The Legacy of the Jewel Mind
On the Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese Works by Ratnamati. A Philological Chronicle (Phullalocanavaṃsa).
By Dragomir Dimitrov
Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Dipartimento Asia Africa e Mediterraneo
Series Minor, LXXXII
This book contains a detailed study of nearly twenty works in Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese—most of them written by or more or less safely attributable to a remarkable Buddhist monk and scholar who was born in today’s Sri Lanka around the beginning of the tenth century AD. Early in his long and prodigious career he composed under the name of Ratnamati in Sanskrit and Ruvanmī in Sinhalese seminal works in the field of Sanskrit grammar (the Cāndravyākaraṇapañjikā) and Sinhalese poetics (the Siyabaslakarasannaya). In the 940s and the early 950s the »Jewel Mind«, as the fitting name of this intellectual can be translated literally, stayed in northern India where he wrote under his second monastic name Ratnaśrījñāna both scholarly and literary texts in Sanskrit (the Śabdārthacintā(vivṛti), the Ratnaśrīṭīkā, some poetic stanzas, and a panegyric inscription). Upon his return to Laṅkā he seems to have acquired the name of Upatissa and composed several major poems, chronicles, and commentaries both in Pali and Sinhalese (the Madhuratthappakāsinī, the Kāvyādarśasannaya, the Mahābodhivaṃsa(-gäṭapadaya), the Vajirabuddhiṭīkā, the Jātaka-aṭuvā-gäṭapadaya, the Anāgatavaṃsa, the Amatarasadhārā, the Jinacarita, and the Vaṃsatthappakāsinī). In this book cumulative evidence is presented which makes it imperative to regard all these works as the product of a single multilingual Buddhist author of the tenth-century. The array of arguments in favour of the identity of Ratnamati, Ratnaśrījñāna, and Upatissa enables a much needed reassessment of some important aspects of the literary and religious history of South Asia.
The Legacy of the Jewel Mind will appeal to specialists with interests in a variety of fields such as Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese literatures and linguistics, Buddhism, religious studies, Indian grammar, poetic theory, palaeography, manuscriptology, epigraphy, lexicography, Indo-Tibetan studies, South Asian history, as well as art history.