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THE JOURNAL

Of THE .INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF


BUDDHIST STUDIES
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Roger jackson
Dept. of Religion
Carleton College
Northfield, MN 55057
USA
EDITORS
Peter N. Gregory
University of Illinois
{Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Alexander W. Macdonald
Universite de Paris X
Nanterre, France
Steven Collins
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
14 1991
Ernst Steinkellner
University of Vienna
Wien, Austria
jikido Takasaki
University of Tokyo
Tokyo; japan
Robert Thurman
. Columbia University
New York, New York, USA
Number 2
THE JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL
OF BUDDHIST STUDIES, INC.
This Journal is the organ of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Inc. It is governed by the objectives of the Association and accepts scholarly'
contributions pertaining to Buddhist Studies in all the various disciplines, such
as philosophy, history, religion, sociology, anthropology,. art, archaeology,
psychology, textual studies, etc. The }JABS is published twice yearly, in the
summer and winter.
Manuscripts for publication (we must have two copies) and correspondence
concerning articles should be submitted to the JIABS editorial office at the
address given below. Please refer to the guidelines for contributors to
printed on the inside back cover of every issue. Books for review should also
sent to the address below. The Editors cannot guarantee to publish reviews
unsolicited books nor to return those books to the senders.
The Association and the Editors assume no responsibility for the views expressed
by the authors in the Association's Journal and other related publications.
Editor's Address
Roger Jackson
}JABS
c/o Dept. of Religion
Carleton College
Northfield, MN 55057
USA
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Andre Bareau (France)
M.N. Deshpande (India)
R. Card (USA)
B.C. Cokhale (USA)
John C. Huntington (USA) David Snellgrove (u.
P.S. Jaini (USA) E. Zurcher (Netherlan
--------------------------------
Both the Editor and Association would like to thank Carleton College
for its financial support in the production of the Journal.
Copyright The International Association of Buddhist Studies 1991
ISSN: 0l93-600X
Indexed in Religion Index One: Periodicals, American Theological Library;
Association, Chicago, available online through BRS (BibliographiC\
Retrieval Services), Latham, New York, and DIALOG Information5;
Services, Palo Alto, California. ' ~
Composition by Ann Flanagan Typography, Berkeley, CA 94710.
Printing by Thomson-Shore, Inc., Dexter, MI 48130.
CONTENTS
1. ARTICLES
l.
Reflections on the MaheSvara Subjugation Myth:
Indic Materials, Sa-skya-pa Apologetics,
and the Birth ofHeruka). by Ronald M. Davidson 197
2.
A Newar Buddhist Liturgy: Sravakayanist Ritual in
Kwa Bahal;, Lalitpur, Nepal, byD.N. Gellner 236
3.
Chinese Reliquary Inscriptions and the
San-chieh-chao, by Jamie Hubbard 253
.4.
An Old Inscription from AmaravatI and the
Cult of the Local Monastic Dead in Indian
Buddhist Monasteries, by Gregory Schopen 281
II. BOOK REVIEvVS
1.
Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist
Traditions qfSri Lanka) by John Clifford Holt
(Vijitha Rajapakse) 331
.2.
High Religion: A Cultural and Political History qf
Sherpa Religion) by Sherry Ortner
(Alexander W. Macdonald) 341
3. Miidhyamika and Yogiiciira: A Study qf Mahiiyiina
Philosophies) by Gadjin M. Nagao
(Paul J. Grilli ths ) 345
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS 349
fiReflections on the
Subjugation Myth:
Materials, Sa-skya-pa Apologetics,
the 'Birth of Heruka *
'.

,

M. Davidson
.
ff,/: _

[:lPerhaps one of the least examined topics in Buddhism is the .'
tlitilization of myth in service of clerical values. Myth, of course,
connected with all the varieties of praxis, yet to
i!Pead many descriptive analyses of the Buddhist dispensation,
nonspecialist might rapidly come to the conclusion that
has few concerns outside of doctrine. This impres-
is reinforced by both the Eurocentric proclivity to see reli-
in doxographical terms and by the modern Buddhist
prevalent in the Theravada world-that
:';!3uddhism is in reality not a religion but a philosophy. Bud-
specialists have frequently been seduced by either the
i1udeo-Christian models, which continue to exert influence in
f!ge . quest for underlying unity in religious phenomena, or by
;ihe modern Buddhist desire to appear outside the pale of the
'Set of behaviors subsumed under the term "religion." Thus, the
of Buddhist myth-along with ritual and other
of activity-has taken a back seat to doctrinal formula- .
many of which are recast in a twentieth century philo-
diction that can be quite misleading in its implication
set and setting. . .
Myth, in fact, has been and continues to be extraordinarily
iimportant to Buddhists. Yet the mythic functions are not pre-
those found in the Near Eastern religions-Judaism,
or Islam. Specifically, the ideology of an encapsu-
;JCited temporal sequence, involving a definite creation event, a
revelation, and an approaching millenium, are all for-
't:ign to Buddhist mythic processes, which verify an open-ended
,
197
198
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
spatio-temporal system wherein all phenomena continually
participate in the expression of truth. In general, BUddhist
myth does not reveal a cosmology of creation and judgement
with all the attendent personality issues of creator and soul:
Instead, it seeks to focus the attention of the audience on
paradigms exemplifying the potential for immanent rectifica_
tion, irrespective of eschatology. Thus, as may be seen in rnost
institutional religions, Buddhist myths partly reinforce and are
partially informed by the doctrinal structure; for the Maha-
yana this frequently invokes mythic expressions of the inter-
penetration of the relative and absolute spheres.
Such an ideology lends a peculiar polyvalence to Buddhist .
myths. They tend to serve an astonishing variety of functions
,
and, perhaps in keeping with the doctrine of existence without
essence, Buddhist myths freely float from one milieu to
another, sometimes being caught in the act of simultaneously
serving multiple masters. The myth under consideration here-
the subjugation of MaheSvara and the birth of Heruka-is one
of these. We will see that it developed out of a source myth of
VajrapaI).i taming MaheSvara in the TattvasaT(lgraha and was
used in service of establishing authenticity for another body of
literature, the CakrasaT(lvara complex. It completed the cycle of
hermeneutics in Tibet by affirming the authoritativeness of an
entirely different system, the Hevajra, itself the scriptural base
for the Lam-)bras system of Sa-skya-pa meditative praxis. The
first part of this paper will examine these three forms of our
myth, tracing the development from one form to the next, start-
ing with the eighth century Indic locus classicus and finishing
with fifteenth century Tibetan materials. The second part of the
paper, Interpretive Strategies, will present an analysis of the lndic
and Tibetan forms according to a tripartite consideration of
history, literature, and doctrine, followed by final conclusions.
The Locus Classicus: Sarvatathagata-tattvasarpgraha
An three source traditions- TattvasaT(lgraha) CakrasaT(lvara, and
Hevajra-are members of the larger set of Buddhist systems
known as the [Guhya-]Mantrayana, the Path of Secret Spells,
or the Vajrayana, the Lightning Path, in turn considered an
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 199
ension of the Great Vehicle, the I\1ahayana. Like other
. ets of the Buddhist tradition in Asia, the Mantrayana
tempted to justify the inclusion of its scriptures into the open
ddhistcanon. For acceptance as the "word of the Buddha,"
must verify that it represented the direct perception
'absolute truth by the (or a) buddha, that it was preached by
at buddha to a specific assembly, that it was collected by an
thentic master of the dispensation, and that it was received
. a current representative of the tradition through an
'thoritative lineage of Buddhist masters, however these latter
eunderstood.
1
;\,Frequently, the crux of the matter was the verification of
e circumstances of a scripture's preaching and collection.
u'ddhist innovators commonly identified a narrow range of
moments when a new scriptural genre was expounded
an assembly and ultimately compiled into an authentic pro-
nncement. One of the more curious facts of the Mantrayana
that, unlike most other lndic Buddhist traditions, it came up
th multiple scenarios which purported to identify the cir-
mstancesofthe preaching of the system's scriptures-known
sutra, tantra, mahakalpa, dharar;z, etc., depending on the genre
period of composition. Most of these scenarios are lineage-
'ecific; they discuss the preaching of the great central scrip-
e (in later literature known as miila-tantra) , often followed by
.summary scripture (which is the received text) and the
a.ry exegetical scriptures (akhyana-tantra) utilized by the mem-
of a specific contemplative tradition. The lineages of the
uhyasamiija, for example, established the preaching of the tan-
tzs in conjunction with the myth of Indrabhuti, the legendary
'ng of D<;lc;liyana in the Northwest of India.
2
The lineages of
e Kalacakra maintained two traditions: that the
ddha preached the great scripture to King Sucandra of Sam-
hala at the stiipa of Dhanyakataka-thps tying the proclama-
on of the faith to the fabled land of Sambhala-or that the
ddha preached the Mahakalacakra in Sambhala itself.3
..... The most commonly employed Mantrayana myth,
\ier, is developed from various sections of perhaps the most
text of esoteric Buddhism: the Sarvatathagata-tattva-
Y[lgraha, the Summary qf All Tathagatas' Reality (abr. Tattva-
'r[l,graha) , codified in the early eighth century. Traditionally,
200
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
the text is understood as the complex interweaving of myths
and ritual, all under the directorship of the cosmic buddha, Vai-
rocana. Of particular interest to those in the business of
Mantrayana apologetics are chapters one, six, and the epi-
logue. Chapter one delineates the culmination of the career of
the bodhisattva Sarvarthasiddhi.
4
He has reached the apex of his
natural ability to attain supreme awakening and has proceeded
to the tree of awakening. All the buddhas then appear to hirn
and break the news that he cannot achieve his goal through his
current concentration: he needs the consecrations obtained by
the contemplations transforming his body, speech, and mind
into adamant (vajra) . These he secures, and accordingly
becomes the buddha Vajradhatu, with all the rights and
privileges pertaining thereto. Subsequently, he follows all the
tathiigatas back to the Adamantine Jeweled Palace at the sum-
mit of Mt. Sumeru to take his rightful place. The body of the
TattvasarlJgraha discusses the rituals and mystic circles (mar;rjala)
focused on enlightenment and concludes, some twenty-six
chapters later, with Vajradhatu turning the wheel of the dharma
and returning to the tree of awakening to perform the acts of
the Buddha in accordance with the worldly understanding of
the Buddha's progress.
5
Most importantly for us, chapter six
introduces what was to become perhaps the most influential
myth of esoteric Buddhism-the subjugation of the god Siva
(Mahesvara) .
Synopsis: Tattvasa:rp.graha
6
On the peak of Mt. Sumeru, all the tathiigatas requested the
bodhisattva Vajrapa1!i, the master of mysteries, to produce the
divinities of his clan (kula) for the mar;rjala. Vajrapa1!i, however,
declined, saying that there yet existed criminals, such as
MaheSvara and other gods. So _Vairocana u t t e r ~ d the mantra
OAf SUMBHA NISUMBHA HUAf ... VAjRA HUAf PHAT, and
forms of Vajrapa1!i issued forth from the hearts of all the as-
sembled tathiigatas, coming together to create the body of
Mahavajrakrodha. Vairocana intoned the mantra OAf TAKKI
jjAlj, which is known as the disciplinary ankus of all the tatM-
gatas. By this utterance the criminals, MaheSvara and the like,
were all dragged to the AdamantineJeweled Palace on Sumeru.
Vajrapa1!i then commanded them to accomplish the Buddha's
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 201
teaching by taking refuge in the Buddha, the dharma, and the
sarrzgha, and by obtaining the gnosis of omniscience.
But MaheSvara replied to VajrapaJ;li, "Hey, you're just a
local spirit (yak.fa)! I'm the creator and arranger of the triple
world,' the master of all spirits, the highest God of gods. Why
should I do as you, a local ghost, commahd?" So Mahesvara
turned to Vairocana, "Just who does he think he is, giving
orders to God?"
Vairocana responded, "I'd really do what he says, friend,
and go for the refuges! Don't make VajrapaJ;li, this cruel, mean,
angry spirit, destroy the whole world with his flaming vajra."
MaheSvara, however, decided to show VajrapaJ;li what fear
is all about, so he displayed his great wrath and cruelty in the
form of Mahabhairava, flames spurting out, with Maharaudra's
laugh, together with all of his minions: "Hey, I'm the Lord of
the Triple World! You do what I command!"
They then exchanged more mutual challenges and insults
and VajrapaJ;li returned to Vairocana. "Well, Lord, he's not
paying homage to the teaching, being God and all. Now what
do I do?"
Again Vairocana intoned the mantra OAf NISUMBHA
VAjRA HUAf PHAT, and VajrapaJ;li added his own adamantine
. HUAf. Immediately, all the gods, MaheSvara, etc., fell down on
their faces, uttering a cry of pain, and went for refuge to the
Lord VajrapaJ;li. MaheSvara alone remained fallen on the
ground, unconscious, and there he perished. Vairocana lec-
tured the other gods about the virtues of the Buddhist perspec-
tive and they became entirely restored, happy and virtuous.
Then Vairocana addressed VajrapaJ;li: "If we revive His
Deadness, he could _become a real person." So VajrapaJ;J.i iJ],toned
the correct VAjRAYUlj, and Mahesvara was brought back
from the dead.
He wanted to stand. up but couldn't, and demanded,
"What are you trying to teach me?"
Vairocana responded, "You still haven't done what he said
to do. It's his business, not mine."
"But aren't you supposed to protect criminals like me?"
MaheSvara asked.
Vairocana replied, "1 can't. He is the Lord of All Tatha-
gatas."
VajrapaJ;li then intervened: "Why don't you just do what I
tell you?"
202 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
When Mahesvara heard Vaj rap a:r;ti , he again becarn\
and violent, displaying .his form as Maharaudra, sa;i
mg, "I can endure death,but I WIll n9t do as you command!";;
With that Vajrapa:r;ti uttered the appropriate mantras, and.,
while the world laughed, MaheSvara and his consort, Drna ;::
were both dragged stark naked feet first before Vajrapa:r;ti, wh6J
stepped on MaheSvara with his left foot, while standing ou'
Vma's_bre;,asts with his right. Then he uttered the mantra OM:
VAjRAVISA HANAYA TRAAf TRAT and MaheSvara
beating his own thousand heads with his own thousand armS;;
while all his minions outside the palace gave a great roa"r ot;;
laughter and said, "Look at our Lord being disciplined by this
great being!"
Then Vairocana took pity op Mahesvara and,
mantra OAf BUDDHA MAITRI VAJRA RAK$A HUAf, the
touch of Vajrapa:r;ti's feet became the consecration
allowed him to obtain the level of the Tathagata. Abandoning
his form of Mahadeva, MaheSvara passed beyond countless
world systems and was reborn into the world known as
smacchanna as the tathiigata
At that point, Vajrapa:r;ti commanded all the other
"Friends, enter into the great circle of the adamantine assembly
of all tathiigatas and protect that assembly!" And they replied in"
assent, you inform us, so we. will perform!" Then all the
gods and goddesses-Mahesvara, Vma, and the others-were
given new names and positions in the mystic circle.
This comical tale of direct competion between the Saiva
and Bauddha traditions recognizes the homogeneous nature of
many of their rituals and symbols. As story, it was to prove
extraordinarily successful: MaheSvara became one of the great
scapegoats of Buddhist Mantrayanaliterature, an evil buffoon
like Devadatta, the "gang of five in early Buddhist lit-
erature, and Mara in virtually all strata of the literate tradition.
Indeed, it is clear that MaheSvara became the "Mara" of the
Vehicle of Secret Spells, and the similarities between the Bud-
dha's conduct with Mara and the treatment of MaheSvara were
quite explicit, as we shall see.
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 203
;:gow Heruka Was Born- Cakrasan:wara 1v1ythology
'" ., ,
.;The success of this myth is reflected in the multiple versions that
'i>spread almost as quickly as the Mar:trayana .itself. Approxi-
the same stratum of the myth IS found m the Trazlokya-
whose is to
ArnoghavaJra (705-774).8 ThIS verSIOn IS more bemgn, endmg
:'with the submission of all the divinities; it completes the story
the assurance that the gods obtain amnesty from execu-
tion by their enunciation of a specific mantra.
9
Alternatively, a.
; longer rendering of the Tattvasa11Jgraha version was added to the
yajrafekhara-mahiiyoga-tantra, but without the frame story of Sar-
varthasiddhi/Vajradhatu.
lO
Presumably, these versions hear-
ken back to an oral epic, which continued to develop in associ-
.. ;ation with the written forms. Beyond this stratum was the
\rendition of the Candraguhyatilaka-mahiitantrariija, which gives
;"more prominence to sex and violence.!! Chapter six of the Can-
draguhyatilaka identifies the protagonist as Mahasaman-
tabhadra, who sends forth the wrathful Vajrabhrkutlkrodha to
. subjugate all the worldly gods and steal their women, finally
'bringing the gods back to life through the production of divine
nectar, while Vajrabhrkutlkrodha laughs with Heruka's voice.
Clearly, this direction was mythically profitable, as the motifs
were further accentuated in the Guhyagarbha-tattvavinifcqya,
. where chapter fifteen has Mahesvara spawned as one of the
denizens of hell.!2 Heruka, the cosmic policeman, seizes
".aheSvara and his entire retinue, rips out their internal
; organs, hacks their limbs to pieces, eats their flesh, drinks their
blood, and makes ritual ornaments from their bones-a model
of thoroughness. Having digested all these gods, Heruka
... excretes them into an enormous ocean of muck, which one of
his henchmen, drinks up. The gods are
then revived. Properly grateful for what can only have been an
extraordinary experience, MaheSvara and his minions beseech
Heruka and the divinities of his mar;qala to accept their wives,
mothers, and daughters as ritual consorts while they take their
correct places as the seats of the divinities in the mar;qala. Appa-
}ently, the very vital forms of the myth found in the mDo dgongs
pa iius pa and the fourteenth-century Thangyig gter-ma cycles of
204
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
the rNying-ma-pa take their impetus from the branch of the
story initially exemplified by the Candraguhyatilaka and the
Guhyagarbha.
13
Yet another version of the myth verified the teaching of
most influential oftheyoginz-tantras: the Cakrasa7[lvara. The birth
of is. taken. Cakrasa7[lvara system as the necessary
antIdote for InstabIhty In the world, and Heruka has preached
the yoginz-tantras specifically to convert all those addicted to ..
perversity. Heruka intentionally imitates their behavior and'
espouses its practice to win their commitment to the BUddhist
dispensation. The source for this version of the myth is actually
quite curious; so far as I am able to determine, fully developed
forms occur only in indigenous Tibetan language materials
and the text of a Tibetan author of the twelfth-thirteenth
turiesappears to be the earliest version.
14
rJe-btsun rin-po-che Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan (1167-1216),
the grandson of the founder of Sa-skya Monastery in south-
central Tibet, is accounted by the standard Tibetan representa-
tives the third of the "five great teachers of Sa-skya," being
son of Sa-chen Kun-dga' snying-po (1092-1158) and the
younger brother of bSod-nam rtse-mo (1142-1182), the two
prior litterateurs of the monastery. Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan .
also the codifier of much of the Sa-skya-pa understanding
Mantrayana as a whole. How Heruka Was Born-his
of the preaching and collection of the
develops a version of the cosmic drama very different from
those seen above in the previous lndic sources. Heruka as the
protagonist and MaheSvara as the antagonist are depicted in
ways dissimilar from the prior images. The plot, too, unfolds
in an entirely different manner, devoid of the fast dialogue of
the preceding versions.
Synopsis: How Heruka Jil.izs Born 15
There are three parts t9 his story: I. the eulogy of the good
qualities the teacher Sakyamuni, II. the manner of the ema-
nation of SrI Heruka, and III. how the tantra-riija has been
uttered by him.
I. The Bhadrakalpika-Mahiiyiina-siitra relates how the teacher
Sakyamuni generated the thought of awakening and then
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 205
fected himselffor three incalculable aeons through the accumu-
lation of merit and knowledge. Overcoming the four Maras, he
obtained complete awakening in the final reality (nztiirtha) of
where he worked for the benefit of bodhisattvas of the
tenth level. At the level of provisional meaning (neyiirtha) , he
emanated himself in different places and taught diverse teach-
ings to beings of djsparate capacities. In particular, there was his
. manifestation as Sri Heruka.
II. At the beginning of this Kaliyuga, beings started contend-
ing with each other through their common animosity. As the
bodies started piling up from their mutual slaughter, they were
removed to the various directions and the eight great charnel
grounds formed. From the corpses ran blood, and as its vapor
rose into the sky, the eight clouds evolved. When the clouds
gave off rain, the eight rivers developed, and in them the eight
. divine snakes (niigas) arose. Mists came from the rivers and the
. eight trees grew, each of them with its own protector.
Then, to the south ofSumeru, in the continent of Jam bud-
vJ:pa, Mahdvara's emanation arose. Now in the various direc-
tions, there are twenty-four self-originated places. Within each
of these, twenty-four ferocities (bhairava) arose, each with his
own.consort:
A. The four chief gods (deva) and four attendant gods were ema-
nations from the mind of Mahdvara and came to operate in
Jambudvlpa from out of the sky, thus identified as the eight sky-
going ferocities .16 They were blue beca:Use
they represented a predominance of anger and were located in
specific self-originated places: 17
East-Pulllra Malaya
North-Jalandhara
West-O<;l<;liyana
South-Arbuda
SE-GodavarI
SW - RamdvarI
NW - Devlkota
NE-Malava
}
}
Places of the four gods.
In the language of the
gods, these places are
called pztha.
The four attendant .
gods. In the language
of the genii (gandharvas) ,
these are called upapztha.
B. The two chieflocal spirits the two
the two chief demons and the two attendant
were emanations from the speech of Mahesvara and came to
operate in Jambudvlpa on the surface of the earth, thus iden-
206
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
tified as the eight earth-going ferocities (*OoIta-bhiicara-bhairava)
They were red because they represented a predominance of
desire. .
East-Kamarupa

West-Trisakuni
South-Kosala
SE-Kalinga
SW-Lampaka
NW-Kafici
NE-Himalaya
}
}
}
}
2 chief yak.ia, from the north. IS
Called k.[etra in language.
2 attendantyak.ia. Called
upak.ietra language.
2 principal Called
chandoha in language.
2 attendant riik.iasas. Called
upachandoha in language.
C. The two chief divine snakes (niiga), the two attendant niiga,
the two chief demigods (asura) and the two attendant asura were
emanations from the body of MaheSvara and came to operate
in Jambudvipa from below the surface of the earth, thus iden-
tified as the eight below-the-earth-going ferocities
cara-bhairava). They were white because they represented a pre-
dominance of ignorance.
East-Pretapuri
North-Grhadevata
}
2 chief niigas, from the ocean.
Called meliipaka in niiga
language.
}
South-Suvan:u;.advlpa
2 attendant niigas. Called
upameliipaka in niiga language.
SE-Nagara
SW-Sindhu
}
2 chief asuras, from below Sumeru.
Called fmafiina in asura language.
NW-Maru-deSa } 2 attendant asuras. Called
NE-Kulata upafmafiina in asura language.
D. Following the emanation of these twenty-four bhairavas and
their consorts, Mahadeva arose on the peak of Mt. Sumeru,
having four heads, twelve arms, naked, black, with his hair tied.
up in matted locks and smeared with ashes. His consort, Vma'
DevI, was red with one face and two arms, and they were in sex-;
ual union.
E. In conjunction with MaheSvara, his four Uma and eight
Matrka emanated. The four Uma derived from the qualities "
(guTJ.a) of MaheSvara and were yellow because of a predomi-l
nance of malignity. 19
THE MAHESVARA MYTH
Front-*Ni:larahu (sGra gcan sngon mo)20
Left-*Haritoparahu (Nye ba'i sgra gcan ljang gu)
Behind-*Raktandhika (Mun pa dmar pO)2!
Right-*PItopandhika (Nye ba'i mun pa ser po)
207
f 'The 'eight Matrka came from the activity ofMahadeva. They
were variously colored because of a predominance of envy. 22
East-Kakasya (Raven-headed mother)
North-Vlukasya (Owl-headed mother)
West-Svanasya (Dog-headed mother)
South-Sukarasyii (Pig-headed mother)
The four intermediate directions were occupied by the four
*Ardha-manuva-mukha-rupinz (mother having a half human-
headed form?).
As a shrine (caitya) for each of these bhairavas, Mahesvara
gave them twenty-four lingams in the forms of self-produced
stones, each in different shapes, from the shape of the top of his
head in Pullira Malaya to the shape of, his knee in Kulata.
Offerings were continually made to these bhairavas inhabiting
the twenty-four lingams.
Once established in Jambudvlpa, MaheSvara and his min-
ions began to conduct themselves in a most irregular manner.
For food they ate human flesh and drank human blood as their
drink. They made ornaments of human bone-circlets, ear-
,rings, necklaces, bracelets, and belts-all smeared with the
ashes of human bone. Frqm human hair they wove their brahm-
inical threads and fashioned garlands of human skulls.
Now in order to bring them under control, the "causal
form of Vajradhara" -the experiential body (sambhogakaya) in
heaven-manifested sixty-two varieties of the ema-
nation body (nirmii'TJo,kaya) as the "resultant Vajradhara."23 In
opposition to MaheSvara and Vma Devi were Heruka and his
consort. In opposition to the four Vma were the Mahasukha-
dev!. In opposition to the twenty-four bhairavas and their con-
sorts were the twenty-four pairs of heros and heroines, in physi-
cal, vocal, and mental grades (manoviik-kaya-vzriivzra).24 And in
opposition to the eight Matrka were the eight Samayadev!. For
each of these manifestations ofVajradhara, the color and num-
ber of heads and arms were in accordance with the demonic
entity to be tamed.
The actual effecting of their conversion was brought about
in three stages: behavior, absorbtion, and subjugation. First,
Heruka and his retinue imitated the behavior of these fiends-
208
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
they began to drink human blood and eat human flesh in
ritua! assemblies (gaTJacakra): them the epithet of:
GlorIOUS Bunch of Blood-drmkmg DIVInItIes (dpal khrag
gi lha tshags : *snherukadevagaTJa). Then, stealing all the orn!!
ments, Heruka and his retinue decked themselves out
MaheSvara and his minions, with garlands of human headsej:
dhotis of tiger skins, etc. They then supressed Mahadeva '.
his minions by causing their consciousnesses to be
into the clear light, so that in the future Mahadeva
become the tathagata *BhasmeSvara, as the Buddha had
dicted. Then, in order to demonstrate their victory,
and his retinue each took the cadaver of his opposite
as a platform, which is why it is said that they reside on a
platform. 25
Yet all these distinctions of subjugater / subjugated or
verter / converted operate only in the realm of
meaning (neyartha); according to the definitive
(nftartha) , they are to be understood as non-differentiated.
Thus the Guhyasamiija-tantra states:
As physically adamantine, he has become Brahma;
As the vocal teacher, he is MaheSvara;
As the mental teacher, he is 27
So all the bhairavas and everybody else are emanations
MaheSvara, whereas MaheSvara himself is an emanation
Vajradhara. All the converting divinities are emanations
Heruka, who is himself an emanation of Vajradhara. Thus,
according to the definitive meaning of this story, all the
ters are essentially (svabhavatas) Mahavajradhara.
III. Finally, there is the teaching of the tantra-riija and the un-
locking of its intention by the lineage of exegetes. Having con-
quered MaheSvara, Vajradhara first preached to the five families
of heroes and heroines a version of the scripture in one hundred
thousand chapters. But during the time of the Kaliyuga, he
summarized it into a version in one hundred thousand
Finally, because these could not be accomplished during this
Kaliyuga, he preached a version of one hundred thousand
ters, collected into fifty-one chapters. In addition there are
thirty-two explanatory tantras and innumerable
scriptures. All of these, Vaj rap ani collected into texts
rendered into letters following their preaching. Eventually, the
teaching survived in the literature of the four major systems of
Cakrasan:wara exegesis-those of'Luhipada, Ghantapada, KaQ.-
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 209
hapada, and Savara. Each of them has utilized the three princi-
. pal scriptures of the system, the Tantrariija-Laghusar[lvara (To .
368), the Abhidhiinottara-tantra (To. 369), and Yoginisaficarya-
tantra (To. 375). This elucidation of the birth of Sri Heruka was
culled from the speech of the teacher.
Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's reporting of the myth in the Cak-
'tWar{lvara arena is reflective of a number of concerns which will
below (Interperative Strategies) when the three appli-
of the myth will be discussed in conjunction with each
In his framing of the narrative, we notice the decided
of identified antecedents; it is simply "culled from the
of the The only we get that his version
a BuddhIst textual format IS III ItS reference to the Bhad-
While the use of frame and embedded
is similar to that in the classical versions, the plot struc-
follows meditative materials closely, giving the impression
f$fan oral explanation of the mar;ala praxis.
.
and Ngor-chen's synthesis

tradition of the Path/Fruit was one of many extraordinar-
fnigile yogic systems that found their way into Tibet in the
,century. Ostensibly, the Lam- 'bras was based on the
and its ancillary scriptures, the Sa'J!lputodbhiiva-
(To. 381) and the l)iikinz-vajrapanjara-tantra (To. 419).
have no sense, however, that the Lam-'bras enjoyed the
or prestige in India accorded to those meditative
developed out of the scriptures of the Tattvasa'J!lgraha,
:ithe Guhyasamiija, or the Cakrasa'J!lvara-quite the opposite, in
since the Lam-'bras was a secret set of practices which pur-
;I,:portedly passed through relatively obscure figures. Moreover,
i;itwas decidedly later than most of the widely disseminated sys-
::tems and was initially not given in Tibet the esteem and accep-
granted those more popular traditions.
y Accordingly, the Lam-'bras utilization of the MaheSavra
myth followed a more tortuous path than did the
version. Each of the Lam- 'bras strata was verified
a hermeneutic of authentication. Such hermen- .
::eutics marked the system's movement into an increasingly

f:'_'
210
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
complex institutional milieu. The earliest Lam-Jbras
tic .on the HevaJ.ra was a minor work by
snymg-po, a pnmary exegete of the HIS
Prior Epiphany is focused on the mythic explanation of
mar;,qala, rather than an explicit justification of the preaching of
the Hevajra-tantra. _ "';'
Synopsis: HerukaJs Prior Epiphanf9
During the practice of generating -the visualization of the;
maTjr/ala (utpattikrama) , one should be aware of three specific:;'
teachings: the way that such visualization purifies the personal_'
ity processes, how the goal is accomplished, and the manner in;:
which that epiphany previously occurred. While the former --;
two were explained elsewhere, this opportunity is nQw taken to
explain the latter. 30
Within the three realms of existence, the formless realm
had no master, whereas the realm of form was ruled by Brahma,
and the realm of desire by Kama-Mahesvara. While Mahes-
vara's minions executed his rule throughout, he stayed in-
Isana, overseeing his domain extending from the top of Mt.
Sumeru to the four continents. Primary among his retinue were,
his eight "Big Worldlies" ('jig-rten chen po brgyad), each with his
own consort and incalculable henchmen, all of whom jeered at
and challenged the emanation body (nirmiiTjakqya) of the Tatha-
gata. In order to subdue this ungodly army, the Lord man-
ifested his wrathful form and the eight goddesses, these latter
having the same names as the eight consorts of "Big
Worldlies": Vetal!, GaurI, CaurI, GhasmarI, PukkasI, Savarl,
CaJ!.9alI, and pombini. The major retinue of MaheSvara was
overcome by Heruka while MaheSvarahimself and the seven i
remaining "Big Worldlies" and their consorts were overcome
by the the eight Buddhist goddesses. The subsidary minions
were all finally collected into the eight great charnel grounds at
the periphery of the maTjr/ala. This being done, each of the Bud-
dhist goddesses had the title prefixed to her name,
so that they become Vajra-GaurI, and so forth. The goddesses'
names indicate their represeptative castes; Vajra-Ghasmarl
was the actual subjugatrix of ISana-Mahesvara, while Heruka
converted Indra,. Brahma, Mara, and the like: thus their posi-
tions as seats of the deities in the maTjr/ala.
31
This arrangement is
in accord with the explanations of the teachers of the tradition,
and the chronicle is derived from the TattvasaT[lgraha, the Vaj-
rafekhara, the Trailokyavij'aya, and the Candraguhya-tilaka.
THE MAHESVARA MYTH
211
.. Missing from Sa-chen's discussion are the many particulars
Which made myth p.owerful: is no
of scnpture or Its collectlOr: by a cotene of diSCl-
we lack any sense of a drama unfoldmg. Furthermore, the
into levels of reality, seen earlier in Grags-pa rgyal-
ffi'tshan's version of the myth, is entirely absent. Into. this her-
}rieneutical breach stepped Ngor-chen Kun-dga' bzang-po
:(}382-1456), the founde: of Ng?r E-wam chos-ldan Monas-
(1429) and the most mfluentlal Lam-'bras figure of the 15th

While still at Sa-skya in 1405, Ngor-chen wrote a. short
work which already displayed his penchant for harmonizing
hie exegesis of all his available sources, rejecting outright those
did not fall into the range of acceptable variation. In his
}tl'sage, "acceptable" primarily denoted material reproduced by
great teachers of the early Sa-skya-pa: Sa-chen, bSod-
rtse-mo, and Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan.
32
The text Ngor-
produced, the Amazing Ocean, delineates that aspect of the
}Lam- 'bras tradition particularly concerned with the exegesis of
Kis putative scriptural source, the Hevajra Tantra. Traditionally,
scholars have considered this the "Exegetical Sys-
item" ('grel-lugs) of the Path/Fruit tradition; it relied on scrip-
Itural exegesis rather than on the meditative instructions (man-
of the "root" text (Lam-'bras rtsa-ba, To. 2284) which
;properly belongs to the other branch of the Lam-'bras, the "In-
istructional System" (man-ngag lugS).33 Both, though, traced
!theirlineage to the siddha Vinlpa, the legendary source for the
!am-.'bras. As a chronicle of the Exegetical System, the Amazing
orders itself along the lines of traditional certifications of
it explores the circumstances of the preaching of
i;the Hevajra-tantra, its collection, the transmission of its exegesis
India and Tibet, and the manner of its proper explanation.
iiyve will be concerned with the earlier sections of the work, since
hhey preserve the mythic materials concerning Mahdvara.
Synopsis: Amazing Ocean
34
The a.bsolute body of the Buddha (dharmakiiya) is Hevajra
(Heruka) who is the penetration of naturally occurring exalted
gnosis into all aspects of reality, pure and impure. The tantra is
the absolute, being preached by the absolute to the absolute
212
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
through the presentation and dissolution of all events
1
. In;
.
, In the pure realm of the
hal body (sambhogakiiya) ofVaJTadhara known as
tamaI).iprabha resides, with and, sixteen
surrounded by tenth-degree bodhzsattvas lIke Vajragarbha, coIJ:2-i!
tinually teaching them the holy scriptures
Now is the lord of this of
from the summIt of Sumeru on down and an mner circle ofl
four principals bzhi) and an outer cIrcle of eight
henchmen and sultry goddesses. Because they are so
they all of their time-walking, sitting, standing, or
down-In Because:theJ:' are s? perverJely
they sport In kIllmg humans, playmg m theIr blood. They
utterly ignorant about the ethical law of cause and effect,
are entirely given to excess. They control all the people of this
world system and spend their time touting their superior power:
Not willing to leave well enough alone, Heruka as the
rienti'al body (as depicted above) entered into the contempla
tion of "Playful Adamant" in order to subdue MaheSvara and
his gang. From each of the pores of his body he emanated
ma1Jrfalas of divinity into the four islands of a billion world
systems. In this Jambudvlpa, he especially manifested as the
emanation body (nirmiir;akiiya), the resultant form of Heruka:
Hevajra with eight faces and sixteen arms,35 "Just as Sa-chen
had explained," Rudra himself was overcome by Ghasmari
while the four worldly gods of his inner circle were overcome by
Heruka, and the rest of the retinue were overcome by the other
seven of the Buddhist goddesses.
36
By assigning MaheSvara'"
incalculable retinue to the eight great charnel grounds at th.
periphery of the ma1Jrfala, Heruka overcame their anger. By kiss-
ing, fondling, and other forms of great bliss, he suppressed their
desire.
37
By mantras and all varieties of speech, he tamed their,.
Ignorance.
Then, immediately following this subjugation, the teacher
Bhagavan Hevajra took residence in the palace found in the
Vagina of Adamantine Women, and to his supramundane ret-
inue he preached the Hevajra Tantra in 700,000 verses and in,
500,000 verses, as 'well as the ancillary scriptures: the Maha-
mudriitilaka (To. 420), }iiiinagarbha (To. 421), the }iiiinatilaka
(To. 422), the Sampu{a, and so forth. According to the
tary on the I)iikiir1Java-tantra (To. 1419) there were preached six
"root" tantras: the Ocean if Yoga, (yogiir1Java) the Ocean if
THE MAHESVARA MYTH
213
UiiiiniirTfava) the Ocean of Discipline (sa'f[lvariirTfava) , the Ocean of
Ritual (kriyiirTfava) , and the Ocean of Reality (tattviirTfava) , these
five being collectively equivalent in size to the large [JiikiirTfava
(Ocean if Dakas) in 3,600,000 verses. The Hevajra-tantra in
500,000 verses was the text identified as the Ocean ofGnosis, thus
being one of the vast scriptures revealed to the goddess Vaj-
ravarahi and others. .
Sakyamuni was the emanation body preaching all of these
scriptures in a former time, later pretending to pass through
the stages of a buddha in this world system to demonstrate the
proper method for obtaining enlightenment. The great scrip-
tures (Hevajra and the rest) were preached at the former time
when the Buddha really obtained his enlightenment, and the
received texts are but mere shadows of the source versions
(mulatantra). The process of collection was effected, naturally,
by a supernormal being who was not subject to the little merit
of this degenerate age: the Hevajra and Samputa-tantras were col-
lected by the bodhisattva Vajragarbha, who acted as interlocutor,
while the Vajrapaiijara was brought together by Nairatmya.
These, of course, represent the extensive versions-at least for
the Hevajra-which have not been revealed during this time
when life spans are short and beings are addicted to study and
consideration, but without ever arriving at the experience of the
taste of deep contemplation. Thus, the source versions of the
grand scriptures have remained hidden so that beings will not
be seduced into scholarship without meditative practice.
Finally, all the ideas of who preached what, where it was
. preached, who collected it, and so forth are details. From the
perspective of reality's direct expression (nftiirthatas) , all the
beings-teacher, audience, gods, devils, ghosts and saints-are
merely manifestations of the teacher Sakyamuni's gnosis. Thus
Hevajra II.ii.39:
I, the teacher; I, the teaching; I, the listener with fine
retinue. I, the proposition; I, the instructor of the world; I
am the world and the things of the world.
38
Ngor-chen treats the episode in almost as offhanded a
manner as Sa-chen. He is much more concerned with the entire
cosmic relation among the various bodies of the buddha, and
the tantra as a fragment of an oceanic text expressing innate
gnosis. The formal myth merely serves as door for the manifes-
tation of gnosis in the world.
214
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Interpretive Strategies
Tucci, Stein, and I yanaga have made contributions to au'
understanding of the various moments in the myth, whether iJ;
India, Tibet,. or China and Japan. 39 All . three have rightly;
remarked on the theme of the transmutatIOn of Mahesvara's'
hubris into the position Both and Iya-;
naga, however, have questIOned the pnma faCIe explanation'
that the story reflects the opposition of Buddhism to Hinduisrn'
and was developed to demonstrate the superiority of the
dhist dharma.
4o
Furthermore, having maintained that
lating doctrinal significance based on a modern perspective'
appears impossible-and is in any case illegitimate-Iyanaga:::l
appears to subvert his own rule by maintaining that the char ..
acters depicted in the story are symboliG or allegorical
resentations, allegory also being a primary theme in Stein's;'-'
interpretive strategy. I yanaga goes even further. He
that, as MaheSvara passes through moments-from being
obstruction to the dharma to becoming a buddha-MaheSvara's';.1
submission graphically demonstrates the nonoppbsition orJ\'
Buddhism and other religions. Following this approach,
Buddhist and the nonbuddhist, Mara and the Buddha, the paso',;
sions and the wisdoms, are all fundamentally identical. Thus,'?
far from being a tale of the irreconcilable opposition of the
the myth demonstrates their essential equivalence. 'i
While there is much in these explanations that appears'jus- '.},
tified by the data, I believe that the conclusions could be
further refined and I would resist the assumption that modern
assessments are illegitimate. I propose an analysis of the ver-
sions of the myth by milieu: I. the Tattvasa11Jgraha in India and
II. the Cakrasa11Jvara and Lam-'bras systems in Tibet. In each
case, the analysis considers the myths from three perspectives:
a. socio-historical, b. literary, and c. doctrinal.
I. Indian Myth: Tattvasarpgraha
a. There can be little doubt that the Indic story indicates the
real tension between Buddhist and Saiva factions. Buddhism
in India has had a long history of weaving tales of the conver- .
sion of heretical leaders, beginning with Uruvilva Kasyapa,
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 215
of five hundred mat-haired ascetics who performed
sacrifice.
41
Furthermore, no one familiar with the
. literature of India could doubt that Saiva and
particular, the Kapalikas-were the pri-
targets of the Buddhists' competitiveness.
42
Buddhist
. at this period had become enormous landed insti- .
that controlled great economic resources but had a
relationship to the wider society, somewhat like
Christian monasteries and modern universities. The
of the Vajrayana, however, does not reflect the values
institutions, but stems from village and hermitage-
locales. where wandering Buddhist ascetics were but
variety of siidhu found in many of the same environ-
as Saiva and Sakta yogins. At this level of society, the
. of superiority is informed by oral literature, the ulti-
source of the genres of written literature such as the
the puriirJas, the epics, etc. While the episode is clearly
after similar episodes in puriiTJas such as the Devf-
. ly noticeable in the mantric invocation of
great antagonists, Sumbha and Nisumbha-the cir-
of the utilization of the myth are quite different.
example, the religious position of MaheSvara is unlike that
by the foes of DevL 43 Thus, at the socio-historicallevel, we
understand the MaheSvara myth in the Tattvasarrzgraha
a straight-forward defensive technique of the Buddhists to
the superiority of their gods over MaheSvara,
, etc., in an attempt to retrieve some of their lost
in unsophisticated circles in India, whether at DevI-
Patna, or wherever. The noticably increased
and symbolic orientation of the Vajrayana brought with
both the strength of dramatic images and the weakness of
. to follow pre-established models of myth, which were
Hindu. Thus, this strategy vitiated Vajrayanists' efforts
increasing their visibility and position, since they began to
ar homogeneous with the more extensive Hindu mythic
. We realize that they were ultimately unsuccessful in
endeavor and may appreciate the threat by considering
the displacement of Buddhist cave structures in Ellora
the more mythically-oriented Saiva and versions
the intrusion of brahmans into the Mahabodhi
... at Bodhgaya.
216
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
b. The literary techniques employed, as Iyanaga has rightl
observed, include material from both the Devzmahiitmya and thY
Buddha's subjugation of Mara. Like th.ese, of course, the r n y t ~
works at several levels, including a literal one. Essential to the
Indian understanding of story is that it be predicated as real
not regarded as a spiritualized allegory. Indeed, one could
make the case that traditional India does not recognize a strict
distinction between ideals and reals, the supposition being, for
example, that the Meghaduta and the Lokaprajiiapti reflect the
real landscape of the world, their cosmology indicative of the
way things really are, despite appearances.
By the same token, events, in order to be real, must fall into
certain ideological frameworks. Should events in the world not
correspond to the ideology, then the world is out of balance
and must be brought into harmonic resonance with the ideal.
Concerns of this variety motivate mythic cycles of world r e ~
newal, and Hindu renewal myths-such as the Devfmahiitmya'---'
are devoted to the rectification of the imbalance among the
demons, gods and humans. Differences, of course, abound,
and we note that the Buddhist version, in which MaheSvara is
included into the mar;r/.ala and eventually liberated, differen-
tiates Hindu themes of naked power from Buddhist models of
compassionate activity. Buddhist systems of reform, moreover,
go back at least as far as the purar;as, and the principle of econ-
omy would ask us minimally to examine Buddhist literature for
prototypes.
The correspondence between Mahesvara and Mara can
be seen from internal scriptural statements-as in the
Mahavairocana-abhisambodhi-siitra-and from later hermeneutics,
which we will see when we turn to the Hevajra materials,
below.
44
However, the Mara story is that of the unenlightened
Bodhisattva overcoming the threats and temptations of the
Lord of Desire. "Mara," of course, is derived from the root
V m,(, to die, so that the Bodhisattva becomes awakened by
overcoming the potential for death and subsequent rebirth.
Mara never becomes converted, and in Buddhist legend re-
mains until it comes time for him to talk the Buddha into pass-
ing into final nirvar;a. Conversely, early Buddhist literature is
replete with examples of demonic individuals who became con-
verted and who subseguently won either nirvar;a or extraordi-
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 217
.. ' greatness-AI,lgulimala, Asoka, etc.-as opposed to
'. 'D vadatta, who is like Mara in his intractability.
e The Mahevara episode, in fact, sets up two levels of story.
First, there is frame story of of enlighten-
ment by the Sarvarthaslddhl, who th.e :-"orldly
gods integrated mto the mar;.rJala to compl:te hIS as a
.... buddha and teach the world. Then, there IS the converSIOn of
Mahevara, who keeps the world out of balance by his activity.
>The first is brought to fruition by the resolution of the second,
embedded, story. In a sense, the interrelation of the two-what-
...... ever their prototypes-is patterned after the episodes in the
>leg
end
of Buddha, and particularly of t?e Vinqya,
.;where teachmg can only be effected followmg the dIspersal of
'. a behavioral aberration, in this case, Mahesvara's unattrac-
.tive habits.
Just as important is the retention of struggle and resolution
in the Vajrayana context. The universalization of buddhaness
(buddhatii) in the form of the cosmic buddha Vairocana obviates
any immediate personal difficulties-Vajrayana, with its con-
cern for postulating an enlightened ground, could not include
.. ;' Mahavairocana in an individual struggle against his own
obscurations. He could, however, become involved in the elimi-
nation of other beings' difficulties by reason of his great com-
passion, but his activity is mediated through VajrapaI,li-
. Mahavairocana does not himself subjugate Mahesvara. Thus,
the dramatic requirements of cosmic mythology are fulfilled in
the TattvasaT(lgraha by the scripture's refusal to depict
Mahavairocana as an abstract entity. Instead, he works
". through VajrapaI,li for the salvation of beings from their own
rude behavior-even if such behavior is as degenerate as that
.of Mahesvara-insisting finally on their integration into the
balanced array of reality's mar;.rJala.
c. Doctrinally, the TattvasaT(lgraha is not complex, and clearly
does not invoke the multi-valued structure Iyanaga would have
" us believe. We get no sense from the text of a dual-truth struc-
ture, as is explicit in the exegesis of Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan
and Ngor-chen. The simple doctrine is that the dharmadhatu
mar;rJala is the essential means for obtaining enlightenment,
that any being-Mahevara included-may obtain the enlight-
. ened condition, and that the mar;.rJala is the direct expression of
218
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
salvific reality, established 'by the eternally awakened
himself. The means for their conversion is the
power of the living word, the mantra, which is the key to
locking the palace of awakening. A subtext is that even
killed in the name of religion will be saved in the next
idea strictly accepted by early Tibetan religious, and one
may be inferred in India by the subsequent reembodiment
Mahesvara as the buddha BhasmeSvara. I yanaga was
correct in interpreting MaheSvara's death and resurrection
a dramatic symbol for' the transformation of defilement
gnosis, but this, too, is a symbolic sub text to the main
line of world-reform through the mar!4ala display.
II. Tibetan Modijication-CakrasaT[lvara and Hevajra
a. We can detect two primary motives for the mythic exegesis
Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan and Ngor-chen: the desire for
logical and ritual closure at the textual level, and verification
of scriptural-lineal authenticity that textual closure provides.
In the case of Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan, closure of
and ritual holes in the heritage of the 'Khon family was ofpri-
mary importance. Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan was instrumental
putting together much of what is now considered the or1thc)dclX
Sa-skya-pa perspective on the Vajrayana, and integrated many"
fragile meditative systems into the widely respected, if pugna-
ciously secretive, Lam-'bras. In this endeavor, he utilized the
rule already established by other early teachers in southern"
Tibet, including his father and elder brother: orthodoxy is veri-
fied by a system's Indian antecedents. Where those antecedents
were accepted or unassailable, he paid scant attention. Where
the antecedents of his system might have been considered con-
troversial, he takes some pains to demonstrate their validity.45
He did this in a quite systematic way for the Lam-'bras, and the
development of the Mahesvara subjugation myth appears to
have proceeded on similar lines. Clearly, Grags-pa rgyal-
mtshan did not invent the application of the" myth to the
prea"ching of the CakrasaT[lvara. A l t h o ~ g h not cited by him, com-
mentaries by both Indrabhuti and Suravajra make the subju-
gation of MaheSvara part of the lore surrounding the advent of
THE MAHESVARA MYTH
219
;"i ;tha
t
tantra.
46
Yet the jump from the paucity of lndic materials
..... t the well-developed scenario evident in Grags-pa rgyal-
.' " 0 tshan's text is comprehensible if we surmise that the lndic
their tales on a speedy loom, for, I have
lready mdlcated, the author declared that he receIved the
'.:tory from his teachers. I believe that Grags-pa .rgyal-mtshan-
removed by some decades from the Indlc and Nepalese
Y'/sourcesof his tradition-found himself in possession of an
i"enormous quantity of cosmological, hagiographical, ritual,
>and meditative material, as did most lineage holders in south-
ern Tibet at this time. The resulting textual production was a
c/'response to the fear for the imminent demise ofthe lore-Tibet-
ans being quite aware of current Islamic incursions-the meas-
ure of its quantity, and the need to verify its authenticiy.47
. This brings us to the second point: the validation of the
system as a whole. Contrary to the stereotypes of popular lit-
". erature, Tibetans have not always been benign, smiling moun-
'taineers. Competition for economic resources traditionally has
... been intense, and the early Tibetanhagiographical literature
;>.clearly indicates an aspect of the culture obsessed with intrigue,
black magic, challenges, occasional religious wars, and hostil-
ity between certain members of the Buddhist hierarchy. In
such an environment, the myth of MaheSvara's subjugation
'was not, so far as I know, interpreted to allow the suppression
of personal enemies-as it might have been, given Christian
. eschatology of the Antichrist-but was utilized to bolster the
position of families and monastic institutions in specific ways.
,;<:',
There were, of course, no serious to the organ-
'ized monastic structure from devotees of Siva in Tibet. The
myth became instead a vehicle for verifying the greatest concern
of institutional Tibetan culture: lineages of authority, a reflec-
tion of the extraordinary conservatism of Tibetan civilization.
The actual mechanism of verification must appear bizarre.
Each of the mar;,r/alas implicated in the myths under discussion
-that is, the Sa-skya use of the Luhipada Cakrasarrzvara medita-
tion and the Hevajra maJf<;lala of the 'Khon-lugs of Lam-'bras-
relate that the particular divinities are visualized trampling on
Hindu gods and goddesses, in particular MaheSvara. Addition-
ally, Tibetans had passed down oral materials taken from
India and Nepal on the internecine strife among Bauddhas,
220
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Saivas and Saktas, including oral and written information on
the mythology of Mahesvara's subjugation. Moreover, the
apologia of the written myths of the scriptures' preaching cer-
tainly was communicated by the Indian and Nepalese source
monasteries. Consequently, Tibetans understood quite well
that the verification of their own lineage of meditative praxis
was dependent in some measure on the utilization of this myth
for the verification of a specific lineage of exegesis. For the
exegesis of a scripture to be viable, the scripture itself must be
tied to the great cosmic event of the tantra's preaching as a <con-
sidered act of world reform. Tibetans thus quite handily made
the jump from Hindu gods appearing in their ma1Jr/alas as
divine throw rugs to the verification of their familial and
monastic institutions as designated heirs of cosmic renewal.
Challenges made from one lineage to another in Tibet were
usually on exactly these lines: did the tradition in question
draw from an authentic Indic Buddhist background or was it
tainted with the pollution of heretical lineages through Hindu
rather than Buddhist teachers? Tibetans were quite aware that
well-meaning members of the Tibetan clergy fell victim to
unscrupulous Indian and Nepalese teachers who represented
themselves in areas beyond their authority. For example,
Kayastha Gayadhara is said to have misrepresented himself to
'Gos lo-tsa-ba Khug-pa lhas-tsas as being Maitripa in the
flesh.
48
Tibetans were equally aware that certain of their own
compatriots were not above misrepresenting what they had
learned and from whom. Nag-tsho lo-tsa-ba was known to
have challenged the claim that Mar-pa studied directly with
Naropa.
49
Thus, the clergy in Tibet continued to question sys-
tems and lineages-a system might be authentic but the lineage
of instruction questionable or fabricated, or the entire edifice
might reflect non-Buddhist values. Moreover, the bickering evi-
dent between the Mar-lugs and the Rwa-lugs, between the
Rwa-lugs and the 'Gos-lugs, or between such teachers as dGe-
bshes Khyung-po grags-se and Zur-chung Shes-rab grags-pa, .
certainly must have presented the Sa-skya masters with the
motivation to limit their own vulnerability.50
Although we appear to have no record of a direct challenge
to his Cakrasan:wara lineage, Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan, following
in the footsteps of his predecessors, did take some pains with
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 221
lithe Cakrasan:wara materials at his disposal. 51 He discussed the
. hagiography of.the Indian teachers and their Tibetan
t some length III three separate works, devoted respectlvely to
l;;:he lineages ofKa:t;lhapada, .and
iesult of Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan s mythIc and haglOgraphIc
:ritings was mixed. While gZhon-nu dpal's Blue Annals proba-
'bly made use of his hagiographies, the mythic form of theori-
,gin of the Cakrasan:wara explored by Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan
was not the one to obtain widest currency in Tibet. 53 Such cur-
<;feney derived from the textual and oral materials assembled
. and amplified by Bu-ston Rin-chen grub (1290-1364); his yer-
sian was followed by many subsequent authors. 54
If closure was Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's primary concern,
defense appeared to be Ngor-chen's. The Sa-skya-pa had en-
..... joyed a special postion in Tibet sir:ce the of the thir-
..... teenth century, when Sa-skya Pa:t;l<;hta was desIgnated the first
monk-ruler of the Snowy Mountain. While the Sa-skya hege-
mony fragmented around 1358-59 and the Yuan Dynasty col-
lapsed in 1368, the Sa-skya-pa still enjoyed a special position
of power and wealth which attracted the criticism of other
orders, especially in the face of the excesses of privilege that
had occurred.
55
The backlash against the Sa-skya-pa-intel-
lectual as well as political-must have been intense, and the
Sa-skya-pa themselves attempted to retain control of Tibet's
intellectual direction by polemics. It is between the years 1404-
1406 (ages twenty-two to twenty-four) that we find Ngor-chen
involved in the first of his two periods of apologetics. In 1404
he wrote his defense of the superiority ofVajrayana enlighten-
ment-the theory that buddhahood obtained by the Path of
Secret Spells is more exalted than that obtained by the stan-
dard Mahayana perfections.
56
In 1406, he defended the
.' orthodoxy of the Hevajra-tantra itself against those who main-
. tained that, because the scripture speaks primarily of all-
embracing gnosis and because Virupa is rumoured to have
been the Vijiianavadin monk Dharmapala before his conver-
sion to the lightning path, the Hevajra must be of the class of
texts reflecting the "mind only" conceptualization of reality
and therefore inferiorto the orthodox Madhyamaka view. Al-
though the chronologies are confused, Ngor-chen's hagiog-
'raphies speak of his defending the Sa-skya-pa position in central
222
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
. vociferous critics.
57
Doubtless, his Amazing
WrItten III 1405, reflected these sa.me concerns, despite
fact that the text IS not overtly polemI<;al and does not
cally identify an antagonistic position, as do the 1404 and
apologies. .
Who were critics of the sy
s
0!
tern? Modern TIbetan relIgIOus folklore often rerfies _ all
skya-pa critics into dGe-Iugs-pa monks and, in the case ()Bl
Ngor-chen, into mKhas-grub dge-Iegs dpal-bzang-po
1438).58 Certainly, mKhas-grub-rje was one ofNgor-chen's
tics in his later life and clearly did maintain, for example,
doctrine that there was no difference in result when
hood is obtained by either the perfections or the Path
However, the circumstances were more complex than reificai:fl
tion into a single antagonist.
60
For example, the dates
selves are difficult-in 1404, mKhas-grub-rje turned 19
of age and was still a good Sa-skya-pa monk studying
Red--mda'-ba; he did not even visit Tsong-kha-pa until
Moreover, Tibetan proclivity towards oral exaggeration cer:16
tainly exacerbated the problem, some members of the. clergy'Ji
assuming that the refutation of a facet of a practice indicates ait
wholesale condemnation of the tradition. Red-mda'-ba was
prajiiaparamita master and is said to have held that
view was idealist, but we have no that he extended
critique to the Hevajra-tantra itself, although some of his morel
rash followers may have done SO.62 Clearly, mKhas-grub
not. 63 in fact, led mKhas-grub to complain. that;fj
people saId he refuted the Lam-'bras, a charge he hotly
he had called into question two specific practices.
64
However:;l
the polemical stage was set: once N gor-chen produced the
fication of the Hevajra in its mythic setting, his sense of
became the standard for Sa-skya-pa savants. We find
mgon A-mes zhabs, writing his masterpiece of Lam- 'bras lore in
1621, specifically reproducing Ngor-chen's mythos, relying
his prestige.
65
. .'Jj


b. The literary shift from the snappy dialogue of the
sa'T{lgraha to the cosmic diagram of the Cakrasa'T{lvara ma'fJrfala is
in some measure dependent on the shift from an Indian

);i:

"p1

.
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 223
Sa-skya-pa system in Tibet. Whereas rNying-ma-pa
continued the use of vital dialogue, Sa-skya-pa authors
it in favor of the codification into diagrams. Why
difference? Again, social values and levels are at the heatt
the issue. Village culture supports the wandering bard,
presence serves to alleviate oppressive boredom and
message imbues meaning into the lives of the audience.
many rNying-ma-pa literary genres were closely influ-
by oral and bardic literature. The Sa-skya-pas, con-
. made the transition to textually-based monastic
; their myths directly expressed the importance of
the presence of texts in the institution rather than
the drama of unfolding awareness. For the rNying-
the drama of the struggle in multiple episodes was the
for the Sa-skya-pa, the goal of the received text as the
of gnosis was paramount .
. Turning to the plot, we notice that MaheSvara and crew
directly included into the dharmadhatu marpfala of the Tattva-
while neither the CakrasaT(lvara nor the Hevajra utilize
or other divinities as anything but adversaries.
Sa-skya-pa myths make allowance for the ultimate libera-
of the Hindu divinities, but neither allows them a formal
Jv>OJ, .... vu in the marpfala as exemplars following the universal
. The Sa-skya-pa formulation more closely follows the
of the Buddha's victory over Mara, and the indebted-
of both the CakrasaT(lvara and Hevajra episodes to the Mara
is explicit. Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan specificially intro-
his version with a Mara-myth reference; the four figures
on by Hevajra are Mara, MaheSvara, Indra, and
while HT Liii.l7 is explicit that Hevajra destroys the
Maras. Thus, the dramatic device-of the contentious
among Mahavairocana, Vajrapa1).i, and MaheSvara,
by the reincarnation and liberation as denouement-
not essential to the plot. Rather; the given qualities of the
'viduals, being the ground of conversion, are the essential
for the unfolding of the drama. Symbolically, this is
out in the direct imitation of one deity by another:
does not imitate MaheSvara, but Heruka does. The
is developed in recognition, specified time and
in the texts of the Sa-skya-pa, that the tantras of the Anut-
224
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
tara-yoga class have been preached to attract those beings filled
. with all the various defilements and who do not wish to abanS
don their preferred behavior. 'k:
As a corollary, the later myths imply that the lowest
of leads to the highest We have every!
expectatIOn that the tellers of such myths the spectacle!
of the lowest fiends and their dastardly crimes, with the gallant
Heruka coming to the rescue of all beings. Clearly, Heruka and
his retinue do not enjoy acting in a manner similar to that of
MaheSvara but have undertaken .this form of divine activity to!
attract those addicted to perverse behavior. We are thus im-'
pressed by how far the Buddha's compassion extends,
ing even degraded beings. As an antidote to personal guilt, the
scenario is as attractive to the myth's listeners as Amitabha's'
saving power in another era-no one need feel irredeemable
,
whatever their crimes may have been.
I:o the Cakrasar[wara system, the exact locales are impor-
tant, . and their specification is an extension of that lineage's
concern for the integration of the macrocosm and microcosm,
each of the twenty-four external locales being identified with
i
an internal locale within the body of the yogin. While the pre-,
cise Indic source for identifying a system of twenty-four lir;.gams
and bhairavas is obscure, it cannot be immediately assumed that
it was a popular Hindu system subsumed into the Buddhist
fold. Virtually none of the more famous "lin,gams of light"!
Uotirlihga) belong to the Cakrasa7[lvara formula; I have encoun-'
tered no list in literature which corresponds to either:
the number twenty-four or the places identified. Closest in
spirit are the various Buddhist places of pilgrimage specified.
frequently in most of the tantras concerned with iikinfs: the
Cakrasa7[lvara, Abhidhiinottara, Hevajra, etc. 66 Buddhist
mythic contention that these places were initially Saiva cannot
be accepted as fact, or even that they existed outside of the'
minds of the storytellers, although some clearly did. Instead,
the list is developed out of such geographical lists of places
noted in esoteric Buddhist literature as early as the
Mahiimiiyilrf-vidyii-rajiif-dhiirar;.f.
67
As a meditative technique, the identity of macrocosmic!
locales with microcosmic structures is striking. It allows the:
meditator to understand the cosmic drama as internal as well .
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 225
'external, MaheSvara as an extension of his own proclivity
and Heruka as the resonance of the Buddha in
own stream of being. As literature, the specification of
6cale
s
is equally dramatic and is a technique frequently used
{{'Indian and Tibetan tales, whether in the Puriinqs or the Epic
fGe-s ar. For a village-bound audience with little opportunity
'resources for travel, the identification of all the places of the
. own world by the wandering teacher must have seemed at
as romantic and exciting as travel stories are for us today. 68
o find, moreover, that the entire itinerary is within
rie's own psycho-physical continuum must have been a stun-
t g validation of the listener's existence .
. No such literary devices are available to Ngor-chen; his
"ork invokes neither the quick repartee of the Tattvasa'T[lgraha
grand schematism of Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's work.
n all fairness, the subjugation of MaheSvara is not his real
oncern; Ngor-chen just wants to get the tantras preached and
hthenticated, so that he can discuss the scriptural relations
d proceed to the hagiographies bf the saintly lirieage. We get
ttle sense that Ngor-chen appreciates the literature of his
. ythic inheritance. Rather, he appears solely concerned with
its reality on a scale of values developed by the
lJinstitutional requirements of his day. As a result, Ngor-chen's
the dryest expression of a juicy story.
doctrinal framework of the Tibetan versions of the myth
explicit and, in the Hevajra telling, quite essential to the story.
the expression of multiple levels of truth-further
in the Cakrasa'T[lvara ma1JtJala into. physical, vocal,
mental-brings out the necessity of admitting the mythic
into the ordinary world. Here, MaheSva:ra and his
really perform all their actions, which are countered by
1'J,1eruka and his ma1JtJala: evil is supressed, defilement purified,
the cosmos realigned into the universal form. Much more
is the myth as the expression of absolute truth. Grags-
i;,;pa rgyal-mtshan stresses the drama of subjugation when he
the movement of reality from Vajradhara to MaheS-
Conversely, Ngor-chen emphasizes the process of teach-
f1ing as an act of nondifferentiated communication, although he
includes MaheSvara in the ground of being as
of defiled existence. The hermeneutic of mythic
I
226
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
nondifferentiation raises a fundamental soteriological and
ontological question: IfMaheSvara and the demonic horde are
merely facets of the teacher's gnosis, ,then does the absolute
body of the Buddha emanate evil? .
Ngor-chen attempts to circumvent the problem by main_
taining that both pure and impure elements of reality are pene-
trated by the dharmakaya. I find this explanation intellectually
problematic. If the entire process of defilement and awaken_
ing-either cosmically or personally-operates absolutely un-
differentiated from the absolute body of the Buddha, then the
Buddhist has as little claim to solve the problem of evil as does
the theist. Indeed, the personality and activity of the eternal
Buddha come to center stage, since the drama is enacted at his
pleasure. If the Buddhist replies that such a drama is a play to
lure beings away from defilement, then the equivalence of the
microcosm and macrocosm cannot be maintained. In this in-
stance, external defilement is unreal while internal defilement
is real; the internality and symbolic reality of the myth are
futile and cannot be reenacted in the discharge of personal
awakening.
Buddhist soteriology has yet to come to grips with the'
problems evoked by art open-ended cosmological system. The
apparent sophistication of its doctrine still masks an incom-
plete exploration ofthe philosophical implications of its mythic'
structure, partially because it has recourse to a series of
soteriological postulates buttressed by the irrefutable invita-
tion to try it for oneself. Yet when the system attempts to iden-
tify itself with the ordinary-language images of the individual,
which are required in the mythic process, we obtain a curious
reversal: the system, as it were, meets itself coming and going-
denying the individual while relying on the individual's self-
delusion to eliminate the potential for further delusion. If there
are no real individuals, however, we revert to a soteriological
autokinesis wherein the absolute deludes itself and awakens
itself.
So, while mythically powerful, this inversion of agent,
from the individual to the absolute body of the Buddha, is
problematic in an intellectual culture of agentlessness. The
myth has drawn the tradition into the implications of the iden-
tity of the two levels of truth, but bringing the absolute into the
THE MAHESVARA MYTH
227
tion of relative truth, which reverses the vector of stan-
Buddhist hermeneutic. Traditionally, Buddhist thought
de constructed the categories of relative truth to arrive at
. identity' ,of the two truths. Here, Buddhist myth constructs
of the absolute truth in order to arrive at this iden-
the absolute taking on characteristics of relative pro'cess .
. while Ngor-chen has ignored the myth as literature, his
,vOlcaLlUll of the doctrine of the Buddha's bodies is quite to the
problem is gnostic embodiment as a response of the
u u . , ~ . -. Space prevents a more thorough examination of the
but we note that the requirements of textual authenticity
closure propelled Tibetans to a land seldom visited. Exe-
found themselves hovering on the periphery of myth, at-
to manipulate images which did not invoke their ideas
working in a curious twilight between symbol and theory.
mitigating the tension between myth and doctrine is Bud-
literature's playful willingness to eradicate ultimate cate-
and turn the devil into a Buddha with the stroke.of a pen.
The extraordinary popularity of the Buddhist myth of the
'ugation of MaheSvara-whether at the hands of Vajrap a:gi
Heruka-has much to do with its ability to invoke several
of meaning simultaneously. As a story, it is a classic tale of
values,overcomiI}g the power-oriented behaviors still
among Saiva and Sakta practitioners. As soteriology, it
L111IJU',':> that no depravity is irredeemable; indeed, it affirms
the defiled condition will be answered by the insistent
t towards awakening, becoming finally the stuff of
itself. As doctrine, particularly in Tibet, it
the interpenetration of all elements of reality and their
interdependence. And, as history, it leads us to under-
the internal and external forces that affected the Buddhist
,VUJLUU.UH ties in India and Tibet, and gives us more insight into
process whereby Buddhist communities developed tools of
in the face of fissiparous forces. .
228
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
NOTES
*A preliminary version of this paper was read,at the Annual Meeting Ofth\
Association of Asian Studies, San Francisco, February, Further research"
on the and early Sa-.skya-pa .was III pa:t by a grant'
from the Amen can InstItute of IndIan StudIes and a FaIrfield Umversity SUIll>
mer Research In a general vein, I must acknowledge my debt to Ngor'
Thar-rtse mKhan Rin-po-che (1933-1987), who gave me the bellefit of hi"
instruction in Sa-skya-pa and Lam- 'bras traditions for over a decade. I also wish\
to thank John Thiel for his excellent criticism ofa preliminary draft of this
. ABBREVIATIONS
HT David L. Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra, London Oriental Series:;
Vol. 6 (London: Oxford University Press, 1959). ,
TTP Daisetz T Suzuki, ed., Tibetan Tripi{aka, Peking Edition
Tibetan Tripitaka Research Institute, 1956) .c
j
SKB bSod-nams rgya-mtsho, ed., The Complete Works qfthe Great Master?'
qfthe Sa Skya Sect qfthe Tibetan Buddhism (Tokyo: Toyo Bunko, 1968); r
T J. Takakusu and K. Watanabe, eds., Taisho Shinsh";;. Daiz;okyo
(Tokyo: Daiz5ky5kai, 1924-1935). . .
To. Hakuju Ui, et aI., A Complete Catalogue qfthe Tibetan Buddhist CannonS'j
(Sendai: T5hoku Imperial University, 1934).
1. See R.M. Davidson, Introduction to the Standards of Scriptural
Authenticity in Indian Buddhism," in Robert E. Buswell, Jr., ed., Chinese f3ud- j
dhist Apocrypha (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990), pp. 291-325. .
2. Davidson, "Standards," pp. 312-315. For a convenient discussion of
the various lineages, see Kong-spru1 Yon-tan rgya-mtsho, Shes bya kun khyab,
rDo-rje rgya1-po and Thub-bstan nyi-ma, eds. (Szechuan: Mi rigs dpe skrun
khang, 1982), vol. 1, pp. 366-37l.
3. Compare the founding scenarios fOl,lnd in the Vimalaprabhii with
references in the Sekoddefa-t'ikii; Jagannatha Upadhyaya, ed., Vimalaprabhii{zkii oj.
Kalki Sn PU1"Jefanka, Bibliotheca Indo-Tibetica Series No. XI (Sarnath, India:
Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 1986), pp. 22-31; Mario E. Carelli"
ed., Sekoddefd{zkii qf Niiefapiida, Gaekwad's Oriental Series No. XC (Baroda,
India: Oriental Institute, 1941), pp. 1-4. See Andre Bareau, "Le stupa de
Dhanya Kataka," Arts asiatiques 16 (1967): 81-88; Helmut Hoffman, Tibet-A
Handbook (Bloomington, Indiana: Research Center for the Language Sciences,
n:d.), pp. 143-145.
4. The text of the Tattvasa7(lgraha is that edited by Isshi Yamada,
tathiigata-Tattva-sangraha, Satapitaka Series 262 (New Delhi: International
Academy of Indian Culture, 1980) and reproduced in Lokesh Chandra, ed.,
Sarva-Tathiigata-Tattva-Sangraha (Delhi: Moti1al Banarsidass, 1987). Lokesh
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 229
Chandra's "edition" sin:Ply added misprints to Yan:ada's fine edition, which is
VI unavailable. The TIbetan of the Tattvasan:zgraha IS PTT 112, voL 4, pp. 218-
~ ~ 3 ' the standard Chinese text is T 882.18.341-445. The Sarvarthasiddhi myth
, 4-5 of Chandra's text; Tibetan text is pp. 219.4-220.2; and pp. 341 c-
of the Chinese.
5. Chandra ed. pp. 211-213; Tib. pp. 28L4-282.4; Ch. 443b-444c.
6. The following is a summary of the essential sections of the myth,
which is found at Chandra pp. 56-59; Tib. pp. 239.4-241.5; Ch. 370a-372c.
critical reader will realize that I have taken some poetic license with the
language to reflect the quick repartee of the Sanskrit. The myth was first
studied by Giuseppe Tucci, who discovered the Tattvasan:zgraha manuscript in
:'Nepal; he edited and translated much of the text of the myth in Indo-Tibetica,
. . Reale Accademia d'Italia Studi e Documenti I (Rome: Reale Accademia
.. d'Italia, 1932), voL 1, pp. 135-145. The myth has been considered in detail and
<'summarized by Nobumi Iyanaga, "Recits de la soumission de Mahesvara par
.Trailokyavijaya-d'apres les sources chinoises et japonaises," in Michel
~ ' )
Strickmann, ed., Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour qf R.A. Stein, Melanges
chinois et bouddhiques voL XXII (Brussels: Institut belge des hautes etudes
. chinoises, 1985), pp. 633-745. Unfortunately, Iyanaga's excellent study does not
capture the snappy dialogue of the Sanskrit, being based primarily on the pon-
derous Sung translation into Chinese, T 882. The material has been also consi-
. dered by Stein, Annuaire du College de France 1972:499-510, 1973:463-470,
1974:508-517. A noted Tibetan discussion of the Mahesvara (Rudra) myth is
that by sLe-lung-pa bZhad pa'i rdo rje, Dam can bstan srung rgya mtsho'i rnam par
thar pa cha shas tsam brjod pa sngon med legs bshad, Sman Rtsi Shesrig Spendzod voL
104 (Leh, Ladakh: TS. Tashigang and B.PO. Nemo, 1979), pp. 1-103.
7. In using Bhasmacchanna, I am following Tucci's text, p. 145, and
Iyanaga, p. 675, who gives the readings of the edition of Horiuchi Kanjin, (Bon-
Zo-Kan taishO) Shoe-Kongo-chO-kyo no kenkyu Bompon Kotei-hen, jo (Koyasan,
1983), lIla, p. 32. Chandra, p. 59, gives Bhasmacchatra. It is well-known that
Siva's conversion as BhasmeSvara occurs in Kiira1J.qavyuha, in PL. Vaidya, ed.,
.. MahiJyiina-sutra-san:zgraha, Part 1, Buddhist Sanskrit Text Series, No. 17 (Dar-
bhanga: Mithila Institute, 1961), p. 304, but see Iyanaga's p. 675, n. 66, where
he indicates that, whatever its occurrence in the Nepali manuscript tradition, it
was missing in the recensions translated into Tibetan and Chinese.
8. T 1171, 1172. The authenticity of Amoghavajra's translations is fre-
quently disputed; see Iyanaga, "Recits," pp. 640-642. The Tibetan text is To.
482, and the myth is found in sDe-dge rgyud-'bum voL ta, fols. lOa-12b. sLe-
lung-pa, pp. 10.7 & 13.6, attempts to integrate the rather innocuous statements
of the Mahiivairocana-abhisambodhi-sutra (To. 494) into the full-blown form of the
myth, but the sutra simply confounds Mara and MaheSvara, giving a mantra to
bring him under control; sDe-dge rgyud 'bum, voL tha, foL 182a.
9. sDe-dge rgyud-'bum, voL ta, foL 11 b: gang 'di lta bu'i sngags kyi tshig
smra ba ni khyod rab tu mi bgrongs sol.
10. To. 480; sDe-dge rgyud-'bum, voL nya, fols. 237a-247b.
11. sDe-dge rgyud 'bum, voLja, fols. 281a-287a.
12. To. 832, rNying rgyud, vol. kha, fols. 124b-128a. R.A. Stein has con-
sidered this version in the Annuaire 1974, pp. 511.
230
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
13. To. 829; rNying-rgyud, vQl. ka, chapters 20-31, fols. 135lJ-166a. Th'
material has been considered by Stein, Annuaire 1972:499-510,
See also sLe-lung-pa, Dam can bstan srung rgya mtsho, pp. 48-103.
14. Stein, Annuaire 1973, p. 468, mentions that there is a commentar
ascribed to Naropa which contains a fuller version, but I have no access to thY
Peking bsTan-'gyur at this time. This version is not cited by Grags-pa
mtshan, Bu-ston, sLe-lung-pa, or other Tibetan savants whom I have studied
and so its influence was less than complete, yet Stein mentions that Pretapuri
in "Naropa's commentary" is identified with Pu-hrangs in Tibet, an
tion that Bu-ston accepts, bDe mchog nyung ngu'i rgyyd kyi spyi rnam don gsal
Lokesh Chandra, ed., The Collected liVorks of Bu-ston, Satapitaka Series, vol. 64
(New Delhi: International Academy ofIndian Culture, 1971), pt. 6, pp. 54-61.
15. dPal he ru ka'i byung tshul, SKB III.298.4.2-300.2.6.
16. The division of l\!Iahesvara's retinue into celestial, terrestrial, and sub-
terranean is evident in the TattvasaT[lgraha mythology also; Chandra, pp. 59-60.
17. I have edited the place names; the versions found in the text are
clearly orally transmitted and are meant to reflect the widely accepted names
for the twenty-four locales found in the CakrasaT[lvara system. Confer HT
I.vii.10-18; Abhidhiinottara, PTT 17, vol. 2, pp. 48.1.1-4, 52.5.6-53.2.3, 56.1.6-
56.2.3,56.5.8-57.2.1,58.4.4-59.2.8, etc.; Tucci, Indo-Tibetica, vol. 3, part 2, pp.
38-45; Shinichi Tsuda, The SaT[lvarodaya-Tantra: Selected Chapters (Tokyo: The
Kokuseido Press, 1974), pp. 93-96, 260-263.
18. It is not clear why Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan specifies that these two
came from the north to take control of these two locales, or why he does
that selectively in other instances (niigas, asuras). l\!lost likely, it is the conserva-
tion of a prior association on his part (did all these figures have such associa-
tions?); it is less likely that he is selectively developing associations found in the
siidhanas in question.
19. Color assignment here contradicts the names of the Vma, which iden-
tify each Vma with her own color.
20. I have not observed elsewhere the identification of a goddess with
vicissitudes of the planet Rahu, rendering the stem feminine. The asterisked (*)
lndic forms of the names ascribed to the Vma and the Maqka are conjectural.
21. We note the irregular application of the feminine ending mo.
22. The first four Maqka names are available from the literature. See
Martin M. Kalff, "Oakinls in the Cakrasamvara Tradition," in Martin Brauen
and Per Kvaerne, eds., Tibetan Studies (Zurich: V6lkerkundemuseum der Uni-
versiUit Zurich, 1978), pp. 149-162, esp. p. 157; Tsuda, SaT[lvarodaya XIII.30,
pp. 117, 285. According to these sources, the other four Matrka are most com-
monly identified as YamadiltI, YamadamHrI, and Yamamathanl.
23. The numbering: 24 Bhairavas + their 24 consorts + 4 Uma + 8
Matrka + Mahesvara + VmadevI= 62 divinities.
24. While the malJrf.ala utilized by Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan appears the
general synthesis of the four traditions mentioned at the end of the text, in the
1730-s edition of the SKB, our text follows the hagiography of Luhipada's
lineage, leading to the surmise that the Zhu-chen Tshul-khrims considered the
malJrf.ala to be based on Luhipada's Sri: Bhagavadabhisamaya (To. 1427, sDe-dge
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 231
, ud 'grel, vol. wa, fols. 186b3-193al). This text is apparently the earliest
:ftes
ted
practice of the Ca,krasarrwara, having been translated by Rin-chen
/bzang-po (958-1055) .and Sraddhakaravarman. also .enjoys two commer:-
:',!; ries by *TathagatavaJra, To. 1509-1510, the latter mcludmg a separate chrolll-
i;' of PaJ:.l<;lita dPal- 'dzin and the teachers of the lineage. A form of the mar;ala
also given in Benoytosh Bhattacharyya, ed., of Mahapar;ita
',. Abhyakaragupta, Gaekwad's Oriental Series No, 109 (Baroda: Oriental Institute,
;,1972), pp. 44-46, 26-29.
'0' 25. A preta is one departed, but usually a ghost rather than a corpse.
as before, Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan is attempting to tie the myth to the lan-
,. guag
e
of the ritual. .
':',.; 26. This was a favored hermeneutic among the Sa-skya-pa. Sa-chen had
that it was one of the signs of the superiority of the Vajrayana (SKB
'1.122.3.3), an idea also utilized by bSod-nams rtse-mo in his commentary on
the Hevajra-tantra (SKB II.51.2.6-3.2). In the previous reference, however, Sa-
then quotes Padmavajra's Guhyasiddhi (To. 2217) in support of his idea, and we
'see that PUJ:.l<;larika maintains the idea in his Vimalaprabhii commentary to the
;.; Kiilacakra, Upadhyaya ed., pp. 23-24. Decidedly, the Sa-skya teachers looked for
){,i
:sIndic support offavored doctrines.
, '. 27. The received Sanskrit text of Guhyasamaja XVII.l9, while discussing
';.'VajrapaJ:.li, reads somewhat differently:
'" kiiyavajro bhavet brahma vagvajras tu /
cittavajradharo raja saiva / /
Being physically adamantine, let him be Brahma,
. But as vocally adamantine, he is MaheSvara;
The king bearing the sceptre of mental adamant,
It is just he who is of great majesty.
Yukei Matsunaga, The Guhyasamaja Tantra (Osaka: Toho Shuppan, 1978), p. 98.
28. Dpal he ru ka'i byungtshul rnam par g;:.hag pa bla ma'i gsung las cung ;:.ad
btus te I. SKB III.300.2.6.
29. sNgon byung gi rnam 'phrul, SKB 1.388.3.4-389.1.3.
30, Sa-chen was doubtless considering his various commentaries to the
basic texts of the Lam- 'bras (To. 2284), traditionally considered eleven in num-
ber; see Musashi Tachikawa, "The Tantric Doctrine of the Sa skya pa according
, to the Sel gyi me laft," Acta Asiatica 29 (1975): 95-106.
31. Actually, as is apparent from his gDan gyi rnam dag (SKB 1.387.4.4-
388.3.4), Heruka tramples on Brahma, Indra, Kamadeva, and Mahesvara,
while Ghasamri tramples on Iana-MaheSvara, apparently considered the
principal variety of the species Mahesvara.
32. The same method was utilized by Ngor-chen in his exegetical monu-
ment, the (dPal kye rdo rje'i sgrub thabs kyi rgya cher bshad pa) bsKyed rim gnad kyi::.La
zer, SKB IX.l73.4-277, esp. see p. 179.3.6.
33. The standard work on the legends and concerns of the Lam-'bras
remains the Yongs rdzogs bstan pa rin po ch'i nyams len gyi man ngag gsung ngag rin po
che'i byon tshul khog phub dang bcas pa rgyas par bshad pa legs bshad 'dus pa'i rgya mtsho
, of'Jam-mgon A-mes zhabs (1597-1659; text completed 1621), The Tshogs Bsad
Tradition of the Sa-skya Lam-'bras vol. 1 (Rajpur, India: Sakya Centre, 1983), pp.
232 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
1-314; cf. Ngor-chen's introductory materials at the beginning of the bsKyed
gnad kyi zla zer (SKB.IX, pp. 174 ff.), and his own discussion of the
Path/ Fruit tradition, the Lam 'bras bu dang beas pa5 man ngag gi byung
ngag rin po ehe bstan pa rgyas pa'i rryi 'od (SKB IX.lOB.3.l-126.4.3); this latter
includes supplemental notes by Gung ru Shes rab bzang po .
.26. rGyud kyi rgyal po dpal kye rdo rje'i byung tshul dang brgyud pa'i bla ma
pa rnams kyi rnam par thar pa ngo mtshar rgya mtsho, SKB IX;278.1-284.3.3.
Synopsis addresses the material in pp. 278.3.2-281.4.5.
27. The resultant form of a divinity is that which is brought back
integration with emptiness at a specific time in the meditative practice of
utpattikrama. See Ngor-chen's bsJ0ed-rim gnad kyi zla-zer, SKB
251.1.3.
36. Ngor-chen's primary source for the myth is Sa-chen's text, which
partially misquotes and identifies as gDan gyi dag pa, this latter being placed
before (387.4.4-388.3.4) Sa-chen's sNgon byung gi rnam 'phrul in the SKB edition
the quote being from 388.4.3-4. Secondarily, he quotes from Grags-pa '
mtshan's commentary to the Hevajra-tantra, SKB III.l51.4.6-152.1.1, itself a
development ofHT II.v.5.
37. Ngor-chen's statement 279.3.4 is an obscure but definite reference to
Hevajra tantra II.v.5, which was not translated by Snellgrove:
cumbayitva tu NairatmyaT[l vajraT[l kapalake I
mardayitva stanau devo ma7J.alaT[l saT[lprakafayet II
Having kissed Nairatmya, having placed your vajra in her skull,
Having fondled her breasts, let the deity express his maJ;H;lala.
38. vyakhyataham ahaT[l frotiihaT[l suga7J.air I
sadh;yo fiistii 'haT[llaukiko 'pyahaT[l11
We should note that the Tibetan tor HT ILii.39cd reads as if fiista 'loko 'ham
laukiko: 'jig rten 'jig rten 'das ma nga, but here following the Yogaratnamiila, HT, vol.
2, p. 139.
39. See note 6, above.
40. Stein, Annuaire 1973, p. 467; Iyanaga, "Recit de la soumission de
Mahe.svara," pp. 731-743.
41. Andre Bareau, "Le Buddha et Uruvilva," in Daniel Donnet, ed.,
Indianisme et Bouddhisme-Melanges qfferts a Mgr Etienne Lamotte, Publications de
l'Institut orientaliste de Louvain 23 (Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut orientaliste,
1980), pp. 1-18. Bareau has theorized that the Kasyapa episode was initially
non-Buddhist and became the mythic anchor which brought the identification
of to the village ofUruvilva. His theory is interesting but exceeds the
data at this time and needs more verification than he has offered.
42. See Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's various CakrasaT[lvara lineage hagiog-
raphies listed in note 52. below; his bLa ma rgyagar ba'i lo rgyus (SKB III.l70.l.l-
174.1.6) .
43. C the treatment of these asuras in Thomas B. Coburn, Devi:-Mahat-
mya-The Crystallization qfthe Goddess Tradition (Columbia, Missouri: South Asia
Books, 1985), pp. 230-249.
44. Mahavairoeana-abhisambodhi-siltra, To. 494, sDe-dge rgyud-'bum, vol.
tha, fo1. 182a.
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 233
4S. Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's great formulation ofthe Vajrayana is found
his rCyud kyi rr;-ngon parrtogs pa rin po che'i !jon shing, SKB III.l-70.
46. See Srfcakrasamvaratantrarajasa"f(lbarasamuccaya-vrtti , To. 1413, rgyud-
vol. tsa fol. 4ab; Mulatantrahrdayasa"f(lgrahiibhidhanottaratantra-mulamulavrtti,
1414, rgyud-'grel, vol. tsa fol. l21a7.
47. See, for example, the rationale given in his gSung ngag rin po che lam
bu dan bcas paJi don gsal bar byed pa glegs bam gyi dkar chags, The Slob. Bsad Tradi-
(the Sa-skya Lam-'bras (Raj pur: Sakya Centre, 1983), vol. XI, pp. 1-8, esp.
1.3-2.1.
48. See the bLa ma brgyud pa'i rnam par thar pa ngo mtshar snang ba ofbLa-
dam-pa bSod-nams rgyal-mtshan (1312-13 7S), the first part of his extraor-
dinary Pod nag ma, The Slob Bsad, vol. XVI, pp. 1-121, esp. p. 20.
':".::: 49. Nag-tsho maintained that he visited Naropa (providing us with a
stunning portrait of Naropa as the MahapaJ).{;l.ita) and that Naropa was said to
;"j, have passed away with great portents while Nag-tsho was accompanying Ansa
in Nepal in C.E. 1041. Sometime later, Nag-tsho traveled with Mar-pa to cen-
Tibet and heard nothing of a meeting. Finally, some of Mar-pa's disciples
denied that a meeting had taken place. Grags-pa rgya1-mtshan appears to
agree in his reply to Byang-chub seng-ge's request for his opinion on the matter;
.. rNal 'byor byang chub seng ge'i zhu ba dang / de'i dris lan, SKB III.276.3.S-278.2.6.
.. SO. George N. Roerich, The Blue Annals(Reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banar-
.... sidass, 1976), pp. 118-121. The biography of Rwa lo-tsa-ba rDo-rje grags by
< . Bande Ye-shes seng-ge, m Thu stobs dbyang phyug rje btsun rwa 10 tsa baJi rnam par thar
pa kun khyab snyan pa'i rnga sgra, (Lhasa xylograph: 1905) presents a wealth of
.stories concerning early Tibetan religious intrigue, esp. fols. 22bl-24a1,
26bl-27aS, 39b6-40b3, 46aS-47aS, 62b2-63b2, 70a3-70b3, 74a5-75b4,
93a6-94b4, 97a1, 99b1-100a1, 106a4-108b2, 112b5-114a2, 117a5-118a2,
121b3-122b2, 129a4-129b3, 135a3. We note that Rwa-lo's biographer has Rwa-
10 claim to have killed 13 sngags-'dzin (holders of spells) by magic, fo1. 136a1.
Rwa-lo does become involved in a dispute with unnamed clerics at Sa-skya, fo1.
56bl-3, but the burden of proof is on him rather than them.
51. His father, Sa-chen Kun-dga' snying-po (1092-1158), had already
written one hagiographical chronicle of his version of the KaI).hapada lineage;
bDe mchog nag po pa'i lugs kyi bla ma brgyud pa'i 10 rgyus, SKB 1.214.1.1-216.4.1.
52. KaI).hapada's is hidden at the beginning of his Nag po dkyil chog gi bshad
sbyar, SKB III.304.3.2-326.3.6, esp. 304.3.4-306.2.2; Ghantapada's is in sLob
dpon rdo rje dril bu pa'i 10 rgyus, SKB II1.34S.1.l-346.1.4; Luhipada's is found in
bDe mchog lu hi pa'i lugs kyi bla ma brgyud pa'i 10 rgyus, SKB III.293.2-298.4. The
latter text is also apparently the final production, referring to the other two,
SKB III.295.1.2-3.
53. Cf. the bDe-mchog lu hi pa'i lugs with the Sarpvara section of Roerich,
Blue Annals, pp. 380-82; Dung dkar bLo-bzang 'phrin-las, ed., Deb ther sngon po
(Szechuan: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1984), vol. 1, pp. 460-464.
54. Found in his general introduction to the material in the Cakrasa"f(lvara,
bDe mchQg nyung ngu'i rgyud kyi spyi rnam don gsal, Lokesh Chandra, ed., The Col-
lected Works if Bu-ston,Satapitaka Series, vol. 64 (New Delhi: International
Academy of Indian Culture, 1971), pt. 6, pp. 54-61. 'Ba'-ra-ba (1310-1391,
234 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
according to the Blue Annals, p. 692), A Tibetan Enclyclopedia qf Buddhist
cism: The Collected Writings of 'Ba'-ra-ba rGyal mtshan dpal b;:;ang
Ngawang Gyaltsen and Ngawang Lungtok, 1970), vol. I, pp. 452-459 .
. spru1, Shes bya kun khyab, vol. I, pp. 369-70. sLe-limg-pa, Dam can bstan
mtsho, vol. I, pp. 14-16 maintains that his source is Bu-ston's Chos-'byung,
have not located myth there.
55. See Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa, Tibet: A Political History (New
Yale University Press, 1967), pp. 75-82 for the fragmentation of Sa-sky a
A close inspection of the Yuan! Sa-skya relation has been given by L.
"Princely Houses of the Yuan Period Connected with Tibet," in
Skorupski, ed., Indo-Tibetan Studies-Papers in honour qf Prqfessor D.L. U"'''lfll'nl1p
Buddhica Britannica Series Continua II (Tring, U.K.: The Institute
dhist Studies, 1990), pp .. 257-269. .
56. Zung 'jug rdo rje 'chang chen po'i sa mtshams rnam par bshad pa log rtog
sel, written at Sa-skya, SKB IX.164.2.5-172.2.6.
57, Primary is dKon-mchog dbang-phyug's sNyigs dus kyi rdo rje
po chos kyi rje kun dga' b;:;ang po'i rnam par thar pa mdor bsdus pa, Lam 'bras slob
vol. I, pp. 432-473, esp. 462; also see the pasticcio ofSangs-rgyas pilll1n-tsh,o"o
rDo rje 'chang kun dga' b;:;ang po'i rnam par thar pa legs bshad chu bo 'dus pa'i rgya
sLob bshad, vol. I, pp. 475-585, esp. pp. 537, 546.
58. Mark Tatz has encountered similar difficulties in attempting to
cover Tsong-kha-pa's opponents, "Whom is Tsong-kha-pa Refuting in His
Path to Awakening?" in Lawrence Epstein and Richard F. Sherburne, eds.,
tions on Tibetan Culture-Essays in Memory if Turrell V. T1Jlie, Studies in
Thought and Religion, Volume 12 (Lewiston! Queenston! Lampeter:
Edwin Mellen Press, 1990), pp. 149-163.
59. See his dPal brtag pa gnyis pa'i rnam par bshad pa rdo rje mkha' 'gro rna
rnams kyi gsang ba'i md;:;od, in The Collected JiItOrks of The Lord mKhas Grub Rje
Legs Dpal B;:;ang Po, rJe yab sras gsum gyi gsung 'bum 27 (New Delhi:
lian Lama Gurudeya, 1980), vol. 9, pp 469-961, esp. pp. 481-515.
60. See, for example, Go-rain bSod-nams st:!ng-ge's commentary on
defense of the bsKyed rim gnad kyi zla ;:;e1, dPal kye rdo rje'i sgrub pa'i .thabs kyi rlJY.a
cher bshad pa bskyed rim gnad kyi ;:;la ;:;er la rtsod pa spong ba gnad kyi gsal byed, in Kun
mkhjen go bo rab 'byams pa bsod nams seng ge bka' 'bum (Rajpur: Sakya
.1979), vol. 12, pp. 557-693, esp. p. 560, where Ngor-chen's primary opponents
are listed as sLob-dpon chen-po dPal chos-pa, mKhas-grub, and dPal. 'jigs-
med grags-pa.
61. See his biography, mKhas grub thams cad mkhyen pa'i rnam thar mkhas pa'i
yid 'phrog, in The Collected JiItOrks of The Lord mKhas Grub Rje, vol. 1, p. 8.
62. Red-mda'-ba's name is identified with this position in a note (mchan)
to Ngor-chen's bsKyed rim gnad kyi ;:;la ;:;er, SKB 9.176.3.2.
63. Everything mKhas-grub says in his dPal brtag pa gT9'is pa'i rnam par
bshad pa leads us to believe that he thought the Hevajra-tantni fully in conformity
with fifteenth-century Tibetan comprehension of Madhyamaka; see esp. pp.
559-560.
64. He relates the course of events in a letter included in his Thor-bu, Col-
lected JiItOrks, vol. 7, pp. 775-808. In his discussion of Guhyasami{ja meditation,
THE MAHESVARA MYTH 235
ud thams bead kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'tius pa'i bskyed rim dngos grub rgya mtsho,
vol. 9, pp. I fr., esp. p. 238, he had generally refuted the Lam-
iibYas ideas o.f physical (lus-d"!il) and. reception of consecration
meditatiOn (lam dus kyz. dbang) , Cltmg the by He
(Thor-bu, p. 776-7) that everyone Jumped Given the
!iiiflammatory language mKhas-grub was wont to use, It IS easy to see how such
developed. .
65. Lam 'bras khog phub, p. 70.5.
66. Confer HT I.vii.10-18, Abhidhiinottara, PTT 17, vol. 2, pp. 48.1.1-4,
;52:5:6-53.2.3,56.1.6-56.2.3, 56.5.8-57.2.1, 58.4.'t-59.2.8, etc.
tf: 67. Cf. T. 982-988. Shuyo Takubo, eci., Arya-Mahii-Mqyurf Viqyii Rajiif,
q;;kyo: Tokyo Sankibo, 1972. Sylvain Levi, "Le Catalogue des dans Ie
'N!:iiliii-miiyiirI," Journal Asiatique 1915: 19-138; P.C. Bagchi, "The Geographical
Catalogue of the in the MahiimiiyiirI," Sino-Indian Studies III 1 / 2 (1947):
113--87 ..
'ii
o
68. I presume that there were village-level applications of the Cakrasa1[L-
$'ara m'yth both before and after it entered the monastic milieu, even if the ver-
under discussion is textual! monastic in form.
.

i::<,

!,,;'-: -
';
Lf:
V,,-'
~ Newar Buddhist Liturgy:
Sravakayanist Ritual in Kwa Bahal}.,
Lalitpur, Nepal
by David N. Gellner
1. Introduction
l
The rituals and other practices of the Buddhist Newars of the
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, should be of particular interest to
Buddhologists, since the Newars are the last surviving north
Indian Mahayana Buddhists.
2
There have been several inter-
esting discussions of the symbolism and functions of Newar
Buddhist ritual (e.g., Allen 1973, 1982) but the detailed
analysis ofNewar Buddhist liturgy is still in its early stages. It
is true that Hodgson published one paper which evidently fol-
lowed a liturgical text, and Wilson translated another, but
these were lone and isolated efforts until John Locke published
his pathbreaking work Karunamqya.
3
Following his lead, I have
myself published studies of the Newar Buddhist monastic initi-
ation ritual (usually known in scholarly works by its colloquial
and non-honorific epithet, bare chuyegu) and of the guru mar;ala
ritua1.
4
Recently, both Locke and Lewis have published articles
on the fasts or observances (vrata) of Newar Buddhists.
5
Related to these recent scholarly works in English, and often
acting as the source for them, are two kinds of local literature:
(i) handwritten ritual handbooks (paddhati) with instructions
in Newari and the liturgy itself in Sanskrit (many of these are
now available on microfilm, thanks to the Nepal-German
Manuscript Preservation Project); (ii) published pamphlets by
Vajracarya priests which are in effect printed handbooks. The
most prolific author in this latter category is certainly Badri
Ratna Vajracharya of Kathmandu.
236
A NEWAR LITURGY 237
The present paper is concerned with the liturgy in one
0';i"fairly precise context: the shrine of. the main of a Newar
monastery. Newar BuddhIst monastenes usually con-
i:\;i'
st
of a rectangular courtyard, with the shrine of the main
.. aeity on ?"round floor .opposite the n:ain The
deity IS, m the maJonty of cases, Sakyamum Buddha.
"f;,iYhis deity is known m Kathmandu as the 6 and in
as kWiibiiju, a term which members ofKwa Bahal:; and
"r.their families tend to use as the proper name of their monastery
(a usage illustrated in section 2 below). Newar Buddhists
explain that the structure of the monastery reflects the
:tthree "ways" Slr "vehicles" ofBudsJhism: the ground floor, with
...... its shrine to Sakyamuni, is the Sravakayana; the upper side
,. room, with its shrine' to Amoghapasa Lokesvara, is the
!,Mahayana; and the upper floor hall, with the esoteric shrine to
.. ; Cakrasarpvara, Yogambara, Hevajra, or one of the other tan-
.'tric gods, is the Vajrayana. It is indeed true that this scheme is
!;i".reflected in the rituals and offerings that are appropriate in
each shrine. Thus, sacred space is organized so as to express
the hierarchical structure of tantric Buddhism; and this struc-
'ture is itself both a representation of, and an explanation of, the
.' history of tantric Buddhism, with the latest phase, the Vaj-
. rayana, being given the highest value within it.7
, It is an interesting fact that the liturgy used for the
Sakyamuni shrine seems to have escaped the codification of the
Vajracarya priests. Unlike other Newar Buddhist liturgies,
therefore, one does not find numerous manuscripts that record
the prescribed form used in particular places. Rather, each
.monastery has its own oral tradition. As with written liturgies,
these vary slightly from monastery to One account
ofthe morning liturgy ina monastery Sakyamuni shrine,from
Bhiche Bahal:;, Lalitpur, has been published in Newari by the
respected local Buddhist scholar, Hemraj Sakya.
8
Mempership of Newar Buddhist monasteries is restricted
to male Sakyas and Vajracaryas. These two groups are sub-
sections of a single caste, the Vajracaryas having slightly higher
status because they alone may act, as priests for others (purohit).
Within the monastery, however, Sakyas and Vajracaryas have
equal status; rights and duties are shared equally. Membership
of a Newar Buddhist monastery is determined by patrilineal
238 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
descent. Only the sons of members by full-caste mothers rna
go though the monastic initiation ritual in the monastery
thereby become members. In this "Yay, they also become
householder monks; that is to say, they fill the role of monks
and are treated as monks by other Newar Buddhists on certain
specified such as the annual Paficadan festival. By
tradition, all Sakyas and Vajracaryas are supposed to beg alms
on this day from at least seven different-houses, although today
many feel shame at doing so, and do not participate.
9
The context of Newar Buddhism in ;-vhich monastic values
are stressed and asted out is labelled Sravakayana. It is the
shrine of the main Sakyamuni of a monastery complex which
as we have noted, most obviously exemplifies this context.
daily liturgy in this shrine is the duty of each of the monastery
members in turn. The most common system is that by which
turns pass down the roster of members from most senior to
most junior for a week, a fortnight, or a month at a time.
Depending on the number of members and the length of ser-
vice, one's turn may recur once a year, once every few years, or
longer. In the case of Kwa Baha}:l, to be considered presently,
one's turn comes once in a lifetime. In some Kathmandu mon-
asteries, the membership has dispersed to many parts of the
city and beyond, and there is little cohesion. The monastery is
simply the place where members must go through what is, in
effect, their caste initiation ceremony. In these cases, it is not
uncommon for one man to specialize in carrying out the daily
liturgy, and to do it for other members for a small fee. This
solution has not yet been adopted in the more traditional, and
less disrupted monasteries of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, the
other two large cities of the Kathmandu Valley.
The man or youth whose turn it is to tend the main shrine
is called the This is Sanskritized as devapiilaka,
"guardian of the god," though its Newari meaning is "he to
whom the turn [to tend the god] has come." In small monas-
teries he performs the ritual himself, briefly and without an
audience, keeping the shrine open just long enough for local
women, mostly from the households of monastery members, to
bring offerings. In large monasteries, however, the ritual is
much more elaborate. In several of the large monasteries of
Lalitpur a young boy, who must be an initiated member of the
A NEWAR LITURGY 239
monastery, is c?osen by. t.he to carry out
rituals under hIS superVlSlon; he IS called the baphfi or, addmg
the diminutive suffix, baphficfi.
lO
.
: Kwa Bahal} is the largest Newar monastery anywhere. Its
initiated membership is so large (around 3,000) that no one is
sure of its exact size. Here, two such boy priests are appointed;
the younger one is the main one, the elder his assistant. Nor-
the god-guardian remains outside the shrine in order to
.oversee affairs in the whole monastic temple complex and to
avoid the strict rules which the two baphfi have to follow, but the
god-guardian may himself the el?er baphfi ifhewishes
to or if he can find no one to do It for hIm. The Kwa Bahal}
monastic compound is a magnificent temple complex enriched
by numerous donations over the years. It has become a focus
for Buddhist devotion from throughout the city of Lalitpur,
and it is also included in Tibetan pilgrimage routes.
1l
. The two bfiphfi of Kwa Bahal} must follow a strict set of
rules for one month, the duration of the god-guardian's turn.
The elder one may not leave the monastery compound for the
Whole month except to fetch water from the well in IIa Nani,
and his wife, if he is married, may not enter it. The younger
biiphfi leaves the compound twice a day in order to ring a bell
around the locality of the monastery. Neither may use soap for
a month. They may eat only one cooked meal a day, in the
morning, of pure food. This is prepared by a woman designated
for the purpose, who must herselffollow many purity rules. She
must stay at her natal home if she is married, and while she
cooks the meal she must change out of her clothes into a towel
kept in the monastery for the duration of the, month. When she
brings a portion of the meal to offer to the Sakyamuni image,
she must not be touched by anyone else, and all onlookers are
made to stand well back to ensure that this does not happen.
In the afternoon, the two baphfi eat only fruits and sweets. How-
ever, when there is an esoteric ritual in the tantric shrine, at
which meat, beans, and alcohol must be offered, and a share
also taken to Sakyamuni, then, and then only, the bfiphfi may
consume what has been offered. The members of Kwa Bahah
explain the strictness of the rules there, as compared to all
other N ewar monasteries, by ci ting the presence of the text and
goddess, The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajiiaparamita). This
240
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
text is read on request by Newar Buddhists up to twice ada.
almost every day at certain times of year. It is believed to haJj
the power to fulfil the vows of devotees. in times of great
or danger. Many Kwa Bahal;1 members also have the text read
at auspicious times, such as weddings.
12
2. The daily round in Kwa Baha1, Lalitpur
, What follows is an account of the whole daily round in the
Sravakayanist shrine ofKwa Bahal;1. It was written by Bhai
Ratna Vajracharya, a member ofKwa Bahal;. who lives nearby
and spends every day there as a receptionist and photographe:'
This description was written in Newari in 1983. I have trans-
lated it and added the punctuation, the refererices to four
watches, and notes.
Rules Followed by the Temple Priests (baphii)
ofKwa Bahal). (Hiralfyavart:lamahavihara), Lalitpur
by Bhai Ratna Vajracharya
First Watch
At about 3 a.m., devotees come to Kwa Bahal). to read the
NiimasaT(lgfti.
13
After they have been reading for about five
minutes, the older of the two baphii gets up and bathes himself.
He goes into the shrine of Kwabaju [spelt "Kwavaaju"] and
bows down to the god. He removes the clothes of
takes a waterpot which is inside, and goes to fetch water from
the well. Lampa, who lives and works in Kwa Bahal)., goes with
him and clears the way so that no one will touch him. The elder
priest puts the pure water down at the shrine door and goes to
wash his face. Then he takes it inside, bows down to the god,
rinses the Worship Plate (pujiibhalj), waterpot, and silver plate
(babhu), and puts them all in front ofBalabhadra.
14
He puts half
the pure water into the Flask (kalafa) , and then grinds yellow
powder (mhiisu sinhalj). As soon as he has finished this, he lights
a ghee lamp inside.
By this time the NiimasaT(lgfti will be half way through
being read; the younger priest comes into the shrine and bows
down to the gods. The elder priest lights wicks along the bal-
A NEWAR LITURGY 241
. cony outside. Then, while the younger priest rings a bell, the
elder priest pours water from the Flask onto the silver plate,
takes the small flask which stands on it, and washes the faces,
first ofKwabaju, then ofBalabhadra. After this, he does piija to
the gods while the younger priest shows the mirror to Kwabaju,
Balabhadra and, standing at the door, to Svayambhu [the
enshrined caitya in the centre of the courtyard which is the
lineage deity ofKwa Bahal}. members]. The elder priest sprinkles
pure water on Svayambhu and on the waiting devotees. Mean-
while, the younger priest comes out with rice and flask in hand,
and puts rice and water in a circle on the mar;.rjala on the balcony.
Next, the two priests come out to beat the hollow wooden gong
(giiwa); this has to be done 108 times in all. When this is fin-
ished, the younger priest rings the bell, and the readers come
up onto the balcony below the shrine of Kwabaju and read the
"Buddhar(l trailokyanathar(l." 15 When this is over, the elder priest
takes the yaktail whisk and the younger priest takes the silver
whisk with peacock feathers, and the two of them ring bells,
while the "Danabalena" is recited.
16
Then, the two priests put
yellow powder paste (on their foreheads), using the paste from
the worship of the gods, and give yellow paste and flowers to the
devotees outside. Other devotees will continue arriving for wor-
ship until about 8 a.m. or, on important days (full moon,
sar(lkranti/ siinhii, eighth, and new moon day), until 9.30 a.m.
Second Watch
At this time, the person who prepares the priests' food will
come; she is known as nzkulimha. She goes into the kitchen and
takes off all the clothes she has come in and puts on pure
clothes. She fetches pure water, and then smears cowdung on
the floor inside and makes the cooking area neat and clean. She
next comes to the door of the main shrine, and the elder priest
passes her the Worship Plate with one ghee lamp, wicks, and a
small waterpot on it. She takes these back to the kitchen, lights
the ghee lamp, and cooks the priests' pure food meal (pala).
As soon as it is 9 a.m., the younger priest goes off ringing
his bell to Nhu Bahal}., Nyakhacok, Tapa Hifi, Nag Bahal}., Ila
Nani, Sarasvafi Nani, and back in the main door of Kwa
Bahal}.. He stands at the door of the shrine, puts down the
things he has been carrying, and the elder priest sprinkles him
with holy water (jal) and hangs up the things. The younger
priest washes his face and goes in to bow down to the gods. The
two of them then beat the gong 108 times again, and while the
242
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
younger priest rings the bell, the "Buddharrz trailokyaniitharrz" is
read. Once again, they bow down to the gods.
After a little time has elapsed, the younger priest takes the
silver food carrier to the kitchen and puts it down outside the
door. The cook washes. it, puts food on three Worship Plates
puts them in the silver carrier, and places it back outside t h ~
door [of the main shrine]. The younger priest takes it inside the
shrine, puts one plate before Kwabaju, one before Balabhadra,
and the other he scatters to left and right for the mice. Then,
the younger priest goes to eat; after a little while, the elder
priest does likewise. All food, other than milk, rice, green len-
tils, ghee, molasses, and ginger, is forbidden.
After this, the priests may take a rest and if they are sleepy
lie down for an hour and a half, until noon.
Third Watch
Then they have to wash again, and may not touch anyone.
At 3 p.m., the two priests go back inside the shrine and bow
down to the gods. The younger priest puts on the shoulder
piece (c'ivara) and comes out wearing the monastic sandals
(kwiipii lhaka). The elder priest takes the gong outside, and they
beat [the gong] 108 times again. The younger priest goes inside
and rings the bell while the "Buddharrz trailokyaniitharrz" is recited
outside. At 4 p.m., the cook goes into the kitchen, takes offher
clothes, puts on her pure set of clothes, and goes to fetch pure
water. Then, she puts out beaten rice, molasses, cakes, fruit,
and yoghurt for the priests. When it is ready, she goes and tells
them, and they go to eat.
Fourth Watch
After eating, they take a short rest, and at 5.30 p.m. they
wash again. The elder priest goes with two waterpots to the
well to take pure water, and Lampa follows him. He puts water
down outside the shrine and goes to wash his face. Then he goes
in and bows down to the gods. The younger priest likewise
washes his face, sweeps the balcony, goes into the shrine, brings
the Flask outside, and pours water on the malJrjala there. The
elder priest takes the gong, the younger priest puts on the
shoulder piece, and again they beat the gong 108 times. By this
time, it will be about 6 p.m., and the younger priest goes off
ringing the bell as before around the area. On returning, he
takes off the shoulder piece and bell, and comes out of the
shrine. The elder priest stays inside for those who come to read
in the evening.
A NEWAR LITURGY
243
At 7 p.m., the younger priest washes his face and comes
inside the shrine. The readers come and take out the hymn book,
and the younger priest rings the bell in front of Balabhadra
while they read the "BuddhaT[l trailokyaniithaT[l." 17 When the read-
ing is finished the priests stand on either side of Kwabaju and
ring bells and wave whisks, while the "Diinabalena" is read.
When this is over, they light the dfp jviilii lamp, and, ringing the
bell in front of Balabhadra, they wave it around. Both priests
then "take light," and so do those who have read. Then they
. read more verses, while the younger priest rings the bell and
the elder priest waves the lamp (iirati).
When the reading is over, the iirati is put down, and the elder
priest takes the Worship Plate, worships Kwabaju with rice,
applies yellow paste to him, and then also to Balabhadra and
to the other gods around him. Then the younger priest takes
yellow powder paste [for himself], then the elder priest [does],
then they give it to the readers outside. When everyone has
placed a spot of paste on their forehead the paste bowl is passed
back inside. The elder priest then covers Kwabaju with a special
cloth. The younger priest comes out with the key. The elder
priest puts the Flask and silver plate in front of Balabhadra, and
then puts out rice for the mice. He puts three piles on the silver
plate, and three at the legs of the Flask's tripod. Then he un-
covers the pure waterpot, bows down to Kwabaju, and comes
out. He locks the shrine door with an old metal lock, checking
all around; the shutters and doors are all closed up. Then they
go to sleep (by this time it will be about 9.30 p.m.). With this,
their daily duties are over.
The morning liturgy in Kwii B i i h i i ~
The following is an account of the morning liturgy derived
from the above and checked with the Betaju (Rituals Officer)
of Kwa Bahaq, Bhai Ratna Vajracharya of Nyakhacuk (no
relation of the Bhai Ratna Vajracharya above), who was ap-
pointed Betaju for his wide experience and knowledge of ritual.
My own observations have also been incorporated.
(i) The elder biiphii washes himself, unlocks the shrine, sweeps
the shrine, places various containers outside to be washed, and
removes the covers which have been over the main deity and
over Balabhadra during the night. He then goes to fetch pure
244
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
for shrine from the :veIl in Ila. Nani, and
gomgback lil, pays obeIsance to the deIty (by bowmg down t!
his feet). 0
(ii) He washes first the tripods on which they stand and the
in turn, the Worship Plate (pujiibhaM, the Flask, and the
(a special plate with a small raised flask in the centre); he put
U
pure water in the Flask (kalafa). S
(iii) He grinds yel.1ow powder (mhiisu into a paste and
uses it to write OM on the ritual mirror Uwalii-nhaykii) and on.
the Flask. He lights a hanging ghee lamp inside the shrine'
then he li?,hts wicks along the outside of the balcony,
the followmg verse: .
Dipo > ya77} sarvadik{viintal; 18 dzpajviiliitama-
19
prabha77}
I)haukayiimi prasannas ta77}20 sarvajiiiina
2
! -prasiddhaye.
This lamp reaches to all directions. I offer it happily,
with its radiance of the best lamp-flames,
for the attainment of all wisdom.
(iv) By this time (about 5 a.m.), the younger biiphii has got up.
All this time, devotees have been assembling outside, coming
from the two other major Buddhist shrines of the city, namely,
Cakwal;tdyal;t (also known as Dharmaraj or Mlnnath, and for-
mally identified as jatadharI LokeSvara) of Tang a Bahal;t and
Karul!-amaya (Bugadyal;t/Matsyendranath) of Ta Bahal;t.22
Once devotees have visited all the shrines of the monastery
complex, they either wait patiently for the next step of the
ritual, or they continuously circumambulate the central shrine
to Svayambhu and operate the prayer wheels at its four corners.
When the younger biiphii is ready, a chain is put up across
the front of the balcony. He then drags a broom across the bal-
cony from left to right. He puts down the broom, washes his feet
and face and goes into the shrine, bows down to the feet ofthe
gods, and puts on the monastic shoulder piece. The elder biiphii
pours pure water from the Flask over the mirror placed in the
babhii plate. Simultaneously, the younger biiphii holds the vajra
(kept in the shrine) to the babhii and rings the bell which he
wears around his neck, while devotees outside ring the bells in
the courtyard. They recite:
A NEWAR LITURGY
fan mangalar(l sakalasattvahrdisthitasya
.Sarvatmakasya varadharmakuliidhipasya
Nihfe0ado0arahitasya malziisukhasya
mangalaT(l bhavatu te
245
All the auspiciousness of the overlord of all the families of the
best dharma [i.e., the Buddha], who is in the heart of all beings,
who is identical with everything, entirely free of all blemish,
and supremely blissful-may all this auspiciousness accrue to
you: this is the best consecration. 23
"The assembled devotees ring all the bells m the courtyard,
-heating a deafening noise.
god's .has just .been by pouring water
over hIS reflectlOn m the mIrror. ThIS IS the central act of the
iituaP4 However, the washing is now reduplicated. The elder
biiphii takes the small Flask from the babhil plate, and mimes the
washing of the eyes of the main deity, and of Balabhadra in
front; and then also mimes drying them with a towel. The
younger biiphii now takes the mirror and shows it to the main
deity, and to Balabhadra. All this must take place while the
bells in the courtyard are being sounded, for they only stop
when the biiphii finally appears and shows the mirror outside
the main door, towards the enshrined Svayambhu caitya oppo-
site.
25
He moves the mirror in a circle three times for each. The
showing of the mirror outside is the crucial moment as far as
the assembled devotees are concerned. They emit sighs of anti-
cipation as it is shown, and throw their offerings of rice
towards the main shrine. The mirror is shown with the verse:
Pratibimbasama dharma fuddhii hy aniiviliilJ
Agriilzyii anabhiliipyiif ca
All things are like reflections in a mirror, transparent,
pure, and uncontaminated.
They are ungraspable, inexpressible, and arise from causes
and actions. 26
(vi) The elder biiphii touches the babhil plate, contammg the
holy water (jal), to the main deity, then goes outside and
throws the water, first towards Svayambhu, then right and left
on the assembled devotees. Men sometimes shout "Over here!"
246
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
if they have not felt spots of water falling on them. The prie t
should recite: SS
mahiivajraT(l traidhiitukanamaskrJaT(l
Dadiimi sarvabuddhiiniiT(l triguhyiilayasambhavam.
I give that of all. the. Buddhas, which is the
great adamantme [Truth], whIch IS honoured in all thre
realms of the universe, and is born from the realm of the
. 1 e
tnp e secret.
The regular group who recite the Namasarl}glti now recite
"Tutam api" verses.
27
As soon as the water has been thrown
devotees begin to receive the yellow powder from members of
the god-guardian's family stationed on the balcony, and then
depart. .
(vii) The younger bapha pours rice and pure water in a circle
on the small lotus-ma'lrjala (dhiimanda) outside the door of the
shrine and recites:
Protsiire hum sarvavighniin siire hum vajrabhume hum vajralekhe hum
sulekhe guru sviihii.
Re:n9ve HUM remove all obstacles on the vqjra-ground
HUM which is written with the vajra HUM well written,
well written: Mayall the Attained Ones, Oh guru, be present
SVAHA.
(viii) Now the two biiphii come out with the long wooden gong
(gambhas!, gilwa or simply gil; Skt. dharmaga'lthz). 28 The younger
biipha wears metal monastic shoes (kwapa lhaka) and takes the
gong on his right shoulder. The elder biiphii stands behind him
and supports it. The younger biiphii beats the gong 108 times with
a wooden hammer They should recite the Aparamita
dhiira7Jz, which has 108 syllables. While the gong is being
beaten, it is forbidden to speak or move about in the monastery.
Those devotees who have not yet left, or who have just arrived,
stand still until it is over.
(ix) Next, they offer worship of the Five Offerings (paiicopacara)
to the deity, finishing with rice. With each offering they should
say om vajragandhe svaha
J
etc.
A NEWAR LITURGY
247
:tE'{yThe younger bapM rings two bells while members. of the
'rWiimaS
a
1(lgfti !Sroup up onto the balcony and reClte the
trazlokyanatharrt verses.
:.:.' .:.:,..:.,.i('.:.. i): T" he two bapha then wave the whisk and yaktail while recit-
.... X1
..s..:.. .::,g .. the "Danabalena."
'lU
marks the end of the morning liturgy. Devotees con-
:b;Bhue to arrive and to in the of yellow
leaves all mormng; durm.g the day, pllgnms and
;;;,fourists VlSlt, and the former also receive blessmgs on request.
;,'The degree to which the two bapha actually do recite the verses
no doubt varies. I suspect also that steps (vii),
'r(ix), and are ofte.n omitted. will.be se.en that the written
;Za;ccount gIVen above IS somewhat IdealIzed, m that the devotees
;.;.should only receive yellow powder blessing after the two bapM
!?have taken it for themselves (as part of step ix); but in fact the
;'powder is brought out and distributed earlier than this.
':-'<
usion

'
I t has already been mentioned that the daily ritual of a
rhain monastery deity differs from monastery to monastery. In
this, it is similar to other rituals. There is no body or institution
of promulgating a single model or enforcing uniformity.
:,The Sravakayanist ritual of the main monastery deity is even
,m.ore likely to vary, since it is not written down. An account
':coUected from the Lalitpur monastery, Cika Bahi, as well as
Hemraj Sakya's published version from Bhiche Baha}:l (men-
tioned above), both illustrate this potential for variation.
One significant way in which the influence ofthe Mahayana
<and context of Newar Buddhism has made itselffelt
on the Sravakayanist ritual considered here is the incorpora-
tion of elements from the guru mar;rjala ritual. Since the latter is
the most basic Newar Buddhist ritual, the first item committed
,to memory by any young Vajracarya priest and also included in
daily practice of many other pious Newar Buddhists, this
hardly surprising. 29
248
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
In howev.er, the daily liturgy has
i
many sImilantIes m dlfferent monastenes. Most ofthe eighte'.
main monasteries of Lalitpur perform the beating ofthe Wooden
gon?, the of the and of to the
pamment of the Diinabalena, the bathmg wIth water, and th
showing of the mirror. These ritual acts are also performed fe;
Buddha images with royal connections in Sri Lanka (Ever.
1972: ch. 4). Several of the large monasteries of Lalitpur haves
.Kwa Bahah: a biiphii to go round the
rmgmg a bell tWlce a day. Thls and the wooden gong no doubt
marked out the monastic day at one time. Now, the bell is in.
terpreted as giving the signal. to eat, and the wooden gong IS
believed to be telling the god that he may leave or enter (lin
juye) the image. 30
The present paper by no means exhausts the topic of the
morning liturgy in Newar Buddhism. A more in-depth study,
including a survey of many more monasteries and a systematic
comparison of them, might lead to some qualifications to .
has been asserted here. It is possible also that manuscript evic
dence is in fact available for this type of ritual, and this would
greatly increase the chances of essaying some conclusions
about the historical development of such liturgies.
NOTES
1. This article is adapted and improved from a section of my thesis
(Gellner 1987a), which was based on two years' fieldwork in Lalitpur, Nepal,
from 1982-4. This was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad
Studentship. Further research was carried out in 1986 supported by the Spald-
ingTrust.
2. On this point, see further Lienhard ( 1984), Gellner (1989b). On
Newar ethnic identity see Toffin (1984), Quigley (1987), and Gellner (1991 a);
the relationship of Buddhism to it is specifically discussed in Gellner (1986).
3. Hodgson (1972 [1874J 1: 139-45), Wilson (1862: 1-39). See Locke
(1980: 74-121) for descriptions of the guru ma7J.qala ritual, the kalafa piijii, and the
Fire Sacrifice.
4. On the former, see Gellner (1988) and on the latter, Gellner (199Ib).
Descriptions of other rituals (iieiil} luyegu, nitya piijii, and, without liturgy, Tantric
Initiation) may be found in Gellner (l987a).
A NEWAR LITURGY 249
........... 5 .. See Locke (1987), Lewis (1989). For brief accounts of the daily liturgy
Buddhist monasteries of Kathmandu, see Lewis (1984: 227-8) and
a (1991: 13-15).
6. For a discussion of the possible etymology of this term, see Gellner
368, fn .. . .
:'".i].;,' 7. For thIS scheme as a key structurmg feature ofNewar BuddhIsm, see
{':dellner (1987a, 1?89a, in press a). the.Newar Buddhist monastery the.indis-
:;1; sible source IS Locke (1985), whIch lIsts every monastery, and provIdes a
and historical informa:ion on each. For my interpretation
':{P
fthe
use of space wIthm the Newar BuddhIst monastery, see Gellner (1987b).
,0 8. For translations of H. Sakya's account (1973: 61-4), see Gellner
J\}1987a: 559-61), and Locke (1985: 489-91; 1989: 83 fn. 16).
'. ..' 9. The way in which this monastic status was reflected in the titles used
ii$bySakyas in the past Sakyav.arp.sa, and is in
:.G-ell
ner
(1989b). There IS eVIdence whIch may be mterpreted as mdIcat-
.:lng that even traditionally Sakyas felt some ambivalence about their claim to
; ; .. lnonastic status.
9 10. The etymology is uncertain; biiphii may derive from "monastery-
;:'turnholder" (vihiira plus or from "half-turner" (bii plus .
. :. 11. For Tibetan pilgrimage in the Kathmandu Valley, see Dowman
For details ofKwa Baha!;'s shrines, see Gellner (in press a) .
/... 12. On this practice and its associated ritual, see Gellner (in press b).
t.; 13. In my experience, the NiimasaT(lgfti actually starts between 3.45 and
4.00 a.m. in summer and later in winter.
14. All main monastery deities have a small deity, a Buddha of some
kind, in front of them. In Uku Baha!;, he is identified as Rahula, Sakyamuni's
,son. In Kwa Baha!; he is thought to be Balabhadra, brother of Krgta. One or
T. two informants told me that the statue is in fact ofVajradhara, and accounted
i for the identification with Balabhadra by saying that it was a means of attract-
:, ing Hindu devotees and increasing the god-guardian's income, just as statues
of KqI).a and Balabhadra are displayed during the Buddhist holy month of
GUla. Locals often say that the statue of Balabhadra was placed there by the
wife of the ThakuJuju CfhakurI king) ofNhu Baha!; (a branch ofKwa Baha!;):
he insisted on sponsoring Buddhism, although she prefered Hinduism, and this
. Was her way of getting even (the story occurs in the chronicle Wright had trans-
'lated: Wright 1972: 174).
. 15. For this verse, see Gellner (1988: 83).
16. For the "Diinabalena," see Locke (1980: 465).
17. In addition to the praise verses mentioned here, the "Snigdhanfla" (pro-
nounced "Sanidhani") is usllally read, and at least one other optional set of verses.
18, Correction of dik-FiintaT(l.
19. Variant: -sama-.
20. This reading was suggested by Richard Gombrich. Of the two ver-
sions available to me, both were unmetrical here, one reading prasannasiintaT(l,
the other prasamasiintaT(l.
21. Variant: dfpadiina-.
250
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
22. On the cults ofCakwal;idyal;i and Karul).amaya, seeLo::ke (l980) and
Owens (1989) . .
23. This verse is often used in Newar Buddhist rituals of consecrationF:
its use in monastic initiation, where it is expanded to three verses, one for' h
f
. ..
of the Three Jewels, see Gellner (1988: 81). For jts expansIOn to five verses for thO
Five Buddhas intantric initiation, see Kriya Samuccaya (Chandra 1977: 341_2)e
For its expansion to eight verses for the Eight Auspicious Signs, see R.K V .'
.
racharya (1980: 64-5). For another version, see Locke (1980: 218, fn. 21).
24. One piece of evidence fot this is the fact that the morning ritual of
deity is called in Newari dekhe cqykegu, which derives from dya!Jyii khwii ciiyke :
"to wash the god's face" (S.M. Joshi 1983: 59). Since the expression
old Newari khe, "face," its derivation is probably opaque to most Newars.
25. This shrine is normally known as digu dyal;, because it is the lineage
deity of all members ofKwa Bahal;i.
/ 26. This is a common verse in Newar Buddhist ritual, whether of the
Sravakayana, Mahayana: or Vajrayana. One sometimes sees the reading svacchiih
for acchiil;. .
27. These are also known as the Dafabalastava Stotra (see Locke 1980:
454-5, and for edition and translation, Sharkey 1991).
28. Edgerton (1953: s.v.) gives dharmagaTfrjf: "gong ... (fig. the gong of the
dharma); esp. as a sign of meal-time." In his Kriyii Sarpgraha, Kuladatta makes
various scholastic correspondences between Mahayana concepts and the fOUl"
beatings of the gong (Rani 1977: 246-7); he also describes the rite for the first
beating of the gong (ibid.: 247-9). Hemraj Sakya (1977: 16) explains thefour
beatings of the gong in terms of telling the monastic community when to medi:
tate, when to eat, etc.; but he does not cite his source. A.K. Vajracharya (1985:
34) articulates the modern interpretation, noting that, including om, there are
exactly 108 syllables in the Aparamita dhiiraTff, and that the gong is beaten in
order to invite the god.
29. In the Kwa Bahal;iliturgy just given, this is so of the long mantra of
section (vii). The liturgies ofCika Bah! and Bhlche Bahal;i also include the reci-
tation of the Pu!?paketu dhiiraTff. In addition, the Bhlche Bahal;i liturgy pre-
scribes the recitation of the "Aq'ya NIahiidiina," which specifies the time, place,
and identity of the ritual actor; then the worship of the conch shell; in the mid-
dle of the liturgy, the purification of the image with rice grains and the mantra
om sarvatathiigata kqyavifodhane sviihii. For all these details of the guru maTfrfala
ritual, see Gellner (1991 b).
30. See n. 28 above.
A NEWAR LITURGY 251
Itu:FERENCES
<: ',,', -. .
;;'11 M.R. (1973). "Buddhism without Monks: the Vajrayana Religion of the
enNewars of the Kathmandu Valley," South Asia II: 1-14.
(1982). "Girls' Pre-puberty Rites among the Newars of the Kathmandu
[{,Valley," in M. Allen and S.N. Mukherjee eds., Women in India and Nepal.
Australian National University Monographs on S. 8. .
2handra L. (1977). Kriyiisamuccaya. Delhi: Sharada Rani. Satapitaka series 237.
Dowm
an
K. (1981). "A Buddhist Guide to the Power Places of the Kathmandu
F Valley," Kailash VIII, 3/4: 183-29.
F. (.1953!. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary. New Haven:
Yale Umverslty Press. .
'Evers H.-D. (1972). Monks, Priests and Peasants: A Study if Buddhism and Social
;.'. Structure in Central Ceylon. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
rbellner D.N. (1986). "Language, Caste, Religion and Territory: Newar Identity
Ancient and Modern," EuropeanJournal if Sociology XXVII: 102-48.
'------:- (l987a). Monk, Householder and Priest: Newar Buddhism and its Hierarchy if
............ Ritual. Unpublished D.Phii. thesis, University of Oxford.
:9--- (1987b). "The N ewar Buddhist Monastery: An Anthropological and His-
torical Typology," in N. Gutschow and A. Michaels eds., The Heritage if the
Kathmandu Valley. Sankt Augustin: VGH Wissenschaftsvedag. Nepalica 4.
,,---(1988). "Monastic Initiation in Newar Buddhism," in R.F. Gombrich ed.,
. Indian Ritual and its Exegesis. Delhi: OUP. Oxford University Papers on
India, VoL 2, Part l.
:'-'--(1989a). "Monkhood and Priesthood in Newar Buddhism," in V Bouillier
.. and G. Toffin eds., Pretrise, Pouvoirs et Autorite en Himalaya XII:
165-92). Paris: Ed. de l'EHESS.
(1989b). "Buddhist Monks or Kinsmen of the Buddha? Reflections on the
Titles Traditionally used by Sakyas in the Kathmandu Valley," Kailash XV
(1-2): 5-20.
-. - (199la). "Hinduism, Tribalism, and the Position of Women: The Problem
ofNewar Identity," Man (N.S.) XXVI: 105-25.
(1991 b). "Ritualized Devotion, Altruism, and Meditation: The Offering of
the guru mar;ala in Newar Buddhism," Indo-Iranian Journal XXXV: 1-37.
(in press a). Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest: Newar Buddhism and its
Hierarchy if Ritual. Cambridge: CUP.
-'-. - (in press b). '''The Perfection of Wisdom': A Text and its Uses in Kwa
. Baha, Lalitpur," in S. Lienhard ed., Change and Continuity in the Nepalese Cul-
ture if the Kathmandu Valley. Turin: CESMEO.
Hodgson B.H. (1972 [1874J). Essays on the Languages, Literatures and Religion if
Nepal and Tibet. Delhi: Manjusri Publishing House.
Joshi S.M. (1983). "Kheluita]:l: Chagu Cintan," in I. Mali ed. Nepal
Nibandha Asan, Kathmandu: Pasa Muna.
/.Lewis T. T. (1984). The Buddhist Tuladhars if Kathmandu: A Study if Buddhist Tradi-
tion in a Newar Community. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University.
University Microfilms International 8506008.
252
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--(1989). "Mahayana Vratas in Newar Buddhism" Journal if the Internatio
Association if Buddhist Studies XII: 109-38. nal
Lienhard S. (1984). "Nepal: The Survival ofIndian Buddhism in a Himala/:
Kingdom," in H. Bechert and R.F. Gombiich eds., The World 0'
v lSII1. ':1
London: Thames and Hudson. . ,
Locke], (1980), Karunamaya: The if Avalokitesvara-NIatsyendranath in the Valle!
if Nepal. Kathmandu: Sahayogl. . OJ':
-- (1985). The Buddhist Monasteries if Nepal:' A Survey if the Biihas and Bahfs,qjthei
Kathmandu Tizlley. Kathmandu: Sahayogl.'
--(1987). "The Vrata of Amoghapasa Lokesvara in Nepal,"
L'Ethnographie LXXXIII, 100 1101: 159-89. .
--(1989). "The Unique Features of Newar Buddhism," in T Skorupski ed.:
The Buddhist Heritage. Tring: The Institute of Buddhist Studies.
Britannica 1. '
Owens B.M. (1989), The Politics if Divinity in the Kathmandu Valley: The Festivalqf ,
Bungadyal Rato Matsyendranath. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Columbia
University.
Quigley D. (1987). "Ethnicity without Nationalism: The Newars of Nepal,"
European Journal if Sociology XXVIII: 152-70.
Rani S. (1977). Kriyii-Sangraha: A Sanskrit Manuscript from Nepal containing a collec-
tion ifTantric Ritual by Kuladatta. Delhi: S. Rani. S;;ctapitaka series 236, '"
Sakya Hemraj (1973). Mayurvar7J.a Mahavihiiryii Itihiis. Lalitpur: Bhich{
Bahaya Sarvasarp.gha.
--(1977). Buddhamurti Chagu Adhyayan. Kathmandu: Cwasa Pasa.
Sharkey G.C.], (1991). The Prathama-prahara Puja in Newar Buddhist Shrines.
Unpublished M.Phi!. thesis, University of Oxford.
Shima 1. (1991). A Newa'r Buddhist Temple Mantrasiddhi Mahiivihiira and A Photo-
graphic Presentation if Gurumandalapiijii. Tokyo: ILCAA, Tokyo University of
Foreign Studies. Monumenta Serindica 22.
Toffin G. (1984). Societe et Religion chez les Newar du Nepal. Paris: Ed. du CNRS.
Vajracharya A.K. (1985). MahiJYiin Buddha Dharma Caryyii. Lalitpur: Prem:
Bahadur Shakya and family.
Vajracharya R. K. (1980). Ye Deyii Bauddha Piijii KriyiJYii Haliijwalii. Kathmandu:
Nepal Bauddha Prakasan.
Wilson H.H. (1862). Works if the late HH Wilson, Vol. 2. London: Trubner & Co.
Wright D. (1972 [1877]) ed. History if Nepal. Kathmandu: Nepal Antiquated
Book Publishers.
chinese Reliquary Inscriptions
'iI1d the San-chieh-chiao
1
.
by Jamie Hubbard
Introduction
R.ecent studies of Indian Buddhist inscriptions have shown
how important these sources are for accurately understanding
developments in Buddhist history, particularly indicating the
need to reevaluate our understanding of the relation between
literary, often polemicically motivated, history and the actual
institutions which create those histories. Simply put, the doc-
trinal distinctions presented in literary sources often are not
substantiated in the archaeological remains of the institutions. 2
Chinese epigraphical remains are a similarly concrete
rendering of Chinese Buddhist history whose importance has
largely been ignored. These materials contain a vast trove of
data concerning specific individuals (donors, artists, and offi-
cials as well as Buddhist clergy), temples, reliquaries, monas-
teries, monuments, and the like. They also served as primary
sources for much of the hagiography collected in the various
Biographies if Eminent Monks, thus passing on their judgements
to contemporary scholarship as well.
3
These two facets, i.e.,
"solid" evidence of names, dates, and institutional detail
together with hagiographic intent, demand that these mate-
rials be handled judiciously, and the sheer number of inscip-
tions and inscription catalogues makes their investigation all
the more laborious; nonetheless, as with their Indian counter-
parts, the historical gleanings to be had can sometimes force a
radical shift of established perspective. Such, I think, is the case
with the epigraphical remains of the San-chieh-chiao.
253
254- ]IABS VOL. 14- NO.2
The San-chieh-chiao has long been viewed as a movern
of the masses, tied through doctrine and practice to the
and impovershed of the land. As such, its doctrinal
found primarily in the the teaching of the degeneracy of moJs
the Final Period of the Dharma (a "doctrinal leveler" reducin
a
"
all sentient beings to the lowest common denominator of
tika), and institutionally to the Inexhaustible Storehouse of th
Hua-tu ssu, an organ of social welfare noted for its
on unquestioned lending to the poor and as though they.
were actually buddhas. Thus the movement IS usually linked to.
the Pure Land movement as "of the masses" rather than the'
elite, and practice-oriented rather than theoretically sophisti-
cated. Similarly, it is suggested that such a stance is implicitly
critical of state and ecclesiastic orthodoxy, hence the frequent
suppressions of the movement as heretical.
I t seems to me that such an inference relies on a number ()f
assumptions about doctrine, practice, and institution that are
not supported by historical records. Else3vhere, I have argued
that doctrinally the San-chieh-chiao stands in the mainstream
of Sui-T' ang orthodoxy4 and is at least as closely related to the
teachings of the Hua-yen as to the Pure Land. Here, I would
like to show that a significant source of historical information
concerning the sect, the chin shih lu ("records in bronze and
stone"), also indicates that they were well-received at the highest
levels of Sui-T'ang court life. Given the literary nature of epi-
graphical compositions, it is of course not the case that this
proves they were solely a movement of the elite. Rather, is simply
another caution against the blithe use of contemporary distinc-
tions where there might have been no such distinction in histor-
ical fact. The rest of this paper is devoted to bringing to light
the epigraphical data which, to date, supports this conclusion;
to borrow a phrase from Gregory Schopen, "thosefiw readers
who are not particularly interested" in the minutiae of Chinese
epigraphy might prefer to skip to the conclusion.
5
A. The Founder's Memorials qf594
The various memorial inscriptions and epigraphs done in the
memory of Hsin-hsing and his followers form one of the more
interesting and important sources of information for the study
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 255
,';0' f the San-chieh-chiao. Both Kanda Kiichiro, who did the
work on the San-chieh-chiao epigraphy, and Yabu. ki
.00 1 d f h S h' h h'
';(0;1z
eiki
, whose monumenta stu yo t e an-c Ie -c lao over
years ago first explored the movement,' have suggested
the ,today can be back as far as 594,
i'j":the year of Hsm-hsm? s death, thus puttm? them among the
"i'ldest records regardmg the San-chIeh-chlao.
6
From among
If';;ifhevarious and collections inscrir:tions, we m.ay
at least eIght s.eparate memonals dedIcated to
himself, and the CIrcumstances of each of these memonals
:';ji.giveimportant abo.ut San-chieh-chiao, par-
concermng Its populanty, mfluence, and. sources of
In addition, the texts of two of the memorials, the Ku
l,"ta Hsin-hsing ch)an shih ming t)a pei and the Hsin-hsing ch)an shih
';ksing chiao pei, have been preserved.
7
Ascertaining the correct
dates and circumstances of these memorials is particularly
because of the historical value usually ascribed to
lithe' former memorial, believed to have been composed in the
yearofHsin-hsing's death.
8
;1,.\ The earliest mention of a memorial for Hsin-hsing is found
,1':i11his biography in the Hsu kao seng chuan, compiled approxi-
['!/mately eighty years after Hsin-hsing's death. Therein it states
'>'{I) that three days after Hsin-hsing's death, on the fourth day
i;' of the first month of the K'ai-huang era (594), his remains were
.i'sent to Chung-nan shan, a reliquary was built, and a memorial
".icomposed by P'ei Hsuan-cheng.
9
";>. It is hard to say at this point what became of this
rnemorial stele, but there are many interesting points to be
.,<noted about the author, P'ei Hsuan-cheng. An important fol-
'lower of Hsin-hsing who resided together with him at the
Chen-chi ssu, P' ei evidently was a man of some learning, for in
> Hsin-hsing's biography he is referred to several times as a
retired official or gentleman, and is said to have "written all of
Hsin-hsing's compositions." Tao-hsuan also states that in addi-
tion to the memorial for Hsin-hsing, P'ei composed his own
,'. commemorative stele while still alive, and there is yet one more
. .record of a memor.ial which he composed for (in
.620), an important follower ofHsin-hsing.
lO
This led Tsukamoto
Zenryu to consider that P'ei was of the great P'ei family ofHo-
,tung, which produced many literati and high officials during
256 lIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
the T'ang dynasty (e.g., P'ei Chu, P'ei Chu-tao, etc.). Oth';
members of the P' ei clan, such as the wife of P' ei Hsing,:chie
one of the highest officials ofthe early T'ang, also were buried
at the site of Hsin-hsing's memorial!! and there is a record t
the effect that a P'ei-kung donated the land for the Pai-t'a ss;
the place where the steles were erected for Hsin-hsing, Sen{.
yung, P'ei Hsuan-cheng, and other San-chieh-chiao followers
If it is true that P' ei Hsuan-cheng came from such a
family, it would help to explain both the early power of the.
San-chieh-chiao and .their revival in early dynasty;
Unfortunately, there IS no further mentIOn of thIS memorial in
any of the catalogues.
The next mention of a 594 stele for Hsin-hsing dates from
the Sung dynasty, in the famous Chin shih lu of Chao Ming-
ch'eng:
(II) "No.496. Sui Hsin-hsing chJan shih pei, first month of the four-
teenth year ofK'ai-huang."13 i
A similar memorial with the date of 594 is also mentioned
several catalogues ofthe late 19th and early 20th centuries:
(III) Chin shih tsJui pien pu mu: "Seng Hsin-hsing tJa mingo Four-
teenth year ofK'ai-huang, in Ch'ang-an."14
(IV) Chun ku lu.
15
(V) Pu huan yu fang pei lu: "Seng Hsin-hsing tJa ming, regular
script, Fourteenth year ofK'ai-huang. Shan-hsi Ch'ang-an."16
(VI) Kuanchung chin shih wen tzu tzun i eao: "Hsin-hsing chJan shih
tJa mingo Regular script, fourteenth year of K'ai-huang. Miss-
ing. Text not seen ... the memorial is said to be in Shan-hsi Hsi-
an [Ch'ang-an], but on investigation has long been 10st."17
(VII) Ku shih hui mu: "Seng Hsin-hsing chJan shih tJa mingo Regular
script. Fourteenth year ofK'ai-huang. Shan-hsi Ch'ang-an."IB
All of these records give the same year (K'ai-huang 14),
and they give the location as Hsi-an, Shan-hsi, or Ch'ang-an,
which would be accurate if they are referring to the memorial
erected at Chung Nan-shan, Ch'ang-an prefecture. Again, all
give the title as the "Hsin hsing tJa ming," or "stiipa memorial."
Thus, Kanda!9 and Yabuki
20
both felt that all refer to the same
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 257
rnenJ.Orial, that composed by Pei Hsuan-cheng. Both
sert that they all are records of one of the extant memonals,
:fhe Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch shih ming pei. There is,
..... hother group of records concermng a stupa-memonal for
which, as Tsukamoto has pointed out, more clearly
. orresponds to the extant Ku ta Hsin-hsing chJan shih ming fa pei
.8ernoriaPl This record is found in four places:
(VIII) Ho shou hsin pei mu: "Fa-lung ssu (east of Shih-lin ts'un,
in NW [T'ang-yin] province, 20 li). Ku ta Hsin-hsing chJan chih
tJa ming pei. Regular script, the first month of K'ai-yuan 14. A
note in regular script on the left side of the memorial says that
in Chen-yuan 20 (804) the stupa was re-worked."22
(IX) Ho shou chin shih mu, in the section on T'ang-yin province:
"Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming tJa pei. Regular script, first
month ofK'ai-huang 14. On the left side ofthe stone in regular
script is a note that the stiijJa was re-worked in the 20th year of
Chen-yuanoftheT'ang (804) ... West [T'ang-yin] province, 20
Ii to the west of Shih-lin ts'un, Ching-lung ssu." 23
(X) Chui hsueh tJang ho shou pei k'e pa wei: "Sui Ku ta Hsin-hsing
chJan shih ming tJa pei. The memorial was erected in the first
month ofthe fourteenth year ofK'ai-huang." 24
(XI) Hsunyuan chin shih wen tzu pa wei: "Sui Hsin hsing ch'an shih
pei pa. Title in seal characters. Regular script, 29 lines, 47
characters per line. Although there is no date for when the
stone was erected, the text states that the Master died in the
first month of K'ai-huang 14 at the Chen-chi ssu ... which
establishes the date the memorial was erected. The stone is in
the Fa-lung ssu, east of Shih-lin ts'un, 20 li to the west, in NW
T'ang-yin province." 25
.; We can see that three of these records agree on the title and all
':'.give the year as K'ai-huang 14. (VIII), (IX), and (XI) give the
'it location as the Fa-lung ssu (emend Ching to Fa in IX) near Shih-
.,lin ts'un in the province ofT'ang-yin (near modern An-yang in
f.,. northern Hunan province), an area close to Hsin-hsing's birth
:'place, not an unlikely spot for a memorial. Thus, there are at
two memorials for Hsin-hsing that have been recorded as
erected in the first month ofK'ai-huang 14, one at Chung Nan-
?shan, which possibly corresponds to the memorial composed
'by P'ei Hsuan-cheng, and one in T'ang-yin. This contention is
/'>, ,j

258
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
support.ed the Pien-kuang recorded both
Seng Hszn hszng t'a mzng III Ch ang-an (VII) and the Ku tal! '.;:
hsing ch)an shih m.ing t'a pei in T'ang-yin If we
only one memonal, then we have to say eIther that Ku made;::
mistake in one of his entries (as Kanda feels, p. 357), or Possibtr'
that record of a stele ir: Ch'ar:g-an was simply
that IS, based on records m prevIOus catalogues rather
actual examination. There remains, however, confusion about','
of these records to t?e extant or the rUbbing>
of thIS stone. Let us brIefly reVIew the opIllIOns advanced by ..
the four eminent scholars who have dealt with the issue.
Kanda wrote in 1922 that there was only one stele, erected
in 594 and composed by P' ei Hsuan-cheng, that this is the stele
referred to by records (I) through (VIII), and that it is the.
stone from which the Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei rub-
bing was made.
26
Yabuki, in 1927, agreed with Kanda, but felt
that record (VIII) referred to a different than (I) through
(VII).27 In their 1929 on-site study of Chinese Buddhist monu-.
ments, Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi put this memorial)
under the Pai-t'a ssu, Chung-mi.n shan, Ch'ang-an prefecture"'
'""
the site of Hsin-hsing's reliquary and those of many of his fol-,
lowers. Although this is reminiscent of the memorial composed}
by P' ei Hsuan-cheng, they concluded based on internal evi- .
dence (see below) that this memorial was composed qfter the
persecution of the San-chieh-chiao but before Chung-nan shan
became a popular burial site for Hsin-hsing's followers. This
would put it sometime after 600, the date of the first suppres-
sion, and before the name of the site was changed to Pai-t'a ssu
in 767.
28
Tsukamoto added much to the discussion in a 1937
article which drew attention to records (IX), (X), and (XI);
he concluded that the extant rubbing is really from the stone
in T'ang-yin province but ventures nothing about the date of
the stele.
29
In trying to sort out all of these conflicting records and
theories, it quickly becomes evident that the only real problem
is to determine the location of the original stone from which
the Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch)an shih ming t'a pei rubbing was made and
when that memorial was composed. That is, unless Ku and the,
others who recorded a stele in Ch'ang-an were simply basing
themselves on tradition and there actually was no memorial in ,
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 259
or the stone was later. carried to T'ang-yin, we must
that the stele recorded m (II) through (VII) and that
to in (VIII) through (XI) are two different memorials,
Chung Nan-shan, Ch'ang-an province (whi<::h probably
i/7;;;?Urresponds to that recorded in the Hsu kao seng chuan) , and
the Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei, in T'ang-yin.
as the in the gives no
{:r'ri1emorial sImply calls It pet t'a .mmg or
)&ining fa pet") we have no way of knowmg whIch thIS record
;'):Xefers to.
\::/". It is obvious, however, that the memorial in T'ang-yin-
in (VIII), (IX), (X), and (XI)-corresponds to the
t\";fubbing extant today. Not only do the titles of (VIII), (IX),
Pand(X) match the title ofthe rubbing, but the number oflines
:(29) and characters per li.ne \47) .oft.he are
by Fan Shou-mmg m hIS discusslOn of the T ang-ym
'memorial. Further, the details of the text described by Ch' en
and Fan (XI) match the extant inscription. Finally, aJ-
it is well known that Tao-hsuan made good use of earlier
';';\'sources in compiling his Hsu kao seng chuan, there is no evidence
::!nHsin-hsing's biography of any literary dependence on the Ku
('fa Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming fa pei. This is particularly signifi-
';cant in view of the fact that Tao-hsuan resided on Chung-nan
the site of Hsin-hsing's reliquary, and would almost cer-
, . tainly have seen the P' ei Hsuan-cheng memorial. 30 Indeed,
l . .true to form, Tao-hsuan based his biography of Seng-yung; a
,dose follower ofHsin-hsing, very closely on Seng-yung's mem-
'.orial stele, erected next to Hsin-hsing's stele on Chung-nan
shan (see below). Thus, it seems clear that the memorial
described in (VIII), (IX), (X), and (XI) cOITesponds to the
"extant rubbing; it was in T'ang-yin, at least at the time it was
recorded in the these catalogues; and it is most likely not the
memorial composed by P'ei The fact that in
'. their on-site study of Chinese temples, steles, and other Bud-
dhist artifacts, Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi have recorded
the stele under the Pai-t'a ssu of Chung-nan shan in Ch'ang-an
'yrefecture must be dismissed as a mistake, generated by follow-
ing the opinions ofYabuki and Kanda too closely.32
As for the date of the T' ang-yin stone, although at least one
record states that it was erected in K'ai-huang 14, this must
260 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
have been extrapolated from the text of the memorial, follow_
ing the same reasoning as Fan did in (XI)-since the date of
the stone is not actually given. The following evidence suggest
that the memorial was copied from an earlier stone, probabl;
in Chen-yuan 20 (804):
l) Records (VIII) and (IX) state that the stupa was re- .
worked in Chen-yuan 20, a period ofSan-chieh-chiao revivaP3
2) As Tokiwa noted, the last few lines of the memorial
definitely indicate that it was composed some time after the
death of Hsin-hsing, after the San-chieh-chiao had undergone
persecution: "The stupa lay in the mud, like a grave overgrown
and entangled with matted hair. Fearing that as the world
changes and the years pass, when [Hsin-hsing'sJ body and
name are gone, the old will spread lies and the young will not
hear [of him], we have briefly recorded his virtues on this stele
so that the future will know that his relics are here."34 There are
also, however, several points which indicate an early date of
composition:
3) According to the memorial, Hsin-hsing is from Wei-
chou rather than Wei-chun, as given in the Hsu kao seng chuan
biography. One of the first administrative reforms carried out
by the first Sui Emperor (in 583) was to change the administra-
tive unit from chun to chou, a policy which was extended to
Southern China in 589. Yang-ti, however, changed the unit
back to chun in 607.
35
Although not an absolute determiner, the
fact that the memorial uses chou rather than chun indicates
either that it was composed between 594 and 607, during a
period in which chou was the official usage; if not that, then the
author of the memorial looked back to the geographic names
as used at the time of Hsin-hsing's death to describe his birth.
I t would also mean that the place names that they used were
not those current when the stele was composed. On the other
hand, Tao-hsuan used Wei-chun in his Hsu kao seng chuan.
4) When we compare the passages describing Hsin-hsing's
death in the memorial and the Hsu kao seng chuan, we find that
although the wording is similar, the former says he died at the ..
Chen-chi ssu and the latter gives the Hua-tu ssu. Now, the
Chen-chi ssu, established by the famous statesman Kao-chiung
in 583, was the residence of Hsin-hsing from the time he
arrived in the capital until his death in 594, and it later became
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 261
the 0: the Storehouse
fthe San-chIeh-chlao. At thIS later date, however, It was known
Hua-tu ssu, the name having been changed in 619.
36
Thus, the memorial again uses terminology from the Sui, where
the Hsu kao seng chuan uses . terminology current during the
Tang, suggesting the earlier composition of the memorial.
5) Although the memorial contains the above lines suggest-
ing a later composition, it also contains much which, while
hagiographic, betrays no feeling of persecution, e.g., "[After
lIsin-hsing's death] the famous monks of India grieved from
afar, while nearby the nobles in the palace lamented," etc.
37
The details and general tone of the memorial all reinforce the
that it was composed at a time not too distant from Hsin-
hsing's death (compare the memorial of 706, the Hsin-hsing
ck'an shih hsing chiao pei-discussed below-which is largely
ceremonial and devoid ofbiographic detail).
, 6) Finally, the memorial lists the Tui ken chi hsing jeh fo in
more than thirty chuan and the San chieh fo fo in four chuan as
Hsin-hsing's compositions, a literary tradition predating the
composition of the Ta chou lu in 695.
To sum up, the Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming fa pei rub-
bing is that of a stele in T'ang-yin province, probably com-
posed in the 20th year of Chen-yuan, based on an earlier
memorial or biography. Although Tokiwa recorded the memo-
rial as though it is at the Pai-t'a ssu, this must be rejected.
Finally, if the records of a stele in Ch' ang-an were based on
actual examination rather than mere hearsay or previous
records, then we may hope that this memorial will be made
public and another source of information for the study of the
San-chieh-chiao will surface.
There is one more memorial recorded as having been com-
posed in K'ai-huang 14:
(XII) Paa k'e ts'ung pien: "Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ch'uanJa pei, com-
posed by the monk Fa-ch'en, K'ai-huang 14."38
Another record of the same stele gives Fa-lin, not Fa-ch'en, as
the author:
262
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
(XIII) "During the past Chen-kuan era Yueh Wancr-ch
erected the Hsing chiao shuo fo pei and others. Shih Fa-lin al
en
composed the Ch'uanfa pei."39 So
To the best of my knowledge,. there is no mention in any of
the various biographies of eminent monks of a Fa-ch'en. Tsuka_
moto noted the record ofFa-ch'en but, not disturbed by the dis-
crepancy between the names, confidently stated that the Fa-lin
of the Chen-yuan lu record refers to the well-known Fa-lin who
wrote the Pien cheng lun and several other works. He gives as one
reason the fact that Fa-lin (572-640) resided at the Lung-t'ien
ssu on Chung-nan shan.
40
However, according to his biography
in the Hsu kao seng chuan) 41 it was only in 627 that Fa-lin estab-
lished his temple on Chung-nan shan, and in 594 he was
sequestered on Ch'ing-ch'i shan, thus making it difficult to
assume that he is the author ofXn and XIII.42 There is, how-
ever, a much more likely candidate for the author of this memo-
rial, namely, Fa-lin of the Chih-hsiang ssu, a temple very close
to the site ofHsin-hsing's memorial stele.
According to the Hsu kao seng chuan, Ch'ing-yiian first built
the Chih-hsiang ssu on Chung-nan shan.
43
Now, Ch'ing-yuan
is well known as the teacher of Chih-cheng (559-639), who
was in turn the teacher of Chih-yen (602-668), the second
Hua-yen patriarch and Fa-tsang's teacher. Although Ch'ing-
yuan's biography only mentions Fa-lin briefly, it states that
after Ch'ing-yuan died,Fa-lin erected a stiipa and an inscrip-
tion. If we follow record XIII and emend Fa-ch'en found in
record XII to Fa-lin, which seems not unreasonable, it would
refer to Fa-lin of the Chih-hsiang ssu. This theory gains even
. more strength in light of the fact that Chih-yen was influenced
by the teachings of the San-chieh-chiao and that the Chih-
hsiang ssu is so close to the Pai-ta ssu (site ofHsin-hsing's stiipa
and memorial) as to make both Yabuki and Tsukamoto wonder
if they are not the same place.
44
And, finally, Tokiwa Daijo has
speculated on the possiblity that Hsin-hsing was influenced by
Ling-yu, which would further strengthen the argument that
the same Fa-lin wrote the memorial for Hsin-hsing and for
Ch'ing-yiianY The lineage would then look like this:
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 263
Ling-yu
(544-611)
..
Fa-lin Chih-cheng (559-639)

Chih-yen (602-668)
f
Fa-tsang
Thus, if we assume that the Ch'ang-an memorial corres-
ponds that of P'ei we have. three different
memonals recorded as havmg been composed m 594, the year
bfHsin-hsing's death. Of these, only the last, (XII), gives the
if it is true that the original of the extant Ku ta
Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei was in Tang-yin rather than
Ch'ang-an, then we still do not have the memorial composed
by Hsin-hsing's disciple and mentioned in his biography.
B. Tang Memorials for Hsin-hsing
The next group of records concerns the memorials erected
by Li Chen, son of the Emperor Tai-tsung. Returning again to
the Sung dynasty Chin shih lu, we find the following:
XII. "No. 866. Tang Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, initial. Composed
by Chen, Prince ofYueh. Regular script by Hsiieh-chi."
"No. 867. T'ang Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, final. [Written] in the
8th month of the 2nd year of Shen-lung (706). Both the stone
and the back are in the district of Ch'ang-an, eight Ii north-
west."46
Li Chen was a rather insignificant son ofT'ai-tsung, far over-
shadowed in history by his brother Kao-tsung. In 643 he was
governor of Hsiang-chou, a post he held until 653.
a period as military governor of An-chou, he again
served as governor of Hsiang-chou from 670 to 674.47 One can
surmise that it was here, in Hsin-hsing's homeland, that
264 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Li Chen encountered the teachings of the San-chieh-chiao. At
. any rate, apparently dissatisfied with the doings of Empre
Wu, he raised the banner of revolt in 688 and died the
year. The man responsible for the calligraphy,
(649-713), was quite well known, and, because of his involve_
ment in the forging of the Fo shuo shih so fon che )!u ch 'ieh fo ching
can tentatively be considered a follower or at least sympathize;
of the San-chieh-chiao.
48
Interestingly, Hstieh-chi also Was
forced to commit suicide in 713, following the failure of a plot
to poison Hsuan-tsung.
49
This memorial is also recorded in the
following Sung dynasty catalogue:
XIII. Chi ku lu mu: "Tang li Sui Hsin-hsing ch'an shih hsing chiao
pei. Composed by Chen, Prince of Yueh ... written by Hsueh-
chi ... erected in the second year of Shen-lung, eighth month."so
Although these records give the dateas 706, this is some-
what problematic, as Li-cheng died eighteen years before, in
688. Yabuki (pp. 26-27, 32) felt that although Yueh wrote the
memorial, because of the persecution of the San-chieh-chiao at
the hands of Empress Wu as well as Li's own uprising against
her, the memorial could not actually be erected until some time
later, that is, in 706. The K'aiyuan lu quotes a similar title, the
San chieh hsing chiao pei, adding that it mentions forty chuan (of
San-chieh-chiao works) without enumerating the titles.
51
Since
the extant text mentions none ofHsin-hsing's works, this record
might have been included on the missing back of the memorial.
Although we can see the continuing influence of the San-chieh-
chiao in the fact that a member of the royal family took such
an interest in Hsin-hsing, it is the calligraphy by Hstieh-chi
that has ignited the interest of scholars. Fortunately, a rubbing
of this memorial has been preserved, and is readily available
today through reprints.
52
In addition to this memorial, there is another memorial
composed by Li Chen which, although not known to be extant,
has been recorded in many catalogues, beginning yet again
with the Chin shih lu:
53
(XIV) No. 841. Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 1. Composed by
Chen, Prince of Yueh. Written in the pa-fin style by Chang
T'ing-kuei.
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 265
No. 842. Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 2.
No. 843. Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 3.
No. 844: Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 4.
No. 845. Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 5.
No. 846. Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei, 6.
That the "Chou" of the title refers to the reign of Empress
Wu is supported by records in two other catalogues, the (XV)
PaD k'e ts'ung pien and the (XVI) Pao k'e lui pien, which, in addi-
tion to specifying that this memorial was erected during
Empress Wu's reign, give the location as Ch'ang-an.
54
Yabuki
(p.27) has reasoned that if the "Chou" is taken to mean Wu's
reign in general, then it is possible that this memorial was
erected during Li Chen's lifetime, as he didn't die until 688.
Otherwise, as "Chou" was not actually adopted as the dynastic
title until 690, the memorial probably would have been erected
between 690 and 695, the year in which she suppressed the
teachings of the San-chieh-chiao. There are, however, records
of Empress Wu's continued support of the San-chieh-chiao
even after this suppression, which mitigates this explanation.
55
Yabuki's reasoning also runs afoul of his explanation regarding
the other memorial composed by Li and erected in 706. That
is, why would Wu allow a memorial composed by a rebel to be
erected at all? Or, if she did, why allow one to be erected and
not the other? A Yuan dynasty record of a memorial by Li,
written in the pa-fen style by ChangT'ing-kuei, further muddies
the issue by giving a different location (in ancient Hsiang-
chou), leading Tsukamoto to the conclusion that there were at
least two different memorials with this title. 56
At any rate, we can see that Li was possibly a follower of
the teachings of Hsin-hsing. These various records also tell us
that the teachings of the San-chieh-chiao were popular in what
is modern-day Honan as well as the capital area ofCh'ang-an,
in which Hsin-hsing spent his later days.
Two more records of memorials for Hsin-hsing are
noteworthy because they link Yuan-chao, author of the Chen
yuan lu, with the San-chieh-chiao.
57
First is a record in the Ta
fang chen yuan hsu k'ai yuan shih chiao lu, listed among Yuan-
chao's own writings:
266 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
(XVIII) "Ta TJang tsai hsiu Sui ku eh 'uan fo kao seng HSin-hsi
eh 'an shih t'a pei, five ehuan."S8 ng
Th . f T' " k" f
. e mentIOn o a ang re-wor mg. 0 a stiipa memorial
reminds one of (VIII) and (IX) above, as well as the Chin shih
lu record listed below.
The second mentions a three-c!zuan memorial for Hsin-hsing
also listed among Yuan-chao's writings in his biography: '
(XIX) Sui ch'uan fo kao seng Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei. Three
chuan."S9
HYuan-chao was a follower of the San-chieh-chiao, it would
help to clarify the literary history of the San-chieh-chiao as
well as indicate, as so much else does, that the sect found sup-
port among the highest levels ofSui-T'ang orthodoxy.
One final record which bears noting is again from the Chin
shih lu:
(XX) "No. 1448. Tang tsai hsiu Hsin-hsing ch'an shih t'a pei. Com-
posed by Yii I, written by Chang Ch'u-chao in the hsing style.
Intercalary third month, sixth year ofTa Ii (771) ."60
As a "Temple of One-Hundred Stiipas" was recorded as having
been built in 767 (or 771) on the site of the Hsin-hsing t'ayuan, it
would not be unlikely to have a re-working ora stiipa memorial
at the same time.
C. Memorials fir San-chieh-chiao Followers
1. Hua-tu ssu ku Seng-yung ch'an shih t'a ming
This commemorative stele for Seng-yung, one of Hsin-hsing's
closest disciples, was erected in Chen-kuan 5 (631-2), to the
right of Hsin-hsing's stiipa on Chung-nan shan. The memorial
has received considerable scholarly attention because the writ-
ing was done by Ou Yang-hsun, a well known calligrapher. 61
Unfortunately, neither the stone nor a complete rubbing of the
stone remains today, although the text of the memorial has been
preserved in the Chin shih ts'ui pien, and the Ch'uan t'ang wen.
62
Although there are many missing characters and flaws in the
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 267
'rious rubbings, because the text of this memorial served as
basis of in the Hsu kao seng chuan,
this can help III the correctIOn of the stele text.
2. Kuang-ming ssu Hui-liao t'a ming
This memorial is the only source of information about this dis-
ciple of Hsin-hsing.
63
According to a note in the Chin shih hsu
pien, the stele is in Hsi-an, shan, and is
slightly damaged. ThIs would place It WIth the stupas and
memorials of Hsin-hsing and other San-chieh-chiao followers,
lhd corroborates the information given in the memorial itself.
There is also a note which says that the memorial was lost until
;1796. One other interesting point is that the text states that
Hui-liao was chosen by Hsiao Yii (575-648: a trusted minister
6fT'ai-tsung) as one of three "monks of great virtue," and sum-
inoned to court to discuss the Dharma. This indicates that the
San-chieh-chiao was back in favor with the court at this point.
One also wonders about the role of Hsiao Yii, an important
Iloble of the imperial family of the Liang dynasty and well-
known patron of Buddhism.
3. Tz'u-jun ssu ku ta Ling-ch'en ch'an shih t'a ming wen
Although the stone is no longer extant, the text has been pre-
served. According to the inscription, after meeting Hsin-hsing,
Ling-ch'en (554-628) studied "the Buddha Dharma which ac-
cords with the capacity," a clear reference to the teachings of
the San-chieh-chiao.
64
4. Seng-shun ch'an shih she li t'a ming
Although this memorial, erected in 639, does not specifically
state that Seng-shun was a San-chieh-chiao follower, it does
say that he followed the "Buddha Dharma which accords with
the capacity," universal respect, recognizing evil in oneself,
practiced the dhiltas, was buried according to the rules for
"forest burial," (i.e., his body was left as an offering for the
beasts and the remains were later gathered and enshrined),
etc., all of which are characteristics of the San-chieh-chiao.
65
268
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
5. Hua-tu ssu Seng-hai chJan shihfen chi
This is a very short (53 characters) memorial for the San_
chieh-chiao monk Seng-hai. The memorial is mentioned in sev-
eral catalogues, and the text is included in the Yung chou chi
shih chi.
55
The stone is said to be located at the Pai-t'a ssu, sit:'
of many San-chieh-chiao steles, including that of Hsin-hsing:
As Yabuki notes, given that the memorial records Seng-hai's
age as 66 when he died in 654, he most likely was not a direct
disciple ofHsin-hsing.
6. Tao-an chJan shih t)a chi
This memorial for Tao-an has been recorded in many catac
logues.
57
According to these records, the stone is located at the
Pai-t'a ssu, site of Hsin-hsing's stele. The memorial records
that he died in 668 at 61 at the Chao-ching kung ssu, a S a h ~
chieh-chiao temple in Ch'ang-an. There are no other records
. of Tao-an, although a monk named Tao-an took part in the
forging of the Fo shuo shih so fon che yu ch Jieh fo ching ching some 45
years later.
7. Ching-yu ssuku ta te Fa-tsang chJan shih tJa ming
Fa-tsang, of the Ching-yu ssu, a one-time temple of the San-
chieh-chiao, is well-known for his activities as imperially-
appointed controller of the Inexhaustible Storehouse. According
to this memorial, Fa-tsang was appointed "controller" of a
newly inaugurated Inexhaustible Storehouse at the Fu-hsien
ssu (the "family temple" of Empress Wu) in the 1st year ofJu-i
(April 22-0ctober 22,692); he was later appointed controller of
the original Inexhaustible Storehouse at the Hua-tu ssu during
the Ch'ang-an period (November 15, 70l-January 29, 705).68
Fa-tsang appears to have been a relatively important monk of
this period, for in addition to his appointments as controller of
the Inexhaustible Storehouse, his memorial tells us that he was
also declared "monk of great virtue" of the Chien-fu ssu during
the same period. Although the tributes written in a memorial
stele must always be received with a grain of salt, the mention
of Fa-tsang's being "superior in the [ascetic practice] of the
dhiitas," "not eating food that was not [received] from begging,"
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 269
:tc. bespeak a virtuous monk engaged in traditional San-
practices. This is also supported by Professor
conclusion that "even in the case of the foundation of
the ... Fu-hsien monastery, which was called T'ai-yuan origi-
;paUy, founded in 675 by Wu Chao in honor of her mother who
had died five years earher, Wu Chao took care to choose monks
for her monastery from amongst the most eminent qf the time (em- .
. phasis added)."69 Although at the P'ai-ta-ssu, the
,stele is now at the Forest ofSteles III HSI-an.
Other memorial stdes for followers of the San-chieh-chiao
have been recorded but no longer exist (e.g., the memorials for
Ching-ming and P'ei Hsuan-cheng, see above); epigraphical
records of monks of the Hua-tu ssu and other temples iden-
tified with the San-chieh-chiao have been found, but given the
fact that at this time Chinese temples were not organized along
\sectarian lines we cannot positively identify these monks as
.San-chieh-chiao followers. 70
D. Conclusion
Through this overview of the various steles and memorials,
.We can see that the San-chieh-chiao was not solely a movement
of the masses, as their stress on mo-fo has led some scholars to
conclude. There were at least seven memorial steles dedicated
to Hsin-hsing, and another seven for other San-chieh-chiao fol-
lowers. Given the literary nature of the enterprise and the
means required to erect such a stele, this number alone tells us
something of their resources. Further, of the memorials for
Hsin-hsing, two were done by an imperial prince (XIII and
XIV) and two by the author of the Chen yuan lu (XVIII and
XIX). Record I indicates that a member of the highly placed
P'ei family composed the memorial, and XII-XIII boast the
work of a famous calligrapher, as does the memorial for Hsin-
. hsing's disciple, Seng-yung. Fa-tsang's .stele clearly shows the
. the imperial favor granted the most important San-chieh-chiao
institution ofthe Inexhaustible Storehouse (and Fa-tsang him-
self). We should also remember that the early patron of the
movement was Kao-chiung, perhaps the most well-known and
influential statesman of the Sui dynasty.
270
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
, Given the nature and process of writing history, it is to be
wondered what would give evidence of the peasant SUpport ,',
involvement so often mentioned in connection with the
chieh-chiao. The only records which indicate involvement
other than the court elite are those relating to the charitabl
activities of the Inexhuastible Storehouse. Even these records
e
however, seem more concerned with the activities of the donors'
who "vied with one another in their donations so that orde;
could not be maintained. They left entire carts of money and
silks, and after having donated their valuables and silks they
would leave without even making their names known."7! Given
that the focus of activity was the merit-making of the donors
this is not surprising. Thus, although the lack of evidence is not
conclusive, we still must recognize that the epigraphical records
of the San-chieh-chiao, one of the most significant bodies of
source material for studying their history, support the conten-
tion that they should not be construed solely as a mass or popu-
lar movement. Perhaps this indicates another way in which the
elite / popular distinction simply is no longer adequate, and it
is to be hoped that the many steles, inscription catalogues, and
the like will come to be more widely used in Buddhist research
in all fields.
NOTES
1. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the VI th Interna-
tional Conference of the International Association for Buddhist Studies, Tokyo,
Japan (1983). I am grateful to Prof. Antoninio Forte for his comments on both
verSIOns.
2. Gregory Schopen, "Mahayana in Indian Inscriptions," in Indo-Iranian
Journal 21 (1979); "The Inscription on the Image of Amitabha and the
Character of the Early Mahayana in India," in The Journal if the International
Association if Buddhist Studies, vol. 10, no. 2 (1987).
3. Silvio Vita, "Tang Epigraphical Sources and Buddhist Hagiography:
The Role of Literati," unpublished manuscript presented to the Ninth Interna-
tional Conference of the The International Association of Buddhist Studies
(Taipei, 1989).
4. Jamie Hubbard. "Perfect Buddhahood, Absolute Delusion. The Uni-
versal Buddha of the San-chieh-chiao" in Griffiths & Keenan, ed" Buddha
Nature: A Festschrift in Honor if Minoru Kiyota (Buddhist Books International:
Reno, 1990).
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 271
5. Schopen, "The Amitabha Inscription," p. lOI.
6. The original study of the San-chieh-chiao memorials is that of Kanda
"Sangaikyo ni Kansuru Zui-To no Kohi" in Bukkyo Kenkyii, vol. 3, nos.
and vol. 4, no. 2. See also Yabuki Keiki, Sangaikyo no Kenkyii (Iwanami 1927,
reprint), pp. 23-33.
7. Both of these are reprinted in Kanda, op. cit., vol. 3, no. 3 and vol. 3,
respectively.
8. For example, Kimura has written, "The Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih
I'a pei, which is thought to contain the inscription of Hsin-hsing's disciple
all'c.".C. ... ,"" is believed to be the most authoritative among the extant his-
records [regarding the San-chieh-chiao]." "Shingyo no Jikikan to sono
" Nippon Bukkyo Gakkai Nenpo, no. 49, p. 172.
9. T50.560a.
10. T.50.560a-b; Ch'en-ssu, Pao k'e ts'ung pien (Sung dynasty, included in
Shih k'e shih liao) , chuan 7, p. 19. Although we don't know when he died, their
record ofa P'ei Hsiian-cheng memorial erected in 634. Cf. the Chin shih lu,
ho.570; Pao k'e ts'ung pien, chuan 7, p. 19.
11. Tsukamoto Zenryii "Zoku Sangaikyo Shiryo Zakki," in Shina Bukkyo
vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 98-102.
12. Ibid, p. 99.
13. Chao Ming-cheng, Chin shih lu, chuan 3, p. 5 (included in the Chin shih
shu, Shanghai, 1888; see also the. Shih k'e shih fiao hsin pien, Taipei, 1978,
8814) .
14. Fei Pen-chi, Chin shih ts'ui pien pu mu (1851, included in the Chu hsueh
ts'ung shu, 1897), chuan 1, p. 7.
15. Cf. Kanda, op. cit., vol. 3, no. 3, p. 352.
16. Chao Tzu-ch'ien, Pu huan yu fang pei lu (included in the Shih k'e shih
liao hsin pien, p. 20216), chuan 2, p. 21.
17. Mao Feng-chih, Kuan chung chin shih wen tzu tz'un i k'ao (1901, included
in the Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien, p. 10359), chuan 1, p. 7. The last comment is
rather curious. If this is true, one wonders what records (II), (III), and (IV)
based on. Kanda, op. cit., feels that Mao simply hadn't known of the redis-
of the stone.
18. Ku Hsieh-kuang, Ku shih hui mu, (1920), chuan 1, p. 12.
19. "Sangaikyo," p:- 353, p. 357.
20. P 25, p. 31, note 4.
21. Tsukamoto Zenryii, "Sangaikyo Shiryo Zakki" in Shinabukkyo Shigaku,
vol. 1, nos. 1-2, pp. 67-69.
22. Ku Hsieh-kuang, Ho shuo hsin pei mu, (1919, included in the Feijufii
hsia tsai chin shih ts'ung cho, 1916-1927), chuan 2, p. 15. The entry in this catalogue
has caused some confusion. Although this entry is contained in chronological
. catalogue (the second chuan) , the 1st chuan, arranged by location, gives a slightly
different entry for what must be the same memorial (p. 5): VIIIb: "Ku ta Hsin-
hsing ch 'an shih ming t'a pei. Regular script, [erected in 1 the first month of Kai-
huang 14. Tang yin. A note in regular script, on the left side of the memorial,
says that in T'ang Chen-yiian 20 (647) the stupa was re-worked." Now, between
these two entries in the same catalogue we see that the name of the memorial is
272
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
slightly different and one gives Kai-yuan 14 and the other K'ai-huang 14. Gi
the information in the extant rubbing, there can be no doubt that both
name and the date should be as given in the first chuan. I don't know why, but.
their quote of this catalogue (from the record in 'the first chuan) Yabuki (p.
and (p. 66) give Chen-kuan.20 (647!,. whereas my edition of the
catalogue gIves Chen-yuan 20 (804), as dId the edItIOn that Kanda used. DnD
tunately, none of.these scholars listed which. edition they
23. Ku HSIeh-kuang and Fan Shou-mmg, Ho shuo chzn shzh mu, (Shangh -:
. al.
Tien hua yin wu kuan, 1930), chuan 3, p. 1.
24. Ch'en Han-cheng, Chui hsueh Tang ho shou pei k'e pa wei (1933
appended to the Hsun yuan chin shih wen tzu pa wei, which is included in the Shih.
k'e shih liao hsin pien, p. 14485), chuan 2, p. 6.
25. From the Hsun yuan chin shih wen tzu pa wei of Fan Shou-ming (1934
included in the Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien, p. 14477), chuan 2, p. 7. '
26. Kanda, op. cit., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 351-352, pp. 355-358.
27. Yabuki, p. 25 and p. 31, note 4.
28. Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi, Shina Bukkyo Shiseki Hyokai (Tokyo:
Bukkyo Shiseki Kenkyukai, 1931), vol. 1, p. llO.
29. Tsukamoto, "Zatsuki" I, p. 68.
30. In his biography of Hsin-hsing, Tao-hsuan states that he went to the
Chih-hsiang ssu, the site of the Pei Hsuan-cheng stele. T.50.560a.
31. Tsukamoto, "Zakki," 1, p. 68. Of course, the possibility remains that
the T'ang-yin stele is a copy of the P'ei Hsuan-cheng memorial.
32. On close examination of their entry for this stele it can be seen that it
is not based on actual examination of the stone, as with most other entries in
the work, but rather on "projection." That is, although the photo-copy, text,
and description of the stele are all listed together with a photo of the Pai-t'a ssu,
it is never explicitly stated that the stone is located there, neither the exact loca-
tion within the Pai-t'a ssu nor the physical dimensions of the stone are
recorded, and the photo is of the rubbing of the stele, not the actual stone.
Given these facts and the rather detailed statements of the above records, I
think that Tokiwa, having obtained a rubbing or copy of the rubbing, and based
on Hsih-hsing's biography in the Hsu kao seng chuan (or, more likely, on Kanda's
andYabuki's conclusions), rather fancifully "projected" the location of the stele
to be at the Pai-t'a ssu. A visit to the Chung-nan shan area in the summer of
1983 in search of Hsin-hsing's stiipa and memorial stone produced no results,
although one local informant, who claimed to remember the reliquary, said
that it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and the stones used to
build a grain storehouse.
33. Tsukamoto, basing himself on an edition of VIII that gives Chen-
kuan 20 as the date of the re-working has also shown a similar confusion
between Chen-yuan and Chen-kuan with regard to the date of the founding of
the Fa-lung ssu. Tsukamoto, pp. 66-67.
34. Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei, Yabuki, p. 9.
35. Sui shu, chuan 3, p. 8b, chuan 28, pp. 22b-23a, 32a.
36. Ch'ang an shih, chuan 10, p. 9.
37. Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei, Yabuki, pp. 8-9.
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 273
38. Ch'en-ssu, Pao k'e ts'ung pien, op. cit., chuan 7, p. 19.
39. This is contained in the Ryukoku MS of the Chen yuan lu, chuan 30,
in Tsukamoto, "Zatsuki," 1, p. 64 .

Ibid.
T.50.636b-639a.
T.50.638a. Ch'ing-yuan's biography: T.50.511 b-512a; Chih-cheng's
T.50.536b-c. See also Kimura Kiyotaka, Shoki Chugoku Kegon Shisa
Shunju-sha, 1977), pp. 380-382. Chih-yen's biography in the
yen ching chuan chi lists a Lin Fa-shih as his teacher. Kimura (p. 380)
that this is a mistake for Ch'ing-lin (565-640), and dismisses the
that it could refer to Ching-yuan's disciple Fa-lin of the Chih-hsiang ssu
because there is no direct link to Chih-yen in the brief notes on Fa-lin
:i6bntalIleu in Ch'ing-yuan's biography. Since Chih-yen lived at the Chih-hsiang
and supposedly studied with Chih-cheng, and since there is a record of a
there as well, it seems much more probable to me that Lin refers
Fa-lin of the Chih-hsiang ssu.
43. T.50.511c.
44. Yabuki, p. 131; Tsukamoto, "Zoku Sangaikyo Shiryo Zakki," in Shina
Shigaku, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 99. Cf. Robert Gimello, Chih-yen and the Founda-
Buddhism (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University,
p. 58, where he refers to the location of Hsin-hsing's stupa as the Chih-
ssu.
45. Tokiwa Daijo, "Sangaikyo no Botai toshite no Hozan-ji" in Shukya
vol. 4, no. 1, 1927.
46. Chin shih lu, chuan 5, p. 4 (Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien, p. 8826).
47. Yabuki, pp. 26-27, 32, 69.
48. Ibid. .
49. Twitchett, Dennis. The Cambridge History oj China (Cambridge: Cam-
University Press, 1979), vol. 3 (Sui and Tang), p. 345.
50. Ou-yang Pei, Chi ku lu mu (Sung dynasty, included in the Chin shih
ts'ung shu, op. cit.), chuan 2, pp. 5-6. The Pao k'e ts'ung pien (op. cit., chuan 7, p. 23)
and the Pao k'e lui pien (1781, included in the Ssu k'u chin shu chen pen pieh chi, Shan-
ghai, 1934, chuan 2, p. 21; also in the Shih k'e shih liao pien, p. 18427) also recorded
the same memorial, and more recently, Lo Chen-yu recorded the rubbing of
memorial in his Hsueh t'ang chin shih wen tzu pa wei (chuan 7, p. 23). He also
that although the Chin shih lUeh (included in the Hsin k'e shih liao hsin pien,
18055) records that this stele has a bac.k (as does the Chin shih lu) this is now
missing. A manuscript of the Chen yuan lu also mentions this memorial. Cf.
Tsukamoto, "Zakki," II, p. 110.
51. T.55.679a.
52. The most accessible version of this text is that included in Kanda's
. article, op. cit., vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 562-564. According to Kanda, p. 561, the text is
also recorded in the" Chi yu Tang pei lu of Wei Hsi-hui," and was published by the
Yu cheng ts'ung chu of Shanghai as the "Hsueh shao pao Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei."
. 53. Chin shih lu, chuan 5. p. 3 (op. cit., p. 8826),
54. Pao k'e ts'ung pien, op. cit., chuan 7, p. 23; Pao k'e lui pien, op, cit., chuan 2,
p. 26 (Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien, p. 18429).
274
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
55. Sometime during 701 and 703, for example, Wu appointed the S ;C.
chieh-chi. ao monk Fa-tsang controller of the Inexhaustible Storehouse at .a
h
u
-,
H
. Ch' t e
ua-tu ssu III ang-an. . .... ;/
56. XVII: Na-hsin, Ho shou fong ku chi (Yuan dynasty, included in th';j
Chen i fang san chung, 1811), chuan 2, p. 16. Cf. Tsukamoto, "Sangaikyo Shi:,
Zakki", op. cit., pp. 62-65. ryo
57. not .included in the text, a
the Chen yuan hszn tzng shzh chzao mu lu (800) III the Ryukoku Umverslty Libra <
records 35 works of the San-chieh-chiao in 44 chuan, with.a note that they ry, ;
ordered back into the catalogue in on the 18th day of the 4th month of the
year of the Chen-yuan era (800). For more on this important catalogue
Jamie Hubbard, Salvation in the Final Period if the Dharma: the Inexhaustible
Storehouse if the San-chieh-chiao (Ph.D dissertation, University of Wisconsin
Madison, 1986), pp. 180-188.
58. T.55.765a.
59. In the Sung kao seng chuan, T.50.805b. The Pao Pe ts'ung pien (chuan 7, p."
30) also contains a record of another stele which Yuan-chao composed for a
monk of the Hua-tu ssu in 777. It hard to say without more evidence whether or
not this monk was a follower of the San-chieh-chiao.
60. Chin shih lu, chuan 8 (op. cit., p. 8849); also recorded in the Pao k'e ts'ung
pien, chuan 7, p. 29. Cf. the Fo tsu t'ung chi, T. 49.364a, T.49.473a. .
61. The best summary of the scholarship surrounding this stele, includ-
ing a comparison of the various extant rubbings, is in two articles by
Nakada Yujiro: "Kedoji Soyu Zenji Tomei Kojiki," in Otani GakuhO, vol. 31, no.
1 (1952), and "Otankeibon Sotaku Kedojihi ni tsuite," in Otani GakuhO, vol. 33,
no. 4 (1954). Cf. Kanda Kiichiro, op. cit., vol. 3 no. 3, pp. 358-364; Kanda
Kiichiro, "Kedoji Tomei ni tsuite," in Shinagaku, vol. 2, no. 9, (Taisho II),
pp. 52-58; Yabuki, pp. 40-43. Kanda, "Sangaikyo," and Yabuki both contain
the text of the memorial.
62. Chin shih ts'ui pien, op. cit., chuan 43, pp. 15-19; Chuan t'ang wen, op. cit.,
chuan 143, pp. 5-8.
63. The text of the memorial is included in the Chin shih hsu pien, chuan 5,
pp. 5-7 (included in the Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien); Kanda Kiichiro, op. cit., vol.
3, no. 3, pp. 364-366; Yabuki, pp.50-52.
64. Tsukamoto, "Zakki" #1, pp. 69-71. Tsukamotc.places Ling-ch'en in
Hsiang-chou, so it is not hard to imagine that he would have actually met Hsin-
hsing.
65. Tsukamoto, ibid., pp. 71-75.
66. Chu, Feng. Yung chou chin shih chi, chuan 2, pp. 9-10; see also Kanda
Kiichiro, "Sangaikyo," vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 366-377; Yabuki, pp. 54-55.
67. Chin shih ts'ui pien, chuan 57, pp. 18-20; Yung chou chin shih chi, chuan 3, etc.
See also Kanda Kiichiro, "Sangaikyo," vol. 3, no. 3, p. 368; Yabuki, pp. 56-57.
68. The text of the memorial can be found in the Chin shih ts'ui pien, chuan
71, pp. 1 fr. Cf. Kanda Kiichiro, "Sangaikyo," vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 559-560;
Yabuki, pp. 69-71; Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi, Shina Bukkyo Shiseki,
1, plate 61, and Shina Bukkyo Shiseki Hyokai, vol. 1, pp. 112-114.
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 275
69. Antonino Forte, Political Propaganda and Ideology in China at the End of the
Century (Napoli: Istituto Universitario Orientale, 1976), p. 113. In this section
i
fhis
work Professor Forte examined the background of the various monks
t: Ived in the Commentary on the Meaning of the Prophecy about Shen-huang in the Ta
hing (previously thought to be an apocryphal version of the Ta yun ching) in
to show that they represented the orthodoxy of the time. One of the
-?hu
sts
of his study is to show that the Buddhism of Empress Wu's time cannot
considered the heretical impulses of a woman infatuated with a "false
as has been the traditional interpretation. Although Forte has
(p. 166) that the s.uppression of the du.ring Wu'.s
;feign indicates her concern wIth orthodoxy (the bemg heretl-
it seems to me that her of the Inex.haustible Storehouse and Fa-
tsang indicate that the San-chIeh-chlao was conSIdered part of the orthodoxy
:'arid, as with the other suppressions, we must look elsewhere for the cause. For
orno
re
on Empress Wu and the Three Stages, see also Antoninio Forte, "II Mon-
iistero Dei Grandi Chou a Lo-yang," Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli, vol.
35; "The Relativity of the Concept of Orthodoxy in Chinese Buddhism: Chih-
sheng's Indictment of Shih-Ii and the Proscription of the Dharma Mirror Siitra,"
iiuChinese Buddhist Apocrypha, ed. by Robert Buswell (Honolulu: University of
'Hawaii Press, 1990).
- 70. For example, in addition to the memorial stele which he did for Hsin-
hsing, Yuan-chao composed a stele for another monk of the Hua-tu ssu in 777;
'there is no other evidence, however, to suggest that the monk in question was a
ofHsin-hsing's teachings (Pao k'e ts'ung pien, chuan 7, p. 30).
71. Hubbard, Salvation, pp. 145-147.
GLOSSARY
ch'i shan UJ
Ch'ing-yuan m {)#!
Chang Ch'u-chao
Chao-ching kung ssu
'Chen-chi ssu Jlt;jZ
Chih-cheng tp IE
:Chih-hsiang ssu
Chih-yen
Ching-ming w15
276
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
. Ching-yu ssu ku ta te Fa-tsang
ch'an shih t'a ming
Chou Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei pg] fa-fTffr!'j[gff]1ifIf.
Ch'uan fa pei
Chiln
Chung-nan shan m lU
Fa-ch'en $**
Fa-lin $3#
Fa-lung ssu
Hsueh shao pao Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei
Hsin -hsing fa- 11"
Hsin-hsing ch'an shih hsing chiao pei
Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ch'uan fa pei
Hsin-hsing t'a yuan
. Hsing
Hsueh-chi i'WfI
Hua-tu ssu ku Seng-yung ch'an shih
t'a ming
Hua-tu ssu Seng-hai ch'an shih fen chi
K'ai-huang
Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch'an shih ming t'a pei 1tz:*{a-11"ffr!'j[gff]:g:ti1iJl!
Kuan-ming ssu Hui-liao t'a ming 7C IjFJ m:g
LiCheng
Lung-t'ien ssu
Ming t'a pei :gm1iflf.
P'ei Chil
P'eiChu-tao
P'ei Hsing-chien
P'ei Hsuan-cheng
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS 277

:;li; . [\.
/\. 7J
ssu
chieh hsing chiao pei :=: ii& Wf.
:\Seng Hsin-hsing ch'an shih t'a ming
Hsin-hsing t'a ming
mSeng-shun ch'an shih she Ii t'a ming
1i
iSJli ch'uan fa kao seng Hsin-hsing
J ch'an shih pei
ta Hsing-hsing ch'an shih
t'a pei
,';+a ming
pei iiWf.
';'f'ang Hsin-hsing ch'an shih pei
;T'ang Ii Sui Hsin-hsing ch'an shih hsing
chiao pei & JL ffl1a i'J itt Wf.
. 'Tang tsai hsiu Hsin-hsing
ch'an chih t'a pei
iTang-yin
iTa T'ang tsai hsiu Sui ku ch'uan fa kao seng Hsin-hsing
ch' an shi t' a pei * & :j3} ffl i!td$i* rEJ 1i {a i'J * iiWf.
iTao-an ch'an shih t'a chi
Tz'u-jun ssu ku ta Ling-ch'en
ch'an shih t'a ming wen
Yii-i Tt
ung chou chin shih chi 15
278 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Chao, Ming-ch' eng m fl (1081-1129). Chin shih lu
ts'ung shu ed: [Shanghai, 1888J.
___ . Chin shih lu 'il'L;p U . Shih k'e shih liao [Yen Keng-wang, ed.
1966J.
___ . Chin shih lu 'il'L;p U . Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien ed. [Taipei, 1978].
Chao, Tzu-ch'ien m T (1829-1884). Pu huan yu fang pei lu 'ffll
Shih k'e shih liao [Yen Keng-wang, ed. Taipei, 1966].
Ch'enSsu (fl. 1225-1264).Paok'ets'ungpien . Shih k'eshih liao
[Yen Keng-wang, ed. Taipei, 1966J.
___ . Pao k'e ts'ung pien Pai pu ts'ung shu [Taipei, 1965-1967].
Ch'en, Han-chang . Chui hsueh t'ang Ho-shuo pei k'e pa wei
Hsunyuan chin shih wen tzu pa wei [Fan Shou-ming, 1933J
Chin shih LUeh 'il'L;p . Shih k'e shih liao hsin pie [Taipei, 1978].
Chu, Feng * 1i\ . Yung chou chin shih chi * 1+1 'il'L;p . Pai pu ts'ung shu [Taipei,
1965-1971], Box 58.
Chu hsueh hsuan ts'ung . Ts'ung shu ching hua, 1895-1903.
Fan, Shou-ming Hsunyuan chin shih wen tzu pai wei i'JIi!'il'LEX*
gR}i . 1933 Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien, (2), vol. 20 [Taipei, 1978].
Forte, Antoninio, Political Propaganda and Ideology in China at the End of the Seventh . ..
Century. Napoli: Instituto Universario Orientale, 1967.
Hsi yin hsuan ts'ung shu 'if n:ii1! .Pai pu ts'ung shu chi ch 'en. [Taipei, 1965-
1971J.
Huang, Pen-chi jl!(;:$: . Chin shih ts'ui pien pu mu 'il'L;p i$: 'ffll I . Chu hsiieh
hsiian ts'ung su [Liu, shih-heng, 1895 -1903J.
Kanda, Kiichiro "Kedoji Tomei ni tsuite"
PT. Shinagaku, vol. 2, no. 9, Taisho 11, May 1922.
_._. _. "Sangaikyo ni kansuru Zui-To no kohi" = (: I*! T 6 JlJ m (J)
. Bukkyo Kenkyii, vol. 3, nos. 3-4 & vol. 4, no. 2, Taisho II.
Kimura, Kiyotaka *1';] . Shoki Chilgoku Kegon Shiso no Kenkyii
.Tokyo: Shunjusha, 1977.
CHINESE RELIQUARY INSCRIPTIONS
. "Shingyo no Jikikan to sono Igi" of ,
Bukkyo Gakkai Nenpo, no. 49, 1982.
279
Hsieh-kuang rim Ho shuo chin shih mu 10J YtJl3r::S . Shanghai:
. Ho shuo hsin pei mu foJ YtJl Wi- . Fei ju fii hsia tsai chin shih ts'ung cho,
1919.
jiJ'!JEIi: (1866-1940). Hsueh t'ang chin shih wen tzu pa wei !t1it'iE
1.1 --x.: [Publisher and date not recorded: Otani University Library. J
Yao-lii [li ill , ed. Chin shih hsil pien 3r::S;ji . Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien
[Taipei, 1978J.
Feng-chih ' . tz . Kuan chung chin shih wen tzu mien k'ao r:p 3r: 1:..1
Shihk'eshihliaohsinpien(2) [Taipei, 1978],vol.I4, 1901.
I3Jj 1i: . Ta chou k'an ting chung ching mu lu 7c J!J flj IE m.
T.LV, no. 2153
nfi . Ho shuo fang ku chi fOJ YtJl it1J t1 c. Chen i fang san chung ffij:
[1811J
Yujiro r:p 83 "Kedoji Soyu Zenji Tomei Kojiki" ft t
"Otani GakuM, vol. 31, no. 1, Feb., 1952.
'j<'-'.,--_' "Otankeibon Sotaku Kedojihi ni tsuite" r:
--:J -C ,in Otani GakuM, vol. 33, no. 4, 1954.
Pei Chi ku lu mu' t1 if< . Chin shih ts'ung shu [Shanghai,
1888] .
ts'ung shu S Taipei: I Wen Yin Shu Kuan, 1965 -197l.
k'e lui pien Shih k'e shih liao hsin pien (1) [Taipei, 1978], vol. 24.
k'e shih liao hsin pien Taipei: Shin wen [eng, 1978.
aU-H'Llall !Ji[W. Hsu kao seng chuan TL, no. 2060.
Daijo ,*,fi:7cIE. Shina Bukkyo shiseki Tokyo:
Bukkyo Shiseki Kenkyukai, 1928-1931.
-', , __ . "Sangaikyo no Botai toshite no Hozanji" ::::J?HJz 0) fiHiJ C: l-C
0)., Lli In Shiikyo Kenkyii, 4, 1, 1927
Daijo & Sekino Tadashi ,*,fi:7cIE . mUf J::f.. ,Shina Bukkyo Shiseki
Hyokai f}j\ {rJIl $Jzs!: m . Tokyo: Bukkyo Shiseki Kenkyukai, 1925 -1928.
280
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Tsukamoto, Zenryu et al. Seiiki Bunka Kenkyu
no. 1, Tonko Bukkyo Shiryo. Kyoto: H02okan, 1958.
Tsukamoto, Zenryu "Sangaikyo Sl1iryo Zakki"
, Shina Bukkyo Shigaku, vol. 1, nos, 1-2, ShOwa 12 (1937) .p.;
Twitchett, Denis. The Cambridge History if China, vol. 3 (Sui and T'ang).
bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Wang Ch'ang (1725-1806). Chin shih ts'ui pien Shi k'e shih
liao [Yen Keng-wang, ed., Taipei, 1966].
Wei Cheng (580-643). Sui Shu Erh shih wo shih [I wen yin
kuan edition, Taipei, 1965].
Yabuki, Keiki, Sangaikyo no Kenkyu = il'XZ . Tokyo: I wanami Shoten
(1927),1974 reprint.
Yuan-chao Chen yuan hsin ting shih chiao mu lu
(TLV, no. 2157)
c','fAnOld Inscription from Amar-avaH and
""'theCult of the Local Monastic Dead in
r,:i'i!lndian Buddhist Monasteries
i;(Although they have yet to be carefully studied, there are refer-
cLences scattered throughout extant Buddhist literature to per-
','irnanently housing the mortuary remains of deceased monks.
',l\'ln both the Pali Udana and Apadana, for example, there is a clear
to monks-and monks alone-directing
. ; them not only to perform the funeral rites for a "fellow-monk"
i<r(sabrahmaciirin) , but to build a mortuary stilpa for him as well
"'and to worship it.] In the Pali Vinaya, too, there is an account
;(,which describes, in part, a group of nuns performing the funeral
; rites and building a stilpa for a deceased member of group. 2
>In the account of the deposition of the remains of Sariputra
'preserved in the Tibetan version of the Millasarviistivada-vinaya,
'there is a passage in which the placement of the monastic dead
<'within the monastery complex is directly addressed. Here the
Buddha first gives instructions concerning the form of mortuary
"stiipa appropriate to different categories of individuals, starting
with a buddha and ending with "stream-winners" (rgyun du zhugs
cpa) and "9rdinary good men" (so so'i skye bo dge ba). He then
iisays: "As Sariputra and Maudgalyayana sat (in relation to the
Buddha) when the Tathagata was sitting, just so should their
mortuary stilpas be placed as well. Moreover, the stilpas ofvari-
ous elders (sthavira) should be aligned in accordance with their
seniority. Stilpas of ordinary good men should be placed outside
: the monastery (dge 'dun gyi kun dga' ra ba, sarrtgharama)."g The
Mahasarrtghika-vinaya-according to de la Vallee Poussin-also
contains such passages: "D'apres Ie Mahasarpghikavinaya,"
281
282 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
he says, "des moines hommes du commun (Prthagjana) Ont.',
d
-, . 1 v:' dh d aUssl .
. rOlt au stupa, a e vznaya harmiiciirya, Ie Vaiyiiprtyabh_
zk.iu, Ie Comme lIs ne sont pas des Ary ............
, d I ["d d' h"] [I ] as, II
n y alas, e, ew- IS et e stupa est dans un lie:
cache. Peche a faIre autrement."4 . U .
T.here is again not systematically studied.
-an lmportant body of mdependent eVIdence for the monasti .' ....
preoccupation with permanently housing their dead from welt
preserved cave sites like Bhaja, Bedsa and Kanheri. But with a .....
few exceptions, little certain evidence has been noted for such
activity at structural monastic sites. Evidence of this Sort
would in fact be difficult to detect at such structural sites fori
several reasons. The first and most general reason is, of course ..
that structural sites in India are far less well preserved thari .
the "Yestern. <:ave Complexes. Those same .cave co:uplexes sug-
gest In addltlOn that the structures assocIated wIth the locals
monastic dead at structural sites would very likely have been.,'
small, and very well might have been situated some distance'
away from the mainstupa or center of the site. Neither of these .:
factors would have favored the detection of such structures. '.
Moreover, very few structural monastic sites in India have'
been extensively investigated or excavated horizontally; gener-'
ally attention and effort have been focused on the main stupa of_
such sites. Anything not in the immediate vicinity would only
accidentally have been noted.
5
The fact, too, that such small
structures would have required-and therefore left-no "
stantial foundations, that their superstructures would not only ..
have been exposed to the elements, but been easy prey for those .. '
who used such sites for building materials-all this suggests that
even horizontal surveys may have noted little. In such circum-
stances, stray epigraphical evidence for the housing of the local
monastic dead is the most likely certain evidence to survive at
structural sites, but even then such survivals may not be numer-
ous and each possible piece should be carefully studied. The
present note concerns one such possible piece from AmaravatI.
AmaravatI must have been a striking monastic site. The
main stupa stood on a plain between the old city of
DharaI,likota and the neighboring hills "where," said Burgess,
"so many dolmans or rude-stone burying places are still to be
seen."6 "Upwards of 10,000 to 12,000 [carved] figures" were-
according to Fergusson's calculations-associated with the
CULT OF THE DEAD 283
VJ{). He calls it, perhaps without undue inflation, "a wonderful
tftorial Bible of Buddhism as it was understood at the time of
6
c
erection of the monument."7 But through the work ofZam-
zealQus treasure seekers, and untrained if well inten-
Poped British civil servants, most of the complex-one of the
Ipgest lasting in India-has disappeared.
s
As a consequence,
next to nothing about the monastic quarters there and
iery little about any secondary structures at the site. We do
:poW that there were a number of mortuary stilpas dustered
iro
und
the main stilpa. Burgess, in 1882, referred to two of
nese, in one of which he found "a small chatti [a type of
Jot] ... and a quantity of calcined bones." A sirnilar "chatti"
{ad earlier been recovered from another.9 Rea too excavated
secondary stilpas, one of which still had its lower por-
ion encased in sculptural slabs,lO and another overlay a group
;{seventeen "megalithic" urn burialsY In fact, the site-plan
)l.lblished by Rea in 1909 shows almost twenty small stilpas and
ltleast one "earthenware tomb." We do not, unfortunately,
,now anything more about these stilpas except for the fact that
.heir placement and contents conform to a pattern found at a
;()Ilsiderable number of other Buddhist sites in India and seem
oreflect the practice which I -on analogy with the Christian
Nest-have called "burial ad sanctos."12 The inscription we will
)e primarily concerned with. here may have been associated
,,,,ith one such stilpa.
< The stone on which our inscription is inscribed was not
,<found in its original position. It had already been displaced
,,',and could have been moved even from a considerable distance,
';given its size and shape. Burgess describes it as "a circular slab
2 feet 1 inch in diameter ... with a mortise hole in the centre
surrounded by a lotus, and this again by a sunk area carved
'with rays. The outer border is raised ... " and it is on this raised
border that our record-"a well-cut inscription"-occurs.
13
,';.This "circular slab" -a good photograph of which was also
ipublished by Burgess
14
-is clearly the "umbrella" (chata,
,chattra) referred to in the inscription. That this "umbrella" was
'intended for a shrine (cediya) or stilpa is clear as well from the
inscription, and the comparatively small size of the chattra is
.. sufficient to indicate that the stilpa was a small one. We do not,
however, know exactly where this small stilpa stood.
284 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
"With a few minor. readings of this "Well_
cut record were not dIfficult to establIsh, and after somethin ..
of a false in the first published in
Notes, the baslc text was qUIckly establIshed. In the "additional
notes" added to that same volume, in fact, Hultzsch had
already come very close to his final version, which appeared a
year later. 15 The text is printed there as:
uviisikiiya cadoya budhi,!o miituya saputikiiya sadutukiiya a'iriinam
utoyipabhiihZnaT(l cediyasa chata df!JadhamaT(l .
and this is the basic text accepted by Luders,16 Franke/
7
and,
Sivaramamurti.
18
Sivaramamurti does, however, read -pabhiihi-
naT(l rather than -pabhahlnaT(l, and notes that "the nasal" -he
means anusvara- "is not quite clear in airanaT(l and utayipabhahi_
naT(l)" although this is more true of the latter than the former.
Hultzsch first translated the text as:
''An umbrella (chhattra), a meritorious gift to the Chaitya
(?) of the venerable U tayipabhahins by the female worshipper
Chada (Chandra), the mother of Bud hi, together with her sons,
together with her daughters"
He added as well the following note: "Utayipabhahin seems to be
the name of a school like Dharmottarfya ... Perhaps utara (=
uttara) is to be read for utayi, and pabhahin= prabhasin." 19 But a
year later he published a slightly different rendering:
"Ein Sonnenschirm (chattra), die verdienstliche Gabe cler
Laiin Gadii (Gandrii), der Mutter des Budhi (Buddhi), mit ihren
S6hnen, mit ihren T6chtern, an die (Schule der) ehrwurdigen
Utoyipabhiikis (?) (und) an das Gaitya" 20
The English translation of the record that appears in
Burgess' later report looks like a somewhat garbled version of
Hultzsch's second translation, and here, too, Utayipabhiihin
appears to have been taken as the name of a Buddhist school.
Burgess adds to it the following note: "May this not be
synonymous with Uttaraparvatas, or Uttaraselas." 21 Liiders,
although he proposed no emendation or equivalent, lists Utayi-
pabhahi in his index of personal names as the name of a Bud-
CULT OF THE DEAD 285
;dhis
t
"school," and translates the portion of the record which
cost concerns us as: "Gift of a parasol (chhata) to the Chaitya
{Chediya) of the. venerable (a"ira) U tayipab?ahis, etc." 22 In
',SivaramamurtI alone seems to have considered other possIble
'interpretations of text, but his. translation-as
"Iso garbled and without explanatIOn or comment: Menton-
bus gift of umbrella for the caitya (cediya) of the worthy
U tayipabhahi, etc." What "airanarp.," still carrying
its
case
ending, is doing in the translation is, of course, far from
dear, especially since it already seems to have been translated
:by "worthy." Moreover, Sivaramamurti too lists Utayipabhahi
itlhis glossary as "probably U ttaraseliyas." 23
< .. The inclination to see in utayipabhiihn the name of a
':.'school" has had, in fact, a wide currency. Lamotte says: "Les
donations religieuses signalees par Ies inscriptions provien-
nent, non seulement de particuliers, mais encore de clans
:(kula) , de groupes (gar;a) et d'associations (sahaya). Parmi ces
!dernieres, quelques-unes peuvent avoir etedes sectes bouddhi-
ques, non mentionees en litterature," and as one example of
such a group he cites the '''alra (arya) Utayipabhahi" of our
inscription.
24
Much more recently, Furtseva has said: "The
epigraphic data gives evidence of the existence of the schools
unknown to any tradition. These are such schools as, for exam-
ple, Utayibhahi in Amaravati ... ,OJ again citing our inscrip-
tion.
25
Although this interpretation of our record has received
wide currency, and although Furtseva, for example, seems to
take it as an established fact that the inscription refers to a
Buddhist school, the evidence for this was never firm: Hultzsch
had only said utayipabhiihin "seems to be the name of a school,"
Burgess, "may this not be ... ," Sivaramamurti, "probably,"
etc. In fact, there are a number of things against seeing in the
inscription a reference to a shrine or caitya that "belonged" to
. a specific Buddhist school, and a number of things which
suggest a much more supportable interpretation.
Although the evidence is sadly fragmentary, it appears, as
has already been indicated, that the main stiipa at AmaravatI
was-as Marshall says of SaficI-"surrounded, like all the
more famous shrines of Buddhism, by a multitude of stiipas of
varying sizes crowded together." 26 The stiipa or caitya to which
286
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
our umbrella was donated appears to have been just one f
such a multitude and-to judge by the size of the chattra::'a
comparatively small one at that. !hat a multitude
of secondary stu pas close to-or III the vicimty of-the rnai
shrine would have been claimed as the special property of n
specific school seems very unlikely. That monastic orders
ceI?ted," and spec.ific.forms of property_
relIcs, fields, bmldmgs, Images, etc.-Is vIrtually certain. it is
equally certain that specific schools "owned" the main stiipa at
certain sites. But there is no other case, in so far as I know
where one of the small secondary stiipas was so "owned."
ondary stupas at Buddhist sites, whether near the main shrine
or situated elsewhere in the complex, are almost always unin-
scribed and anonymous. There is, however, a small number of
significant exceptions, and it is this group of exceptions which
may point towards a better understanding of the record on Our
small umbrella from AmaravatI.
The first exception may come from AmaravatI itself. If we
can accept Sivaramamurti's reading of his no. 103 as even
approximately correct, then the one other secondary stupa
which had an associated inscription at AmaravatI was "the
small cetiya of the mendicant monk Nagasena." Sivaramamurti
gives the text of his no. 103 in the following form:
sidham (nama) bhagavata giimmamahivathasa pe7Jrfavatikasa
niigasenasa khudacetiya . .. haghavii7Jikiniya patithapitam
savasatamata a . .. 27 .
If we put aside giimmamahivathasa, which is clearly wrong,
although it just as clearly indicated the place of residence of
Nagasena, and if we follow-however reluctantly-Sivarama-
murti's interpretation of. .. haghaviilJikiniya as "by the merchant's
wife, Hagha," this could be translated as
Success. (Homage) to the Blessed One. The small cetiya of
the mendicant monk Nagasena who lived in ... established by
the merchant's wife Hagha for the ... of all ...
We do not 'know where the sculptured slab on which this
record was inscribed was discovered. Already by the time of
CULT OF THE DEAD
287
(1887) it had been removed to Bejwa<;ia, "possibly,"
Fays Burgess, by Colonel NIackenzie.
28
Sivaramamurti assumes
iBn the basis of the expression khudacetiya, "small cetiya," in the
'eco
rd
itself that the slab formed a part of one of what he calls
votive stupas." That the inscribed slab did, in fact,
helong to a secondary stupa appears likely. The problem
tern
ains
, however, that Sivaramamurti's reading of the record
(tinnot actually be verified with the published material at
:iiand. Although Burgess and Stern & Benisti both illustrate the
.slab on which the record occurs, in neither case is the photo-
graph sufficiently clear to allow the inscription to be read with
confidence.
29
Sivaramamurti also reproduces the record
reduced to such a degree that no certain reading is possible,30
,and in cases where his readings can be checked they are by no
means always as careful as one might wish. Given this. situa-
tion, the most that one could say is that it appears-although it
'is not certain-that in the one other case at AmaravatI in which
isecondary stupa had an associated inscription that inscrip-
tion does not refer to the stupa as "belonging" to a specific
school, but seems to describe it as "belonging" to an individual
}rnonk, a monk who appears to have been of purely local stature
and who is otherwise unknown. But this itself raises some
further questions that it would be well to deal with here.
. The exact sense of the genitive construction used here in
hiigasenasa khudacetiya . .. , and in other records connected with
"of" local monks, is not at first sight immediately clear.
This, in part at least, is related to the fact that in inscriptional
Prakrits, much as in the Prakrits generally, the dative case-
although it has not entirely disappeared-is very much atten-
uated, and dative functions have been taken over by an already
elastic conception of the genitive. Given these linguistic
realities, niigasenasa khudacetiya ... , for example, can be under-
stood at least on one level in two ways: "the small cetiya if
Nagasena," or "the small cetiya for Nagasena." It could be
argued that the intended meaning here is more like "the small
cetrya built for the merit of Nag as en a by Hagha," but the one cer-
,tain case I know of that does record something like this is not
only late, but articulated in a very different way. The case in
point occurs in a 10th-century inscription from Nalanda where
the disciple of a monk is said to have raised "a caitya of the
288
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Blessed One, the Sugata" sugatasya caityal!) with th
expressed hope or intention that his teacher, through the
of the disciple's act, might "obtain the vnsurpassed station of a
buddha" (pulJyeniinena labdhiisau bauddham padam anuttararrz). 31 In
fact, from the earliest Buddhist inscriptions that record acts-
undertaken for another, the statement of purpose almost
always involves an explicit expression of that fact-something
like a{haya (arthiiya, "for the sake of") either in compound with
the name of the person or persons involved, or with the latter
in the genitive (miitiipituna athiiyii); or a construction like sukhi{ya
hotu savasatiinaT(l ("for the happiness of all beings") is used.32
The transaction involved is very rarely, if at all, expressed by
the simple genitive or dative. In the rare and still uncertain
cases in which the simple genitive or dative might so be used
it appears that the name of the person for whose benefit a
is given is put not in the genitive, but in the dative. On what
Rao calls "an ayaka pillar" found near the second stupa at San-
nati, for example, we find: 'ahimarikiiya niiganikiiya arikii-bhiituno ..... .
giridatanakasa. This would appear to indicate that the "pillar"
in question was the gift of Giridatanaka, brother of Arika, "for
or in honor of"-expressed by the simple dative-Naganika of
Ahimara, the latter being a place name.
33
Considerations of
this sort would seem to rule out niigasenasa khudacetiya . .. in our
AmaravatI inscription being intended to convey "the small
cetiya for the benefit or merit of Nagasena;" so, too, does the
fact that, though now fragmentary, there seems to have been a
separate dedicative statement at the end of the record (com-
pare the better preserved record from Mathura cited below).
If, then, niigasenasa khudacetiya . .. does not mean "the small
cetiya for the benefit or merit of Nagasena," it-and similarly
constructed records elsewhere-must mean "the small cetiya of
or for Nagasena" in some other sense. Since stupas or cetiyas-
whether they were "memorials" or mortuary containers-were
never as far as we know erected for anyone who was not
physiologically dead,34 this would mean that if our inscription
in fact refers to "the small cetiya of or for Nagasena," then
Nagasena must have been not just a local monk, but a deceased.
local monk. But in that case, it is important to note that
although Nagasena was "dead," the cetiya was not said to be
"of" or "for" his relics or remains, but "of" or "for" him-
CULT OF THE DEAD 289
... eriod. Exactly the same thing is, of course, said elsewhere at
{rnaravatI and at other Andhra sites. in regard to the cetiya of
the Buddha. ?n than one occaSIOn Ama,:avatI we meet
somethmg lIke ... bhagavato mahiic(e)tzyasa, for the Great
Shrine of the Blessed One," or ... bhagavato mahacetiya-padamale
i[rd:-mil1e], "at the foot of the Great Shrine of the Blessed
One." 35 Similar phrasing is also found, for example, at J ag-
gayyapeta-bhagavato budhasa mahiicetiye, "at the Great Shrine of
'.the Blessed One, the Buddha." 36 In all these cases the genitive
phrasing was almost certainly intended to express both the fact
that the cetiya "belonged" to the Blessed One-that is to say, he
.;.'owned" it-and the fact that it contained, or was thought to
contain, the Buddha himself. 37 It is again important to notice
'that where we might want to say the cetiya was "of" or con-
tained the "relics" of the Buddha, these inscriptions them-
selves never use a term for "relics": they say the cetiya was "of"
or "for" the Buddha himself. He-not his remains-was, ap-
parently, thought to reside inside. But if this is true in regard
to the cetiyas "of" the Buddha, it would be hard to argue that
exactly the same genitive phrasing applied to the cetiya "of
Nagasena" -or to the stilpa "of" any other local monk-could
have meant something different. This secondary stilpa-actu-
:ally called a "small shrine" if we can accept Sivaramamurti's
reading-must either have contained, or had been thought to
contain, what we would call the "relics" of a local mendicant
monk named Nagasena, but what the composer of the inscrip-
tion called Nagasena himself. 38
I t would seem, then, that in the one other possible case at
AmaravatI where we have an inscription associated with a sec-
'ondary stilpa there is no support for the interpretation of the
record on the small umbrella from the same site proposed by
Hultzsch, Burgess, Liiders, etc. The former makes no reference
to a "school," but rather points towards a very different possi-
bility and set of ideas. It suggests the possibility at least that
utayipabhiihin in the umbrella inscription may not be the name
of a "school," but the name of a deceased local monk. This pos-
sibility receives further support when we look elsewhere since,
although there are no other instances where a secondary stilpa
is said to be "owned" by a specific "school," there is a small
but significant number of cases where secondary stilpas are
290
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
explicitly said to be "of" or "for" the local monastic dead. At
least one of these other cases comes from another sadly dis-
membered structural site.
It is ironic that although we have a large nurnber of
inscriptions-and a far larger number of sculptural and archi_
tectural pieces-from Mathura, we know very little really
about the structures they were associated with, about what the
Buddhist complexes at the site looked like or how these com-
plexes were laid out. We have only a large number offragrnents
and disassociated pieces.
39
On one such piece OCcurs an
inscription which van Lohuizen-de Leeuw has read in the fol-
lowing fashion:
sa 902 he1 di 5 asya pit (r) vvaye
vi (or kha) 7Jrfavihare vastha1!Jii bhik-iusa griiha-
diisikasa sthuva prii-ithiipayati sa-
rva sav (v) anarrz hitasukhaye
She translates the record as:
"In the year 92, the first (month of) winter, on the 5th day, on
this occasion as specified, the inhabitants of the Vil)<;l.a M o n a s ~
tery erected a stiipa for the monk Grahadasika. May it be for
the welfare and happiness of all beings."4o
More than a dozen years later, this same inscription was edited
again by Sircar, who seems to have been under the impression
that the record was discovered in 1958. Although his reading
differs on several minor points from van Lohuizen-de Leeuw's,
it is significantly different in only one regard: where van
Lohuizen-de Leeuw read vasthavyii, plural, "inhabitants," Sir-
car read vastavya- and took it in compound with the following
hhik.rusa. But this makes for an odd compound and-more
importantly-results in a text in which there is no possible sub-
ject for the main verb, which Sircar himself read as pra[ti*]
.rthiipayati.41 The absence of such a subject renders Sircar's con-
struction of the text highly problematic, and suggests that for
the moment van Lohuizen-de Leeuw's is to be preferred. From
the paleographic point-of-view, however, Sircar's vastavya-
with short final -a-appears likely, and this would give a singu-
CULT OF THE DEAD 291
for the singul.ar verb. The re,sult would. be a"slight
IteratIOn of van Lohmzen-de Leeuw s translatIOn: ... an
of the Viv<;la Monastery erected a stiipa for the monk
drahadasika."
> Here,of course, there is no possibility of taking the text to
tIlean "for the benefit or merit of the monk Grahadasika." The
text ends with an explicit statement indicating for whom the
(let was undertaken, and it was not Grahadasika, but "all
beings." Sircar says: "the object of the inscription is to record.
the erection of a stiipa of the Buddhist monk Gramadesika"
[ihis is his reading of the name]. But he adds: "In the present
context, the word stiipa mean[s] a memorial structure enshrin-
ing the relics of the monk in question."42 Such an interpretation
seems very likely, although here too it is important to note that
where Sircar speaks of "relics" the composer of our record-
although he certainly could have-does not. For him, the stiipa
does not seem to have been a structure for enshrining relics,
but a structure for enshrining in some sense the monk himself.
...... We do not, again, know where the stiipa of Grahadasika
stood. Van Lohuizen-de Leeuw assumes that it "was erected in
the monastery," but that is not terribly helpful. The slab on
which the inscription is inscribed appears to have been a small
one-the writing covers a space that is only 9.5 inches long and
LJ: inches high. More than anything else it seems to resemble the
small engraved slabs-to be discussed more fully below-
associated with the brick stiipas of the local monastic dead at
Kanheri where the writing covers a space of almost the same
dimensions. It would appear, then, that the stiipa at Mathura
was a small one situated somewhere within the confines of one
of the monastic complexes. But in spite of the uncertainties
concerning the exact location of the stiipa it mentions, this
Mathura record-like AmaravatI no. 103-does not lend any
support to the view that sees in the inscription on the small
chattra from AmaravatI a reference to a stiipa "belonging" to a
specific monastic school. On the contrary, both this Mathura
inscription and AmaravatI no. 103 would seem to indicate that
when secondary stiipas or cetiyas in this period are inscribed,
those stiipas or cetiyas are stiipas or cetiyas "of" deceased local
monks. That this is so not just for this period but also for
periods long before and after will become evident below, but
292
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
. these two cases are already sufficient to establish the suspicio
that the record on the AmaravatI umbrella is, again, also refe
ring to such a stilpa. Neither Amaravati no. 103 nor th
r
Mathura inscription, however, accounts for a peculiarity of
AmaravatI umbrella record, which has undoubtedly exerted
considerable influence on previous interpretations.
The AmaravatI umbrella record does not at first sight
.to b: referring to cetiya of a single monk. The reading......c
whIch IS vIrtually apart from the final anusviiras-is
a"irana(rlJ) utqyipabhiihina(rlJ) cediyasa. aira, a Prakrit form of iirya
is certainly in the plural, and the following
though the form is not so well recognized-was almost cer-
tainly also intended for a plural. But this use of the plural
rather than suggesting that the cetiya "belonged" to a group of
monks, may in fact confirm the possibility that the reference is
to a single, deceased individual.
There are more than a dozen inscriptions that can be cited
to demonstrate that the name and titles of a monk for whom a
stilpa was built were commonly put in the genitive plural. Two
are particularly informative, one from Bedsa, which Nagaraju
assigns to the 1st Century B.C.E., and one from Kanheri
which he dates to the early 2nd Century C.E.
4
3 In both
instances, we are dealing with small secondary stilpas whose
precise location relative to the main shrine is known. In both
instances, these small secondary stilpas are inscribed and can
therefore be certainly identified as stilpas "of" local monks.
And in both instances the individual local monk in question is
referred to in the plural.
Less than 25 feet to the left of the entrance to the main
caityagrha at Bedsa there is "a tiny apsidal excavation" contain-
ing a small stilpa. On the back wall of this "excavation" there is
a short "much weatherworn" inscription in two lines. Some
syllables at the beginning of both lines appear to have been
lost, but what remains can be fairly certainly read and the gen- .
eral sense of the record is clear in spite of the missing syllables.
Burgess published the following reading in 1883:
.. . ya gabhiitinaTl} iirar;akiina perjaPiitikiinaTl} miirakurjaviisinii thupa
... [aTl}te}viisinii bhatiisii?a[?ha}mitena kiirita [ / / ] 44
CULT OF THE DEAD
293
"In spite fact that ?obhuti's name and all his epithets are
cinthe gemtIve plural, thIS can only mean:
The stupa of. . Gobhuti, a forest-dweller, a mendicant monk
who lived on Mara's Peak-caused to be made by his pupil, the
devoted
At Kanheri, too, we have to do with a small excavation
:'containing a stilpa. The steps leading up to the chamber con-
'taining this stilpa are no more than twelve feet to the left of the
(steps that lead to the main "hall of worship" at the site. On the
harmika of the small stilpa the following record occurs:
sidhan:t heranikasa dhamanakasa bhayii-a
sivapiilitanikaya deyadhan:tma
theriina bhayata-dhan:tmapiiliinan:t
thuba [I I] 45
Here, too, we have the name of a monk and his title in the geni-
tiveplural, and here, too, this can only refer to a single indi-
: vidual:
Success. The religious gift ofSivapalitanika, the wife ofthe
treasurer Dhamanaka-the stilpa of the Elder, the Reverend
Dharpmapala.
Bearing in mind, again, that stilpas were, in so far as we
know, erected only for individuals who were dead, these two
cases from Bedsa and Kanheri present us with two clear cases
where a deceased local monk is referred to in the plural. These
cases can only represent a specific application of the so-called
pluralis majestaticus or plural of respect, and it is important to
.note that in this regard they are not, apparently, exceptions,
but represent something of a rule. Plurals of respect are cer-
. tainly the rule in the numerous stilpa.labels found in association
with the two monastic "cemeteries" that have been identified
at Western Cave sites.
At Bhaja, "probably one of the oldest Buddhist religious
centres in the Deccan," there is a group of 14 small stilpas clus-
. tered together in what Mitra alone has explicitly noted "may
294 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
be regarded as the cemetery." 46 Nagaraju suggests that the
stupas "belong to different dates ranging from late 3rd centu;e
B.C. to about the end of the 2nd cer;ttury A.D."47 Although:
Burgess seems to have been of the opinion that a larger numbe ...... .
of these s.tupas. in his day anI;
five such mSCrIptIOns stIll remamed m part or III whole. One of
the two inscriptions that appear to be complete reads:
theriiniirrz bhC!)!arrzta-arrzpikir;akiinarrz thupo [ / / ]
The stupa of the Elder, the ReverendArp.pikiI).aka.
,
The other complete record is of exactly the same form, and
enough survives of the rest to show that in every case the name
of the monk for whom the stupa was built, and his titles, were
always in the genitive plural. 48 The use of the pluralis majestaticus
in referring to deceased local monks appears from the Bhaja
cemetery labels, then, to have been both an early and a continu-
ous practice over time. But the evidence from the Bhaja ceme-
tery not only confirms this linguistic usage noted previously at
Bedsa and Kanheri, it confirms as well the assumed character
and contents-in at least one sense-of stu pas built "for"
deceased local monks. Fergusson & Burgess noted in regard to
at least four of these stiipas that there were on their capitals
"holes on the upper surface as iff or placing relics ... and in two
cases there is a depression round the edge of the hole as if for a
closely fitting cover."49 The fact that Deshpande discovered at
Pitalkhora exactly the same sort of "holes" still plugged with
"a closely fitting cover" and-as a consequence-still contain
c
ing their relic deposits, makes it highly likely that the "holes"
in the stupas at Bhaja-and perhaps all such "holes" in rock-cut
stilpas in the Western Caves-originally held relics: such stiipas
were, as a consequence, by no means simply "commemorative,">.
but contained the mortuary deposits of the monks mentioned
in their accompanying inscriptions.
50
The Bhaja cemetery,
however, is not the only monastic cemetery in the Western Caves
which provides evidence for the use of the pluralis majestaticus in
referring to deceased monks.
The character of the large monastic cemetery at Kanheri
was almost immediately surmised. In 1862, West had already
said in regard to these groups of stiipas: "It seems likely that
these topes have contained the ashes of the priesthood and that
CULT OF THE DEAD 295
{his gallery has been the general necropolis of the caves." 51 In
},iB83, Burgess had described "gallery" at time
assigned the number 38-m the followmg terms: No. 38
;,'fj the long terrace under the overhanging rock on the brow of
hill, where are the bases of numerous brick stupas, being the
;fuonuments over the ashes of numerous Bauddha sthaviras or
;'pties
ts
who died there ... a vast number fill this gallery" -more
/t]:Jan a hundred according tothe most recent count-"which is
;about 200 yards in length; many of them, however, are covered
with the debris of decayed bricks and rock and all seem to
have been rifled long ago of any relics or caskets they con-
52 Although West had already published in 1361 an eye-
ttopy of at least one inscription connected with "the KalJheri
Bauddha Cemetery":....-.his no.53-it was never read,53 and it
Was not until 1974 or 1975 that further and fuller epigraphical
'data came in the form of a considerable number of small
inscribed slabs that had originally been inset into the brick
stupas, but which-after these stilpas had decayed-had 'either
fallen or been thrown into the ravine on the edge of which the
"gallery" sits. The exact number of inscribed insets recovered
Is not clear-So Gokhale says in one place that there were
"nearly 15," but in another "nearly twenty"; Gorakshkar put
the number at "about forty," but Rao at "twenty-nine." 54
'Gokhale has edited eight of these inscriptions, but not always
'well, and the published photographs are not always easy to
read. In spite of these problems, some important points are
sufficiently clear.
" Like the inscriptions associated with the stilpas of the local
'.monastic dead at Bhaja, none of the inscriptions so far avail-
able from the Kanheri cemetery are donative. They are all
labels, and-like the Bhaja inscriptions though more elaborate
,c-they are all consistently patterned. Both consjderations are
enough to indicate that these labels-like all labels at Buddhist
sites-are not the result of individual donative activity, but the
results of endeavors by the monastic community or "adminis-
tration" at their respective sites. Again as in the Bhaja labels,
in all the Kanheri labels that are available-including that
published long ago by West-the name and titles of each indi-
vidual monk for whom a stilpa was erected are in the genitive
plural. I cite here just two examples that can be checked
against the photos.
55
296
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
theriilJaf(l ayya-vijayaselJiilJaf(l tevijiilJaf(l arahantii,!af(l ihiibham
The Stiipa of the Elder, the Venerable Vijayasena, One P o s ~
sessed of the Three Knowledges, an Arhat
theriilJaf(l bhadata-diimiilJaf(l aniigiimilJam thii(bhaf(l)
The Stiipa of the Elder, the Reverend Dama, a non-returner.
These labels-obviously written by someone familiar with the
technical textual terminology of Buddhist conceptions of
"sainthood" -establish that at Kanheri, as at Bedsa and
Bhaja, deceased local monks were individually referred to in
the plural. The use of the plumlis majestaticus was, in fact, the
rule in referring to such individuals. But jf the Bhaja labels
establish this usage long before our AmaravatI umbrella
inscription, those from Kanheri establish its continued Cur-
rency for a long time after. Gokhale had first suggested a date
of "between 550 A.D. and 700 A.D." for the Kanheri labels
,
later they are said to be "written in the late fifth- or early sixth-
century boxheaded variety of Brahm I." 56 In any case, they date
from a period long after our AmaravatI record.
The material presented so far from AmaravatI itself, from
Mathura, Bedsa, Bhaja and Kanheri, must bear heavily on
any interpretation of the AmaravatI umbrella inscription. This
material establishes at least two things. First, it would appear
that all secondary stupas from Buddhist sites that have
associated inscriptions and date from well before the Common
Era to at least the 6th Century C.E. are-in every case-stu pas
raised for deceased local monks. Secondly, with some excep-
tions that prove the rule, the names and titles of deceased indi-
vidual monks that occur in stupa inscriptions or labels from this
period are put in the genitive plural. The AmaravatI umbrella
record comes from t h ~ saine period; was associated with a
small secondary stupa; and has a name in the genitive plural
preceded by a title commonly given to monks. Since, therefore,
it conforms in every other respect to records connected with
the shrines of deceased local monks, and since Utayipabhiihin is
nowhere certainly attested as the name of a "school," nor is
there any other instance where a secondary stupa is said to
belong to such a "school," it is very difficult-if not impossi-
ble-to avoid the conclusion that U tayipabhahin in the Amara-
vatI umbrella inscription is the name of a local monk. Such a
CULT OF THE DEAD 297
'nclusion, it seems, must be accepted until there is clear and
FOcontrovertible evidence to the contraryY There is however,
further point in regard to this name that is worth noting, a
which involves us again with yet other stupas of the local
monastic dead.
;. Sivaramamurti said that "the term Utayipabhiihi is puz-
zling," and there has, in fact, been some uncertainty in regard
even to the stem form of what appears in the inscription as
idOJipabhiihfnarrz or utayipabhiihinarrz. Originally Hultzsch seems
to have preferred utayipabhiihin, but later he and almost
everyone else seems to have preferred utayipabhiihi. 58 Given the
morphological variation in inscriptional Prakrits, a genitive
plural form that ends in -fnarrz or -inarrz could have been made
from either an i-stem or a stem in -in. In the present case there
is, therefore, no certain formal means of determining the stem,
but this-in the end-may not pose a serious problem. It is
perhaps more important to note that Hultzsch had proposed
as the Sanskrit equivalent of -pabhiihin
59
and this-the
only equivalent that has been suggested -seems likely: the
change of s to h is well attested in the South.
60
In fact, whether
the stem form is taken to have been -pabhiihin-which seems
preferable-or -pabhiihi, it seems fairly certain that in either
case we would have a derivative from praYbhiis, "to shine, be
brilliant," etc. It may therefore be of interest to note that other
derivations from praVbhas occur as the final element of a name
or title in-interestingly enough-two other inscriptions con-
nected with the local monastic dead.
Almost a hundred and forty years ago, Cunningham pub-
lished an account of his explorations and "excavations" of the
Sand ruins and the "Buddhist Monuments of Central India."
Much work has, of course, been done since on Sand-its art,
architecture and inscriptions-but the other related sites in
this complex, Sonari, Satdhara, Bhojpur and Andher, have
been almost completely ignored. In fact, it is hard to find a
reference to them after Cunningham. Ignored, too, is the fact
that this cluster of related sites-among the earliest structural
sites that we know-produced some of the clearest and most
concrete evidence for the monastic cult of the local monastic
dead. Cunningham discovered that the remains of ten indi-
vidual local monks-representing at least three generations-
298
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
had been deposited in Stilpa no. 2 at Sane}. 01
some of these same monks had also been deposIted III Sona'
Stilpa no. 2, which contained the "relics" of five individua{L
and in Stilpas no. 2 and 3 at Andher.61 In all these cases, th
S
,
deposits had been carefully labelled and the inscription on one
of the Andher deposits read: sapurisasa gotiputasa
, pabhiisanasa koqiiiagotasa, which Majumdar renders as: "(Relics)
of the saint Gotiputa, the Kakanava-pabhasana, of the.
Ko<;lina-gota." 62 Majumdar notes as well that "the expression
kiikaniiva-pabhiisana is used as an epithet of Go tip uta and means
'the Light of Kakanava,'" Kakanava being, of course, the old,
name for Sanc}. 63 A variant of the epithet also occurs at SaneI.'
itself in the one donative record connected with the deposits in .'
Stilpa no. 2. Majumdar reads and translates the latter as',
kiikanava-pabhiisa-siha[n}ii dana, "the gift of the pupils of the
Light of Kakanava," and says here that kiikanava-pabhiisa "ma'Y
be taken as standing for Gotiputa himself." 64 If Majumdar is'
correct in his interpretation of these inscriptions-and the"
chances are good that he is
65
-they may provide a possible
parallel for the "name" that occurs in the AmaravatI umbrella
inscription. Kiikanava-pabhiisana or -pabhiisa is at Sancl and'
Andher used both as an epithet of a local monastic "luminary".
named Gotiputa and-by itself-as an alternative designation
or name of that same individual. This may suggest that
utayipabhiihin too could have been both an epithet and an alter-
native name for a prominent deceased local monk from a place
named Utayi which was situated somewhere in the region of
AmaravatI, that -Pabhiisa or -Pabhiisin might have been an'"
ecclesiastical title of some currency, and that Utayipabhiisin
might be translated "the Light or Luminary of U tayi" -all of
this, at least, would seem a reasonable possibility.
As a result of the discussion of the material presented so far
we are, then, in a position to do two things. We can offer a new
and defensible translation of the old inscription on the small
umbrella found long ago at AmaravatI; and we can make some '
preliminary and perhaps promising observations on the cult of
the local monastic dead in Indian Buddhist monasteries. '
In light of the above discussions the AmaravatI record can
now be translated -keeping close to the syntax of the origi-
nal-as follows: '
CULT OF THE DEAD 299
Of the lay-sister Cada, the mothel of Budhi, together with
her sons, together with her daughters, to the shrine of the Ven-
erable Luminary from U tayi, the umbrella is a religious gift.
Jnterpreted and translated in this way, the AmaravatI inscrip-
ion takes its place as one of a limited series of significant
ihscriptions or labels associated with stiipas of the local monas-
iie dead. It is significant in regard to AmaravatI itself because
ttwould provide a much more certain piece of evidence than
Sivaramamurti's inscription no. 103 for the presence of such
{tapas at the site. The presence of such stiipas at AmaravatI is in
turn significant because it allows us to add it to the list of struc-
tural sites for which we have firm epigraphical evidence to
prove .the of stiipas of the monastic dead: epi-
graphlcal eVIdence for the presence of thIS type of stiipa at struc-
fural sites has come from Sane!, Sonari, Andher, Mathura, and
now from AmaravatI. But the AmaravatI inscription has
brbader significance as well. It provides us with an especially
clear case in which the stiipa of a deceased local monk is pre-
with "gifts" exactly like the stiipas of the Buddha himself
a clear instance in which such a stiipa receives the same
lind of accoutrement-an umbrella-as did the stiipas of the
Buddha. This is welcome corroboration of what we learn from
the donative inscriptions associated with Stilpa no. 2 at Sand,
which indicate that coping stones, cross-bars, rail-pillars, and
pavement slabs, etc., were donated to this stiipa of the local
monastic dead, just as they were to the stiipa of the Buddha at
the site. In neither form nor content do the inscriptions
associated with Stiipa no. 2 differ from those associated with
Stiipa no. 1. The two sets are virtually indistinguishable, and
may, in fact, have had some ofthe same donors.66 But in arriving
iat our interpretation and translation of the AmaravatI umbrella
inscription, we have had to look at virtually all the parallel
records which are known, and even our limited discussion of
this group of inscriptions allows for some interesting provi-
sional generalizations.
The first and perhaps most obvious generalization might
be stated as a simple fact: the remains of the local monastic
dead were permanently housed at a significant number of
monastic complexes, the majority of which are very early: we
300
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
have epigraphical evidence from Sand, Sonari, Andhe
Mathura, Amaravati, Bedsa, Bhaja and Kanheri. These TT,
mains, moreover, were permanently h9used in the same
of architectural structure as. were remains Buddha.r
have elsewhere collected epIgraphlcal, archeologIcal, and liter_
ary evidence that suggests that the mortuary remains or "rel-
ics" of the Buddha were thought to be possessed of "life" Or
"breath," that-as Lamotte says-"la relique corporelle '.
c'est un etre vivant," 57 that they were thought "to be impreg_
nated with the characteristics that defined and animated the
living Buddha," that "relics" are addressed as persons and
behaved towards as persons.
58
Professor A. Bareau had in fact
already noted that the "culte bouddhique des reliques ... s'in->
spire en effet d'abord des marques de veneration que l'on
adresse aux personnes vivantes." 59 But the fact alone, that the
remains of the local monastic dead were both treated and
housed in the same way as the remains of the Buddha, makes
it again very difficult to argue that they were thought to be, in.
any essential way, different. Professor Bareau has also said that
"des avant notre ere, donc, Ie stiipa est plus que Ie symbole du
Buddha, c'est Ie Buddha lui-meme." 70 To argue that the stiipa
of U tayipabhahin, or the stiipa of Gobhuti were thought of any
differently would require clear evidence. What evidence is
available does not now favor such an argument.
The parallelism between the remains of the Buddha and
the remains of the local monastic dead is not limited to the
kinds of structures used to house them. There is as well a strict
parallelism in the way in which these similar structures are
referred to. As we have already seen, although we might
describe a stiipa as a structure "for" relics or a container "of"
relics, our inscriptions do not. They refer to stiipas or cetiyas
"for" persons or "of" persons. This-again as we have seen-is
clearly the case for stiipas "of" or "for" the Buddha or Blessed
One (bhagavato mahiic (e) tiya-, bhagavaio budhasa mahiicetiye, etc.).
But it is also the case for stiipas "of" or "for" deceased local
monks (a'iriinan; utqyipabhiihfnan; cediya-, bhik.[usa griihadiisikasa
sthuva, gobhiitinan; iira1Jakiina.,. thiipo, etc.). Exactly the same
construction and phrasing are used without distinction and
regardless of the person "for" whom the stiipa was intended.
But if this genitive phrasing suggests in the case of the Buddha
CULT OF THE DEAD 301
;'ih t the stupa "of" the Buddha was thol'.ght to contain him, or
owned or possessed by him, or to be-in some sense-the
stupas "of" Utayipab.hahin or
D(}rahadasika or Gobhutl, smce they are referred m exactly
same way, could been of In
'ither words, parallellmgmstlc usage pomts m the same dlrec-
as parallel architectural form. There may be yet another
iparallel as . .
. If we stIck to actually datable stupas of the histoncal Bud-
dha-and put aside the not infrequent assertions of an ''Asokan''
date for what are usually hypothetical "earlier" or "original"
forms of extant structures-then it will be possible to see that
. there may be few or no clear chronological gaps between the
earliest actually datable stupas of the historical Buddha and the
earliest examples of stilpas for the local monastic dead that we
know. We might take Bharhut as an example. Scholarly con-
sensus at least would place it at or very near the beginning of
'the known sequence of stilpas for the historical Buddha. But
Benisti has recently argued that at least the rail that sur-
rounded the Bharhut stilpa was not the earliest such rail. She
has said: " ... la decoration qu'offre la vedikii qui entoure Ie Stilpa
nO 2 de Sanci ... remonte, dans sa quasi totalitc, a la premiere
moitie du IIe siecle avant notre ere; elle est donc, de peu,
anterieure a celIe du stilpa de Bharhut ... et, tres sensiblement,
anterieure a cene des torar;a du grand Stiipa n I de Sanc!." 71 Since
"Ie Stiipa nO 2 de SancI" is a stilpa of the local monastic dead,
this would seem to mean either that this stilpa for the local
monastic dead predates both the Bharhut and Sanci stupas of
the historical Buddha "de peu" and "tres sensiblement," or-at
least-that it was the first of these to receive the kind ofrail we
associate with stiipas of the Buddha and, therefore, may have
been considered, in some sense, more important. However this
might ultimately be decided, it would appear-again at the very
least-that at these early sites there is no clear or considerable
chronological gap between stiipas of the local monastic dead and
stiipas for the historical Buddha; rather, in regard to these struc-
tural sites, there appears to be a broad contemporarity between
the two types of stilpas. This same contemporarity appears to
hold for the Western Caves as well. The main caityagrha at Bhaja
-Bhaja no. 12-has, for example, been called "the earliest
302
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
of rock-cut chetiyagharas of [the] Western Deccan" and a
signed by Nagaraju to the 3rd B.C.E.72 Sorne
the labelled stiipas of the monast:c at BhaJa have been
assigned to the same penod. There IS, agam, no clear
logical gap. Even at somewhat later sites stiipas for the BUddha
and stiipas for the local monastic dead seem to appear sirnul,
taneously. The inscription in Cave 7-the main caityagrha at
Bedsa-is assigned by Nagaraju to his "series III" (60
, B.C.E.), but that associated with Gobhuti's Stiipa he places in
his "series IVa" (60 B.C.E. to 100 C.E.), and he says that it
"probably" falls towards the end of the 1st Century B.C.E.73
Given the fact that paleography alone is rarely capable of rnak-
ing such fine distinctions, it is clear that the two inscriptions_
and therefore the two stiipas-belong to the same broad period.
Although the question requires and deserves much fuller study,
it appears now that there is very possibly little, if any,
chronological gap between stiipas for the historical Buddha and
stiipas for the local monastic dead, little clear evidence for the
kind of gap which could suggest that practices connected with
the former's remains were over time extended or generalized to
the remains of the latter. Archeologically and epigraphically
the two types of stiipas appear now as roughly contemporary,
with in some cases some indication that stiipas of the local
monastic dead may actually have predated those of the Bud-
dha. It is interesting to note, moreover, that if we look at the
internal chronology or "narrative time" taken for granted in
our literary sources, it would appear that their redactors also
considered stiipas for the local monastic dead to predate those
of the Buddha. Both the stiipas mentioned in the Udana and
Apadana, and that referred to in the PaIi Vinqya, for example,
long preceded-according to the narrative time assumed by
. our texts-those erected for the Buddha.
74
It might in fact some
day be possible to argue that the relic cult and stiipa of the his-
torical Buddha only represents a special and particularly well
known instance of what was a common and widespread monas-
tic practice. It may, indeed, have been much more widespread
than our certain evidence now indicates.
I t is certain that there were stiipas of the local monastic
dead at Sanci, Sonari, Andher, Mathura, AmaravatI, Bhaja,
Bedsa and Kanheri. This is certain because at all these sites we
CULT OF THE DEAD 303
either inscriptions or labels to prove it.
These and therefore certam mstances of course,
inIportant m themselv:s. But als? .have Imp.ortance
chich goes beyond theIr respectlve mdIvIdual sItes. GIVen the
toor state of preservation of most Buddhist sites in India, and
,fhevirtually complete absence of contemporary documentation
concerning them, we often must, and can, argue-as in
in general-from those cases which are certain to
those that are less so. In this situation, the individual labelled
stiipas in their own small shrines placed near the. main
shrine at Bedsa and Kanhen, the clearly labelled stiipas m the
ordered monastic cemeteries at Bhaja and Kanheri, and the
nIultiple labelled deposits-in Stiipa no. 2 at Sand, all have
siderable indexical or typological importance. They establish
the important fact that all secondary stiipas at monastic sites
'which are situated in small separate shrines near the main
stiipa, or in ordered groups away from the hub of the complex,
or that contain multiple deposits, are-in every case in which they
are labelled and it can therifore be determined-mortuary stiipas of the
local monastic_ dead. In light of this, it would seem that unless,
and until, there is evidence to the contrary forthcoming, we are
obliged to' assume that those stiipas found at monastic sites
which are similar, but not actually labelled, are also stilpas of
the local monastic dead. On this basis we may be able to iden-
tifya considerable number of additional stilpas of this category.
We may note, for example, using Nagaraju's numbers, that
Cave 1 at Bedsa, and Caves 2c, 2d, and 2e at Kanheri, are all-
like the shrines of Gobhuti at Bedsa and Dharp.mapala at
Kanheri-excavations grouped around the main cairya-hall at
their respective sites; they are all small chambers; they all con-
tain a single stilpa.
75
If these are not mortuary stiipas for the
local monastic dead like those of Gobhuti and Dharp.mapala,
they have no readily explainable function. We may note as well
that both at cave and structural sites there are groups of
unlabelled small stiipas which look remarkably like the labelled
monastic cemeteries at Bhaja and Kanheri.
Among the Western Caves, Sudhagarh provides an early
example. Here in "a large low-roofed cell" Kail found a group
of eight stilpas ranging in height from three-and-a-half to four-
and-a-half feet. Kail, without citing his evidence or good illus-
304
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
tration, said "are not stupa! but are funerar
. mounds, the relIcs ... of a Buddhist samt bemg enshrined inY
hollow receptacle in the square 76 Nadsur also
vides a good example. Here in Cave 3-which
34' X 20' -there are twelve stilpas differing somewhat in siz
s
form, and type of construction, making it virtually certain th:t
they were not cut or constructed all at the same time. In fact
four of these stupas were structural and in the most complete of
these Cousens found "a handful of old rice husks, and about as
much grey ash." 77 We might cite Pitalkhora as a final example
from the caves. At Pitalkhora, on the side of the ravine opposite
the main caityagrha and the living quarters, Deshpande
describes a cluster of four excavations all of which contain at
least one small stupa, and one of which contains three, again
dating to different periods. None of this cluster of small stu pas
is well preserved, but in at least one Deshpande noted "two
holes," one with "a ledge ... to receive a cover," which-on
analogy with similar still plugged holes still containing "relics"
in the stupa of his Cave 3-could only have been used to hold
mortuary deposits. 78
There are no inscriptions associated with these stupas at
Sudhagarh or Nadsur or Pitalkhora, but at all these sites we
seem to see a number of common characteristics. In so far as .
we can tell from the reports, there is evidence at all three sites
that these were mortuary stupas. At all three sites these stupas
had been placed together in orderly groups over more or less
long periods of time. In so far aswe can tell-and this is pare
ticularly clear at Pitalkhora-these groups were situated well
away from the public areas oftheir complexes. All three cases-
on analogy with similar but inscribed and, therefore, certain
cases at Bhaja and Kanheri-can only have been, it seems,
cemetery shrines for the local monastic dead. This same kind
of argument could be made for several structural sites as well.
This argument could be made for Bhojpur, for example,
where at least fifty small stupas whose mortuary character is
strikingly evident-large deposits of bones being found in sev-
eral-are placed together away from the hub of the complex in
a way which parallels the placement of the local monastic dead
in the cemeteries of the Western Caves and, significantly, at the
structural site at Sand.
79
I t could be made for the orderly rowS
CULT OF THE DEAD
305
{Jllortuary stilpas at GUl).tupalle, in Andhra, which Longhurst
'iong ago suggested .could represent "the ruined tombs of monks
>ho died" at the slte.
80
It could be ma<;1e for the area "to the
1st and north-east of monastery 19" at SravastI, which "seems
been specifically utilized for the erection of stilpas." 81 It
tould, as well, be made in regard to the curious orderly
a.rrangement of secondary stilpas at Laupya Nandangarl;,
0hose mortuary character is again clear and whose Buddhist
hfliliation now seems sure.
82
All these sites-and a number of
6thers-have all or several of the characteristics which define
'inscribed and therefore certain monastic cemetery shrines, and
this would suggest that they too belong to this category.
It is, however, not just individual labelled shrines or label-
led monastic cemeteries which have uninscribed parallels. The
certain cases of the deposition of the mortuary remains of a
number of local monks together in a single stilpa at Sand,
Sonari and Andher argue well for Longhurst'S interpretation of
the deposits he discovered in at least two stilpas at Nagarjuni-
kOl).Qa. Longhurst found in the spaces created by the "spokes"
and cross-walls of the foundations of his stilpa no. 4 "twelve
water-pots covered with inverted food bowls ... together with
six large begging-bowls ... placed on the floor of the chamber
near the other vessels. The pots were in small groups of three
or four and filled with a mixture of bone ash and fine red
earth." By itself, in a separate space, he also found a distinc-
tively shaped "globular" pot inside of which was a silver "cas-
ket" which contained in turn "a tiny gold reliquary." Longhurst
suggests that this stilpa "was built to contain the remains of
twelve monks and the ashes of SOme important divine" from the
monastery in front of which it stands. In his stilpa no. 5 Long-
hurst again discovered six "water-pots and bowls" of the same
form and content, and again suggested that this stilpa too "was
erected to contain the remains of monks or priests" belonging
to its associated monastery. 83
None of the deposits in the two stilpas at Nagarjunikol).<;la
were labelled, and Longhurst does not cite the Sanc!, Sonari,
and Andher deposits which are. The latter, however, establish
a sure precedent for the deposition of the mortuary remains of
a number of local monks together in a single stilpa, and they
indicate again that, until we have equally sure evidence or
306
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
examples to the contrary, we must assume-even in th';,
absen.ce of inscriptions-these stiipas at
as Longhurst suggested, the remams of the
mOI}astlc dead. The same may apply as well to other instanc>
At Sravastl, for example, in the northe::i"
corner of a very early stiipa three earthen Jars", filled" h
" . h' + d d I " 84 ' e
says, WIt a mIxture 01 san an cay.
To round out the range of the possible, we might cite sevedC
examples in which there are neither associated inscriptions nor
parallels with such inscriptions, but which nevertheless have
been interpreted as possible stiipas for the local monastic dead,"
Ghosh, for instance, in referring to the still badly reported
monastery at KausambI, has said: "the portion ,.
presently excavated contained the foundations of a large number
of small stiipas and pavements with numerous roughly-circular ....
post-holes. It appears that ordinary monks were memorialized ..
by the erection of small pillars, their relics being buried in
earthen pots in the floors adjoining the small stiipas." 85 In vihiiras
at Taxila, Kalawan, and Mohra Moradu, Marshall found small
stiipas built in what originally could only have been the living
quarters of individual monks. He suggested that these stiipas
were funeral monuments intended "as memorials to signalise
the sanctity of the cell where some specifically holy bhikshu had
lived and died," that these stiipas "probably" contained the ashes
of these monks, or "doubtless contained the bodily relics" of a
former resident. 86
I t would appear, then, that the list of certain, probable,
and possible monastic sites for which there is evidence for the
permanent housing or enshrinement of the local monastic dead
is already a long one: SancI, Sonari, Andher, Mathura, Bedsa,
Kanheri, Bhaja, AmaravatI, Sudhagarh, Nadsur, Pitalkhora,
Bhojpur, GUl).tupalle, Sravastl, Lauriya Nandangarl;l, Nagar-
junikol).<;l.a, KausambI, Taxila, Kalawan, and Mohra Moradu.
This list-which is nothing more than preliminary and provi-
sional-is startling if for no other reason than that it reflects
only what a superficial survey turned up in reports of explora-
tions and excavations which were almost completely uncon-
cerned with, and uninformed about, the treatment of the local
monastic dead. A good deal could be said about early archeo-
logical methods in India and the character of the published
CULT OF THE DEAD 307
.rts much of which would not be kind. One thing, how-
'clear: Buddhist historical archeology in India was from
'eyer, . .
beginnmg-and to a large degree remams-text -bound. 87
:ianfortunately, the texts that were, to some degree con-
to be, the best known are commg more and more to be
:tin . d 1 h .
t'len as least representatIve an -at east as t ey mter-
than a sure guide to actual practice.
88
This meant,
that investigators of Buddhist monastic sites often
not know what to look for or did not recognize what they
gtyere seeing. Since, for example, it was taken on good scholarly
':1{iithority that "the Vinqya" contained no rules governing the
;?dlsposal of the monastic dead,89 it is hardly surprising that no
1!attempt was made to survey sites for evidence of such prac-
What is, however, surprising is that especially the early
',investigators sometimes actually noted such evidence, and in
:;some cases accurately identified it for what it was. It is still
(more surprising that, in spite of anything even approaching a
,:systematic attempt to locate evidence for the treatment of the
IIlonastic dead, our list of sites for which there is such evi-
dence-however casually or incidentally reported-is as long
::a.sit is. Had there been any attempt to locate such evidence, it
isreasonable to assume, our list would have been far longer.
But this list is impressive not just by its length. It contains a
'considerable number of early sites and several of the earliest
sites that we have certain knowledge of (Sanci, Sonari, Andher,
Bhojpur, .Bhaja, Pitalkhora); it some of the m<;-in Bud-
Ldhist sites referred to in Nikqya-Agama literature (Sravastl,
Kausambi); it includes sites from the South (Amaravatl,
NagarjunikOl;H;la, GUl.ltupalle), from the West (Bedsa,
. Kanheri, Sudhagarh, Nadsur, etc.), from the Northwest (Tax-
ila, Kalawan, Mohfa Moradu), from Central India (Sanci,
Sonari, etc.), and from the Buddhist heartland. In short, this
list testifies to a preoccupation with permanently housing or
enshrining the local monastic dead that was very early and
geographically very widespread. Again, if nothing else, this
preoccupation with local monks forces us towards a long over-
due recognition of the limited character of the so-called "great
tradition" and an acknowledgement of the potential signifi-
cance of the purely local in actual Buddhist communities. In
an interesting sociological study of the monasteries and mod-
308
]IABS VOL. 14 NO.2
ern monks ofBhubaneswar, Miller and Wertz found that wh
people were asked to name a "holy man," by far the
number of them (38.2%) named contemporary ascetics in th
local community. Only 11.3% named religious figure:
such as the Buddha, Guru Nanak, or Sankara.
90
These figure
must at least remind us of the distinct possibility that whereas
we tend to locate the "holy" almost exclusively in major
cally known Indian religious men, actual Indian communities
-including monastic communities-may never have done so.
In fact, the mere existence of the architecturally marked pres-
ence of the local monastic dead in so many Buddhist monastic
complexes already suggests that those who lived in such com-
plexes located the holy at least as much in purely figures
as they did in pan-Buddhist figures like the Buddha or Sariputra
and Maudgalyayana. We are, moreover, already able to say a
little more about who or what these local figures were, and
about the individuals or groups who were preoccupied with
preserving their permanent presence. ..
Information regarding the individual local monks whose
remains were preserved at Buddhist monastic sites is, of
course, limited to what is contained in the inscriptions and
labels associated with their stupas or the deposits of their "relics."
In some cases, there are indications of the monk's place of ori-
gin or residence, but in all cases the individual monk involved
is given an ecclesiastical title, or a title indicative of his religious
practice and status, or both. It is, however, almost immediately
obvious that these titles-whether ecclesiastical or religious-
are not, until very late, elaborate. There is little indication that
these individuals were "great saints," at least in terms of what
we might have expected from textual descriptions of religious
achievements.
9
! Nor is there much indication that they were
high ecclesiastics or "pontiffs." Grahadasika in the Mathura
record is simply called a a monk. Dharp.mapala at
Kanheri, and all the monks in the Bhaja cemetery, are referred
to only as "Elders" (thera) and given the title bhadanta, "Rev-
erend." The monks whose remains were deposited inStupa no.
2 at SaiicI may be referred to collectively as uinqyakas, which
should mean "guide, leader, or trainer, discipliner," but may
be an alternative expression for vinaya-dhara, "preserver of the
Vinaya," "Vinaya master." But only one of the monks is indi-
CULT OF THE DEAD 309
"dually so called. Two are called ara, but the significance of the
' X ~ r r I l is unclear. Most scholars have taken it to be equivalent to
Jf
hat
although that is not likely.92The term arhat occurs in the
'frakrit inscript.ions of Central India not infrequently. as
afahata
J
araha
J
anha
J
ariiha, but never as ara. ara could m factJu.st
lias easily be from iirya, although the common form of iirya m
these same inscriptions is aya.
93
One of these monks is also
Called an iiciirya and one is called a "pupil" (iiteviisin). Most sig-
tIificantly, however, all of these monks are individually referred
:to as sapurisa, and in eight out of the ten individual labels that
is all that they are called. At Sonari, too, sapurisa is the only
'religious title that occurs in the four labels; and at Andher,
although one individual is again called a "pupil" and another
a pabhiisana or "luminary," both are p.lso called sapurisas, and
the two other individuals named there are called only that. The
(me thing, then, that all of these monks had in common-in ad-
dition to the fact that their remains had been enshrined in a set
of Central Indian stilpas-was classification as a sapurisa. Unfor-
tunately what such a classification meant is not very clear.
sapurisa in Pali seems to mean little more than "a good, worthy
man" and is cited as "equal to ariya";94 in Sanskrit sources,
too, it is said to mean literally a "worthy or true man." Edger-
ton says both that "they are evidently a lay category" and that
"the term satpuru0a may include monks." 95 Although the monk
in our AmaravatI umbrella inscription may have a title (-pabh-
ahin) which may be related to one of the titles that occurs at
Andher (-pabhiisana), and although he is also referred to as an
arya, the title sapurisa occurs neither in this inscription nor in
any of the other inscriptions or labels associated with the local
monastic dead. It seems to reflect a purely local classification
and-at the very least-one which has no demonstrable con-
nection with "canonical" or textual definitions of religious
achievement or "sainthood." In fact, only two of the early
inscriptions connected with the local monastic dead contain
references to a distinct type of religious practitioner recognized
by the textual tradition. In Amaravati no. 103, Nagasena is
called a pelJrfavatika, a "mendicant monk," and in the stilpa
. inscription from Bedsa, Gobhuti is called both a perfapiitika and
an iiralJaka, a "forest-dweller," as well. Both pilJrfapiitika and
iirar;yaka are, of course, known in the literature, .primarily as
310
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
two of the twelve or thirteen dhutangas or dhutagur;as. But the
. and :value placed on these "ascetic -espe_
CIally In Pall sources-are less than clear. The PaIr Text Society.
Dictionary, for example, refers to a passage that occurs twice
in the Piirivara "deprecating such practices," and says that each
of the dhutahgas is "an ascetic practice not enjoined in the
Vinaya." It notes as well that "the Milinda devotes a whole
book (chap. VI) to the glorification of these 13 dhutangas/' but
says "there is no evidence that they were ever widely adopted."
That there was a certain amount of ambivalence towards these
practices in at least some of the literary sources seems fairly
sure, and it appears that nowhere were they considered obliga-
tory or an integral part of the career of the arhat. I t is therefore
curious that they and they alone find mention in Buddhist epi-
graphs which refer to significant individuals in actual com-
munities.
96
What is perhaps even more significant, though, is
what is absent in these epigraphs. Nowhere in these early
inscriptions which refer to local monks whose remains were
treated like those of the Buddha is there any reference to the
"classical" textual definitions of Buddhist "sainthood," no cer-
tain references to arhats or any of the levels of spiritual attain-
ment associated with or preliminary to this ideal. There are, in
fact, no indications-apart from references to pir;rjapiitikas or
iirmzyakas-that "canonical" or textual definitions of religious
achievement or "sainthood" ever penetrated into actual early
monastic communities in India, no indication in these records
that they were known at all. The absence of such indications in
early records connected with the local monastic dead is in itself
striking. But it is even more so in light of the fact that such indi-
cations are fulsomely found-in spite of what might have been
expected-in the latest series of such inscriptions, long after,
one might have thought, the arhat ideal had lost its predomi-
nant place. It is not until the 6th or 7th century, and even then
only at Kanheri, that we find in records associated with the
local monastic dead certain references to arhats-seven of the
eight Kanheri labels published by Gokhale in 1985 refer to
monks who are called arhats-and to characteristics associated
with textual definitions of "sainthood" -tevija; -?arjabhijiiiina;
aniigiimin, etc. This situation is, again, not what might have
been expected, and deserves fuller study. But it would appear,
CULT OF THE DEAD 311
atthe very least, that we have here yet another case which indi-
cates that we need not-and probably should not-assume that
the presence of an idea in a canonical Buddhist text necessarily
means that that same idea was current in actual Buddhist com-
munities. The two need not-and probably often did not-have
any necessary connection, chronological or otherwise. Our in-
scriptions, for example, suggest that the significance of the
individual local monks whose remains were carefully and per-
cmanently preserved at early monastic sites was not linked to
their having achieved the religious ideals articulated in what
'are taken to be early texts. Such a linkage occurs, in fact, only
later, long after we think those early texts were composed.
Although it would lead too far afield to discuss it here,it is also
at least worth noting that nowhere in these inscriptions-even
very late and at Kanheri-is there the slightest hint or trace of
the religious ideals we associate with the Mahayana. When we
do finally encounter textual definitions of the ideal, they are
definitions articulated in traditions firmly rooted in the nikiiyas
and iigiimas, and show no influence of the Mahayana sutras,
even though a very large number of the latter seem to have
been composed long before.
97
If, then, epigraphical data tells us something about the
local monks for whom stupas were raised and whose remains
were preserved in early India, if it tells us that such monks
were not thought-until very late-to have been arhats, but are
instead said to be theras or bhadantas or, sometimes, pir;qaPiitikas,
that same material also tells us something, finally, about the
people who made considerable efforts to ensure the permanent
presence of those theras and bhadantas in their midst, who estab-
lished, honored and adored the structures that housed them.
Our best information concerning these matters comes,
perhaps, from Stiipa no. 2 at Sand.
Among the labels found on the deposits in Stupa no. 2 at
SanCl there is, as we have seen, one donative inscription.
Majumdar reads the latter as: kiikanava-pabhiisa-siha[n}ii dana,
and translates it: "the gift of the pupils of the Light of Kaka-
nava" - "the Light of Kakanava" being the monk and sapurisa
. Gotiputa mentioned also in an Andher label. If Majumdar's
reading and interpretation are correct, then so too must be his
conclusion: "It may, therefore, be concluded that the casket on
312
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
this inscription occurs was .the. gift of the disciples of
GotIputa, the Kakanava-pabhasa. It IS hIghly probable that th
other three caskets, which do not bear any donative
but were deposited along with this one in the stone box we
on
likewise contributed by the same persons." 98 Although
dar's derivation of what he reads as siha from Sanskrit faiks
a
i.
not entirely free of problems, 99 his interpretation of the
appears to be the most satisfying to date, and it suggests that
the deposition of the monastic remains in Stupa no. 2 at SaiicI
was the result of monastic endeavors. But even if this sugges_
tion cannot be taken as entirely certain, even if some doubt
might remain concerning the donors of the deposit itself, there
. can be no doubt that the structure that housed this deposit was
disproportionately paid for by monks and nuns. There are
ninety-three donative records connected with Stupa no. 2 at
Sand in which the status of the donor is clear, and which
record the gifts of coping-stones, cross-bars, rail-pillars, pave-
ment-slabs and berm and stairway balustrades. Forty-four of
these inscriptions record the gifts of monks (28) and nuns (16),
and eight more the gifts of pupils (antevasin) of monks and
nuns.
lOO
This means that well over half the donors who contri-
buted to the construction and adornment of this stupa of the
local monastic dead were monks and nuns, some of whom were
sutaikas, "versed in the Suttantas," and bhar;akas, "reciters (of the
Dharma)." Unless one would want to argue that monks and
nuns made up more than half of the population in the area
around Sand, it would appear that monks and nuns not only
made up an absolute majority of the donors concerned with
Stupa no. 2, but that their numbers were disproportionately
large in light of the fact that they almost certainly constituted
only a small percentage of the local population-Sancl, after
all, was very near "the famous and populous city of Vi dis a"
and, perhaps, a "nodal point" on an important commercial
route between Andhra and the north.
lOl
I t should, therefore,
have had a large lay catchment area.
I t is unfortunate that we do not have comparably rich data
for other stupas of the local monastic dead. But what we do have
points very much in the same direction. We know, for example,
that the stupa of Gobhuti at Bedsa was "caused to be made" by
the monk-pupil of Gobhuti. It is also virtually certain that the
CULT OF THE DEAD 313

of Grahadasika at Mathura was erected either by a monk
of who resid.ed in the yir;c.ia The
stiJPas m the monastlc both BhaJa and
iE,jZanhen could have been erected and mamtamed only-almost
:\i;ertainly-by the monks of their respective establishments.
they had individual "donors," it is reasonable to assume
.'0that those donors would have been named -as they are at
l,'Beds
a
, Mathura and elsewher:-in their associated inserip-
But no donors are mentIOned. Moreover, the labels at
especially could only have been written by persons
;;familiar with the textual, technical definitions of "sainthood,"
;',and this too would suggest monks. Even in the case of the unin-
stiJpas, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the
,rnonks themselves were responsible for the deposit of the re-
of what appear to be local monastic dead. At Nagarjuni-
',koI).c.ia, for example, neither stilpa no. 4 or 5 was the main stilpa
>at the site. Both appear to have been the private stilpas of the
"rnonasteries that they are closely and physically associated
with. Again, it is unlikely that anyone but the monks could
,2 have established and maintained the orderly groups of stilpas
", at, for example, Sudhagarh and Nadsur. Moreover, and much
',' more broadly, there is evidence to indicate that from the very
beginning constructional activity at monastic sites was-not
surprisingly-under the supervision and control of specifically
.. designated monks, and that, as a consequence, what we see at
such sites is the reflection of monastic choices and monastic
values. Already at Bharhut and Sonari, at Amaravati, Nagar-
junikor;c.ia, Kanheri, etc., we find evidence for the presence of
navakammikas, monks "appointed by the Chapter as a superin-
tendent of the building operations." 102 Njammasch has in fact
, gone some ways towards showing that "Der navakammika war
offen bar eine wichtige Personlichkeit in der Struktur der indis-
chen buddhistischen Kloster." 103 The earliest navakammika that
we have reference to is Isipalita at Bharhut, and he appears to
have been by no means an "average" monk-in addition to
being a "Superintendent of Works," he is also a bhadanta, an
iirya, and a "Reciter (of Dharma)" (bhiirJaka); 104 at Amaravati,
the Navakammika Budharakhita is called both a thera and a
bhadanta-that is to say, he belonged to the same class as did so
many of the monks for whom stilpas were built; 105 at Nagarjuni-
314 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
kOI).Q.a, the three mentioned in "the Second Apsi_
. dal Temple InscnptIOn F are all called theras, the monk
responsible for the construction of the cefiya and vihiira referred
to in "Detached Pillar Inscription H" is called "the Master
the Great Preacher of the Law, the Thera
(acariyena mahiidhaJ!lmakiithik [e Jna dhaJ!lma[gho J sa-therena anu-
thitaJ!l) , and the miihacetiya was said to have been brought to
completion by "the Reverend Ananda, who knows the Dfgha-
and the Majjhima-nikiiyas by heart" (dzgha-majhima-nikiiya_
dharena bhajaJ!ltiinadena nithapitaJ!l). 106 Monks-and often times
learned monks-supervised and controlled building activities
at monastic sites, then; they determined, it would appear, what
was and. what was not built and where it was to be placed.
Their choices and their values are, again, what we see expres-
sed at Buddhist monastic sites. These monastic choices and
monastic values have. almost certainly determined the pres-
ence-whether they are inscribed or not-of the stiipas of the
local monastic dead at so many sites in India.
Although the evidence that we have primarily points
directly and ir"!directly to monastic initiative for the deposition
of the remains of the local monastic dead and the establish-
ment of permanent structures to house them, and although .
this same evidence suggests that monks would have been pre-
dominantly preoccupied with and active in any cult of the local
monastic dead, there is as weIl some evidence to indicate that
the laity was not entirely excluded. The AmaravatI umbrella
inscription, for example, records the gift of an Upasika or "lay
sister" to the stiipa of a local monk, although the stupa itself
seems, obviously, already to have been in existence.
107
At
Kanheri, however, "the stiipa of the Elder, the Reverend
Dharpmapala" is explicitly said to be "the religious gift of
Sivapalitanika, the wife of the treasurer Dhamanaka." 108 In .
addition to these records, there are the donative inscriptions
from Stiipa no. 2 at Sand which also reveal lay participation in
activity connected with the local monastic dead. But that par-
ticipation at Sand, as everywhere else, seems to have been
overshadowed by that of the monks. The place and participa-
tion of the laity in activity connected with the local monastic
dead seems everywhere to have been restricted, and this in
turn may be reflected in the literature.
CULT OF THE DEAD 315
; Conflict-potential or actual-is a consistent theme in
fterary accounts of the deposition of the Buddhist dead. "The
of the relics," never actually launched, is an
lem
ent
ofihe accounts of the death of the Buddha.
lOg
Ananda's
'death and the deposition of his remains also takes place in a
context marked by the threat of war between competing
'artts for his remains.
llo
But the conflict over the remains of
,'Sariputra may be of particular inten;st. Although the only
canonical Pali account of the death of Sariputra has either suf-
'fered-or been intentionally altered-in transmission, still it is
clear from the in the Sal(lyutta-nikaya that the collection
and preservation of Sariputra's remains was thought to have
been an exclusively monastic affair.ll1 The account of these
same events in the Millasarviistiviida-vinaya, however, presents a
much more situation.
112
Although here too the ini-
tial collection of Sariputra's remains was undertaken by a
monk, and they were taken possession of by another monk, the
;Elder Ananda, in this account the monastic claim to exclusive
possession and access is by the wealthy layman An-
. athapi:Q.c;lada. He approaches Ananda and asks for the remains,
but Ananda flatly refuses. This conflict between the monastic
and lay claims has then to be mediated by the Buddha himself,
who initially seems to favor Anathapi:Q.c;lada, and instructs
.Ananda to hand over the remains. But that the redactors of
this version did not see this either as a happy solution or as sig-
nalling the end of monastic control seems apparent from what
follows: Anathapi:Q.c;lada takes the remains and enshrines them
in his own house, but this only restricts access to these relics in
another way. People come to Anathapi:Q.c;lada's house, but find
the door locked. They complain to the Buddha, who as a result
indicates that stilpas for deceased monks-although they might
be erected by laymen-have to be erected within the confines
of the monastery.
Although this quick summary does not do justice to the
text,a text which deserves to be translated in full, it at least
. suggests that its author assumed or asserted the priority of an
exclusive monastic claim to the remains of the monastic dead;
it suggests that that claim at some point had been challenged,
and that the monastic response, to the challenge had been, at
best, ambivalent: it allowed lay participation and involvement,
316
jIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
but it restricted it to the confines of the monastery and indo
cated that lay participation was to be governed by monasti2'
rules. .
The account of the deposition of the remains of Sariputr'
in the Miilasarvastivada-vina;ya is-in so far as we can now tell;
only a story; as such it can only tell us what its compilo
r
0
redactor thought or wanted his intended audience to thin{
The same applies as well to the accounts in the Pali Udana and
Apadana in which the Buddha is presented as di::ecting monks,i
and monks alone, to perform the funeral and bUIld a stiipa fofa(
deceased fellow monk, or the account in the Pali Vina;ya con-
cerning a group of nuns doing the same for one of their:
deceased members .113 There is, of course, as of now no way to
relate any of these geographically unlocalizable and largely.
undatable documents directly to any of our sites. The most that.
we can say is that it appears that all ofthe compilors or
tors of these stories assumed or asserted that concern for the
local monastic dead was originally and primarily a concern of
monks and nuns, that the laity, if they were involved at all,
were thought, or directed to be, only secondarily, even
tially, involved. This assumption or assertion, moreover, would
appear to have been widespread.
These and other passages from the canonical literature,
deserve to be much more carefully studied for what they can
tell us about attitudes and ideas concerning the local monastic
dead that various authors or redactors attributed to the Bud-
dha. It is, however, very likely that they will not tell us very
much, and this, perhaps, gives rise to the broadest generaliza-
tion that we can make. The epigraphical and archeological'
material we have looked at-although it too requires much ful-
ler study-already tells us some important things about the
limitations of our literary sources. We know from the epi-
graphical and archeological sources not only that the remains
of the local monastic dead were housed in permanent structures
that paralleled structures used to house the remains of the Bud-
dha; we know too that the relationship between the local dead
and the structures that housed their remains was expressed
exactly as was the relationship between the "dead" Buddha
and his stiipa-that in both cases the structure was said to be
"of" or "for" the person, not "for" or "of" his remains. We
CULT OF THE DEAD
317
that there was little, if any, chronological gap between
forth: Buddha and stupas for the local dead;
!tfuat
a
amou.nt ?f effort and expendIture went
ensunng the contmumg presence of deceased purely
monks in their communities! that the
g'{local monks were deposIted m separate shnnes near the mam
of som.e sites, or that. the reI?ains several local monks
f"were deposIted together m a smgle stupa, or-most com-
ordered groups of individual stiipas placed away
;\from the central hub of the complex. We know that there were
perhaps regional, definitions of "sainthood," and that the
of bhadanta or thera appears to have had more than
'!Il1erely ecclesiastical significance in actual communities; that
'ithe preoccupation with the local monastic dead was primarily
ii;hrd predominantly a monastic concern and activity. Finally-
,;iand perhaps most importantly-we know that these concep-
/.tions and practices concerning the local monastic dead were cer-
current at Sand, Sonari, Andher, Mathura, Amaravatl,
tBhaja, Bedsa and Kanheri, and probably at a dozen or more
widely separated actual sites, and that such activity was not only
(widespread, but in most cases very early. We know all of this
. Trom epigraphical and archeological material. But almost none
of this could have been clearly perceived, precisely understood,
()r even known from our canonical sources for the simple reason
that all of it took place at a local level in actual monastic com-
munities, and our canonical sources know nothing of-or say
nothing about-the vast majority of the actual local sites at
which we know early monastic Buddhism was practised. There
is, moreover, for the vast majority of such sites, no evidence
that the canonical sources we know were known or used by the
communities that lived there. These sources have, in this sense,
. no direct documentary value at all. If the study of Indian Bud-
dhism is ever to be anything other than a study of what'
appears to be an idealizing and intentionally archaizing litera-
ture, if it is ever to deal directly with how this religion was actu-
ally practised in actual local monasteries, these facts will have
to be fully confronted, however uncomfortable that might be.
318
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
NOTES
1. P Steinthal, Udiina 1885) 8.21;. J. Kashyap, The
Apadiina [Khuddakamkaya, vol. VII]
DevanagarI-Pah-Senes) (BIhar: 1959) 125.16 (54.6.216). .
2. H. ,?ldenberg, The Vintrya PitakaT(l (Lor:do.n: iv 308-09; Cf.
G. Schopen, The Stupa Cult and the Extant Pah Vmaya, Journal of the Piili
Text Society 13 (1989) 91 n.l9 . "
3. For the Tibetan text see D. T Suzuki, The Tibetan Tripitaka, Peking Edi-
tion (Tokyo-Kyoto: 1958) 44, 95-2-1; certain aspects of this text-largely sho;n"
of their context-have been discussed several times: W. W. Rockhill, The Lifed"
the Buddha and the Early History of His Order derived from Tibetan Works in the Bkah.;:
hgyur and Bstan-hgyur (London: 1884) 111; L. de la Vallee Poussin, "Staupikam,"
Harvard Journal of" Asiatic Studies 2 (1935) 276 ff; A. Bareau, "La Construction et
Ie culte des stupa d'apres les vinayapitaka," Bulletin de l'ecole franfaise d'extreme_
orient 50 (1960) 236,240,247,264; G. Roth, "Symbolism of the Buddhist Stilpa
according to the Tibetan Version of the Caitya-vibhaga-vinayodbhava-siitra
the Sanskrit Treatise Stupa-lak;;aJfa-karika-vivecana, and a Corresponding
sage in Kuladatta's Kriyasarp.graha," in The StiJpa. Its Religious, Historical and
Architectural Significance, ed. A. L. Dallapicco1a & S. Z. Lallemant (Wiesbaden:
1980) 183 ff; see below pp. 315-316.
4. de la Vallee Poussin, "Staupikam," 288.
5. For a survey of the kind and character of the "excavation" work done
on Buddhist sites up until the '50s-and comparatively little major work has
been done on such sites since then-see now D. K. Chakrabarti, A History of
Indian Archaeology from the Beginning to 1947 (New Delhi: 1988).
6. J. Burgess, ".Is Bezawa<;la on the Site of Dhanakataka?" Indian Anti-
quary 11 (1882) 97-8. There is a good drawing of the plan and elevation of one
of these "dolmens or rude-stone burying places" at Amaravatl in J. Fergusson,
"Description of the Amaravatl Tope in Guntur," Journal of" the Royal Asiatic Society
of Great Britain and Ireland (= JRAS) (1868) 143, fig.6. AmaravatI is not the only
Buddhist site in Andhra built on or near proto-historical burials. There is evi-
dence of such burials at NagarjunikoJf<;la (R. Subrahmanyam, et aI, Nagar-
junakonda (1954-60), Vol. I (Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India,
No. 75) (New Delhi: 1975) 165 ff), Yeleswaram (M. A. W. Khan, A Monograph on
Yelleshwaram Excavations (Hyderabad: 1963) 4 ff),Jaggayyapeta (R. Sewell,Quel-
ques points d'archiologie de l'inde meridionale (Paris: 1897) 5-6), Goli (K. P Rao,
Deccan Megaliths (Delhi: 1988) 23), etc. The association of Buddhist sites with
proto-historical burials is also by no means limited to Andhra-see, for conveni-
ence sake, D. Faccenna, A Guide to the Excavations in Swat (Pakistan) 1956-62
(Roma: 1964) 62, 65-and deserves to be much more fully studied as a general
pattern.
7. Fergusson, "Description of the Amaravati Tope in Guntur/' 138, 140.
8. For the modern history of the site and a summary account of the work
done on it see N. S. Ramaswami, Amaravati. The Art and History of the StiJpa and the
Temple (Hyderabad: 1975) 14-23. There is epigraphica1 evidence of Buddhist
devotional and donative activity at the site in the 11 th Century (E. Hultzsch, ''A
CULT OF THE DEAD 319
Inscription from Madras Journal qf Literature and Science for
.r,f
S86
-
7
(Madras: 1887) 59-62), In the 12th and 13th Century (E. Hultzsch,
pillar at Amaravati," [= EI) 6 \ 1900-0l)
3i46-
60
), and In the 14th C.enturr(S,,, Rock-
cription of Dharmmaklrttl Sthavlra, Epzgraphza 4 (1935) 90-110.
of the earliest on the site had sculptures, relief
0,t
or
k and plaques whICh belonged to a late period, and In 1954 D. Barrett
!fha,d made an attempt to describe "the Later School of Amaravati" which he
between the 7th and 10th Centuries (D. Barrett, "The Later School of
and its Influence," Arts and Letters 28.2 (1954) 41-53). More recently,
i!oa:certain amount of attention has been focused on what is rather loosely called
',.';tanttic" material from AmaravatI and other Andhra sites (K. Krishna
:}urthy, Iconography qf Buddhist Deity Heruka (Delhi: 1988); K. Krishna Murthy,
;Sculptures qf Vajrl1)!iina Buddhism (Delhi: 1989), and, although this recent work is
\often careless and badly done, still it makes clear that we have much to learn
,.about the later phases of Buddhism in Andhra and suggests that it persisted for
;'16ng
er
than we are wont to think. There is, moreover, evidence for this persis-
nence not just at Amaravatl, but at Salihul).<;lam (R. Subrahmanyam, Salihundam.
A Buddhist Site in Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad: 1964) 91 ff), GUl).tupalle (I. K.
.. Sarma, Studies in Earl:J Buddhist Monuments and Briihmz Inscriptions qf Andhra Defa
i(Nagpur: 1988) 59-91), Gumma<;lidurru (M. H. Kuraishi, "Trail Excavations
atAlluru, Gummadidurru and Nagarjunakonda," Annual Report qfthe Archaeolog-
Survey qf India ( = ARASI) for 1926-27 (Calcutta: 1930) 150-61), and a num-
of other sites.
9. J. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa (Madras: 1882) 4, 9.
10. A. Rea, "Excavations at Amaravatl," ARASI 1905-06 (Calcutta:
1909) 118-9 & pI.L-Rea's pI. XLVI I. 6 reproduces "evidently a late example"
of the kind of sculpture referred to above in n. 8.
11. A. Rea, "Excavations at Amaravatl," ARASI 1908-09 (Calcutta: 1912)
90-91 and figs. 1 & 2. Rea called these burials "neolithic pyriform tombs," but
Rao (Deccan Megaliths, 46) has pointed that " ... taking into account the
recent evidence, we can safely assign them to the megalithic period." Note, too,
the "late" sculptures illustrated in Rea's pIs. XXVI lId and XXXId.
12. G. Schopen, "Burial 'ad sanctos' and the Physical Presence of the
Buddha in Early Indian Buddhism. A Study in the Archeology pf Religion,"
Religion 17 (1987) 193-225.
13. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa, 49.
14. J. Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas qf Amaravati and Jaggl1)!yapeta in the
Krishna District, Madras Presidency, Surveyed in 1882 (London: 1887) pI. xlv.6.
15. Burgess, Notes on the. Amaravati Stupa, 49 (no. 88b); 55 (88b).
Hultzsch's final version appeared in E. Hultzsch, "Amaravatl-Inschriften,"
Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschqft (= ZDMG) 37 (1883) 555-56
(no. 24).
16. H. Liiders, A List qf Brahmi Inscriptions from the Earliest Times to about
A.D. 400 with the Exception qf those qf Asoka (Appendix to Epigraphia Indica 10)
(Calcutta: 1912) no. 1276.
17. R. O. Franke, "Epigraphische Notizen," ZDMG 50 (1896) 600.
320
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
18. C. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Mi .'
(Bulletin. of the Madras Government Museum, N.S.-General Sec. VOl.Us;V')
(Madras. 1942) 295, no. 92. . .,'
19. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa, 55 n. 2.
20. Hultzsch, "AmaravatI-Inschriften," 555-56, no. 24.
21. Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas qf Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta, 87.
22. Lilders, A List qf Brahmi Inscriptions, no. 1276. . .\
23. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Nladras Government lV11Us .... ,.
eurn
295, no. 92; 342. .,.'
24. Et. Lamotte, Histoire du bouddhisme indien. des origines a l'ere faka
vain: 1958) 583-84. . .
25. O.R. Furtseva, "On the Problem of the Territorial Distribution ofth
Buddhist Schools in Kushana Age (According to the Epigraphic Data),"
Summaries qf Papers presented by Soviet Scholars to the VIth yVorld Sanskrit COriference
October 13-20,1984, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US.A. (Moscow: 1984) 55; see als6
A. M. Shastri, "Buddhist Schools as Known from Early Indian Inscriptions"
Bhiiratz, Bulletin qfthe College qfIndology, no. 2 (1957/58) 48; etc.'
26. J. Marshall, A Guide to Sanchi (Calcutta: 1918) 87.
27. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Nluseurn
,
298.
28. Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas qf Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta, 72.
29. Burgess, The Stupas qf Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta, pI. xxxi.6;
Ph. Stern & M. Benisti, Evolution du style indien d'Amariivatz (Paris: 1961) pI.lxvi.
30. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum;'
pi. lxv.8.
31. G. Schopen, "A Verse from the Bhadracarzprar;idhiina in a 10th Century
Inscription found at Nalanda," The Journal qf the International Association qf Bud-
dhist Studies 12.1 (1989) 151-53.
32. See for references G. Schopen, "Two Problems in the History of
Indian Buddhism: the Layman / Monk Distinction and the Doctrines of the
Transference of Merit, " Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 10 (1985) 44-45.
33. M. S. Nagaraja Rao, "Brahm! Inscriptions and their Bearing on the'
Great Stupa at Sannati," in Indian Epigraphy. Its Bearing on the History qf Art, ed. F.
M. Asher & G. S. Gai (New Delhi: 1985) 41-45, esp. 42, no. 8. There are a num-
ber of problems concerning the inscriptions from this recently discovered site
in Karnataka, and their nature even is not fully understood. For example,
although Rao takes the record cited above as a donative inscription and says it
occurs on "an ayaka pillar," it is very likely-to judge by the illustration in his
pi. 62-that it is a memorial pillar, not an ayaka pillar, and the record might
well then be simply a label.
34. Literary sources do, of course, refer to kefanakha-stupas, "stupas for the
hair and nail clippings," and these are-as Feer has said'-presented as a kind
of "monument eIeve a un Buddha de son vivant" (L. Feer, Avadiina-r;;ataka. cent
legendes bouddhiques (Paris: 1891) 482). References to this type of stiipa occur,
moreover, widely. They occur in the Avadiinafataka U. S. Speyer, Avadiinayataka.
A Century qf Edifying Tales belonging to the Hznayiina (St. Petersburg: 1906-09) i
123.1; 307.1 if; ii 71.3; etc.), in the Divyiivadiina (P. L. Vaidya, Divyiivadiina (Dar-
CULT OF THE DEAD 321
a' 1959) 122.1-25: dharmatii khalu buddhiiniiT[l bhagavatiiT[l fivatiiT[l
yiipqyatiiT[l kefanakhastupa bhavanti . .. -this is a particularly impor-
9'a perhaps, and a part of it is quoted as well by Santideva (C. Ben-
i Pr;ikshiisamuccqya. A Comfendiu,,: qfBuddhistic (St. Petersburg: 1897-
148.13) where he attnbutes It to the SarvastlVadms:
athyate), and scattered of t?e Millasarviistivada-vinqya:
(N. Dutt, Gz.lgz: 2 1942) 143.12), the
,ji,;'"iivasika-vastu (N. Dutt, Gdgzt Manuscriprs 1ll 3 (Snnagar: 1943) 98.4), the
.' asana-vastu (R. Gnoli, The Gilgit Manuscript qf the Sqyaniisanavastu and the
'karaTjavastu (Roma: 1978) 28.1,5), the (The Sde-Dge Mtshal-Par
'(' a'-'Gyur. A Facsimile Edition qf the 18th Century Redaction qf Si-Tu Chos-kyi- 'byun-
I,Z!'naSPrepared under the Direction qf H.H. the 16th Rgyal-dban Karma-pa (Delhi: 1977)
10,9.6, 7) etc. There are also a number of references to a kefanakha-stilpa in
of the versions of the meeting of the Buddha with and Bhallika
t!,'(forsome of these-and for further references to kefanakha-stilpas in general--'see
Bareau, Recherches sur la biographie du buddha dans les siltrapitaka et les vinqyapitaka
de la quite de l'eveil a la conversion de fiiripuira et de maudgalyiiyana (Paris:
;;:Jg63) 106-23; A. Bareau,"La construction et Ie culte des stupa d'apres les vin-
BEFEO 50 (1960) 261-63; de la Vallee Poussin, "Staupikam," 285-
\,,86' etc.). But in spite of the fact that there are numerous references in literary
to such stilpas, and in spite of the fact that the Chinese pilgrims refer to
(ZJhem(Li Yung-hsi, A Record qf Buddhist Countries by Fa-hsien (Peking: 1957) 32; S.
f;Beal, Buddhist Records qfthe Western World (London: 1884) ii80, 173; etc.), there is
Wasyet no archeological or epigraphicalevidence to confirm their actual exis-
Moreover, the texts themselves indicate that though such stilpas were
/ thought to have been built while the buddhas in question were still alive, such
;,stupas were only built for buddhas, certainly not for local monks like Nagasena.
'!'Finally, it might be noted that the possibility of cetiyas being made during the
i life time of the Buddha is also explicitly raised in the PaIi Kiilingabodhijiitaka:
:: Sakkii pana bhante tumhesu dharantesu yeva cetiya7?l kiitun (V. Fausboll, The Jiitaka together
. with its Commentary (London: 1887) iv 228.17), and-although the text is not
i entirely clear-what we normally think of as stilpas, siiririka-cetiyas, are clearly
and obviously ruled out. Things like the bodhi-tree which the Buddha had
"used" are alone clearly allowed (cf. de la Vallee Poussin, "Staupikam", 284-
85.) The classification of cetiyas into siiririka, piiribhogika, and uddesika found in
the Kiilingabodhijiitaka and other Pali sources, although frequently cited, shows
several signs of being very late; cf. E. W. Adikaram, Early History qf Buddhism in
Ceylon (Colombo: 1946) 135, but note that he has overlooked the}iitaka passage.
35. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum,
nos. 102, 118; cf. no. 51.
36. G. Buhler, "Inscriptions from the Stupa of Jaggayyapeta," Indian
Antiquary 11 (1882) 258 (II.6), 254(.6); also in Burgess, The Buddhist Stu pas qf
, Amaravati andJaggqyyapeta, 110 (no. 2,1.5; no. 3,1.4).
37. For both ideas see Schopen, "Burial 'ad sanctos' and the Physical
Presence of the Buddha," 194-225, esp. 206-09; G. Schopen, "The Buddha as
an Owner of Property and Permanent Resident in Medieval Indian Monas-
teries," Journal qfIndian Philosophy 18 (1990) 197-200.
322 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
38. It is worth noting here that it is in Andhra alone that st;'uctures ......
nee ted with the local monastic dead are called cetryas. Elsewhere even in co:'
Deccan they are referred to as stilpas. A similar-but not exactly the same_ t e
h
. d . . pat-
tern seems to old as well In regar to structures connected WIth the "dead';
Buddha: in Andhra they are consistently called cetryas, usually maha-ceti ,
while elsewhere in inscriptions-apart from the Western Caves-such stryr aJ,
. uc,
tures are usually called stilpas. In the Western monastic cave complexes there"
evidence to suggest that the structures connected with the "dead" Buddha we;s,
called cetryas (e.g. caityagrha) , while the word stilpa was used "primarily td
denote" what Sarkar calls "small-sized memorial stilpas raised in honour of
some elder thera" (H. Sarkar, Studies in Early Buddhist Architecture if India (Delhi:
1966) 4). Obviously these regional differences must be more fully studied and
precisely plotted, but it is, again, worth noting that some canonical Pali l i t e r a ~
ture-like Andhran epigraphy-shows a clear preference for the term cetiya, and
that this shared preference may evidence mutual contact and influence (cf.
Schopen, "The Stilpa Cult and the Extant Pali Vinaya," 89-91). .
39. Although it is neither well written nor well documented, C. Mar-
gabandhu, "Archaeol?gical Evidence of Buddhism at Mathura - A Chronologi_
cal Study," in Svasti Srz. Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra Felicitation VOlume, ed. K. V Ramesh
et al (Delhi: 1984) 267-80, provides an overview of work on the site; for
attempts to reconstruct even the basic outlines of the development of the site
see M. C. Joshi & A. K. Sinha, "Chronology of Mathura-an Assessment,':
Puratattva 10 (1978-79) 39-44; R. C. Gaur, "Mathura-Govardhana Region: an
Archaeological Assessment in Historical Perspective," in Indological Studies. Prqf
D. C. Sircar Commemoration volume, ed. S. K. Maity & U. Thakur (New Delhi:
1987) 103-13; S. C. Ray, "Stratigraphic Evidence of Coins from Excavations at
Mathura," in Sraddhiinjali. Studies in Ancient Indian History (D. C. Sircar Commem-
oration VOlume), ed. K. K. Das Gupta, et al (Delhi: 1988) 375-84; M. C.Joshi,
"Mathura as an Ancient Settlement," in Mathurii. The Cultural Heritage, ed. D. M.
Srinivasan (New Delhi: 1988) 165-70; etc. There are two papers which-fordif-
ferent reasons-are particularly important for the site, neither of which is directly
connected with Buddhist material: K. W. Folkert, ''Jain Religious Life at Ancient
Mathura: the Heritage of Late Victorian Interpretation," in Mathurii. The Cul-
tural Heritage, 103-12, which discusses some of the distortions in interpretation
which have arisen at least in part from the piecemeal discovery and publication
of the material from Mathura; and H. Hartel, "Some Results of the Excavations
at Sonkh. A Preliminary Report," in German Scholars on India. Contributions to
Indian Studies, VoL II (New Delhi: 1976) 69-99, which both establishes a clear,
datable stratigraphical sequence, and-by contrast-makes clear what could
have been gained by systematic excavation of specific complexes at Mathura.
40. J. E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw, The "Scythian" Period. An Approach to the
History, Art, Epigraphy and Palaeography if North India from the 1st Century B. C. to the
3rd Century A.D. (Leiden: 1949) 181-83; van Lohuizen-de Leeuw refers to a still
earlier treatment of the record in V S. Agrawala, "New Sculptures from
Mathura," Journal if the United Provinces Historical Society 11.2 (1938) 66-76, but I
have been unable to consult this paper.
41. D. C. Sircar, "Brahmi Inscriptions from Mathura," EI34 (1961-62)
9-13, esp. 1O-11 & pI.
CULT OF THE DEAD 323
42. Sircar, "Brahmi Inscriptions from Mathura," II.
43. S. Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture qf Western India (c. 250 B. C.-c. A.D.
(Delhi: 1981) 113 S a Bedsa r:cord is gi:en on p. 329 as well);
iii places the Kanhen IllscnptlOn earI: III t.he penod 100 A-?
180 AD. (see also 333, no. 6 under Kanhe:l). V DeheJ1a, Early BuddhIst
Temples. A Chronology 1972) 177, assIgns the record from Bedsa to
50-30 B.C."; for Kanhen see 183-84.

;'f:. 44. J. Burgess, Report on the Buddhist Cave Temples and their Inscriptions
Survey of Western India, 4) (London: 1883) 89 (VL2) & pI.
';slvi
i
; see also D. D. Kosambi, "Dhenukaka ra," journal qf the Asiatic Society qf Bom-
,bqy30.2 (1955) 50-71, esp. 70; the this stiipa wi;,hin t.he
:;'iBedsa complex the most useful sIte plan IS that publIshed III A. A West, CopIes
from the Caves near Bec;isa, with a Plan," journal qf the Bombay
:'ljranch qf the Royal Asiatic Society 8 (1864-66) 222-24 & 2 pl.-this contains as
:!)well an eye-copy of the inscription.
45. J. Burgess, Report on the Elura Cave Temples and the Brahmanical andjaina
in TMistern India (Archaeological Survey of Western India, 5) (London:
.'.)883) 78 (no. 10) & pI. Ii; for the position ofthis small "shrine" within the com-
>Jj!e
x
see Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture qfWestern India, 197-98 & fig. 39;]. Fer-
;'gusson &J. Burgess, The Cave Temples qfIndia (London: 1880) pl.liii.
. 46. D. Mitra, Buddhist Monuments (Calcutta: 1971) 153.
.... ..... 47. Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture qfTMistern India, 129; Dehejia, Early Bud-
!;dhisl Rock Temples, 47-48; 154, assigns the inscriptions to c. 70-50 B.C.
z . ' 48. For these records from Bhaja, see Burgess, Report on the Buddhist Cave
Temples and their Inscriptions 82-83 (I.2-5); Kosambi, "Dhenukakata," 70-71;
Na.garaju, Buddhist Architecture qfWestern India, 330; etc.
49. Fergusson & Burgess, The Cave Temples qfIndia, 228.
. 50. M. N. Deshpande, "The Rock-cut Caves of Pitalkhora in the
:Deccan," Ancient India 15 (1959) 66-93; esp. 72-73. On "relic" deposits in
monolithic or rock-cut stu pas see also Fergusson & Burgess, The Cave Temples qf
'india, 186 n. 1; H. Cousens, The Antiquities qf Sind. with Historical Outline (Cal-
.cutta: 1929) 105 (referring to Karli);
.' 51. W. West, "Description of Some of the Kanheri Topes," journal qf the
Bombay Branch qfthe Royal Asiatic Society [= jBBRAS] 6 (1862) 116-20, esp. 120.
. 52. Burgess, Report on the Buddhist Cave Temples and their Inscriptions, 67-on
the same page there is a good wood-cut illustrating what a part of the cemetery
looked like in his day.
53. E. W. West, "Copies ofInscriptions from the Buddhist Cave-Temples
of Kanheri, etc. in the Island of Salsette, with a Plan of the Kanheri Caves,"
JBBRAS 5 (1861) 1-14, esp. 12, no. 58.
54. S. Gokhale, "New Inscriptions from Kanheri," journal qf the Epi-
graphical Society qf India 5 (1975) 110-12, esp. 110; S. Gokhale, "The Memorial
Stiipa Gallery at Kanheri," in Indian Epigraphy. Its Bearing on the History qf Art, ed.
F. M. Asher & G. S. Gai (New Delhi: 1985) 55-59 & pI. 94-101, esp. 55; S.
Gorakshkar, ''A Sculptured Frieze from Kanheri," Lalit Kalii (18 (1977) 35-38 &
pis. xvi-xviii, esp. 35; M. S. Nagaraja Rao (ed.), Indian Archaeology J983-84-A
Review (New Delhi: 1986) 154 (cf. M. S. Nagaraja Rao (ed.), Indian Archaeology
1982-83-A Review (New Delhi: 1985) 122).
324 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
55. Gokhale, "The Memorial Stupa Gallery at Kanheri," 56 (no. 1 I
) (
. ) , p .
95 ; 57 no. 4, pI. 98 . . .
56. Gokhale, "New Inscriptions from Kanheri," 110; Gokhale, "Th
Memorial Stupa Gallery at Kanheri," 56.' e
57. Before leaving the question of the use of plurals of respect in BUddhi
inscriptions-a question which also requires further study-it is important t
st
note that the use of such plurals, though characteristic of records referring to
the local monastic dead, is not restricted to records of this kind; see, for
pIes, E. Serrart, "The Inscriptions in the Caves at Nasik," EI8 (1905-06) 76.
Burgess, Report on the Buddhist Cave Temples and their Inscriptions 85, no. 7; 87, no:
22; 95, no. 17; etc;. D. C. Sircar, Epigraphic Discoveries in East Pakistan (Calcutta:
1975) II (there is here, however, the additional problem that the inscription Sir-
car is referring to may not be Buddhist-cf. S. Siddhanta, "The Jagadishpur
Copper Plate Grant of the Gupta Year 128 (A.D. 44-48)," Journal of the Varendra
Research Museum 1.1 (1972) 23-37); Schopen, "The Buddha as an Owner of'
Property and Permanent Resident in Medieval Indian Monasteries," 188 (refer-
ring to the Valabhl grants); etc. .
58. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa, 55 (no. 88b) and n. 2; Hultzsch
"Amaravan-Inschriften," 555-56; Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas of Amaravati and
Jaggayyapeta, 87; Liiders, A List of Brahmi Inscriptions, no. 1276; Sivaramamurti
Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum, 295 (no. 92). '
59. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa, 55 n. 2.
60. M. A. Mehendale, Historical Grammar of Inscriptional Prakrits (Poona:
1948) 122 (232, c ii); O. von Hiniiber, Das Altere Mittelindisch im Uberblick
(Wien: 1986) III (221).
61. A. Cunningham, The Bhilsa Topes; or Buddhist Monuments of Central India
(London: 1854) esp. 184-89; 203-05; 223-36. The local character of the monks
whose remains were deposited in the stupas at Sand and related sites has been
obscured by an ear.ly and persistent tendency to identify some of these monks
with some of the monks involved in the so-called "Third Council" which is
known only from Sri Lankan sources. This sort of identification started with
Cunningham himself (pp. 184-89) and has been reasserted-with variation
and differing degrees of certitude-over the years: J. F. Fleet, "Notes on Three
Buddhist Inscriptions," JRAS (1905) 681-91; W. Geiger, The MahiivaT[lsa or the
Great Chronicle of Ceylon (London: 1912) xix-xx; E. Frauwallner, The Earliest
Vinaya and the Beginnings of Buddhist Literature (Serie Orientale Roma VIII)
(Roma: 1956) 14-15; Lamotte, Histoire du bouddhisme indien, 333-34; etc. Such
identifications have not, however, gone entirely unquestioned, and recently
Yamazaki has presented an argument which has put the question of the "coun-
cil" and the identification of the monks named on the Sand area deposits in an
entirely new light: G. Yamazaki, "The Spread of Buddhism in the Mauryan
Special Reference to the Mahinda Legend," Acta Asiatica 43 (1982)
1-16. It is, moreover, important to note that even if we were to accept thatsome
of the monks whose remains were deposited in stupas at Sand, Sonari and
Andher were connected with a "Third Council," the majority were not. At least
seven of the ten monks-like the named' monks at Bedsa, Bhaja, Kanheri,
Mathura and AmaravaU-are completely unknown in the so-called "GreatTra"
dition," and could only have been local monastic "saints."
CULT OFTHE DEAD 325
': 62. J. Marshall, A. Foucher & N. G. Majumdar, The Monuments if Siiiich'i:
z.f(Delhi: 1940) Vol. I, 294.
"{., 63. For some more recent remarks on Kakanava/Sand see P. H. L.
;;'i.Eggennont, and the and Buddhist Sources,"
:':peyadharma. Studzes zn Memo'Cy if Dr. D. C. Szrcar, ed. G. Bhattacharya (DelhI:
"/1986) 11-27. .
.. ..... 64. Marshall et aI, The Monuments ifSiiiich'i:, Vol. 1,294.
65. Majumdar's interpretation of siha, which he says "can be equated
Arddha-MagadhI seha, corresponding to Sanskrit faiksha," remains, how-
problematic; see below n. 99.
66. For the inscriptions from Sand Stupa no. 2 see Marshall et aI,
Monuments if Siiiich'i:, Vol. I, 363-75, nos. 631-7l9, nos. xvi-xxi, nos. 803,
819-21.
67. Lamotte, Histoire du bouddhisme indien, 474.
68. Schopen, "Burial 'ad sanctos' and the Physical Presence of the Bud-
" 203-11; G. Schopen, "On the Buddha and his Bones: the Conception of
in the Inscriptions of Nagarjunikol,lr;la," Journal if the American Oriental
108 (1988) 527-37, esp. 530-33.
69. Bareau, "La construction et Ie culte des stupa d'apres les vm-
ayapitaka;" 268.
70. Bareau, "La construction et Ie culte des stupa d'apres les vm-
'ayapitaka," 269.
71. M. Benisti, "Observations concernant Ie stupa n 2 de SancI," Bulle-
:',tind'etudes indiennes4 (1986) 165-70, esp. 165.
. . 72. Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture if Western India, 119; 129.
73. Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture if Western India, 112-13.
74. For references see ns. 1 & 2 above.
75. Nagaraju, Buddhist Architecture if Western India, 107; 191.
76. Very little work has been done on the Buddhist caves at Sudhagarh,
the primary source of information on them being O. C. Kail, "The Buddhist
Caves at Sudhagarh," Journal if the Asiatic Society if Bombay, ns. 41/42 (1966/67)
184-89, figs. 1-7. Kail assigns the caves to a period ranging from 200 B.C.E. to
150 B.C.E. (p. 188).
77. H. Cousens, An Account if the Caves at Nadsur and Karsambla (Bombay:
1891) esp. 3-4 & pI. II; see also J. E. Abbott, "Recently Discovered Buddhist
Caves at Nadsur and Nenavali in the Bhor State, Bombay Presidency," Indian
Antiquary 20 (1891) 121-23. Cousens (p. 10) says: " ... 1 think we cannot be far
wrong in ascribing to these caves as early a date as Bhaja or Kondane, i.e.,
about B.C. 200"; Dehejia, Ear(y Buddhist Rock Temples, 118, assigns the sculpture
at Nadsur to "the period of Sane hi II," but the inscriptions to "around 70 B.C."
(p.153).
78. Deshpande, "The Rock-cut Caves ofPitalkhora in the Deccan," esp.
78-79; see also W. Willetts, "Excavation at Pitalkhora in the Aurangabad Dis-
trict Oriental Art, ns. 7.2 (1961) 59-65; Mitra, Buddhist Monu-
ments, 174-the latter says: "Curiously enough, all the four caves of this group
. are associated with stiipas .. . evidently made in memory of some distinguished
resident-monks as at Bhaja."
326 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
79. A. Cunningham, The Bhilsa Topes; or Buddhist Monuments qf
India,211.,...20. .
80. A. H. Longhurst, "The Buddhist Monu,ments at Guntupalle,
District," Annual Report qf the Archaeological Department, Southern Circle, Madras .fi
the Year 1916-17 (Madras: 1917) 30-36 & pIs. xvii-xxvii, esp 31, 35; see ~ 1 or
R. Sewell, "Buddhist Remains at GUJ)tupalle," JRAS (1887) 508-11; A. Barea
so
"Le site bouddhique de Guntupalle," Arts Asiatiques 23 (1971) 69-78 & figs. 1 ~
32. Professor Bareau noted that "de tels alignements de petits stiipa se retro _
vent sur d'autres sites bouddhiques," and evidence for the mortuary charact
U
. er
of these stiipas is accumulating: see A. Ghosh (ed.), Indian Archaeology 1961-62_A
Review (New Delhi: 1964) 97; B. B. Lal (ed.), Indian Archaeology 1968-69-'A
Review (New Delhi: 1971) 64. For other results of recent work on the site see L
K. Sarma, "Epigraphical Discoveries at Guntupalli," Journal qf the Epigraphical
Society qf India 5 (1975) 48-61 & pIs. i-ix (pL i gives a good photograph of the
rows of stupas on the middle terrace); Sarma, Studies in Early Buddhist jV10numents
and Brahm! Inscriptions qf Andhradefa, 57-91. .'
81. See, for convenience's sake, M. Venkataramayya, Sravastz (New Delhi:
1981) 15.
82. T. Bloch suggested that "the funeral mounds in Lauriya go back
the pre-Mauryan epoch," and hinted at a "Vedic" connection (T. Bloch, "Exca-
vations at Lauriya," ARASI1906-07 (Calcutta: 1909) 119-26. Bloch's views are
still occasionally referred to (e.g., P. V Kane, History qf Dharmafastra Vol.IV
(Poona: 1953) 234,254), in spite of the fact that Majumdar's later work on the
site (N. G. Majumdar, "Explorations at Lauriya-Nandangarh," ARASII935-
36 (Delhi: 1938) 55-66 & pIs. xix-xxi; N. G. Majumdar, "Excavations at
Lauriya Nandangarh," ARASI1936-37 (Delhi: 1940) 47-50 & pIs. xxi-xxiv)
"proved that many of the mounds at Lauriya are Buddhist in character, enclos-
ing stiipas" (so G. N. Das, "Coins from Indian Megaliths," Bulletin qfthe Deccan
College Research Institute 8 (1947) 208; cf. Mitra, Buddhist Monuments, 83-85).
A good survey of work on the site may be had in]. E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw,
"South-East Asian Architecture and the Stupa ofNandangarh," Artibus Asiae 19
(1956) 279-90; esp. 281 ff .
. 83. For both stiipas and Longhurst's comments see A. H. Longhurst, The
Buddhist Antiquities qf NagarjunakOT}qa, Madras Presidency (Memoirs of the
Archaeological Survey ofIndia, no. 54) (Delhi: 1938) 20-21. There may as well
be a third stiipa of this type at NagarjunikoI.J.Q.a-see A. Ghosh (ed.), Indian
Archaeology 1955-56-A Review (New Delhi: 1956) 25, under Site XXV
84. ]. H. Marshall, "Excavations at Saheth-Maheth," , ARASI191O-11
(Calcutta: 1914) 4.
85. A. Ghosh (ed.), Indian Archaeology 1955-56-A Review (New Delhi:
1956) 9; see also G. R. Sharma, "Excavations at Kausambl, 1949-55," Annual
Bibliography qf Indian Archaeology 16 (Leyden: 1958) xlii-xliii.
86. ]. Marshall, Taxila. An Illustrated Account qf Archaeological Excavations
carried out at Taxila under the Orders qf the Government qf India between the Years 1913 and
1934 (Cambridge: 1951) VoL I, 246; 335; 361;]. Marshall, Mohenjo-Daro and the
Indus Civilization. Being an Official Account qf Archaeological Excavations at Mohenjo-
Daro carried out by the Government qf India between the Years 1922 and 1927 (London:
CULT OF THE DEAD
327


Vol. I, 120-21-see also R. D. Banerji, Mof:enJodaro. A Forgotten Report (Var-
'e " i' 1984) 59 fT. The burial deposits in what has been taken to be a Buddhist
jdlJ1a;a'stery at Mohenjo-daro may also be connected with the local monastic
but the this data remains controversial. . . .
ri ',: 87. cf. G. Schopen, Archeology and Protestant PresuppOSItIOns In the
; 'Study oflndian Buddhism," History qfReligions 31 (1991) 1-23.
,. 88. Schopen, "The Stiipa Cult and the ExtantPali Vinaya," 96-98;
Schopen, "Monks and the Relic Cult in the Mahiiparinibbiinasutta: An Old
;fMisunderstanding in Regard to Monastic Buddhism," in From Benares to Beijing:
iiCEssays on Buddhism and Religions in Honour qfProf. Jan Yiln-hua, ed. G. Schopen
i&K. Shinohara (OakvIlle: 1991) 187-201.
:.L 89. See H. Oldenberg, Buddha. Sein Leben, seine Lehre, seine Gemeinde (Berlin:
384 n. 3; H. Oldenberg, Buddha: His Life, His Doctrine, His Order, trans. W.
Boey (London: 1882) 376 & note (which contains a significant addition); T. W.
Rhys Davids, Buddhist Suttas (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XI) (Oxford: 1900)
("xliv-xlv; but see too G. Schopen, "On Avoiding Ghosts and Social Censure:
'Monastic Funerals in the Miilasarvastivada-vinaya," Journal qfIndian Philosophy
;20 (1992) in the press.
90. D. M. Miller & D. C. Wertz, Hindu Monastic Life. The Monks and
Monasteries qfBhubaneswar (Montreal: 1976) 100, table 8.
91. See most recently-although limited to Pali sources-G. D. Bond,
. "The Arahant: Sainthood in Theravada Buddhism," in Sainthood. Its Manifesta-
tions in World Religions, ed. R. Kieckhefer & D. G. Bond (Berkeley: 1988) 140-71.
92. Marshall et aI, The Monuments qfSiiiichZ, Vol. 1290 n. 5.
93. Mehendale, Historical Grammar qf Inscriptional Prakrits, 169 (294); 166
(290 b, i).
94. T. W. Rhys Davids & W. Stede, The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dic-
iionary (London: 1921-25) 680.
95. F. Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary (New Haven: 1953) 554.
96. These references to "ascetic" monks-one specifically called a
"forest-dweller"-may suggest that what has been noted recently in regard to
such monks in modern Thailand and Sri Lanka may have a long history; see
. S. J. Tambiah, The Buddhist Saints qfthe Forest and the Cult qf Amulets (Cambridge:
1984); 5.]. Tambiah, "The Buddhist Arahant: Classical Paradigm and Modern
Thai Manifestations," in Saints and Virtues, ed.]. S. Hawley (Berkeley: 1987)
111-26; M. Carrithers, The Forest Monks qfSri Lanka. An Anthropological and Histor-
ical Study (Delhi: 1983); etc.
97. There are also epigraphical references to the Mahayana, or related to
what we call "the Mahayana," which almost certainly predate the Kanheri
labels-at least two at Kanheri itself; see G. Schopen, "Mahayana in Indian
Inscriptions," Indo-Iranian Journal 21 (1979) 1-19; G. Schopen, "Two Problems
in the History of Indian Buddhism: The Layman/Monk Distinction and the
Doctrines of the Transference of Merit," Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 10
(1985) 37-43; G. Schopen, "The Inscription on the Image of Amitabha
and the Character of the Early Mahayana in India," The Journal qf the Interna-
tional Association qf Buddhist Studies 10.2 (1987) 99-134; G. Schopen, "The Bud-
dha as an Owner of Property and Permanent Resident in Medieval Indian
Monasteries," 211 n. 49.
328
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
98. Marshall et aI, The Monuments qfSiiiichz, Vol. 1,294.
99. Elsewhere at Sand itself we find sijhii- for saik.fii-, and sejha-
which suggests a development different from that s,uggested by
Mehendale, Historical qrammar qf 1nscriptiona;l Prakrits, 151 (267.b, 286.a
also von Hiniiber, Das Altere Mittelindisch im Uberblick, 114-16 (232-36).
100. See Schopen, "The Stilpa Cult and the Extant Pali Vinaya," 97 n.
for a detailed tabulation.
101. Marshall, A Guide to Sanchi, 2; H. P. Ray, "Bharhut and
Nodal Points in a Commercial Interchange," in Archaeology and History. Es
says
i7L
Memory qfShri A. Ghosh, ed. B. M. Pande & B. D. Chattopadhyaya (Delhi: 1987)
Vol. II, 621-29-it should be noted that Ray's figures and remarks concernin
the donors at both Sanci and Bharhut are unreliable; they are entirely based g
Liiders List and do not take into account the much fuller and more complete
lections of inscriptions from both sites published after 1912.
102. This is the definition of navakammikas given by J. Ph. Vogel, "Prakrit
Inscriptions from a Buddhist Site at Nagarjunikonda," E120 (1929-30) 30.
103. M. Njammasch, "Der navakammika und seine Stellung in der Hierar"
chie der buddhistischen Kloster", Altorientalische Forschungen 1 (1974) 279-93
esp. 293; but see also P. V. B. Karunatillake, "The Administrative
of the Nalanda Mahavihara from Sigillary Evidence," The Sri Lanka Journal of
the Humanities 6 (1980) 57-69, esp. 61-63; G. Fussman, "Numismatic and Epi-
graphic Evidence for the Chronology of Early Gandharan Art," in Investigati7Lg
Indian Art, ed. W. Lobo & M. Yaldiz (Berlin: 1987) 67-88, esp. 80-81 and the
sources cited there.
104. H. Liiders, Bhiirhut Inscriptions (Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum'
2.2), ed. E. Waldschmidt & M. A. Mehendale (Ootacamund: 1963) 38 (A59).
105. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum,
290 (no. 69).
106. Vogel, "Prakrit Inscriptions from a Buddhist Site at Nagarjunikonda,"
22;24 (for an important correction to Vogel's reading of the "Detached Pillar
Inscription H," see K. A. Nilakanta Sastri & K. Gopalachari, "Epigraphic
Notes," EI24 (1937-38) 279, VI); 17.
107. See above p.
108. See above p.
109. See, for convenience sake, A. Bareau, Recherches sur la biographie du
buddha dans les sutrapitaka et les vinayapitaka anciens: II les demiers mois, le parinirvii7}a
et les funerailles, t.ll (Paris: 1971) 265-88.
1l0. Suzuki, The Tibetan Tripitaka, Peking Edition, 44, 243-3-5 ff; cf. J.
Przyluski, "Le partage des reliques du buddha," Melanges chinois et bouddhiques 4
(1935-36) 341-67, esp. 347 ff.
lll. The account of Sariputra's death occurs at L. Feer, SaT(lyulta-nikiiya,
Part V (London: 1898) 161-63, and is translated in F. L. Woodward, The Book qf
the Kindred Sayings, Part V (London: 1930) 140-43. The text as it appears in Pali
has a close parallel in the Tibetan K.fudrakavastu (Suzuki, The Tibetan Tripitaka,
Peking Edition, 44, 93-1-7 ff) as well. The textual situation for the Pa.li version
is complicated. In the text as printed by Feer, when Cunda announces
Sariputra's death he says: iiyasmii bhante siiriputto parinibbuto idam assa pattaclvaran
CULT OF THE DEAD 329
the Venerable Sariputta has passed away-here are his robe and bowl."
represents the Sri Lankan mss., but Feer notes that one of his Bur-
:';i, e rnss. has ... idam assa pattacfvaraT(l idaT(l dhiituparibhiivanan ti, and Woodward's
this reading is characteristic of the Burmese mss. What
means is not immediately obvious, but it almost certainly
a reference to relics. In fact the text of the SaT(lyutta on which Buddhaghosa
:1'" ote his commentary-the Siiratthappakiisinf-also appears to have had a refer-
*,tr;ce to relics. Buddhaghosa, citing the text, says: idam assa pattaczvaran ti ayam
t;liidssa hi paribhaga-patta. idam dhiitu-parissiivanan ti evaT(l ekekaT(l acikkhi (F. L. Wood-
fiWard, Siirattha-Pakiisinf, Vol. 3 (London: 1937) 221.28): "'This is his robe and
:'\bowl' [rneans] this is indeed the bowl [actually] used by him. 'This is the [or
:t;"a' or 'his'] water strainer [full] of relics' -he described them thus one by one."
. Where the Burmese mss. have the difficult dhiitu-paribhiivana, the text cited by
;'Buddhaghosa had, then, the more immediately intelligible dhiitu-parissiivana,
'\"w
ater
strainer [full] of relics." The latter, in fact, may well represent a "correc-
ti()n" introduced by a scribe who also had had difficulty with the meaning of
f"
, cfaribhiivana. The Tibetan version, though it has nothing corresl?onding to either
"-paribhiivana or -parissiivana, also clearly refers to relics. When Sariputra's death
: .is announced it is done so in the following words: btsun pa fii ri'i bu ni yongs su my a
.ngan las 'das}e/ de'i ring bsrel dang / lhung bzed dang / chas gas kyang 'di lags so /: "The
. Venerable Sariputra has passed away. These are his relics and his bowl and
'robe.'" All of this will require fuller study to sort out, but it seems virtually cer-
(tain that the Pali text as we have it is defective. It appears that in the only
canonical Pali account of the death of Sariputra reference to the preservation of
his relics has either dropped out, or been written out, of the Sri Lankan mss. of
the SaT(lyutta.
112. What follows here is based on the Tibetan translation-see above n. 3 .
.113. For references see above ns. 1 & 2.
II. REVIEWS
in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions if Sri Lanka,
\',pyJohn Holt. New York and Oxford: Oxford University
press, 1991. xu + 269 pp.
','
change through assimilation has fascinated a number of
tZrecent investigators of Sri Lankan Buddhism, for such change, it has
argued, often reflects patterns which are amenable to theoreti-
"tal interpretation. In this recent contribution to the field, what is
:.:offered is an "extended case study" of the way the celebrated
Mahayana bodhisattva AvalokiteSvara (whose characteristic sculptures
.il.lsually carry as a distinctive iconographic attribute a buddha in the
.:.crciwn, hence the book's title), came to be incorporated into the es-
?istmtially Theravada culture of Sri Lanka's Sinhala population. Mainly
;.historical and anthropological in approach, the present work high-
(;lights some striking phases in this process. According to its account,
'shedding Mahayanist associations, AvalokiteSvara was in the course
l)ftime transfigured into the guardian deity Natha (an abbreviation
iapparently of LokeSvaranatha, one of the bodhisattva's alternative
. Iiames) , and was further changed in identity later to emerge as Met-
teyya (Maitreya in Sanskrit), the buddha of the next "world epoch"
r\{kappa). In analyzing the assimilation and legitimation of the beliefs
;.of one tradition by another thus manifested, Holt sees a notable theo-
retical principle at work. New religious forms, he claims, are accepted
. not only because they are found to be "immediately efficacious," but
also because they can be given meaning ("rationalized") within the
accepting tradition's grounding beliefs and telos. The material studied,
Holt maintains, provides reasons for recognizing the existence of a
shifting, interactive relationship between two Sinhala terms which
are crucialin the projection of the Sri Lankan Buddhist world-view,
laukika and lokottara (frequently defined contrastively, these terms are
generally taken to mean, respectively, "worldly" and "other-
worldly" concerns). Graphic support for this is identified within the
long-sustained Sri Lankan iconographic traditions focused on
AvalokiteSvara-Natha: there, insists Holt, both laukika and lokottara
orientations are equally manifested, prompted by changing social
and political factors. Holt also regards the appropriation of the ven-
eration of Avalokitesvara (the cult of "half Asia" in some estimations)
on the part of the Theravada Buddhists of Sri Lanka as a pointer to
the existence of an absorbing and pliable bent (characterized as "in-
331
332
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
clusivity") in their religious and cultural orientation. And he ..... ( .
'. 1 l' d f h' ,sees
va ue III a rno ern a:-vareness 0 t overlooked
fact: It IS, he suggests, a locally avaIlable means ofJustIfying and'
moting a greater tolerance of diversity within the island, now tor!to-l
ethnic strife. Y /
Buddha in the Crown is organized in nine chapters, and is sut,
ported by illustrative material which serves in particular to
into relief an array of diachronically arranged AvalokiteSvara-Nathg,fi
statuary (dated from the eighth century to recent times, and
in various parts of Sri Lanka). After identifying the theoretical issues"
relating to religious change which AvalokiteSvara worship as prai;l
tised here poses, and also articulating his own informing perspec:
tives on this score just noted, Holt enters into his subject proper with
some elucidations on the historical and doctrinal background of the'
bodhisattva. Even the original perceptions of Avalokitesvara, he'
argues, probably were coloured by theistic ideas elaborated in Hindu
and other systems. Mentioned in several classic Sanskrit sources
which inspired Mahayana belief in India and the Far East
the Saddharmapuljr!arzka or "Lotus" sutra), AvalokiteSvara, accordingl
to Holt, was "understood preeminently as a buddhistic hierophant)
of compassion and wisdom." Mahayana metaphysics tended to treat
him as the sambhogakiiya (the body of the eternally present buddha-"
realization), imbued with capacities of both creation and
tion. Given thus the characteristic epithets of LokeSvara ("Lord of'
the World") and Lokanatha ("Protector of the World"), Avalokites-
vara has his "altruism of compassion" underscored in the seventh"
century text, Avalokitefvara GUljakaraljr!avyuha sutra where his is,
besides, ascribed the important attribute of sahgharatna ("Jewel of the
Sangha") in acknowledgement of his special concern for the ground-
ing of dharma ("righteousness") everywhere. These epithets, among
. others, are held to point to a discernible intermingling of laukika and
lokottara orientations in Sinhala Buddhism. The particular account of "
Sri Lanka's AvalokiteSvara-Natha cult presented in this book, it is well'
to reiterate, places great emphasis on this: fluctuations in the relative
influence of these two orientations is indeed projected as a central
datum, borne out by historical and anthropological evidence alike.
To turn to some salient details of the account, Holt connects the
rise of AvalokiteSvara veneration in Sri Lanka to the entrenchment
(amidst the established Theravada orthodoxy's vehement opposi-
tion) of Mahayana teachings in the early centuries C.E. among
religious dissidents there (especially those at the Abhayagiri monas-
tery, situated in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura).
He concedes that what is central to the bodhisattva idea is not alien to
REVIEWS
333
Buddhism. It is, for instance, to the latter'
m's recountings of Gautama Buddhas prevIOUS lIves, and to be
in certain Pali texts, including the Mahiivamsa of Sri Lan-
ila
m
. h hh' kId f"
%j{ provenance, t roug t en common ac now e gement 0 a next
Metteyya. the on
j:i'erg
ed
in parts of the Island IS regarded m the mam as a relIgIOus
that went beyond accepted Theravada doctrinal frames.
:'tde
ed
, much ofthe "impetus" for the late medieval cqnflation there
king and god" is squarely placed outside those frames.
d,tnany event, in delving into the richly complex history of AvalokiteS-
'ara's actual entry into the Sri Lankan religious scene, Holt iden-
:,rifies a northeastern location in the country (Tiriyana) as the site for
of the earliest specimens of his statuary. Dated in the eighth
!c;entury, these specimens, adorned with the meditating dhyiini buddha
'in their head gear (jatiimakuta), tended to establish a basic pattern
'[or many of the later portrayals of Avalokitesvara throughout Sri
'Lanka. Cross-cultural contact, it appears, was an important spur to
,the deepened local veneration paid to this bodhisattva. Influences
from the Pallava kingdom of South India (with which the
:island is shown to have maintained very close relations from the
iiseventh to the tenth centuries), it is argued, had a major formative
Impact on the early developmenfof the cult. Iconography associated
'with the cult of this period-as witnessed by massive rock-carved
'AvalokiteSvara figures found at Situlpahuva and Buduruvegala-is .
held to bear out this impact strongly.
What can the student of religion learn from iconography in the
present context? According to Holt, as already hinted, an ascetic
(lokottara) orientation was quite marked in most of the early represen-
;tations of AvalokiteSvara. But a tendency to invest him with worldly
(laukika) attributes is discerned in the late medieval Sinhala culture
which evolved in the central (Kandyan) areas of Sri Lanka. Here,
Holt believes, AvalokiteSvara was effectivley transformed into a
"national guardian deity," Natha Deviyo. The "strong royal resem-
blance" assumed by contemporary images ofNatha (still preserved in
certain shrines or devalaya dedicated to him, such as those at Vegiriya
and Pasgama) is taken as a reflection of this change. Further processes
of "domestication" are noted still later. Virtually shorn of AvalokiteS-
vara's old ascetic features, Kandyan Natha statuary of the eighteenth
,century, is held to display an even greater predominance of "royal
motifs"; on the other hand, more recent icons of the deity (one at the
Bellanwila temple complex near Colombo, where Natha is portrayed
as a youthful prince is regarded as typical), are actually thought to
exude a "fleshy this-worldliness."
334
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Holt does not explain AvalokiteSvara's cultic presence in S.
Lanka by iconographic evidence alone; he also cites epigraphic h
rr
torical and anthropological data, e.g., Buddhism's
during the late medieval period (when the bodhisattva, it is argue:
was incorporated into the local "socio-political cosmos," and
giously legitimated anew, thereby); and the "mythic and
nants" still kept alive at the Kandy Natha Deavalaya and in a "hand-
ful of outlying villages" located in the Kandyan cultural area. Much
of the second half of the book is actually concerned with the investi_
gation of these data. The main findings at this level deserve notice.
AvalokiteSvara's later emergence as Natha (in the role of "a
powerful national deity" and hence the "epitome of laukika efficacy")
is taken to be a change initiated in the era of the rulers who adopted
Gampola as their capital (14th to 15th centuries). Holt interprets
this change to mark the operation in the main of "twin pressures".:
the influence, on the one hand, of "international Buddhist theories
of royal legitimation" emanating from outside Sri Lanka
Southeast Asia, with whose Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms the island is
shown to have come into various types of contact in this era, though
South India also remained a general source for extra-Theravada in-
fluence then) and, on the other, the status already acquired by Avalo-
kiteSvara inside the country as a "boon-conferring protective regional
deity" under the alias Natha (this is traced to a general waning of
the memory of his Mahayanist antecedents among devotees). Signifi-
cantly, in his new role as a god-protector AvalokiteSavara retained a
special association with the sustenance of royal power. This associa-
tion persisted throughout subsequent periods, reaching its "apex" in
the sixteenth century under Kandyan rulers, some of whom con-
sciously adopted symbols that projected the "image of the bodhi-
sattva / king / god." Identified as unusually assimilative, the culture of
the Gampola era is admiringly highlighted here as "syncretic" and
"eclectic"; Holt finds the characteristics in question amply reflected in
the era's religious edifices and its distinctive genre of poetry, sandesa-
kiivya. Amidst frequent invocations of Buddhicized Hindu divinities,
some notable tokens of Natha devotionalism are observed in this
poetry (where, besides, Holt recognizes a coming together of the
laukika outlook and the lokottara concern, with the preservation of the
dhamma as important element in the latter). The cultic presence of
Natha is considered to be particularly pronounced in the life and work
of Sri Rahula,the celebrated fifteenth century Sinhala monk-writer
and sandesa poet. A recipient of the royal patronage ofParakramabahu
VI -the last Sinhala king to rule over a Sri Lanka-Sri Rahula
is seen as practising a type of religious inclusivism that reflected the
spirit of his age.
REVIEWS 335
Natha's present-day role in Sinhala Buddhism is examined in
..... veral later chapters of the book, which bring to the fore another
se urce for an overall understanding of the Avalokitesvara-Natha cult
;J Sri Lanka::. field s:udies of ritual life ar:d myths ker:t alive in a few
Kandyan Natha shnnes. Readably descnbed at consIderable length,
the observations basic to these studies establish a notable general
point: diminished in influence and
changed WIthal m IdentIty and status, Natha stIll commands some
veneration among Sinhala Buddhists. How exactly is he perceived
by devotees now? Through a particular interpretation of oral and
written mythic material preserved in certain shrines, Holt contends
that there is presently a "reassertion of Natha's bodhisattva orienta-
tion," which was subordinated earlier when his "worldly (laukika)
efficacy" came to be stressed. Indeed, far from being a legitimator of
royal authority, he is, it is argued, increasingly looked upon as a
symbol of spiritual hope-the manifestation of the "next buddha,"
Metteyya. But, notably enough, devotees are still held to credit him
with a protective interest over the few rural localities where Natha
shrines have survived. These shrines are regarded by villagers as
places where sacred power is concentrated, and rituals practised in
them to procure the deity's help-seen as a throwback to an aspect
of popular Buddhist practice in earlier times-are a focus of much
attention in the book's final discussions. Considered overall, says
Holt, the rituals serve to project Natha as standing for the principles
of purity, order and village power, and, true to the AvalokiteSvara
heritage, an available source of laukika assistance as well (especially
to ward off certain bodily ailments). Further evidences of Natha
devotionalism are noted in the annual religious processions (perahara)
and festivals (manga!Jrrya) of the shrines of central Sri Lanka, albeit
intermixed with Buddhist and other beliefs. Thus, amidst ceremonial
homage to Buddha relics and symbolic rites for ensuring fertility and
seasonal rainfall, Natha's laukika interest is held to be very much
avowed within the famous Kandy perahara. A parallel orientation is
discerned in festivals at remote Natha shrines. One such festival
described encompasses an oral reinforcement of AvalokiteSvara's
protective compassion on the part of a ritual specialist who tem-
porarily becomes "possessed" by Natha.
All in all, though it is basically "extracanonical," Holt credits
the particular aspect of "traditional Sinhala Buddhism" he highlights
in this book with considerable value. It is, in his vew, quite a contrast
to the intolerant militancy of "Buddhist modernism" or "Protestant
Buddhism" manifesting in the island (where, notably enough, an
endeavour to seek nibbiina "here and now" is identified). Indeed, the
336
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
evolved cult presently Metteyya, he'
finds, IS more "accommod.atmg, and provIdes withm frames reli,
gious means tor a proxImate assuagement of suffermg (dukkh )
amidst a progressive striving toward ultimate'spiritual fulfillment a,'
A noteworthy addition to the growing literature on Sinhal
a

dhism, Buddha in the Crown serves to enlarge modern understandin
of the subject in some significant ways. It of course encompasse
g
material pertinent to a wider study of religion as well (the strikini
evidences of encounter and accommodation in the sphere of belief
here highlighted, for instance, contain historical insights that can be
brought to bear on the clarification of religious pluralism, Whose
theoretical basis and normative value has recently come under some
scrutiny in Ninian Smart, Religion and the f1!estern Mind, Albany, 1987).
But more important, this investigation can be fruitfully related to
several other recent interpretations of Theravada practice in Sri
Lanka. Holt's inquiry into the AvalokiteSvara-Natha cult is obviously
much broader and deeper than that incorporated into the survey of
the veneration of gods in Sinhala Buddhism in Mohan Wijayaratna's
Le cult des dieux chez les bouddhistes singhalais (Paris, 1987; pp. 71 ff, 152
ff., 256 ff.). Its treatment of religious change in Sri Lanka might use-
fully be juxtaposed to that presented in Buddhism TranifOrmed by
R. Gombrich and G. Obeysekere (Princeton, N.J., 1988). But sig-
nificantly, in adducing a long history of Sinhala Buddhism's accom-
modation of "diverse forms of Hindu and Mahayana Buddhist
spirituality" (the Avalokitesvara-Natha cult is actually taken as a
"prime example" of that phenomenon), Holt also undermines a
major thesis of this latter work i.e., that such syncJ;'etism is recent. In
any event, though highly controversial reductive explanations are not
central to Buddha in the Crown, its analyses and accountings are by no
means always persuasive. It is, on the contrary, quite possible to
challenge some of them on the basis of the positions taken in certain
relevant writings both old and new (ranging from traditional Sri
Lankan Pali and Sinhala works to modern interpretative studies that
deal with Theravada practice on theisland) which Holt, judging by
the book's bibliography, seems to have overlooked. This contention
calls for some elaborations.
I t is interesting to observe that Holt's views about Avalokitesvara's
changing roles in Sinhala Buddhism, and the claim that, trans-'
figured as Natha, the bodhisattva actually emerged in the later middle
ages as a "national guardian deity," are not corroborated in recent
investigations into the manifestations of theistic belief in Sri Lanka's
Pali chronicles (cf. Le Cult des dieux chez les bouddhistes singhalais, pp. 58
ff., "Les dieux dans les chroniques"). The grounds for them might in
REVIEWS 337
Ii tbe somewhat substantially disputed if one adopts the interpre-
frames for which others have argued (but Holt himself does
forthrightly entertain). In this connection, those set forth by
fAe translator of a notable medieval Pali text which tends to articu-
late the of c.ontemporary
Dasabodhisattuppattzkatha (see text ed. wIth trans., The Bzrth Stones if
the Ten Bodhisattas, by H. Saddhatissa, London, 1975, Introduction)
... re very significant. Some strikingly pertinent critical ideas are to be
{bund in the translator's excursus into "Metteyya and Ceylon" (ibid.
pp. 32 ff.). Notably enough, no complicated hypothesis is advanced
in this latter context to account for the emergence of Natha or the
devotion focused on Metteyya. Rather, it is suggested that, following
a fading of their respective antecendents in course of time,
AvalokiteSvara was "confused" with Metteyya in Sri Lanka: the
Lokanatha (or LokeSvaranatha) alias of the former, and Metteyya's
identification as Metteyyanatha (or Metteyyalokanatha in some Pali
settings, cf. ibid. p. 38, which cites Jatakiit(hakathii conclusion) are
indeed taken as specific factors that could perhaps have facilitated
this process. This accounting, so strikingly simple (and hence ap-
pealing on grounds of "parsimony"), certainly merits attention. The
demonstrable historical depth of the Sri Lankan tendency to invoke
and reverence Metteyya( often as Metteyyanatha) might be counted
as a further consideration in its favour. To be sure, even what is ap-
parently one of the oldest Pali works composed on the island, Bud-
dharakkhita's Jiniilankiira (see text ed. with trans., Embellishments if
Buddha, by James Gray, London, 1981; going by a postscript to the
text, Gray dates Buddharakkhita's birth in 426 B.C.) carries in its
conclusion an expression of an aspiration to approach the protector
Metteyya and pay homage to his person before finally winning salva-
tion ( cf. verse 247: Metteyyaniitham upasankamitvii / tassattabhiivam
abhipujitva / ... ). In the context cited above, Saddhatissa identifies
similar expressions in a wide range of subsequent Sri Lankan writ-
ings, both in Pali and Sinhala. Uttered in the spirit of a prayerful
wish, the statement of resolve, "I shall indeed hear the dhamma of
Metteyya" (Metteyyaniithassa sunomi dhammam) constituted in certain
instances the last reported words of dying heroic figures of local his-
tory. All in all, taking the mingling of these and other long entrenched
beliefs focused on Metteyya with those relating to AvalokiteSvara as
a strong possibility, Saddhatissa sees no need to postulate the subtle
workings of a "religious logic" to explain the development of the
AvalokiteSvara-Natha cult in Sri Lanka. Interestingly, it is to a "con-
fusion" of beliefs that he traces the stylistic peculiarities of
AvalokiteSvara sculpture and the origins ofNatl-ta shr;:J.es. (Though
338
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
Holt seems to have lost sight of it, "iconic confusion" resulting fro
a "breakdown" in the transmission of the relevant conventions is rn
consideration which a book he himself cites br:oaches in its discussio a
of Sinhala Buddhism's" changing pantheon"; cf. Buddhism Transjorme;
p. 30). It should be observed lastly that anyone reading the D a s a ~
bodhisattuppattikathii itself is likely to encounter there passages that
might pose problems for some of the interpretations Bolt advances.
The text at I:4, for instance, portrays Metteyya as a veritable future
herald of this worldly happiness (sukha), ensuring by his special effi-
cacy (iinubhiiva) , among other things, freedom from sickness (or
health, arogii) for everybody.
Was Natha actually as focal to Sinhala Buddhism in certain
periods as Holt tries to make out? This again may be disputed.
Indeed, it is possible to take a different view of the eminence
accorded to this deity if the reality of henotheistic attitudes is con-
ceded. Typically, such attitudes, as F. Max Muller has shown in the
course of his celebrated interpretations of Vedic religiosity, lead to
showering of special laudatory attention on a particular god in a par-
ticular devotional context, even though votaries acknowledge and
reverence other divinities as well. Given, as Holt himself notes, Sri
Lankan Buddhists' veneration gods such as Vibhlsana, Upulvan,
Saman and Skanda throughout the middle ages and later, there is
room to wonder whether contemporary evidences of Natha worship
should not, after all, be traced to the operation of henotheistic
attitudes. One might, however, raise more substantial critical objec-
tions to the positions taken on the above topic. Natha devotionalism,
significantly, is not projected as a widely influential movement in
other recent studies of Sinhala Buddhism in relevant periods, but
rather as a practice cultivated for the most part by gamaviisi monks, a
sect with recognizable Mahayanist proclivities; cf. A. H. Mirando,
Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th Centuries, with Special Riference
to Sinhala Sources (The Ceylon Historical Journal Monograph Series, vol. 10,
Dehiwala, Sri Lanka, 1985, p. 9). Mirando acknowledges that the
versatile Rahula was a member of the latter sect. Still, he insists that
mainstream Sinhala Buddhism was represented in Rahula's time by
monks who identified themselves a "forest dwellers" (vanaviisi).
Indeed, citing Vidagama Maitreya's Hamsasandefaya (where other
gods, not Natha, are shown to receive mention), he goes so far as to
argue that dissociation from the Natha cult was a characteristic
stance of these monks. The reasons for regarding them as the real
upholders and carriers of Sri Lanka's Theravada inheritance are on
the whole strong. Quite in evidence in earlier epochs (for instance,
Vedeha, who authored the notable 13th-century Pali poetical com-
REVIEWS 339
jJosition, Samantakii(avarJrJanti, calls himself an araiiiiavtisin; if. In Praise
if Jo.Iount Samanta, trans. by A. N. Hazlewood, London, 1986, Intro-
the vanavtis! outlook i.s a inspiration
the serious pr.actIce of BuddhIst renunClant rehgIOusness among Sn
Lankan monks (cf M. Carrithers, The Forest Monks rf Sri Lanka: An
Anthropological and Historical Study, Delhi, 1986). In any event, the cen-
trality ascribed to Natha can be impugned on other grounds too. For
example, the Sinhala panegyrical work on Rahula's patron, King
Parakramabahu VI, Parakumbtisirita (see text ed. with English trans.
by K. D. P. Wickremasinghe, Colombo, 1970) encompasses no focal
references to Natha.
Several of the wider interpretative positions retained in Buddha
in the Crown also appear on occasion inadequate or misconceived.
The reiterated observation that those who turned to Avalokitdvara
or Natha for laukika help, sought to "assuage" dukkha thereby, should
leave readers who are sensitive to Theravada doctrinal perspectives
quite puzzled. Is it not necessary to disavow kamma in particular
(and hence think outside those perspectives) in order to entertain
such a position? Further, in adopting it Holt seems to disregard the
"broad spectrum of meanings" the Theravada conception of suffering
as projected in dukkha entails (cf J. W. Boyd, "Suffering in Theravada
Buddhism," in Sujftring: Indian Perspectives, ed. by K. N. Tiwari,
Delhi, 1986). Clearly, the veneration of deities cannot be a means of
assuaging the more inveterate manifestations of dukkha-suffering
associated with transience and the conditioned character of our exis-
tence (viparirJtima-dukkha and saizkhtira dukkah respectively in Buddha-
ghosa's famous typology as expounded in the Visuddhimagga). No
doubt, the immediate pain, grief and despair from which devotees
hope to obtain relief by such means are also forms of suffering
(dukkha-dukkha in the above typology). But the religiousness that
comes into play here is apt to be seen by Sri Lankans themselves as
devotions aimed at seeking blessings (or stintikarma, cf. Religiousness in
Sri Lanka, ed. by John Ross Carter, Colombo, 1979, p. 19), not
dukkha-assuagement. On the other hand, it is perhaps useful to take
notice of the fact that the Theravada scriptural tradition sometimes
projects very different perspectives on this whole issue: in a rational-
istic spirit, the Dhammapada (verse 186) tends to trace the motivation
behind cultic religiousness simply to fear (bhaya). Then again, Holt's
readiness to admire and even give normative scope to the assimilative
fusion of Buddhist and non-Buddhist ideas from the Gampola
period onwards might not be fully shared by Sri Lankan Buddhists
knowledgeable about their past. For that, after all, was a time of de-
cline and decadence in local history. (It would be pertinent to
340
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
remark that Tantric beliefs, intermingled with which Avalokitesvar
veneration in some of its aspects first infiltrated Sri Lanka earlie a
have in particular been decried as a source .of unwholesome
ence in several studies, cf. Charles Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism, Lon-
don, vol. II; N. Mudiyanse, Mahayana Monuments in Ceylon, Colombo
1967, p. 71). Besides, the assimilative processes witnessed
(whic.h res:rlted in the loss or at the compromising of
the hlstoncal mtegnty of Theravada BuddhIsm, a clearly negative
development in the eyes of Sinhala Buddhist traditionalists), were
not in the main inspired by reflective endeavours to harmonize differ-
ent religious viewpoints. To describe those processes as "syncretic"
and "eclectic" (which Holt does), therefore, hardly appears justified
or proper.
There are, finally, some rather curious oversights to be noted in
the book's concluding remarks. The negative evaluations of Sri
Lankan "Buddhist modernism" are for the most part unexceptionable
if what is meant by that term is the chauvinist extremism of the likes
of K. N. Jayatilleke (cf. R. Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social
History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo, London, 1988, pp. 196-
197). But it is necessary to point out that practising or interpreting
Buddhism with a due regard to the spirit of our time is not repre-
hensible, nor for that matter strictly disallowed by Buddhist doctri-
nal principles. Indeed, though lost on social scientific thinking still
wedded to the assumption that protest or Protestantism are the only
inspiring sources of recent developments in Sri Lankan Buddhism,
adaptive modernism in the sense just hinted might fairly be rooted
in that old idea in Buddhist apologetics, "skillful means" (upaya; see
Digha Nikaya, III: 220). In any event, why should nibbiina "here and
now" be coupled with "Buddhist modernism"? This was an anciently
upheld belief, basic to the Theravada soteriology woven around the
arahant ideal (cf. I. B. Horner, The Early Buddhist Theory qf Man Per-
Jeeted, London, 1936, p. 42; the religious idea that comes into play in
this context, it is well to add, actually has parallels in practically all
spiritually-oriented Indian systems, as witnessed by their common
admission of the possibility "liberating oneself while living" or
becomingajtvanmukta) frequently encountered in Pali texts (see, for
example, Dhammapada verses 89, 402 which carry the revealing
phrases lake parinibbutii and eva khayam). No doubt, to "outsiders," it
will seem a visionary goal. But given their religious monuments and
historical-literary traditions that attest to "living arahants" of yore,
Sri Lankans themselves are apt to take a different view of attaining
nibbiina "here and now." There is, moreover, little reason to be dismis-
sive about the characteristic religiousness that that belief inspires-:-
REVIEWS 341
,,' er self-culture which emphasizes meditation. For it sits at the
Wry heart ofTheravada spirituality, and when engaged in seriously,
iehas salutary results, both on the individual and society. Besides, it
~ .... on the whole more vital to traditional Buddhist practice in Sri
tanka than the veneration of deities (George D. Bond's recent inves-
tigations into the place of meditation in the revival of Buddhism
there earlier this century brings to the fore several instructive consid-
erations on this score; see The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka: Religious
Tradition, Reinterpretation, Response, Columbia, S.C., 1988, chap. 4, 5, 6).
Clearly, then, there is room to argue against many of the positions
taken in Buddha in the Crown: its core interpretations in particular are
sometimes open to dispute, and may fairly be countered with other
accountings. Still, the new contribution to the study of religious
change in Sri Lanka presented in this book fully merits attentive
reading. Given its overall focus-Mahayanism in Sri Lanka's Thera-
viida setting, a hitherto insufficiently examined subject-it is a source
of much factual information. And even those who cannot quite agree
with them are likely to find the theoretical approaches developed
and applied here often both distinctive and thought-provoking.
Vijitha Rajapakse
High Religion: A Cultural and Political History if Sherpa Buddhism, by
Sherry B. Ortner. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.
pp. xxi + 245.12 illustrations and 3 maps. Cloth: $35. Paper: $12.95.
Sherry Ortner knows the Sherpa area of Nepal well. She spent
seventeen months there on general field-work in 1966-68; and in 1976
she helped to make a film in the area. In 1978, she published the book
for which she is best known: Sherpas Through Their Rituals (Cambridge
and New York, Cambridge University Press). The book reviewed
here is the result of field-work carried out again by the author
. between January and June, 1979. It is based mainly on information
collected orally in the field during that period. However, considerable
use has also been made by S. B. O. of M. Oppitz, Geschichte und
SOzialordnung der Sherpa (Innsbruck-Munchen, 1968), translated by a
nameless student (p. 231), and of the Shar-pa'i chos-byung sngon-med
tshangs-pa'i dbyu-gu Uunbesi-Nanterre, 1971), translated into English
for her by P Pranke and C. Huntington (p. 234). Seemingly, Sherry
Ortner does not read Tibetan; and she does not read Nepali (p. 207).
342
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
As is w:11 known, the Sherpas. are a ethnically Tibetan
'group who lIve close to Mt. Everest III three dlstncts of north-east.'
Hindu Nepal (Khumbu,Pharak and Solu)ocToday, they live at
tudes varying between 8,500 and 14,000 feet. They combine agrt tt-
ture (wheat and with herding (yaks,. cross-breeds
cows) and trans-frontIer and local trade (salt, annhals, etc.). Th;
villages are small and their homesteads 'sometimes isolated. TheIr
are organised in patrilineal clans which regulate
marriage. Property in herds, houses and land is privately owne;
Since 1950, the boom in "trekking" and the proliferation of foreigri
mountaineering expeditions have opened up, to all ranks of Sherpa
socie.ty, possibilities ot non-traditional employrr:ent and the rapid
earmng oflarge sums III cash. The Sherpas practIce Mahayana BUd-'
dhism and they are thought to have started migrating from
(Eastern Tibet) towards their present habitat in the 15th or 16th cen-
turies C.E. Solid information concerning the religious habits and
customs of the Sherpas prior to their arrival in Khumbu is scant: like
many other Central and Southern Tibetan groups, they lay claim, in
their writings, to prestigious ancestors in the North-East.
The central problem examined in this book is how, why, where'
'.
and by whom Sherpa monasteries were founded. The dates of the
principal foundations were already known locally: the dgon-pa at
Tengboche, Chiwong and Thami with which this volume is mainly
concerned, all were founded within the past seventy or eighty years.
Sherry Ortner has much that is new and interesting to tell us about
the social motivations and mechanisms behind these foundations.
The Sherpas who first settled in Khumbu were few in number, and
the accumulation of capital sufficient to meet the cost of building
large and fairly complex religious edifices took time. During that
time, individuals became rich in widely differing ways, as tax-collec-
tors, as political leaders, as traders, as labour-contractors in Darjee-
ling, etc. Some of this was already known through the works of Ch.
von Furer-Haimendorf and others. The novelty of S. B. O.'s
approach is that she draws attention to a "cultural schema" which,
according to her, characterised Sherpa society during the years in
question. She writes: "The tales begin with a political or fraternal
rivalry, or both. The protagonists struggle back and forth, often
quite violently, and the rival appears to gain the upper hand. The
hero then departs for remote places and acquires a powerful protector.
He returns to the conflict, and witli the aid of his protector, defeats
the rival. He acquires the rival's subjects. The rival is humiliated and
leaves the area permanently. The hero founds a temple, an act of
great virtue" (p. 71). The author emphasizes "the extraordinary cul-
REVIEWS 343
":<1 generality of this story line" without, however, adducing muoh
to substantiate her claim. Indeed, throughout the book, cul-
m: 1 social, economic and religious comparisons with other Tibetan
cultures in the (Limi, J?olpo, Mustang,
,Walung, etc.) .are absent .. Even TIbet as a condltI.or:mg cultural pres-
'"ce is only dImly perceIved. Most of the book IS m fact concerned
threesome played out among "the Sherpas," the Raj in British
india and the Gorkha Raj in Kathmandu. S. B. O. is convinced that
founding of "celibate monasteries" marked "the transformation
[Sherpa religion" (p. 126). I am doubtful about this: it seems to me
the Sherpas were Buddhists before and after such events: society
changed.
..... The book under review also aims to contribute to discussions
Western academic authorities concerning what has come to be
known as the Theory of Practice (see, especially, pp. 11-18, 193-202).
rdo not feel qualified to assess the importance of the contribution
this book makes to such debates. So, as I have personal knowledge
ofthe Sherpa area, I shall focus my remarks on what might be called
the celibacy issue. Is a non-celibate monastery a monastery? Let us
.start with the buildings. C. Jest, for instance, in his Monuments rf
:North Nepal (Paris, UNESCO, 1981), pp. 31-32, divided the types of
buildings he had studied into monastery (dgon-pa), temple (lha-
khang), chapel (bla-brang) , meeting house (mi-mtshogs-pa) and her-
mitage (mtsham-khang); and he stuck to this classification through-
out. Whatever its merits or demerits, it corresponds to Tibetan and
local usage. S. B. O. cares for none of this and jumps from one
English word to another in her attempts to render local expressions.
On p. 24 she writes: "The early Sherpa lamas are shown ... founding
gompa, which I will translate in the present context as "chapels." On
p. 48: "Even if the early temples were not separate monasteries .... "
On p. 68: "He erected a gompa (that is, Zhung temple] ... " and on
. p. 209, note 21: "The Sherpas use gonda and gompa interchangeably
for any religious temples." The perplexity thus induced in the
reader's mind will be increased by the appearance of the term
labstang, which the Glossary, p. 222, assures us derives from Tib.
bslab-tshang, "a celibate monastery." Whatever this latter expression
may mean-slob-pa means "to learn" and slob-grva is "a school"-it
cannot mean "a celibate monastery." One wonders whether grva-
tshang, "dwelling for novices," is not "behind" S. B. O.'s labs tang; see
Das, Dictionary, q.v., p. 1020 and Jaschke, Dictionary, q.v., p. 75. To
my mind, when monasteries are cOj1.sidered as institutions, account
should be taken, by an anthropologist, of the vows pronounced by
their inmates. Of these, we learn next to nothing froin S. B. O. Is the
344 JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
supreme aim of a Rnying-ma-pa-society to have, in its midst Co
. , tn-
munities of celibate monks? Agam, I am very doubtful about thO .
Yet, almost unwittingly, Sherry Ortner seems to me to have put
lS
.
finger on an aspect of Tibetan society which, to date, has been littt
studied by Western Tibetologists. Undoubtedly, there were Or are
celibate communities in Tibet, Bhutan, etc. Such communities were
and are considered by local communities as
houses. Nevertheless, if a village household calls a monk to do a
ritual in a case of extreme difficulty, it will, in my experience, SUtn-
mon a 'Brug-pa kun-legs type of individual rather than a chaste
monk from one of the great Lha-sa monasteries. Buddhism has never
got rid of magic. S. B. O.'s view of Buddhism seems to me to be con-
ditioned by American Pruitanism-in religion, sexless is best--:and
by the literature in Western languages authored by those in contact
with Dge-Iugs-pa. May I state quite simply that I admire this book
as Anthropology? I respect it less as Tibetology. In Sherpa-land I
knew very well a lama who "fell" for a woman. No one, in the local
community, criticised his sexual activities. Everyone considered the
fact that he had broken his vows as despicable. Homosexual relation-
ships provoke less reprobation in local society. It has always seemed
to me that Tibetans are much less worried than Westerners are by
who has sexual relations with whom: and this sometimes makes the
anthropological study of Tibetan kinship difficult.
Post-script:
Sherry Ortner starts her book by paying homage to her field-
assistant Nyima Chotar, who died in 1982. While writing this review,
I received the sad news that Sangs rgyas bstan-'jin had died on 12
July, 1990. For a partial view of his life, see "The autobiography of a
20th century Rnying-ma-pa lama" in Journal if the International Asso-
ciation if Buddhist Studies, 4/2, 1981, p. 63-75. Before he died, he had
completed a supplement to the Shar-pa'i chos byung which deals
mainly with Sherpa marriage rituals. This, along with the Sherpa-
Tibetan Phrase-Book and Word-list we had compiled, has been
made over to our German colleagues F.-K. Ehrhard and C. Ci.ippers
of the Nepal Research Centre at New Bhaneswar: and it is hoped
that some of these materials will be published in the not too distant
future. Sangs-rgyas bstan 'jin was a remarkable scholar; and several
other Westerners beside myself have benefited greatly from his learn-
ing and teaching.
Alexander W. Macdonald
REVIEWS 345
W/iidhyarnika and }ogiiciira: A Study of Mahayiina Philosophies. By Gadjin M.
N gao. Edited, translated, and collated by Leslie S. Kawamura. Albany,
York: State University of New York Press, 1991. xiv + 304 pp.
&ine of the essays collected here appeared in Japanese in Profes-
or Nagao's Chukan to yuishiki [Miidhyarnika and YogiiciiraJ published in
tokyo in 1978. A.lmost all have appeared in English though in
widely scattered Journals, volumes of conference proceedlllgs, and fest-
but several of those earlier translations have been revised for this
,'volume in an attempt to create a consistent style. Anglophone readers of
Nagao's work should be delighted to have this useful collection to hand;
and if what is offered here is combined with John P. Keenan's recent
translation of Chukan tetsugaku no kornponteki tachiba (as The Foundational
Standpoint of Miidhyarnika Philosophy), published by the same press in 1989,
then it is fair to say that such readers now have access to a representative
.selection of Nagao's important work on Indian Mahayana Buddhist
philosophy .
, Nagao, Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies at Kyoto Univer-
sity, is one of the half-dozen or so most important and influential inter-
preters of Buddhist thought of his generation inJapan. While his textual
. work-for example his edition of the Sanskrit text of the Madhyiintavib-
hiigabhiiva and his trilingual index to the Mahifyanasutralaizkarabhiiva-
has been widely known and used in the West for almost thirty years, his
creative attempts to offer a systematic religio-philosophical interpreta-
.tion of Mahayana Buddhist thought have been much less so. These
recent publications should begin to correct this.
The essays in this volume vary widely in their range and specificity,
though there is a definite unity of interpretation. They are offour basic
kinds. First, there are a number of specialized and detailed studies of the
semantic range of particular terms-sa1?ZV'(ti, afraya, parir;arnana,
funyata-as they occur in both Madhyamika and Yogacara texts (though
with more emphasis on the latter). Second, there are a number of detailed
and subtle pieces of exegesis in which particular texts are analyzed. No-
table here is the comparative study of Mulamadhyarnakakarika 24: 18 and
Madhyantavibhiiga 1: 1-2. Third, there are more wide-ranging interpretive
studies in which particular Buddhist concepts are used to offer a system-
atic view of the fundamental religio-philosophical purpose of these
texts: important here are the essays on Buddha's silence, the "three-
nature" (trisvabhiiva) theory, and the "three body" (trikaya) theory.
Fourth and finally, at the highest level of generality, there are Nagao's
attempts to state the fundamentals of his own interpretive perspective.
Of key importance here are the early essay on the "logic of convertibility";
that on the bodhisattva's return to the world; the presidential address
346
JIABS VOL. 14 NO.2
given to the sixth conference of the International Association of Budd h" .
. Studies in 1983 on the theme of :'ascent and descent"; and the
(1986) attempt to offer a systematIc reassessmecnt of Yoga car a theory.
Nagao's goal .is to offer. an. inter?retation that will make sense of
BuddhIst theory Its entlr:ty, and t? use the categories of
IndIan Yogacara to do so. He IS not afraId of offenng a normative defi .
tion of Mahayana Buddhism-"when these two notions (sc. of
and descent] are found within a certain Buddhist system, the criterion
for discerning whether that system is Mahayana or not is established'"
(xii)-nor of presenting Madhyamika as an incomplete version of Bud-
dhist thought, a version properly completed by the Yogacara of Asanga
and Vasubandhu. There are many examples .Of this last move. In his disc
cussion of subj ectivity Nagao presents Nagarjuna's denial of essences as
incomplete precisely because it does not fully elucidate the meaning of
human existence as Yogacara does (12); he offers a Yogacara interpreta_
tion of emptiness (51-60); and in the striking comments that conclUde
the volume he says that " ... the Yogacaras can be said to have
plemented the Madhyamika's general tenets, and thereby brought the
Mahayana thought to its full scope and completion" (225).
The essentials of Nagao's Yogacara interpretation of Mahayana
Buddhist thought are easy to state. Such thought has a dialectical struc- ..
ture. It begins with negation, the rejection of verbal and conceptual pro-
liferation (prapafica) and of all improper cognitive and affective habits.
I ts heart or pivot is the idea of "convertibility" (parii1f(tti / pariV1:tti) ,
which involves "the meaning of conversion from being to non-being,
and vice versa" (130). And it leads to affirmation, a renewed involve-
ment with the world. The movement of ascent and descent, of which
Nagao makes so much, both in this collection and in the Fundamental
Standpoint, has to do precisely with this movement of disengagement
from and re-engagement with the world, a movement which pivots
around the idea of conversion. Buddhist, thought is properly Buddhist,
claims Nagao, when both sides of the dialectic are emphasized; undue
emphasis on disengagement leads to quietism, an exaltation of wisdom
(prajfiii) at the expense of compassion (karufJii) , while undue emphasis on
re-engagement leads to the opposite faults. The Yogacara trisvabhiiva
theory forms the ideal conceptual tool for grounding this view of Bud-
dhism, for it is just here that the idea of convertibility (of paratantra from
parikalpita into parini-}panna) is central.
I recommend this volume enthusiastically to all those concerned
with Indian Buddhist philosophical thought. It is the mature work of a
master in the field, philologically impeccable, textually well-grounded,
and conceptually exciting. My only regret is that Professor Nagao was
not better served by his editor and publisher, for the book's production
REVIEWS 347
. ar
red
by many careless errors, most especially in the notes and bib-
These are too many to list, but some examples will give an
,.jiog. d Th f .. d
'idea of theIr. extent. an nature: . ere are err?rs 0 an
'tbrnJ11ission m the hst of abbrevlatlOns alone (XU-XIV); the bIblIography
;263:'-272) averages five significant errors on each page, mostly involv-
1lg J11is-spellings of words in European languages other than English or
in the transliteration of Sanskrit words; and a roughly similar
:froportion of errors occurs throughout the notes. In addition, the bib-
!t6g
ra
phY is incomplete, a of works men-
:donedelsewhere m the text. Most stnkmg here IS the fact that Nagao's
'bWll two-volume work on the Mahayanasangraha (ShOdaijoron: wayaku to
(chiikai [Tokyo: Kodansha, 1982, 1987J), mentioned and (rightly) said to
be "definitive" (2), does not appear in the bibliography. Errors of this
kind, while numerous and troubling, do not compromise the value of the
work, which I hope will be widely read and discussed.
Paul]. Griffiths
CONTRIBUTORS
Prof. Ronald M. Davidson
Dept. of Religious Studies
Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT 06430
Prof. D. N. Gellner
Institute of Social and
Cultural Anthropology
University of Oxford
51 Banbury Road
Oxford, England OX2 6PE
Prof. Paul]. Griffiths
The Divinity School
University of Chicago
Swift Hall
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Prof. Jamie Hubbard
Dept. of Religion
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01060
Prof. Alexander W. Macdonald
Laboratoire d'Ethnologie
et de Sociologie Comparative
Universite de Paris X
92001 Nanterre, France
Dr. Vijitha Rajapakse
35950 Timberlane Drive
Solon, OH 44139
Prof. Gregory Schopen
Center for Asian Studies
SSB4, 126
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
349