I have read Critical edition of Ramayana [will start with CE of Mahabharata too]. I was wondering if anyone have the list of critical editions of other Hinduism text?

  • 2
    Critical editions are not made from one manuscript. The makers of the CE analyse various manuscripts to come to a supposedly informed conclusion in their opinion. So you can’t have something called a critical edition of manuscripts. The CE which you are reading is technically the critical edition formed from manuscripts
    – Adiyarkku
    Jan 5 at 7:51
  • yes i am aware of that, but is there any CE of Purans or Veda or any other text? Jan 5 at 10:52
  • No CE of Puranas has not yet been made as far as I have read. There maybe however. Let’s see if someone knows and answers the Q
    – Adiyarkku
    Jan 5 at 11:10

According to this UNESCO Memory of the World Register nomination, there's a critical edition of the Ṛgveda (Saṃhita) published by Vaidika Samshodhana Mandala (Vedic Research Institute), Pune, India.

Out of the total number of 28,000 manuscripts housed at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, the 30 manuscripts of the Rigveda form a valuable part of the collection. These manuscripts evince several unique features in terms of scripts, accentuation marks and support material used, among others. Even the pioneering Indologist, Prof. F. Max Müller, has referred to one of these Rigveda manuscripts currently at the Institute. The material in this collection of Rigveda manuscripts was also used to prepare the well known Critical Edition of the Rigveda by the Vaidika Samshodhana Mandala, a premier institute in Pune for Vedic Studies. These manuscripts are of a high value as unique examples of the intellectual and cultural heritage not only of India, but of the world.


There are 30 manuscripts of Rigveda at the Institute [BORI], collected from different parts of India like Kashmir, Gujarat, the then Rajaputana, Central Provinces etc. They are written in Sharada, Devanagari and Devanagari with Prishthamatra and the material used for writing is birch bark as well as paper. The oldest of these manuscripts is dated 1464 A. D. It may be pointed out that manuscript no. 5/1875-76 was used by Prof. Max Müller for his edition of the Rigveda with Sayana’s commentary.

Out of these 30 manuscripts, 9 contain only the basic text. There are 5 manuscripts which contain the text along with Padapathas in which each meaningful unit of the words is separated from euphonic combination. The text of the Padapatha helps us in identifying every word separately and this ultimately helps us understand the meaning of the words to some extent.

As it says above, the Vedic Research Institute used the manuscripts available at BORI to create their critical edition.

I'm guessing the book Rgveda-Samhita with the Commentary of Sayana (In Five Volumes): Sanskrit Only available at Exotic India is the same critical edition. One of the volumes is available at archive.org.

The same institute has also published critical editions of Taittirīya Saṃhita (Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda) and Kāṇva Saṃhita (Śukla Yajurveda).

There's also a Critical Edition of Ramcharitmanas:

Tulsi Peeth Edition

Jagadguru Rāmabhadrācārya, henceforth referred to as Guruji, is one of the foremost authorities in the world on Tulasīdāsa and Rāmacaritamānasa today as recognized by authors like Ram Chandra Prasad and Lallan Prasad Vyas. His scholarship has been acclaimed in both India and abroad and he has done more than 5,000 recitations of Rāmacaritamānasa since his childhood. He is one of the rare scholars today who know the epic virtually by heart. After eight years of research and a study of 27 editions of the epic, Guruji came out with a critical edition, the Tulsi Peeth edition, of the Rāmacaritamānasa. This edition differs from the popular editions at several places, as Guruji has relied more on old editions than newer ones. Guruji says that he has not added anything from his side but only taken text from extant copies of the epic.

Also, as the following illustrates, coming out with a Critical Edition these days is like playing with fire. The editor instead of being rewarded for their scholarship is often met with severe criticism and personal attacks:

Opposition to Tulsi Peeth Edition

Ever since the publication of the Tulsi Peeth edition, Guruji has been the target of criticism from some people and sections of media. He has been accused of tampering with the mighty word and pen of Tulasīdāsa, and several newspapers and TV news channels have reported the issue in a sensationalistic manner. A false news item was reported on some news websites mentioning a fine being imposed on Guruji [sic], which was later retracted with a corrigendum being published. Some sadhus organized protests to prevent a Katha of Guruji from taking place in Ayodhya over the issue in November 2009, threatening self-immolation over the Tulsi Peeth edition. A letter from Guruji which expressed that he was pained at the events was presented in the press as being an apology for producing the Tulsi Peeth edition. A few websites even published personal attacks and defamatory articles on him, resorting to argumentum ad hominem instead of logic and deduction.

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