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Two Rare and Long Separated ‘Chakra Scrolls’ from Kashmir Discovered to be Nearly Identical

our scroll, partial

Ādhāra and Svādhiṣṭhāna Chakras (Yoga Exhibit)

Yoga Exhibit scroll (partial)

 

In March of 2014 began an online course with Christopher Tompkins and Shiva Rea, provisionally entitled ‘The Chakra System of the Universal Mother,’ based on  Tompkins’ translation of a scroll featuring a hitherto unknown system of 11/12 chakras.

In a remarkable coincidence, a similar ‘chakra scroll,’ part of the Smithsonian’s  ‘Yoga Exhibit’  currently touring at the Asian Art Museum in  San Francisco, To our knowledge, the Smithsonian scroll has **never been translated or studied by scholars.**

After receiving photos of the latter, Tompkins immediately discovered that the text of both scrolls is nearly identical, indicating that both draw from the same source. By comparing the  two, he will be able to critically edit them into a clearer version of the source text.  For more information, and a sample translation comparison,  please click here.

 

 

Above, Left:  the ‘Foundation’ (Mūla-)ādhāra Chakra from the Scroll hosted by the Smithsonian as part its the ‘Yoga Exhibit,’   currently at the Asian Art Museum in  San Francisco. Composed in the Sharada script of Sanskrit indigenous to Kashmir; before  this post the text and details of this chakra system have remained unknown.

Above, Right:   the ‘Foundation’ (Mūla-)ādhāra Chakra from a scroll provisionally called the ‘Universal Mother’ (Jagad Mātṛ) Chakra System; Composed in the Sharada script of Sanskrit indigenous to Kashmir; translation provided by Christopher Tompkins in a current online class co-taught by Shiva Rea.

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Results of Phase I: The Tantrik Manuscript Acquisition Project.

Kashmir, Spring 2012.

The Tantrik (Śaiva) Manuscript Acquisition Project (TMAP)  was made possible through the generous contributions of the Shaiva Yoga community and that of the Mattamayura Institute , which allowed for this mission in Srinagar, Kashmir to be successfully undertaken by Christopher Tompkins in the Spring of 2012.

The collection acquired from the Oriental Research Library (ORL) in Srinagar, Kashmir, includes:

  • 12,500+ folios of scanned Śaiva manuscripts (25,000+ pages)
  • 500 or so total manuscripts, representing over 90 individual titles
  • 13 genres of Kashmiri Śaiva literature
  • Numerous works un-documented in the ORL’s catalog
  • Several titles previously thought to have been lost
  • A collection of rare stotras (hymns) to local Goddesses (Śaktis) of Kashmir
  • Over a dozen beautiful manuscript paintings

*Approximately 90% of the manuscripts in this collection have not been published, nor have most of them been examined by modern scholars.

Phase II: Funding the Kashmiri Śaivism Preservation Project.

Tentative Goals:

  1. To create an interactive website that will provide free downloadable access to the 500+ manuscripts in this collection.
  2. To create searchable e-texts.
  3. To Create, Translate, and Publish ‘Critical Editions’ of Shaiva Works.
  4. To train scholars in the art of critical text editing and to implement high-performance text-editing computer programs such as BB EDIT proficient at searching through innumerable e-texts at once.
  5. To return to the ORL on Srinagar to attain more Śaiva manuscripts, especially as these may again become inaccessible due to the volatile political nature of this region.

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