhatamataprabhakara series from Poona, 1926. All three of these rare editions are posted here. There is only one copy of each of the latter two editions in North American libraries. This is the text and commentary used by the Svetambara Jains. The European scholar Hermann Jacobi prepared a complete Sanskrit word index to the Tattvarthadhigama-sutra to accompany his German translation of it, and published this in the journal of the German Oriental Society (Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft) in 1906. This index, too, is posted here.

The Tattvarthadhigama-sutra with Pujyapada's Sarvarthasiddhi commentary is the one used by the Digambara Jains. It was first edited by Kallappa Bharamappa Nitave, with the help of Virchand and Amichand Dharasivakar, and published at Kolhapur by the Jainendra Mudranalaya (Press). I have not been able to accurately ascertain the date of the first edition, but the second edition (dvitiya samskaranam) was published in Saka 1839, or 1917 C.E. There is no copy of this text in North American libraries. The scan posted here is from the Digital Library of India, and was obtained for me by Capt. Anand Kumar (thank you!). In 1955 a new edition of the Tattvarthadhigama-sutra with Pujyapada's Sarvarthasiddhi commentary was prepared by Phoolchandra Siddhant Shastry and published in the Jnanapitha Murtidevi Jain Granthamala from Kashi (Varanasi). It included a Hindi translation. Here posted is the 1971 second edition of this publication edited by Phoolchandra. Today, Jain munis often study commentaries on the Tattvarthadhigama-sutra from both branches of Jainism.
For the Sanskrit Hindu texts, we begin with the Samkhya-karika by Isvara-krsna, along with the bhasya or commentary by Gaudapada. This is a short text of about seventy verses that is the classic summary of the Samkhya system. Samkhya is traditionally regarded as the first darshana or philosophical system, in which the teachings describing a particular worldview are organized and put forth in a systematic manner. It was taught by the first knower (vidvan), Kapila, as distinguished from the early seers (rishi) who "saw" the Vedas. Kapila taught it to Asuri, and Asuri taught it to Pancasikha. Pancasikha is thought to have written down the Samkhya teachings in the ancient and now lost Sasti-tantra, or "Sixty topics." Its teachings were summarized by Isvara-krsna in the Samkhya-karika.

As with any such verse work, where the idea is to provide a skeleton of the teachings for ease of memorization, these verses need to be fleshed out by a commentary. For long, the commentary by Gaudapada was regarded as the oldest one available. In the last hundred years or so, four challengers have come to light. First, attention was called to a Samkhya commentary very much like Gaudapada's that is found in Chinese translation in the Chinese Buddhist canon. Then, another old commentary, by Mathara, was discovered and published. Decades later, two more old commentaries, anonymous, were discovered in the great Jaina temple libraries and published. These five commentaries are very similar to each other, and much scholarly effort has been put toward determining which is the oldest, and which borrowed from which.

To me, this question itself is misplaced. If we accept what Isvara-krsna said at the close of his Samkhya-karika, that he summarized this from the Sasti-tantra, then it easily follows that all five of these old commentaries would have also summarized explanations given in the then still available Sasti-tantra. That easily explains their similarities without the need for one of these to have borrowed from the other. From my comparison of all five, I have found a few things in Gaudapada's commentary that seem to preserve teachings not found in most of the other four. So I regard it as the most reliable commentary on the Samkhya-karika. Of course, the other four old ones are very helpful in clarifying its meaning.

For centuries, the Samkhya-karika has been studied in India almost exclusively by way of Vacaspati-misra's Tattva-kaumudi commentary, an obviously much later commentary than Gaudapada's. For this reason, manuscripts of Gaudapada's commentary are scarce, while manuscripts of Vasaspati-misra's commentary are numerous. This has contributed to the unfortunate situation that even today, we do not have a critical edition of Gaudapada's fundamental commentary. All of the printed editions are less than reliably accurate. 

Horace Hayman Wilson's 1837 edition was the first Sanskrit text published at Oxford University (preface, p. vii), and it used newly cast devanagari type (p. xiii). It was a fitting choice for the first Sanskrit text published there, and it is a fitting choice for the first Sanskrit Hindu text posted here. Wilson was able to obtain only one manuscript of Gaudapada's commentary, on which he had to base his edition. Beautiful as this printed edition is, it has many errors. As an example of a simple typographical error, see p. 29, where in the last line of the commentary on verse 35 we find kakya-sesa instead of vakya-sesa. Wilson, back in England, prepared a translation of this commentary from his own very considerable knowledge of Sanskrit, and added this to Colebrooke's translation of the verses. As we can see today, he did a creditable job. Of course, like any pioneering effort, it is subject to improvement. Wilson's Sanskrit text and Colebrooke's/Wilson's English translation were reprinted by Tookaram Tatya for the Theosophical Society in Bombay, 1887, and again in 1924. Wilson's original 1837 edition is posted here, in two files: one for the Sanskrit text and one for the English translation.

In 1883 an improved edition of Gaudapada's commentary, prepared by Bechanarama Tripathi, was published in the Benares Sanskrit Series. It was included at the back of his edition of the Samkhya-karika with the Chandrika commentary by Narayana Tirtha. At some time around then, Jibananda Vidyasagara also published an edition of the Samkhya-karika with Gaudapada's commentary. I have only been able to see Vidyasagara's second edition, 1892, and have never been able to find out the date of his first edition, despite several attempts to do so. Both Tripathi's and Vidyasagara's editions used at least some other manuscript than the one Wilson used. Both Tripathi's and Vidyasagara's editions also appear to have been prepared independently of each other. There is a 2-line verse quoted in the commentary on verse 12 in the editions by Wilson (1837) and by Tripathi (1883). But this is a 5-line quote in the edition by Vidyasagara (2nd ed. 1892). Both the Tripathi and the Vidyasagara editions are posted here. As far as I could tell from comparisons, it seems that all later editions, by whatever editor, are based on the three early editions of Wilson, Tripathi, and Vidyasagara. No one after them seems to have used newly collated manuscripts.

Har Dutt Sharma carefully prepared a Sanskrit edition based on comparison of Wilson's and Tripathi's editions, and some later commentaries. He included a well-made English translation, and both were published together in 1933 in the Poona Oriental Series. This is posted here in two files: one for the Sanskrit text and one for the English translation. This is an excellent choice for those who wish to do some Sanskrit language study. The text is of great importance philosophically, and the commentary is written in comparatively simple and straightforward language. Note that the edition and translation of this text by T. G. Mainkar, that in 1964 replaced Dutt's edition and translation in the Poona Oriental Series, is based on Dutt's. The Sanskrit edition is the same; and although he does not say this, Mainkar did not newly translate the text, but mostly adopted Dutt's translation of Gaudapada's commentary. Comparison also shows that Mainkar sometimes adopted translations of the verses themselves from others such as Colebrooke and Suryanarayana Sastri. This led to incongruity of terminology between the translation of the verses and the translation of the commentary. So Dutt's edition is much to be preferred for consistency.

Perhaps the most widely available edition of the Samkhya-karika with Gaudapada's commentary is that by Dhundhiraja Sastri, published in the Haridas Sanskrit Series from Varanasi. Posted here is the 1963 fourth edition. I have seen the 1953 second edition, but have not been able to accurately ascertain the date of the first edition. Like in Vidyasagara's edition, the quote in the commentary on verse 12 has five lines. It seems likely that Dhundhiraja used Vidyasagara's edition in preparing his own edition. Most of the printed editions, of which there are several others not posted here, appear to be based on earlier printed editions rather than on newly collated manuscripts.

If all of the printed editions are ultimately based on only a few manuscripts, and then copy each other, they do not provide a solid basis for forming reliable conclusions. There is a real need for a critical edition of Gaudpada's commentary on the Samkhya-karika. It is known to me that a good manuscript of the Gaudapada commentary is held in the University of Pennsylvania library, because I have used scans of it. Based on my comparison, this manuscript is more reliable than the printed editions. It fills in gaps that occur in the printed editions, and offers many improved readings.

The five Sanskrit editions of the Samkhya-karika with Gaudapada bhasya posted here, along with two English translations, provide a useful basis for study. They give a reasonably accurate picture of the Samkhya system as preserved and summarized by Isvara-krsna and explained by Gaudapada. For serious research, however, a critical edition of Gaudapada's commentary is needed.
The fundamental Samkhya sourcebook, the lost Sasti-tantra, is described in the Suvarna-saptati-vyakhya as consisting of 60,000 verses. The extant Samkhya sourcebook, the Samkhya-karika, describes itself as a summary of the Sasti-tantra. It consists of 70 verses. Clearly, something has been lost in the process. There appear to be five old commentaries on the Samkhya-karika that drew on the then still available Sasti-tantra in their explanations. In order to provide the needed resources for studying the Samkhya-karika by way of its oldest commentaries, seven more texts are now posted. As stated in my previous post, the Gaudapada bhasya or commentary on the Samkhya-karika, long regarded as the oldest, was joined by four other commentaries of apparently similar age that came to light and were published in the twentieth century. These are the Suvarna-saptati-vyakhya that was translated into Chinese by Paramartha in the sixth century C.E., the Mathara-vrtti, the Samkhya-saptati-vrtti, and the Samkhya-vrtti. Also posted now is the less archaic Jayamangala commentary, which was also discovered and published in the twentieth century.

Samuel Beal announced the discovery of the Chinese translation of the Suvarna-saptati and its commentary, found in the Chinese Buddhist canon, in an article published in 1878 in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. It is titled "On a Chinese Version of the Sankhya Karika, etc., found among the Buddhist Books comprising the Tripitaka, and two other works" (pp. 355-360). In 1904 a French translation of this Chinese text, made by J. Takakusu, was published in Bulletin de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient. This is posted here. Takakusu in this article assumed and tried to show that the Chinese text was a translation of Gaudapada's commentary, because of the great similarity between the two. In 1932, Takakusu's French translation was published in English translation, made by S. S. Suryanarayanan, in a supplement to the Journal of the Madras University. This is also posted here. It was intended to be a very literal English translation from the French, so that the text could be re-translated from English into Sanskrit. This did not prove possible. Then N. Aiyaswami Sastri was able to re-translate this text into Sanskrit directly from the Chinese translation, and this was published in 1944. This gives us the best access to this old Chinese translation for comparative purposes. It is posted here.

In 1917, S. K. Belvalkar announced the discovery of the Mathara vrtti or commentary on the Samkhya-karika in his contribution to the book, Commemorative Essays Presented to Sir Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar (pp. 171-184). He believed that this commentary, rather than Gaudapada's commentary, was the one translated into Chinese in the sixth century C.E., because it showed even closer similarities with the Chinese text. Mathara is an ancient Samkhya author, who is referred to in old Jaina texts. There is some doubt, however, whether the text found in this manuscript is the same as the text of the ancient Mathara who is referred to in old Jaina texts. The Sanskrit text of the Mathara-vrtti was edited by Vishnu Prasad Sharma and published in 1922. This is posted here. The Mathara-vrtti was later included in the 1970 edition of it and the Jayamangala commentary, prepared by Satkari Sharma Vangiya.

Two other similarly old commentaries on the Samkhya-karika were later discovered among the books preserved by the Jainas at the Jesalmere Bhandar. They are the Samkhya-saptati-vrtti and the Samkhya-vrtti. These two texts were edited by Esther A. Solomon and published in 1973. Both are posted here. She believes that the Samkhya-saptati-vrtti is the original that the Mathara-vrtti, as now published, was based on. The other text edited by her, the Samkhya-vrtti, was actually edited earlier by Naomichi Nakada, but his edition was not published until 1978. Solomon believes that the Samkhya-vrtti is most likely the text that was translated into Chinese in the sixth century C.E.; and that this text, which we now have in the original Sanskrit, is the oldest of the known commentaries on the Samkhya-karika. Rather than trying to determine a sequence of which one of these texts borrowed from which other one, however, it seems to me that there is a simpler way to explain their close similarities: All five of these old commentaries were based on the extensive Sasti-tantra when it was still available.

The Jayamangala commentary was also discovered in the early 1900s, and its publication was also awaited with eager anticipation. This text was edited by H. Sarma (Har Dutt Sharma) and published in 1926. Initially, it was thought that this commentary was written by Sankaracarya, as stated in its colophon. But once the text was published and became available, it could be seen that this is not the case. The name Sankara in its colophon, with the full description as used in works by Sankaracarya, appears to be a confusion based on the name of the actual author, Sankararya. This was pointed out by Gopinath Kaviraj in his Introduction (pp. 8-9). It is apparently a later text than the five early commentaries mentioned above.
We cannot leave the Samkhya-karika without bringing in one of the important textual finds of the twentieth century: the Yukti-dipika commentary thereon. Among the texts of the six darsanas or philosophical systems, there are normally commentaries that argue for the correctness of a particular darsana's teachings against other systems, and that defend its teachings against criticisms of them made in texts of other systems. We did not have such a text for Samkhya until the discovery and publication of the Yukti-dipika in 1938. Today, the standard scholarly edition of this text is: Yuktidipika: The Most Significant Commentary on the Samkhyakarika, critically edited by Albrecht Wezler and Shujun Motegi, vol. 1 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998). This volume includes the complete Sanskrit text (volume 2 has not yet been published). Since this edition is in copyright, it is not posted here.

The Yukti-dipika was, in effect, "discovered" by Pulinbehari Chakravarti, upon examining a manuscript of it attributed to Vacaspati-misra that had been collected in 1875-76. From this incomplete manuscript, he prepared a Sanskrit edition of it, published in 1938 in the Calcutta Sanskrit Series. From 1938 until 1967, nearly three decades, this was the one available edition of the Yukti-dipika. Naturally, this edition has been much quoted, especially in India. It is thus still of much value for reference purposes. It has become, however, quite hard to find. So it is posted here. There appear to be only three copies of it in North America, at the Columbia, UCLA, and Yale University libraries. The photocopies whose scans are posted here were made from the UCLA copy, when I had no access to a copy machine with reduction capabilities. So the line numbers in the margins (5, 10, 15, etc.) are often cut off. As sometimes happens, pages were missing from this copy at the front and at the back of the book. These pages I filled in from the Yale copy on a visit there. What was intended to be the English introduction to this edition was expanded and published as a separate book in 1951, titled Origin and Development of the Samkhya System of Thought.

In 1967 a considerably improved edition of the Yukti-dipika was published, which was able to draw on a second manuscript. This manuscript was also incomplete, but it filled in much text that was missing in the first manuscript. This edition was prepared by Ram Chandra Pandeya and published in Delhi by Motilal Banarsidass. It is also posted here. Two other editions of the Samkhya-karika that included the Yukti-dipika were published in India after this: one by Ramasankara Tripathi in 1970 with his own Sanskrit and Hindi commentaries, and one by Kedaranatha Tripathi in 1996 with his own Hindi commentary. Also, the Sanskrit text with English translation, by Shiv Kumar and D. N. Bhargava, was published in 2 volumes, 1990 and 1992. These three editions are not posted here. Another edition of the Yuktidipika is included in the 2009 Samkhyakarika edition by N. C. Panda, which I have not yet seen.

Returning to the Gaudapada commentary on the Samkhya-karika, since two of the previously posted editions included English translations, we now post a third English translation. It was made by Satish Chandra Banerji, and published in Calcutta in 1898. It is an important independently made translation of Gaudapada's commentary, and also includes what is still the only English translation of Narayana Tirtha's Candrika commentary. At present there are only four published English translations of Gaudapada's commentary on the Samkhya-karika known to me. The first, pioneering translation by Horace Hayman Wilson was published in 1837. The one by Banerji now posted is the second, coming in 1898. The third was made by Har Dutt Sharma and published in 1933. All three of these are now posted here. The fourth, by T. G. Mainkar, published in 1964, is not really an independently made translation, but mostly repeats Sharma's translation. Banerji's valuable translation seems to have been almost unknown even in India, since no one quotes it. It is extremely rare. There is only one copy in North America, at the University of Pennsylvania library. This copy is missing the title page. With good fortune, I was able to fill in the title page from a copy in India.

Har Dutt Sharma's Sanskrit edition and English translation were posted here in two separate files. This means that his English Introduction at the front of the book, and his Notes at the back of the book, were omitted. These are now posted here in a third file.

As noted earlier, there is a real need for a critical edition of Gaudpada's commentary on the Samkhya-karika. The various published editions were collected and checked to see if any of them had used new manuscripts beyond those used for the first three published editions. They apparently had not. Nonetheless, their punctuation differs from one editor to another, and this is sometimes helpful in correctly understanding the text. There are also always the inevitable misprints that need to be checked with other editions. Three more Sanskrit editions are now posted.

The 1929 edition from Bombay appears to be at least partially based on Jibananda Vidyasagara's edition, but it is better printed and easier to use. In fact, it was only after obtaining this otherwise unknown 1929 edition from a book dealer in India that I was led by a different reading it had (of a five-line quote rather than a 2-line quote in the commentary on verse 12) to seek out and find its source edition. This turned out to be Vidyasagara's edition, which is never cited in later writings, so had remained unknown to me.

The edition from Benares of unknown date is lacking the title page in the copy at the University of Chicago library, where I photocopied it. This appears to be the only copy of this edition in North America. Nothing else is known about it.

The 1937 edition by Narayana-carana is included in a larger book with other commentaries. As there seems to be no copy of this original edition in North America, I copied the Gaudpada portion from its 1989 photographic reprint. Our thanks to the Vyasa Prakashan of Varanasi for reprinting this book.

Another edition that I have used is that by Jagannatha-sastri with Hindi translation, the 4th edition of which was published in 1975 by Motilal Banarsidass. This publication gives no indication of the dates of its earlier editions. It appears that they are keeping this in print, so I have not posted it. There is also a 1976 edition by Vimla Karnatak with Hindi translation that has been continually reprinted. There are some indications that it is based on Jagannatha-sastri's edition. In Europe, the 1964 French translation of the Samkhya-karika by Anne-Marie Esnoul includes the Sanskrit text of Gaudapada's commentary in roman transliteration, usefully given on facing pages. This transliterated text has an inordinately high number of misprints, so I have not posted it.

The most widely used commentary on the Samkhya-karika is the Tattva-kaumudi by Vacaspati-misra. It is a later commentary than Gaudapada's. Many editions of this text are available. Two of the most important ones are now posted here. The first is the 1934 Sanskrit text and English translation by Ganganatha Jha. It is important for his English translation, since he was one of the greatest darsana translators of our time. He had translated this text early in his life, and started serializing it in The Theosophist magazine in 1892. This was published in book form in 1896. Late in his life he thoroughly revised this earlier translation, and this revised edition was published in 1934. The 1934 edition that I had access to was in poor condition. So after comparing it with the 1965 edition, and seeing that the text had not been altered, but only rearranged, I have posted the 1965 edition here.

What has been acclaimed in reviews as one of the most well done and most thorough critical editions of any Sanskrit text that has been made is the edition of Vacaspati-misra's Tattva-kaumudi by Srinivasa Ayya Srinivasan. It utilized twenty-six manuscripts. On the facing pages of the text, the recorded variant readings take up more space than the critically edited Sanskrit text itself. This convenient arrangement allows one to see at a glance the alternative readings. It was published in Germany in 1967, and as far as I could tell, it now seems to be out of print. So it is posted here.

Upon checking, I saw that all the editions of Gaudapada's commentary on the Samkhya-karika are in devanagari script. So, contrary to what I said in my last post, I have decided to post the 1964 French translation by Anne-Marie Esnoul that includes the Sanskrit text of Gaudapada's commentary in roman transliteration, despite its inordinately high number of misprints. This will allow those who do not read devanagari script to have access to the text. This is very useful because we do not yet have anything like standardized translation. So when you read a particular word in translation, and wonder which Sanskrit word is behind it, you can check this. This is possible to do even without a knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. This publication, of course, is also helpful in providing a translation of this text for those who read French.

On the important Yukti-dipika commentary that was discovered and first published in 1938, edited by Pulinbehari Chakravarti, we had noted that: "What was intended to be the English introduction to this edition was expanded and published as a separate book in 1951, titled Origin and Development of the Samkhya System of Thought." This valuable book is now posted here under the file name: samkhya_karika_and_yukti-dipika_intro.pdf, and the description, "Samkhya-karika with Yukti-dipika comm., Chakravarti intro. book." Note that the author's name is spelled Pulinbihari Chakravarti in this 1951 book, rather than Pulinbehari Chakravarti as in his 1938 edition. This apparently inconsequential little spelling difference is quite enough to make searches for his book come up blank. While other books have now supplemented Origin and Development of the Samkhya System of Thought, it remains the standard work on this subject.
The Vaisesika darsana is, like the Samkhya darsana, a very old philosophical system. Its primary textbook is the Vaisesika-sutra by Kanada. In recent centuries, the only available commentary on these ancient and terse sutras was the Upaskara by Sankara-misra, from the fifteenth century C.E. That changed in the mid-twentieth century with the discovery and publication of four important texts: Candrananda's commentary (published in 1961), a comparatively short anonymous commentary (published in 1957), most of the first two chapters of an extensive commentary by Bhatta Vadindra (published in 1985), and a commentary on the last two chapters, nine and ten (that on the ninth was published in 1985). The ancient commentaries by Atreya, Ravana, Bharadvaja, etc., remain lost. But the four recovered commentaries take us a major step toward regaining some of the knowledge found in these still lost commentaries.

It was long known that the extant Vaisesika-sutras as preserved and commented on by Sankara-misra were somewhat faulty, because they sometimes did not match quotations of Vaisesika-sutras found in old works. Sankara-misra himself tells us in his opening verse that he did not draw on other commentaries, but explained the sutras on his own. His commentary became the standard one in use in recent centuries, when older commentaries were no longer available. The first printed edition of it, which is the standard edition of it, is that prepared by Jayanarayana Tarka Panchanana, published in 1861 in the Bibliotheca Indica series from Calcutta. This now rare edition is posted here. This edition also includes the Vivrti commentary on the Vaisesika-sutras written by the editor, Jayanarayana Tarka Panchanana. This commentary has since become widely used to supplement what Sankara-misra says in his Upaskara commentary.

Based on this 1861 edition, an English translation by Nandalal Sinha of the Vaisesika-sutras and Sankara-misra's commentary, along with extracts from Jayanarayana Tarka Panchanana's commentary, was published as vol. 6 of the Sacred Books of the Hindus series, 1910-1911. A second edition, "revised and enlarged," was published in 1923. The first edition has been reprinted in the United States by AMS Press, New York, in 1974, and in India by S. N. Publications, Delhi, in 1986. The first edition is typographically superior and much nicer looking than the second edition, but we must always allow a translator to correct his work. So posted here is the much harder to find second revised and enlarged edition of 1923.

In 1957 the first of the newly discovered commentaries on the Vaisesika-sutras was published. This book was titled, Vaisesikadarsana of Kanada, with an Anonymous Commentary, edited by Anantalal Thakur. This brief commentary is almost complete, ending part way through chapter 9 (of 10). Although it was not easy to separate the sutras from the commentary, it provided considerably better readings of the Vaisesika-sutras than the readings used by Sankara-misra. A revised edition of this brief commentary was later included as an appendix in Anantalal Thakur's 1985 edition of the much larger but very incomplete commentary by Bhatta Vadindra. These two commentaries match each other so closely, that the brief one must be a summary of the extensive one. So Anantalal Thakur concluded that the brief one was probably written either by Bhatta Vadindra himself or by a disciple of his.

In 1961 the newly discovered full commentary by Candrananda on the Vaisesika-sutras was published, carefully edited by the Jaina Muni Jambuvijayaji. One of the two manuscripts used for this edition gave the sutra-patha separately at the beginning, and both manuscripts gave the sutras again within the commentary. Now the actual original readings of the Vaisesika-sutras could be established with confidence. It was gratifying to see that in most cases they matched the readings attested in quotations of these sutras found in old texts. This edition was reprinted in 1982, and according to Harunaga Isaacson, this reprint introduced some new typographical errors. We have the 1961 edition here, and also the 1957 edition described in the previous paragraph, but these are not posted at this time.

In 1985 the newly discovered extensive but incomplete commentary by Bhatta Vadindra was published, consisting of most of the first two chapters. It was edited by Anantalal Thakur, and published under the title, Vaisesika-darsanam. It included two appendices. First was a revised edition of the brief anonymous commentary that he had edited and published in 1957. As noted above, this is a summary of Bhatta Vadindra's extensive commentary. Second was an edition of a hitherto unknown commentary on chapter nine. Chapter ten of this same commentary is available in manuscript. This book, although published as late as 1985, is already out of print. I know this because of the difficulty I had in obtaining it. So it is posted here.

The Vaisesika-sutras in the best readings available, utilizing all the above described texts, were compiled and given in Sanskrit and English translation by Anantalal Thakur in his 2003 book, Origin and Development of the Vaisesika System. They are found within chapter one, on pp. 24-121, of this large-format 500-page book. They are not featured, and one could easily read the table of contents and not know that this book gives a definitive edition of the Vaisesika-sutras in Sanskrit and English. I may try to post these pages later, since this portion of the book probably falls within fair use guidelines.

What an amazing benefit this project will be to Theosophy, in general.  It has been stated before that the Blavatsky presentation was remiss in some ways and in some areas as regards terms, and terms for concepts, as there was not available a means to provide the original Sanskrit understanding.


Compliments on bringing this forward in a time when it is needed most, and when the brotherhood of Theosophists and esoteric initiates is once again rich in scholars and academic authorities, those who can put to good use these translations  ̶  propitious at this time too for they can be introduced in and through the modern venues that have ensued over the years  ̶  this site, its resource of experts and its programs especially.


Truly a monumental endeavor, and apparently, a success in progress that will keep on shining an ever-brighter light on Theosophy that has heretofore been dim.  What an amazing team it must have taken to take the weight of the world off the Atlas of Theosophy.  Congratulations.

Thank you, Christian, for your kind words about this project. We do hope that it makes available useful resources. Hopefully they can be used to help benefit humanity, as you say.
English speakers take note. Posted with this batch of Sanskrit texts are two English translations. One of these is included in a brilliant article by Gerald Larson. The text is the very brief Samkhya-tattva-samasa, in twenty-five short verses, many of them consisting of only a single word. Prof. Larson shows in this article that a straightforward translation is not enough for a text like this. After giving such a translation, he analyzes the contents, and finds that this concise Samkhya text gives the prime numbers. The Samkhya philosophical system, as the name Samkhya implies, is based on numerical categories. So it is quite fitting that this text would give the prime numbers, but do so in a non-obvious way. The article is titled, "The Format of Technical Philosophical Writing in Ancient India: Inadequacies of Conventional Translations" (Philosophy East and West, 1980).

Also posted is a 1938 article giving an edition of this short text based on six manuscripts and two printed editions. It is found in the article by Gopinath Kaviraj titled, "A Short Note on Tattvasamasa." It was published in The Princess of Wales Sarasvati Bhavana Studies, vol. 10. A text like this is greatly in need of a critical edition, and this is a good start, the only one so far. It was tucked away unnoticed in this hard to find article, whose title would not tell you what it includes.

Another article, from 1928, is posted, too. It includes an edition of the Samkhya-tattva-samasa-sutra based on two manuscripts from the Adyar Library. But the main reason for posting it is that it includes a quotation of eight sutras from a text that is considerably older than the Samkhya-tattva-samasa-sutras are usually reckoned to be. It is titled "A Note on the Date of the Tattvasamasa," by T. R. Chintamani, then librarian of the Adyar Library. It was published as "Literary Notes" in Journal of Oriental Research, Madras. It, too, is hard to find, as is the old book it quotes these eight sutras from.

When Pulinbihari Chakravarti wrote his important book, Origin and Development of the Samkhya System of Thought (posted here earlier, as: samkhya_karika_and_yukti-dipika_intro.pdf Samkhya-karika with Yukti-dipika comm., Chakravarti intro. book ), he referred to this 1928 article by T. R. Chintamani (pp. 168-169) and quoted the eight sutras from it. But he apparently could not get access to the old book that these eight sutras are found in. It is the Bhagavadajjukiyam. So Chakravarti, quoting the passage having the eight sutras from Chintamani's 1928 article, saw that the passage included Prakrit. Apparently for that reason, he assumed that it is a Jain work, these being usually written in Prakrit. He referred to "the Bhagavadajjukiyam of the Jains" (p. 168).

But it is not a Jain work. It is a play, to be performed on the stage. It is a Hindu work. As is well known, actors in Sanskrit plays are often given lines in Prakrit, to represent the common speech of the people, as opposed to the speech of the learned, Sanskrit. At the back of this 1928 article, I have reproduced the two title pages of the Bhagavadajjukiyam in the 1925 edition by P. Anujan Achan, and the relevant page giving the eight sutras (pp. 50-51). This is not the edition used by Chintamani in his 1928 article. So it is perhaps all the more useful, supplying another edition of these eight sutras. No doubt due to the inaccessibility of these sources, this error about the Bhagavadajjukiyam being a Jain work was repeated from Chakravarti's book in the standard Samkhya reference book, Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. 4: Samkhya: A Dualist Tradition in Indian Philosophy, edited by Gerald James Larson and Ram Shankar Bhattacharya (Princeton University Press, 1987), p. 318.

On the brief Samkhya-tattva-samasa-sutras a number of commentaries have been written. What is regarded as the oldest of these is the Samkhya-krama-dipika, or Krama-dipika in short. This was published in Sanskrit with an English translation as early as 1850, by James R. Ballantyne. It is titled, A Lecture on the Sankhya Philosophy, Embracing the Text of the Tattwa Samasa. This is posted here. At that time, the title of the commentary was not ascertained, and he had only one manuscript of it. Fitz-Edward Hall, in the informative Preface to his 1862 edition of the Sankhya-sara, gave us the name of it from manuscripts he had collected (p. 44). He says that he had collated five manuscripts of it (p. 43 fn.). It is unfortunate that this and other Sanskrit editions he made, including one of the Visnu-purana, were never published.

Today, we must still rely on the edition of the Samkhya-krama-dipika (and other commentaries on the Samkhya-tattva-samasa-sutras) that was published in the Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series under the title, Samkhya Samgraha, 1918-1921, edited by Vindhyesvari Prasada Dvivedin. He was a well-respected editor of Sanskrit texts. But in those days, no one listed variant readings to speak of, or even listed which or how many manuscripts they utilized to prepare the edition from. The Samkhya-krama-dipika was titled Tattvasamasasutravrttih in this edition, and given on pp. 117-140. This edition was reprinted in 1969. But we have posted the text of this commentary from the original 1918-1921 edition, so as to avoid new typographical errors that may have been introduced into the reprint when it was re-typeset.

Lastly, to fill in a gap from the last group of texts posted, we add the Vaisesika-sutras with Candrananda's commentary. Since its publication in 1961, this has taken its place as the standard commentary on the Vaisesika-sutras, largely superseding the Upaskara commentary by Sankara-misra. This is because it is older and preserves considerably more accurate readings of the sutras. I had hoped to post this text, but was not then in a position to photocopy my copy as the prior step to scanning it. Then by chance I found that it had already been scanned and was available without restriction from So I have taken a digital copy from there and posted it here to go with the other editions of the Vaisesika-sutras posted here. Our thanks to them. It is titled, Vaisesikasutra of Kanada, with the Commentary of Candrananda, edited by Muni Sri Jambuvijayaji, and published in the Gaekwad's Oriental Series.
We had started posting Sanskrit texts preserved in the Hindu tradition with what is regarded as the oldest darsana: Samkhya. Its twin darsana, the system it is paired with, is Yoga. Now posted are seven editions of the Yoga-sutras, the fundamental text of this darsana. As everyone knows, the sutra texts that form the basis of the various darsanas cannot be properly understood without commentaries. This is because they are like skeleton outlines, meant more as a means to keep the main points in mind, of a system that has already been learned in full. The present postings include six commentaries, those by Vyasa, Vacaspati-misra, Bhoja-raja, Narayana-tirtha, Sadasivendra, and Sankara-bhagavatpada.

In the case of the Yoga darsana, unlike Samkhya and Vaisesika, the sutras seem to be preserved accurately and with very little variation. Again unlike in Samkhya and Vaisesika, we have preserved an ancient commentary that is universally recognized as being authentic and authoritative. This is the archaic bhasya by Vyasa. Like most Sanskrit texts, it has variant readings. Because of its importance, these variants are important. Here posted are the three best editions of the Yoga-sutras with Vyasa's bhasya from the period when it first became available in printed form. These have served for a century (and still serve) as the source of later editions. Only in the last two decades has a critical edition been published to supersede them (by Vimala Karnatak, Patanjala-Yoga-Darsanam, four volumes, Banaras Hindu University, 1992; and another of chapter 1 only, Samadhipada, by Philipp Maas, published in Germany in 2006).

These three editions also include the sub-commentary by Vacaspati-misra. This is because the commentary by Vyasa is itself brief, and its archaic language is hard to understand. So it is almost universally read through the sub-commentary by Vacaspati-misra, titled, Tattva-vaisaradi. Since he came long after Vyasa, there is no guarantee that his explanations are correct. But they are what we have. The editions posted are:

1. Patanjalasutrani with the Scholium of Vyasa and the Commentary of Vachaspati, edited by Rajaram Shastri Bodas, Bombay Sanskrit and Prakrit Series, no. 46, 1892. This is the rare first edition, not the second edition of 1917. The second addition added the commentary of Nagoji Bhatta.

2. Patanjalayogasutrani (with the commentaries of Vyasa and Vacaspati-misra, and also the commentary of Bhojadeva, i.e., Bhojaraja, printed separately at the end), edited by Kasinatha Sastri Agase, Anandasrama Sanskrit Series, no. 47, 1904. This is a good edition, which utilized twelve manuscripts, mostly from south India. Here posted is the first edition. Later editions omit the Bhojadeva commentary, to say nothing of introducing new typographical errors.

3. Yogadarsanam (Patanjali's Yoga-sutras with the Yoga-bhasya attributed to Veda-vyasa and the Explanation entitled Tattva-vaicaradi of Vacaspati-Micra and the brief explanation of Balarama), Benares, 1908 (a reprint of the Calcutta edition of Svami Balarama of Samvat 1947, A.D. 1890). According to J. H. Woods, the pagination of the reprint is unchanged, but the lines vary a little.

The scan of this edition posted here is of James Houghton Woods' copy, from the Harvard University Library. The title page is apparently missing, and what we see is what Woods wrote for a title page. This text was extremely hard to obtain. The Harvard copy seems to be the only one in North America. A friend went to great trouble to photocopy this for me, so please excuse some occasional page numbers partly cut off, etc., in the photocopies. Someone had since Woods' time spilled coffee on pp. 8-9, and my friend had to carefully separate these pages, which were stuck together.

Years later I was able to obtain a copy of this text, the 1911 printing, from a rare book dealer in India. It has the title page, but the book is in very brittle condition, and the title page was covered with a preservative film. Someday I may take this book apart and get better scans. But for now we must be grateful that this very important edition is available. Woods said that he used it for his translation because it is based on good northern manuscripts, and because of the valuable notes or tippani by the editor, Balarama (p. xi of the Preface to his translation, published in the Harvard Oriental Series, 1914).

Also posted are editions of the Yoga-sutras with four other commentaries. These editions are:

The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, with the Commentary of Bhoja Raja, edited by Rajendralala Mitra, Bibliotheca Indica, work 93, 1883. The commentary by Bhoja-raja is much simpler than the difficult commentary by Vyasa. For this reason, the first translations of the Yoga-sutras into English relied on this commentary. Rajendralala Mitra has here given us the first accurate edition of this commentary to be attempted. His English translation and lengthy Introduction have been reprinted in the U.S., so they are not included here.

Yogadarsana, with a Commentary Called Yogasidhanta Chandrika by Swami Narayanatirtha, and Sutrartha Bodhini by the Same Author, edited by Ratna Gopala Bhatta, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, work  35, 1910-1911. The commentary by Narayana-tirtha is significant because it is the only one that brings in tantric material, relating to the cakras, etc. For long, this was the only edition available, imperfect as it is. A critical edition of this text was published in 2000, edited by Vimala Karnatak, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, work 108. Her edition fills in gaps in this earlier edition. 

Yogasutra Vritti Named Yoga Sudhakara by Sri Sadasivendra Sarasvati, edited by J. K. Balasubrahmanyam, Sri Vani Vilas Sastra Series, no. 11, 1911. This commentary is significant because it is written by a great teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who also wrote a commentary on the Brahma-sutras. It is usually thought that Advaita Vedanta disagrees with the Yoga system.

Patanjala-yogasutra-bhasya-vivaranam, edited by Polakam Sri Rama Sastri and S. R. Krishnamurthi Sastri, Madras Government Oriental Series, no. 94, 1952. This commentary aroused a great amount of interest, because it is attributed to Sankara-bhagavatpada. Some have taken him to be the same Sankara who wrote the Brahma-sutra-bhasya, i.e., Adi Sankaracarya, and some have denied that he is the same person. This commentary, actually a sub-commentary on Vyasa's commentary, is also useful for providing different readings of Vyasa's commentary. This book has long been out of print, and scholars have lamented its lack of availability. Here it is.

Besides these editions, posted here is an extremely valuable reference work for the study of the Yoga-sutras and Vyasa's commentary. It is:

A Concordance-Dictionary to the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali and the Bhashya of Vyasa, by Bhagavan Das, Benares: The Kashi-Vidya Pitha, 1938. It lists all the words in these two texts, their locations, and English meanings that often show the etymological meaning of the words. This was undertaken to go along with Ganganatha Jha's English translation of these two texts, but was done independently by his friend, Bhagavan Das. It is of great value because the meanings of the often archaic words in Vyasa's commentary are far from certain.
Of the six traditional Hindu darsanas or systems of philosophical thought, texts from the Samkhya darsana and its associated Yoga darsana have been posted. Core texts of the Vaisesika darsana have also been posted. There are no plans to post any texts of its associated Nyaya darsana, however, because these have been published in a series of excellent editions that supersede all the previous editions, 1996-1997. These are all in print at present, and are not expensive.

The core text of the Nyaya darsana is the Nyaya-sutra by Gautama. There are four standard commentaries on it. In chronological order, these are by Vatsyayana, Uddyotakara, Vacaspati-misra, and Udayana. New and improved editions of all of these were prepared by Anantalal Thakur, who also gave us essential Vaisesika texts, as noted earlier. These four editions were all published by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi. They are:

1. Gautamiyanyayadarsana with Bhasya of Vatsyayana, 1997.

2. Nyayabhasyavarttika of Bharadvaja Uddyotakara, 1997.

3. Nyayavarttikatatparyatika of Vacaspatimisra, 1996.

4. Nyayavarttikatatparyaparisuddhi of Udayanacarya, 1996.


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