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lxviii
UPANISHADS.

any Sanskrit work, as prevalent in Bengal or Bombay, than ever so many MSS., even if of greater antiquity, from the same locality. When therefore I was informed by my friend Dr. Bühler that he had discovered in Kashmir a MS. of the Aitareya-upanishad, I certainly expected some real help from such a treasure. The MS. is described by its discoverer in the last number of the Journal of the Bombay Asiatic Society, p. 34[1], and has since been sent to me by the Indian Government. It is written on birch bark (bhûrga), and in the alphabet commonly called Sâradâ. The leaves are very much injured on the margin, and it is almost impossible to handle them without some injury. In many places the bark has shrunk, probably on being moistened, and the letters have become illegible. Apart from these drawbacks, there remain the difficulties inherent in the Sâradâ alphabet which, owing to its numerous combinations, is extremely difficult to read, and very trying to eyes which are growing weak. However, I collated the Upanishad from the Aitareya-âranyaka, which turned out to be the last portion only, viz. the Samhitâ-upanishad (Ait Âr. III, 1–2), or, as it is called here, Samhitâranya, and I am sorry to say my expectations have been disappointed. The MS. shows certain graphic peculiarities which Dr. Bühler has pointed out. It is particularly careful in the use of the sibilants, replacing the Visarga by sibilants, writing s + s and s + 's instead of h + s and h + s; distinguishing also the Gihvâmûlîya and Upadhmanîya. If therefore the MS. writes antastha, we may be sure that it really meant to write so, and not antahstha, or,

as it would have written, antasstha. It shows equal care in the use of the nasals, and generally carries on the sandhi between different paragraphs. Here and there I met with better readings than those given in Rajendralal Mitra's edition, but in most cases the commentary would have been sufficient to restore the right reading. A few various readings, which seemed to deserve being mentioned, will be found


  1. Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1877. Extra Number, containing the Detailed Report of a Tour in search of Sanskrit MSS., made in Kásmír, Rajputana, and Central India, by G. Bühler.