ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Paippalada-Samhita of the Atharvaveda has abundant philosophical material and seems to have been relatively close to the common people. Its decline might have been related to that and the rise of the Saunakiya-Samhita as the main text of the Atharvaveda. A mutilated and hugely corrupt birch-bark Sarada-script manuscript of the A VP had been known from the seventies of the nineteenth century.
After years of search, Durgamohan Bhattacharyya discovered complete and much better manuscripts in the Oriya script on which the present edition is based. The discovery was held as 'one of the greatest events in Indology' (Ludwig Alsdorf). Durgamohan Bhattacharyya (d.1965) edited the first four kandas (Sanskrit College, 1964, 1970) resulting in a 'precious store of material. .. being spread out before our eyes' (Karl Hoffmann), but did not have the opportunity to complete the work.
The book consists of twenty kandas. The first three volumes of the present Asiatic Society edition comprising kandas 1-15 with 3771 verses in 510 hymns, kanda 16 with 1363 verses in 155 hymns, and kandas 17 and 18 with 496 verses in 55 hymns and 663 verses in 82 hymns respectively were published in 1997, 2008 and 2011. The final two kandas (19th and 20th) presented in the fourth volume consist of 911 and 655 verses in 56 and 65 hymns.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dipak Bhattacharya's (b. 1940) work with the Paippalada-Samhita began in 1964 with the translation (Bhavan's Journal XI.2) of a new hymn of the text (9.4) and has continued. He was awarded the 'Co1ette Caillat Prix' for the year 2009 by the Institute de France for his previous works on the first and the second volume of the Paippalada- Samhita (Asiatic Society 1997 and 2008) and to aid him in carrying out work on the remaining volumes. He was fortunate to have continuous advice from late Professor F. B. J. Kuiper while editing a part of the Paippalada-Samhita as a ZWO Fellow (1981-82) at Leiden. His publications on Indology are more than fifty and include, apart from the four volumes of the Paippalada-Samhita, two books on Vedic philology and the edition of collections and papers on various branches of Indology. Bhattacharya retired as Professor of Sanskrit, Visva Bharati in 2005 after serving there for twenty-seven years.