On the Buddhist Indus Script and Scriptures of the Sāṃmitīyas

In this talk a little-known Indian script will be discussed, which since the 1880s was referred to under the descriptive name “Arrow-headed alphabet”, and which in later literature scholars preferred to call “Bhaikṣukī”. Some evidence recently discovered in several Tibetan works on calligraphy will be presented in support of the new hypothesis that the original name of this script must have actually been “Saindhavī”. It will be shown that the Saindhavī script was used predominantly by the Sāṃmitīya Buddhists or the Saindhavas who wrote their texts in a poorly attested Middle Indian language which may be called “Saindhavī”. Brief information will be provided about some newly identified canonical and post-canonical texts of the Sāṃmitīyas which until recently were either considered lost or no one was aware of their existence.

 

Dr. habil. Dragomir Dimitrov teaches and researches as a Heisenberg position holder at the Department of Indology and Tibetology, Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany). He is interested in a wide range of fields such as Indian grammar, metrics, poetics, paleography, manuscriptology, Indo-Tibetan studies, Buddhist studies, Pali and Saindhavi literature, as well as modern Sanskrit.

 

candralamkara 1278 02a

Candrālaṃkāra, fol. 2a

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