Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Fruitful holidays

I had a rather fruitful holiday in Goa... this time indulging my taste for history.

I visited the State Central Library at Panjim and had a look at the MS of the Khristapurana preserved there. It is the closest thing we have to the third (1654) edition of the KP. Mr Carlos Fernandes, the Curator, was really helpful. Among other things, he placed orders for 10 copies each of Falcao's ed. of the Khristapurana, Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet, and Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. I was also fortunate to meet Pia de Menezes Rodrigues, former Curator.

The second important visit was to Prof. S.M. Tadkodkar, HoD Marathi of the Goa University, who has come out with an important book, Goan Christian Marathi Vilapika during the 16th Century, in which he proposes that 2 of the 3 Paixao de Christo at the end of the Central Library MS of the KP were written by Thomas Stephens himself. The Prof. was very cordial when I went to meet him, and introduced me to a friend of his, Ivo dos Remedios Furtado of Alto Porvorim, another history buff. Neither of them were aware of any other MS of the KP in Goa, though Prof. Tadkodkar did say in passing that St Aloysius College has some 35 MS, the ones used by Saldanha...

By chance I heard Fr Michael Mascarenhas saying that Pilar had an MS of the KP. I made the time to go over, met Fr Cosme Costa, who was another extremely helpful person despite his infirmities, and saw the MS. It needs conservation, but is, in my opinion, older than the Central Library MS - it does not have the interpolations.

While at Pilar I also picked up some books of Fr Costa, among them the one proposing that there were Christians in Goa before the Portuguese came, Christians who traced their faith back to the Apostles Thomas and Bartholomew!

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