Arts and Culture
India’s rich repository of knowledge has been passed down for generations through oral and written traditions through a variety of writing materials such as stones, copper-plates, birch bark, palm leaves, and paper. Palm leaf manuscripts form an invaluable part of India’s documented heritage, written in different Indian languages. These manuscripts are scattered all over the country in monasteries, temples, libraries, museums, with individuals and in several private collections. Though they used different writing materials, the palm leaves were the convenient writing material for transmitting long texts. The long, thin palm-leaves prescribed the format and size of the material, which was often bound together through holes in the centre of the folios.
Writing manuscript is really a painful job, it needs lot of focus, dedication, patience and knowledge about the material as well as the text. The duty and the definition of the scribe have been described in Śaiva scriptures and other Sanskrit literary works.
I’ll make a presentation on transmission of written material starting from stones, copper-plates, of course mainly focusing on the palm leaf manuscripts. Preparation of palm leaf manuscripts for writing, the scripts they have used for writing different language texts and the preservation methods followed in South Indian palm leaf manuscripts especially Sanskrit texts written in different regional scripts. These written materials are helpful to scholars for understanding better about the text and the history of its transmission.