Thursday, 26 May 2011

Mariano Saldanha's MS of the Khristapurana

Just discovered Marian Saldanha's MS of the KP in possession of the Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendra, Alto Porvorim, Goa (TSKK no. V 353).

Leather bound volume, with The Christian Puranna embossed on the spine, along with M.C. Saldanha embossed lower down. In pencil, on the first page, is also M.C. Saldahna. With all likelihood this is one of the MS used by J.L. Saldanha in his work, and mentioned by him in his Preface to The Christian Puranna (1907): "Mr Marian Saldanha, "an enthusiast of Purannic literature".

Is this M.C. Saldanha the same as Dr Mariano Luis Jose de Gonzaga Saldanha of Ucassaim? More proof will be needed. Could it be "M.G. Saldanha" rather than "M.C. Saldanha"? And did the Professor from Ucassaim sign himself "M.G. Saldanha"?

On the 'first' page, written in blue ink:
Father Thomas Stephens
Padri Thomas Estevao
Hea Puranncha adicary
Author of this Puranna...
Next: "Paixao de Christo". First line begins thus: "Namana Marie mate maza..."

Next item: Frei Gaspar de San Miguel's praise of Thomas Stephens.

On a retro: A handwritten page, seems to have been pasted over, but someone has cut out parts.

Next: Pailem Puranna. The first pages seem to be in a more recent hand, probably because the 'original' MS had been corrupted. The later pages, the majority of the MS, is in a more elegant hand.

The language seems Romanized: Spiritu Santu; padri guru.

The praise of Marathi is there: Avesvaru 1, 121 ff.

At the end of the first Puranna someone has counted the verses in each of the Purannas: 1st: 4296; 2nd: 6722; a total of 11018 verses.

Dussarem Puranna: same hand as the Pailem. Romanized: Sao Joao (Av. 18, 54).

Av. 59 ends with v. 122. The Drago edition instead, for examle, goes further; it gives the date of completion as 1614 in v. 129.

Next: "Avesuara Dussara 1722" in blue ink at the head of the page, obviously added later.

The title: "Calvarincha pravatu tethe...." This might be another Paixao. It looks similar to the one in the Goa Central Library MS. Even the date - 1722 - seems familiar. In fact, the last page of this unit reads: "Padra Pascual Gomes de Faria / Hea Purannaca Adicary / 1722 Varussim Rachila."

next item, in a different hand: begins abruptly: "Quarto Mistero / Quinto Mistero".

next item: "Mrutichiya Banna."

A stamp on one of the last pages, or perhaps the inside back cover: CODIALBAIL PRESS, MANGALORE. Perhaps an indication that these MS were bound there.


  1. The KP found in TSKK could have possibly belonged to a Mr Manuel Salvador Caetano Saldanha alias M.C Saldanha of Uccasaim Bardez Goa.

    Mr Manuel used to sign as M.C Saldanha and had a large personal collection of books.

    It is known that both M.C Saldanha and Professor Saldanha were friends.


  2. Thanks for this info.
    Do you know whether this M.C. Saldanha was also "an enthusiast of Purannic literature" as J.L. Saldanha describes him?

  3. Some more considerations.
    1. J.L. Saldanha speaks explicitly of a "Marian Saldanha". This could not be Manuel Salvador Caetano Saldanha.
    2. TSKK-1 has the Codialbail stamp on its binding.
    Both these seem to point to Mariano Saldanha, whose full name was Mariano Jose Luis de Gonzaga
    3. The "M.C." could easily be "M.G."

  4. Hi Ivo,

    I am not sure but I don't think the M.C Saldanha I mentioned was interested in Purannic literature.

    I was not very clear in my earlier post. I too am certain that the book at TSKK came from the collection donated by Professor Marian Saldanha.

    However could the said book have been given/gifted to him by M.C Saldanha who was his friend and then later on passed on to J.L Saldanha?

    Also I don't know if Professor Marian Saldanha used to sign as M.G Saldanha but I have been told that Manuel Salvador had published a couple of his works under the name M.C Saldanha.

    I wonder if anyone knows the relatives of these two gentlemen? Perhaps they could help us out.

    Also great blog and I enjoy following it from time to time. Keep up the good work Ivo.


  5. thanks Cecillia.
    Yes, we should pursue the relatives angle further. Right now, none of the Prof's relatives are in Ucassaim. They must be elsewhere.