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It has long been recognized that a critical edition of Daṇḍin’s Kāvyādarśa (“Mirror of Poetic Art”) and the Sñan ṅag me loṅ, its Tibetan translation, is an important desideratum and an indispensable prerequisite for any serious study of Indian and Tibetan poetics. In 2002 the present author took the first step in fulfilling this desideratum and published a book entitled Mārgavibhāga (“Differentiation of Styles”) with the critical edition of the first chapter both in Sanskrit and Tibetan.
As a sequence to this book the present work on the third chapter called Śabdālaṃkāradoṣavibhāga (“Differentiation of Figures of Sound and Faults”) has been prepared. This new publication represents the next necessary step in filling the gap. In addition to the critical edition of the third chapter both in Sanskrit and Tibetan, this publication contains a new edition of the Ratnaśrīṭīkā, the earliest known Sanskrit commentary by Ratnaśrījñāna (tenth century), and an editio princeps of the Dpaṅ Ṭīkā, Dpaṅ Lo tsā ba Blo gros brtan pa’s (1276–1342) seminal Tibetan commentary on the Sñan ṅag me loṅ. Besides this, the present publication includes an introduction, a German translation of the third chapter, philological notes on the two commentaries, a facsimile edition with a diplomatic transcript of the manuscript witnesses of the Ratnaśrīṭīkā and the Dpaṅ Ṭīkā, appendices, concordances and indices for quick references. This work is a revised and enlarged version of my doctoral thesis submitted to the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the University of Marburg (Germany) on April 15, 2004.
After examining the transmission of the Kāvyādarśa and the Sñan ṅag me loṅ in Nepal and Tibet on the basis of the textual material of the first chapter, it was deemed necessary to study in greater detail the earliest available and most influential commentaries on this treatise. As is shown in the present work, the editio princeps of the Ratnaśrīṭīkā published in 1957 is both unreliable and incomplete. Thus, it was considered worthwhile to undertake a new edition based on the other only known and accessible codex of the Ratnaśrīṭīkā, namely an undated Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript written most probably in the twelfth or thirteenth century. Since this manuscript, too, is incomplete and preserves only about one half of the commentary on the second chapter and almost ninety percent of the commentary on the third chapter, enabling us to fill a big lacuna in THAKUR’s and JHA’s edition, it appeared most suitable to focus on the third chapter. This chapter represents beyond doubt the most fascinating and linguistically most demanding part of Daṇḍin’s treatise, in which the figures of sound (śabdālaṃkāra), including sixteen types of riddles (prahelikā), and the ten faults (doṣa) in poetry are treated.
Despite its intriguing and sophisticated nature, however, this part of the Kāvyādarśa has not yet been studied extensively and satisfactorily. The present publication provides a reliable textual basis for the study of the third chapter of both the Kāvyādarśa and the Sñan ṅag me loṅ, and facilitates a better understanding of Indian and Tibetan poetics and poetry in general.