The Legacy of the Jewel Mind

On the Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese Works by Ratnamati

A Philological Chronicle (Phullalocanavaṃsa)

By Dragomir Dimitrov. Marburg 2015, xxii, 814 pp.


This Habilitationsschrift 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 royal 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 study 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.

A revised and enlarged version of this work has appeared as Volume LXXXII in the Series Minor of the Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Dipartimento Asia Africa e Mediterraneo:

The Legacy of the Jewel Mind. On the Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese Works by Ratnamati. A Philological Chronicle (Phullalocanavaṃsa). By Dragomir Dimitrov. Napoli 2016. (Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Dipartimento Asia Africa e Mediterraneo, Series Minor, LXXXII), xxii, 866 pp.