Andrew Glass, “Bha”

Kharoṣṭhī paleography has, with the recent discovery of numerous Gāndhārī manuscripts, become far more of a science then it was in 1962 when John Brough published his definitive edition of the Gāndhārī Dharmapada (now called the Khotan Dharmapada), which at the time was the only manuscript of literary Gāndhārī available for scholarly study. With the recent and vast increase of Kharoṣṭhī documents available for study and with the significant advancement of the technological tools that can be employed in the study of such documents, far more precise accounts of the Kharoṣṭhī scripts development can be offered than at any time in the past. Even a single akṣara can now be fruitfully scrutinized and historically characterized. And in such an endeavor, the letter bha offers itself as a most interesting subject for scrutiny under the microscope of a Kharoṣṭhī paleographer.