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A. K Narain
University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
L M.Joshi
Punjabi University
Patiala, India
Alexander W. Macdonald
Universite de Paris X
Nanterre, France
Bardwell Smith
Carleton College
Northfield, Minnesota, USA
Ernst Steinkellner
University of Vienna
Wien, Austria
J ikid5 T akasaki
University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan
Robert Thurman
Amherst College
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
Roger Jackson
Volume 7 1984 Number 1
e the watermark
This joul"1wl is the organ of the International Assodation of Buddhist Stud
ies, Inc., and 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 JIABS is published
twice yearly in the summer and winter.
Manuscripts for publication and correspondence concerning articles should
be submitted to A. K. Narain, Editor-in-Chief,jIABS, Department of South
Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, U.S.A.
Please refer to the guidelines for contributors to the j lABS printed on the
inside back cover of every issue.
The Association and the Editors assume no responsibility for the views
expressed by the authors in the Association's jour7/.al and other related
Books for review should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. The Editors cannot
guarantee to publish reviews of unsolicited books nor to return those books to
the senders.
Alldre Bareau (France) jo.lejJ!z M. Kit([gawa (USA)
M.N. De.,!zpande (Illdi([) jacqlies May (Switzerland)
R. Gard (USA) Hajilile NakalllliJ'!l U([j)(lII)
B.G. Gokha/e (USA) john Rosl'Il/ield (USA)
P.S. jaini (USA) David Snellgrove (U.K.)
J.w. de jong (Australia) E. Zurcher (Netherlallds)
1. The Literature of the Pudgalavadins, b Thich Thien
Chau 7
2. Modern Japanese B uddhology: Its History and Prob-
lematics, by Minoru Kiyota 17
3. Marginalia to Sa-skya Pandita's Oeuvre, by L. W.j. van
der Kuijp 37
4. The Problem of the Icchantika in the Mahayana Malul-
parinirvana Sidra, by Ming-Wood Liu 57
5. The Sanmon-Jimon Schism in the Tendai School
of Buddhism: A Preliminary Analysis, by Neil
McMullin 83
6. The Indravarman (Avaca) Casket Inscription Recon-
sidered: Further Evidence for Canonical Pas-
sages in Buddhist Inscriptions, by Richard Salomon
and Gregory Schopen . 107
7. The Tibetan "Wheel of Life": Iconography and dox-
ography, by Geshe Sopa 125
8. Notes on the Buddha's Threats in the Dzgha Nikaya, by
A. Syrkin 147
1. A Buddhist Spectrum, by Marco Pallis
(D. Seyfort Ruegg) 159
2. The Heart of Buddhism, by Takeuchi Yoshinori
(Paul Griffiths) 162
3. Paritta: A Historical and Religious Study of the Buddhist
. Ceremony for Peace and Prosperity in Sri Lanka, by
Lily de Silva (Ter Ellingson) 164
The Threefold Refuge in the Theravada Buddhist Tradition,
ed. John Ross Carter
Buddhist Images of Human Perfection, by Nathan Katz.
(Winston King) 169
5. The Word of the Buddha: the Tripitaka and Its Interpreta-
tion in Theravada Buddhism, by George D. Bond
(Nathan Katz) 173
l. Ascent and D e s c e ~ t : Two-Directional Activity in Bud-
dhist Thought, by Gadjin M. Nagao 176
l. A Report on the Sixth Conference of the lABS, Held
in Conjunction with the 31st ClSHAAN, Tokyo
and Kyoto, Japan, August 31-September 7, 1983 184
The Literature of the Pudgalavadins
by Thich Thien Chau
In the course of a long history, Personalism (pudgalaviida) was a
remarkable aspect of ancient Buddhism. Buddhist in origins
and inspiration, it was, in fact, a markedly original doctrinal
deviation-and engendered an important community that last-
ed more than ten centuries, from the third century B.C. to the
ninth or tenth century A.D.
The Personalist sect consisted of the mother sect, the Vat-
sIputrlya, and four sub-sects: SarpmitIya, Dharmottarlya, Bha-
drayanIya and SaI)I)agirika. These sects flourished: they had a
great number of monks and monasteries, and a considerable
doctrinal influence on other Buddhist schools, both Hlnayana
and Mahayana. Not adhering to the doctrine of substanceless-
ness (aniitmaviida), they were attacked and condemned as here-
tics (tfrthika) by a number of opposing schools.
The literature of the Pudgalavadins is almost entirely lost.
Pudgalavadin communities eventually were assimilated by oth-
ers, and we can learn of their position almost exclusively
through the writings of their adversaries. Fortunately, we do
have, in Chinese translations four authentic works from the
Vatslputrlya and Sammitiya traditions. These are:
(1) The San1a-tou louena, Tridharmakasiistra (Treatise on the
Three Laws), is fifteen pages in length and comprises 223 ques-
tions and answers (Taisho [hereafter T.] XXV, no. 1506, pp.
15c-30a). It is a systematic exposition of essential doctrinal
points found in the iigamas. The treatise is titled as it is because
it deals with three elements of the doctrine: the good (kusala) ,
the bad (akusala) and the basis (asraya). The author is Chan-
hien,b the commentator Sanghasena, and the translator Gau-
tama Sanghasena, who made the translation in 391 A.D. The
treatise probably is Vatslputrlya, since it deals primarily with
the concept of pudgala.
(2) The Sseu A-han-mou tch'ao-kiai.
This commentary on
excerpts from four agamas takes up fifteen C pages in T. XXV,
no. 1505, pp. 1b-15b. The original title is San-fa-tou
Treatise on the Three Laws), whose reconstruction also is Tri-
dharmasastra. This text probably had the same original text as
the San-Ia-tou louen, because its content is similar. The author is
Kin-hien,e the date of composition and the commentator are
not mentioned. The translator is Kumaraboclhi, who made the
translation in 392 A.D.
(3) The San-mi-ti pou louen/ Sar(tmitryanikayasastra, is the title
found in the Chinese translation (T. XXXII, no. 1649, pp.
462a-473a), though the treatise has another title: Yi-chouo
loueng (Asrayaprajiwptisastra). This title probably reflects the
contents of the work, most of which is an attempt to explain the
theory of the pudgala. The name of the author, the translator
and the date of composition are not mentioned. The transla-
tion is supposed to be from the Chin dynastyh (385-431 AD.).
It is impossible to attribute this text to the SarpmitIyas, because
of (a) the alternate title of the treatise, (b) the concept of an
indestructible entity (aviPrarJasa), and (c) the list of the fruits of
a sravaka, all of which indicate the presence of notions not
associated with the four sub-sects.
(4) The Liu eul-che-eul ming leao louen.
This treatise of 22
stanzas explains the Vinaya. It is titled as it is because within its
22 stanzas it encompasses all the essential concepts contained in
the Vinayapi?aka. It is found at T. XXIV, no. 1461, pp. 665b-
673a. The author is Fou-t'a-to-Io-toi (Buddhatrata?), and the
translator Paramartha (500-569 A.D.). The dates of composi-
tion and translation are as yet unknown. The treatise almost
certainly originated with the SarpmitIyas, as indicated in the
A study of the four texts available to us reveals three fun-
damental topics: the pudgala, the fifteen secondary theses, and
the two Pudgalavadin lists of sravakas. These will be discussed
in turn.
l. The Three Designations of the Pudgala
The pudgala can be designated in three ways: (a) The pud-
. gala designated by the bases (asrayaprajiiaptapudgala) , (b) the
pudgala designated by transmigration (sankramaprajnaptapud-
gala) and (c) the pudgala designated by cessation (nirodhaprajna-
patapudgala) .
(a) The pudgala designated by the bases is the designation of a
person conditioned with reference to its basic constituents, or
aggregates (skandhas). In effect, the pudgala designated by the
bases, or the pudgala, is something more than the combination
of its constituents. It is the essential factor that unifies a per-
son's life processes. Stated otherwise, it is the pudgala that ap-
propriates and sustains a body for a certain amount of time,
and which constitutes the same person from conception to
death, and then extends through other lives. The pudgala is like
a single person wearing different outfits. The fact of personal
continuity points up the cause-effect relation obtaining be-
tween successive stages of life. The specific relation between the
pudgala and the basis (or aggregates) is explained as the con-
tinuity of a single person that is independent of others. There is
continuity (santana), so there is a possessor of continuity (san-
tanin). According to the Pudgalavadins, to deny the possessor
of continuity is to deny continuity.
It is the pudgala that constitutes the person who carries a
certain name, lives a certain time, suffers or enjoys the conse-
quences of its acts. This, then, explains how a person has no
connection with the sensations and thoughts of others. The
persistence of the person provides the basis of memory and
consciousness. If such a person did not exist, then how could
memory and consciousness arise, or, for that matter, recollec-
tion? The frequent explanation is that memory derives from
from impressions (vasana) formed by the aggregate of mental
formation (sarpskaraskandha) and kept in the consciousness (v0'-
nana) skandha. This would be impossible if there were no per-
sonal continuity, because the aggregates of mental formation
and consciousness are instantaneous. Memory could not thus
arise unless there existed that which remembers.
10 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
According to the Pudgalavadin, for there to be knowledge,
there must be a constant subject who experiences and accumu-
lates experiences. For example, there must be a Devadatta for
Devadatta to accumulate wealth. If there were no pudgala who
was the "recipient" of experiences, how could knowledge be
formed? The pudgala is not only the agent of memory-a part
of the aggregates of mental formation and consciousness ag-
gregates-but also the agent of sensations (vedana) and percep-
tions (salf1,jna). Thus, to deny the existence of this pudgala would
deprive human action of all meaning. According to the Pudga-
lavadins, on the other hand, the designation of the pudgala
offers a possibility of resolving the problems of existence and of
the person.
The pudgala is one of the five "knowables": the first three
are conditioned things (salf1,skrta) found in the three times, past,
present and future; the fourth is the unconditioned (asalf1,skrf,a
or nirvana); and the fifth is the pudgala, which cannot be un-
conditioned becauses it relates to conditioned things. In other
words, the pudgala is neither identical with the aggregates
(skandha) nor different from them. Thus, the pudgala belongs
neither to the a s a ~ k r t a nor to the salf1,skrta category. It is a
designation (prajnapti) whose characteristics cannot be defined;
it is a special category created by the Pudgalavadins:
All things (dharmas)
salf1,skrta asalf1,skrta
1-3: things in the
I 4. the pudgala I
5. nirvaI)a
three times
(b) The pudgala designated by transmigration (sankramaprajnap-
tapudgala) is a designation correlated with three sub-designa-
tions: the designation of the past (atztaprajnapti) , the designa-
tion of the future (anagataprajnapti) and the designation of the
present (pratyupannaprajnapti).
These explain (i) how personal continuity, being an unin-
terrupted flow of psycho-physical phenomena, not only Hows
in the present, but has its source in the past and continues to
. flow into the future, and (ii) how personal karmic responsibility
is possible, .such that Buddhism no longer is susceptible to the
charge that it is nihilistic and immoral. In fact, the pudgala bears
a force that traverses the flux of existences, and acts and re-
ceives retribution according to a universal moral justice-this is
the raison d'etre for good actions.
(c) The pudgala designated by cessation (nirodhaprajiiaptapud-
gala) is another corollary designation, the purpose of which is
to demonstrate that the Tathagata or an arahant, after attain-
ing the nirvana without remainder or
parinirva1'}a, is the liberated person par excellence, dwelling in
Thus the pudgala, with its three designations, is an ineffa-
ble (avaktavya) that avoids the two extremes: annihilation (uc-
ceda) and eternity (Sasvata). The pudgala is the agent of knowl-
edge, memory, the rebirth process, the ripening of actions
(karmavipaka), and, after eliminating its obstacles, dwells in be-
the life of }
a being
knowledge, }
memory, etc.
actions and }
human + intermediate state
+ other lives + + + + + + + +
a liberated
being in
nirvara or
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + the omniscience
of a Buddha
the bliss of
nirvara or
The creation of the theory of the pudgala represents a reac-
tion against the "depersonalization" of the abhidharmika tradi-
tion. The Pudgalavadins, on the other hand, tried to preserve
the essence of the doctrine of substancelessness (anatmavada).
The theory of the pudgala has been misinterpreted by the po-
lemicalliterature; nevertheless, it offers much of doctrinal in-
terest to Buddhist thinkers.
II. The Fifteen Secondary Theses
The fifteen secondary theses are:
(1) There exists an indestructible entity (aviprafwsa).
(2) There are twelve knowledges on the path of seeing
(darsanamarga) .
(3) There are four stages in the concentration of access:
patience (kSanti) , name (nama), notion (saT{tjiia) and the highest
worldly dharma (laukikagradharma).
(4) Clear comprehension (abhisamaya) is gradual (anu-
(5) The five supernormal penetrations (abhijiiJi) can be ob-
tained by ordinary beings (Prtagjana) or heretics (tzrtili/w).
(6) Morality (Sila) designates (actions of) body (kayakarman)
and speech (vaczkarman). .
(7) Merit (pur;,ya) is accumulated continually, even during
(8) It is impossible to say whether the characteristic of phe-
nomena (dharmalak:;ar;,a) is permanence or impermanence.
(9) There is an intermediate dhyana (dhyanantara) between
the first and second dhyanas.
(10) There is only one absolute: nirvaI)a.
(11) There are five, six or seven destinies (gati).
(12) Knowledge Ufiana) also can be called the path (marga):
(13) An arahant is susceptible of falling from his attain-
(14) There is an intermediate state (antarabhava) in the
sensuous realm (kamadhatu) and the form realm (rupadhatu) ,
but not in the formless realm (arupyadhatu).
(15) There are seventeen categories of celestial beings in
the form realm (rupadhatu).
Among these fifteen secondary theses, the first, second
and tenth are the most remarkable.
The first thesis is that established by the SarpmiUyas to
complete the theory of pudgala by explaining the mechanism
for the retribution of actions. The indestructible entity (avi-
prar;,asa) continues to exist throughout the flux of existences,
and is the essential base for the accumulation and maturation
of karma.
The second thesis demonstrates that the path of seeing
(darsanamarga) , according to the experience of the Pudgalava-
dins, is practiced and penetrated through twelve knowledges
gained through meditation on the four noble truths relative to
the three realms:
II. Samudaya
1. Dharmajiiana } Kamadhiitu
2. Vzcara}iiana
3. Ajnatajiiana } Rilpadhiitu + Arilpyadhiitu
1. } Kamadhiitu
2. Vzcara}nana
3. Ajiiatajiiana } Rilpadhiitu + ATllpyadhiitu
Ill. Nirodha
1. Dharmajiiana } Kamadhiitu
2. Vicarajiiana
3. Ajiiatajiiana } Rilpadhatu + Arilpyadhiitu
IV. Marga
1. } Kamadhiitu
2. Vzcara}nana
3. Ajiiiitajiiana } Rilpadhiitu + ATllpyadhiitu
The tenth thesis indicates that the Pudgalavadins, faithful
to the sutras in the same way as the Theravadins, recognized
only one asaT(lSkrta, although they had to develop the theory of
the pudgala to account for the existence of living beings.
These are the fifteen secondary theses that distinguish the
doctrines of the Pudgalavadins-especially of the Vatsiputriyas
and SarpmitIyas-from those of other early Buddhist schools,
especially Theravadin and Sarvastivadin.
III. The Two Pudgalavadin Lists of Sravakas
The list in the Tridharmakasastra consists of 27 categories.
The list in the SarJ1.mitlyanikayasastra consists of ten or twelve
categories, with that of the arahant undivided. The first list, of
27 categories, is divided among three stages: nine categories of
the stage in which desire is not yet eliminated (avltaragabhumi),
nine categories of the stage in which desires are eliminated
(vltaragabhumi) , and nine categories of arahant:
1. Sraddhanusarin
2. Prajnanusarin
3. Sraddhaprajnanusarin
14 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
4. Saptakrdbhavaparama
5. K ulaip,kula
6. Madhyama
7. Sakrdagamin
8. Ekabijin
9. Madhyama
1. Urdhvasrota
2. S abhisa'Y{lSkaraparinirvayin
3. A nabhisa'Y{lSkaraparinirvayin
4. Antaraparinirvayin
5. Upapadyaparinirvayin
6. Urdhvasrota
7. S abhisamskaraparinirvayin
8. Anabhisamskaraparinirvayin
9. Upapadyaparinirvayin
1. Sthitakampyadharman
2. PrativedhanadharmcLn
3. Akopyadharman
4. Parihar;,adharman
5. Cetanadharman
6. Anuralvjanadharman
7. Prajiiavimukta
8. Complete
9. Incomplete.
When one compares this list with those in the Sarvastivadin
Abhidhramakosa and the various Pali Theravadin texts, it is clear
that the Pudgalavadins formed their own systematization of the
sravaka-fruit, one that is reasonable and suggestive. Presum-
ably, through this systematization they wished to underline the
fact that adhering to the theory of the pudgala did not prevent
one from attaining the path or liberation.
IV. Summary
In sum, the personalist sects' creation of the theory of the
pudgala was a doctrinal revolution that provoked divisions
among Buddhist thinkers and Buddhist communities. Because
we have lacked original sources, the Pudgalavadin position has
usually been derived from the often unfair accounts of its op-
ponents. Thanks now to the investigation of four authentic
Pudgalavadin works, we can appreciate the unique creation of
the Pudgalavadin masters, who had to face numerous difficul-
ties in searching for a solution to the problems raised by such
basic Buddhist doctrines as substancelessness (aniitmaviida).
Pudgalavadin literature is as yet little known and little stud-
ied. With the few documents at our disposal, we have been able
to arrive at some preliminary findings, and hope that more may
emerge in the future.
This paper was presented at the fifth conference of the lABS,
at the University of Oxford, in August 1982, as a summary
report on my two theses: "Le Tridharmaka-siistra (Etude philolo-
gique et doctrinale)," and "Les sectes personalities (Pudgalava-
din) du Bouddhisme ancien." The two theses, under the direc-
tion of Prof. A. Bareau, were submitted to the Universite de
Paris III (Sorbonne) for the Doctorat de IIIe Cycle (1972) and
Doctorat d'Etat es Lettres (1978), respectively. The article has
been translated from the French by Prof. Roger Jackson.
Chinese Terms
c. [:J::glfoJk1Jf.J?m.
d. =$J3t
e. =:$J3tij
f. =:5fIDIg:$ij
i. 1*=+=sJl7ij
j. 5'lHE$Rit$
Modern] apanese Buddhology: Its History
and Problematics
by MinoTu Kiyota
I. The Impact of 19th Century European Scholarship on Modern
Buddhology, as we know it today, incorporates modern
disciplines-philology, philosophy and history-and empha-
sizes a systematic approach in investigating the materials accu-
mulated in Buddhist Asia during the past 2,500 years. Buddhol-
ogy of this kind had its origin in Europe, particularly in 19th
century England and France, the two major colonial powers in
South and East Asia at that time. French rationalism in particu-
lar had considerable impact on the development of modern
European interest in Buddhism initially centered on Pali
and Sanskrit studies. Alexander Johnston published The Sacred
and Historical Work of Ceylon in 1821, based on a translation of a
Sinhalese book called Rajavali; Christian Lassen and Eugene
Burnouf published the Essai sur le Pali in 1826; and Robert
Caesar Childers completed the Dictionary on the Pali Language in
1875. Also, through the efforts of Thomas William Rhys Da-
vids, the Pali Text Society was established in 188l. He warrants
special mention. As a young man, Rhys Davids went to Ceylon
and became interested in PaliBuddhism. On his return to En-
gland in 1876, he lectured on Pali and Pali Buddhism at London
University and Manchester University, and published many
works, such as Buddhism (1877), Buddhist Birth Stories (1880), The
Questions of King Milinda (1890), etc.
Somewhat earlier, Brian Houghton Hodgson had pub-
lished the "Notices of the Languages, Literature and Religion
18 . JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
of Nepal and Tibet," a wealth of Sanskrit materials he had
accumulated in the course of many years, in Asiatic Researches in
1826, and thus made public these valuable materials fQr the
systematic study of Buddhism. Eugene Burnouf, a gifted phi-
lologist, published the Introduction a l'histoire du Bouddhisme et le
Lotus de la Bonne Loi in 1844, based on the information derived
from the Hodgson collection. This was the first historical treat-
ment of Buddhism in modern times. Friedrich Max Muller, a
student of Burnouf, following the philological and historical
disciplines of his teacher, established the foundation of modern
Sanskrit studies initiated by Hodgson and Burnouf. He taught
linguistics and religion at Oxford University and published nu-
merous works which still warrant respect today, such as: Bud-
dhism and Buddhist Pilgrims (1857); History of Ancient Sanskrit
Literature (1859); Einleitung in die Vergleichende Religionswissen-
schaft (1874); Origin and Growth of Religion (1878); Dharr;ffwpada
(1881); Six Systems of Indian Philosophy (1899); etc. But his great-
est contribution was, of course, in compiling and editing the
Sacred Books of the East (50 vols.) from 1879 to 1910.
Though the propelling forces which stimulated modern
Buddhology were those men cited above, we cannot fail to hon-
or the efforts of others. For example: Hermann Oldenberg,
who published the DfjJava7(lsa (1879), Vinaya Pitakam (1880),
Buddha: sein leben, seine lehre, seine Gemeinde (1881), Theragatha
and Therfgatha (1883), etc.; Sylvain Levi, who published the Ma-
teriaux pour !'etude du systeme Vijiiaptimatra (1932), and who, to-
gether with Junjiro Takakusu and Paul Demieville, directed the
work on the Hobogirin: Dictionnaire encyclopedique du bouddhisme
d'apres les sources chinoises et japonaises (1929-37); and Louis de
La Vallee Poussin, who published the Madhyamakavatara.
(1907-1911), L'Abhidharmakosa de Vasubandhu (1923-31), Vij-
iiaptimatratasiddhi, la Siddhi de Hiuan-Tsang (1928-29), etc. In
addition, Th. Stcherbatsky published the Central Conception of
Buddhism and the Meaning of the Word 'Dharma' (1923), The Con-
ception of Buddhist Nirvar;,a (1927), Buddhist Logic (1930-32), etc.;
E. Obermiller published the Abhisamayala7(lkara (1929), The Sub-
lime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation (1930), etc.; and Paul
Demieville, who took part in the Hobogirin project, published
the Historique du Systeme Vijiiaptimatra (1932), etc. These works
analyzed Buddhist texts philologically and interpreted Bud-
dhist thought objectively. Modern Buddhology examines pri-
mary source materials, interprets those materials philosophical-
ly and places them in historical context.
II. Western Impact on the Development of Modern Japanese Buddhol-
Though Western scholarship has played a dominant role
in the development of modern Buddhology during the last 150
years, we cannot ignore the contributions of modern Japanese
Buddhist scholarship today. Such scholarship had its beginning
in the Meiji period in the late 19th century-the period of
japan's emergence as a modern state. Nationalism marked the
spirit of the age, and in order to enhance national prestige the
Japanese willingly accepted Western science, technology and
scholarship. Students of Buddhism were no exception. Encour-
aged by the state, they went to the West to study. Historically,
Nishi Hongan-ji, the headquarters of Shin Buddhism of the
Western Branch, took the lead in students to
study in Europe. In 1871, Buddhist elders, such as Mokurai
Shimaji and Takuyu Umezawa, accompanied TOli'omi Iwa-
kura, the official Japanese emissary, on a tour of the West to
investigate the state of religious studies there. Such reconnais-
sance missions were repeated by Japanese Buddhists in subse-
quent years. But foremost among the early Japanese students-
who were sent to Europe and made a distinct impact on the
development of modern Buddhology in Japan-were Bunyu
Nanjio and Kenjiu Kasawara, students at Higashi Hongan-ji,-
the headquarters of Shin Buddhism of the Eastern Branch.
They left Japan before the I wakura mission, and studied San-
skrit in England under Max Muller. Kasawara later died of
tuberculosis, and Max Muller wrote his obituary, which ap-
peared in the London Times for September 22, 1883, under the
byline "The Late Kenjiu Kasawara." Kasawara was probably
one of Max Muller's most prized students, and the obituary
gave him unstinting praise. But it was Nanjio, primarily known
as the compiler of A Catalogue of the Chinese Translations of the
Buddhist Tripitaka, the Sacred Canon of Buddhists in China and
japan (1883), who introduced modern Sanskrit studies to Ja-
It might be of some interest to note here that Nishi Hon-
gan-ji was created by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1591 and Higashi
Hongan-ji by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1602. The latter, patronized
by the Tokugawas, prospered during the Tokugawa period.
Hence, there was, apparently, a tacit agreement on the part of
anti-Tokugawa Meiji leaders to patronize Nishi after
the Meiji restoration-for the I wakura mission invited the el-
ders of this establishment, not those of Higashi Hongan-ji, to
accompany the mission.
The political advantages reaped by
Nishi Hongan-ji at this time created a strong sense of dedica-
tion and purpose among their rivals, who were regarded as
"rebels" by the Meiji leaders. Thus Nishi Hongan-ji and Higa-
shi Hongan-ji, followed by the Takada branch of Shin Bud-
dhism, emerged as keen competitors in the Meiji moderniza-
tion program, trailed by other Buddhist schools. To many
Buddhist leaders, modernization meant exposure to modern
European scholarship.
Nishi Hongan-ji sent Takutsu Fujieda and Ryoen Fuji-
shima to France, and Ryoho Suga to England in 1882. Fujieda
studied under Sylvain Levi. Fujishima published Le Bouddhisme
japonais (1889), the first work on Japanese Buddhism pub-
lished in a Western language. Suga studied Sanskrit together
with Nanjio under Max Miiller, but, unlike Nanjio, he also took
an interest in Western philosophy and ethics. In addition,
Gyoyu Tokiwai of the Takada branch of Shin Buddhism left
Japan in 1886 and studied in Germany; J unjiro Takakusu of
Nishi Hongan-ji-who delivered a series of lectures at the Uni-
versity of Hawaii just prior to the outbreak of World War II-
left Japan in 1890 and studied Sanskrit, Tibetan and Indian
philosophy in England, Germany and France. All of them re-
turned to Japan before the turn of the century, and without
exception stimulated interest in Sanskrit and Indian philos-
ophy inJapan. Bunzaburo Matsumoto, Unrai Wogihara, Masa-
haru Anesaki, Kaigyoku Watanabe, Sensho Fujii, Hakuju Ui,
Taiken Kimura-eminent Buddhologists of pre-World War II
Japan-all studied in Europe under the stimulating atmo-
sphere created by their predecessors. Shoson Miyamoto (d.
1983) and Susumu Yamaguchi (d. 1976), the respected elders
among contemporary Japanese Buddhologists, studied in En-
gland and France respectively. Yamaguchi, who studied with
Etienne Lamotte, perhaps the most respected contemporary
Buddhologist (d. 1983), showed unqualified respect for French
scholarship,3 Yamaguchi's work on the Vir(tSatikavrtti, Mahayan-
asarrtgraha, Madhyantavibhaga, etc., established him as one of the
most internationally prominent Buddhologists. Four other
men perhaps need mentioning: Ekai Kawaguchi, Takan Tada,
Bunkya Aoki and Enga Teramoto, who entered Tibet in the
early 20th century, a period when travel to that part of the
world was extremely hazardous. They brought back a huge
collection of Tibetan texts and provided the materials in Japan
fora systematic investigation of Buddhism based on Tibetan
sources. What then was the most significant contribution of
European scholarship to traditional Japanese Buddhist scholar-
Though traditional scholarship contributed much to devel-
oping "scholastic" Buddhism in China, such as Fa-hsiang, Tien-
t'ai, Hua-yen, etc., a tradition which the Japanese followed,
these schools are based on the concept of tsung, or sect, devel-
oped in Tang China. This concept viewed systems of Buddhist
thought from the perspective of a p'an chiao system which classi-
fied doctrines and evaluated them by presupposing the superi-
ority of one's own doctrine. The p'an chiao system established its
own patriarchal lineage and honored the sayings of those patri-
archs without criticism, without investigating the primary
sources from which theory and practice basic to the develop-
ment of a given doctrine were derived. It was ahistorical in its
approach to describing the evolution of Buddhist thought.
Here we must remind ourselves that a siltra (or for that matter,
any Buddhist text), does not, necessarily represent a distinct
evolutionary stage in a linear development. The history of de-
velopment of Buddhist texts is more complex than that. Each
text maintains presuppositions peculiar to itself, showing that
the author was aware of the doctrinal problematics which char-
acterized his time. Texts were composed in response to issues
that were considered crucial by their authors and each author
addressed himself to these issues by incorporating and refor-
mulating earlier ideas. An understanding of the history of the
evolution of Buddhist thought, then, involves in part an investi-
gation of these problematics and presuppositions, not simply
an understanding of a "fossilized" p'an chiao system, arbitrarily
designed to enhance a given sectarian dogma. Modern Budd-
hology challenges the p'an chiao system and critically examines
the sayings of the patriarchs. Hence, Meiji Buddhist scholar-
ship received a stimulating breeze from students who had been
exposed to modern European scholastic disciplines. In addi-
tion, European scholarship opened new fields of investigation,
such as modern Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan studies, as well as. the
historical, cultural and language studies of Central Asia. And in
each of these fields Japanese Buddhologists have made distinct
contributions. Nevertheless, their contributions are relatively
unknown-or at least not extensively utilized-in the West,
with the possible exception of the works of Susumu Yamagu-
chi, Gadjin Nagao, Akira Hirakawa, Yuichi Kajiyama, Jikid6
Takasaki, etc. Why is this so?
First, though we are able to find valuable substance in J ap-
anese Buddhological works, they are written in paratactic para-
graph-sentences, marked by frequent leaps of logic. They lack
organization. Under these circumstances, Western Buddholo-
gists who attempt to use Japanese materials for research are
exasperated. For what is involved in using these materials is to
break the paratactic paragraph-sentence arrangement down
into normal English sentences, or alternatively completely to
ignore the detail of the thought processes involved in coming to
a conclusion and simply to summarize what one feels is the
essence of the work. The problem is aggravated by the fact that
the Japanese have not yet produced a team of well-trained
translators to translate Japanese Buddhological works effec-
tively (see, for example, the titles of articles in Japanese Bud-
dhist journals translated into English, apparently for the conve-
nience of the English-speaking public-most of which are quite
incomprehensible). This is probably due to the fact that Japa-
nese-English translators are not well remunerated. But regard-
less of the device a Western researcher utilizing Japanese mate-
rials might use-translating Japanese materials himself or
using Japanese materials translated by others-it is impossible
to eliminate the fundamental obscurity of thought which char-
acterizes this type of Japanese "scholarese," even after its syntax
has been fathomed.
For example, Zennosuke Tsuji's detailed work on the His-
tory of japanese Buddhism (Nihon bukkyo-shi), Shinsho Hanayama's
painstaking research on Prince Shotoku's on the
.Saddharmapury!ar'ika-,, and Srimlillidevisi'f!lhan-
ada-sutras CSangyo-gisho), Keiki Yabuki's comprehensive study
on San-shieh-chiao (Sangai-gyo), etc., represent philological and
historical studies of a descriptive nature-all marked. by a para-
tactic paragraph-sentence prose style. I am not maliciously
pointing out the faults of these eminent scholars. Rather, what
I am trying to say is that in addition to a descriptive account-
whether philological or historical-what is needed to stimulate
interest among Western scholars (and also Japanese scholars,
for that matter) is to provide an interpretive account of the
subject under research and to organize the conterits of that
research in a language comprehensible to the reader.
Of course, there are exceptions. For example, Gadjin Na-
gao's editorial efforts in the recent publication of the Da0'o but-
ten (15 vols., 1973-76), demonstrate both philological and liter-
ary sensitivity, and many of the Japanese Buddhologists who
have been exposed to the postwar educational system, such as
Ryushin Uryuzu, Noritoshi Aramaki, Shinjo Kawasaki, etc.,
write in an excellent prose style. But the fact remains that poor
style and lack of organization are the major criticisms
that can be directed to Japanese Buddhological works in gener-
al. Under these circumstances, Westerners who have had some
training in Japanese are faced with two choices: to exercise
infinite patience in the deciphering of paratactic paragraph-
sentences, or simply to abandon the works of Japanese Budd-
hologists. But here, in all fairness to the Japanese, it should be
added that it is not only the Japanese Buddhologists whose
hermeneutics has contributed to the development of a "Bud-
dhist hybrid Japanese." Western Buddhologists have also con-
tributed to creating an equally "barbaric" language, a matter
which Paul Griffiths has eloquently described in his essay,
"Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Her-
meneutics for Buddhologists."4 I shall not recapitulate what he
has already said. Here I wish to zero in on criticisms directed
specifically to Japanese Buddhology:
Second, by necessity, Japanese Buddhologists whose pri-
mary research languages are Sanskrit, P;'ili or Tibetan (e.g.,
24 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
Susumu Yamaguchi, Gadjin Nagao, Yuichi Kajiyama, Jikido
Takasaki, Egaku Maeda, etc.) have established some degree of
communication with their Western counterparts, primarily b e ~
cause modern Buddhist studies based on these languages are
products of vVestern scholarship. In contrast, in spite of the fact
that East Asian Buddhism is a field practically dominated by
the Japanese, Japanese works in this field are not extensively
employed by Western Buddhologists (with the exception of
Leon Hurvitz, Stanley Weinstein, Minoru Kiyota, etc.), simply
because there are very few Western specialists in East Asian
Buddhism who can effectively employ Japanese sources. Here,
one might argue that inasmuch as modern Buddhist studies
based on Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan are Western products,
those interested in these products need to master a Western
language-as many Japanese Buddhologists working in these
fields have done; likewise, inasmuch as modern Buddhist stud-
ies based on Japanese are the products of Japanese scholarship,
Western scholars interested in these products need to master
Japanese. .
Of course, this is a reasonable argument, but at this par-
ticular period of history-a period when J apariese has not yet
developed into 2m international language to the extent that
English and French have, and when Japanese Buddhologists
write in paratactic paragraph-sentences-Western Buddholo-
gists who are interested in East Asian Buddhism cannot help
but express exasperation in employing Japanese sources.
Though it is true that we have managed to produce promising
young American specialists in East Asian Buddhism in the past
ten years (for example, Diana Paul, Paul Groner, Aaron Ko-
seki, William Grosnick, John Keenan, Sallie King, etc.), the de-
velopment of Western specialists in East Asian Buddhism de-
pends to a large degree upon the efforts of Japanese specialists
to stimulate interest in that field. This can only be done by
developing a more effective means of communication, literally
and verbally.
Third, Japanese Buddhological works generally consist of
a dialogue between the author and the text or texts he is investi-
gating (we might call it a "monologue" instead), not a dialogue
between author and reader. Japanese Buddhological works in
general tend to become "monologic" b e c a ~ s e Japanese Bud-
dhology today is highly specialized, placing greater emphasis
on intense textual studies. Though there are great merits in
such a type of scholarship, such scholarship is not interpretive,
in the sense that it does not place the thought representative of
. the text or texts being examined within the historical evolution
of Buddhist thought, describe that thought as a response to the
historical need of a particular period of time, or indicate the
relevance of that thought to the problems faced by the modern
man. This is not to say that the works of Japanese Buddholo-
gists are worthless. On the contrary, the depth of their research
commands respect and Western scholars have much to learn
from them. But Japanese Buddhologists will have to develop a
keener awareness of their audience, and clearly identify the
theme of their work, clarify the method employed to describe
that theme, and organize the theme in a structured manner if
they entertain a desire to have the products of their research
recognized internationally.
In sum, the criticisms I have made above are not designed
to undermine Japanese Buddhist scholarship, for I fully recog-
nize that the Japanese have skillfully incorporated modern Eu-
ropean scholarship and have successfully developed a sophisti-
cated form of comparative textual studies (incorporating
Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan and Chinese materials), which in turn
has enhanced serious historical studies. For example, Yamagu-
chi, in his Daija to shite no facio, 1963, examines Sino-Japanese
Pure Land thought from the perspective of the history of de-
velopment of Mahayana thought, particularly Madhyamika
and Yogacara; Seizan Yanagida's Zen shisa-shi no seiritsu (in Buk-
kyo no shiso Series, Vol. 7), 1969, describes the development of
Zen thought historically, beginning from the Suttanipatta, not
withstanding the fact that sectarian Zen undermines historical
studies;" and Noriaki Hakamaya's "Bukkyo-shi no naka no
Genj6" (in Genja) , 1981, contextualizes Hsuan-tsang's work
within the historical development of Buddhist thought tNT se.
These men-all first rate philologists-do not fragment Bud-
dhist thought geographically or by sects, but interpret thought
and personalities (who contributed to the development of Bud-
dhist thought) within a larger framework of the historical evo-
lution of Buddhist thought. In this connection, it should be
noted that in Mahayana studies, we are no longer interested in
26 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
whether there was a basic historical personality in the founding
of Buddhism and a core text or texts representative of the
thought of that personality or not. Rather, we are concerned
with the evolution of thought. For Buddhism is basically inter-
ested in the notion of wisdom and the manner in which that
notion was accepted, transmitted and domesticated, and there-
by enriched the cultural contents of the countries into which it
was introduced. That is, Buddhism survived in many countries
in Asia primarily because it made no attempts at Indianization:
it enriched the cultural contents of the country into which it was
introduced by being absorbed into the indigenous culture-to
the extent that the Central Asians and Chinese managed to
develop what the Japanese refer to as gikyo, (; Buddhist apocry-
phal texts, which in my opinion contain thoughts representa-
tive of those domesticated. The dynamics involved in the his-
torical development of Buddhism must be given serious
consideration in order to understand the status of Buddhism in
Asia today, and an examination of the historical development
of Buddhism requires philological and philosophical ap-
proaches of the kind Yamaguchi, Yanagida, Hakamaya, etc.,
have observed.
Moreover, Japanese Buddhologists have established excel-
lent team work in producing Buddhist dictionaries, encyclope-
dias, catalogues, indices and other basic reference materials by
utilizing the materials and knowledge they have accumulated
during their 1,500 years of unbroken Buddhist scholastic tradi-
tion. For example, the Bussho kaisetsu daijiten, an encyclopedic
work on Buddhist texts in thirteen volumes-the first volume
published in 1933 and the last in 1978-is a work that was made
possible by teams of Japanese Buddhologists working over sev-
eral decades; while the Index to the in three
volumes-the first (Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese) published in
1973, the second (Chinese-Tibetan) published in 1977, and the
third (Tibetan-Sanskrit) published in 1978-is a work that was
accomplished under the supervision of Akira Hirakawa, aided
by a team of Hirakawa's dedicated students (Shun'ei Hirai, Giei
Yoshizu, Noriaki Hakamaya and S6 Takahashi), consuming
over ten years. And finally, it must be added that the Japanese
Buddhologists actually lead the world in terms of Buddhist
Hence, notwithstanding the criticisms I have made, I
strongly believe that it was a serious error on the part of Ed-
ward Conze to have said, "This limitation of not knowing Chi-
. nese and Japanese is not as serious as it sounds .... "8 The er-
ror, in fact, is particularly apparent with regard to the Japanese
language. My criticisms of Japanese Buddhology are made with
the hope that Japanese Buddhology will develop better means
of communication-literally and verbally-so that its products
can be employed by Western Buddhologists more effectively
and extensively. Since I have made reference to Conze's all-too-
well-known caustic remark, I might as well refer to another. It
is interesting to note that Conze, in his recent Memoirs, says,
... the basic trouble over the last 400 years had been the
imbalance created by the white races outstripping all the
others. They had taken the lead even in such unlikely
fields as Buddhology which one would have regarded as
the preserve of Onentals; in fact, even scholars from the
East counted only if they had studied with the White man.
Ironically, notwithstanding the apparent bigotry pregnant in
such a statement, the statement does in fact reflect an element
of truth. In the case of the Japanese, Kajiyama, Aramaki, Akira
Yuyama, just to mention a few contemporary Japanese Bud-
dhologists of reputable status-not reiterating those who had
studied in Europe prior to World War II-have all studied in
Europe. But what Conze neglected to notice is that eminent
Japanese scholars, such as Nagao, Hirakawa, Hajime Naka-
mura, Kosai Yasui, Ocho Enichi, Hajime Sakurabe, and the
younger generation of Buddhologists, such as Shun'ei Hirai,
Shigeo Kamata, etc. have not studied in the West, and that
many American students are now flocking to Japan to study
under their instructions. Buddhology today is no longer a mo-
nopoly of anyone ethnic or national group. Rather, it is a form
of scholarship whose development is contingent on sharing and
stimulating ideas on an international scale, just like any other
form of scholarship. The fact that late 19th-century Europe has
contributed much to the advancement of Buddhology was due
to historical circumstances, that is, the impact of the 18th-cen-
tury period of Enlightenment in Europe and the fact that Euro-
pean colonialism, particularly that of England and France,
28 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
stimulated interest in South and East Asian studies. The Tibet-
ans had enhanced Buddhist scholarship in medieval Tibet, the
Chinese during the Tang period, the Japanese during the
Heian and Kamakura periods. Today, we cannot engage in any
serious research in the field of Buddhist studies by relying sole-
lyon the products of Western scholarship at the exclusion of
the products of Japanese scholarship.
Problems and Prospects
In spite of the contributions made by modern Buddholo-
gists in recent years, thanks in large part to 19th century Euro-
pean scholarship, many problems are inherent in modern
Buddhology. Here, we are no longer talking about Western
Buddhology or Japanese Buddhology. We are talking about
modern Buddhology per se.
First, the translation of Buddhist texts is still in its prelimi-
nary stages. Thus Conze has said:
... perhaps 5 percent of the Mahayana sutras have so far
been reliably edited, and perhaps 2 percent intelligibly
translated. It is clear that inferences drawn from the scanty
materials at our disposal must remain rather dubious,lo
Since Conze read neither Chinese nor Japanese, the percentage
number given above would be considerably smaller if we were
to take into account sutras, Vinaya texts and sastras not extant
in Pali or Sanskrit, but extant in the Chinese translation, as well
as classical commentaries and studies on these texts in Chinese,
Japanese and Tibetan. But modern Buddhology requires not
only the editing and translating of sutras, but also the critical
examination of texts, particularly through comparative textual
studies employing Sanskrit (whenever possible), Chinese and
Tibetan to understand the evolution of Buddhist thought, such
as the kind of works done by Yamaguchi, Yanagida, Haka-
maya, etc., as previously cited. Products of the Buddhology of
recent years, such as Lamotte's L'Enseignement de Vimalakfrti
(1962), David Seyfort Ruegg's La Theorie du Tathagatagarbha et .
du Gotra (1969), Jikido Takasaki's Nyoraizo shiso no keisei (1974),
Shunei Hirai's Chugoku hannya shiso-shi kenkyu (1976), Mahayana
Buddhist Meditation: Theory and Practice (ed., Minoru Kiyota,.
1978), just to mention a few, are all philologically oriented,
emphasizing an objective assessment of the doctrinal contents
of their respective subjects. But, as Conze has rightly pointed
out, "inferences drawn from the scanty materials at our dispos-
al must remain rather dubious," for we have over 4,000 Bud-
dhist texts in the Tibetan Tripitaka and about the same num-
ber in the Chinese Tripitaka.
Second, modern Buddhology also emphasizes the impor-
tance of historical knowledge, including the socio-cultural basis
that led to the origin and subsequent development of Bud-
dhism. Thus, for example, the Sacred Books of the East is not only
a collection of Buddhist texts, but also includes non-Buddhist
texts, such as the Laws of Manu and the works of Jainism; and
Rhys Davids' Buddhist India (1903) not only depicts the life and
teachings of the Buddha, but also portrays the cultural, social
and political institutions of the time. And, it should be noted
that Oldenberg's Buddha: sein leben, seine lehre, seine Gemeinde is
the first comprehensive work in the Buddhist studies tradition
to depict the Buddha as a historical personality based on Pali
sources. Such an historical approach stimulated interest in ex-
amining Chinese historical materials dealing with South Asia,
such as Fa-hsien's Record of the Buddhaland (which describes In-
dia of the period from late fourth to early fifth centuries),
Hsuan-tsang's Record of the Western Regions (which describes In-
dia of the period from early to mid-seventh century), and I-
ching's Record of the South Seas (which describes India and
Southeast Asia of the late seventh century). This kind of histori-
cal approach to Buddhism no longer allows the mythologiza-
tion of the historical Buddha and of Buddhist India, and the
concomitant dogmatization of Buddhist thought.
Actually, modern Buddhology-whether Western, Indian
or Japanese-has not completely severed itself from sectarian
dogma. For example, some Theravada scholars still presuppose
that the Pali canon represents the oldest recording of Bud-
dhism, a notion which philologists have now completely repudi-
It is for this reason that Nagao, reiterating the views of
Friedrich Weller and John Brough, says, "studies with the Pali
canon alone are fruitless and purposeless."12 On the other
hand, Mahayana scholars generally presuppose Mahayana su-
30 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
periority over Hlnayana, or, more specifically, Mahayana supe-
riority over the sravaka and pratyekabuddha vehicles, despite
the fact that historically these vehicles represent entities of the
Buddhist tradition, and are not simply inferior vehicles, but
vehicles provided for a given audience at a given time. Doctri-
nal bias of these types compels Buddhologists squarely to face a
fundamental issue: do the sutras (of Hlnayana and Mahayana
vintages) represent the actual sayings of the Buddha? Obvious-
ly not, as philological and historical investigations have now
conclusively proven (see n. 11 above). The composition of a
variety of sutras (including those not extant in Pali and San-
skrit), as well as sastric commentaries, the codification of ortho-
dox Vinaya and the subsequent development of Mahayana
bodhisattva fila-all these represent the evolution of Buddhist
thought, practice and institutions. Ideally, the purpose of mod-
ern Buddhology is to avoid the pitfalls of traditional sectarian
dogmas. Nagao therefore continues,
We now have important publications such as the Sanskrit-
texts aus den Turfanfunden, in addition to the Chinese and
Tibetan translations at our disposal. The philological com-
parison between the corresponding texts-of different tradi-
tions as well as within a respective tradition will undoubt-
edly unravel the formation process of pre-sectarian
Buddhist doctrines ... 13
Indeed, an investigation of pre-sectarian Buddhist doctrines-
odd as it may seem-is a subject that has not been thoroughly
investigated, a work through which ideas germane to many
systems of thought later developed might be found. This type
of investigation must be observed by making reference to ca-
nonical sources preserved in many languages. Akira Hir-
akawa's Ritsuzo no kenkyu (1960), Genshi bukkyo no kenkyu (1964),
and Shoki daijo bukkyo no kenkyu (1968), making reference to
Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese sources, are works of the
kind Nagao is suggesting. But very few works of this kind are
available in a Western language.
Third, and perhaps the most serious of all, is that modern
Buddhology is not invulnerable to criticism from those in other
disciplines. For Buddhologists whose basic orientation is philo-
logical, philosophical and historical-notwithstanding the va-
lidity of these disciplinary approaches-ironically cannot re-
spond effectively to a crucial question: how can one totally
committed to a purely objective investigation of Buddhis:gl
manage to. develop originality of thought and stimulate the
thought of .those in other disciplines? For sheer objectivity
makes Buddhology the province of the academically qualified
few, who might not have any concern whatever for the histori-
cal destiny of man. The problem is not whether a Buddhologist
is a Buddhist or not, for that is simply a matter of personal
choice. The issue goes deeper than that. The pitfall of modern
Buddhology-with its emphasis on sheer objectivity-lies in ig-
noring the hopes and aspirations which the Buddhists through-
out their history have derived from the Buddha-Dharma, as
they themselves have conceived it. For it is these intangible
elements which have influenced the actual cultural contents of
Buddhist Asia. In other words, the pitfall of modern Buddho-
logy lies in separating the masses, whatever their interpretation
of the Buddha-Dharma might be, from the actual current of
history. For example, a purely philosophical analysis of Bud-
dhist theory does not take into account that the masses consti-
tute a significant entity in the dynamics of historical develop-
ment. The pitfall lies in ignoring the real intent with which the
Buddhists of the past have expounded the Dharma, that is, to
articulate the historical significance of Buddhist thought. For
the intent of the historical Buddha was not by any means to
ignore the historicity of mankind, but to provide the wisdom to
cope with the everlasting crisis to which man is subject, and to
contribute creatively to world civilization. It is within this con-
text that we see the possibility of cooperation between Buddho-
logists of good conscience and those of equally good conscience
involved in other academic disciplines.
To identify Buddhism only within the limits of a rational
philosophy of the type which characterized late 19th-century
Europe, then, is inadequate. Rudolf Otto wrote of das Heilige in
1917, and it is within this religious context that Buddhist cult
practice and devotionalism bear significance for human exis-
tence-and for Buddhist studies. Thus, Stanislaw Schayer, a
Polish Buddhologist, challenged Oldenberg's reduction of the
Buddha to a mere historical personality, emphasizing the fact
that if the Buddha were conceived only within the limits of
32 JIABS VOL 7 NO. 1
history and social ethics, then he would not have inspired men
and women, and Buddhism would not have provided the basis
for the religious aspirations of the population of Asia for more
than 2,500 years. This is a point which Yamaguchi consistently
stressed, and which Arthur L. Basham, an eminent British In-
dologist, and Erick Zurcher, an eminent Dutch Sinologist, for
example, are articulating.
Thus, E.J. Thomas (The Life of the Buddha as Legend and
History, 1927), Alfred Foucher (La Vie du Bouddha d'apres les
textes et les monuments de l'Inde, 1949), and Shoko Watanabe (Shin
shakuson-den, 1966), all wisely took into account the element of
das Heilige in portraying the life of the Buddha, for it is histori-
cally inaccurate to discuss the contents of early Buddhism solely
on the basis of a sectarian tradition and within the limits of the
"rational," as Mrs. Rhys Davids (Gotama the Man, 1928), for one,
has done. An attempt to interpret the Buddha in this manner
represents only one of the many dimensions of the Buddha's
character, for in emphasizing the "rational" element of the
Buddha, she has completely ignored the basis for the develop-
ment of Buddhist cult practice and devotionalism among the
masses in India and in other Asian countries in subsequent
periods. We must be mindful that Buddhism, like any other
world religion, contains its own mythology, cult practice and
soteriology, and, in the case of Mahayana, identifies a transcen-
dental Buddha (dharmakiiya).
The term "Buddhology" now needs redefinition. It is a
field in the humanities which is involved in the study of the
Buddhist classics and in interpreting the bearing their contents
have had in the past-and continue to have-upon world civil-
ization. The study of the Buddhist classics does not imply par-
rotting their contents, but interpreting what they are trying to
say in amanner that is comprehensible to others. This redefini-
tion does not by any means undermine the validity of modern
Buddhological disciplines as they were developed in 19th-cen-
tury Europe. For, regardless of new theories and methodolo-
gies developed in modern social studies, the fact remains that
only a small segment of Buddhist literature has been translated,
and such translation can only be accomplished by those
equipped with the historical and philological tools emphasized
by 19th-century European Buddhology. And only when the
literature has been made accessible by Buddhologists can it be
employed by those in other disciplines (such as the history of
religions) to enhance their own scholarship. Unfortunately,
very few American foundations (possibly with the exception of
. the NEB)' take kindly to serious annotated translation projeCts
of the kind undertaken in fifth century to eighth century Chi-
na, medieval Tibet and Japan, and the types of moc;:lern Bud- .
dhist scholarship represented by the French and Japanese. The
seeming interest in Buddhism in the United States notwith-
standing, the development of Buddhology here is contingent
on promoting interest in philological, philosophical and histori-
cal disciplines, not in advancing speculative theories, and cer-
tainly not in promoting sectarian dogma. But it is equally im-
portant to develop an awareness that Buddhist studies
constitute an integral part of the humanities, and that the Bud-
dhist masses constitute an integral part of the tradition. Bud-
dhology includes the study of Buddhist thought, the Buddhists,
and their social institutions and practices. It is in this context
that we are able to see the need for an intense dialogue between
Western and Japanese Buddhologists.
1. The tradition of Sanskrit studies had been consistently maintained by
Shingon monks since the Kamakura period, but it was in the Tokugawa
period that it reached the peak of development. The pioneer was Jogon
(1640-1702) of Reiunji of Yushima in Edo. He is the author of Shittan
sanmitsu sho (8 chilan), a text which discusses linguistic details of Sanskrit. His
work stimulated the development of classical Japanese philology. Donjaku
(1673-1742), Jakugon (1701-1771) and Onko (1717-1804) appeared succes-
sively after Jogon. Onko, popularly known as Jiun Sonja, studied Buddhist
texts such as the Bhadracaripranidana, Prajiiiipiiramitahrdaya, Sukhavatzvyilha,
etc., in Sanskrit. He established a system of Sanskrit syntax by systematizing
noun-, adjective-, and verb-endings, and even attempted to reconstruct the
Sanskrit from a Chinese prajiiii text. His work, the Bongaku Shinryo, in 1,000
chilan, completed in 1776, contains materials for the systematic study of San-
skrit at that time. Indeed, Onko's work was the forerunner of modern San-
skrit studies, preceding the European linguists by a few decades. Unfortu-
nately, Onko's high standard of scholarship was not maintained by his
students, and modern Sanskrit studies in contemporary Japan are the prod-
uct of European scholarship.
34 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
2. The Meiji government established Shinto as the state religion and
rallied around it to inculcate nationalism, which the Buddhists-notably the
Shin Samgha, represented by Nishi Hongan-ji, Higashi Hongan-ji and the
Takada branch-resisted. But, in due time, because of Higashi Hongan-ji's
close association with the Tokugawas in the past, Nishi Hongan-ji was favored
by the Meiji leaders. No more can be said about this fascinating subject in the
course of this paper.
3. See Susumu Yamaguchi, Furansu bukkyo-gaku no gQjiinen. (Kyoto:
Heiraku-ji shoten, 1953).
4. PaulJ. Griffiths, "Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology
and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists," The Journal of the International Associ-
ation of Buddhist Studies, (Madison: University of Wisconsin), Vol. 4, No.2,
1981, pp. 17-32. See in particular a passage he quotes from one of Conze's
works, p. 29.
5. I have previously written a short article criticizing traditional Zen
scholarship. See my "Comments on Zen," The Journal of the International Associ-
ation of Buddhist Studies, (Madison: University of Wisconsin), Vol. 1, No.2,
1979, pp. 57-62.
6. For information on the "gikyo," see the following works:
Tairyo Makita. "Chugoku bukkyo ni okeru gikyo kenkyu josetsu,"
ToM gakuM, No. 35, Kyoto, March, 1964, pp. 337-
Gikyo kenkyii. (Kyoto: Kyoto daigaku jimbun ka-
gaku kenkyu-shO), 1976.
Kazuo Okabe. Review: "Tairyo Makita's Gikyo, kenkyii," Komazawa
daigaku bukkyogaku-bu Tonshii (Tokyo: Komazawa
University), No.8, 1977, pp. 247-54.
7. A. Bharati says: " ... I believe that about as much is being published
annually in Japanese on Buddhism, Tantrism, Indian and Tibetan religious
studies as in all occidental languages put together." (The Tantric Tradition,
Doubleday, 1970, p. 316). I do not know how Bharati arrived at his figure,
but if we were to limit ourselves only to the number of articles which ap-
peared in Japanese scholastic journals, there were over 14,000 items pub-
lished from the late 19th century to 1935, some 27,000 between 1931 and
1955, and over 9,000 between 1956 and 1971, according to the Kaitei zoM:
bukkyo Tonbun so-mokuToku (1935), Bukkyogaku kankei zasshi ronbun mokuToku
(1961), and Bukkyogaku kankei zasshi Tonbun bunrui mokuToku (1972), the cata-
logues of essays on Buddhist studies compiled periodically by Ryukoku Uni-
versity. Naturally there is no direct correlation between the amount of publi-
cation and its quality, but the numbers cited above do reflect the sustained
interest in Buddhist studies in contemporary Japan. The Japanese have also
published catalogues of Buddhist books authored by Buddhologists. For the
Western audience, the most convenient are those published by the Toyo
Bunko, Tokyo, in recent years, summarizing selected works of Japanese spe-
cialists in Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism in English.
. Kawasaki. Indian Buddhism (Oriental Studies inJapan: Retro-
spect and Prospect, 1963-72), (Tokyo: The Cen-
tre for East Asian Cultural Studies), 1977.
Tokuo Kimata. Chinese Philosophy and Religion (Oriental Studies in
Japan: Retrospect and Prospect, 1963-72), (To-
kyo: The Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies),
H6r6 Tamura. Japanese Buddhism (Oriental Studies Retro-
spect and Prospect, 1963-72), (Tokyo: The Centre
for East Asian Cultural Studies), 1980.
Zuih6 Yamaguchi. Tibetan Studies (Oriental Studies inJapan: Retro-
spect and Prospect, 1963-72), (Tokyo: The
Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies), 1975.
In addition, the Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Supplementary Issue),
Tokyo: The Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, August 9,
1958 (revised edition), pp. 3-66, provides an abstract of Japanese Buddholo-
gical works (indudingdissertations) made between 1946-58. Also see, A.
Hirakawa and E.B. CeadeI, "Japanese Research on Buddhism since the Meiji
Period," Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. XI, No.4 (Tokyo: Sophia University),
1956, pp. 69-96. And perhaps one of the best in recent years which surveys
Japanese works on Indian Buddhism is Hajime Nakamura, Indian Buddhism:
A Survey with Bibliographical Notes. Osaka: KUFS Publications, 1982.
8. Edward Conze. Buddhist Thought in India. (London: George Allen &
Unwin, 1962, first printing), p. 7 footnote.
9. Edward Conze. The Memoirs of A Modem Gnostic (Part I). Sherbourne,
England: The Samizdat Publishing Co., 1979, pp. 58-59.
10. Edward Conze. Buddhist Thought in India, p. 200.
11. See, for example, the following works:
Akira Hirakawa. Ritsuzo no kenkyu (Tokyo: Sankibo, 1960)
_______ . Genshi bukkyo no kenkyu (Tokyo: Shunjusha, 1964)
E. Lamotte. Histoire du Bouddhisme Indien. (Louvain: Publications
U niversitaires, 1958)
Egaku Maeda. Genshi bukkyo-kyoten no seiritsu-shi kenskyu (Tokyo:
Sankibo, 1964)
L. Renou & J. Filliozat. L'Inde Classique, t. 2, (Paris-Hanoi, 1953)
Hakuju Ui. Bukkyo kyoten-shi (Tokyo: T6j6 shuppan, 1957)
M. Winternitz. Geschichte der Indischen Literatur. 3 Bde. (Leipzig: C.F.
Amelangs, 1907-22)
Both European and Japanese Buddhologists have done sufficient
work to discredit the idea that sutras represent the literal sayings of
the Buddha.
36 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
12. Gadjin Nagao, "Presidential Address," The Journal of the International
Association of Buddhist Studies (Madison: University of Wisconsin) Vol. 1, No.2,
1979, p. 83.
13. Ibid., p. 83.
Marginalia to Sa-skya PaQ-Qita's Oeuvre
by Leonard W.J. van der K uiJP
Sa-skya Pal).Qita Kun-dga' rgyal-mtshan (1182-1251) was the
fourth of the so-called "Five Supreme" (gong-ma lnga) masters
of the Sa-skya-pa school of Tibetan Buddhism, and the great-
grandson of 'Khon Dkon-mchog rgyal-po (1034-1104), the
founder of Sa-skya monastery (1073). The four other masters
1. Sa-chen Kun-dga' snying-po (1092-1158)
2. Slob-dpon Bsod-nams rtse-mo (1142-1182)
3. Rje-btsun Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan (1147-1216)
4. 'Phags-pa bla-ma Blo-gros rgyal-mtshan (1235-1280)
His writings, as preserved in the Sde-dge edition of the
collected works (bka'-'bum) of the sa-skya gong-ma lnga'2, evince
an exceptionally keen sense of scholarship and a virtually
boundless intellectual curiosity. In the course of my study of
several of what are generally considered to be his major writ-
ings, I noticed that, as far as his bka'-'bum is concerned, the Sde-
dge edition is rather unsatisfactory for two main reasons. In the
first place, the number of texts ascribed to Sa-skya Pal).Qita by
this edition does not square with the earliest catalogue (dkar-
chag) of his collected works that is thusfar available. And nei-
. ther does the Dkar-Chag of the Sde-dge edition take cognisance
of those writings of Sa-skya Pal).Qita which he himself cites in
his subsequent literary endeavors. Secondly, a considerable
number of its readings are philologically and text-historically
problematic, and could very well lead to the conclusion that the
editors and compilers of this edition were not as careful as they
should have been. In the present paper I propose to deal at
some length with the first of these3; a number of philological
and text-historical issues will be discussed by me elsewhere.
addition, I shall establish a relative chronology of his major
38 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
writings on the basis of external as well as bka'-'bum-internal
D. Jackson has shown
that at least one set of blocks and
hence edition of the bka'-'bum-s of these five masters predates
the Sde-dge edition which, according to the Dkar-Chag p. 342/211,
was completed in the year 1736.
These blocks formed the basis
for what may be called the Gong-dkar edition of the Sa-skya
bka'-'bum. It was sponsored by Kun-dga' rnam-rgyal (1432-
1496) of Gong-dkar, which is located about twenty-five kilome-
ters northeast of Yar-'brog lake.1 Kun-dga' rnam-rgyal is
known under a number of different names: Gong-dkar Rdo-rje
gdan-pa Sngags-'chang Jigs-med dpa'o, Thu-btsun Kun-dga'
rnam-rgyal, Grwa-Inga rgyal-po, and their possible combina-
tions and contractions. He had principally been the student of
Shar-chen Ye-shes rgya-mtsho (1404-1473)8, and was in part
responsible for linking up the various transmissions of Sa-skya-
pa and Zhwa-Iu-pa tantric theory and practice. It seems that his
mother, Dpal-Idan rdo-rje bde-ma, was a major force in his life
to the extent that, rather than permitting him to enter the
religious life to which he appears to have been naturally in-
clined, she quite consciously pushed him into the arena of secu-
lar power. Indeed, at the early age of fourteen, Kun-dga' rnam-
rgyal-he only received this name when he was committed to
the sramarJera vows by Byams-pa gling-pa PalJ.-chen Bsod-nams
rnam-par rgyal-ba in 1458-was set up as commander (dpon) of
the fortified town (rdzong) of Gzhis-ka gong-dkar. It was only in
1474 that he was ordained as a monk. Two years thereafter, he
constructed the temple of Dpal-rdo-rje-gdan mi-'gyur bde-
chen at Gong-dkar chos-grwa, which he had built in 1464.
It appears that this edition more or less fell dead off the
blocks. Blo-gsal bstan-skyong makes no mention of it in his
biographical note on Kun-dga' rnam-rgyal, and neither is it
referred to in the lengthy biographies of Go-ram-pa Bsod-
nams seng-ge (1429-1489) and Gser-mdog PalJ.-chen Sakya-
mchog-Idan (1428-1507).9 To be sure, it may be alluded to in
their text-critical remarks on certain conflicting readings of dif-
ferent manuscripts and block print editions of Sa-skya PalJ.c;lita's
Tshad-ma rigs-pa'i-gter.
The earliest evidence for these philo-
logical problems appears to be found in Go-ram-pa's larger
commentary to this work, which dates from 1471. It should be
stressed, however, that nowhere is the Gong-dkar edition men-
tioned by name. Moreover, the Gong-dkar edition is also absent
from the list of the sources used for t.he compilation of the
Sde-dge edition. Nonetheless, Bkra-shis lhun-grub refers to a
print (par) from this edition on one occasion in his Dkar-Chag
(p. 323/1/4).
The first attempt at a systematic collection of the manu-
scripts of, and oral transmission (lung) for, the writings of
the first three masters had been undertaken about a century
earlier. At the instigation of Bla-ma Dpal-Idan seng-ge, Bla-ma
dam-pa Bsod-nams rgyal-mtshan (1312-1375) of Sa-skya sent
Mkhan-po Shes-rab rdo-rje and Dbus-pa Rin-chen rgyal-
mtshan all over Tibet to gather the manuscripts and the lung
for these in one place, namely, Sa-skya monastery. If we are to
believe the notice of the Dkar-Chag p. 337/4/5, they succeeded
~ in doing SO.l1
During the latter half of the thirteenth century, the manu-
scripts of the bka'-'bum-s of Sa-skya PaI).c;iita and 'Phags-pa
bla-ma had been collected by a certain A-gnyal dam-pa, who
had prepared a manuscript edition of these in golden and silver
letters. This should, of course, also imply that he had obtained
the lung for these as well, and it is curious that he is not men-
tioned in the lineages of transmission noted in the Dkar-Chag
pp. 337/4/6-339/3/5 and in the Thob-Yig p.62/3/1 f. Jackson has
also suggested that A-gnyal dam-pa had been a student of both
Sa-skya PaI).c;iita and 'Phags-pa bla-ma, but his name is not given
in the lists of Sa-skya PaI).c;iita's students that are available to
Whatever the case may have been, there was at least a
manuscript edition of the Sa-skya bka' -'bum in Sa-skya by the end
of the fourteenth century. Rong-ston Sakya-rgyal-mtshan
(1367-1449) received teachings and the oral transmission for
this collection in ca. 1393 from Bdag-chen Grags-pa blo-gros,
Bzhi-thog-pa Kun-dga' rin-chen, and Ta-dben Blo-gros rgyal-
mtshan dpal-bzang-po-see the RSRT p. 309/6-7. For the lin-
eages of transmission of Sa-skya PaI).c;iita's bka'-'bum, see the
The Dkar-Chag to the Sde-dge edition was written by Bkra-
shis lhun-grub, the thirtieth abbot of Ngor Evarp.-chos-Idan
monastery, which had been founded in 1429 by Ngor-chen
Kun-dga' bzang-po (1382-1456). It was completed on the third
40 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
dkar-phyogs-kyi zla-ba, sa-ga (vaisakha) month of the fire-dragon
year which, if this date is based on the new phug-lugs calendar,
would correspond to 21 May 1736 (see Schuh 1973 :tables).
Bkra-shis lhun-grub is quite explicit that -he wrote the Dkar-
Chag after the blocks had been fully carved, and that the edition
was prepared at his behest. The financial support for this rath-
er costly undertaking was provided by Bstan-pa tshe-ring
(1678-1738) of the royal house of Sde-dge (see Dkar-Chag pp.
340/3/3-3411114) .
The Dkar-Chag p. 341/2/2-5 lists the following sets of
manuscripts (and/or editions?) which formed the foundation
for the Sde-dge undertaking:
1. An exceedingly good set (cha-gcig) of the bka'-'bum-s of the
gong-ma lnga from Bsam-gling in Skyor-mda'.
2. The bka'-'bum-s of Sa-skya Pa.Q.c;l.ita and 'Phags-pa bla-ma
(khu-dbon) from Rga. This is the manuscript edition that was
prepared by A-gnyal dam-pa, and it comprised six volumes.
3. A set of authoritative (khungs-thub) manuscripts from Gdan-sa
thar-Iam dgon that had been prepared by Bka' Rab-'byams
smra-ba'i dbang-po Kun-dga' ye-shes who, according to the
Dkar-Chag, had been a student of Rong-ston and N gor-chen.
He is, however, not listed among the students of Rong-ston
who are enumerated in the RSRT pp. 335--3371
4. An edition that had been previously established in Sa-skya
(gdan-sa chen-po), as well as an edition that had been pre-
pared later at the wish of the Chos-rgyal himself. I am in-
clined to suppose that "Chos-rgyal" here does not refer to
'Phags-pa bla-ma, but rather to a King of Sde-dge.
5. A set from Lcags-ra monastery near Bsam-grub-rtse. More
correctly, this should be Lcang-rwa, which had been built
for Mkhas-grub Dgelegs dpal-bzang-po (1385-1438) by
Shar-ka-ba Rab-brtan kun-bzang 'phags-pa (1389-1442),
the ruler of Rgyal-rtseo
60 Miscellaneous manuscripts that belonged to Sangs-rgyas
phun-tshogs, the twenty-fourth abbot of N gor Evarp-chos-
Bkra-shis lhun-grub has the following to say about the
sources he used in the compilation of the catalogues for the Sa-
sky a bka'-'bum itself in terms of the arrangement and order of
the texts-see Dkar-Chag p. 337/2/5-3/1:
The basis for the arrangement of these [texts]: Although,
upon a careful comparison of the Gsan-yig rgya-mtsho (SIC!)
of Ngor-chen Rdo-rje-'chang, the catalogue for the bka'-
'bum-s of the [first] three supreme [masters]-father and
[two] sons-compiled by the King of Smon-thana- in GIo,
that was written by Rdo-rje-'chang [Ngor-chen], tbe Gsan-
yig Thub-bstan rgyas-pa'i nyin-byerf of Dkon-mchog lhun-
grub, and the Gsan-yig Dbang-gi rgyal-po of 'Tam-mgon
Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs, there were some differences in
the arrangement [of the texts of the Sa-skya bka'-'bum]
among the early and later [versions as well as in] the num-
ber of texts, since in these [works] the majority of the early
[versions of the Sa-skya] bka'-'bum are for the most part in
agreement with [the arrangement and number of texts
found in] the gsan-yig of Dkon-mchog lhun-grub, only
those few [works] have been taken as the basIs [for my
catalogue] .
The emphasis is clearly on Dkon-mchog lhun-grub's work.
The same holds for the titling of the texts, in which Bkra-shis
Ihun-grub has also mainly followed the gsan-yig of Dkon-mchog
lhun-grub, rather than the work of'Arp nyer-bzhi-pa', the
twenty-fourth abbot of Ngor Evarp chos-Idan monastery,
Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs.
The records of the teachings received (gsan-yig), also
known in Tibetan as thob-yig, as well as the catalogue by N gor-
chen Kun-dga' bzang-po (1382-1456), have been published.
The first of these will be dealt with in a measure of detail below,
since its listing of Sa-skya Pal)c;lita's bka'-'bum shows a number of
crucial departures from that given in Bkra-shis lhun-grub's
Dkar-Chag. The catalogue for the bka'-'bum-s of the first three
supreme masters of the Sa-skya-pa school was prepared by
Ngor-chen on the basis of manuscripts-or, more likely, copies
of these-that were housed in the library of Sa-skya. He had
sent his nephew (tsha-bo-this kinship term is distinctively east-
ern Tibetan khams-skad!) to Sa-skya in 1426 precisely for the
purpose of collecting these copies, and Gzhon-nu bzang-po
stayed there for some five months, beginning in either April or
May, since the first half of this year includes an intercalcary
month. The manuscripts thus collected were again copied in
Ngor Evarp-chos-Idan, insofar as they were ultimately intended
for King A-me [var.: maJ-dpal of Smon-thang in Glo, the pres-
ent-day Mustang of Nepal. During his first visit there, Ngor-
chen gave this King the oral transmission for the bka'-'bum-s of
the first three Sa-skya-pa masters. It was on this occasion,
around 1427, that Ngor-chen ordained King A-me-dpal as a
monk, which Jackson (1980:135) has overlooked. What all of
this seems to suggest is that by this time there was still no block-
print edition of the texts of these bka'-'bum-s.
Dkon-mchog lhun-grub's (1497-1557) gsan-yig has to date
not been published; his collected works apparently consisted of
some four volumes,14 but only fragments of these have sur-
faced thusfar. Born in Sa-skya as the son of Kun-grub-dar and
Lha-mo bu-'dren, the niece ofYongs-'dzin Dkon-mchog-'phelI
(1445-1526), he was first given the name of Rta-rgod-dar.
Upon his ordination as a monk by Dkon-mchog-'phel and Glo-
bo Mkhan-chen Bsod-nams lhun-grub (1456-1532), the grand-
son of King A-me-dpal, he was given the name of Dkon-mchog
lhun-grub. As the ninth abbot of N gor Evarp-chos-Idan monas-
tery, he occupied the abbatial throne from 1534 until his death.
'Jam-dbyangs Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs from Mnga'-ris
had been, as was already observed, the twenty-fourth abbot of
Ngor Evarp-chos-ldan. He had received the oral transmission
of the Sa-skya bka'-'bum from a certain Dpal-mchog-see Dkar-
Chag p.337/311-2-who must be identified as 'Jam-dbyangs
Dpal-mchog rgyal-mtshan, the twenty-first abbot of Ngor
Evarp-chos-Idan, and the nephew of Dpal-ldan don-grub. He
was the first of the Ngor Evarp-chos-ldan abbots to have initiat-
ed extensive ties with Sde-dge and its ruling classes. Nothing
else seems to be known about Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs, and his
gsan-yig appears to be no longer extant.
Let us now examine the listing of Sa-skya PaIJ.Q.ita's bka'-
'bum as given in the Dkar-Chag pp. 328/1/3-330/3/4. There,
Bkra-shis lhun-grub has noted five specific problems with the
following texts:
l. No. 23 328/3/3
Earlier manuscripts suggest
that this work was written by
Gnyan-phug chung-ba at the
time of Sa-chen Kun-dga'
snying-po. It is included for the
sake of filling up the volume.
2. No. 28 328/3/5-6
3. No. 33 328/4/3/5
4. No. 43 329/1/3-4
5. No. 77 329/4/1-3
Interpolation of two unidenti-
fied velses by a subsequent
According to Dkon-mchog
lhun-grub, one should instead
read Rtogs-ldan zhig-gi dris-lan,
but one cannot be certain as to
which title is the correct one.
This text has no colophon and
inquiries should be made as to
whether or not Sa-skya PaI:1Qita
was its author.
According to Sangs-rgyas
phun-tshogs, the text bears the
title of Bod-yul-la bsngags-pa, but
the titular discrepancy is prob-
ably based on scribal errors.
There is, however, a text enti-
tled Bod-'bangs spyi-la gdams-pa!
The Dkar-Chag p. 330/3/3-4 lists titles for five other manu-
scripts which, though found in the gsan-yig-s of Dkon-mchog
lhun-grub and Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs, the compilers of the
Sde-dge edtion had not been able to obtain. These are:
1. Brtag-gnyis-kyi sa-bead sna-bsring-ba.
2. Thub-pa'i bstod-pa lhug-pa.
3. Gur-ston zhu-lan.
4. Bka'-gdams-pa Nam-mkha'-'bum-gyi dri-lan mdor-bsdus.
5. Yan-lag-bdun ldan-gyi rtsa-ba.
It is curious that the Dkar-Chag fails to mention SSBB 5 nos.
112-114, despite the fact that, according to Bkra-shis lhun-
grub's own testimony, it was written after the edition had been
carved on the blocks. Of these, nos. 112 and 113 may be identi-
cal to nos. 1 and 5 of the above list of texts that the compilers
. had failed to obtain. The colophon to no. 112 suggests, howev-
er, that it was written by Rje-btsun Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan and
that Sa-skya PaI).Qita had made some editorial corrections to
In addition, the Dkar-Chag not only frequently gives differ-
ent spellings for the titles that were carved on the blocks, but
also on occasion has different titlesY These di.screpancies that
exist between notices of the Dkar-Chag and the Sde-dge edition
of the SSBB 5 suggest that either Bkra-shis Ihun-grub was for
some reason compelled to write his catalogue in great haste, or
that he had not been in the possession of a print from the
blocks and that, as a consequence, his titling and number of
texts correspond to those provided by the gsan-yig of Dkon-
mchog lhun-grub.
In his assessment of his contributions to scholarship, the
Nga-brgyad-ma'i 'grel-pa-SSBB 5, no. 18-Sa-skya PaI).C:;lita lists
a number of works that had come from his pen prior to his
departure for Mongolia in 1244. Several of these, however, are
neither to be found in the Sde-dge edition of his bka'-'bum, nor
are they listed by Bkra-shis lhun-grub; indeed, the latter did
not seem to be aware that Sa-skya PaI).c;iita had written these.
They are also not enumerated in Ngor-chen's Thob-Yig, which
suggests that they had already been lost for a very long time.
These works are the following:
SSBB 5, no. 18, p.
1. 149/2/5
2. 150/4/4
3. 150/4/4
4. 1511113
Grub-mtha'i rnam-dbye
Sku-gzugs-kyi bstan-bcos
Yan-lag brgyad-pa'i don-bsdus
Moreover, Sa-skya PaI).Q.ita also refers to a work on grammar,
the Sgra'i bstan-bcos shes-rab 'phro-ba, which he had written in his
late teens.
This title is also not found in the extant catalogues.
Later Sa-skya-pa scholars have also attributed to him an intro-
ductory work to Haqadeva's Naganandanataka which, accord-
ing to them, bore the title of Rab-dga'i 'jug-pa,21 and the colo-
phon of recently published manuscript of a short work mainly
on abhidharma asserts that it was written by Sa-skya PaI).c;iita.
These two works are also not mentioned in the extant cata-
If we compare the listing of Sa-skya PaI).c;iita's bka'-'bum of
the Dkar-Chag with N gor-chen's Thob-Yig, which includes the
oldest available catalogue of Sa-skya PaI:H;lita's wntmgs, one
cannot but be struck by the glaring differences that exist be-
tween them. This should be all the more surprising if it is
recalled that Bkra-shis lhun-grub cited the Thob-Yig as one of
the fundamental sources he had at his disposal for the compila-
tion of the Dkar-Chag! What is even more astonishing, however,
is that the Thob-Yig is not once mentioned in his catalogue of Sa-
skya Pal).Q.ita's bka'-'bum, whereas he quite explicitly refers to it
on numerous occasions in his catalogues of the bka'-'bum-s of Sa-
chen Kun-dga' snying-po and Rje-btsun Grags-pa rgyal-
Dkar-Chag pp. 32113/1, 323/2/5,324/3/2, 325/2/3,
325/3/2, 326/3/3, 326/3/3, 326/3/6, 327/2/5.
According to the Thob-Yig pp. 6114/6 ff., Vol. Ka of Sa-skya
Pa1.lQ.ita's bka'-'bum consists of thirteen texts, corresponding to
SSBB 5 nos. 2,4, 5-9, 13-18; Vol. Kha of three texts, corre-
sponding to SSBB 5 nos. 19-20, 26; and Vol. Ga of thirteen
texts, which correlate with SSBB 5 nos. 21-22, 1, 24, 29-32,
34-38. A large number of Sa-skya Pal).Q.ita's minor writings,
contained in the SSBB 5, are not listed in the Thob-Yig. At times,
the latter has a more correct title than either the Sde-dge print
or the one given by the Dkar-Chag. Thus, for instance, instead
of Glo-bo Lo-tsa-ba'i zhus-lan as per SSBB 5 no. 95, the Thob-Yig
more appropriately has Glo-bo Lo-tsa-ba-la springs-yig; the little
text in question is not a "reply to queries" (zhus-lan), but rather
comprises a letter (springs-yig) in which, among other things, Sa-
skya PaI)Q.ita admonishes Glo-bo Lo-tsa-ba to show more cir-
cumspection with his Buddhist orthodoxy. On the other hand,
some of the better titling of the Thob- Yig is offset by less satisfac-
tory readings. For instance, the Thob-Yig inaccurately has Snye-
mo Sgom-chen-la springs-yig, where the SSBB 5 no. 98 more pre-
cisely has the title of Snye-mo Sgom-chen-gyi dris-lan. But these
are minor issues. What is striking is that the arrangement of the
texts as well as their number-Thob-Yig does not include SSBB 5
nos. 3, 10-12,23, 25, 27-28, 33 in its first three volumes, and
neither in the remainder-as presented in the Thob-Yig, are
quite at variance with those provided by the SSBB 5 and the
Dkar-Chag. One can but guess what might have transpired dur-
ing the hundred years or so that had elapsed between the com-
position of the Thob-Yig and Dkon-mchog lhun-grub's gsan-yig,
assuming of course, that Bkra-shis lhun-grub has closely stuck
46 jIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
to the readings of the latter. Either Sa-skya did not have a
complete manuscript edition of Sa-skya Pal).c;lita?s bka'''''bum
when Ngor-chen studied with Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan, in addi-
tion to having spent some three years in virtual seclusion in Sa-
skya Pal).c;lita's private library of approximately three thousand
volumes, or the texts that were later included by Don-mchog
lhun-grub in his gsan-yig are spurious. There is strong evidence
to support the contention that at least one of these, the Gzhung-
lugs legs-par bshad-pa-SSBB 5 no.3-which is not listed in the
Thob-Yig, is falsely attributed to Sa-skya Pal).c;lita. At the present
stage of research, however, nothing further can be said.
The upshot of all this is that the Dkar-Chag can only pro-
vide an extremely tenuous picture of the extent of Sa-skya
Pal).c;lita's oeuvre, and hence, cannot be fully relied upon. Bkra-
shis lhun-grub evidently not only failed to personally inspect
the titles of the Sde-dge blocks, t h ~ r e b y omitting three titles
from his catalogue, but he also neglected closely to inspect Sa-
skya Pal).c;lita's own writings in a manner which would have
otherwise allowed him to provide a more comprehensive over-
view of Sa-skya Pal).c;lita's writings.
Let us now turn to the chronology of his major writings.
Here, the colophons to the texts contained in the Sde-dge edi-
tion are singularly uninformative. Only three of these provide
what I shall assume to be reliable dates; that is, the Yon-tan
sgrogs-pa'i tshul-la bstod-pa-SSBB 5 no. SI-completed in 1203,
the Byis-pa bde-blag-tu 'jug-pa'i rnam-bshad-SSBB 5 no. 9-writ-
ten in 1204, and the Mu-stegs-kyi ston-pa-drug btul-ba'i tshigs-
bcad-SSBB 5 no. SO-completed in 1206, the year in which he
was ordained. by Sakyasrlbhadra. Given the dating for the sec-
ond one, this would mean that his Sgra'i bstan-bcos shes-rab 'phro-
ba, which is no longer extant, was written before 1204. The
same holds for his treatise on music and dramaturgy, the Rol-
mo'i bstan-bcos-SSBB 5 no.4-since it too is cited in the Byis-pa
bde-blag-tu 'jug-pa'i rnam-bshad, p. 1211116.
Such later texts as the DeBT p. 31S/4-5, on which no
doubt the Dkar-Chag p. 315/4/2-3 is based, suggest that the
Tshad-ma rigs-pa'i-gter-SSBB 5 no. 19-and the Sdom-gsum rab-
tu dbye-ba-SSBB 5 no. 24-were completed in, respectively, ca.
1219 and 1232. Of these, the former is repeatedly cited in the
Mkhas-pa-rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo-SSBB 5 no. 6-pp. 101/4/S, 102/3/
4, 109/4/S, and could indicate that the latter in its entirety, that
is, both the verse and prose texts, postdates the year 1219. The
prose text of the Mkhas-pa-rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo refers to the Sdeb-
sbyor me-tog-gi chun-po-SSBB 5 no. IS-on p. 89/3/2,
and, the latter in turn cites the former three times, on pp. 132/
2/S, 133/2/4, and 140/3/S. Since these citations and cross-refer-
ences occur in their prose texts, it can safely be assumed that at
least their prose versions were written at about the same time.
The Mkhas-pa-rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo also mentions the Tshig-gi-
gter-SSBB 5 no. 14-a lexicon based on the Amarakosa and the
ViSvalocana, on p. 98/4/S. Furthermore, the Sdeb-sbyor sna-tshogs
me-tog-gi chun-po p.133/1/S refers to Sa-skya Pal.l<;lita's Legs-par
bshad-pa rin-po-che'i-gter-SSBB 5 no.2-which is better known
under its Sanskrit title of' Sublul.yitaratnanidhi. The Rnalll-ThaT
p. 434/2/2-3 states that, with his uncle Rje-btsun Grags-pa
rgyal-mtshan, he had studied nzti(lstra, which included the writ-
ings of Canaka, Vasuraksa (or, perhaps better, Masuraksa), and
the so-called Lugs-chen-po'i gtam-rgyud Inga-pa.':l.:1 The Rnam-Tlwr
states that some time thereafter (dus-phyis) he wrote what it calls
the Legs-par bshad-pa'i-gter (*Subhf4itanidhi). This reading of the
title of his work on n'itiSiistra is in consonance with the titles of
his other "treasures" (gter)-the Tshig-gi-gter and the Tshad-ma
rigs-pa'i-gter-and suggests two things: firstly, that these were
written at about the same time and, secondly, that the title of
this work given by the Rnam-Thar could possibly be the-original
title that Sa-skya Pal.l<;lita had given to it.
In addition to such "replies to queries" as contained in the
SSBB 5 nos. 79, 94, 97, I am inclined to hoid that the Thub-pa
dgongs-pa rab-tu gsal-ba-SSBB 5 no. I-the Phyogs-bcu'i sangs-
rgyas dang byang-chub sems-dpa'-rnams-Ia sprin-yig-SSBB 5 no.
30-and the Skyes-bu dam-pa-rnams-la spring-ba'i-yig-SSBB 5 no.
30-were all written after the composition of the Sdom-gsum
rab-tu dbye-ba. My reasons for assuming this to be the case, ex-
cept where rather self-evident-the Sdom-gsum rab-tu dbye-ba is
cited or is presupposed by the SSBB 5 nos. 79, 94, and 97-will
be documented by me elsewhere.
On the basis of the above, one can set up the following rela-
tive chronologies for Sa-skya Pal.l<;lita's major writings:
48 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
I. Rol-mo'i bstan-bcos Sgra'i bstan-bcos shes-rab 'phro-ba
... .
Byis-pa 'jug-pa'i rnam-bshad (1204)
II. Tshad-ma 1219) .
" ....................
/ "
/ "
/ "
Tshig-gi-gtef -_ ___ _ ____ --L;gs-bshad rin-po-che'i-gter
MkMs-pa-rnams Jug-fJ!!:.'i-sgo /. . .
------Sdeb-sbyor sna-tshogs me-tog-gi chun-po
III. Sdom-gsum rab-tu dbye-ba (ca. 1232)
______ indicates that the above text is quoted or re-
ferred to by the lower one.
_______________ indicates contemporaneity of composition.
________________ indicates the possibility of contemporaneous
Appendix: Lineages of Transmission of Sa-Skya Pa'f}rjita's Bka'-
'Bum Thob-Yig p. 62/3/2:
Sa-skya PaI).c;Lita
. I
'Phags- a bla-ma BIo-gros rgyal-mtshan
Dga'-ldan-pa Bkra-shis-dpal Zhang Dkon-mchog-dpal
Kun-dga' bsod-nams Brag-phug-pa Bsod-nams-dpal
. . I
Bla-ma seng-y
Bla-ma Don-yod rgyal-mtshan
Byang-chub seng-ge
Chos-rje Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan
Ngor-chen Kun-dga' bzang-po
Notes: It is remarkable that BIa-ma dam-pa Bsod-nams rgyal-
mtshan who, as we have seen, the Dkar-Chag alleges to have
gathered (and hence obtained) the lung for the entire Sa-skya
bka'-'bum, is not listed in this pedigree. I am at a loss to explain
this. To be sure, Don-yod rgyal-mtshan (1310-1344) was Bla-
rna dam-pa's elder brother. The same holds for the lineage
given below of the Dkar-Chag p. 339/2/3-3/1 (note: the num-
bers after the names refer to the line of the abbots of N gor
Sa-skya PaI).<;iita
'Phags-pa bla-ma Blo-gros rgyal-mtshan
I .
Zhang Dkon-mchog-dpal
Brag-phug-pa Bsod-nams-dpal
Bla-ma Don-yod rgyal-mtshan
I . .
Slob-dpon 'Dul-'dzin
Chos-rje Byang-seng-ba
Shar-chen Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan
Ngor-chen Kun-dga' bzang-po (1)
Kun-dga' dbang-phyug (4)
Dkon-mchJg-'Phel (6)
Rje Lha-mchog 'J am-dbyangs Kun-dga' bsod-nams
seng-ge (7)
lhun-grub (9)
Shar-khang-pa Shes-rab rgyal-mtshan
PaI).-chen iam-mkha' dpal-bzang-po (22?)
Byams-pa Kun-dga' bkra-shis (13)
I .
Rje Nam-mkha; sangs-rgyas (16)
Dpal-mchog rgyal-mtshan (21)
Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs (24)
1. Abbreviations and Bibliography
Arts The Literary Arts in Ladakh, VoL 1, Darjeeling: Kargyud
Sungrab Nyamso Khang, 1972.
BSRT Kong-ston Dbang-phyug-grub, Kun-mkhyen Bsod-nams
seng-ge'i rnam-par thar-pa, New Delhi, 1973.
DCBT Dkon-mchog lhun-grub and Sangs-rgyas phun-tshogs,
Dam-pa'i chos-kyi 'byung-tshul legs-par bshad-pa' rgya-mtshor
'jug-pa'i gru-chen zhes-bya-ba rstom-'phro kha-slwng, New
Delhi, 1973.
Bkra-shis lhun-grub, Dpal sa-skya'i lje-btsun gong-ma-lnga'i
gswig-rab rin-po-che'i par-gyi sgo-'phar-byed-pa'i dkar-chag
'phrul-gyi Ide-mig, SSBB 7, pp. 310 ff.
'Jam-dbyangs mkhyen-brtse'i dbang-po, C(mgs-can bod-
kyi yul-du byon-pa'i gsang-sngags gsar-rnying-gi gdan-mbs
mdor-bsdus ngo-mtshar padmo'i dga'-tshal, Collected Works,
VoL Da, Gangtok, 1977, pp. 315 ff.
Glo-bo Mkhan-chen Bsod-nams lhun-grub, Mkhas-pa-
rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo rnam-par bshad-pa rig-gnas gsal-byed,
New Delhi, 1979.
Zhang Rgyal-ba-dpal-bzang-po, Dpal-ldan sa-skya par!4ita
chen-po'i rnam-par thar-pa, SSBB 5 no. Ill, pp. 433 ff.
Gser-mdog Pal)-chen Sakya-mchog-Idan, Rje-btsun
thams-cad mkhyen-pa'i bshes-gnyen sakya-rgyal-mtshan dpal-
bzang-po'i zhal-snga-nas-kyi rnam-par thar-pa ngo-mtshar
dad-pa'i rol-mtsho, Complete Works, VoL 16, Thimphu,
1975, pp. 299 ff.
Go-ram-pa Bsod-nams seng-ge, Sdom-pa gsum-gyi rab-tu
dbye-ba'i rnam-bshad rgyal-ba'i gsung-rab-kyi dgongs-pa gsal-
ba, SSBB 14, pp. 119 ff.
KUIl-c1ga' grol-mellog, PfII.I(/il(1 C/i('II-jJO .{r7!n'o-llic//()g-lr/oll-
,I,ryi mOIl/-j}({!" l//(/!"-j}({ z/iili-IIiO I"I/(IIII-j}({!"'liytr/-j}({, ill T/i(' COII/-
jJltir' Wo!"ks (gslIlIg-'IJllII/) of (;.In-II/r/og P(IIJ-c/ir'll SO/I)'O-
II/c/wg-Ir/oll. Vol. ] (), Thimpllu, ] ~ ) 7 5 , pp.] fT.
Sa-skya bka'-'bum, Sde-dge edition (plus supplementary
texts of the Sa-skya-pa), compo Bsod-nams rgya-mtsho,
15 Vois., Tokyo: The Toyo Bunyo, 1968-1969.
Ngor-chen Kun-dga' bzang-po, Thob-yigrgya-mtsho, SSBB
9, pp. 6114/6 ff.
Blo-gsal bstan-skyong, History of Zhwa-lu [Dpal-ldan zhwa-
lu-pa'i bstan-pa-la bka'-drin che-ba'i skyes-bu dam-pa-rnams-
kyi rnam-thar lo-rgyus ngo-mtshar dad-pa'i 'jug-ngogsJ, Leh:
Smanrtsis Shesrig Spendzod, Vol. 9, 1971.
52 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
Bosson J. (1969), A Treasury of Aphoristic Jewels: The of Sa
skya PaTJqita in Tibetan and Mongolian, Bloomington/The Hague: Indiana
University Publications, Uralic and Altaic Series, Vol. 92.
Jackson, D. (?), "A Fifteenth Century Xylograph Edition of Sa skya pa
Works," see below note 5.
Jackson, D. (1980), "A Genealogy of the Kings of Lo (Mustang)," in Tibetan
Studies in Honour (Jf Hugh Richardson, eds. M. Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi.
New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. pp. 133-137.
Khetsun Sangpo (1979), Biographical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism,
Vol. X. Dharamsala.
Khetsun Sangpo (1979a), Biographical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism,
Vol. XI, Dharamsala.
van der Kuijp, L.W.J. (1983), Contributions to the Development of Tibetan Buddhist
Epistemology, Alt-und Neuindische Studien, Vol. 26, Wiesbaden: Franz
Steiner Verlag.
van der Kuijp, L.W.J. (1983a), "On the Authorship of the Gzhung-lugs legs-par
bshad-pa attributed to Sa-skya PaIf4ita," J oumal of the Nepal Research Centre
N gor-chen Kun-dga' bzang-po, Rje-btsun sa-skya-pa'i bka'-'bum-gyi dkar-chag,
SSBB 10, pp. 366 ff.
Schuh, D. (1973), Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der tibetischen Kalenderrechnung,
Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Supple-
mentband 16, ed. W. Voigt, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag.
Wylie, T. (1962), The Geography of Tibet according to the 'Dzam-gling rgyas-bshad,
Roma: Serie Orientale Roma, Vol. 38, IsMEO.
2. This is the SSBB of which the SSBB 5 comprises the collected works of
Sa-skya PaIf4ita. A major portion of the library of Sa-skya monastery is now
housed in the library of the Cultural Palace of the Minorities, Beijing. This
collection apparently includes, among a number of old Sanskrit manuscripts,
also a manuscript edition of a Sa-skya bka'-'bum.
3. The problems surrounding the authenticity of the Gzhung-lugs legs-par
bshad-pa-SSBB 5 no.3-have been fully dealt with in van der Kuijp (1983a),
and will therefore not be discussed in this paper.
4 .. See my forthcoming monograph Sa-skya PaTJqita's Sdom-gsum rab-tu
dbye-ba: Text Critical and Bibliographical Remarks, and the critical editions of the
chapters on inference for oneself (rang-don rjes-dpag, svarthilnumana) and in-
ference for others (gzhan-don rjes-dpag, pararthilnumana) of the Tshad-ma rigs-
pa'i-gter-SSBB 5 no. 19-which I am currently preparing for publication.
5. See his "A Fifteenth Century Xylograph Edition of Sa-skya-pa Works";
I have had only access to a manuscript copy of this paper, but I -believe it
appeared in one of the Windhorse, Berkeley, volumes. In Nepal, these are not
available to me. In jackson's paper, reference is also made to an unpublished
manuscript of E. Gene Smith entitled "The Era of 'Gro-mgon 'Phags-pa and
the Apogee of Sa-skya-pa Power: A Preliminary Study."
6. The date for the completion of the carving of the blocks is given in
Dkar-Chag p. 342/211 as me-plw-'bmg-gi gnam-lo'i-zla tshes-bzang-po, for which,
however, I am unable to give a more accurate 'Western calendrical equivalent.
A number of scholars were responsible for this edition, among whom Zhu-
chen Tshul-khrims rin-chen (1697-1774), Sbyin-pa rgya-mtsho, and Bstan-
'dzin are mentioned as the most prominent. The Dkar-Chag p. 341/3/3-6 gives
an idea as to the personnel and materials that were involved in the prepara-
tion of the blocks. The need (dgos-pa) for this edition is eloquently described
in the Dkar-Chag p. 318/1/6-3/2, and consists mainly in the preservation and
propagation of the Buddha's teachings via the writings of the early Sa-skya-pa
masters. In other words, this edition was intended to be used as a vehicle for
the propagation of Sa-skya-pa doctrines in eastern Tibet.
7. The following biographical details are based on the Zhwa-Lu pp.172-
176, but see also Wylie (1962: 166) for additional references, and the note on
Gangs-dkar (!) rdo-rje-gdan, otherwise known simply as Gong-dkar chos-
grwa, in the Gdan-Rabs p. 387/4-6.
8. For his biography, see the Zhwa-Lu pp. 167-171. Shar-chen had been a
main exponent of Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub's (1290-1364) bka'-'bum, particularly
the latter's writings on Buddhist tantra. He had been student of Bsod-nams-
'phel (1361-1438), who was also closely linked with the exegetical traditions
upheld at Zhwa-Iu monastery, and Zla-ba dpal-rin-chen. Enjoying a rather
close relationship with the Phag-mo-gru scion Grags-pa 'byung-gnas (1414-
1444), he stayed for a long time in Dbus province and met. the Bengali scholar
*Yanaratna (Nags-kyi rin-chen) (1384-1468) at the residence of Grags-pa
rgyal-mtshan (1374-1440). This took place during *Yanaratna's first visit to
Tibet, which must have been rather disappointing, as no translator was avail-
able to interpret his teachings. When *Yanaratna visited Tibet again, he met
. him in Rgyal-mkhar-rtse, to which the former had been invited by its ruler,
Rab-brtan kun-bzang 'phags-pa (1389-1442). On this occasion, 'Gos Lo-tsa-
ba Gzhon-nu-dpal (1392-1481), one of Shar-chen's students, served in the
capacity of translator, and Shar-chen obtained a number of teachings from
him. As an author, Shar-chen was not prolific. A major portion of his writ-
ings-these probably only existed in manuscript form-were apparently
housed in a college (bla-brang) of Gong-dkar rdo-rje-gdan monastery.
9. The BSRT p.14 states that Go-ram-pa obtained the oral transmission
for the Sa-skya bka'-'bum from Mus-chen Dkon-mchog rgyal-mtshan (1388-
1469) at Mus and Ngor EvaI11-chos-ldan, around 1458. Here, this collection
of texts is styled rje-btsun gong-ma-lnga'i bka'-'bum. According to the SMLRT p.
105/5, it would appear that Gser-mdog Pa!).-chen did not obtain the oral
transmission for these texts in one go. The SMLRT pp. 134/6 ff. relates some
interesting details concerning a Sa-skya bka'-'bum at Glo-bo Smon-thang on the
basis of information provided to Kun-dga' grol-mchog by his elder brother
('a-jo), a senior administrator (dpon-drung) of Glo-bo. The SMLRT pp.190 ff.
gives a dispassionate account of Gser-mdog Pa!).-chen's regret at not having
cared for the Sa-skya bka'-'bum when he had stayed in Sa-skya over a number
of years, to the point of his breaking into tears (?). Whatever the case may
be-the language of the SMLRT is rather difficult to understand at times-it
does not furnish one iota of information regarding the compilation (or edi-
tion) of the Sa-skya bka'-'bum.
10. On this, see van der Kuijp (1983:18-19, 265).
11. According to Khetsun Sangpo (1979:303), however, Bla-ma dam-pa
received only the oral transmission for the greater part of Sa-skya Pal?J;lita's
bka'-'bum. His biography, found on pp. 294-322, also fails to mention his
efforts at bringing together the lung and manuscripts for what was to become
the Sa-skya bka:-'bum! This is already found in the Thob-yig, p. 60/2/5f.
12. Jackson (see note 5) gives his name as Sga A-gnyan dam-pa. The
Dkar-Chag p. 341/2/2 has it, however,that a set of manuscripts from Rga, that
had been prepared by A-gnyal dam-pa, was used for the Sde-dge edition. On
Sa-skya Pat:lq.ita's students, see van der Kuijp (1983:107-109).
13. See the Rje-btsun sa-skya-pa'i bka'-'bum-gyi dkar-chag, SSBB 10, pp. 366/
4/4-369/2. On pp. 366/4/4-367/311, Ngor-chen describes its genesis, after
which he lists the works of Sa-chen Kun-dga' snying-po (p. 367/311-367/4/3),
Slob-dpon Bsod-nams rtse-mo (pp. 367/4/3-368/1/4), and Rje-btsun Grags-pa
rgyal-mtshan (pp. 358/1/4-369/2/2). The differences among the listings and
number of texts between this catalogue and the Dkar-Chag are quite enor-
mous, and I intend to return to these at a later date. The other work is Ngor-
chen's Thob-Yig, where the catalogues for the works of all of the five supreme
Sa-skya-pa masters are found in the section devoted to the texts for which he
had received the oral transmission from Shar-chen Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan at
Sa-skya monastery.
14. See the note in the Gdan-Rabs p. 382/6.
15. On him, see Khetsun Sangpo (l979a:48I). He was the sixth abbot of
Ngor Evarp-chos-ldan monastery, which he became after Kun-dga' dbang-
phyug's (l412-?) departure for GIo-bo Smon-thang and eventual demise.
16. Sa-skya Pat:lq.ita had also made some corrections (zhu-dag) to Slob-
dpon Bsod-nams rtse-mo's classification of the Buddhist tantras (see Dkar-
Chag p. 321/4/3), and to Rje-btsun Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's work on the three
fundamental tantras of the Sa-skya-pa lam-'bras teachings (see Dkar-Chag p.
323/1/4). The latter corrections are not alluded to in Ngor-chen's catalogue
(see note 13) of Rje-btsun Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan's works, on which see p.
17. Just three examples should suffice here. The Sde-dge print has
Mkhas-pa rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo, but the Dkar-Chag p. 328/1/6 gives Mkhas-pa 'jug-
pa'i-sgo for SSBB 5 no. 6. Similarly, the Sde-dge edition has Nga-brgyad-ma'i
'grel-pa, but the Dkar-Chag p. 328/2/6 gives the more correct title of Nga-
brgyad-ma rtsa-'grel for SSBB 5 no. 18. Similarly, whereas Sde-dge has Virvapa-
la bstod-pa, the Dkar-Chag p. 328/3/5 gives Virilpa-la bstod-pa for SSBB 5 no. 27.
18. This work is quoted in the Tshad-ma rigs-pa'i-gter rang-gi 'grel-pa, SSBB
5 no. 20, p. 172/211 under the title of Grub-mtha'i rnam-'byed. It is also men-
tioned in the Thub-pa dgongs-pa rab-tu gsal-ba, SSBB 5 no. 1, p. 24/3/3 with the
title of Grub-pa'i-mtha'i dbye-ba, as well as in the Mkhas-pa-rnams 'jug-pa'i-sgo,
SSBB 5 no. 6, p.107/2/2 with the same title as the first.
19. This work is. a summary of and.
probably is the same as the Gso-ba rig-pa'i bstan-bcos which formed part of
Gser-mdog Pat:l-chen's monastic examinations (grwa-skor) in 1455-see the
SMLRT p. 7617. The MJRB p. 40/4-5 also lists this work, but I am inclined to
believe that this title was simply taken from the Nga-brgyad-ma'i 'grel-pa.
20. This text is cited in the Sgra-la 'jug-pa, SSBB 5 no. 7, p. 115/4/6 and in
the By"is-pa bde-blag-tu 'jug-pa'i rnam-bshad, SSBB 5 no. 9, p. 117/411. It is also
mentioned in the MjRB p. 40/3 as the Shes-rab 'phro-ba. In addition, the MJRB
notes a Shes-rab-la 'jug-pa, which most likely is an error for the Sgra-la 'jug-pa.
21. See the SMLRT p. 7617, SGRBRB p. 127/411, and the MJRB p. 41/3-
4 where Sa-skya PaI)<;Iita's Rol-mo'i bstan-bcos, SSBB 5 no. 4, is described as a
work which "shows some aspects of the guiding melodies for its music." This
means, of course, that Glo-bo Mkhan-chen Bsod-nams Ihun-grub would have
had to assume that the Rab-dga'i 'jug-pa was written prior to the Rol-mo'i bstan-
beos, and, hence, before 1204-see the relative chronology for Sa-skya PaI)<;Ii-
ta's main writings below. Glo-bo Mkhan-chen probably had not himself seen
this work. Its description in the MJRB is taken virtually verbatim from the
Nga-brgyad-ma'i 'grel-pa, SSBB 5 no. 18, p. 1501111-2 where it says: zlos-gar-gyi
bstan-bcos dbyangs-'dren-pa'i phyogs-tsam-zhig kho-bos byas-pa'i rol-mo'i bstan-bcos su
blta-bar-bya'o//. Pp. 149/4/5-15011/6 deal with his training in dramaturgy, its
essentials, its main texts, and his own contributions in this field, and the
context makes it quite clear that the zlos-gar-gyi bstan-beos refers to Bharata's
work, the Naganandana{aka, and the so-called Gzugs-kyi snye-ma. According to
the Rnam-Thar p. 437/311, however, he had studied dramaturgy with Sa-
kyasrlbhadra when the latter was staying in Sa-skya, that is, around 1208. The
Rab-dga'i 'jug-pa is not mentioned by Sa-skya PaI)Q.ita.
22. See the Arts pp. 1-39. This work bears the title of Snyan-ngag rang-
gzhung pad-ma dkar-po'i phreng-ba or, alternatively, Dam-pa'i ehos-la bskul-ba'i-
gtam pad-ma dkar-po'i phreng-ba and, according to the colophon, it was written
in the summer of a water-female-sheep year. Since the colophon explicitly
attributes this work to Sa-skya PaI)<;Iita, the date of the colophon can only
correspond to 1223. While the first title would suggest that it deals with
poetics (snyan-ngag, kavya) or poetry, it does not. This little text principally
discusses a number of basic propositions of Buddhist philosophy.
23. This work is no doubt the Paiicatantra which, however, was not in-
cluded in the canonical collection of the Bstan-'gyur. Along with the Hitopa-
deJa, it served as a major source for Sa-skya PaI)<;Iita's text, see Bosson (1969:2,
302 ff.).
24;. See my forthcoming paper, cited in note 4.
The Problem of the Icchantika in the
Mahayana Mahaparinirvarta Siltra*
by Ming-Wood Liu
I. The Buddha-Nature Doctrine and the Problem of the Icchantika
In the Chinese Buddhist Canon, there are two corpuses of
texts which go by the name of the Mahapariniruar:ta-sutra
(henceforth, MNS). The first corresponds in main to the Maha-
parinibbana-suttanta in the Dzgha-nikaya of the Pali Canon. Being
essentially Hlnayana in outlook, it has received little attention
in China. The second, which exhibits all the features of a Ma-
hayana text, generated immediate enthusiasm on its first intro-
duction into China in the early fifth century, and has exerted
enormous influence on the development of Chinese Buddhist
thought. Especially worth mentioning in this connection is its
teaching of Buddha-nature. It is well-known that the idea of
Buddha-nature, one of the central concepts in Chinese Bud-
dhism, was first made popular in the country by the Mahayana
version of the MNS, which remains the principal source of
reference as well as the final authority in all subsequent discus-
sions on the subject. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to assert that
without a proper understanding of the Buddha-nature doc-
trine as appears in this Mahayana version of the MNS, it would
be impossible to grasp the significance of the subsequent evolu-
tion of the concept in the Chinese Buddhist tradition.
It is the orthodox belief that the MNS teaches that all sen-
tient beings possess the Buddha-nature. Since in the MNS
"Buddha-nature" refers to "the nature of the Buddha" and "to
possess" the Buddha-nature in ,the case of sentient beings usu-
ally indicates "to have in the future,"l this belief amounts to the
conviction that the MNS maintains that all sentient beings will
achieve Buddhahood someday. This conviction is well attested
58 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
by the text of the MNS. Thus, we find it clearly expressed in the
MNS that "all three vehicles will eventually share the same Bud-
Good sons! The same is true of the sravakas, pratyeka-
buddhas and bodhisattvas, [all of whom will attain] the
same Buddha-nature, in the like manner as [cows of differ-
ent colours produce] milk [looking the same]. Why is it so?
For all of them will [sooner or later] put an end to defile-
ments. However, there are various sentient beings who
maintain that Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sravakas and pratye-
kabuddhas are different [with respect to their fina1 desti-
ny]. [Thus,] there are various sravakas and common peo-
ple who doubt [the teaching] that the three vehicles are not
different. These sentient beings will finally come to under-
stand that all three vehicles [wIll eventually share] the same
Buddha-nature .... 2
Those who refuse to accept the tenet that all sentient beings
without exception will possess the Buddha-nature are criticized
by the MNS as wanting in faith.
In the sutra, this idea of the
universal presence of the Buddha-nature is presented as one of
the distinctive themes of Mahayana writings
as well as among
the principal claims to excellence of the MNS itself.5 It is so
highly esteemed that it is described as representing the "essen-
tial meaning" (tzu-i
) of the Buddha's teaching;6 and, together
with the doctrine of the eternal nature of the Tathagata, it is
said to be definitive (chueh-ting
) and not open to future amend-
If this thesis of the eventual enlightenment of all sentient
beings does indeed constitute the central theme of the MNS, it
is strongly qualified by the presence in the sutra of the concept
of the icchantika. The term "icchantika" is derived from the San-
skrit root is meaning "to desire," "to wish" and "to long for."
This explains the variant Chinese renderings of the term "ic-
chantika" as "a being of many desires" (to-yu
) , "a being cherish-
ing desires" (lo-yu
) and "a being full of greed" (ta-t'an
).8 But in
the MNS, the failings attributed to the icchantikas far exceed
those which are usually associated with people of such descrip-
tions. In the sutra, the icchantika is described as "devoid of good
roots"9 and as "the most wicked being."lo He is depicted as
"having no capacity for the [true] Dharma"ll such that he can
never be rehabilitated by the instruction of the Buddha and so
will never attain supreme enlightenment. Taken at its face val-
ue, this picture of a being condemned forever to spiritual dark-
ness appears to contradict the proposition of the MNS that all
sentient beings possess the Buddha-nature and so are destined
for Buddhahood, and commentators of the MNS have been
hard pressed to find a viable way out of this apparent dilemma.
The present article, which is the second of a two-part study
on the problem of Buddha-nature in the MNS, 12 is an attempt
to unravel the various strands of thought present in the MNS
regarding the character and fate of the icchantikas. It is hoped
that our discussion, brief and sketchy as it is, will be of helpin
throwing light on this highly intricate question.
II. The Character of An I cchantika
The portrayal of icchantikas in the MNS amounts to no less
than a catalogue of all the major vices in Buddhism. Of the
many iniquities the MNS attributes to the .icchantikas, those fall-
ing under the following three categories receive on the whole
the most attention:
i. Deficiency in faith and harbouring incorrect views:
The MNS often describes the icchantikas as "without faith:"
Good sons! In J ambudvlpa, there are two types of sentient
beings: first, those who have faith, and secondly, those who
are without faith. Those who have faith can be cured.
Why? Because they will definitely attain nirvaI)a [which is]
free of sores and goitres (i.e., suffering) ... Those who are
without faith are called icchantikas, and icchantikas are
known as the incurable ones.
On the general level, by "without faith," the MNS means
the repudiation of human efforts and the denial of religious
ideals. Thus, theMNS gives the name icchantika to all men,
women, ascetics and brahmans who maintain that there is no
road to salvation, no enlightenment and no nirvaI)a; and de-
nounces them as followers of Mara and slanderers of the
Dharma and the Buddha.
The MNS also frequently charges the icchantikas with re-
60 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
jecting causal law and the karmic theory-understandably,
since negating the link between cause and effect'tends to weak-
en our sense of moral responsibility and puts in doubt the
effectiveness of human actions in charting the course of the
future. IS
On the more specific level, by "without faith," the MNS
means the refutation of the lessons of Buddhism, especially the
lessons of Mahayana Buddhism. Thus it is said that since the
icchantikas have no eyes for the good and the evil, they dispar-
age the broad and universal teachings of the Mahayana. 16 De-
faming Mahayana siltras, together with committing the four
grievous trespasses and the five deadly sins, is by far the most
underscored characteristic of the icchantikas in the MNS, 17 Fur-
thermore, since among the numerous tenets of Mahayana Bud-
dhism, the MNS regards the universal presence of the Buddha-
nature and the eternal nature of the Tathagata as the most
central, it is natural that ignorance of these two truths is singled
out as a prime feature of the icchantikas:
The Buddha teaches sentient beings [that all of them] pos-
sess the Buddha-nature. [But] those icchantikas, transmi-
grating in [the realm of] sal11sara, cannot comprehend [this
truth]. Thus, we say that they are blind to the work of the
Tathagat:'l-' Again, the iccha'r!tikas, seeing t ~ a t that Tatha-
gata attams the supreme mrval)a, take hIm to be really
Impermanent [in nature], in the same manner as when [the
flame of] a lamp goes out, its oil also is exhausted at the
same time. Why [do they maintain such a perverted view]?
It is because their evil karma never wears out.
It is also asserted in the MNS that those who believe that all
sentient beings have the Buddha-nature should never be called
icchantikas .19
ii. Immoral conduct and breaking monastic precepts:
In the MNS, icchantikas are repeatedly said to be guilty of
the four grievous trespasses of sexual immorality, stealing, kill-
ing and false speaking, and the five deadly sins of patricide,
matricide, murdering an arhat, shedding the blood of a Bud-
dha, and instigating schism in the sangha:
The icchantikas commit the four grievous trespa.sses, and
are guilty of the five deadly sins. Such people also can not
be descnbed as tranquil in body and mind.
Besides these abominable transgressions, the MNS also includes
in. the list of infirmities of the icchantikas the failings of being
miserly, gluttonous and unfilial:
This person (the icchantika) originally worshipped the
three Jewels and various devas, but has changed smce then,
and now worships his own desires [instead]. He loved to
give alms in the past but has now become miserly. He was
by nature moderate in his diet, but has now turned glut-
tonous. He had an ingrained aversion for evils, but now
looks on them with sympathy. He was born filial and es-
teemed his parents, but now he has no thought of respect
for his father and mother.21
The specification of the icchantika here as someone who "origin-
ally worshipped the three jewels and various devas" is signifi-
cant, for it suggests that the icchantika was once a faithful fol-
lower of the Buddhist way, but has since then turned his back
on the Truth. This idea is also implied in what is perhaps the
most exhaustive enumeration of the icchantika's vices in the
Good sons! For six reasons, the icchantika and his kind are
bound to the three evil ways and cannot be set free.
are these six?
1. Because they are intense in their evil thoughts.
11. Because they do not believe in after-life.
lll. Because they enjoy practising defiled [deeds].
IV. Because they are far remove a from good roots.
v. Because they are obstructed by evil karma.
vi. Because they seek the company of bad friends.
Again, for five [kinds of mis-]conduct, they are bound to
the three evil ways. What are these five?
i. Because they misbehave in relation to monks.
ii. Because they misbehave in relation to nuns.
lll. Because they misappropriate the} properties of the
IV. Because they misbehave in relation to womankind.
v. Because they instigate disputes among the five groups
in the sangha.
Again, for five [kinds of mis-]conduct, they are bound to
the three evil ways. What are these five?
i. Because they often declare that there are neither good
nor bad frUIts.
11. Because they kill sentient beings in whom the thought
of enlightenment has arisen.
62 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
111. Because they like to talk about the shortcomings of
their teachers.
IV. Because they call the true untrue, and the untrue true.
v. Because they listen to and receive the Dharma only to
find fault wIth it.
Again, for three [kinds of mis-]cond ucts, they are bound to
the three evil ways:
i. They maintain that the Tathagata is impermanent and
is annihilated forever [at death].
ii. They maintain that the true Dharma is impermanent
and mutable. ."
iii. They maintain that the sangha, [the third of the three]
jewels, can be destroyed.
As a consequence, they are forever bound to the three evil
While "to enjoy practising defiled deeds," "to seek the company
of bad friends," etc., are misdeeds quite common among the
average run of mankind, "to misbehave in relation to monks,"
"to misbehave in relation to nuns," "to misappropriate the
properties of the sangha" and "to instigate disputes among the
five groups in the sangha" are misdeeds pertaining largely to
members of the monastic community. Thus, it appears that the
icchantikas are not just ordinary sinners who happen to violate
the ways of thinking and rules of conduct of the Buddhist
religion. Rather, they are renegade Buddhists, who purposely
disclaim all the principles to which they have formerly sworn
allegiance; and the extreme severity of the assaults against the
icchantikas in the MNS testifies indirectly to the intense internal
conflict and spiritual crisis the Buddhist sangha was confront-
ing at that time.
iii. Pride and absence of the sense of shame:
For all the aforementioned iniquities, the icchantikas should
be liable to subsequent rehabilitation, if not for another feature
of theirs which the MNS often calls to our attention, i.e., their
insurmountable pride, which quashes all feelings of guilt and so
blocks every avenue to penitence. Thus, it is declared in the
MNS that the icchantikas, "due to their arrogance and pride, do
not have any fear despite the many evils they have done; and
for this reason, will not attain nirv3.I.1a."26 Pride puts out any
sense of shame:
Who are the sinners [who cover up their misdeeds]? They
are the icchantikas. The icchantikas are those who do not
believe in [the law of] cause and effect, and are deprived of
the sense of shame. They are sceptical of [the function of]
karma and do not recognize [any connection between] the
present. and the future. They stay away from virtuous
friends, and do not follow the instruction of the Buddhas.
Such people are known as the icchantikas.
That the icchantikas' terrible fate has more to do with their
stubborn sense of self-sufficiency than with any concrete act of
transgression is vividly demonstrated in the following passage,
which appends to each pronouncement of the icchantikas' mis-
deed the qualification of their never entertaining any thought
of repentence or shame for them:
Cunda! Suppose there are monks, nuns, male household-
ers and female householders who speak evil and .slander
the true Dharma, and never repent or feel ashamed de-
spite such serious misdeeds. [It should be understood] that
such people are known as "heading for the path of the
icchantikas." [eunda!] Suppose there are people who are
guilty of the four grievous trespasses and the five deadly
sins. Even though they know that they will definitely com-
mit such serious crimes, they do not have any thought of
fear and shame beforehand, and refuse to confess [after-
wards]. [Furthermore,] they never have the intention to
preserve and to establish the true Dharma, but rather de-
fame and despise it; and err repeatedly in their words. [It
should be understood] that such people are also known as
"heading for the path of the icchantikas."28
III. Can An Icchantika Attain Buddhahood?
While the depiction of the character of the icchantikas re-
mains reasonably consistent throughout the MNS, speculation
on their future destiny is not. Hitherto, we have spoken as if the
MNS is committed to the view that the way of enlightenment is
forever closed to the icchantikas. However, more careful read-
ing of the sutra shows that its standpoint on the subject is far
from being so clear-cut. Indeed, different parts of the sutra
seem to contain diverse opinions on the subject, which strongly
suggests that the MNS is not the product of a single author, but
comprises several strata of material coming from various
hands. In the rest of this article, we shall try to sort out these
different layers of material, as well as expound their positions
regarding the fate of the icchantikas.
i. The View of the First Part (Chapters 1-5)
The MNS, as it has come down to us in the Chinese transla-
tion of (385-433), consists of thirteen chapters.
It has long been suspected that the first five chapters of this
translation are actually an independent work, for not only do
they possess most of the features of a separate siitra, 29 but there
also were passed down to us two other translations of this part,
one in Chinese by the famous pilgrim Fa-hsien
(completed in
418) and the other in Tibetan by Jinamitra, J llanagarbha and
Devacandra. This conjecture appears all the more plausible
when we consider the question of whether the door of enlight-
enment is open to the icchantikas, for the reply suggested by this
part of the MNS contrasts sharply with that of the rest of the
book, and it is a definite no. Thus, the icchantika is described in
these chapters as one who "never works for the good dhar-
mas."30 He is further said to be so devoid of the roots of virtue
that not a single thought of goodness will ever arise in him:
What is an icchantika? An icchantika is one whose roots of
goodness have been completely eradicated. His original
mind is so devoid of any desire for good dharmas that not
a single thought of goodness will ever arise in him.
If the MNS often declares the Buddha-nature to be the proper-
ty of all sentient beings, the icchantikas are clearly meant to be
the exceptions, for the following citation openly announces that
the icchantikas are devoid of the Buddha-nature and so can
never realize Buddhahood:
Again, [suppose] there is a monk who preaches the most
profound scriptures which are the secret treasury of the
Buddha[, and asserts]: "All sentient beings possess the
Buddha-nature. Due to this nature, they can cut off innu-
merable billions of bonds of defilements, and attain the
most perfect enlightenment. The only exceptions are the
icchantikas. "
Suppose a king and his ministers, [on hearing the words of
the monk], say as follows: "Monk! Will you become the
Buddha or not? Do you have the Buddha-nature?"
The monk replies, "I definitely have the Buddha-nature in
my body at present. As to whether 1 shall realize it or not, it
is not for me to judge."
[Then] the king says, "Most virtuous one! [1 guess] if you do
not become an icchantika, you will for certain realize [Buddha-
The monk answers, "Your Majesty has spoken correctly."
[It should be understood that] even though that person
(the monk) holds that he definitely has the Buddha-nature,
he is not guilty of the unpardonable sin [of exaggerating
his spiritual attainmentJ.32
Given the above descriptions of the icchantikas, it is hardly sur-
prising that this part of the MNS would conclude by exluding
them from the realm of the most perfect enlightenment for-
Again, I (the Buddha) manifest in Jambudvlpa as an ic-
chantika, and all people [seeing me] consider me to be an
icchantika. But 1 am actually not an icchantika. [For] how can
an icchantika ever attain the most perfect enlightenment?33
In stressing the resistance of the icchantikas to all kinds of
beneficial influences, especially the beneficial influences of the
MNS, this first part uses a large number of similes. So the
icchantikas are compared to the deaf, whom the sound of
Dharma can never penetrate:
Again, good sons! Just as the deaf are oblivious to all
sounds, the same is true of the icchantikas, who cannot hear
even if they want to hearken to this wonderful scripture
(the MNS).34
A parallel is drawn between the icchantika and diamond imper-
vious to exterior permeation:
Again, good sons! Just as heavy rain never stays in midair,
the same is true of this wonderful scripture which is the
MNS, which lets fall on all places its rain of Dharma, which,
however, does not abide in the case of the icchantikas. [For]
the icchantikas are compact through 'and through like a
diamond, and cannot wlthhold anything from outside.
Perhaps the most often used simile in the MNS with respect to
the icchantika is the scorched seed which can never send forth
Again, good sons! It is just as scorched seeds will never
send forth sprouts even if nourished by timely rain for
hundreds and thousands of kalpas. If [we see] sprouts
coming out, it can never be from such 'sources. The same is
true of the icchantikas. Even if they hearken to the wonder-
ful scripture which is the MNS, there will never arise in
them the slightest sign of the thought of enlightenment. If
[the thought of enlIghtenment] arises, it can never be in
such beings. Why? For these people have completely cut
off their good roots; and, like scorched seeds, they will
never send forth the sprout of enlightenment. 36
Another favorite simile for the icchantikas in the MNS is the
fatally sick, to whom no medicine, however efficacious, is of any
Again, good sons! It is just as there is a medical herb
known as the King of Medicine, which is the most"excellent
among drugs, ... Good sons! The same is true of this won-
derfuf scripture which is the MNS, which can put an end to
the bad karma of all sentient beings, [including that result-
ing from] the four deadly sins, the five grievous trespasses
and all evils inner or outer. With [the MNS] as cause, peo-
ple who have never entertained the thought of enlighten-
ment will develop the thought of enlightenment. Why?
Because this wonderful scripture is the king of sutras, just
as that herb is the kmg of drugs. No matter w.heth-
er one IS stnvmg for the supreme mrv3.l)a or not, If, on
hearing the name of this sutra, one reveres and has faith in
it, all his defilements and serious ailments will come to an
end. However, [this sutra] cannot establish [on the way of]
the most perfect enlightenment the icchantikas; in the same
way as that wonderful medicine can cure all sorts of serious
diseases, but cannot heal those who are bound to die.
The epithet "bound to die" is applied to the icchantikas again
and again in the MNS. Thus, a few paragraphs later, we come
across the following remarks:
Again,. good sons! It is just as there is a skilful doctor well
versed in the eight branches of medical [art], and can cure
all diseases except the fatal ones .... Good sons! Again
there is a skilful doctor whose [skill even] surpasses the
eight branches of [medical] art, and.can relieve the pains of
sentient beings, except that he cannot cure diseases which
are fatal. Tile same is true of the Mahayana scripture
which is the MNS. It can wipe away all the defilements of
sentient beings and establish them in the pure and wonder-
ful cause of the Tathagata, and it can [also] make the
thought of enlightenment arise in people who have never
entertained the thought of enlightenment. The only ex-
ceptions are the icchantikas, beings who are bound to die. 38
All in all, the account of the icchantika in the first five chapters
of the MNS amounts to one of the most authoritative state-
ments of eternal damnation in Buddhisrri.:
ii. The View of the Second PaTt (ChapteTs 6-9)
Chapters 6-9 of the MNS are somewhat an enigma. They
are evidently meant to be a continuation of the first part, for
the first part concludes with Sakyamuni proclaiming himself to
be sick, while this second part opens with the Bodhisattva Ka-
syapa chiding Sakyamuni for assuming the appearance of be-
ing ill, thus misleading sentient beings into believing that the
Tathagata is transient in nature. Furthermore, these chapters
continue some of the main themes of the first part, the most
obvious of which is the thesis of the eternal, blissful, personal
and pure nature of nirval)a. However, so far as structure is
concerned, this part snows most of the features of a separate
work. For example, it begins with a short prelude consisting of
an appeal to teach from the assembly and a display of supernat-
ural power by the Buddha, as is typical of Mahayana sfltras. Its
main body is devoted to the exposition of the five categories of
deeds obligatory on all bodhisattvas (i.e., saintly deeds, pure
deeds, deva-deeds, baby [-like] deeds and ailment deeds), and is
complete in itself.-!o It also ends in a typically Mahayana
fashion, with a prediction of the future fulfilment of the pre-
68 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
ceding instructions by the Buddha and a promise to practise
by the Bodhisattva Kasyapa. That this section of the JI;INS is
compiled independently seems all the more plausible when we
consider the biography of in the Kao-seng chuan
where it is mentioned that the MNS as translated by Dharmak-
was imported into China in three parts at three different
times, thus confirming our suspicion that the MNS as found
today is actually a conglomeration of material coming from
various hands. -{ I All considered, it seems most likely that this
portion of the MNS was written by someone who had intimate
knowledge of the "first part," and wished to clarify some of its
main ideas and modify some of its less acceptable features. One
of the most significant modifications introduced by this part is
concerned with the problem of the icchanti/w.
These chapters continue to attack the icchantika in uncom-
promising terms reminiscent of the early chapters. For exam-
ple, the icchantika is labelled as one "with the most inferior
roots," for whom the Buddha would never turn the Wheel of
the Law.42 He is described as bound to suffering, so much so
that even the compassion of the bodhisattvas is of no avail to
him.43 If the miraculous power of the Buddha can make the
blind see, the deaf hear and the faithless faithful, it can exercise
no change whatever in the icchantika.
In this section, the ic-
chantika is compared to a corpse, which no doctor can restore to
Iris even affirmed that no sinful karma will be procured
if one kills an icchantika:
Just as no sinful karma [will be engendered] whe.n one. digs
the ground, mows grass, fells trees, cuts corpses fnto pIeces
and scolds and whips them, the same is true when one kills
an icchantika, for which deed [also] no sinful karma [will
If the second part shares the view of the first part on the
present condition of utter degradation of the icchantikas, it is
not so with regard to the question of their eventual enlighten-
ment. As we have seen, the reply of the first part of the MNS to
this question is purely negative. In the second part, however,
sentences and passages begin to emerge which suggest a more
optimistic view. Thus, we find the following statements in con-
nection with the great compassion of the bodhisattvas:
GOOd sons! The most wicked ones are know as icchantikas.
When bodhisattvas [who have the first [of the ten]
abodes practise the great compassion,47 they do not har-
bour any thought of discrimination, [even] with respect to
the icchantikas. Since they do not perceive the faults of the
icchantikas, they are not beset by anger. For this reason,
they are called [beings of] great comEassion. Good sons!
Bodhisattvas are known as [beings otj great compassion
they s.trive to remove the non-beneficial [elements]
in sentIent bemgs.
If the above quotation only intimates indirectly that icchantikas
are susceptible to good influences, by speaking of bodhisattvas
"striving to remove the non-beneficial elements in sentient be-
ings" (thus including the icchantikas), the following passage on
the fatherly affection of the bodhisattvas puts the matter far
more explicitly:
Good sons! Just as when a well-beloved son is going to die,
his parents would be [greatly] saddened, and would will-
ingly risk their life [to save his], the same is true of the
bodhisattvas, who, on seeing that the icchantikas are head-
ing for hell, would resolve to be born in hell with them.
Why? [Because they reflect,] "When these icchantikas are
being tortured [in hell], there may arise in them a moment
of thought of repentence. [If we are with them,] we will
presently preach various dharmas to them, so that there
may arise m them a moment of good roots."49
The idea that the thought of repentence may nevertheless arise
in the icchantikas notwithstanding all their serious faults finds
clear expression in the following discussion of the two types of
icchantikas, i.e., those who have good roots at present, and those
who will have good roots in the future, a discussion which flatly
contradicts previous assertions that the icchantikas have cut off
all their good roots and will forever remain in sarp.sara:
Icchantikas can be classified into two types: first, those who
have good roots at present, and secondly, those who will
have good roots in the future. The Tathagata preaches the
Dharma to those icchantikas whom he knows perfectly well
to possess good roots at present. He likewise also preaches
the Dharma to those [icchantikas] who will possess good
70 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
roots in the future. For even though [what is said at pres-
ent] is of no benefit to the time being], it can
serve as the cause. [of of good roots m them]
some later day. With thIS m mmd, the Tathagata
the essence of the Dharma for the sake of the icchantikas.
Again, there are two types of icchantikas, those with superi-
or roots, and those with average roots. While those with
superior roots shall obtain good roots in their present life,
those with medium roots will obtain good roots in their
future lives.
While the parable of the man stuck in a cesspool is used by the
authors of the agamas to stress the extreme degree of spiritual
degradation of Devadatta, the arch-fiend in early Buddhism,5!
it is borrowed by the compiler of this part of the MNS for the
very different purpose of illustrating the potential for future
reform of the icchantikas:
The Buddhas, the world-honoured ones, never preach the
Dharma without definite purpose ... It is as if a clean man
has fallen into a cesspool; and his virtuous friends, seeing
him [in such state], would have pity on him, and would
immediately come forward, catch his hair and pull him
out. The same is true of the Buddhas, the Tathagatas.
Seeing that sentient beings have fallen into the three evil
ways,52 they employ various means to rescue them and
liberate them [from their predicament]. Thus, the Tatha-
gat a preaches the Dharma for the sake of the icchantikas.
iii. The View of the Third Part (Chapters 10-13)
If our conjecture on the process of formation of the first
two parts of the MNS is correct, chapters 10-13 were the last
portion of the sutra to appear, and they were compiled as a
continuation of the preceding sections. One clear indication is
the treatment of the icchantikas. This section is so emphatic on
the capacity for future enlightenment of the icchantikas, and
differs in this respect so markedly from the harsh condemna-
tion of the icchantikas in the first part and the ambivalent treat-
ment of the icchantikas in the second part, that it seems quite
unlikely that the three can be of the same origin. Thus, this part
speaks in unmistakable terms of the possession of the Buddha-
nature by the icchantikas:
Good sons! All sentient beings will definitely attain the
most perfect enlightenment. With this in mind, I proclaim
in [various J sutras that all sentient beings, down to the
transgressors of the five deadly sins and the four grievous
trespasses and the icchantikas, possess the Buddha-na-
It lists this idea of the possession of the Buddha-nature by the
icchantikas among the items which a true follower of the Bud-
dhist religion should have faith in: .
What is perfect faith? [It comprisesJ believing whole-heart-
edly that the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha are
eternal, that the Buddhas of the ten directions are the
skilful manifestations [of the one immutable TathagataJ,
and that all sentient beings, including the icchantikas, possess
the Buddha-nature ... 55
It further places this idea among the central tenets of the MNS,
the rejection of which will result in submersion in the stream of
birth and death:
By people submerged [in the stream of birth and deathJ,
we refer to those hear the MN5. teaching that:
[l.J The Tathagata IS Immortal and Immutable.
[2.J [The TathagataJ is eternal, blissful, personal and pure,
and will never enter the final nirvana.
[3.J All sentient beings possess the Buddha-nature.
[4. J [Even J the icchantikas, who slander the broad and uni-
versal [teaching of MahayanaJ sutras and commit the
five deadly sins and the four grievous trespasses, will
definitely attain the way of enIightenment.
[5.J [EvenJ Hlnayana sages, [incluaingJ the stream-win-
ners, the once-returners, the non-returners, the arhats
and the pratyekabuddhas, will definitely realize the
most perfect enlightenment.
On hearing these woras, they do not believe, but promptly
entertain [pervertedJ thoughts. Hav!ng such
thoughts, they speak as follows: "ThIS text on the mrval)a
[of the TathagataJ is the writing of non-Buddhists. It is not
a Buddhist sutra!"
[FromJ that time [onJ, these people stay away from vir-
tuous friends and do not listen to true Dharmas. Even if
they happen to listen, they do not deliberate on them. Even
72 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
if they deliberate on them, they do not deliberate correctly.
Since they do not deliberate correctly, they will abide [long
in the realm of] evil dharmas.
In plain departure from the first part, which assigns the icchan-
tikas to everlasting doom, the last part affirms that the way to
nirval)a will be open to the icchantikas once they give up their
"original evil mind":
Good sons! Nirval)a can also be described as "definite,"
and it can also be described as the "fruit." Why do we
describe nirvana as "definite"? We describe it as "definite"
because the nirval)a of all Buddhas [have the definite char-
acteristics of] being eternal, blissful, personal and pure. We
describe it as "definite" because it [ definitely] does not have
[the features of] birth, old age and disintegration. We dis-
cribe it as "definite" because it will definitely be attained by
icchantikas-who transgress. the four
slander the broad and unIversal [teachmg of Mahayana
sutras] and commit the five deadly sins-once they give up
their original [evil] mind.
The same theme reappears a little later, in a discussion on the
superior knowledge of the bodhisattvas who follow the teach-
ing of the MNS, in which it is stated that "the icchantikas will
definitely attain the most perfect enlightenment":
What do [the bodhisattvas] know? They know that there is
no self and no qualities pertaining to the self. They know
that all sentient beings possess the Buddha-nature. [They
know that] owing to the Buddha-nature [which they possess], the
icchantikas will definitely attain the most perfect enlightenment
once they give up their original [evil] mznd. These are the
truths whICh the sravakas and the pratyekabuddhas can
never comprehend, but can be comprehended by the
If the above exposition demonstrates that this third part is
basically at variance with the first two parts of the MNS on the
question of the eventual deliverance of the icchantikas, the three
parts are nevertheless meant to be read as a single text; and so
the main task facing the author of this final part is not to refute
the contentions of the preceding parts, but, rather, to find a
way to bridge the latter's antagonistic attitude towards the ic-
chantikas and its own more sympathetic stand, so that its view
can be considered as a development of rather than a criticism of
the opinions of the rest. Thus, in deference to the previous
sections, this part continues to refer to the icchantikas as "beings
devoid of good roots":
The icchantikas are called [beings] devoid of good roots.
Since they are devoid of good roots, they submerge in the
river of birth and death and cannot get out. Why is it so? It
is because their evil karma is heavy. It is because they are
without the power of faith. 50
It still depicts the icchantikas as stubborn in their evil ways,51 as
so deeply sunk in the stream of defilements that not even the
Tathagata can rescue them.
It even asserts that it is better to
kill an icchantika than to kill an ant:
[The Bodhisattva Kasyapa asked,] "World-honoured one!
Why are icchantikas without good dharmas?'
[The Buddha replied,] "Good son! It is because the icchan-
tikas have cut off their good roots. It is because sentient
beings all have the five roots [of virtue] such as faith, but
the lcchantikas have destroyed them forever.
For these
reasons, [it is maintained that] one commits the sin of mur-
der on killing an ant, but one commits no sin of murder on
killing an icchantika.
While conceding that all these stringent censures against the
icchantikas are true, these final chapters set about to show that
these facts can by no means exclude the icchantikas from the
rank of the Buddhas-to-be.
But how can beings totally devoid of good roots attain
Buddhahood? To resolve the problem, the author of the third
part resorts primarily to two tactics:
i. By presenting the extreme degradation of the icchantikas as a
temporary condition, which can be removed with proper religious prac-
Thus, it is argued that when the Buddha describes the
icchantikas as "incurable," he has in view their immediate fate of
being bound for hell, not their everlasting damnation:
Good sons! It isjust as [when] a person sinks in a cesspool
until only the tIP of a single hair remains visible, even
though there is still the tip of one hair left undrowned, it
cannot be compared with the whole body [in size], the same
is true of the icchantikas, Even though 'they will come to have
good roots in the future, [their faculty of virtue is so weak at
present that] it can not deliver them from the tortures of
hell [to which they are destined]. Even though they will be
redeemed in the future, nothing can be done about them now.
Thus, we describe them as "incurable ones."65
The same is true when the Buddha compares the icchantikas to
"barren fields," "broken utensils" and "the fatally sick." These
parallels are drawn by the Buddha with the view that the icchan-
tikas are "without virtuous friends" and "cannot be of any bene-
fit to others" for the time being, but the Tathagata will continue to
plant the seed of virtue in them with their eventual deliverance
in mind.
So, strictly speaking, no sentient being is endowed
with fixed nature either good or bad, and the icchantikas, if
given the right opportunities, will recover some day the good
roots which they have once lost:
Thus, it should be understood that sentient beings are not
definite in nature. Since sentient beings are not definite [in
nature], it may happen that those who have cut off their
good roots will recover them again [some day]. If sentient
beings are definite in nature, it will never occur that [good
roots], once cut off, can be revived once more. Also, [if
sentient beings are definite in nature, the Buddha] would
not maintain that icchantikas having fallen into hell will live
there for one kalpa only. 67
Thus, by restricting the relevance of the accusations against the
icchantikas to the present, the author of these last chapters finds
it possible to give assent to most of the harsh judgements
against the icchantikas contained in the first two parts, while at
the same time affirming that the icchantikas will sooner or later
fulfil the Buddha-nature and reach the final enlightenment:
The icchantikas are without any element of goodness,
whereas the Buddha-nature is [the supreme] good. [Nev-
ertheless,] since ["to have" may be taken to mean] "to have
in the future," [we can maintam that] the icchantikas [, who
are without any element of goodness at present,] all possess
the Buddha-nature. Why? Because the zcchantikas wIll defi-
nitely [all] attain the most perfect enlightenment [in the
ii. By appealing to the non-dual character of the Buddha-na-
ture, which transcends all essential distinctions:
In its characterization of the Buddha-nature, t4e MNS re-
peatedly equates it with the middle way and the supreme form
of emptiness, with the intention of demonstrating that it is
above all thoughts of distinctions.
On the ground that the
Buddha-nature transcends all basic differences, the sutra
claims that it cannot be cut off:
Since the Buddha-nature is neither past, present, nor fu-
ture, it cannot be cut off. 70
It only makes sense to speak of "cutting off' something if the
thing severed is tangible and possesses definite characteristics.
Since the excellence of the Buddha-nature rests precisely on its
being non-tangible and non-dual, the phrase "cutting off' can-
not be applied to it:
You ask how [one can say that] the icchantikas have cut off
their good roots, if the Buddha-nature [can]not be cut off.
Good son! There are two types of good roots, first, the
internal, and secondly, the external. Since the Buddha-
nature is neither internal nor external, it [can]not be cut
off. Again, there are two types of good roots, first, the
defiled, and secondly', the non-defiled. Since the Buddha-
nature is neither defIled nor non-defiled, it [can]not be cut
off. Again, there are two types [of good roots], first, per-
manent, and secondly, impermanent. Since the Buddha-
nature is neither permanent nor impermanent, it [can]not
be cut ofP!
Thus, even though the icchantikas are deprived of good roots,
they are not separated from the Buddha-nature, and can still
realize Buddhahood some day. On the same basis that the Bud-
dha-nature is above all discriminations, the sutra further asserts
that it does not exclude from its providence any sentient being,
including the icchantikas:
Good sons! lust as the seven groups of sentient beings
dwelling in the Ganges do not live apart from water, even
though they assume [different] names such as fish and
turtle, the same is true of [the seven groups of sentient
beings] from t h ~ icchantikas up to the Buddhas Jexisting]
under [the provIdence of] the wonderful mahanzrva'l'fa, all
of whom also do not live apart from the water [of deliver-
ance which is the] Buddha-nature, even though they take
on diverse names.72 Good sons! These seven groups of
sentient beings are the Buddha-nature, whether they prac-
tise the good Dharma, the bad Dharma, the way of expedi-
ence, the way of deliverance, the way of gradual fulfilment,
[deeds pertaining to the stage of] cause, or [deeds pertain-
ing to the stage of] fruit. 73
This parallel between the icchantikas and the sentient beings
living in the Ganges seems to imply that despite all their imper-
fections, the icchantikas are never debarred from the life-giving
power of the Tathagata.
The above two maneuvers of the author of the third part
to reconcile his belief in the eventual enlightenment of all sen-
tient beings with the earlier parts' idea of the eternal damnation
of the icchantikas are riot beyond criticism. For example, against
(i), we may ask if one can without contradiction conceive the
degradation of the icchantikas as temporary, if one accepts the
initial definition of the icchantika as someone who "never works
for the good" and who "never harbours the thought of enlight-
enment." Against (ii), we may object that even if it is granted
that it is not meaningful to speak of "cutting off' and "not
having" the Buddha-nature when the Buddha-nature is not an
entity with determinate features, this argument remains valid
only on the level of expression; for the mere fact that there is
no word in our vocabulary which can truthfully express the
everlasting failure of the icchantikas to assume the nature of the
Buddha would not make their failure less a failure. Further-
more, while it is true that viewed from the perspective of the
Buddha, nothing, not even the icchantikas, falls outside his non-
discriminating essence, this fact alone would not guarantee that
all sentient beings are capable of actively assuming the nature of
the Tathagata, just as the fact that a father cherishes all his
children equally does not by itself entail that all his children will
respond to his love. But if the posed solutions outlined above
are thebretically dubious, they nevertheless confer a surface
unity to the three portions of the MNS. As a consequence, for
centuries, the sutra was regarded in China as a unified work,
and the idea of the possession of the Buddha-nature by all
sentient beings was commonly accepted by Chinese Buddhists
as among the cardinal theses of the MNS.
*1 would like to thank the University of Hong Kong for a
research grant which has made this study possible. An early
version of this paper was presented at the Fifth Conference of
the International Association of Buddhist Studies (Oxford,
1982). The compilation of this article is greatly facilitated by the
excellent work done by previous scholars on the subject, among
which I would like to mention in particular Tokiwa DaijiS'sh
Bussho no kenkyu} (Tokyo: 1944) and Mizutani KiSshiS'si "Ichisen-
dai kiS,"k Bukkyo daigaku kenkyu kiyol 40 (1961), pp. 63-107.
1. Refer to the analyses of the concepts "Buddha-nature" and "having
Buddha-nature" in my article "The Doctrine of the Buddha-nature in the
Mahayana MahapariniroarJa-sutra," The] ournal of the International Association of
Buddhist Studies 5.2 (1982), pp. 63-94.
2. Takakusu Junjiro
& Watanabe Kaikyoku,"eds., TaishO shinshu daizo-
kyoo (henceforth abbreviated to T), vol. 12, p. 422c,1.28-p. 423a,1.3.
3. Ibid., p. 575b,I1.25-26.
4. Ibid., p. 405a-b.
5. Ibid., p. 487b-c.
6. Ibid., p. 573c, 11.19-20 & p. 574b,I1.28-29.
7. Ibid., p. 522c,I1.23-24.
8. See Mizutani Kosho, op.cit., pp. 66-69 and Ogawa Ichizo
BusshO shiso
(Kyoto: 1982), pp. 123-131.
9. T, vol.l2, p. 554b, 1.18.
10. Ibid., p. 4.54a,11.5-6.
11. Ibid., p. 419b,1.l6.
12. Seen.l above.
13. Ibid., p. 391c,I1.22-26.
14. Ibid., p. 466b,I1.12-15.
15. See ibid., p. 562a,I1.10-12, p. 562c,11.18-19 & p. 569c-570a.
16. Ibid., P. 419a,11.5-6.
17. For example, see ibid., p. 487c,I1.23-24, p. 505a,I1.21-22, p.
546b,I1.17-18 & p. 559b,I1.9-10.
78 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
IS. Ibid., p. 41Sc,l1.23-27.
19. Ibid., p. 519c,11.12-13.
20. Ibid., p. 527a,I1.4-5.
21. Ibid., p. 482a,11.15-19.
22. The three evil ways are rebirths as animals; hungry ghosts and be-
ings in hell.
23. The five groups in the sangha are monks, nuns, nun-candidates
male-novices and
24. T, vol. 12, p. 554b,1.20-c,1.5.
25. Consult Mizutani Kosho, "Bukkyo ni okeru kiki iyaku no ichi kosat-
su'," Indogaku bukkyogaku kenkyil' 8.2 (1960), pp. 606-609.
26. Ibid., p. 41Sc,11.17-1S ..
27. Ibid., p. 477 c, 11.26-29.
2S. Ibid., p. 425b,11.3-9.
29. Such as concluding with an injunction to preach the sutra.
30. T, vo1.l2, p. 420a,l1.25-26.
31. Ibid., p. 393b,11.14-16.
32. Ibid., p. 404c,11.4-11.
33. Ibid., p. 3S9b, 11.15-17.
34. Ibid., p. 420b,11.11-13.
35. Ibid., p. 418b,11.21-24.
36. Ibid., p. 41Sa,1 1.4-9. Also see p. 41Sb,1 I.IS-21 & p. 425c,1.22-
37. Ibid., p. 41Sa,1.1S-b, 1.4.
3S. Ibid., p. 419b, 11.17 -25.
39. In translation of this first part, on which our present
discussion is based, there are several passages which appear to back away
from this extreme idea of everlasting damnation. Thus, the icchantikas are
mentioned on several occasions as among the objects of compassion of the
bodhisattvas and Buddhas:
(i) When bodhisattvas divert their good karma [for the accomplishment
of] the most perfect enlightenment [in all sentient beings], they will
also bestow this gift on the icchantikas, even though [the latter repeat-
edly 1 attack, destroy and vow disbelief of [the Buddhist Dharma].
[Why?] Because they want to realize the supreme Truth with them.
(Ibid., p. 41Sc,l1.27-29)
(ii) [Since] the Tathagata looks on all [beings] as if they are [his only son]
How can he renounce compassion and enter nirvaqa forever?
Only after the icchantikas have attained the Buddhist way in their
present bodies
And are established in the suprem:e bliss would [the Tathagata]
ter (Ibid., p. 424b,11.21-24) .
Since it is generally agreed that Buddhas and bodhisattvas are bound for, their vows not to realize this state until all icchantikas are saved seem
to imply that the latter are not lost forever. One paragraph even attributes the
Buddha-nature to the icchantikas, only with the qualification that in their case,
"it is S0 bound up with innumerable impurities and sins" that the effect of its
presence can hardly be felt: . . .
(iii) Even though the zcchantzkas have the Buddha-nature, It IS so bound up
with innumerable evil defilements that it can not manifest itself,. like
a silkworm shut up in a cocoon. Due to [their evil] karma, there will
never arise [in them] the wonderful principle of enlightenment, and
they will transmigrate perpetually [in the realm of] sarpsara, (Ibid., p.
The clearest expression of the redeemability of the icchantikas in this part of
the MNS is found in the following description of the future of the icchantikas
as "indefinite":
(iv) With the term "indefinite", [we try to demonstrate that] it is not the
case that the icchantikas will remain forever unchanged and those
guilty of the [five] grievous trespasses will never fulfil the way of the
Buddha. Why? For at the time these people gain pure faith in the
true Dharma of the Buddha, they will forfeit [their condition of]
being icchantikas. If they further [accept the three jewels] and be-
come male householders, they will again forfeit [their condition of]
being icchantikas. When people guilty of the [five] grievous trespasses
put away their sins, they will attain Buddhahood. Thus, it is not the
case that [the icchantikas] will remain forever unchanged and [those
guilty of the five grievous trespasses] will never fulfil the way of the
Buddha. (Ibid, p. 393b,I1.5-10)
However, if we turn to Fa-hsien's translation of the text, we discover that of
the four excerpts listed above, only (ii) remains in essentially the same form,
and in place of (i), (iii) and (iv), we find passages conveying almost exactly the
opposite message. Thus, instead of (i), which talks of bodhisattvas bestowing
the gift of Dharma upon the icchantikas, we find denunciation of the icchanti-
kas as "vulgar, ignorant worldlings," as "forever cut off from the causes and
merits of enlightenment":
The icchantikas are forever cut off from the causes and merits of enlight-
enment, and are known as vulgar, ignorant worldlings. Those who main-
tain that such vehicle [as the icchantikas] is capable of [attaining] the final
awakening and becoming the Buddha should also be called vulgar and
ignorant. (Ibid., p. 892c,I1.3-5)
If (iii) does not deny the Buddha-nature to the icchantikas, its counterpart in
Fa-hsien's verrsion declares the icchantikas to be "forever excluded from the
nature of the Tathagata":
The icchantikas are forever excluded from the nature of the Tathtigata because
they slander [Mahayana scriptures] and create extremely evil karma. Just
as silk worms entangled in their own threads can find no way to escape,
the same is true of the icchantikas, who can never discover the nature of
the Tathagata and engender the causes of enlightenment; and will re-
main forever so until the end of time. (Ibid., p. 893a,I1.8-11)
The most conspicuous divergence rests with (iv), in lieu of which we find one
of the most stringent accusations against the icchantikas in the MNS:
It is just like the icchantikas, who are indolent, lazy, and rest [on their
80 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
backs] like corpses all day; and yet claim that they will attain Buddha-
hood. It will never happen that they will attain Buddhahood. Even if a
male householder having faith in the [Buddhist] Dharma wants to seek
liberation and reach the other shore, it would never happen [that his wish
will be fulfilled,] not to speak of [the icchantikas, who] rest [on their backs]
like corpses [all day]. Why is it so? Because it is not in their nature to
reach the other [shore}. As a consequence, they can never work towards
liberation. (Ibid., p. 873c.ll.11-15)
Given the fact that the first part of the MNS most probably once existed as an
independent work, these disparities strongly suggest that passages (i), (iii) and
(iv) were not components of the original body of the text, but Were inserted
later when more material was added to this "first part" to form the huge
corpus of the MNS we have today, presumably in order to bring it more in
line with the way of thinking regarding the icchantikas in the newly compiled
sections, as we shall see below.
40. In fact, only the first, second and fourth categories are dealt with in
detail in the text proper. Furthermore, the part on the pure deeds includes a
long discourse between King Ajatasatru and the Buddha, which is hardly
related to what precedes and what comes after! and is most probably a late
41. T, vo1.50, p. 336a-b.
42. T, vo1.l2, p. 447c,I1.22-23.
43. Ibid., p. 457a,I1.24-25.
44. Ibid., p. 430b,Il.l5-18.
45. Ibid., p. 478a,I1.1-2.
46. Ibid., p. 460b,l1.l7-19.
47. The "ten abodes" are ten stations on the path of enlightenment of
the bodhisattvas. Refer to Leon Hurvtitz, Chih-i (Bruxelles: Institut Belge des
Hautes Etudes Chinoises, 1962), pp. 363-364.
48. T, vo1.l2, p. 454a,1l.5-9.
49. Ibid., p. 459a,I1.9-13.
50. Ibid., p. 482b,l1.6-12.
51. For example, see Ekottariigama, T, vo1.2, p. 567a,I1.20-28.
52. See n.22 above.
53. Ibid., p. 482b,I1.12-16.
54. Ibid., p. 534c,I1.13-15.
55. Ibid., p. 549a,I1.11-13.
56. "Stream-winner," "once-returner" and "non-returner" are three
stages on the path to arhatship.
57. T, v01.12, p. 574c,1.24-p.575a,1.5.
58. Ibid., p. 505a,I1.19-23.
59. Ibid., p. 505c,11.13-17.
60. Ibid., p. 554b,I1.18-20.
61. See ibid., p. 550b.
62. Ibid., p. 501c,11.19-20.
63. The five roots of virtue are faith, zeal, mindfulness, meditation and
64. t, vo1.l2, p. 562b,l1.3-7.
65. Ibid., p. 562b,11.13-1S.
66. See ibid., p. 560c.
67. Ibid., p. 562c,l1.24-27.
68. Ibid., p. 524c,l1.2-5.
69. For e.xample, see ibid., p. 523b.
70. Ibid., p. 562b,11.18-19.
71. Ibid., p. 493c,1.26-494a,1.3.
72. The seven groups of sentient beings in the Ganges inciude various
kinds of fishes and turtles, which are compared in the MNS to sentient beings
of different levels of spiritual attainment, from the icchantika up to the Bud-
dha. See ibid., p. 574c-579b.
73. Ibid., p. 579b,11.14-19.
Chinese Terms

h. tR:'iE

e. j;.ti.
i. '14 (7) litHE
j. 7j(:a- if
l. tx je! lilt ,ua
o. kiE
f. S It -:l1*
s. f:lt tx lilt 1E
The Sanmon-Jimon Schism in the Tendai
School of Buddhism:
A Preliminary Analysis
by Neil M eM ullin
One of the most important events in the history of the Tendai
school of Buddhism, and of Buddhism in general inJapan, was
the fracturing of the Tendai monastic community into two ma-
jor branches, the so-called Sanmon and Jimon branches. The
Sanmon-Jimon schism came about in a sequence of events in
the latter decades of the tenth century, after which the Enrya-
kuji, the Tendai monastery on Mt. Hiei, approximately ten
kilometers to the north-east of Kyoto, became the "head mon-
astery" (honzan, or honji) of the Sanmon branch of the Tendai
school, and the Onjoji, a monastery in the town of Otsu, about
six kilometers to the south-east of Mt. Hiei, became the head
monastery of the Jimon branch of Tendai. Although the
Sanmon-Jimon split did not come about until the end of the
tenth century, its roots may be traced back to the first decades
of the ninth century, to the early years of the Tendai school in
Japan. In anything short of a book-length manuscript it is not
possible to analyze all those factors-political, economic, doctri-
nal, and sb forth-that contributed to the Sanmon-Jimon
schism. The purpose of this paper is to examine what may be
called the major long-term cause and the main immediate cause
of that schism. The major long-term cause of the Sanmon-
Jimon split was an approximately I50-year-long conflict within
the Tendai community over the issue of which group of monks
would be in control of Mt. Hiei, that is, who would hold the
highest offices in the Enryakuji, especially the office of "Head
Abbot of the Tendai School" (Tendai zasu). The main immedi-
ate cause of the split was a series of steps that were taken by the
84 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
monk Ryagen (Jie Daishi, or Ganzan Daishi: 912-985), the
eighteenth Tendai zasu, in an effort to impose unity and orga_
nization on the monastic community on Mt. Hiei.
The seeds of the Sanmon-Jimon schism were planted dur-
ing the lifetime of Saicha (Dengya Daishi: 767-822), the
founder of the Tendai school inJapan. In 812, Saicha, who was
then very ill, granted the "seal of the transmission of the Law"
(juho insho) to his disciple Encha (771-837), who had been one
of his leading disciples since he joined Saicha's community on
Mt. Hiei in 798. Thus, Saicha designated Encha as his succeSSor
as leader of the Tendai community and the person entrusted
with the responsibility to "transmit the Law" (dempo) of the
Tendai schooP Shortly after Saicha made that appointment,
however, he regained his health and lived another ten years,
until June 26, 822 (6/4/Kanin 13). OnJune 7 (5/15) of that year,
several weeks before he died, Saicha designated the monk Gi-
shin (781-833) as his successor. Gishin was a scholarly monk
who could speak Chinese and who had accompanied Saicha to
China in 804 as his assistant and translator.
After returning to
Japan in June of 805, Gishin spent the next eight years not at
Mt. Hiei but in his home province of Sagami; in 813, he re-
turned to Mt. Hiei and stayed there for the remaining twenty
years of his life. On Mt. Hiei, Gishin appears to have enjoyed a
special status: because of the unique relation he had had with
Saicha as a result of having accompanied him to China, and
because, like Saicha, he had been initiated into various schools
of Buddhism in China by Chinese masters, his status was higher
than that of the other members of Saicha's community. Gishin
had disciples of his own on Mt. Hiei, and, according to Ienaga
Sabura, his relations with Saicho's disciples were not very
When Saicha designated Gishin as his successor, the monk
Kaja (779-858), who had studied under both Saicha and Gi-
shin and who was one of Saicha's leading disciples,
his master that ten years earlier he had appointed Encha to be
his successor, and therefore he asked Saicha to indicate which
of those two monks should succeed him. Saicha replied that the
monk who had seniority in his community-that is, Gishin-
should be his successor.
Kaja then is reported to have asked
Saicha who should lead the Tendai community after both Gi-
shin and Encha died, and Saicha told him that the community
should develop along two lines, that is, presumably, the lines of
Gishin'sdisciples and Encha's disciples.
It was during the life-
time of Saicha, therefore, that the roots of factionalism in the
Tendai community were planted.
When Saicha died, Gishin, in keeping with Saicha's wishes,
succeeded him, and almost two years later, on July 21, 824 (61
22/Tencha 1), he received an Imperial commission whereby he
was appointed the "Law-transmitting master of the Enryakuji"
(Enryakuji no demposhi).9 Before Gishin himself died some nine
years later Quly 2 ~ , 833: 7/4/Tencha 1.0),. he .designated
disciple Enshu as hIS successor. After Gishm dIed, Enshu, ac-
cording to the Tendai Zasu-ki, "privately" (shi ni) took upon
himself the title of abbot of the Enryakuji even though he had
not received the approval of the "assembly of monks" (daishu).IO
In response to Enshu's presumptuous claim, Kaja publicly de-
clared that the proper successor to Gishin, according to Saicha's
instructions, should be Encha, whom Saicha had designated
personally in 812 to be his successor, and not Enshu, whom
Gishin had designated. Evidently, a number of monks besides
Kaja supported the claim of Encha to be Gishin's successor,
and consequently there developed a conflict between the sup-
porters of Encha and those of Enshu, a conflict that went on for
. a number of months. According to Tsuji Zennosuke, some fifty
monks backed Enshu and tried to press his claim to be the
legitimate successor to Gishin, but the supporters of Encha,
who outnumbered the supporters of Enshu, refused to ac-
knowledge the validity of the latter's claim. I I
On December 8,833 (10/24/Tencha 10), Kaja appealed to
Fujiwara no Tadamori, who was one of the "lay administrators"
(zoku-betto) of the Enryakuji, to resolve the succession dispute in
favor of Encha, and four days later, on December 12 (10/28),
he submitted a similar appeal to the Court. In response to
Kaja's appeal, on April 8, 834 (31l6/Jawa 1), the Court sent an
emissary, Wake no Matsuna (783-846), to Mt. Hiei with an Im-
perial proclamation that debarred Enshu from office and de-
clared Encha to be the master of the Tendai school. 12 Thus, the
succession dispute was resolved some nine months after it be-
gan. Rather than stay at the Enryakuji and live under the au-
thority of Encha, however, Enshu and a number of his support-
ers left Mt. Hiei and went to live at the Muroji, a monastery in
Yamato province.
It was, says Tsuji Zennosuke, the Encha_
Enshu succession dispute that marked the beginning of the
Sanmon-Jimon schism.
On December 8, 836 (l0/26/Jowa 3), just two-and-a-half
years after he assumed office, Encho died. From the time of his
death until May of 854, a period of almost eighteen years, there
was no head abbot of the Tendai school: evidently an ongoing
succession dispute betweeen the monks of the Saicho-Encha
line and those of the Gishin-Enshu line prevented the appoint-
ment of a successor to Encho. In that eighteen-year period, the
Enryakuji's business was conducted by an "administrator" (ken-
gyo) who acted in conjunction with the sango, a committee of
three monks who looked after the monastery's affairs.
On May 3,854 (4/3/Saiko 1), the monk Ennin (Jikaku Dai-
shi: 794-864), who had been a disciple of Saicho from the year
808 and who had returned froma nine-and-one-half-year stay
in China in 847, was appointed head abbot of the Tendai school
(Tendai zasu).I6 Ten years later, on February 24, 864 (1/14/
Jogan 6), Ennin died and was succeeded, in keeping with his
wishes, by his disciple An'e, who became the fourth Tendai zasu
on March 27 (2/16) of that year.
Four years later, on April 29"
868 (4/3/Jogan 10), An'e died. The Saicho-Ennin line then had
been in possession of the office of Tendai zasu for an uninter-
ruptedperiod of almost fourteen years. During that period the
Saicho-Ennin line established its power and authority on Mt.
Hiei, especially in the "Eastern Pagoda" (toto) <:j.rea, the area
around the Konponchudo built by Saicho in 788. In that area,
Ennin built a number of "cloisters" (in), two of which, the Toin "
and the Sojiin, were especially important because they soon
became the centers of the Saicho-Ennin line of monks on Mt.
Hiei. Shortly after he returned from China in 847, Ennin built
the Toin as his "residence" (jubo) on Mt. Hiei, and in 850 he built
the Sojiin with the financial assistance of Emperor Montoku,
who wished to establish a "practice hall for the protection of the
country" (chinkoku dojo) on Mt. Hiei.
On February 23, 864 (1/
13/Jogan 6), the day before Ennin died, he instructed his disci-
ples to assemble in the Sojiin the texts, iconographic materials,
and mandalas that belonged to the "esoteric" (mikkyo) form of
Tendai Buddhism that both he and Saicho had brought back
from China, so that the Sojiin might become the center of the
esoteric form of Tendai (Tendai mikkyo, or Taimitsu).19
Thenceforth, the abbot of the Sojiin would be chosen from
Ennin's personal line of disciples, his monto. Ennin also opened
up and developed the Yokawa area of Mt. Hiei, an area that is
situated several kilometers north of the Eastern Pagoda. On
October 20, 829 (9/19/Tencho 6), Ennin, who was then ill,
moved to Yokawa and began tobuild a cloister called the Shur-
yogon'in as a place of solitude and retreat. In 848, the year
after his return from China, Ennin completed the construction
of the Shuryogon'in and began to develop the Y okawa area as
the center of his personal line of disciples.
Thus, by the time
Ennin died, the Toin, the Sojiin, and the Shuryogon'in had
been established as the bases of power of the Saicho-Ennin line
on Mt. Hiei.
On June 26, 868 (6/3/Jogan 10), two months after An'e
died, the monk Enchin (Chisho Daishi: 814-891), who had
been a disciple of Gishin from 829, was appointed the fifth
Tendai zasu. Upon his return in 858 from a five-year stay in
China, Enchin went to Mt. Hiei, where he built a second Toin
in the Eastern Pagoda area as his residence.
Between 858 and
868, when he became Tendai zasu, Enchin mostly lived not on
Mt. Hiei but at the Onjoji, where he built another residence
called the Tobo.
In 859 Enchin was appointed the "administra-
tor" (chari) of the Onjoji, and on June 29, 866 (5/14/Jogan 8),
the Onjoji became a "detached cloister" (betsuin) of the Enrya-
kuji and Enchin was appointed its abbot (betto). Even after En-
chin became Tendai zasu he continued to develop the Onjoji: in
875, for example, he had a large hall (kodo) and a pagoda built
Whereas Ennin strove to establish the Sojiin as the
center of esoteric Tendai, Enchin developed the Onjoji as the
new Taimitsu center and, as a result of his efforts, the Onjoji
took over that role from the Sojiin. Enchin also developed the
West Valley section of the Eastern Pagoda area as well as the
"Western Pagoda" (saito) area; over which he was appointed
master in 888 and where he built several large cloisters as the
centers of his personal line of disciples. By the end of the ninth
century, therefore, the Gishin-Enchin line had become power-
ful both on Mt. Hiei and at the Onjoji, where it had established
a second base of power.
88 .lIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
Enchin was aware of the tensions and rivalries between the
monks who belonged to the Saicho-Ennin line and those of his
own line, and there is some evidence that he tried to dispel the
tensions and mute the rivalries. In article nine of his twelve-
article "last will" (daishi yuigon), dated December 3, 891 (10/28/
Kampyo 3), the day before he died, Enchin instructed his disci-
ples to have good relations with Ennin's disciples: he urged the
monks of the two lines to mingle with each other like water and
milk, and to get along with each other like parents and their
According to the Kyoto no Rekishi, however, this doc-
ument is probably a forgery by a member of the Saicho-Ennin
Following the death of Enchin, the fifth Tendai zasu, the
sixth, seventh, and eighth Tendai zasu were Gishin-Enchin
monks, the ninth a Saicho-Ennin monk, the tenth through the
thirteenth Gishin-Enchin, and the fourteenth through the sev-
enteenth Saicho-Ennin.
Therefore, in the 14-year period be-
tween 891, when Enchin died, and 966, when Ryogen became
Tendai zasu, seven Tendai zasu belonged to the Gishin-Enchin
line, and five to the Saicho-Ennin line; Gishin-Enchin monks
held the highest office in the Tendai school for 41 years, and
Saicho-Ennin monks for 33 years. In the earlier 68-year period
between the death of Saicho in 822 and the death of Enchin in
891, Saicho-Ennin monks were Tendai zasu for sixteen years,
and Gishin-Enchin monks for 33 years. Therefore, in the 143
years between the death of Saicho in 822 and the appointment
of Ryogen as Tendai zasu in 966, Gishin-Enchin monks held the
highest office in the Tendai school for 74 years, and Saicho-
Ennin monks for 49 years: the Gishin-Enchin line was in power
fifty percent longer than the Saicho-Ennin line. Thus, the Gi-
shin-Enchin line had a considerable advantage over the Saicho-
Ennin line: because it had been in power far longer than the
Saicho-Ennin line, by the mid-tenth century it owned more
buildings and had more monks.
Although there were no ma-
jor conflicts between the monks of the two lines in the century
following the death of Enchin, the tensions and rivalry between
them continued.
The Sanmon-Jimon schism came about in a sequence of
events that took place during and shortly after the term of
office of the eighteenth Tendai zasu, Ryogen, who was a mem-
ber of the Saicho-Ennin line. After Saicho, Ryogen is probably
the most important figure in the history of Mt. Hiei, and he is
remembered to history as the "Father of Mt. Hiei's Revival"
. (Eizan chUko no 50).28 Ryogen entered the Enryakuji community
at the age of ten, and in 927, at fifteen, he received Buddhist
orders from Son'i, the thirteenth Tendai zasu (r. June 23, 926-
April 4, 940: 5/ll/Encho 4-2/24/Tengyo 3). On September 14,
966 (8/27/Koho 3), at the age of fifty-four, Ryogen was appoint-
ed Tendai zasU.
By the time Ryogen took office, the situation on Mt. Hiei
was bleak for the Saicho-Ennin line. First, as noted above, from
the time of Saicho through the term of office of the seven-
teenth Tendai zasu, Kikyo (r. March 20, 965-March 11, 966;
2/I5/Koho 2-2117/Koho 3), there was a conflict between the
Saicho-Ennin and the Gishin-Enchin lines over the issue of who
would hold the office of Tendai zasu. Although five of the
twelve T endai zasu between Enchin and R yogen, including the
four who immediately preceded Ryogen, had been Saicho-
Ennin monks, according to several Japanese scholars, the Gi-
shin-En chin monks actually controlled Mt. Hiei from the time
of the death of An'e, the fourth Tendai zasu, in 868, through
the term of office of Kikyo, the seventeenth Tendai zasu, a
period of almost one hundred years.
Hori Daiji, one of the
leading authorities on the history of the Enryakuji, goes so far
as to claim that the Enryakuji was in fact controlled by the
Onjoji during that period.
! Second, by the middle of the tenth
century the Saicho-Ennin line had come to be inferior to the
Gishin-Enchin line both in the number of monks and in the
number and condition of the buildings that it owned. The halls,
residences, and other Saicho-Ennin buildings had been allowed
to fall into disrepair, and many had been burnea down in three
fires that swept the Eastern Pagoda area in the tenth century.
On April 11, 935 (3/6/Shohei 5), a huge fire destroyed the
Konponchudo, the Zentoin, and thirty-nine other buildings,
mostly "monks' residences" (saba) in the Eastern Pagoda area;32
on February 18, 941 (1I20/Tengyo 4), the Sojiin burned
down;33 and on the night of December 12,966 (10/28/Koho 3),
another large fire destroyed the rebuilt Sojiin and thirty monks'
residences,34 Most of the Saicho-Ennin buildings that had fall-
en into disrepair or been destroyed by fire were not repaired or
rebuilt by the Gishin-Enchin Tendai zasu, because those zasu
used their resources to construct buildings for their own line
and they could not be repaired or rebuilt by the Saicha-E n n i ~
Tendai zasu because, according to Hori Daiji, those zasu were
financially impoverished in the mid-tenth century.35 The finan_
cial plight of the Enryakuji around that time was such that its
residents were referred to as "Hiei's starving monks" (Hiei mu-
jiki no SO).36 The Yokawa area became so run down shortly after
Ennin died that in the mid-tenth century there were no monks
living there and no monks' residences fit for habitation. Even
the lineage of abbots at Y okawa had petered out. In contrast to
the Western Pagoda area, where there was a predominance of
Gishin-Enchin monks and where there had been an orderly
succession of eleven abbots between the years 859 and 960, the
Yokawa area had had only three abbots: An'e,jiei, and Chin-
chao An'e and Jiei were disciples of Ennin, so the line of abbots
had all but disappeared after the death of Ennin's direct disci-
The Sajiin, which Ennin had established as the center of
the Taimitsu tradition, had been allowed to go to ruin and the
Onjaji had been developed by the Gishin-Enchin Tendai zasu as
the Taimitsu center. Those abbots had fostered and expanded
the Onjaji and the Western Pagoda area which, by the early
tenth century, had become the center of the Gishin-Enchin line
on Mt. Hiei.
The Saicha-Ennin line alsohad grave internal problems, in
that it had fractured into a number of "streams" (ryu, or man-
ryu). In the middle of the tenth century there had developed
within the Saicha-Ennin line five or six independent, cliquish
groups of monks who lived together under the authority of the
group's "master" (shisho, or shiso).38 There were two main rea-
sons for the appearance of those groups:39 first, from the time
of Saicha there was, as was evidenced by the ongoing succession
dispute between the Saicha-Ennin and the Gishin-Enchin lines,
no strong central authority on Mt. Hiei, and thus private, small-
er-scale authority structures tended to develop in "private resi-
dences" (shisobO); second, the monryu developed as a result of
the appearance of goganji; that is, sub-monasteries that were
built on Mt. Hiei and elSewhere through the personal patron-
age of the Emperor and other members of the Imperial family,
in order that Buddhist rituals might be performed on behalf of
i;Catrops by the monk-residents of those sub-monasteries.
there developed exclusive groups of monks who lived
in the shisobo at the goganji and who competed with the
of other monryil to increase the power, wealth, and pres-
of their own monryil. A monryil could acquire great power
!"and wealth by developing close relations with the Court and the
and the monks of a monryil that had a wealthy patron
iamong the nobility could acquire wealth and prestige by being
:Igranted. Imperial }ppointments as monks"
'or "famIly monks (kaso) , whose offICe It was to perform ka:JZ-
:kito, esoteric prayers and rituals that were believed to protect
"the patrons from' various evils and to assure the fulfilment of
their desires. Each monryil developed its own private, and se-
cret, forms of esoteric rituals which, it claimed, were superior to
all other forms of mikkyo and which, therefore, the nobility
be well advised to adopt and patronize:
Within an indi-
vidual monryil, the master (shisho, or shiso) had almost absolute
authority: he determined who would be accepted as a member
of his monryil, and had the exclusive right to designate his suc-
cessor. In designating their successors, the masters paid little
heed to the principle of succession on the basis of seniority and
-wisdom, a principle that had been observed in the monastic
communities, at least in theory, since the Nara period,42 or to
.the recommendation of the "assembly of monks" (daishu) of the
.' Enryakuji;4:1 usually they designated as their successors monks
who had powerful connections with the Court and the nobility, .
so that the monryil might continue to prosper. The rivalry
among the monryil was bitter and often violent: in the mid-tenth
century there sometimes were quarrels and fights between
,bands of armed monks during communal ceremonies and rit-
uals, and, on occasion, the monks of one monryil would raid the
residences of another and steal or destroy its properties, includ-
ing its sacred utensils.
When Ryogen came to power he was determined to eradi-
. cate the abuses and to enforce the monastic rules on Mt. Hiei,
to abolish the cliquish monryil and to unify the Saicho-Ennin
. line of monks under his authority, and to restore its supremacy
over the Gishin-Enchin line. it was Ryogen's efforts to accom-
plish those goals that were mainly responsible for bringing
. about the Sanmon-Jimon schism. Ryogen's declaration of his
92 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
intention to reform the Tendai community was stated in his
"Nijuroku Kaja Kisha, " a twenty-six article setof regulations that
he issued on November 16, 970 (l01l5lTenroku 1), four years
after he became Tendai zasu. A number of the articles in that
set of regulations prohibited various kinds of behavior on the
part of the monks, such as the bearing of arms, violent distur:
bances during meetings and rituals, the raising of cattle on the
mountain, and so forth, and the remainder of the articles set
down, or reiterated, rules that the monks were obliged to fol-
low, such as attendance at certain meetings and rituals, the
wearing of proper garb, the keeping of "r,nonks' registers"
(bazucha), and soon.
Whereas a number of Ryogen's policies
were responsible for bringing about a revival of Buddhist
learning and practice on Mt. Hiei, several of his policies,
especially those that were designed to restore the supremacy of
the Saicho-Ennin line, were responsible for bringing about the
Sanmon-Jimon schism:!!;
Ryogen's desire to restore the supremacy of the Saicho-
Ennin line was demonstrated in three main ways: he repaired
and rebuilt those important Saicho-Ennin buildings that had
been destroyed in the fires of 935, 941, and 966, the last of
which occurred just three months after he became Tendai zasu;
he excluded Gishin-Enchin monks from positions ofhouor and
authority in the major ceremonies and rituals that took place at
the Enryakuji, and, eventually, from participation in those
ceremonies and rituals; and he expelled a large number of
Gishin-Enchin monks from the Enryakuji.
The major restoration projects that Ryogen undertook
were the repair and reconstruction of those buildings most im-
portant to the Saicho-Ennin line, namely the Sojiin, the Toin,
and a number of buildings in the Yokawaarea.
after the Sojiin was destroyed by fire on December 12, 966
(10/28/Koho 3), Ryogen began to rebuild it. No sooner was it
rebuilt than it burned down again, on May 28,970 (4/211Ten-
roku 1), and once again Ryogen undertook to rebuild it. Ennin,
as mentioned above, had instructed his disciples to assemble
both his and Saicho's mikkya materials in the Sojiin so that it
might become the Taimitsu center on Mt. Hiei, but Enchin
developed the Onjoji as the Taimitsu center and from his time
on the Sojiin lost its place and its importance. Ryogen, there-
l{ore, rebuilt the S6jiin in order to restore it to its place as the
itairnitsu center, and by doing so he restored the supremacy of
'the Saich6-Ennin line in the Taimitsu tradition.
In 980, Ry6-
rebuilt the Zent6in, which Ennin had built on his return
frorn China in 847, but which had been destroyed in the fire of
:936. When the Zent6in was rebuilt Ry6gen had himself ap-
;pointed as its "administrator" (keng'Jo), and he began. to develop
it as the center of both the esoterIC and the exoterIC forms of
Tendai. The purpose of this undertaking was to unify the Sai-
:ch6-Ennin line, both its esoteric and exoteric forms, under his
personal authority and supervision.
Ry6gen also restored the Yokawa area whICh, as was noted
earlier, had declined sharply after Ennin died. In 968, Ry6gen
was appointed "administrator" (chOri) of the Yokawa area, thus
teviving the defunct Yokawa line of abbots, and in 972 he as-
signed over two hundred monks to take up residence in the
buildings that he had restored there. In that same year Ry6gen
also established Yokawa as an independent third center, in ad-
dition to the Eastern and Western Pagodas, on Mt. Hiei. Prior
to that time Y okawa was under the authority of the Eastern
Pagoda, and any monks who lived there were listed on the
Eastern Pagoda's "monks' register" (bozuchO). Ry6gen compiled
a -separate register for the residents of the Y okawa area and
rernoved their names from the register at the Eastern Pagoda. 50
Ry6gen's motive in making this change was less to restore and
develop an area that was important to the Saich6-Ennin line
than to create an area that would be completely under his direct
i;:control and where he could develop his own personal group of
ii; disciples (ichimon) which, eventually, would come to dominate
Saich6-Ennin line. Thenceforth, the abbot of the Zent6in,
the new center of both the esoteric and the exoteric forms of
was chosen from Ry6gen's ichimon.
. In addition to restoring Saich6-Ennin buildings, Ry6gen
actively suppressed the Gishin-Enchin line by excluding its
members from positions of honor and authority in the major.
i,;ceremonies and rituals that took place at the Enryakuji. This
fexclusionary tactic was implemented on a number of occasions.
LFor example, on May 22,971 (4/25/Tenroku 2), a sharie, a ritual
t:it,hat was performed to honor the relics of the Buddha, was held
the occasion of the reconstruction of the S6jiin: of the twelve
94 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
monks who were assigned to conduct that ritual, six were mem_
of Ryo?"en's at Yokawa, and thre.e of the remaining
SIX were SalCho-Enmn monks who had studIed at Yokawa.
! A
year later, on May 18, 972 (4/3/Tenroku 3), over two hundred
monks were invited to participate in a sharie ritual that was held
on the occasion of the restoration of the Daikodo, the main hall
at the Eastern Pagoda, and several other buildings. Of the fif-
teen monks "assigned to conduct that ritual, ten were members
of Ryogen's ichimon, three were former disciples of Ensho, the
fifteenth Tendai zasu (r. January 24, 947-March 2, 964: 12/30/
Tengyo 9-1115/Koho I) and a direct disciple of Ennin, and one
was a disciple of Jissho, the abbot of the Tonomine and a close
friend of Ryogen.
In Ryogen's later years, his exclusionary policy vis-a.-vis
Gishin-Enchin monks appears to have broadened: not only did
he exclude them from positions of honor and authority in the
major ceremonies and rituals that took place at the Enryakuji,
but he went so far as to try to shut them out entirely from those
ceremonies and rituals. Evidence of Ryogen's implementation
of this stricter exclusionary policy is found on the occasion ofa
sharie ritual that was held on October 14,980 (9/3/Tengen 3) to
celebrate the reconstruction of the Konponchudo, which had
been destroyed in the fire of 936. Of the 180 monks who were
invited to participate in that ritual, 43 were monks from various
monasteries in Nara, and all but seven of the remaining 137
monks were members of the Saicho-Ennin line, and many of
those were members of Ryogen's ichimon. All the monks as-
signed to conduct the ritual were junior members of Ryogen's
According to Hori Daiji, Ryogen intended to invite
not a single Gishin-Enchin monk to the ritual, but the monks
complained of their exclusion, and therefore seven of them
were allowed to participate.
It appears that Ryogen excluded
the Gishin-Enchin monks from that ritual as part of his effort
to suppress the line and that he assigned positions of honor and
authority in the ritual to members of his own ichimon in order to
insure its supremacy within the Saicho-Ennin line.
Several months before the sharie ritual of October 14, 980,
. Ryogen took the rather drastic step of expelling several hun-
dred monks of the Gishin-Enchin line from the Enryakuji. The
twenty-third article of Ryogen's "Nijuroku Kajo Kisho" stipulated
:that membership in the Mt. Hiei community was to be deter-
on the basis of attendance at "siHra reading" (gozokkyo)
lissemblies that were to be held every spring and fall. Monks
who failed to participate in those assemblies would have their
tiames stricken from the "monks' registers"; that is, they would
:IlO longer be considered members of the Enryakuji community
would have to leave the mountain.
In the spring of 980,
'700 of the 2,700 monks who were registered as residents of the
Enryakuji failed to attend the required assembly, and Ryogen
'struck their names from the three monks' registers (the Eastern
Pagoda register, the Western Pagoda register, and the newly
compiled Yokawa register), and the monks were expelled from
the Enryakuji.
The common interpretation of this event by
Japanese historians is that Ryogen was attempting, by his ex-
pulsion of those monks, to get rid of lax, corrupt, and violent
people who lived at the Enryakuji but did not observe the mo-
nastic rules, particularly the stipulations of Ryogen's twenty-six-
article set of regulations. Hori Daiji, however, argues that the
purpose of Ryogen's action was to oust monks of the Gishin-
Enchin line from the Enryakuji, and he suggests that the major-
ity of the 700 people who were expelled were monks of that line
.who lived in the Western Pagoda area. Hori supports his argu-
ment by showing that Ryogen did not expel every monk who
missed the mandatory assembly, for he pardoned those monks
;' of his own ichimon who failed to attend.
It appears, therefore,
Ryogen expelled certain people from the monastery not
;:i:' primarily because they were lax and 'corrupt, but because they
members of the line of monks he was trying to suppress.
,;" . Ryogen most likely had a double motive in expelling the 700
<;T monks: he wanted to rid the community of troublemaking
monks whose violent activities militated against the revival of
:: learning and practice on Mt. Hiei, and he also wanted to get rid
ik( of some portion of the Gishin-Enchin monks, who outnum-
'l.;bered the Saicho-Ennin monks. According to Hori Daiji, Ryo-
expelled the Gishin-Enchin monks, because he could not
irLmake the members of that line fit into the model of a unified
community that he was attempting to construct on Mt.
..' Hiei. 58 The task of unifying and organizing th!= monks of his
i5,own line, the Saicho-Ennin line, which had fractured into a
number of monryil, was difficult enough; it would have been


impossible for Ryogen to incorporate the monks of the Gishin_
Enchin line into a unified, organized structure under the con-
trol of his ichimon. The Saicho-Ennin and the Gishin-Enchi
lines were incompatible: they had different historical roots, and
their members had different loyalties. The monks of the
Gishin-Enchin line were too independent of Ryogen for him to
be able to meld them smoothly into a single, united community,
and in the interest, therefore, of creating a united Tendai com-
munity, Ryogen tried to eliminate those groups that could not
fit in. In 970 Ryogen attempted, by his issuance of the "Niju-
roku Kaja Kisha, " to reform and unify the entire community on
Mt. Hiei, but by 980 he seems to have abandoned that goal: his
expulsion of a number of monks of the Gishin-Enchin line in
the spring of that year, and his exclusion of the members of
that line from participation in the sharie ritual that was held in
October of 980, indicate that Ryogen had revised and nar-
rowed his objective.
The last in the sequence of events during Ryogen's term as
Tendai zasu that led to the Sanmon-Jimon schism occurred
early in 982. On January 12 (l2IIS/Tengen 4) of that year, the
monk Yokei (919-991), a leading member of the Gishin-En-
chin line and the "administrator" (chari) of the Onjoji since 979,
was appointed abbot (zasu) of the Hosshoji, a Tendai monastery
in the hills on the east side of Kyoto. Yokei was a very powerful
person-he was well connected at the Court and was an inti-
mate friend of Emperor En'yu (r. 969-984)-who represented
a great threat to the realization of Ryogen's ambition to unify
the Tendai community under his personal authority. 50 When
Y okei was appointed abbot of the Hosshoji, the monks of the
Saicho-Ennin line protested that all nine abbots of that monas-
tery, from the time of its founding in 925 by the "Regent"
(kampaku) Fujiwara no Tadahira, had been chosen from their
line, and to underscore their opposition to Y okei's appointment
22 high-ranking monks (ajari), accompanied by several hun-
dred lower-ranking monks, marched in protest on the resi- .
dence of the kampaku, Fujiwara no Yoritada.
! Despite this pro-
test, the Court stood by its decision to appoint Yokei: it notified
the monks of the Saicho-Ennin line that the office of Hosshoji
abbot could be held by any worthy monk and not necessarily by
a member of that line, and it sent an envoy to Mt. Hiei with
official notification of Yokei's appointment. However, a group
of monks blocked the envoy's path and would not allow him to
ascend the mountain. Around that time a rumor began to
spread on Mt. Hiei that the Saicho-Ennin monks
direction of Ryogen planned to burn down the SenJum, Its
siitra library, the goganji Kannon'in and various other Gishin-
Enchin buildings, and that they intended to kill Y okei and five
other leading Gishin-Enchin monks. Fearing that there might
. be some truth to that rumor, a large, but unspecified, number
. of Gishin-Enchin monks fled from the Enryakuji and took up
residence in Tendai monasteries off the mountain.
hundred Gishin-Enchin monks stayed behind to protect their
buildings and properties, and the Court, anticipating that the
Saicho-Ennin monks might carry out their rumored intentions,
assigned six units of guards, with twenty-one men to a unit, to
ascend Mt. Hiei to protect Enchin's sutra library.63 The Court
also summoned Ryogen to appear before it to answer the ru-
mors, but he simply dismissed the rumors as groundless.
cause of the opposition to his appointment and the ensuing
upset, Yokei resigned the office of abbot of the Hosshoji, and
thuS the situation cooled down.
By the time Ryogen died on January 26,985 (lI3/Kanna 1),
the Tendai community had almost completely fractured into
two opposed groups, or rather, two opposed sets of groups. As
Hazama Jiko points out, the conflict in the Tendai community
in the late tenth century was not between two well-defined
groups but between two assemblies of groups: the groups that
composed the Saicho-Ennin line and that Ryogen was striving
to unify and control, and the groups that composed the Gishin-
Enchin line.
By 985, the Saicho-Ennin monks had been uni-
fied and organized under the control of Ryogen's ichimon, and a
large number of Gishin-Enchin monks had been expelled, or
had fled, from the Enryakuji.
Ryogen was succeeded by his 'disciple Jinzen, son of the
powerful Fujiwara no Morosuke, who became the nineteenth
Tendai zasu on March 21, 985 (2/27/Kanna 1), about two
months after Ryogen's death.
Four years after Jinzen became
Tendai zasu, he resigned the office, and the Court appointed
Yokei to be his successor as the twentieth Tendai zasu. The
monks of the Saicho-Ennin line strongly protested the appoint-
98 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
ment of Yokei, arguing that the last several Tendai zasu had
been members of their line and that Yokei's appointment
therefore offended against custom. On October 31, 989 (9/29/
Eiso 1), an Imperial envoy attempted to ascend Mt. Hiei with
the official notice of Yokei's appointment, but a group of
monks blocked his path and would not allow him to reach the
Enryakuji. A week later, on November 5 (10/4), the Court sent
a detachment of "police" (kebiishi) to Mt. Hiei with notice of
Yokei's appointment. The kebiishi successfully reached the En-
ryakuji, where they were met by a group of monks who disre-
spectfully tore the Imperial proclamation from the hands of
the Court's representative. Several weeks later, on November
30 (10/29), a third Imperial delegation climbed Mt. Hiei and
read the so-called "Eiso Proclamation" (Eiso semmyo) before the
Saicho-Ennin monks who had assembled at the Zentoin. That
proclamation announced Yokei's appointment as Tendai zasu
and censured the Saicho-Ennin monks for their violent behav-
ior, calling them "fleas on the body of a lion" (shishi shinchu no
Although Yokei assumed the office of Tendai zasu, he was
unable to function as abbot of the Enryakuji because the Sai-
cho-Ennin monks would not cooperate with him: they would
not participate in the ceremonies and rituals that he conducted,
and would not take orders from him. Therefore, on January
19,990 (12/20/Eiso 1), less than three months after he became
Tendai zasu, Yokei resigned his office, left Mt. Hiei, and went
to live in the Onjoji, where he died in 99l.
Yokei was the last
Tendai zasu of the Gishin-Enchin line to have lived on Mt. Hiei,
but he was not the last member of that line to have done so,
because in 991 there were still as many Gishin-Enchin monks at
the as there were Saicho-Ennin monks.
The last in the sequence of events that brought about the
Sanmon-Jimon schism took place two years after Yokei died.
On August 18, 993 (7/28/Shoryaku 4), a number of armed
Gishin-Enchin monks from the Kannon'in in the Western Pa-
goda area attacked the Sekizan Zen'in, a cloister that had been
built in 888 at the southwestern foot of Mt. Hiei.
When this
happened, a monk of theSekizan Zen' in hastened to Mt. Hiei
to report that his monastery had been attacked and that goods
had been robbed from some "novices" (doji) who were on their
way to it.. In retal!ation, two days later, ~ n ~ u g u s t .20 (811),
armed SalCho-Ennm monks attacked the Glshm-Enchm monks
who still lived on Mt. Hiei, mostly in cloisters in the Western
Pagoda area, burned down forty of their residences, and drove
a thousand monks, about half of the Enryakuji community, off
the mountain. Those monks took with them the statue of En-
chin and carried it to the Onjoji, where it was enshrined and
where the majority of the ousted monks took up residence.7
Thenceforth, there were only Saicho-Ennin monks on Mt.
Biei; Gishin-Enchin monks thereafter lived at the Onjoji and its
branch monasteries off the mountain. The Sanmon-]imon split
was complete.
After Ryogen, the office of Tendai zasu was almost always
held by monks of the Saicho-Ennin line, and frequently by
monks of Ryogen's ichimon, which had become the avenue of
advancement to high office in the Sanmon branch of Tendai.
During the century following the schism, several monks of the
Jimon branch were appointed to the office of Tendai zasu, but
those zasu were able to hold office for only a few days before
the Sanmon monks forced them to resign. For example, Myo-
son, the twenty-ninth Tendai zasu, held office for only three
days, from September 21 to September 24, 1048 (8/11-8/14/
Eisho 3), and Kakuen, the thirty-fourth Tendai zasu, lasted an
even shorter period: he was appointed Tendai zasu on March 2,
1077 (2/5/]oho 4), and forced to resign on March 4 (217), two
days later.7
It was a great achievement of Ryogen's to have brought to
the Enryakuji a type of central authority and a degree of unity
it had lacked, and it was because of Ryogen's efforts that the
Enryakuji entered its "golden age" (ogon jidai) in the late tenth
century.73 However, the price of that achievement was high: it
was a schism in the Tendai community, a schism that has never
1. This paper is part of a proposed book-length study of the history of
the Enryakuji from the time of its founding in 788 to its destruction in 1571.
Much of the research for this project was carried out in Kyoto between Au-
gust 1981 and July 1982 through the generous support of The Japan Foun-
100 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
dation and with the kind assistance of a humber of Japanese historians of
Buddhism, especially Professor Kuroda Toshio of Osaka University.
2. The primary source material upon which this paper is largely is
the Tenda.i Zasu-ki ("Chi"onicle of the Tendai Abbots"). This is, as the title
indicates, a chronicle of the events that took place during the terms of
office of the one hundred and sixty-seven Tendai abbots between Gishin (I-.
824-833) and the "Imperial prince-abbot" (/ujshinnii) Soncho (I". 1584-1597).
The author(s) and the date(s) of compilation of the Tendai Zasll-ki are un-
known. It was probably compiled by a succession of monks of the
over the centuries from the ninth through the sixteenth. See Shibutani Jigai,
ed., Tend(li Zasu-ki (T()ky(): Daiichi Shobo, 1939). The Tendai Zasl!-ki will be
cited throughout this paper as TZk.
3. For information on Ench() see TZli, See also Hazama Jiko (or
Sachiko), Tendaishii-shi Gaisetsu (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan, 1977), 105. In his
earlier years Encho was a disciple of Dochfl, who had been a disciple of the
famous Ganjin (688-763), a Chinese monk who founded the Ritsu school of
Buddhism in Japan and who brought a number ofTendai texts to Japan. In
797 or 798, Encho went to Mt. Hiei and became a disciple of Saichf).
4. For information on Gishin see TZk, 5-8; Hazama Tendaisltii-shi
Gaisetsu, 104-105; and Ienaga Sabun), Nilum BukkYlj-shi I: Kodai-hl'1l (Kyoto:
Hozokan, 1967), 223. It is not clear exactly when Gishin became a disciple of
Saicho: in his earlier years he was a monk at the K()fukuji in Nara, and he
joined Saicho's community some time in the early 790s, well before he and
Saicho went to China. Saicho and Gishin left for China on August 14, 804
(7/6/Enryaku 23), and returned on June 19, 805 (5/19/Enryaku 24).
5. Ienaga Saburo, Nilum BukkYlj-shi I: Kodai-hl'1l, 190. One wonders if
Saicho would have selected Encho to be his successor had Gishin been at Mt.
Hiei in 812.
6. For information on see TZII, 9-10, and Hazama Jiko, TendaisM-
shi GaiseLIU, 105-106. Kojo is one of a few highly ranked monks who were
never Tendai zasu but on whom there are separate entries in the Tendai Zasu-
ki. It was largely through the influence of who was an intimate of
Emperor Saga (r. 809-823), that Imperial permission was gi"anted for the
establishment of an "ordination altar" (kaician) at the on July 3, 822
(6/1I1Konin 13), one week after Saicho died.
7. Although Gishin was Encho's junior by ten years, he was Encho's
senior in terms of seniority in Saich(),s community.
8. The source of information on this conversation between Saicho and
is a letter that Kojo sent to the on December 12, 833. See
Zennosuke, Nilwn BukkYlj-shi I: Jiisl'i-hen (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1944),
825-826. See note 12 below.
9. See TZk, 6; Hazama Jiko, Tendaishft-shi Gaisetsu., 104; and Ienaga Sa-
buro, Nilum BukkYlj-shi I: Kodai-hm, 218. The Tend(li Zasu-Ili identifies Gishin
as the first Tendai zasu and he is remembered to history as having been the
first, but strictly speaking the monk Ennin, who is counted as the third Ten-
dai zasu, was the first person to hold that title. The monastery that Saicho
founded on Mt. Hiei received the name on April 10, 823 (2/26/
.4), to which time it was called the Ichijo Shikan'in and, popularly,
t;ihe HieizanJl. See TZk, 5.
. 10. TZk, 8. The role of the daishu in the selection of the Tendai ztisu is
1'Hiscussed in Hirata Toshiharu, Sohei to Bushi (Tokyo: Nihon Kyobunsha,
108-110. Hirata speaks of the democratic nature of the early Tendai
;:cbmmunity ..
J: 11. Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon Bukkyo-shi 1: Josei-hen, 825-826.
12. Encho is counted as the second Tendai zasu. See TZk, $. Kojo's ap-
;;peals, in ,:hich he h!s conversat!on with Saicho who s?ould
"succeed hIm, are dIscussed 10 Kyoto-shl, ed., Kyoto no Rekzshz 1: Hezan no
(Tokyo: Gakugei Shorin, 1973),349, 'and in Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon
;j3ukkyo-shi I:Josei-hen, 826. Wake no Matsuna had been a friend and patron of
.:SaichO .
. :'. 13. See TZk, 8. The Muroji was under the authority of the Kofukuji in
'the ninth century. Although Enshll quit the Tendai community, he did not
[Ilecessarily quit the Tendai school. In the Nara and early Heian periods,
IJ10nks of various schools would live together in a monastery that belonged to
;.one particular school.
14. Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon Bukkyo-shi l:josei-heri, 826.
15. See TZk, 9, and HazamaJiko, TendaishU-shi Gaisetsu, 106. For infor-
mation on the kengyo and sango, two of many Japanese Buddhist monastic
;terms for which there are no English equivalents, see Ono Tatsunosuke,
Nihon Bukkyo-shiJiten (Tokyo: Tokyodo Shuppan, 1979), 138 and 191. Al-
though it is not mentioned in the primary sources, it is likely, on the basis of
the fact that there is a separate entry on Kojo in the Tendai Zasu-ki, that he was
the de facto head of the Tendai school in that eighteen-year period.
16. For information on Ennin see TZk, 10-17. Ennin is counted as the
third Tendai zasu even though he was, in fact, the first person to have held
. that title. Kojo was appointed "abbot" (betto) of the Enryakuji on the same day
that Ennin was made Tendai zasu. Ennin was in China from July 8, 838 (6/13/
Jowa 5), to November 13, 847 (1O/2/Jowa 14).
17. For information on An'e see TZk, 17-22.
18. The exact dates on which the various cloisters on Mt. Hiei were
founded are often not known and frequently disputed. According to the
Nihon Tendaishu Nempyo, for example, the Sojiin was founded in 850, but the
Kyoto on Rekishi says that it was founded in 853. See ShibutaniJigai, ed., Nihon
TendaishU Nempyo (Tokyo: Daiichi Shabo, 1973), 16, and Kyoto-shi, ed., Kyoto
no Rekishi 1: Heian no Shinkyo, 350.
19. See TZk, 14-15. For detailed information on Tendai mikkyo, or Tai-
mitsu, see HazamaJiko, Tendaishu-shi Gaisetsu, 151-169; Ienaga Saburo, Ni-
hon Bukkyo-shi 1: Kodai-hen, 233-240; and Katsuno Ryllshin, "Eizan Bukkyo
no Naiyo," in Murayama Shllichi, ed., Hieizan to Tendai Bukkyo no Kenkyu
(Tokyo: Meisho Shuppan, 1976), 115-122. During Ennin's time the "exo-
teric" (kengyo) form of Tendai Buddhism was centered in the Konponchlldo.
20. For the dating of Ennin's building projects see Shibutani Jigai, ed.,
Nihon TendaishU Nempyo, 12 and 16.
21. Enchin's Toin, which was built in the "West Valley" (nishitani) section
102 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1-
of the Eastern Pagoda area, came to be called the Cousin ("Later Toin") to
distinguish it from Ennin's residence, which came to be called the Zentoin
("Earlier Toin"). For information on Enchin see TZk, 22-28. Enchin arrived
in China on August 23,853 (7/15/Ninju 3), and left there onJuly 21,858 (6/81
Ten'an 2). .
22. The. Onjoji was built in 686 by the powerful Chomo family to com-
memorate three former Emperors: Tenji, Temmu, and Jito. Thus it Was
popularly called the Mi ("three") idera. According to Hazama Jiko, Enchin
established his residence at the Onjoji in 859 in response to a request by the
Otomo family. See Hazama Jiko, Tendaishu-shi Gaisetsu, 115. There is some
confusion as to where Enchin lived: the Kyoto no Rekishi says that he lived at
the CoWin, but Tsuji Zennosuke says that he lived at the Onjoji. See Kyoto-
shi, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi I: Heian no Shinkyo, 351, and Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon
Bukkyo-shi I: Josei-hen, 826.
23. Enchin's appointments and his construction projects at the Onjoji
are noted in Hazama Jiko, Tendaishu-shi Gaisetsu, 115. Enchin undertook his
building projects with the financial support of Emperor Seiwa (r. 858-876).
24. See TZk, 25. Enchin's last will is discussed in Kyoto-shi, ed., Kyoto no
Rekishi I: Heian no Shinkyo, 352, and in Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon Bukkyo-shi I:
Josei-hen, 827.
25. Kyoto-shi, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi I: Heian no Shinkyo, 352. No evidence
is provided to substantiate this claim.
26. Material on the sixth through the seventeenth Tendai zasu is found
in TZk, 28-42, and in Shibutani Jigai, ed., Nihon TendaishU Nempyo, 26-39.
The question of why certain monks were chosen to be appointed Tendai zasu
is one that demands further research; it appears that the major qualification
for that office was connections at the Court.
27. The question of the number of monks at the Enryakuji in the tenth
century is another topic that demands further research. To date no detailed
study of the size and makeup of the Enryakuji community in the Heian
period has been made.
28. See Murayama Shuichi, Hieizan to Tendai Bukkyo no Kenkyu, 18.
29. For information on Ryogen see TZk, 42-46; Hirabayashi Moritoku,
Ryogen (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1976); and the following articles by
Hori Daiji: "Ryogen to Yokawa Fukko," (I), inJinbun Ronso, Vol. 10 (Novem-
ber 1964),24-55; "Ryogen to Yokawa Fukko" (2), in Jinbun Ronso, Vol. 12
(February 1966), 1-34; and "Ryogen no 'Nijuroku Kajo Kisho' Seitei no Igi,"
privately distributed.
30. See Hazama Jiko, Tendaishu-shi Gaisetsu, 122, and Hori Daiji, "Ryo-
gen to Yokawa Fukko" (2), 11-12.
31. See Hori Daiji, " R y o g ~ n no 'Nijuroku Kajo Kisho' Seitei no Igi," 28.
32. See TZk, 35. Several other sources date that fire in 936, not 935.
33. Ibid., 37.
34. Ibid., 42. These three fires are discussed in Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no
Yokawa Fukko" (2), 2; Ienaga Saburo, Nihon Bukkyo-shi I: Kodai-hen, 243; and
Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon Bukkyo-shi I: Josei-hen, 828.
35. Evidence of the impoverished state of the Enryakuji in the mid-tenth
century is found in Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 11-12.
36. See Kyoto-shi, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi 1: Heian no Shinkyo, 349.
37. See Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no 'Nijuroku Kajo Kisho' Seitei no Igi," 28.
Chincho was the sixteenth Tendai zasu (1. April 23-November 11,964: 3/9-
10/5/Koh6 1). See TZk, 40-41.
38. The-groups into which the Saicho-Ennin line had fractured are re-
ferred to by a variety of terms: monryu, monpa, ryumon, ichimon, manto shudan,
and so on. For information on the fractured state of the Tendai community in
the tenth century, another issue that requires more research, see Hori Daiji,
"Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 19-22.
39. Ibid., 19-20.
40. The development and proliferation of goganji, another topic that
demands more study, is discussed in Kyoto-shi, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi 1: Heian
no Shinkyo, 568-570.
. 41. The reasons for the attractiveness of mikkyo on the part of the nobil-
ity is yet another complex topic that requires careful research. Several good
treatments of mikkyo in the context of the Tendai school are noted in note 19
42. The principle of promotion on the basis of seniority and wisdom is
discussed in Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 20-22, and in Tsuji
Zennosuke, Nihon Bukkyo-shi 1: Josei-hen, 765. According to Hioki Shoichi, this
principle ceased to be applied in the mid-Heian period. See Hioki Shoichi,
Nihon Sohei Kenkyu (Tokyo: Koshusho Kankokai, 1972),49.
43. See note 10 above, and Hazama Jiko, Tendaishu-shi Gaisetsu, 84.
44. The violence and upset that characterized Mt. Hiei in the mid-tenth
century are noted in Hirata Toshiharu, Sohei to Bushi, Ill, and Hori Daiji,
"Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 19-20. The reasons for the "degeneration"
of the Enryakuji community in the tenth century are myriad and complex:
most of the standard works on the history of Japanese Buddhism fail to
examine those reasons and they interpret the degenerated condition in exces-
sively simple, and condemnatory, terms as evidence of the "secularization"
(sezokuka) , "politicization" (seUika) , and "aristocratization" (kizokuka) of the
Tendai community.
45. For a detailed study of Ryogen's twenty-six article set of regulations
see Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no 'Nijt'troku Kajo Kisho' Seitei no Igi."
46. It is not our purpose to examine the contribution that Ryogen made
to the reform and renewal of the Enryakuji community. For information on
that topic see the works mentioned in note 29 above.
47. How Ryogen raised the finances to pay for his construction projects,
and why his patrons, especially Fujiwara no Morosuke, provided him with so
much support, are questions that will be dealt with in a later paper. Those
questions are dealt with in the works mentioned in note 29 above.
48. The reconstruction of the Sojiin is discussed in HazamaJiko, Tendai-
shU-shi Gaisetsu, 109, and in Bori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 11.
49. The rebuilding of the Zentoin is discussed in Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no
Yokawa Fukko" (2), 13.
50. The establishment of the Yokawa monks' register is discussed in
Ibid., 20.
104 .lIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
51. See Ibid., 9, and TZk, 43.
52. See TZk, 43, and Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 9. In
947 the Tonomine became a "detached cloister" (betsuin) of the Mudoji, a sub-
monastery of the Enryakuji that was built in the Eastern Pagoda area in 865
by the monk Soo (831-918). From 947, the monks of the Tonomine went to
study at Mt. Hiei. See Kyoto-shi, ed., KyOto no Rekishi 1: Heian no Shinkyo, 350.
53. See Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 10 and 26. By assign_
ingjunior members of his ichimon to positions of authority, R,yogen offended
against the principle of promotion on the basis of seniority and wisdom.
54. Ibid.
55. Ibid., 17 and 23, and Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no 'Nijuroku Kajo Kisho'
Seitei no Igi," 24 and 34. The "sutra reading assembly," which was called the
"Kongo-Hannyakyo Tenzoku no Hoe," was an assembly in which two sutras, the
Kongokyo and the Hannyakyo, were read and discussed. The twenty-second
article of Ryogen's set of regulations stated that monks' registers had to be
compiled every spring and fall.
56. There is considerable disagreement among Japanese historians as to
the number of monks who were residents of the Enryakuji in the late tenth
century, but most agree that there were at least 2,700. Hioki Shoichi and Tsuji
Zennosuke say that there were 2,700 monks there at that time, Hazama Jiko
says there were 3,000, and Kageyama Haruki says there were probably more
than 3,000. See Hioki Shoichi, Nihon Sohei Kenkyu, 19; Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon
Bukkyo-shi 1: ]osei-hen, 777; Hazama Jiko, Tendaishii-shi Gaisetsu, 124; and Ra-
geyama Haruki, Hieizan (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1975), 104.
57. Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 26. Ryogen excused the
monks of his ichimon who missed the mandatory assembly for "geographical
reasons" (chiriteki riyii): that is, because of the distance from Yokawa to the
Eastern Pagoda area.
58. Ibid., 24-25.
59. Ibid., 9-10, and 26.
60. For information on Yokei see Ibid., 22; TZk, 46; and Kyoto-shi, ed.,
Kyoto no Rekishi 1: Heian no Shinkyo, 569 and 574. The fact that Yokei received
the appointment as abbot of the Hosshoji, a monastery at which there was a
large Ennin monryii, shows what powerful sponsors he had at the Court.
61. This incident is recounted in detail in Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihon Buk-
kyo-shi l:]osei-hen, 827-829. See also Ryoto-shi, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi 1: Heian
no Shinkyo, 569 and 571. Estimates of the number of monks who marched on
the kampaku's residence vary from one hundred and sixty to just over two
62. See Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 27-28.
63. Ibid. According to Hori, the guards were lower ranked monks from a
number of small monasteries in ami province. Tsuji Zennosuke provides
details on the guard units and their work shifts in Nihon Bukkyo-shi 1:] osei-hen,
64. Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 27-28. According to
Hori, Ryogen treated this incident very lightly: he never investigated the
source or possible validity of the rumor, and he never reprimanded the
monks of his ichimon for their militant behavior. Because Ryogen appears to
have condoned violent actions against the monks of the Gishin-Enchin line by
the members of his ichiman, many historians cCllsider him to have been the
person primarily responsible for the appearance of "monk warriors" (sohei) in
the tenth century. .
65. Ha:;:ama Jiko, TendaisMl-shi Gaisetsu, 165.
66. Jinzen was the first member of the Court nobility to become Tendai
zasU, and it was with him that the "aristocratization" (kizakuka) of the high
offices in the Enryakuji community began. Beginning with the twenty-fifth
Tendai zasu, Myoku (r. November 19, 1019-July 27, 1020: 10/20/Kannin 3-
7/5/Kannin 4), all subsequent Tendai WSli were members of the Imperial
family or the "Regincy branch" (seli/wllke) of the Fujiwara family.
67. For a detailed account of this event see Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihan Buk-
kyo-shi 1: josei-hen, 827, and 829-830.
68. One week after Yokei resigned, Yosho, a monk of the Saicho-Ennin
line, was appointed Tendai zasu. Yosho took office on January 26, 990 (12/27/
Eiso 1), and retired on October 19 of the same year (9/28/Shoryaku 1). Yosho
was succeeded by Senga, the twenty-second Tendai zasu, who was in office
from January 8, 991 (l2/20/Shoryaku 1), to August 25,998 (8/I/Chotoku 4).
See TZk, 48-49, and Shibutani Jigai, ed., Nihan Tendaislnl Nempyo, 44-46.
69. When Ennin was having difficulty in obtaining the necessary travel
permits in China, he beseeched a local Chinese divinity to help him find the
true dharma, in return for which help Ennin promised to build an edifice in
honor of that deity upon his return to Japan. Ennin died before he fulfilled
that promise, but in his last will he instructed his disciples to carry it out.
Accordingly, in 868, Ennin's disciples built the Sekizan "Shrine" (shinden), and
in 888 the Sekizan Zen'in was built. See Tzk, 13, Tsuji Zennosukes, Nihan
Bukkyo-shi 1: josei-hen, 340, and Gno Tatsunosuke, Nihan Bukkyo-shi jiten, 290.
70. A detailed account of this event is found in Tsuji Zennosuke, Nihan
Bukkyo-shi 1: josei-hen, 830. According to the Tendai Zasu-ki, the monks of the
Saicho-Ennin line made their retaliatory attack on August 20, 993 (see TzIl,
49), but Tsuji Zennosuke dates the attack one week later, on August 27 (8/8/
Shoryaku 4).
71. In evidence of this, two of Emperor Kazan's (r. 984-986) three "pro-
tector monks" (gajiso), and five of Emperor Ichijo's (r. 986-1011) six gajiso
were members of Ryogen's ichiman, and the other two gajiso had studied at
Yokawa. See Hori Daiji, "Ryogen no Yokawa Fukko" (2), 19 and 24.
72. See TZk, 56-57, and 62-63. Both Myoson and Kakuen had been the
chori of the Onjoji before they were appointed Tendai zasu.
73. See Ienaga Saburo, Nihan Bukkyo-shi 1: Kadai-hen, 242.
The Indravarman (Avaca) Casket
Inscription Reconsidered: Further
Evidence for Canonical Passages in
Buddhist Inscriptions
by Richard Salomon and Gregory Schopen
A dedicatory inscription on a Buddhist relic casket in 7 lines of
script in the northwestern Prakrit dialect known as
GandharI was first published by Sir Harold Bailey (henceforth
B) inJRAS 1978,3-13. The importance of this inscription was
immediately recognized by several scholars, and it has subse-
quently been re-edited by B.N. Mukherjee (M) in Journal of
Ancient Indian History 11 (1978), 93-114; by Gerard Fussman
(F) in Bulletin de l'Ecole d'Extreme-Orient 67 (1980), 1-
43; and by Richard Salomon (S) in Journal of the American Orien-
tal Society 102 (1982), 59-68.
All three later editions overlapped in the press, however,
so that they could not refer to each other. The revised text and
translation now offered below is intended to synthesize the re-
sults of all four attempts, in the hope of establishing a standard
version. In several places, we have accordingly adopted the
readings and/or interpretations of the other editors; e.g., in the
important passage apradithavitaprave, 1.4, we have accepted F's
version, for reasons which will be presented in detail below. In
other cases, we have retained S's prior readings and transla-
tions, as in gahiTJie ya utarae, 1.5; and finally some entirely new
interpretations are suggested, for example for kirjaparjiharia av-
hiye ahethi majimami, 1.1.
Two comments on the treatment of the inscription as a
whole may be made here. First, we are now inclined to prefer to
refer to it as the "Indravarman Casket Inscription," as do F and
Bivar (note 1), rather than the "Avaca Inscription," as in Band
S. Second, we have treated the arrangement of the lines as does
F, numbering the two lines on the lid of the casket as 1 and 2
but placing them at the end of the text and translation, since
they are clearly intended to be read after the 5 lines on the bOdy
of the casket.
Finally, it ml,lst be pointed out that all the editors after B
have worked from the set of photographs printed by him; none
of them, evidently, have seen the original piece,. which is pres-
ently in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. These photo-
graphs are generally good, but are somewhat unclear and prob-
ably distorted in places, especially near the edges and the
bottom. Some of the problematic readings could probably be
clarified by an examination of the original casket.
3) sarilvatsarae 20 20 20 1 1 1 maharayasa ayasa
atidasa kartiasa masasa divasae imeI).a cetrike
idravarme kumare apracarajaputre
4) ime bhagavato sakyamuI).isa sarira pradithaveti thiae ga-
bhirae apradithavitaprave patese brammapufi[o] prasavati
sadha maduI).a rukhuI).aka ajiputrae apracarajabharyae
5) sadha maiileI).a ramakeI).a sadha maiilaI).ie sadha
spasadarehi vasavadatae mahave(?)dae I).ikae: ca gahiI).ie ya
6) pidu a puyae avacarayasa
7) bhrada vaga strate go puya'ite viyayamitro ya avacaraya ma-
duspasa bha'idata puyita
1) ime ca sarire muryakaliI).ate thubute ki<;lapa<;liharia avhiye
ahethi majimami pratithavaI).ami pratitha(vi)(sa) [read ta]
2) vasia parilca'iso
3) In the sixty-third (63) year of the late Great King Aya [Azes],
on the sixteenth day of the month Kartia [Karttika]; at this
auspicious (?) time, Prince Idravarma [Indravarman], son of.
the King of Apraca,
4) establishes these bodily relics of Lord Sakyamuni in a secure,
deep, previously unestablished place; he produces
merit together with his mother RukhuI).ak<a, daughter of Aji'
(and) wife of the King of Apraca,
5) with (his) maternal uncle Ramaka, with (hts) maternal uncle's
wife with (his) sisters and wife-Vasavadata (Vasava-
datta), Mahaveda (?; = Mahaveda?), and and (his) wife
Utara (Uttara).
6) And (this is done) in honor of (his) father The
king of Avaca (= Apraca)'s
7) brother, the Commander Vaga is honored, and Viyayamitra
(=Vijayamitra), [former] King of Avaca. (His) mother's sis-
ter, Bhaldata (BhagTdatta?) is honored. .
1) And these bodily relics, having been brought in procession
from the Muryaka cave stupa, were established in a secure
(?), safe, deep (?) depository,
2) (in) the year twenty-five.
Notes to the Text and Tmnslation
3) sainvatsame: As in Sand M; B andF read sainvatsa-; but F
(12) notes that 'Je pense que la transcription tsa serait meil-
leure," citing CD, 73-4.
imerJa eetrike k.?erJe: S formerly read k:;a1.w; but what may
be signs of the vowel e can be faintly discerned over both
ak:;ams of this word. F reads the whole phrase as ime1.w eetri-
pek.?e1Ja, "par cette quinzaine brillante," taking -pekyerJa as =
Sanskrit pak.?erJa by vowel harmony (13). However, the letter
following tri could not be pe. It is true, as F points out, that
the construction is irregular, with the conjunction of instru-
mental and locative (cf. the notes on the use of the instru-
mental for locative in S 60). Nevertheless, we have retained
S's previous translation, on the grounds of the justification
given there (S 60).
4)sakyamurJisa: As in Band S; M and Fread saka-. F (13) com-
ments "Je ne vois pas la boucle qui incite Sir Harold [i.e., B] a
transcrire sakyamurJisa." But there is a discernible, if not too
distinct curve to the left at the foot of the character, which is
certainly meant to express a subscript y; cf. the similar,
though less cursively reduced subscript y in the same word in
the Kurram casket inscription, line 1 d (K 155 and pI. XXIX-
apmdithavitapmve: S formerly read a j)mdithavitapmve =
ea *pmti:;thapitapmpe, as in Band M. But F's explanation (14)
of the phrase as = apmti:;thapitaptlrVe is definitely correct, as
explained at length below ..
pateSe: As in B, S; M has "pate(or -de)se"; F, padese. As the
. JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
latter notes concerning this inscription in general, "II est
parfois plus difficile de distinguer les dentales simples, qui
sont tres prochesde forme en kharo!ftht' (7). It seems to us,
however, that the letter in question is qlfite clearly t, not d.
brammapun[o]: Here M and Bread bramupuna, while F
has bramupun[ 0]. But in fact the second letter is not the same
as the mu in sakyamurjisa (1.4) and muryaka (1.1). F justifies his
reading on the grounds that "la graphie bramu est frequente
en gandhari" (11), citing Bailey in Bulletin of the School of
Oriental and African 11 (1946),787-9, (F's note 1); but
in fact, Bailey gives no instance there of such a spelling. The
ligature here (which S previously read as mha) is probably a
variant of the mma common in GandharI (GD 70; cf. bramma-
yiyava, 128, verse 68). The vowel 0 on the n is uncertain.
The significance of the term brammapuna will be ex-
plained below.
rukhurjaka ajiputrae: Like all others, F divides the words
thus, but notes that "La coupe des mots n'est pourtant pas
sure ... la coupe rukhurjaka implique que Ie mot n'est pas
flechi, ce qui est surprenant. On peut done songer a couper
. sadha madhurja rukhurja kaajiputrae 'avec sa mere Rukhu, fille
de KaajI' " (14). This is possible, but in defense of the read-
ing as given, one could quote F's own observation of "une
tendance a constituer des groupes syntaxiques dont seul Ie
dernier terme est decline" (12). .
apraca: B, M read apaca; F, ap[rJaca. We agree with his
observation (14) that a subscript r is faintly visible in B's
photograph (plate IV).
5) mahave(?)dae: The reading here is uncertain. B has mahaphida
a-, F mahaphidae, M mahapida e-, and S mahaedae. For reasons
described previously (S 61), the third ak!jara cannot be phi or
pi. The two long diagonal lines must be either extraneous
marks or, perhaps more likely, correction signs cancelling a
wrongly written letter.
The preceding letter is still unclear,
probably not e as S read before, but perhaps ve.
gahirjie ya utarae: F (unlike Band M) divides the words
correctly, but his explanation of gahirjie as "enceinte (gm"bh-
irji)" (15; cf. also 11) is unlikely. We see no reason not to take
it as = grhirji, as explained in S 61. ya = ca is well-attested in
see S 60, and also F 15, K Xcix, and GD 1l0.
6) pidu a: The a is problematic. M (101) suggests that it may be a
scribal error. F (15) says "Je considere pidua comme une
graphie malhabile de Pidu(r;,)a et je traduis 'en l'honneur des
manes', 'en l'honneur de ses ancetres decedes.' " This is not
impossible, but would certainly require further proof. Al-
though references to "ancetres decedes" occur in Buddhist
inscriptions, they never appear in this form. There is nev-
er-as far as we know-any reference to an undifferentiat-
ed, collective category comparable to "manes." In Buddhist
inscriptions the "ancetres decedes" are always specific-"fa-
ther," "mother," etc.-and frequently referred to by name
(cf. C. Schopen, "Filial Piety and the Monk in the Practice of
Indian Buddhism: A Question of'Sinicization' Viewed from
the Other Side," T'oung Pao 70 (1984) (in the press). In light
of this we have followed S in taking a as a graphic variant of
ya = ca.
(r;,)uvarmasa: The r;, is indicated by a horizontal line
above the 0; cf. the remarks on this and similar diacritic
techniques in in B 12, M 93-4, CD 63, and Salo-
mon, Studien zur Indologie und lranistik 7 (1981), 16, 18.
The name Vigmvarman has been treated differently
by the various editors, in accordance with their differing
divisions of the phrases in this and in the following pas-
sages. Here we follow B, taking vi
r;,uvarmasa in apposition
with pidu, on the grounds that there is a consistent pattern
in this (and in other similar inscriptions) of speci-
fying the co-donors with the term of relation first and then
the personal name (S 61).
6-7 avacarayasa bhrada vaga stratego puyaite viyayamitro ya avaca-
raya: Following B, Sand M took vaga as an honorific title
"Lord," from Iranian baga. F, however, took it as the per-
sonal name of the Avacaraya's brother "Vaga Ie stratege";
and the new inscription published by Bailey QRAS 1982 no.
2, 142-55) indicates that this is probably the correct inter-
pretation. This new inscription is dated in the year 77 of an
apacaraja bhagamoya, who is almost certainly to be identified
with Apracaraja brother Vaga, since, as is
well known, the kingship succeeded from elder brother to
younger brother among the Indo-Scythians.
viyayamitroya was taken by B, and by the others follow-
112 jIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
ing him, as an anomalous feminine formatIon, giving the
name of the A vacaraya's mother's sister (adopting F's read_
ing of the following phrase). This is to be rejected (as in S)
on both philological and stylistic grouIJ.ds (as it violates the
normal pattern of giving the relational term first and then
the personal name). viyayamitro is to be taken as a graphic
variant of Vijayamitra (S 61), the founder of the Apraca
dynasty, who is mentioned in a similar context in the new
Bhagamoya inscription at the end of the list of co-donors
(1.3, vijayamitro apacaraja). He evidently was included along
with the living relatives in the donations of the Apracaraja
family in recognition of his special status as founding fa-
We take ya as equivalent to ca, as in S. However, in view
of the name Bhagamoya in the new inscription, which
seems to indicate the existence of a (pleonastic?) name suf-
fix -(m)oya, the name itself should perhaps be read as viyaya-
mitroya = Vijayamitra.
7) maduSpasa bhai"data: This is F's correction (16, n.6) of Band
the others' maduka sabhaedata. F is certainly right that the
third akrjara is spa, not ka. The previous editors all took the
preceding avacaraya as compounded with madu., probably
on the grounds that the title, already having been used
referring (indirectly) to in 1.3,'would not be
repeated for Vijayamitra here. But the parallel passage
from the Bhagamoya inscription, cited in the preceding
note, shows that the title was in fact intended to refer to the
(former) King Vijayamitra.
1) muryaka-: Here F (4, 16-7) reads muSyaka-, which he suggests
may mean "des souris (mi4ika-) ou des voleurs (MUS)." This
seems to us unlikely both philologically (the alternation of s
and would not be expected) and paleographically (the sec-
ond akrjara is very similar to that in bharyae, 1.4).
kirjaparjiharia: Here Band M read parjibaria; F has parji-
draria, with the remark (16) that "Le dr- est maladroit." Here,
however, we retain S's reading, as the letter in question
seems quite clearly to be ha, as in the following word ahethi.
(The two short vertical lines at the top of the letter are prob-
ably riot significant; there are several such extraneous lines
between the top of 1.1 and the groove above it.) But we would
noW interpret the compound kirjapa(lihaTia in the light of
passages such as that found in the Gilgit text of the Parica-
vir[lsati: yas ca tathagatasyarhatal;, ... parinirvrtasya sarzra'f(l pra-
fhfipayet parihared va satkuryad ... , where parihared appears
to refer to some kind of ritual activity connected with carry-
ing relics (text cited from G. Schopen's review of E. Conze,
The Large SiUra on P erfect Wisdom, Indo-Iranian ] oumal 19
(1977), 143 [under C.231.4] and n.3; a similar passage-
again from the Gilgit text-is also cited on p. 146 [under
C.231.31 J). The compound here evidently contains a corre-
sponding nominal form (*pariharita or *parihiirikii) in a ba-
huvrzhi meaning literally "for which the ritual procession has
been done;" or, more freely, "brought in procession." (On
the intentionally Sanskritized style and composition of this
inscription, see the remarks of F, 9).
avhiye: Here Band S read avi ya; M, avi yie; F, savhiye. We
now accept F's reading of the second and third ak0aras, but
still see the first as a rather than sa. F (17) remarks that "la
lecture me parait sure"; but since this part of the text ap-
pears near the edge of the photographs (on the left of B's
pl.II and the right of III), it may be subject to distortion. An
examination of the original would be necessary to confirm
the reading here. F takes sabhiye as equivalent to Sanskrit *sa-
bhiya, "avec crainte." We tentatively accept the equivalance of
vhi = bhZ, but read abhiye and interpret this as = *abh'tye or
*abhZke, i.e., as an adjective "secure, safe" in the locative
modifying the following pratifhavarJami. The equation of
vh = Sanskrit bh, however, calls for some com-
ment; the ak0ara usually transliterated vh and pre-
sumed to represent a labial spirant (GD 65-6) generally oc-
curs in inscriptions in Iranian names; e.g. Iriltavhria (K77,
1.2, and 74), Guduvhara (= Gondophernes; K 62, 1.1), Da-
(K 165,1.4). In the GandharIDhammapada and other
documents, however, it is well attested as an
equivalent of Sanskrit bh (e.g. lavhu = labha; GD 96-7). In
view of the fact that several other orthographical peculiar-
ities of the non-epigraphic texts have parallels in
inscriptions (see Studien zur Indologie und lranistik 7, 13-5),
F's equation of vh = bh in this case is acceptable, .If not cer-
114 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
ahethi: We now follow F in taking this as an adjectival
form rather than as part of a proper name, as done by the
other editors. However, rather than being interpreted as =::
ahetha or as an absolutive <*ahethya (F 17), it can more easily
be explained as another adjective, "without harm," i.e.,
"safe," in the locative. (For locatives in -i, see K cxiii.)
majimami: This is been taken by all previous editors as a
proper name (S) or as "central" (B, M, F), i.e., <mayjhima<.
madhyama (B 10) with anomalous deaspiration (F 11). How-
ever, it may be that ahe(hi majimami repeats the sense of (hiae
gabhirae of 1.4, so that majimami would not be = majjhima, but
rather is to be connected with V majj "sink" / magna "sunk,"
i.e., "deep" (= gabhZra) , evidently as another adjective
(= *maJjima) in the locative.
prati(ha (vi) (sa): Here Breads pratithavita; M "pratith-
avisa (should be -ta)"; S pratitha(vita); and F pradithathisa. As
noted by the last three editors (S 62; F 8, "il faut manifeste-
ment corriger en praditha[vita]"), the last two akr;aras are al-
most certainly a scribal error. The first of them may be a
repeated by dittography from the preceding letter and then
imperfectly corrected to vi. The last letter, sa in place of the
expected ta, may be a miscopying from an exemplar of the
2) vasia: Here F reads nisia, remarking (17) that "Malheureuse-
ment, Ie mot qui precede la date n'est pas clair. Sir Harold
[i.e., B] transcrit, avec un ?, vasia = 'en l'an',5 ce que la
paleographie et la philologie me paraissent exclure. Je crois
que Ie premier akr;ara ressemble vaguement a un ni dont la
tete serait effacee. Je transcris NISIA, en majuscules d'impri-
merie, car je n'ai aucune interpretation semantiquement
plausible a en proposer." It is true, as F suggests, that the
form of the first letter is somewhat irregular, but va still
seems a more probable reading than ni. For vasia = (or
or as suggested by M 96), cf. the explanatory
notes in S 62; and also compare in the Bajaur casket
inscription, line D 2 (S 63). The s in place of .), however, is
admittedly irregular.
pamcaiso: This is F's reading, correcting the pamcaviso of
the previous editors. "La disparition de -v- est normale" (F
17, note 4), and the meaning, "twenty-five," remains the
.. , There is one passage in our inscription which requires ad-
:<iitional comment. Beginning at the end of line 3 we find idra-
kumare apracarajaputre ime bhagavato sakyamu1Jisa sarira
; pradithaveti, thiae gabhirae apradithavitaprave patese brammapun[ 0]
sadha madu1Ja rukhu1Jaka, etc.. It will be obvious a
':companson of B, M, Sand F that m regard to the readmg'
pateSe we havefollowed F. B a
cvita-prave patese and translated m a place havmg establIshed
watering-cisterns." Both M and S followed B in their readings
and interpretations, though not exactly in their translations.
But F (14), referring to B, noted that "Le sens convient maL'"
.He then went on to say "La 1.5 de 3 [another inscrip-
tion published by F in the same paper] me ,permet de donner
une interpretation plus satisfaisante," and he read not a pradith-
avitaprave pateSe, but apradithavitaprave padeSe, which he translat-
ed "dans une region ... OU il n'y avait pas de fondation aupara-
vant." In his commentary on this passage (14) he adds: " ...
Indravarma se felicite de faire oeuvre missionnaire en etablis-
sant des reliques dans un endroit (padese) OU il n'y avait pas de
fondation bouddhique (apradithavita) auparavant (prave pour
pruvelpurve)." The inscription F refers to as Number 3 in his
remarks just quoted reads in part (11.5-6) ... apratistavitapruve
iipahavipradeSe pratithaveti bhagavato sarirarp, ... "[Ramaka ... ]
dans un endroit de la terre OU il n'y avait pas de fondation
) auparavant, etablitdes reliques corporelles du Bienheureux."
This parallel dearly supports F's reading and interpretation, as
i B himself has indicated in his notes to the new Bhagamoya
i inscription GRAS 1982, 152). In this inscription, we find a sec-
. ond parallel which supports F: ... bhagamoye1Ja bhagavato saka-
i, mU1Ji dhatuve pratithavita apratithavitapurvarp,mi pradeSami ... "by
... Bhagamoya, the relics of the Lord Sakyamuni were estab-
lished in a previously unestablished place ... ,."6 And interest-
ingly enough, these two parallels allow us to locate a third
. which has not been noted by either F or B. This third parallel
occurs in the Taxila copper-plate of Patika (K 28-9): ... atra
[de] se patiko apratithavita bhagavata sakamu1Jisa sarirarp, [pra]titha-
veti. Konow translated this almost exactly as had Buhler
years earlier: " ... in this place Patika establishes a (formerly)
not established relic of the Lord Sakyamuni ... " Konow here
has made apratithavita modify sarirarp, rather than [de]se, which
116 JIABS VOL 7 NO.1
has the effect of disguising the parallelism. But in light of F's
inscription no. 3, as well as of the inscriptions of Indravarman
and Bhagamoya, it would appear almost certain that apratitha_
vita in the Patika plate was intended to [de]se and not
sarira'f(l, and that the passage must now be translated " ... in this
(formerly) unestablished place Patika establishes a relic of the
In terms of the epigraphical evidence alone, F's reading
and interpretation of our passage in the Indravarman inscrip_
tion is, then, firmly supported: there are the two certain paral-
lels in F's inscription no. 3 and in the inscription of Bhagamoya,
and there is the almost certain parallel in the Taxila copper
plate ofPatika. There is, however, more. None of the editors of
these inscriptions has noticed that the vocabulary, if not in
some cases the actual syntax, of all these passages has been
taken over from a canonical Buddhist text, or that-at the very
least-there is clear textual authority for the expressions dese
... apratithavita, or apratistavitapruve par/havipradese, or apradith-
avitaprave patese, in regard to sites on which stlipas or relics are
to be established, and for the idea that establishing relics on
such sites "generates" brammapuna.
In the Abhidharmakosa ofVasubandhu IV.124, and the Bhii-
on it we read, in de la Vallee Poussin's translation: "Le Sutra
dit que quatre personnes produisent Ie me rite 'brahmique',
briihma purpya. Quel est ce merite? ... 124 c-d. possedent
Ie merite brahmique, parce qu'ils sont heureux dans les cieux
pendant un kalpa. Le merite de telle mesure qu'on est heureux
dans les ciel pendant un kalpa, c'est Ie merite brahmique, car la
vie des Brahmapurohitas est d'un kalpa. "8 If we had only this it
would be interesting, but we could only establish that some idea
of briihma purpya was canonical. Fortunately, however, there is
more. Yasomitra has been kind enough to cite in his Sphutiirthii
the full text of "Le Sutra" referred to in the There we
find: sidra uktam-catviiralJ pudgaliilJ brahmarrt purpyarrt prasavanti.
PrthivfpradeSe tathagatasya sarfrarrt stuparrt
payati-ayarrt prathamalJ pudgalalJ brahmarrt purpyarrt prasavati,
: "In a Sutra it was said-'Four [kinds of] persons beget
brahma-merit. (One) causes a relic stupa of the Tathagata to be
established on an unestablished spot of earth. This first (kind
of) person generates brahma-merit.''' De la Vallee Po us sin,
".with.his still-astounding erudition, has identified this text with
Ekottaragama 21.5 and Vibhijsa 82.4.10 We have to do, then, with
'a well known Hlnayana canonical sutra.
A somewhat developed version of the same basic statement
is also found in a short Mahayana text entitled Arya-pratztya-
'samutpada-nama-mahayana-sutra. This text unfortunately has not
come down to us in Sanskrit, but the Tibetan text is quite clear
on the points that concern us. It has rigs kyi bu'am rigs kyi bu ma
dad pa can gang la la zhig gis mi gnas pa'i phyags su mchad rten ni
skyu ru ra'i 'bru tsam srag shing ni khab tsam gdugs ni ba kul'i me tag
tsam zhig byas la I rten cing 'brel bar 'byung ba chas kyi dbyings kyi
tshigs su bead pa nang du btsug na de tshangs pa'i bsad nams bskyed
par 'gyur te:
"If a devoted son or daughter of gOO? family were
to make on an unestablished place deSe or pradese) a
stupa the size of an amalaka fruit-with a the size of a
needle and an umbrella the size of a bakula flower-and were to
put in it the verse of the Dharma-relic of pratttyasamutpada, he
would generate brahmic merit (brahmapur;,ya'Y{l prasavet)." There
can, we think, be no doubt about the equivalences mi gnas pa'i
phyogs su = aprat4thite deselpradese and tshangs pa'i bsod nams
bskyed par 'gyur te = brahmapur;,ya'Y{l prasavet.
These textual then, provide even stronger addi-
tional support for F's reading and interpretation of the Indra-
varman inscription, and provide additional support for our
correction of Konow's translation of the Taxila copper plate Of
Patika. Moreover, they prove beyond any doubt that the idea
that is explicitly expressed in the Indravarman inscription, and
probably to be understood in its three parallel inscriptions-
i.e., the idea that establishing relics on a previously unestab-
lished site results in brahma-pur;,ya-has an old and continuous
textual authority: the Ekattaragama, the the Abhidharma-
kosa, the Sphutarthii and the Pratztyasamutpada-sutra all refer to
it. But there may be even more here. If we place the passage
from the Indravarman inscription, ime bhagavata sakyamur;,isa
sarira pradithaveti thiae gabhirae apradithavitaprave pateSe bram-
mapuii(a) prasavati, beside the Ekattaragama passage, aprat4thite
Prthivzpradese tathiigatasya. sarzra'Y{l stUpa'Y{l prat4thiipayati- aya'Y{l
prathamaJp pudgalaJp brahma'Y{l pur;,ya'Y{l prasavati, it is difficult to
avoid the conclusion that there is some kind of direct connec-
tion between the two. If we note that the connection between
118 JIABS VOL 7 NO.1
establishing relics on an and generat_
ing brahma-pur;,ya is not a common one in textual sources, and
is-as far as we know-found only in this Ekottaragama passage
and the series of texts which either cite it OJ refer to it; and if We
note further that neither the term brahma-pur;,ya nor the verb
prasavati used in. connection with the production of merit are
found anywhere else in Indian Buddhist inscriptions, is
even more difficult to avoid such a conclusion .. It would thus
seem that we have in the Indravarman inscription, if not a
direct quotation of the Ekottaragama passage from some other-
wise unknown redaction of the text, at least a distinct para-
phrase or epigraphical adaptation of the passage.
Moreover, there are at least two other aspects of this pas-
sage in our inscription, especially' in regard to the phrase bram-
mapun[o] prasavati, which clearly point to the same conclusion.
First, in virtually all donative inscriptions-and in
Buddhist donative inscriptions generally-reference to the
merit of the act recorded, or to the purpose for which it was
undertaken, comes at the end of the inscription, after the donor
names himself and those he wishes to associate with his act. The
Kalawan copper plate inscription of the year 134 is a good
example of this: (1) sarJZvatSaraye 1 100 20 10 4 ajasa sravar;,asa
masasa divase treviSe 20 1 1 1 imer;,a carJZdrabhi uasia (2)
DhrarJZmasa grahavatisa dhita Bhadravalasa bhaya charf,asilae sarira
praZstaveti gahathu-( 3) bami sadha bhradur;,a lYarJZdivarf,har;,er;,a gra-
havatir;,a sadha putrehi Samer;,a Sai'ter;,a ca dhitur;,a ca (4) Dhramae
sadha Rajae I drae ya sadha ] ivar;,arJZdir;,a S amaputrer;,a ayar-
ier;,a ya sarvasti-(5) vaar;,a parigrahe rathar;,ikamo puyai'ta sarvasva-
tvar;,a puyae r;,ivar;,asa pratiae hotU.
Another good ex-
ample is the MaI).ikiala inscription of the year 18 (K 149-50);
and the Sarnath image inscription of the Bala is an
equally good example of the typical pattern in a
The placement of the phrase bramma-pun[ 0] pra-
savati in the Indravarman inscription is therefore decidedly
odd, not to mention awkward, and it has given most of its
translators some difficulty. It is simply stuck into the middle of
an otherwise normal enumeration.
The second noteworthy peculiarity of this phrase is that
when a donor in a inscription refers to the merit of
his act, or the purpose for which it was undertaken, he every-
where else uses a "dative of. purpose" without a finite verb
( .. . da[lJajmukhe Budhorumasa arogadak!i[lJae] , K 124; or, if he
uses a finite verb, it is always an imperative ( .. . sarira praistave-
ti . . . lJivalJasa pratiae hotu). A present-tense verb is never used in
such a context. A donor never asserts in a declarative sentence
that by his act he achieves something. He always says "This is/
was done for the sake of achieving something," or "This is/was
done. May it be for the sake of achieving somethirig." These
statements are always declarations. of intent, never expressions
of fact. And yet in our passage from the Indravarman inscrip-
tion it appears that Indravarman is the subject of the sentence
brammapun[oj prasavati, and that he is saying "at a certain date
he, Indravarman, establishes the relics, and he generates brah-
rna-merit." The second statement here would then be-exactly
like the first-a straightforward expression of fact; but this is
decidedly odd in light of what we find everywhere else in our
The fact that we find an accusative and a present-tense
construction in the Indravarman passage where everywhere
else in donative formulae we find a construction involving a
"dative of purpose," or a dative of purpose + an imperative is
yet another indication that the phrase brammapuno prasavati
may not belong to the same type of discourse as our other
donative formulae; i.e., that it is not a part of a "standard"
Buddhist epigraphicallanguage and must therefore have been
derived from some other source. The use of the present tense
in our passage is also particularly significant if we note that the
only instance of the use of a present-tense verb in the
inscriptions edited by Konow-apart from the forms of pratith-
aveti used to express the main act of the donation-occurs in
what Konow calls "a quotation from the Buddhist scriptures" in
the Kurram casket inscription of the year 20.
The one other instance in Indian Buddhist inscriptions
that is known to us of the use of a present form in regard to the
merit resulting from a religious act points us in a similar direc-
tion. We refer here to two similar inscriptions found at Ajal)ta.
The first occurs in Cave XXII and reads:
1. [siddham] deyadharmmo yal1l
sakyabhiksho[r] ma[ha]yana .....
[sarvvasatva]nam anuttaraGna]navaptaye /
bhasvara-dlptayas te [I] bhavarp.nti te
nayanabhirama ,
2. ye karayarp.ntIhajinasya bi[rp.]ba[rp.] [1]16
Here we have a statement that "Those who have an image of
the Buddha made, they are possessed ofbeauiy, prosperity and
good qualities, etc." But the present-tense construction here
quite clearly occurs not as a part of the donor's record, but in
what appears to be a quotation from an as-yet-unidentified
canonical text which is cited at the end of the inscription. Note
that in the donor's statement in regard to the merit of his act,
the expected "dative of purpose" construction is used
(jiiii}navaptaye). That we have to do here with a quotation from
an authoritative-though unidentified-textual source is
cated by the fact that similar verses are found in texts like the
Tathiigatabimbakarapar;asiltra, 17 and by the fact that exactly the
same verse is used by another donor--this time at the
ning of his record-in an inscription found in Cave X at
Thus, it is not only the vocabulary of our passage .(bramma-
puii[o], prasavati) which is foreign to what we find elsewhere in
Indian Buddhist inscriptions, but the grammar and syntax as
well (the use of the present tense, etc.). Both strongly suggest
that we have here a case where canonical material has-as in
the Kurram casket inscription and the two inscriptions from
more or less directly transferred into an epigraph-
ical text. In this case, as we have seen above, we have very good
reasons for suspecting that the canonical passage came from
some redaction of the Ekottaragama.
The strong likelihood of a direct relationship between our
passage in the Indravarman inscription and some redaction of
the Ekottaragama is of significance frQm a number of points of
view. First of all, if we are right, this would be the earliest
certain example of a direct contact between Buddhist canonical
literature and Buddhist inscriptions. Secondly, if it is fairly cer-
tain that there is a direct relationship between our passage in
the Indravarman inscription and the Ekottara passage, then it is
almost equally certain that this same Ekottara passage lies be-
hind all of the passages from the inscriptions we
have cited which refer to "establishing relics on previously un-
established sites." This in turn would indicate that our passage,
and by extension some version of the Ekottaragama, had wide
currency in the area around the beginning of the
Christian era, and perhaps somewhat earlier. Thirdly, the fact
that all our inscriptions are written in Prakrit sug-
gests the redaction of the :-vhich lies behind
inscriptIOns may also have been wntten lD GandharL If thIS IS
the case then our inscriptions, and in particular the Indravar-
man inscription, may be taken as further epigraphical evidence
for the existence of a canon in Gandhar-i.
Finally, our inscrip-
tions prove beyond any real doubt that the idea that "brahma-
merit" results from establishing relics at previously unestab-
lished sites was not simply a "canonical" doctrine, but was an
important element in the actual practice of Buddhism in the
area in the early centuries of the Christian era. Given
the fact that we rarely know which of the doctrinal assertions
and injunctions found in the canonical literature had any im-
pact on actual practice, this may prove to be of particular sig-
Additional note:
After our paper had already gone to press we discovered
.another version of the brahma'J'fL pUr}ya'J'fL prasavati passage pre-
served in Sanskrit, in the Gilgit text of the Vinaya of the Mula-
sarvastivadin. It does not differ markedly from the version
found in Yasomitra's Sphutartha:
catvara ime sariputramaudgalyayanau brahmam pUr}yam prasa-
vanti. katame catvaralJ. yalJ pudgalalJ aprati.$thitapurve Prthivf-
pradeSe tathagatasya sarfra'J'fL stupam pratisthapayati; aya'J'fL
prathamalJ pudgalalJ brahmam pUr}yam prasavati; kalpa'J'fL svar-
ge.$u modate. (R. Gnoli, The GiTgit Manuscript of the Sanghabhe-
davastu, Part II [Serie Orientale Roma XLIX, 2] (Roma:
1978) 206.15).
Notice, however, that our passage occurs in a conversation con-
cerning the "splitting" of the sangha and that, therefore, it is
only the third category of individuals who "produce brahma-
122 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
merit"-i.e. yal; pudgalal; tathiigataSravakasanghaT(l bhinnaT(l san_
dhatte-which fits the context. This might suggest that our pas-
sage is a part of a set-piece which the compilers of the Vinaya
"borrowed" and that it is not original to the Vinaya.
1. A.D.H. Bivar has also commented on the historical significance of the
inscription in two recent papers: "The Azes Era and the Indravarma Casket"
in South Asian Archaeology 1979, ed. Herbert Hartel (Berlin: 1981),369-76,
and "The 'Vikrama' Era, the Indravarma Casket, and the coming of the Indo-
Scythians, forerunners of the Afghans," in Monumentum Georg Morgenstierne
(Acta Iranica 21; Leiden: 1981),47-58.
Other abbreviations used in this paper are: GD=John Brough, The
Gandhiirz Dharmapada (London: 1962); K=Sten Konow, Inscriptions
(Corpus Inscriptionumlndicarum II. 2, Calcutta: 1929); JRAS = Journal of the
Royal Asiatic Society.
2. Cf. F 8, on the inscription as a whole: "la lecture des traits diacritiques,
-e- and -ra- en particulier, est parfois douteuse." Thus B has here M
ksha'f}(e); and F
3. A similar pair of diagonals is visible in the first letter in 1.1 of the new
inscription of the year 77 (JRAS 1982, 150 lA, and pI. Va and b; see notes on
11.6-7 below). Bailey reads this as a ligature 'gro-'f}ada'; we see it as gro,
written by mistake and then cancelled by the scribe, who then rewrote the
intended letter correctly in the following
4. The details of the interpretation of the Bhagamoya inscription and its
relation to the Indravarman inscription will be discussed in S's forthcoming
paper, "The Bhagamoya Relic Bowl Ihscription," in Indo-Iranian Journal 27
5. This is inaccurate; B actually says (10) "vasi'a for <di>vasi'a, rather than
for vasi'a 'year.' "
6. S's reading and translation; see note 4 above.
7. G. Buhler, "Taxila Plate of Patika," Epigraphia Indica 4 (1896-7), 56.
8. L. de la Vallee Poussin, L'Abhidharmakosa de Vasubandhu, T. III (Paris:
1923-31; repro Bruxelles: 1971),250-51.
9. S.D. Shastri, Abhidharmakosa & Bh!4ya of Acharya Vasubandhu with Sphu-
?artha Commentary of Acarya Yaomitra, PartII (Varanasi: 1971),751. (This was
the only edition available to us; de la Vallee Poussin also cites the text of the
(ibid., n. 1), presumably from Mss.).
10. L'Abhidharmakosa, T. III, 250 n. 2.
11. The Tibetan text is from N.A. Sastri, Arya Salistamba Sutra,
Pratityasamutpadavibhanganirdesasutra and Pratityasamutpadagathii Siltra (Ma-
dras: 1950) 71-72. .
12. For tshangs pa'i bsod nams= briihma-pu"!-ya tee A. Hirakawa et aI., Index
to the AbhidharmakosabhiiJya, Part One (Tokyo: 1973), 273; for mi gnas pa,
phyogs and bskyed pa see L. Chandra, Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary (New Delhi:
1961; repro Kyoto: 1976), 1803; 1570-71; 205.
13. S. Konow, "Kalawan Copper-plate Inscription of the Year 134,"
JRAS 1932,950.
14. D.R. Sahni, Catalogue of the Museum of Archaeology at Sarnath (Calcut-
ta: 1914),35 (B(A)I).
15. K cxv; KODOW, "Remarks Oil a K h a r o ~ ~ h i Inscriptioll from the Kur-
ram Valley," Indian Studies in Honor of Charles Roe/mil'l/ L({w/w/l (Cambridge,
Mass.: 1929), 56.
16. N.P. Chakravarti and B.Ch. Chhabra, "Notes on the Painted and
Incised Inscriptions of Caves XX-XXVI," Appendix to G. Yazdani, Ajanta,
Part IV: Text (Oxford: 1955), 112.
17. A. Mette, "Zwei kleine Fragmente aus Gilgit," Studien zur Indologie
undlranistik 7 (1981),138.
18. N.P. Chakravarti, "A Note on the Painted Inscriptions in Caves Vl-
XVII," Appendix to G. Yazdani, Ajanta, Part III: Text (Oxford: 1946), 92
(no. 8).
19. The date of the inscription, 63 of the Aya (or Azes, = "Vikrama")
era, is equivalent to 5-6 A.D. (See S 60, 65ff.)
20. Cf. K, 168-69; Konow, op. cit. (note 15),56,58; GD 42,50-54.
The Tibetan "Wheel of Life": Iconography
and Doxographyl
by Geshe S opa
Had they not been so utterly destroyed, archeology would no
doubt show that the vestibules or anterooms of Indian Bud-
dhist temples belonging at least to the later monasteries such as
Nalanda and VikramasIla were provided with banner paintings
or murals depicting the Buddhist idea of the wheel or round of
sarpsaric existences and its potential reversal, i.e., the bhava-
cakra (Tib. srid pa'i 'khor lo). These paintings were utilized for
demonstrating and teaching the rudiments of Buddhist doc-
trine, As such, the custom persists right up to the present in
Tibetan Buddhist temples, where they are still commonly
found in the vestibule to the right of the temple entry.
This use accords with the prescriptions of the Vinaya con-
cerning the use of paintings in a Buddhist monastery. Here, the
Vinaya-sutra of GUl).aprabha, one of the most authorative works
dealing with the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, the school which
the provides the canon for Tibetan monasticism, says:
In the vestibule make a wheel of samsara.lMake its five
parts/In the upper the gods and four conti-
nents'!Like unto a waterwheel also the death, passage, and
rebirth of apparitionally born (i.e., in the intermediate
state, or bardo,) sentient beings.lAttachment, hatred, and
ignorance in the form of a pigeon, a snake, and a pig at the
center.lIgnorance gnaws on the two former.lAt the rim
the twelve components of dependent origination and
everything held by impermanence.lAt the top the Buddha
points to the full moon of nirval).a./ At the bottom the two
slokas saying, "Gather up ...
Gunaprabha being a direct disciple of Vasubandhu, the
Vinaya-sutra is, of course, a late work. However, GUI)aprabha is
not composing an original treatise, but merely collating and
summarizing the substance of the earlier works of the Vinaya_
pitaka of the. Sarvastivadins.
The beginning of the passage
cited above, for example, is in part a direct quotation from the
earlier "in the vestibule . .. depict a
wheel of sarp.sara.! Depict its five parts.! ... "4 In the Viriaya_
these lines occur as part of a :Story concerning
AnathapiI)<;lika, the wealthy merchant of SravastI who be-
stowed the Jetavana Grove on the Buddha and the sangha.
Here, AnathapiI)<;lika is represented as viewing some of the
buildings in the Jetavana Grove. On finding them to be rather
bare and lusterless, he wishes to provide them with suitable
paintings and murals, to which the Buddha Sakyamuni gives
his consent together with some instructions on what and where
to paint.
In a story which may be found in the
the Buddha while staying in the Bamboo Grove in Rajagrha
asks Ananda why Sariputra and Maudgalyayana are so often to
be seen with such a large following. Ananda replies that Saripu-
tra and Maudgalyayana, being so outstanding, respectively, in
wisdom and psychic power, are both especially adept in demon-
strating the five .. realms of transmigrant beings, from which
teaching the people at large have experienced a very great
benefit. At the end of Ananda's reply, the Buddha, asserting
that this is indeed the reason, goes on to say:
"Anand a, the two great Sariputra Maud- .
galyayana, and those the two great Sariputra .
and Maudgalyayana, wIll not always be present. There-
fore, I advise that a five-part wheel be painted in the vesti-
The Blessed One had stated that a five-part wheel
should be painted in the vestibule, and when the monks
did not understand how to depict it, the Blessed One said,
"The five (kinds of) transients are transients in the hells,
. animal transients, preta transients, transients who are
gods, and transients who are men." .
When the bhiksus did not know what and where to
depict them, the Biessed One said, "At the bottom one
should depict hell-d.enizen, animal, and preta transients.
One also should depICt the Eastern Piirvavldeha, Southern
Jambudvlpa, Western Aparagodanlya, and Northern Ut-
tarakuru. Attachment, hatred, and ignorance should be
depictc:d in The fiQ"ure of the shoul?
be depIcted pomtmg to the futi moon of mrvaI).a. Appan-
tionally-bor!1 ser:tient beings should also be dy-
ing, transmigratmg, and bemg born. At the outer nm, the
twelve members of dependent origination should be de-
picted both forward and reversed, and the whole grasped
by impermanence. One should also paint the two verses,
"Gather up ... an end to suffering."7
Still another story of special interest for our subject is the
tale of U trayana, the king of RaveI).a. 8 In this story, which is also
to be found in the Bhik0unz-vibhailga, the negotiations of some
Magadhan merchants traveling back and forth between the
capital cities of Rajagrha and Raver;a lead to a friendship and
several exchanges of letters and presents between King Bimbi-
sara of Magadha and Utrayana. In the final exchange, King
Utrayana sends to Bimbisara a jewel-studded suit of armor.
King Bimbisara read the letter, and on seeing the
jeweled armor was amazed. He said to his ministers,
"Gentlemen, summon the appraisers of precious things."
When the appraisers began to investIgate the value of
the jeweled armor, each gem individually, on perceiving
that even the value of each was priceless, said to the king,
"Divinity, here even each individual jewel is priceless. The
price of any precious precious thing which cannot in actu-
ality be set is put as 'a krare.' "9
King Bimbisara reckoned its value, and then thinking,
"What shall I send him in return?" became dejected.
Putting his jaw on his hand, he sat and pondered.
Then he saId to his ministers, "Gentlemen, King Utrayana
sent me a gift such as this. What present shall I send him in
Dbyar tshul, a Brahmin belonging to the "big noses"IO
of Magadha said, "Divinity, in your land also there appears
a precious thing more excellent than any in the three
worlds: there is the Tathagata, Arhant, perfectly accom-
plished Buddha, and thou mightest commission the paint-
mg of his bodily form on cloth and send that as a gift in
The king said, "Well then, I shall ask the Blessed
One," and then King Bimbisara went to where the Blessed
One was.
128 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
Upon arriving, he bowed his head to the feet of the
Blessed One and sat down to one side. Having sat down to
one side, King Bimbisara spoke to the Blessed One thus,
"Venerable, a friend whom I have never seen, named
Utrayana, king in the city of Ravel)a, has s ~ n t me as a gift a
jeweled suit of armor having the .five prerequisites. I I
. Therefore, if the Blessed One will allow, I, as well, shall
commission the drawing of the Blessed One's likeness on
fabric and send it to him as a present in return."
The Blessed One spoke, "Great king, I consent. The
thought which you have is a good one. Just as soon as King
Utrayana sees It, he will come to experience faith and to.
perceive the truth." . . . .
King Bimbisara bowed his head to the feet of the
Blessed One, and left the Blessed One's presence. He
brought together the painters who resided throughout the
land and said, "Gentlemen, paint on cloth the bOdily form
of the Blessed One."
They said, "We shall paint it." They tried to capture
the marks of the Blessed One, but because the Buddhas,
the Blessed Ones, do not sate through being seen, they
could not capture the marks of the Blessed One. Then
they were wearied, and having come before the king, said,
"Divinity, we are incapable of capturing the Blessed One's
marks. If the Divinity would invite the Blessed One to
another palace and offer him the noon repast, then we
would be capable of capturing the marks of the Blessed
King Bimbisara invited the Blessed One to another
palace, but even so, when they saw the body of the Blessed
One, they did not become satisfied in looking at this and
that because the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, do not sate by
being seen. Thereupon, as they were unable to capture the
marKs of the Blessed One, the Blessed One said, "Great
king, the painters cannot catch the marks of the Tatha-
gata, so, without making them weary, bring the cloth and I
shall cast my shadow upon it."
The king presented the. fabric, and the Blessed One
cast his shadow on it, and he said to the painters; "Gentle-
men, fill in my shadow here with the various colors."
Also he said to the king, "Great king, when my like-
ness has been completed, underneath paint the refuges,
and the basis of the discipline, and the twelve members of
dependent origination in their order and in reverse. At
the top paint two verses: 'Gather up and cast away. Enter
to the Buddha's teaching. Like a great elephant in a house
of mud, conquer the Lord of Death's batallions. Whoever
with great circumspection, practices this discipline of the
Law, abandoning the wheel of births, will make an end to
suffering.' "12
The story continues at length and tells of the reception of
. the gift of the painting by King Utrayana, his conversion to
Buddhism" the ministry of Katyayana 13 in the royal palace at
R;lveifa, Utrayana's becoming a b h i k ~ u and achieving arhant-
ship, and finally his assassination at the hands of his son,
(?), who in the context of the story serves as an edifica-
tory example of one who by a single action commits two of the
most nefarious sins, parricide and arhanticide.
So much now for some of the subject matter which GUifa-
prabha had before him when he composd the Vinaya-sutra. For
many modern readers, stories of the above type are bound to
seem prima facie anachronistic, insofar as representations of the
Buddha are not supposed to have occurred until centuries later
at Mathura or Gandhara, which produced schools of sculpture,
specimens of which are extant. Our knowledge of early Indian
painting on the other hand is derivable from literary sources
rather than from archeology, and to say that a literary text is
anachronistic solely on the basis of its referring to representa-
tions of the Buddha in the painting of an early period,15 the
very existence of which painting can only be established by such
texts, may simply be putting the cart before the horse. While
the Sarvastivadin canon is recognized as containing much that
is representative of the oldest substratum of Indian Buddhist
literature, I am not in the meantime aware of any in-depth
studies essaying to ascertain the historical statigraphy of either
the Bhik:;unf vibhanga or the Vinaya-k:;udraka-vastu to which I can
refer the reader or myself. Thus, leaving the matter securely in
the hands of art historians, we pass on to the doxography and
full blown iconography, where we are on firm and distinct
ground, for although the actual steps of the development and
integration of all the iconographical elements which constitute
the finished representations of the wheel of life are probably no
longer altogether traceable, the doxographical elements dearly
. represent the essence of the doctrine which the Buddha Sakya-
. muni set in motion in the Deer Park to the five original con-
verts, namely the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths, the means
of elevation in and of a final release from sarpsara, the round of
passage through existences which are implicated m various
types and degrees of sorrow.
Turning then to the symbolism of the fully-developed
vignette of the wheel oflife, which is as show
in the illustration
on page 131, and is described briefly in the' above citation from
GUI)aprabha's Vinaya-sutra: The Lord of Death in the form of a
savage red demon, symbolizing impermanence, grasps a five
(or sometimes six)16 part wheel. At the hub of the wheel, three
animals, a pig, a pigeon and a snake, 17 representing respective_
ly the three poisons of ignorance, attachment, and hatred, form
a ring by each one's grasping the tail of another; or sometimes,
the pig (ignorance) is shown as dominant over the others by his
gnawing on the other two (attachment and hatred). On the
right is the white half of a circle in which are depicted beings in
the intermediate state (bardo) proceeding upwards to birth in
the fortunate regions, and on the left is the black half of the
circle, symbolizing those beings of the intermediate state mov-
ing downward toward miserable births in the unfortunate re-
gions. As for the fortunate and unfortunate regions, these are
the five (or six) parts of the wheel itself, with the regions of the
gods and men in the upper half, and the regions of hell-deni-
zens, pretas, and animals in the lower. In each of the five (or
six) regions are depicted the ills characteristically befalling the
creatures belonging to each. Thus, for instance, among the
gods is shown the death and transmigration-fall of the gods of
the desire world, etc; among the asuras the ills of strife; among
men sickness, old age, and death, etc.; among hell-denizens the
sufferings of heat and cold; among pretas the evils of hunger
and thirst; and among animals the pain of being hunted down,
misused, and slaughtered, etc. In this way the parts of the
wheel illustrate the Buddhist teaching that in whatever region
the birth of a sentient being occurs, the being there will experi-
ence characteristic evils belonging to that region, and in Bud-
dhism, both Hlnayana and Mahayana, long and detailed medi-
tation on these evils is cultivated as an aid to producing a real
aversion to the kind of life which is not free from ills such as
these. Because, according to Buddhism, these lives have their
genesis in a causal sequence of actions, etc., rooted in igno-.
rance, this causal sequence is portrayed through the twelve
members of dependent origination (prat'itya samutpada) on the
Animals Pretas
outer rim of the wheel. As we shall later be devoting greater
length to descriptions of the twelve nidanas or members of de-
pendent origination, they may be enumerated and described
just briefly here as follows:
1. ignorance is symbolized by a blind old Worn_
(karma) formatives bya man producing pots
on a potter's wheel,
consciousness by a monkey,
name-form by passengers in a boat,
the six (sense) organs by an empty house,
contact by children having sexual inter-
feeling by an arrow sticking in the eye,
craving by a man drinking beer,
appropriation by a monkey picking fruit,
becoming by a pregnant woman,
birth by a woman delivering a child, and
old age and death by a man carrying a
In the sky above, the Buddha points with the finger of his
right hand to the full moon, which symbolizes nirvaI).a, or the
truth of cessation, which is freedom from all klesas. At the bot-
tom, and usually in gold letters on a black background, are the
verses cited above: "Gather up and cast away ... will make an
end to suffering."
As for the way in which these inconographic elements sym-
bolise the Four Noble Truths: the five (or six) part maI).Q.ala of
sarp.sara, or transient existences, which are not free of suffer-
ing, represent the truth, or realities, of suffering. IS The three
animals in the center, i.e., the pig, snake, and pigeon, symbolize
its passion genesis, whereas the white and black half-circles
flanking them respectively to the right and the left symbolize its
action genesis. The manner then in which transmigration in
sarp.sara takes place under the sway of passional action 19 is sym-
bolized by the outer ring of the twelve members of dependent
origination. The whole maf,14ala's being held in the mouth and
against the stomach of the Lord of Death symbolizes that inas-
much as none of the above isfree from both suffering and its
cause, none of the above is free from the jaws of death either.
The Buddha standing in the sky above and pointing indicates
the truth of the path, while the verses below express it verbally,
and the full moon to which he points symbolizes the truth of
cessation i.e., nirvaI).a,20 which is free and clear of all the pas-
Among these icono-doxographical elements, the least self-
apparent are the twelve members of de-
pendent whiCh enco.mpass not only the whole of
sarpsara, I.e., suffenngs and theIr geneses, but also, through
reversal, the turning away from sar:p.sara, i.e., cessations and the
paths producing these cessations. Consequently, in dealing with
the doxographical side of the "wheel of life," we need especially
to look at pratitya-samutpada in greater detail.
The Buddhist theory of dependent origination (pratitya sa-
mutpada) is both a general and a special theory, the latter refer-
ring to the twelve-membered chain of dependent origination.
However differently the various schools of Buddhism may view
their deeper implications,21 both the general and the specific
theories are common to all these schools, both Hlnayana and
In all of these, some interpretation of dependent
origination is always a pivotal theory, and consequently the
general theory of dependent origination in particular may cer-
tainly vie with "dharma" and "emptiness" in being put forward
as the "central conception" or "central philosophy" of Bud-
dhism. In such a contest dependent origination ought easily to
The theory of dependent origination cannot, however, as
is sometimes asserted, be altogether treated as a theory of cau-
sality per se, that is to say, "dependent origination = causality."
Indian philosophy did not need to wait for Buddhism to per-
ceive cause and effect and to formulate theories of causality.
What Buddhism did was to apply a quite specific solution to
causal theory and to develop it through several variations
against the background of different philosophical scenarios. In
its most rudimentary formulations, i.e., those of the
kas, the theory of dependent origination maintained a causal
theory in which there is no genesis without a cause and likewise
in which there is no genesis from some kind of permanent
whole or monadic essence, such as were being postulated by the
San;li<.hyas and other early schools. of Indian thought. In its'
most developed and critical formulations, i.e., those of the
Madhyamikas,23 the theory of deperident origination went
yond a theory of causality altogether and maintained that de-
pendent origination means the of anyt.hing
whatsoever as not bemg mdependent, and bemg therdore
empty or devoid of any intrinsic selfhood. In this most devel-
oped theory, inasmuch as such a kind of existence no longer
requires a real genesis, there is no need for a theory of real
causality either, provided, of course, this repudiation of real
causality" is not taken. to allow origination without a cause.
between these most and least rudimentary interpretations of
dependent origination are a number of explanations
require that dependent origination be understood also in terms
of instantaneousness (kjar;,atva). As a consequence of this spec-'
trum of the va:rious interpretations of the, implications of de-
pendent origination within the Buddhist schools themselves, it
is difficult to generalize the meaning of the general theory of
dependent origination except minimally and in negative terms,
i.e., the unanimous refusal of all Buddhist schools to admit as
causes, or as causally efficient,25 certain types of metaphysical
and logical entity, beginning with such partless permanents as
Soul, God, Divine Idea, Universal Principle, etc., which were
being ushered in as explanatory devices by the non-Buddhists.
Possibly, in more positive terms one might venture to say that
the meaning of the general theory of dependent origination is
"genesis in dependence on other then self." Here however, the
exception to such a positive formulation are the Svatantrika
and Prasangika Madhyamikas for whom "existence," which of
course included genesis, needs to be substituted for "genesis,"26
that is to say, "existence in dependence on other than self."27.
Here also in the Madhyamika, the general theory of pratitya
samutpada, already central, receives still a new impetus in being
put forward as the "king of reasons"28 for maintaining the
emptiness (Sunyata) of everything, a subject to which we will
return later.
Whereas for Buddhism pratitya samutpada in general repre-
sents a ground theory through which alone the genesis, etc., of
things both animate and inanimate can become adequately ex-
plicable, the special theory of the twelve members of dependent
. refers only to .the. gen:sis of the living, sentient
ndividual m saqIsaraand -hIS potentIal release. Thus, the teach-
of the twelvefold chain provides a special demonstration of
misery and its origin. Likewise, through its reversal, cessation
and the path of purification are shown, and the twelve links,
forward and reversed, expatiate further the four truths or real-
ities which are the and most honorable
field of vision
of the Buddhist saint, or Aryan individual. Consequently, since
this twelvefold linkage shares such an intimate relation with the
Four Noble Truths, meditation on these twelve has provided
Buddhists everywhere with an important and time-honored
method of generating and stabilizing the mental attitude of
revulsuion from sarpsara and of initiating and ripening the
path of purification in their own mental continuums; Also, the
abandonment of the nonvirtues, or the unwholesome,; and the
acquirement of the virtues, or the wholesome, cultivated on the
basis of insight into the twelve members of dependent origina-
tion is said to bring about the result of an amelioration of suf-
fering and an elevation within sarpsara itself, even before the
ripening of that steady aspiration for the highest good, the
manifold of cessation which is liberation from all the klesas,
whether or perfect Buddhahood itselPO Elevation
within sar:p.sara and the attainment of the highest good
are, in
simple religious terms, the reasons for the teaching of the Four
Noble Truths and likewise the reasons for the special theory of
dependent origination.
However, while the common religious denominator remains
the same for all the Buddhist schools, there are among them
significant metaphysical and logical differences regarding the
precise kind of entity to which the twelve members are to be
referred, as well as the specifics of their mode of linkage, rela-
tions, etc. Again, we have four main types of theory affecting
. determination of the nature of the twelve, corresponding to the
four schools, the the Sautrantika, the Y ogacara,
and the Prasangika Madhyamika, with the Svatantrika Madhya-
mika divided between sharing some of the theories of the Sau-
trantika or the Y ogacara. The relevant to these is to
be found scattered throughout numerous sutras and commen-
The sutras include the Vinaya-pitaka of the Sarvastivada, etc.;
the commentaries include the Abhidharmakosa of Vasubandhu
the Abhidharmasamuccaya of Asanga, etc. There are, however'
several works in both the above classes which are worth
tioning here, as they are devoted just to the topics of the twelve
components of dependent origination and are consequently of
special interest to our subject. The first of these is the Pratltyasa_
mutpada-vibhanga-nirdesa-sutra, a short sutra of the Hlnayana in
which the Buddha Sakyamuni addresses an assemblage of
monks in the J etavana Grove in SravastL Here, he sets forth
very briefly the theory of dependent origination and delineates
in a highly abbreviated manner its twelve components. This
work is the subject of extensive commentary by Vasubandhu.
Another quite important sutra dealing with dependent
origination is the Salistamba-sutra, a sutra of the Mahayana. This
sutra is a Mahayanization or interpretation from the Maha-
yana point of view of the famous utterance of the Buddha,
that whoever perceives dependent origination perceives the
Dharma, and whoever perceives the Dharma perceives the
Buddha. Here the scene is laid at the Vulture Peak in Rajagrha,
where the Buddha is present with twelve hundred and fifty
and numerous bodhisattvas. The principal speaker is
Maitreya. The venerable Sariputra, having approached the
Bodhisattva Maitreya, states that the Buddha on pointing to a
rice plant seedling said, "Who see dependent origination sees
the Dharma. Who sees the Dharma sees the Buddha," and
Sariputra goes on to ask Maitreya the questions, What is depen-
dent origination? What is the Dharma? What is the Buddha?
etc. The rest of the sutra is devoted to Maitreya's response to
these questions. There is the theory of dependent origination
in general, and then an external and an internal dependent
origination, the latter being synonymous with the specific. The
external dependent origination espouses a theory of causality
which is as illustrious for what it disallows as for what it permits
to function as the substratum of what we call "a cause," and the
internal dependent origination plumbs to the very depths the
meaning of that nescience, the first of the twelve components,
which is the root of rebirth in sarpsara, and which is reversed by
the Aryan path. The Dharma itself is to be identified with the
eight-fold path together with nirval)a, the eight-fold path being
synecdochic for the entire Aryan path. The Buddha is to be
explained as the attainer of the fruition of this path in a perfect
enlightenment, or state of omniscience.
Thus, through real-
ization of dependent origination, i.e., the Four Noble Truths,
one comes to realize the Aryan path, and through realization of
the Aryan path one comes to realize the goal of that path, which
is nirviiQa and omniscience itself, and this is the meaning of
. perceiving depend,en.t origination., then Dharma, and then
the Buddha. The Salzstamba-sutra IS a major Mahayana work, so
extensively quoted by such acaryas as Candraklrti and Santi-
deva as to permit Prof. N .A. Sastri to reconstruct (Arya Sali-
stamba Sutra, edited by N.A. Sastri, Adyar Library, Madras,
1950.) nearly the entire sutra in Sanskrit utilizing such citations
and following the order of the Tibetan translation. The sutra
has also been versified by Nagarjuna as the Salistambaka-karika
and commented on by him in the Salistambaka-sutra-tika.
Another short but important commentary on dependent
origination by N agarjuna is the Pratityasamutpada-hrdaya-karika
and his autocommentary, the Pratityasamutpada-hrdaya-vya-
Here, the general theory of dependent origination
supports the inference of emptiness (Sunyata) , and the twelve
components are treated briefly from the point of view of the
passions (kleia) , actions (karma), and sufferings (dul;kha).
The remaining works especially in need of mention are the
. commentaries of Vasubandhu, i.e., from the point
of view, the Abhidharmakosa Book III, and from the Yogacara
point of view the Pratityasamutpadadivibhanga-nirdesa, his com-
mentary on the Pratityasamutpada-vibhanga-nirdeia-sutra.
Vasubandhu's commentaries a great deal of Sautrantika expla-
nation also appears by way of expatiation of points of contro-
versy between schools.
Thus, in the above works the basic theory of dependent
origination appears together with a variety of interpretations,
both Hlnayana and Mahayana, and representative of the four
The rudiments of the theory of dependent origination are
set forth so succinctly in the Pratityasamutpada-vibhanga-nirdeia-
sutra as to provide a kind of chart of the subject matter:
, This I once heard: The Blessed One was staying in
Sravastl at the J etavana Grove of AnathapiDc;lika. Then,
138 JIARS VOL. 7 NO.1
the Blessed One said to the "1 shall teach primary
dependent origination and its subsets. May you bear in
mind what you listen to welL
"What is primary dependent origination? It is thus'
When this exists, that arises. Because -this was born, that
appears. Thus, on account of nescience, formatives come
to arise; on account of formatives, consciousness; on ac-
count of consciousness, name and form; on accOunt of
name and form, the six organs; on account of the six or-
gans, contact; on account of contact, feeling; on account of
feeling, craving; on account of craving, appropriation; on
account of appropriation, mode of existence; on accOunt
of mode of existence, birth; on account of birth, old age
and death and grief and lamentation and misery and dIS-
content and distress. Therefore, just this great mass of
suffering comes to arise. This is primary dependent origi-
"What are the subsets of dependent origination?
What is the nescience of which it is said, 'on account of
nescience, formatives'? Not knowing the limits of the past,
and not knowing the limits of the future, and not knowing
the limits of the past and future, and not knowing the
internal, and not knowing the external, and not knowing
the internal and the external, and not knowing actions,
and not knowing maturations, and not knowing actions
and their maturations, and not knowing the Buddha, and
not knowing the Dharma, and not knowing the Sangha,
and not knowing misery, and not knowing its genesis, and
not knowing its cessation, and not knowing the path, and
not knowing cause, and not knowing the entIty which
arises from a cause, and not knowing virtue and nonvir-
tue, and not knowing transgression and non transgression,
and the to-be-cultivated and the not-to-be-cultivated, and
evil, and the illustrious, and the black, and the white, and
dependent origination together with its subsets, and not
comprehending exactly wnat are the six organs of contact,
and not knowing exactly that one as that one, and not
seeing, and not realizing, and not fathoming, and totally
not fathoming, and not recognizing-and these so-called
aspects of darkness are 'nescience' so-called.
"What are the formatives of which it is said, 'on ac-
count of nescience, formatives'? These formatives are
threefold, What are the three? Formatives of the body,
and formatives of the speech, and formatives of the mind.
"What is the consciousness of which it is said, 'on ac-
count of formatives, consciousness'? The six different
consciousnesses, i.e., visual consciousnesses, auditory cons-
ciousnesses, and olfactory, and gustatory, and tactile, and
rIlental' consciousnesses.
"What is the name and form of which it is said, 'on
account of consciousness, name and form'? The four
heaps of noncorporeals, i.e., the heap of feelings, the heap
of diseriminatings, the heap of formatives, the heap of
consciousnesses. What is form? All [things] whatsoever
that are form are the four great elements and the products
of the four great elements, and this form joined together
with the above name is name and form.
"What are the six organs of which it is said, 'onac-
count of name and form, the six organs'? The six inner
organs, i.e., the inner organs of sight, of hearing, of smell,
of taste, of touch, and of mentals.
"What is the contact of which it is said, 'on account of
the six organs, contact'? The six variant contacts, i.e.,join-
ing of the visual (organ, object, and consciousness),. of the
auditiory, of the olfactory, of the gustatory, of the tactile,
and the joining of the mental (organ, object, and con-
sciousness) .
"What is the feeling of which it is said, 'on account of
contact feeling'? Feeling is threefold: well-being, misery,
and neither well-being nor misery.
"What is the cravmg of which it is said, 'on account of
feeling, craving'? Craving is threefold: the cravings of the
desire world, the cravings of the form world, and the crav-
ings of the formless world.
"What is the appropriation of which it is said, 'on ac-
count of craving, appropriation'? Appropriation is four-.
fold: appropriatIOn of the desirable, appropriation of the
ideological, appropriation of ethics and ethos, and appro-
priations of the theory of a self.
"What is the existence of which it is said, 'on account
of appropriation, mode of existence'? Mode of existence is
threefold: desire world mode of existence, form world
mode of existence, and formless world mode of existence.
"What is the birth of which it is said, 'on of
mode of existence, birth'? The birth of these and those
particular kinds of these and those particular sentient be-
mgs, and their very birth, and transformation, and ad-
vanced evolvement, and full evolvement, and their attain-
ment of the respective skandhas (the psycho-physical
aggregations), and attainment of the respective dhatus
(sense organs and their organs and consciousnesses), and
attainment of the respective ayatanas (sense organs and
their objects), and the confirmation of the skandhas, and
the full evolvement of the vital faculty; these are 'birth.'
"What is the aging and death of which it is said 'on
account of birth, aging and death'? Baldness, and white
hair, and o-athering of wrinkles, and being withered, and
feeble, and bent like an ox drinking water, the body filled
with dark drops, and coughing up mucous together with
wheeziness of breathing, and havmg movements like fall-
ing forward, and having recourse to a walking stick, and
bemg stupefied by dullness, and declining, and deteriorat_
ing, and being decrepit, and the faculties being debilitated
and decayed, and the compositions being old-and this
becoming very old is age. What is death? The transference
of this and that particular kind of this and that
sentient being, and their redirection, and disintegration
and the loss of subject, and the loss of the life, and
disappearance of heat, and the cessation of the vital facul-
ty,. and, the separation the and
dymg-and thIS completIOn of one's tIme IS death. This
deatn together with the above age is called 'age and death.'
"These are the subsets of dependent origination.
"Monks, I said that I would explain the primary de-
pendent origination and its subsets, and this speech of
mine is for that."
Thus, the above-cited sutra is almost entirely devoted to
the specific theory of dependent origination. However, the
general theory is also introduced and its essentials delineated in
the three statements following the question, "What is primary
dependent origination?" i.e., "When this exists, that arises,"
"Because this was born, that appears," and "Thus, on account
of nescience, formatives come to arise ... etc." This third state-
ment, while it serves to introduce the specific theory, also shows
a feature of the general theory.
"When this exists, that arises" (asmin sati idam bhavati) is the
most classical way of stating the general theory, and it formu-
lates the Buddhist predilection to maintain as causative some-
thing which is manifestly or ascertainably present in a cause-
and-effect situation, like seed, etc., as a cause for a sprout, or
fire, etc., as a cause for smoke, rather than nonapparent but
allegedly operative theistic principles such as the Will or
Thought of a Creator. Vasubandhu, in his commentary37 on
the above sutra, calls this characteristic of dependent origina-
tion "unmoved" or "unimpelled" (yo ba med ba), i.e., unmoved
from without by any universal conscious design. The second
taternent, "Because this was born, that appears," indicates that
:he entity which can function as a cause is itself something
impermanent and never a permanent, inasmuch as it is itself
something born .. By the same token, it rejects the casual effi-
ciency of many kinds of permanent, albeit atheistic, metaphysi-
cal entities postulated as causes by non-Buddhists, postulates
such as Universal Matter, Natural Law, etc. This second charac-
teristic of dependent origination is simply designated "imper-
manence." Finally, the third, "On account of nescience, forma-
tives, come to, arise .... " shows a third characteristic of the
general theory, usually referred to as "potentiality," that is to
say that all things cannot be the causes of all things, but only
certain things may be singled out as the causes of other things,
namely, when they can be ascertained to have the potential to
produce those things. Thus, for instance, nescience can be sin-
gled out as a cause of formatives because without nescience
formatives can no longer arise or be produced.
With this we are brought to a detailed examination of the
twelve components, which will be taken up in the second part of
this paper.
1. This paper was undertaken as the first of two, or maybe three, pro-
jected papers dealing primarily with the various aspects of the Buddhist idea
of dependent origination (prat'itya samutpiida). I would like to thank Elvin W.
Jones for his editorial and literary assistance in the preparation of this paper.
2. sgo khang du 'khor ba'i 'khor lo'ol cha lnga par bya'ol gling bzhi po dag gal
rjus te skye ba'i sems can zo chun rgyud mo bzhin du 'chi 'phD ba dang skye ba dag kyang
ngol dbus su 'dod chags dang zhe sdang dang gti mug dag phug ron dang spTUl dang
phag gi rnam par rol sngama de gnyis gti mug gis za bar rol kho ra khor yug tu rten
cing 'brel bar 'byrung ba'i ye lag bcu gnyis dang thams cad mi rtag pa nyid kyis bzang
bar rol steng du sangs rgyas my a ngan las 'das pa'i dkyil 'khor dkar po nye bar stan pa'ol
'og tu brtsam par bya ba'i tshigs su bchad pa gnyis sol (Gunaprabha, Vinaya-sutra).
3. The Sarvastivada is one of the four main schools which subsume the
eighteen subschools of the Hlnayana. Its scriptural literature is sometimes
refered to as the Sanskrit Canon in contradistinction to the Pali Canon. It was
in its Sarvastivadin form that Buddhist monasticism entered Tibet, and its
rules and prescriptions regulating monastic life are to be found in its Vinaya-
pi!aka, or collection of scripture dealing with monastic discipline. This collec-
tion of works is generally held to be on a par in antiquity with the Pali Canon,
142 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
the scriptural collection of the Theravadins, who are in turn a modern surviv_
er of another of the four main schools subsuming the original eighteen sub_
schools of the Hiriayana, i.e., the Sthaviravadins.
4. "Sgo klUlng du ni cho 'phrui chen po dang '/durr ba'i 'Idurr to chll inga pal
kh.'Yam ,I'll ni skyes pa'i mbs k.'Yi phreng ba . ... " "In the vestibule, depict the great
magical feats (referring to the contest in mircle workings between the BUddha
and the tTrthilws) and the five part wheel of saqlsara; in the hallway the series
of birth stories (Jata}a) .... " Nyingma Edition of sDe dge 'bka 'gyur (here-
after sDe dge) (Dharma Publishing, 1981), bKa' 'gym, Vinaya, Vol. 4, Pg. 114,
fo!' I.
5. The Vinaya-k.!fudraka-vastu, the basis of a miscellany of monastic train_
ing, is devoted to numerous topics dealing with monasteries and monasticism
and is the third of the four main works of the Sarvastivadin Vinaya.
6. The Bhik.!funz-vibhanga and the Bhik.!fu vibhanga constitute the vibhanga
division, or second of the four main works of the Sarvastivadin Vinaya. These
two works are commentaries on the Pratimok.!fa siitras, and they expatiate at
length the details of the individual precepts which constitute the vows for
nuns and monks respectively. The two vibhangas, and also the above-cited
Vinaya-k.!fttdraka-vastu, contain numerous stories of the comings and goings of
the teacher Sakyamuni through the towns of the kingdoms of Magadha,
Kosala, Kosambi, Ailga, etc.
'The story from which we are citing occurs as a part of a discussion of the
question of whether a monk may work for gain and compensation, The
Utrayana story, from which we shall cite a little later, forms part of the
discussion prescribing the behavior of a monk residing in a royal court.
7. kun dga'bo thams cad du dge slong sari'i bu dang/ mod gal gyi bu chen po gnyis
dang/ shari'i bu dang/ mod gal gyi bu chen bo gnyis ita bu dag mi 'byung bas de'i phyir
sgo khang du cha lnga pa'i 'khor 10 bri bar rjes su gnang ngo// bcom ldan 'das kyis sgo
khang du cha lnga pa'i 'khor 10 bri bar byao// zhes bka' stsal nasi dge slong rnams kyis
ji ltar bri ba mi shes nas becom ldan 'das kyis bka' stsal pal 'gro ba lnga po sems can
dmyal ba'i 'gro ba dang/ dud 'gro'i 'gro ba dang/ yi dags kyi 'gro ba dang/ lha'i gro ba
dang/ mi'i 'gro ba bri bar byao// dge slong rnams kyis gang du bri bar bya ba mi shes
nas be om ldan 'das kyis bka' stsal pal mthar sems can dmyal ba dang/ dud 'gro dang/ yi
dags kyi 'gro ba bri bar byao// shar gyi lus 'phags dang/ nub kyi ba lang spyod dang/
byang gi sgra mi snyan dang/ 'dzam bu'i gling yang bri bar byao// dbus su 'dod chags
dang/ zhe sdang dang/ gti mug dag bri bar byao// sangs rgyas kyi sku gzugs my a ngan
las 'das pa'i dkyil 'khor dkar po ston par bri bar byao// rdzus te skyes pa'i sems can zo
chun gryud ma'i tshul gyis 'chi 'pho ba dang skye ba dag kyang bri bar byao// khor yug
tu rte'n cing 'breI bar 'byung ba'i yan lag bcu gnyis lugs su 'byung ba dang lugs las bziog
pa dag bri bar bya zhing thams cad mi rtag pas bzung bar bri bar byao// tshigs su bead
pa gnyis pol brtsam par bya zhing byung bar bya// sangs rgyas bstan la 'jug par bya//
'dam bu'i khyim la glang chen bzhin// 'chi bdag sde ni gzhom par bya// gang zhig rab
tu bag yod bar// ehos 'dul 'di la spyod 'gyur ball skye ba'i 'khor ba rab spang nas// sdug
bsngal tha mar byed par 'gyur// zhes bya ba yang bri bar byao// sDedge, Vinaya,
Vo!. 3, p. 196, Fols. 3 ff.)
8. The Tibetan sgra sgrogs is probably translating the Sanskrit Riive1!a;
however, at the time of writing this paper I have not been able to ascertain
his definitely. At any rate, the King U trayana of Sgra sgrogs in our story is
t ertainly not Udayana of Vatsa, whose capital was Kosambi. This Utrayana
Cppears in the Tibetan translation of the vibhanga as U tra ya na, whereas
0dayana appears in the same as Shar ba'i bu. Likewise, Vatsa appears here in
Tibetan in its transliterated form Ba tsa, and Kosambi in its transliterated
form, Ko sham bi. The story places Sgra sgrogs far to the west of Magadha, in
the borderlands, and obviously outside of the Ganges basin. In the meantime,
and at least until determining the Sanskrit place name with greater certainty,
the writer tends to think of it as somewhere in the region of Oddiyana or of
9. A krore, i.e., ten millions, the upper limit of counting in the Indian
number system which is being utilized in the story.
10. "Big noses" is an expression refering to municipal officials and the
11. The five prerequisites of a fine suit of armor, i.e. comfortable to
wear for whatever time, difficult to cut, difficult to pierce, turning away
poisons, and presenting a splendid appearance: dus tshigs SIb reg pa bde ba dang/
gcad dka' ba dang/ dbug dka' ba dang/ dug jil ba dang/ snang ba'i bdag nyid dang
ldan pa. (sDe dge, lac. cit.)
12. Rgyal po chen po sku gzugs byas zin nas 'og tu skyabs su 'gro ba dang bslab
pa'i gzhi dang rten cing 'brel par 'byung ba'i yan lag bw gnyis lugs su 'byung ba dang
lugs las bzlog pa dag bri bar byao. Steng du tshigs su bcad pa gnyis pol brtsam par bya
zhing 'byung par bya/ sangs rgyas bstan la jug par bya/ 'dam bu'i khyim la glang chen
bzhing/ 'chi bdag sde ni gzhom par bya/ gang zhig rab tu bag yod pari chos 'dul 'di la
spyod 'gyur ba/ skye ba'i 'khor ba rab spang nasi sdug bsngal tha mar byed par 'gyur/
zhes bya ba dag bri bar byao/ (sDe dge, Vinaya, vol. 3, p. 196, fo!' 4.)
In the above cited passage, as in the other passage cited from the same
work (cf. note 7), there is no indication as to how the twelve members of
dependent origination were to be represented, or if, in fact, they were to be
represented at all beyond being indicated by their names rather than by being
portrayed by symbolic vignettes.
13. The Venerable Katyayana, a direct disciple of the Buddha Sakya-
14. The Tibetan Gtsug pud can may be translating the Sanskrit Ci"u!a.
15. It is interesting to note that the subject matter alluded to in the above
texts is generally narrative, and in the instance of our proto-wheel of life,
didactic rather than iconic. This accords well with the earliest Buddhist sculp-
ture and suggests at least the possibility of a school or schools of Buddhist
painting as antecedents to narrative sculpture. Unfortunately, even represen-
tatives of later Indian Buddhist painting are not exactly plentiful. A painting
of the Wheel of Life does appear in the caves at Ajanta.
16. In the five-part wheel, the gods (devas) and the countergods (asuras),
who are also a class of deva, are depicted together in the same part or section.
However, the devas and the asuras are depicted as belonging to different
sections or parts when the wheel is six-part.
17. In paintings of the wheel of life, it is not uncommon to find another
bird than the pigeon, especially the cock. The pigeon, however, conforms to
the Vinaya.
144 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
18. In Buddhism, misery is threefold: first, the misery of actual
suffering; second, the misery of instability or change, especially change from
a happy or fortunate condition to an inferior one; and third, the misery of an
all-pervasive conditioned ness whereby the destinies of sentient beings are
brought about through the autonomous workings of other forces and powers,
i.e., karma and klesa, quite independent of their own control. In the wheel of
life, the first of these three kinds of misery is shown throughout the five (or
six) parts and pervades even the gods as far as the desire world. The second
kind appears among the gods of the form world (rupadhtitu), and the third
among the gods of the formless world (arupyadhtitu):
19 .... "under the sway of passional action" because according to Bud-
dhism mere action will not bring about rebirth in sarpsara. Such birth is
brought about only through actions given direction by the power of the
passions (klesa). In this sense, actions are like seeds and the passions the
necessary conditions for their germination and production of fruit. Conse-
quently, the arhant when he has uprooted the klesas, even though he still has
the seeds of countless actions accumulated during an immeasurable past, does
not experience rebirth in sarpsara, i.e., in an existence touched by sorrow,
because his plenitude of germinal potential is given no further opportuity for
fructification, on account of his conquest of the passions. Thus, passional
action is envisaged as essentially fivefold, that is the three root passions of
ignorance, attachment, and aversion, together with two kinds of action,
namely, seeding actions and germinative actions. In another way, actions and
passions are sometimes compared to a father and a mother, respectively, as in
the famous or figurative utterance of the Buddha, that one
should kill one's father and mother in order to gain purification. As this
passional action is a major feature within the twelve members of dependent
origination, we shall have occasion to return to it at length later in the main
body of the paper.
20. Cessation is a manifold, i.e., the cessations of all of these and those
particular passions (kleSa) belonging to the desire, form, and. formless worlds.
The most significant of all these cessations is nirvaIfa itself, which is emanci-
pation from all the kleSas.
2l. There is both an explicit and an implicit theory of dependent origi-
nation. Whereas the former is closer to the letter of the sutras, the latter has
given rise to greater depth of philosophical interpretation.
22. All these schools, both Hinayana and Mahayana, i.e.,
Sautrantika, Yogacara, and Madhyamika, and the various subschools sub-
sumed by each.
23. "most developed and critical" may properly be said, especially if one
takes into account not only its Indian developments but also its continuations
in Tibet.
24. i.e., those of the Sautrantikas and the Yogacarins, e.g., Asanga's
Abhidharmasamuccaya on the eleven meanings of pratitya samutpada: "The
meaning of genesis in dependence on or in relation to is without a Creator;
genesis having a cause; without a Sentient Being; under the control of other
(than self); unimpelled (by any Design); impermanent; instantaneous; a con-
tinuum of cause and effect; a conformity between cause and effect; a mani-
fold of causes and an effect; and an ascertain ability as to particular causes.
These are the meanings of dependent origination" (Eyed pa po med pa'i don ni
den cing 'brel bar 'byung ba'i don dang / rgyu dang bcas pa les 'byung ba'i don dang/
sems can med pa'i don dang/ gzhan gyi dbang gyis don dang/ gyo bad med pa'i don
dang/ mi rtagpa'i don dang! skyed cit ma'i don dang/ rgyud dang 'bras du rgyun mi
'chad pa'i don 4ang/ rgyu dang 'bras bu mthun pa'i don dang/ rgyu dang 'bras bu sna
tshogs pa'i don dang/ rgyu dang /bras bu so sor nges pa'i don gyi rten cing 'brel bar
'byung ba'i don noll ) (cited from block print in author's possession).
25. "causally efficient" = arthakriyasamarthya.
26. In all school of Buddhism except the Madhyamika, dependent origi-
nation refers only to the kind of entity which has a genesis (i.e., sarrzskrta
dharma), whereas in the Madhyamika it refers to all entitles (saTVadharma,
including asarrzskrta dharma).
27. i.e., existence in dependence on parts.
28. Various acaryas of the Mahayana have eulogized the Buddha, espe-
cially through praise of the teaching of dependent origination, e.g., Nagar-
juna in the initial sloka of the Madhyamaka-karikas.
29. "a most honorable or noble field of vision of the Buddhist saint or
Aryan individual" because explicitly for the Hlnayana, but also, albeit implic-
itly for the Mahayana, it is the immediate perceiving of the truth of suffering
which initiates the Aryan path, that is to say the transformation of the yogin
from the vulgar (Prthagjana) to the noble (arya) individual.
30. i.e., the highest or supreme good as envisaged by the Hlnayana and
the Mahayana respectively. Although the ideas symbolized in the wheel of
life, the four truths, the twelve nidanas, etc., per se suggest the Hlnayana, there
is nothing here which is not equally the Mahayana, especially in the light of
Nagarjuna's commentary on the twelve members of pratftya samutpada, a topic
to which we shall retu'rn subsequently.
31. Elevation, or the attainment of a better destiny, in saJTlsara = nilJ-
sreyasa (mngon par mtho bal. The highest or supreme good = abhyudaya (nges
par legs pal.
32. Here in the sutra "omniscience" has a quite special sense of "knowl-
edge of all the factors leading to existence in saJTlsara and all the factors
conducive to emancipation." In this sense the Buddha as the realizer of nirva-
I).a, the goal of the Aryan path, is also a realizer of omniscience, and there is
here the very apparent parallelism from dependent origination through the
dharma to the Buddha.
33. Cf. sDe dge, bstan 'gyur, Sutranta, v. 74, pp. 10-11.
34. Cf. sDe dge, bstan 'gyur, Madhyamika, v. 68, p. 74 ff.
35. Cf. sDe dge, bstan 'gyur, sutranta, v. 74, p. 264.
36. My translation is from the Peking edition: Tibetan Tripitaka, Peking
Edition, ed. D.T. Suzuki (Tokyo-Kyoto, 1957), V. 34, p. 306.
37. Although Vasubandhu's commentary is a Yogacarin work his com-
ments on this and the two following features of the general theory are com-
mon to all Buddhist schools.
38. Cf. note 1.
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Notes on the Buddha's Threats In the
Dzgha Nikaya
by A. Syrkin
The Pali canonical texts (and particularly those of the
"Longer Sayings," Digha nikaya) provide us with rich evidence
on the Buddha's image. We often find here (DN 11.8; II1.1.2;
IV.6; a.o.) his typical characteristics: "an Arahat, fully awak-
ened .. , abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with
knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals
willing to be led, the teacher of gods and men" (araha'r{t samma-
sambuddho sugato loka-vidu anuttaro purisa-
damma-sarathi, sattha deva-manussana'r{t . .. ).1 Apart from these
characteristics, there are numerous data not only on the Bud-
dha's activity as preacher and tutor, but on his everyday life as
well, on his habits, his relations with different people-monks,
laymen, etc. All this evidence has been frequently treated in
scientific and popular literature. There is, however, a certain
t:r:ait of the Buddha's behaviour which has not been analysed
sufficiently. Insignificant as it may seem in the broad context of
the cardinal Buddhological problems, it repeats itself more
than once in the canonical scripture and is closely connected
with the principal function of the "fully awakened" arahat.
The image of the Buddha necessarily presupposes the sal-
utary activity of a preacher. His characteristics, partly quoted
above, describe him as an incomparable tutor (sarathi) of men,
teacher (sattha) of gods and. men, etc. A major part of his life
was dedicated to preaching the Dharma, and his teachings,
constituting the essence of the canonical scripture, contain rich
material for analysing the Buddha's didactical methods. With
respect to these methods, one can stress here the evidently
pragmatic character of the Buddha's approach to his listeners,
whose intellect, morals, social position, etc., he usually took into
J lABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
It has already been noted, in particular, that the
Buddha resorted to different means of instruction, combining
"flexibility and order, authority and freedom," etc.
this combination we can note here a peculiar device of the
Buddha's argumentation which permits one to speak of Some
specific traits of the teacher's image.
In the third sutta of DN (Ambattha sutta-DN III. I. 19 sq.),
arguing with young Ambattha, who places brahmal).as above
the Buddha threatens his opponent: "If you do not
give a clear reply, or go off upon another issue, or remain
silent, or go away, then your head will split into pieces on the
spot" (sattadhii muddhiiphalissati). Ambattha is unable to give
explanations (regarding his own family) and the Buddha re-
peats his question, together with the threat, adding that such is
the punishment for those who do not "answer a reasonable
question put by a Tathagata" thrice. Hereupon, as an embodi-
ment of this threat, a godly spirit, yakkha, appears in the sky
bearing a thunderbolt and ready to split the youth's head; and
Ambattha, "terrified, startled and agitated," seeks protection
from the Buddha, acknowledging him to be right.
The subse-
quent repetition and justification of this threat by the Buddha,
together with the apparition of the menacing yakkha, evidently
makes this idiom not so harmless as T.W. Rhys Davids supposes
The unprejudiced reader gets an impression that Ambattha
does not perish (like Sakalya in BU III.9. 26-cf. below) only
because he repents at the right time.
A similar use of these words is found in the Cu(asaccakasutta
("Lesser discourse to Saccaka"), MN no. 35. The Buddha thrice
asks a certain Saccaka (called also Aggivessana) a question con-
cerning the material shape of the Self (as we see, the dispute is
much more abstract here than in DN III), and adds hereupon:
"Whoever, Aggivessana, on being asked a legitimate question
up to the third time by the Tathagata does not answer, verily
his skull splits into seven pieces." Then, Ambattha's situation is
repeated: a menacing yakkha with the thunderbolt appears,
confirming the Buddha's threat, and frightened Saccaka also
seeks protection from the Buddha.
An analogous expression is found in Kutadanta sutta (DN
V, 21), where the same argument again proves to be effective:
the brahmal).3. Kiltadanta confirms his approval of the Bud-
t:dha's- words "for he who approves not as well-said that which
thas been well spoken by the samar;,a Gotama, verily his head
,"would split in twain" (muddha pi tassa vipateyya).7 A similar threat
iis mentioned in Patika sutta (DNno. 24), where it appears in a
noteworthy context. The Buddha, with evident satisfaction tells
here about the disgraceful defeat of certain naked ascetics
(acela): Korakkhattiya (1.7 sq.), who behaved like a dog and was
reborn among asuras; Kandaramasuka (1.11 sq.), who died an
inglorious death in spite of his austerities; and, finally, Patika-
putta (1.16 sq.) whom he repeatedly threatened in the same
"head-splitting" way alluding to the god's will (1.16; 18: muddha
pi tassa vipateyyati). He continues to relate mockingly how Pati-
kaputta decided to approach him, saying: "1 am coming,
friend, I am coming," writhed about then and there and was
unable to rise from his seat" (1.21 sq.: 2.2 sq.). This humiliating
detail appears here as a result of miraculous power exercised by
the Buddha (cf. below, note 25). Ridiculous rather than fatal,
this detail is repeated many times in a style typical of Pali ca-
'nonical texts, whereupon the Buddha (again, repeatedly) com-
pares Patikaputta to a jackal, who, deeming himself to be the
king of beasts and imitating the lion's roar (a usual metaphor
for the Buddha's sermon), emitted but "a puny jackal's whine"
(2.8 sq.).8
There are a number of analogous expressions in Pali ca-
nonical literature, serving here evidently as a common threat,
oath, or conjuration. Their idiomatic proverbial character does
however, as we have seen, exclude the belief in their efficiency.
In most cases these words are pronounced by other people. An
interesting example is found in the Sutta-nipata (V. 1). Here,
one brahmal)a threatens another who will not give him alms:
"sace me yacamanassa bhavaTfl nanupadassati sattame divase tuyhaTfl
muddha phalatu sattadha" (983; cf. a characteristic device of the
number symbolism). It appears, however, that this oath is inef-
fective in the present case, whereupon the cursed brahmal)a
seeks its explanation, which can be given by the Buddha alone
(987 sq.; 1004 sq.). The Buddha's answer (1026) presents a
kind of metaphorical interpretation, seemingly more compati-
ble with his doctrine: "Ignorance (avijja) is the head, know this;
knowledge (vijja) cleaves the head, together with belief,
thoughtfulness, meditation, determination and strength"9 (this
allegory seems somewhat inconsistent with the spirit of the
scenes from Ambattha or Patika suttas mentioned above). This
explanation has some analogies in Pali canonical tradition-so,
according to the Dhammapada, "The knowlecige (iiattam) that a
fool acquires, far from being to his advantage, destroys his
bright share of merit and cleaves his head" (72).10 Another
parallel is found at Milinda paiiha IV.2.2S: "If anyone, out of
jealousy, were to rise up any obstacle in that case, then would
his head split into a hundred or into a thousand pieces"ll (ac-
cording to the context, the violation of the prescribed order of
alms-giving is meant here-cf. Sutta-nipata, 983 sq.).
There also are examples of the "head-splitting" curse used
proverbially-as a punishment for different transgressions but
without direct connection with Buddhist teaching. Such are,
e.g., conditional conjurations in the Jatakas-in case of a delib-
erate lie ("if my lips are speaking lies, then burst my head in
seven"---J 489); as a punishment for eating a human being a
S13; S19; 537-ogres are meant here); for killing a friend a
SI8); etc.
InSarrtyutta nikaya II, l.9 Rahu, lord of asuras, is
afraid of the Buddha's exhortation (though containing no
threat) to set the moon (Candima) at liberty (a myth
serving as an explanation of lunar eclipses) and says: "Now let
my head in seven pieces rive, Ne'er let me happy be while yet I
live. If, had I not let Candima go free, The Buddha's verse had
not demolished me."l3 In a later text of the Dhammapada com-
mentary (DhammapadaUhakatha, ca.4S0 A.D.) we find several
examples of similar usage-cf. 1. 1 (for non-assistance of "a sin-
abhorring Law-revering Elder"); 1.3 (a mutual curse of two
ascetics, one of them, Narada, being the Buddha himself in his
former birth); 1.11; etc.
It seems, however, that this formula
goes beyond the sphere of purely idiomatic proverbial usage
and also requires (especially in DN and MN) an "extraphilologi-
cal" approach. One can be reminded here of some interesting
parallels, both verbal and functional, beyond the Buddhist tra-
In this connection we shall briefly touch upon some traits
of admonition in Hindu sruti texts-the early These
traits again look rather unexpected within the framework of
precepts intended to lead to the highest bliss. So the words of
Yajiiavalkya (one of the most authoritative and esteemed
sages who, now and then, preaches the
truth) about Atman are concluded in BU III.9.26 (cf. SB
XI.6.3.II) with a curse on his opponent Sakalya, whose guilt
consists only of ignorance. Muchlike the Buddha, Yajnavalkya
says that Sakalya's head will fall off (murdha te vipati-iyati) if he
does not answer his question (concerning the highest Being
taught in the puru-iam).15 It is not blus-
ter: Sakalya is unable to answer, his head falls off arid robbers
take away his bones. SB XI.6.3.II adds some details: Yajnaval-
kya curses Sakalya, predicting that he will die in an inauspicious
place and time, and that even his bones shall not be brought
Thus it happens. The traditional commentary of
Sarpkara explains that Sakalya was punished for not having
respected the Knower of Brahman (cf. also SB XI, 4.1.9),17 yet
the punishment still appears to be unmerited, for it does not
befall other opponents who argue with Yajnavalkya during the
same dispute (at the court of King J anaka, who promised to
give a thousand cows and gold to the wisest brahmal).a). A simi-
lar threat is addressed by Yajnavalkya to another of his oppo-
nents, GargI Vacaknavl. He warns the woman to be moderate
in questioning: "GargI, do not question too much lest your head
fall off. Verily, you are questioning too much about a divinity
about which we are not to ask too much" (III.6.1).IS This time,
curiosity is the crime (GargI's consequent questions lead to the
basis of the highest worlds of Brahman); she, however, keeps
silent and remains alive. This curse is used in the same dispute
against Yajnavalkya himself. Uddalaka Arul).i (also one of the
greatest sages, who preaches particularly the famous tat tvam
asi-"that art thou" in' ChU VI.8.7 sq.) threatens him in the
same manner, but Yajnavalkya knows the right answer (BU,
II1.7.I sq.). In ChU, Silaka Salavatya (1.8.6) and Pravahal).a
Jaivali (1.8.8) use it in a talk (not a dispute). Later, Cak-
rayal).a, a brahmal).a, poor but versed in ritual, uses it three
times (1. 10, 9-11; 11.3-9) while warning the priests not to
recite certain texts without knowledge. The curse is variegated
in Asvapati Kaikeya's (a like the Buddha) words to six
brahmal).as, whom he has previously accepted as pupils. He
threatens them, respectively, with the loss of their heads, with
blindness, loss of breath, dissolution of the body, bursting of
the bladder, and the withering of feet, did they not come to him
152 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
for instruction (V,}2.2; 13.2; 14.2; 15.2; 16.2; 17.2);!8among
them is Uddalaka AruI)i, who has brought to him the five other
brahmaI)as. These curses are motivated by allegorical interpre_
tations of those insufficient definitions, with. which the brah-
maI)as try to describe Atman.
As in Buddhist tradition, tribute here is paid to a common
idiom. This idiom was evidently widespread-also irrespective
of exposing the Vedantic doctrine (be it the situation of admon-
ishing a pupil, arguing with opponents, etc.). So, e.g., we read
in BU 1.3.24: "Let this king strike off this man's (my) head (if I
say) that ... ";20 in SB II1.6.1.23, it serves as punishment for
eating or drinking that which belongs to gods, etc. At the same
time, the texts show perhaps still more clearly that
this usage was not so harmless. Again, we come upon a teacher
who tries to frighten or to humiliate his listener-a device rather
incompatible with preaching the highest truth, which should
lead to perfection and bliss. This "incompatIbility," however,
does not seem to be unique. The curse, pronounced by a divine
teacher is not uncommon in other religious traditions. Let us be
reminded of the Christ's image, marked sometimes in the Gos-
pels by wrath, condemnation, threats, etc.
Recapitulating the Pali canonical evidence and some paral-
lels adduced above-the teacher's evident aggressiveness, on
the one hand, and his salutary function (now and then explicitly
expressed in benevolent deeds and revelations), on the other-
one can speak of a certain ambivalence. As we have seen, it
refers not only to mortals (like Yajfiavalkya, Satyakama, a.o.),
but, what might appear more strange at first sight, to a higher
being, the embodiment of complete perfection-the Buddha
and some other saviours as well.
The different aspects of this ambivalence cannot all be
treated in the present article. So, e.g., we are not dealing here
with its aesthetic function (which is displayed in canonical texts
similar to those of "secular" fiction).23 These inconsistencies can
also be interpreted (especially in cases of the divine teacher) in
connection with a well-known universal phenomenon testified
to with respect to objects of cult-as a particular instance of
coincidentia oppositorum.
This factor, however, can scarcely be
applied to all such cases, for they touch upon gods and mortals
as well, and reveal in this respect an evident resemblance be-
tween both.
It seems that this evidence relating to the specific atmo-
sphere of the religious admonition can also be connected with
another important phenomenon-the process of "Descent"
(resp. "humanization"). This act usually concerns the divine
(or, anyway, enlightened and wise) creature who is already per-
fected, has risen above the world's vanity, and is provided with
the highest knowledge, but who nevertheless returns to the
world to bring salvation to ordinary people-the Buddha,
especially in his last avatiiras (one of which, besides
Kn.Q.a, was that of the Buddha, incorporated by dog-
matics), etc. One can assume that this function itself prevents
the saviour from indifference towards human values, since by
virtue of his aim he cannot disregard them. Descending to a
layman's level, he finds himself faced with the necessity to asso-
ciate, i.e., to use mutual language, with people who feel and
think in terms of their level's categories and values. To adjust
himself to this level, to be understood by them, and to make his
admonitions effective, the teacher-the Buddha, the
dic sage, etc.-must adopt a definite strategy of behaviour, a
certain pragmatism. He does not neglect, therefore, such de-
vices which seem to him appropriate for the sake of final SUCe
cess, as threats, curses, humiliation, etc., though these devices
are sometimes inconsistent with his own doctrine, as, e.g., in the
Buddha's resorting to miracles (iddhi), generally denounced by
him.25 Even the most eccentric of them (like those of "fools for
Christ's sake") have a psychological motivation and a therapeu-
tic value. Fulfilling his mission, the saviour passes thus to the
level of profane distinction between the subject and the object,
the Self and the not-Self, and other opposites which result from
this distinction.
Compared to his genuine perfection and
grace, this transition appears as a kind of spiritual and moral
degradation, while corresponding inconsistencies look like the
sequence of his "humanization"27 rather than that of the per-
fect coincidentia. It seems that DN and some other texts present
evidence of such "humanization" of the Buddha's image, dis-
played in an obvious descent to his opponents' level (certain
"human" traits were, by the way, observed with respect to the
Buddha's former births as the Bodhisattva).2H
Similar notes, with corresponding modifications, can be
made with respect to teachers endowed with high-
est wisdom. So, apart from the "head-splitting" motif, one of
154 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
them, Sat yak am a Jabala (who suffered once from the strictness
of his teacher, Haridrumata Gautama-ChU IV. 4 sq) himself
behaves with a strictness which looks more like cruelty, driving
his pupil Upakosala almost to suicide (ChU IY.10). In the same
chapter (ChU IV. 1-2), we find another sage, Raikva, who
displays avidity, and voluptuousness before he
agrees at last to accept a pupil. The evidence thus
"lowers" the image of some preceptors which, by the way, can-
not always be justified by the pupils' behavior-the latter, on
the contrary, are far from opposing the doctrine and are full of
respect and humility.
We come here upon another aspect of the situation (more
typical, perhaps, of the Hindu than of the Buddhist tradition).
The teacher's "descent" is correlated to the adept's humility; a
self-denying, suffering pupil meets with an illuminated though
sometimes rude and merciless teacher. This situation partly
corresponds to the traditional regimentation of the brahmacar-
in's status. His way of life in the house of his teacher-respect-
ing the latter like a deity, serving him, tending his house, beg-
ging for him when necessary, waiting upon his relatives, etc.-is
manifoldly reflected in ancient smrti literature.
The law ex-
plicitly prescribes him to avoid praise and strive for contempt
(ManavadharmaSiistra, II, 162). Even divine or semi-divine crea-
tures are subject to these rules (cf. the trials of the god Indra
and asura Virocana while living as pupils with Prajapati, ChU
VIII. 7 sq.). The idea of humble, respectful approach is evi-
dently reflected in the name of the genre we are dealing with:
from upa-ni-sad; "to sit down at" (i.e., at the feet of
another, to listen to his words).30
Returning to the Buddhist tradition, we can speak likewise
of certain rules and restrictions defining the humble status of
the devotee, the bhikkhu. The Patimokkha (Parajika, Sa'Y[l-ghii-
disesa) , Cullavagga (V, X), Brahmajala sutta (DN, 1. 1. 18-27),
etc., contain a number of characteristic details concerning obe-
dience, begging, etc. (the Tules for women, bhikkhunI, being
still more strict and humiliating).31 We also find here the device
of premeditated denigration of one's own body (DN xx. 5,
etc.; cf, Maitrz Upan4ad 1.3), though in a manner typical of his
"middle-way" approach the Buddha generally used to rebuke
excesses of this kind practised by certain ascetics. One can sug-
that the bhikkhu's behavior, combining social degradation
and spiritual ascent, is also correlated here with the teacher's
"descent" to man's weak nature. This Hindu-Buddhist parallel
needs, however, substantial reservations, especially with respect
to the evidence adduced above. The cases we are dealing with
pertain not to.obedient pupils, but to stl!bborn opponents (Am-
battha or Patlka before the Buddha; Sakalya or Cargi before
Yajfiavalkya, etc.). Some of them who, like Ambanha's teacher
pokkharasadi, pronounce in the end the traditional formula:
"Gotama1'(l sarar;,a1'(l gacchami ... " and become lay disciples (upa-
saka) or bhikkhus, are far from being treated like Upakosala in
ChU IV. 10. On the other hand, the Buddha can be compared
in this respect to Yajiiavalkya or Uddalaka rather than to
Raikva, or even Satyakama.
Nevertheless, the manner of treating the opponent in both
traditions appears to be rather similar, and in our opinion can
be better understood in the context of the pragmatic behavior
which marks the beneficial salutary function of the teacher.
One can add that the saviour's "humanization" is transitory by
nature; it is limited by the sphere of corresponding "lower"
contact. The enlightened teacher does not cause damage to his
own perfection-already present (the Buddha, Kn1)a, etc.) or
implicitly achieved by him upon the end of his earthly existence
sages). On the contrary, such intentionaP2 profane
contacts, necessarily accompanying the mission of preaching,
magnify this perfection. As we know, the state of complete
illumination (samma-sambodhi), which the Buddha displays in his
last earthly existence, assumes his function of proclaiming to
others the truth which he, himself, has discovered and realized.
This distinguishes him from another kind of Buddha-the "in-
dividual," "silent" pacceka-buddha, who has also grasped the
truth, but is unable to proclaim it to mankind (cf. Puggalapan-
natti, 1.29) and is inferior to the preaching Buddha. We have
already cited (see note 2) an example of the Buddha's words
concerning the manifold ways which he had to follow for the
sake of his high mission. It may be worth while to note here
another parallel, the words perhaps still more heartfelt,ac-
knowledging and justifying this "humanization"-those of the
apostle Paul (I Corinthians 9. 19-22; cf. ibid. 10.33): "For
though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to
156 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
all, that I might win the more. And to the Jews I became as a
Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as
under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I
might win those who are under the Law; to those who are
without law, as without law, though not being without the law
of God but under the Law of Christ, that I might win those who
are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win
the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all
means save some."
Following abbreviations are used below: BU = Brhadara7}yaka
Ch U = Chandogya Upan4ad; DN = Dzgha nikaya; DR = Dialogues of the Bud-
dha, trans!' from the Pali by T.W. (and C.A.F.) Rhys Davids, Vo!' I-III.
London, 1899, 1910, 1921; DRC = The DZgha nikaya, ed. by T.W. Rhys Davids
and].E. Carpenter, Vol. I-III, London, 1-890, 1903, 191O;J = Jataka; MN =
Majjhima nikaya; PU = The Principal Upan4ads, ed. with introd., text, trans!'
and notes by S. Radhakrishman, London, 1953; SB = Satapatha brahma7}a.
1. DRC I p. 49, DR I p. 67, etc. Cf. with respect to these characteristics:
R.O. Franke. "Das einheitliche Thema des DIgha = nikaya," Wiener Zeitschrift
fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes, Bd. 27, 1913, S. 198-216, 276-304; Idem.
"Der Buddha als 'ernst = bedacht und vollbewust,' " Beitriige zur Literaturges-
chichte und Geistesgeschichte Indiens. Festgabe H. Jacobi, Bonn. 1926, S. 327-330.
2. See e.g. Saddharma-pu7}qarzka II. 36: "For in elucidating the law, Sari-
putra, I use hundred thousands of various skillful means, such as different
interpretations, indications, explanations, illustrations ... I myself also, Sari-
putra, ... am preaching the law to gods and men with able means, such as
several directions and indications, various arguments, reasons, illustrations,
fundamental ideas, interpretations, paying regard to the dispositions of crea-
tures whose inclinations and temperaments are so manifold"; II.42: "I know
the disposition and conduct, the various inclinations of ko{is of living beings in
this world ... "; cf. below lI.43; 48; etc.-The Saddharma-pu7}qarzka or the Lotus
of the True Law, trans!' by H. Kern. Delhi, 1974, pp. 39 sq.
3. See W. Stoesz, "The Buddha as teacher,"Journal of the American Acade-
my of Religion, Vo!' 46, N:2, 1978, pp. 139, 149 sq.
4. DR I, pp. 116 sq. cf. ibid., note 3 for some parallels from other
5. "Curious threat-which never comes to anything, among the Bud-
dhists, and is apparently never meant to"-ibid. note 3.
6. The Collection of the Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima nikaya), tr. from the
Pali by LB. Horner, Vo!' I, London 1954, p. 285. The epithet of yakkha:
VajirapaIfi ("Thunderbolt-bearer"), serving also as a common epithet of In-
dra, permits one to suggest that the latter appears here himself in the guise of
a yakkha (ibid., note 2; cf. C.E. Gogage, "The place of Indra in Early Bud-
dhism," Ceylon University Review, Vo!' III, N:l, 1945, p. 52).
7. DRC I. p. 143, DR I, p. 181.
8. DR III, pp. 19 sq.; 28 sq. These scenes can be ,egarded as evidence of
a certain humour in the genre of Buddhist suttas. Cf. P.V. Bapat, "The
different strata in the literary material of the DIgha nikaya," Annals of the
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 8, pt. 1. 1926, p. 13; K. Seiden-
stucker, "Humor in den Reden Buddhas," Buddhistischer Weltspiegel, Jhrg. III,
N:l, 1921, S 37sq.
9. Sutta-nipata, ed. by D. Andersen and H. Smith, Oxford, 1947, pp. 191
sq.; The Sutta-nipata, tr. from Pali by V. FausbOll (in: Sacred Books of the East,
Vol. X, pt. II). Delhi, 1968, pp. 185 sq., 189.
10. The Dhammapada, with introd. essays, Pali text, English transl. and notes by
S. Radhakrishnan, London, 1958, p. 182.
11. The Questions of King Milinda, tr. from Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids, (pt.
I), Delhi, 1975, p. 222.
12. Cf. TheJataka, ed. V. FausbOll, Vol. I London, 1962, p. 54 (nidana-
katka) , Vol. IV, 1963, p. 320; Vol. V, 1963, pp. 33, 92, 493; 47; etc. (resp.
Stories of the Buddha's former births, tr. from the Pali, London, 1957, Vol. IV, p.
201; Vol. V, pp. 17,50; 269; 47; etc.).
13. The Book of the Kindred Sayings (Sa1[lyutta nikiiya), tr. from Pali by Mrs.
Rhys Davids, pt. I, London, 1950, p. 72.
14. Cf. Dhammapada Commentary, ed. H.C. Norman, Vol. I, London,
1970, pp. 17, 41-42, 134; Vol. IV, p. 125, (Buddhist Legends, tr. by E.W.
Burlingame, pt. I, London 1969, pp. 156, 168-169,231, etc.).
15. PU, p. 243; cf. W. Ruben, "Uber die Debatten in den alten Upani-
sad's," "Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft", Bd. 83, 1929, S.
241 sq.
16. An especially severe threat in the context of Hindu burial rites. Cf.
Asvg,layana-grhya-siitra IV, 5; Manavadharmasastra V. 59 etc. (The Grhya-siitras,
tr. by H. Oldenberg, pt. I, Delhi, 1973, pp. 245 sq. a.o.).
17. Cf. The Satapatha-brahmar;,a, tr. by J Eggeling, pt. V, Delhi, 1966, pp.
117; 53; The Brhadarar;,yaka upan4ad with the commentary of Sankaracarya, tr. by
SwamI Madhavananda, Calcutta, 1975, pp. 387 sq.
18. PU, p. 223. Corresponding evidence of BU is found respectively in
SB XVIII (rec. Kanva) or SB XIV (rec. Madhyandina).
19. Cf. a similar conditional threat by a teacher to his pupil in SB XI,
5.3.13: "I will become thy pupil, reverend sir." He replied, "If thou hadst not
spoken thus, thy head would have flown off: come, enter as my pupil!"-The
Satapatha-brahmana, pt. V, p. 85.
20. PU, p. 161.
21. See, for example, Mt. 10.34 sq.; 11.20 sq.; 12.34 sq.; 13.40 sq.; 23.33
sq.; 25.41 sq.; Mr 9.19 sq.; Lc 9.41 sq.;Jn 2.15 sq.; etc. Cf. C.Jung, Answer to
Job, Princeton, 1973, pp. 44 sq.; 74 sq. (in particular, his notes on the image of
the "wrathful Lamb"); A. Syrkin, "K xarakteristike induistskogo panteona,"
Trudypovostokovedeniju. Oriental Studies. 11.1, Tartu, 1973, pp. 165 sq.; 182 sq.;
22. Cf. also some "negative" traits of the embodiment,
compatible with his salutary function: W. Ruben, Krishna, Konkordanz und
Kommentar der Motive Seines Heldenlebens, Istanbul, 1944, S 253 sq.; 284 (a lack
158 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
of constancy, patience, charity); E.G. Suhr, "Krishna and Mithra as Messiahs,"
Folklore, Vol. 77, 1966, pp. 211 sq.; C.G. Hospital, "Paradox and divine wick-
edness in the Krishnakarnamrita: Reflections on the uses of discrepant sym-
bols,"Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. XV, N: 1-2, 1980, pp. 59 sq.
23. Regarding the combination of threats and salu.tary admonitions in
DN, BU, ChU, etc., (cf. also the interwoven motifs of curse and grace in the
Naciketas history ofKa(ha upani-iad) one can suggest such contradictions,
brought forward by a literary text, can lead to the "short-circuit" of opposite
emotions and serve thus as an instrument of aesthetic effect (like "catharsis").
Cf. L. Vygotskij, Psixologija iskusstva, Moskva, 1968 pp. 270 sq.; A. Syrkin,
"Zametki 0 stilistike rannix upanisad," Vestnik Drevnej Istorii, 1971, N: 2,pp.
24. See: L. Renou, "L'ambiguite du vocabulaire du B-gveda," Journal
Asiatique, t. 231, 1939, pp. 161 sq.; M. Eliade, Traiti d'histoire des religions, Paris,
1953. pp. 126 sq.; 393; W.D. O'Flaherty, Ascetism and eroticism in the mythology
of Siva, London, 1973, pp. 33 sq.; Syrkin, "K xarakteristike," pp. 167 sq.; etc.
25. Cf. DN XI. 3 sq.: "I perceive danger in the practice of mystic won-
ders that I loathe, and abhor, and am ashamed thereof' (DR, I, p. 278) and,
on the other hand-the Buddha's attitude in Pa(ika sutta (DN XXIV, l.4 sq.).
26. Cf. A. Syrkin, "K sistematizacii nekotoryx ponjatij v sanskrite," Semio-
tika i vostocnye jazyki, Moskva, 1967, pp. 152 sq.
27. Cf. above, note 21, on the "humanized" image of Christ as a substan-
tial detail of his earthly apparition. Cf. also notes on the. "divine-become-
human" with respect to KqIfa's image in: Hospital, "Paradox," p. 67.
28. Cf. Ruben, "Krishna," S.258 on some tricks of the bodhisattva in
Buddhist narrative literature.
29. See, e.g., Manavadharmasastra II. 7 Lsq., 108, 130 sq., 198, 233, etc.
Cf. in this connection: R.K. Mookerji, Ancient Indian education (Brahmanical
and Buddhist). Delhi, 1960, pp. 93 sq.; 184 sq.; H.W. Gensichen, "Zum Meis-
ter-Jilnger-Verhaltnis im Hinduismus," Wort und Religion. Kalima ha dini,
Stuttgart, 1969, S. 340-353, etc.
30. Cf. M. Mayrhofer, Kurzgefasstes Etymologisches Worterbuch des Altindis-
chen, Bd. I. Heidelberg, 1956, S. 105.
31. See S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monachism, Bombay, 1960; Mookerji, An-
cient, pp. 414 sq., etc.
32. The Buddha's traditional biographies speak of his decision to stay
with people and to instruct them though he himself is freed and can leave this
world (MN 1.26, etc.). According to Mahavagga 1.5, having reached the bliss
of emancipation, the Buddha first doubts whether other men will be able to
understand him and he becomes "inclined to remain in quiet and not to
preach the doctrine." However, afterwards, touched by Brahma's repeated
entreaties, he changes his mind (Cf. Vinaya Texts, tr. from Pali by T.W. Rhys
Davids and H. Oldenberg, pt. I, Delhi, 1974, pp. 84 sq.).
A Buddhist Spectrum, by Marco Pallis, London: George Allen and
Unwin; New York: Seabury Press. 1980. ix , 163 pp.
The name of the author of these essays will be well known to
many readers from his earlier book, first published in 1939,
entitled Peaks and Lamas in which, beside an account of travel
and mountaineering in the Indo-Tibetan borderland, we find
perspicacious observations on the state of the traditional civiliza-
tion and arts of that fascinating region as expressions of the
Dharma. Then, in 1947, Marco Pallis was able to spend a whole
season at Shigatse, in the Tsang province of Tibet proper, as the
outcome of which sojourn the third edition of Peaks and Lamas
(London, Woburn Press, 1974) included further consideration
of the traditional civilization of Tibet. In the present volume are
contained more general reflections on different aspects of the
Buddhism of India, Tibet and Japan, usually from a compara-
tive point of view which is informed by the author's awareness of
the values of traditional religions: Christianity, Islam and
Hinduism as well as Buddhism. Several of these essays originally
appeared in the journal Studies in Comparative Religion, and a
couple have already been reprinted in the Sword of Gnosis edited
by Professor Jacob Needleman (Baltimore, 1974).
The opening essay concerns Karma, the pivotal notion of
Buddhism interpreted here as "concordant action and reaction"
within the divisions of the world of Sarp.sara. Even in this condi-
tion-given the "thread of Buddha-nature passing through the
heart of every being"-man is, nevertheless, placed "on the axis
of Buddhahood" and can thus be described as "buddhamor-
phic" (pp. 5, 54). Hence, the dynamic rather than the passive,
and fatalistic, view of Karma is set out here (p. 14). The pitfalls
of certain moralizing arguments with their anthropomorphism
are at the same time pointed out (p. 10), as is the inappropriate-
ness of the common quantitative concept of good Karma as
"merit" (p. 11).
Essay Three then proceeds to demonstrate that in Bud-
dhism, which is of course non-theistic, there is not only no prob-
lem of theodicy but no problem of evil either: the bad (or un-
wholesome, akusala) is along with the good (or wholesome,
kusala) just a component of the Sarp.saric condition, without the
160 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
opposition evil vs. good having in fact any ground in reality. Evil
is then to be regarded as nothing but "a particular case of the
relative, viewed from its privative angle" (p. 46). The true prob-
lem-or question-is rather how to "rejoin our centre," how to
"find the way home" where this dichotomy (and' either dichot-
omies) simply do not apply.
Essay Four, entitled "Is there room for 'grace' in Bud-
dhism?" considers the contrast, which has become class-ical in
Japanese Buddhism, between "self power" (jiriki) and "other
power" (tariki) , and in particular it examines the significance of
the latter in Jodo-shin. "The key to the problem," the author
writes, "lies in a property of transcendence itself ... Enlighten-
ment ... cannot possibly be situated -at the passive pole in rela-
tion to man's endeavour, it cannot per se become object to man as
subject" (p. 55). "Other power," then, is nothing but the "activity
of enlightenment"-which is precisely the function of grace (p.
57). Moreover, the outward, "human Guru is not the whole
story," Intellect being so to speak the interior Guru (p. 63). Even
in Zen, however, characterized though it is by its cultivation of
"self power," the Roshi or Master is also of primary importance
(p. 68). In Essay Four there is also a discussion on the similarity
of function between Remembrance of Amida (Amitabha) in
Sino-Japanese Buddhism and the Six-syllable of
Avalokitesvara in Tibetan Buddhism (p. 70-71). In the final
analysis, "self power" and "other power" turn out to be in no way
incompatible: rather, they belong together and are equally indis-
pensable (p. 68). And "the Buddha's mercy is providential, but
does not, for this very reason, suspend the Law of Karma" (p.
98). Essay Six is, then, devoted to a special study of nembutsu or
In Essay Nine, dealing with non-self, it is however suggested
that "other power"- is in a sense more in harmony with this
fundamental Buddhist theme of aniitman (Pali anattii; Tibetan
bdag med) than is "self power" (p. 137). The notion
ness is moreover typical of the apophatic method of Buddhism
(p. 131); and rather than as a mere analytical exercise it may
better be understood as a kind of catalysis (p. 141).
Essay Seven is concerned with Dharma and dharmas as a
basis or principle for inter-religious communication. Here it is
above all the Hindu notion of Dharma-and of svadharma (cor-
responding to one's "uniqueness as a person" as well as to a
group-interest, p. 105), a term and concept that are not Bud-
dhist-that has attracted the author's attentiop. This essay also
examines Rene Guenon's adaptation of "Eastern" spirituality to
a "West" in need of help to rekindle its own fires (p. 115) and
bring about a metanoia (p. 116), as well as Guenon's delimitation
of the "esoteric" against the "exoteric." In the last analysis "what
is no longer clear, however, is where the frontier between exo-
teric and esoteric is to be drawn, if indeed a set frontier makes
any sense in this order of reality ... " (p. 119).
In Essays Two and Five, and also in Essay Four, we find
percipient remarks on Tantrism, the spiritual "alchemy" it
furthers, and its place in our life of today.
Essay Ten is concerned with archetypes, and differences
with regard to them between Buddhist thought and many theor-
ies of modern psychology-which are often reductionist or sci-
entistic (p. 73)-are brought out. In this essay reference is also
made (p. 150) to problems raised by the tensions existing be-
tween many modern ideas about freedom and equality on the
one hand and the fact of bondage and inequality as essential
differentiation among individuals in the Sal1lsaric condition on
the other hand. More could have been said here on this subject,
however, for the fundamental distinctions between egalitarian-
ism run riot, equality before the law and of opportunity, and
Equality (samata, Tib. mnyam pa nyid)-though certainly well-
known to the author-have perhaps not been spelled out in
sufficient detail to avoid all misunderstanding. And in an essay
on archetypes and "archetypal illumination" (p. 152) one misses
an explicit reference to the tathagatagarbha, that universal germ
of Buddhahood which occupies such an important and central
place in the Mahayana Buddhism of India and Tibet as well as in
that of East Asia, and which is grounded precisely in the equality
as to tathata of all sentient beings without exception (see e.g.
Ratnagotravibhaga i.23-28 and Mahayanasutrala'f{lkara ix.37).
(The Buddha nature has, of course, been mentioned in a couple
of earlier essays in this volume, where the nature of man has also
been very felicitously described as Buddhamorphic.)
In addition to being a profound and penetrating student of
religion and traditional forms of life, Marco Pallis is a composer
and musician of note. And as a performing artist, as well as a
disciple of Arnold Dolmetsch, who was one of the precursors of
contemporary interest in early music, he has been especially
active in the movement that has over the last several decades
revived the music of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. This volume thus includes an essay on the "metaphys-
ics of polyphony." Polyphony, a musical form unique to certain
periods in the Western Christian tradition, is described here as a
sonorous theology and an image of the universe embodied in a
162 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
contrapuntal discipline which in its interplay of tensions and
releases-crescendi and diminuendi-reflects spiritual disci-
plines in the "counterpoint we call life.' "
D. Seyfort Ruegg
The Heart of Buddhism by Takeuchi Yoshinori, edited and trans-
lated by James W. Heisig. New York: Crossroad, 1983, xxii +
165 pages, glossary and index. $17.50 hardcover.
This book is the fourth in the series Nanzan Studies in Reli-
gion and Culture, a series which has thus far been largely dedi-
cated to making available the thought of the Japanese Kyoto
school of Philosophy to the English-speaking world. It contains
seven essays by Takeuchi Yoshinori, afollower of Nishida Kitaro
and Nishitani Keiji-the major figures in the Kyoto school-
and, in his own words, a "Pure Land believer of an extremely
conservative stamp" (page 132). The first three of these essays-
"The Silence of the Buddha," "The Stages of Contemplation"
and "Centering and the World Beyond"-have to do with Ta-
keuchi's understanding of the relevance of dhyana in early Bud-
dhism, and have previously been published in both German and
Japanese. The concluding essays are concerned with Takeuchi's
understanding of the Bultmannian and Heideggerian hermen-
eutic and its possible application to Buddhism; they were all
originally published in Japanese.
The Nanzan Studies in general-and this work in particu-
lar-give those Western Buddhologists and philosophers of reli-
gion who cannot read Japanese access to a fascinating cultural
and intellectual phenomenon. They make available the thought
of aJapanese philosophical movement which is profoundly root-
ed in Buddhism, and which has also soaked itself in the German
philosophical tradition; it is therefore syncretistic in the most
positive sense of that term. Takeuchi's main concern-and that
of the Kyoto school generally-is to make sense of and to com-
municate what it takes to be the central religious meaning of
Buddhism. To do this, Takeuchi uses the hermeneutical tools of
German philosophy and theology. Thus, he interprets the Bud-
dha's famous silence on certain metaphysical issues as a "sign of
contemplation," a manifestation of the effects of the meditative
techniques practised by the Buddha and an attempt by him to
show his hearers that "the religious situation belongs toa
sphere totally different from that of metaphysics" (page 15).
Similarly, the twelve-fold chain of pratftyasamutpiida is interpret-
ed existentially, as an attempt to describe the nature and origins
of the human situation.
Takeuchi's work, therefore, is essentially one of creative
religious philosophizing. It shows us the world view arrived at by
a contemporary Pure Land intellectual in applying the categor-
ies of German existentialism to the materials found in the Pali
canon. It is possible to disagree with the central philosophical
position taken by Takeuchi-as indeed this reviewer does-and
still to find much of interest in his work, especially when it is
considered as a primary source, a witness to the interaction of
Pure Land metaphysics with German existentialism, rather than
as a work of historical scholarship. We have cause to be grateful
to Professor Takeuchi, the Nanzan Institute, and James W. Hei-
sig, the editor and translator of the material which makes up this
However, the work does have severe conceptual drawbacks
which arise directly from its methodology. The author seems
frequently unsure-and this is a fault common to many afficion-
ados of the Heideggerian hermeneutic-whether he is writing
history or philosophy, and (worse) it is not always clear that he is
aware of the difference. For example, in his analysis of the Sii-
mannaphalasutta (especially pages 37ff.), Takeuchi places great
stress on the images of purification which accompany the de-
scriptions of the jhanas in that sutta, and bases his analysis of the
religious meaning of these altered states of consciousness upon
the images of purification. He apparently does not realise that
these images are not always applied to the jhanas; they are in
fact floating units of tradition, used elsewhere in the Pali canon
for quite other purposes. It is therefore not legitimate to take
them, as Takeuchi does here, as a historically unproblematic
basis for hermeneutical philosophizing.
Another example of Takeuchi's apparent disregard of his-
tory is the way in which he places great stresson the relationship
between contemplation and compassion in early Buddhism,
without mentioning that in the Siimannaphalasutta-which he
takes as his paradigm-the four brahmavihiiras are in fact not
found. In many-if not most---of the attempts to construct a
normative path-structure in the suttas of the Pali canon, compas-
sion is not a very significant value; one would scarcely guess that
this is the case by reading Takeuchi.
The major drayvback of Takeuchi's work, therefore, and of
164 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
others which take a similar approach, is that the significance of
history-the question of what actually happened, of how things
actually werec-tends to become swallowed up by the demands of
hermeneutical philosophy. Philosophical conclusions are read
back into historical scholarship, and the two become mixed to
the detriment of both. This process is especially clear in Takeu-
chi's astonishing comments on pages 67-8 about the influence
of the founders of the world religions; to suggest that Shinran
and Dogen can provide illuminating "models" for the under-
standing of primitive Buddhism may be philosophically interest-
ing but is certainly not good history. The Christian scholarly
world has long since learned the dangers of taking Luther as an
unproblematical guide to the thought of Paul, much less to that
of Jesus. To arrive at a historical understanding of any phenom
enon the only data which are relevant are historical data: to
suggest otherwise, as do Takeuchi and the Kyoto school, is to
blur important distinctions.
Despite these criticisms, Takeuchi's work has great value, as
does that of the Kyoto school generally. It cannot be taken as
historical scholarship, but once this is realised its value as cre-
ative philosophy becomes apparent.
Paul Griffiths
Paritta: A Historical and Religious Study of the Buddhist Ceremony for
Peace and Prosperity in Sri Lanka, by Lily de Silva. Spolia Zeylanica,
Vol. 36, Part 1. Colombo: National Museum, 1981. ISSN 0081-
Lily de Silva's Paritta is a very welcome addition to the litera-
ture on the relationship between traditional Buddhist belief and
practice. Paritta, a Theravada protective ritual based mainly on
texts from the Pali Canon, is a centuries-old tradition extending
from Sri Lanka throughout Southeast Asia. As de Silva points
out (page xi), it has attracted the attention of Western scholars
for over a century. Although anthropologists such as Spiro and
Tambiah have dealt with paritta in wider ethnographic contexts,
it has rarely been given due treatment by Buddhologists-at any
rate, not with the depth, precision, and balance found in the
present study.
The first four chapters deal with paritta texts, history, and
religious motivations and contexts. The fifth chapter, as long as
the previous four combined, is a detailed description of four
types of contemporary paritta performances. Chapters Six and
Seven, encompassing half the length of the book, consist of de- .
tailed discussions of some thirty-two "component parts" of the
ritual, ranging from ritual objects like the indrakila (a decorated
central post, interpreted here as axis mundi). to behavioral aspects
such as chanting and the perahii:ra procession with elephants. A
short chapter on function and a conclusion follow. There are
fifteen photographs of paritta performances and related objects,
and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
Why, with a contents list that more than anything else
evokes an atmosphere of thoroughly competent professional-
ism, should this book give rise to special enthusiasm among
scholars of Buddhism? Just because the past history of Buddhist
studies had made it very difficult to apply such a professional
approach to this subject. We are still emerging from the scholarly
age of an idealized "pure" Buddhism created by scholars in their
own image, devoid of all traces of ritual and so-called "magic."
This ideal religion was often identified with Theravada, al-
though certainly not the Theravada practiced by traditional
Theravada monks and laypeople. However, in a scholarly atmo-
sphere in which a large part of the Pali Canon was tacitly decan-
onized and the beliefs and acts of traditional Buddhists subjected
to charges of heresy or aristocratic disdain, it may have been
convenient to deny or at least ignore the importance of ritual in
Theravada. Thus, while Mahayana ritual studies have grown,
Theravada rituals could be left to anthropologists and such oth-
ers as were willing to stoop to examine the corrupt popular
beliefs of the superstitious masses. In such a context, de Silva's
study, solidly rooted in the tradition of Theravada-oriented
Buddhology, is an exciting new contribution.
de Silva deals with paritta squarely within the context of the
Theravada tradition. She faces the issue of canonicity (Chapter
1) matter-of-factly, without apologies or polemics against "later
corruptions," merely pointing out (e.g., p. 9) clear individual
cases of extracanonical additions to the texts. The historical dis-
cussion (pp. 11-22) is a similarly evenhanded, concise survey
of canonical, commentarial, historical, and literary sources-,-
sources which, by their very nature, take a positive orientation
towards the ritual. The chapters on religious motivations, goals,
and functions (Chs. 3-4, 7) are hardly laden with references to
166 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
the "common man" or "magic"; rather, the emphasis is, as it
should be, on the orthodox Theravada beliefs and concerns that
lie at the heart of paritta.
de Silva's interpretations, in addition to the basic Thera-
vada-Buddhological approach, are strongly rooted" in the schol-
arship and methods of Indology/Sinhala studies and the history
of religions. Pali, Sanskrit, and Sinhala sources are used so au-
thoritatively that the collection of 32 separate articles comprising
Chapters Six and Seven forms a reference work in itself, rather
like part of an encyclopedia of Indo-Sinhalese culture. The his-
tory-of-religions approach is used selectively to add breadth and
depth of interpretation, as in the intriguing discussion of the
symbolism of the indrakrla (pp. 57-79). Finally, the chapter on
contemporary practice in Sri Lanka (Chapter 5) contains ethno-
graphic descriptions which many an anthropologist would find
it difficult to surpass; the discussions of pageantry and dramatic
elements (p. 46ff.; cf. pp. 135-138) and performances by lay-
men (p. 53) are particularly welcome.
Criticisms of the work fall in the general areas of sources,
scope, and some aspects of interpretation. Surprisingly, except
for references to individual suttas in the nikayas and to the now
out-of-print Pali Si1.nhala Pirit Pota, there is no indication to the
reader of editions and translations of the paritta text itself. Cur-
rently-available translations of the Catubha1J.av(lra include Piya-
dassi Thera's annotated translation, The Book of Protection
(Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975), from the Sri Lan-
kan tradition; and, from Thailand, Phra Khantipalo's transla-
tion in Chapter Two of Pali Chanting with Translations (Bangkok:
Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, 1974), which has the additional
merit of including transliterated Pali texts. The Mirror of the
Dhamma (Colombo: Lake House, 1975) by Narada Maha Thera
and Kassapa Thera includes transliterated texts and translations
of the three Mahaparitta suttas, as well as the Dlw:jagga and the
highly interesting Mahajinapanjara. A very useful Pali source is
The Book of Chants (Bangkok: Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press,
1975), which includes not only the Catubha1J.avara text (Chapter
8), but also arrangements for longer and shorter versions of the
paritta ritual as performed in Thailand (Chs. 5-6).
The problem of secondary sources overlaps with that of the
work's geographical scope. It may well have been a wise choice to
limit the focus of the study to Sri Lanka (p. 3), where the author
has had firsthand experience; but at least a brief review of sec-
ondary sources on paritta in other Theravada traditions would
have permitted discussion of some intercultural issues relevant
to Sri Lankan paritta-e.g., some of the wider issues raised by
Melford Spiro in Buddhism and Society pertain to Sri Lanka, and
might have formed the basis of a useful cross-disciplinary, cross-
cultural dialogue.
The work's scope within its selected Sri Lankan context is
more than adequate, although obviously not exhaustive given
the concise format. For example, although Chapter Five covers
the main types of contemporary paritta performances, it does
not exhaust the entire range, from the few verses of "pirit" re-
quired in ceremonies like the Upasampadii ordination to six-
month, round-the-clock paritta ceremonies with hundreds of
thousands of repetitions. Likewise, anthropologists could wish
for coverage of the performance variables of paritta rituals: so-
cial participation, organization, financing, and the like. Such
additional details can await later, more comprehensive or spe-
cialized studies; the present work succeeds very well in covering
the normative features basic to all paritta performances.
The work's Buddhological scope has more serious conse-
quences for interpretation, in that Buddhological analysis is con-
fined solely to the Theravada tradition. When the Theravada
sources on a given theme or subject are exhausted, analysis turns
to the use of general Indological and Sinhalastudies material,
without consideration of related aspects of non-Theravada B ud-
dhist traditions. Thus, for example, it is interesting and relevant
to note the similarities and differences between pirit n111a and the
Brahmanical and other Hindu sacred threads (pp. 87-89), but
perhaps more to the point would be a comparison with the con-
secratory/protective ritual threads used in the Newar and Tibet-
an Buddhist traditions. Similarly, the Jinapaiijara texts (pp. 9-
11) may indeed renect "Tantric innuence" (although the basic
idea of a maI).Qala-like circle of directionally-arrayed guardian
deities is also found in the Ataniitiya-sutta), but, if so, the place to
look for resemblances would logically seem to be in the lu7ya-
mafU/a1a visualizations of Vajrayana Buddhism, rather than in
the practices of and literature on the Hindu tantras. Although
the practical problems of access to recent scholarship may ac-
count for some omissions, we might nevertheless hope that, other
things being equal, the axis mundi where Buddhist studies begin
and end is Buddhism itself.
On the other hand, some of the problematic interpretations
found here may reflect the residual influence of "idealized-
Theravada-ism," with its automatic tendency to look outside the
Buddhist tradition for evidences of Hindu corruption in matters
of ritual. Another possible sign of such residual influence may
168 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
be the curious omission from the discussion of early Pali sources
of list of "efficacious" paritta in the Visuddhimagga
(XIII: 31), and of the traditional attribution to him of the au-
thorship of the three commentaries which are our most impor-
tant source on early paritta ritual practices (pp. 17-18). Given
the idealists' cherished belief that ritual is only for the supersti-
tious masses, it is enlightening to note that the greatest scholar of
the Theravada tradition was an apparent proponent of paritta
ritual-and, as the author points out, so likewise was the great
reformer of Sinh ala Theravada, Valivita Saral).ankara Sangha-
raja (pp. 149-150).
Such criticisms may apply more to the accumulated karma
of Buddhist studies than to the present work. In fact, there are
very few cases where interpretations are open to serious ques-
tion within the book's own interpretational framework. One
such case is the article on the Magul (sic.; i.e., Magul) Bera (pp.
112-113), which, as its name bheri) indicates, is an
"auspicious" drum and its music used for the sabda puja offering
of pleasant sounds to the Triratna during the paritta perfor-
mance. Citations from the Vedas and Joseph Campbell notwith-
standing, Buddhism very seldom makes use of the "magic of
noise" to drive away evil spirits. Another doubtful case is the
anticolonialist hypothesis used to explain the substitution of Ma-
hamangalasutta for Dhajaggasutta in the Mahapirit (pp. 14-15).
Far from stressing "inspiration from political leadership" (15),
the point of Dhajaggasutta is that a royal banner, even that of the
king of the gods, is an inferior standard to follow when com-
pared to the Triratna. Since the sutta, if anything, denigrates
rather than glorifies royal leadership, it is difficult to see any
connection between colonial destruction of royal institutions and
the downgrading of the sutta to a lower level of esteem.
Given the overall high quality of this work, such criticisms
are of minor importance. It provides, for the scholar of Thera-
vada, a solid investigation of an important part of the tradition;
and, for the investigator of other Buddhist traditions and cul-
tures, thorough evidence that followers of Theravada are Bud-
dhists in the full religious sense of the term, rather than merely
Victorian idealist-rationalist philosophers and corrupt peasants.
We hope it will inspire some new approaches to the comparison
of Buddhist ritual in different cultures and yanas, and serve as a
bridge to the further disciplinary integration of Buddhist stud-
Ter Ellingson
The Threefold Refuge in the Theravada Buddhist Tradition, John
Ross Carter, ed. Chambersburg, PA: Anima Books, 1982, vi +
89 p.
Buddhist Images of Human Perfection, by Nathan Katz. Delhi: Mo-
tilal Banarsidass, 1982. xix + 320 p., 100 Rs.
These two otherwise dissimilar books have two features in
common: they are both about Theravada Buddhism and both
are concerned to rectify what the authors perceive as prevalent
misinterpretations of their subject matter.
The first slim volume is comprised of essays by four differ-
ent authors dealing with the traditional threefold refuge-the
Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha-to which all Theravada
Buddhists turn. The significance of "going for refuge" for each
item is analyzed. George Bond sees going to the Buddha for
refuge as providing a center of devotion, a factor underempha-
sized by most Western scholars in favor of the rational and mor-
al aspects of Theravada-an overdue suggestion. So too this
embodies the sense of the super-historical reality of Buddhas,
who enter the world at appropriate intervals and are essential to
human salvation. Hence "salvation in the Theravada tradition
turns out to be not as ruggedly individualistic as it has sometimes
been portrayed" (p. 31). Nor is devotion to the Buddha to be
viewed as a lower-level, merely popular Buddhism; it is a prime
essential. Though Carter notes that "there is no need of a savior,
as Buddhists continually remind one," his view is not necessarily
at odds with Bond's. The Dhamma is also a gift of grace (my
phrase) as is the Buddha, as the remainder of the sentence
shows: "not because man is his own savior but because of the
efficacy of the Dhamma when made the integral basis of one's
life" (p. 14). Indeed, the Dhamma is eternal in the heavens, so to
speak, it is "the teacher even of the Buddha" (p. 34). Its embodi-
ment in one's life results in, is indeed inclusive of, Nibbana itself.
Carter uses commentarial materials almost exclusively to con-
firm solid traditional usages. Edmund Perry and Shanta Rat-
nayaka, using Pali Canon materials, emphasize and clearly dem-
onstrate that the primitive Buddhist sangha included laymen as
well as monks. Layman also attained the higher states of the
Ariyan, enlightened life; and lay life is as legitimate and effica-
cious amode of seeking arahantship as the monastic life. This is
an important and valid point. But surely-as they limitedly ac-
knowledge-it has been as much obscured in Theravada Bud-
dhism itself as by Western scholarship. Some monks, as Heinz
Bechert has shown, are willing to say that only monks are true
170 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
Buddhists. And certainly the prevailing Burmese Buddhist tra-
dition and practice is that only monks are able to seek Nibbana
(enlightenment) directly. Perhaps contemporary lay meditation
is rectifying the balance (also the purpose of the authors?); but
the tradition that the arahant must enter the sangha does persist.
In any case, as a "refuge" the sangha embodies the Buddhist
ideal and continually presents the Dhamma teaching.
The volume by Nathan Katz is a more ambitious venture,
having as its purpose the restructuring of contemporary (West-
ern) views of the Theravada arahant (perfected, enlightened
one) as the embodiment of human perfection, and the rectifica-
tion of the presumed Mahayana slur upon the arahant ideal
when compared to the bodhisattva.
What is the basic nature of arahantship? After a preliminary
discussion of the formulae and symbols referring to the arahant
in the Pali Canon (suttas) the author analyzes the nature and
meaning of arahantship in terms of meditational achievement,
comparison with the Buddha, psychology, relation to society,
and arahant philosophy. The analysis is thorough, perceptive,
and well grounded in Pali (and some Tibetan) texts, with knowl-
edgeable references to English-translation Mahayana texts. The
chapters will not be individually outlined, but discussion cen-
tered around a few main points.
The techniques of meditation are the major but not sole
means by which an individual reaches arahant status; this is
equivalent to Buddha-attainment if the jhana techniques are used as
the Buddha did. By then, the arahant, usually a monk, is per-
fected and completely freed from all saqlsaric bonds. But Katz
would agree with Perry and Ratnayaka that the lay life is as good
as the monk's for such achievement, since selfless detachment,
however achieved, is the essential factor. "Meditation" seems to
be always and exclusively identified here with the jhiinas, those
techniques inherited from Hindu Brahmanism. But the crucial
and uniquely Buddhist ingredient here is the insight that the
jhiinas in themselves do not produce enlightenment. Indeed,
they may be a snare and delusion if they are clung to and their
psychic states prized for themselves. The method of insight (into
the empty, suffering, delusory) quality of all things, including
jhiinas (peaceful abidings, trances), is the Buddhist essence. With
all this I emphatically agree (cf. my Theravada Meditation: the
Buddhist Transformation of Yoga, chapter V.) ,
Still, I have difficulty with Professor Katz's interpretation of
vipassana as essentially analytical and intellectualistic, and quite
separate from the jhiinas. Certainly, vipassana (insight) medita-
tion came to be practiced independently of the jhanic 8-stage
progression-Buddhaghosa speaks somewhat disparagingly of
the "bare insight workers"-but the classic use (implicitly that of
the Buddha himself) seems to have made vipassana an integral
part of the whole process. After every jhanic trance experience up
to the highest (neither perception nor non-perception) there is a
vipassana "review" of the just-experienced jhanic trance, essen-
tial for progression toward final Path attainment and enlighten-
ment. And the very highest this-world experience of Nibbana,
nirodha-samapatti (cessation of perception and consciousness)--
curiously not mentioned by Katz at all-is possible only to those
perfected in jhanic skills and vipassanic attainment, i.e. the ana-
gamin and arahant! (Likewise, vipassana even by itself has a
jhanic quality in its direct perception of Nibbana.) Hence, vipas-
sana should be seen as classically integral to meditation, in cre-
ative tension with jhanic practice (cf. my Theravada Meditation,
chapter V).
The discussion of the Mahayana stereotype of the "inferior
arahant-producing" (Hlnayana) tradition is pertinently and in-
terestingly discussed. In Katz's reading of Tibetan and Ma-
hayana literature (1) the inferior sravaka (mere disciple vehicle)
does not inClude the Theravada arahant at all, only those mired
in clinging to jhanic states; (2) there are other Mahayana pas-
sages clearly indicating that the arahant is as fully enlightened as
the bodhisattva; (3) even when some distinction is made between
the two, the difference is one of degree, not kind of enlighten-
ment. I do not question that these differing interpretations are
found in the vast and varied Mahayana canon, but have difficul-
ty with Katz's interpretation of the Lotus (Saddharmapur!4arfka)
Sfttra. When the "Hlnayana" arahant Sariputra (and others) ex-
claim: "Now we, 0 Lord, are disciples and shall proclaim su-
preme enlightenment everywhere ... Now we have become Ara-
hats" (p. 271), this seems to me to be a consequence of having
heard the (Mahayana Eternal) Buddha give this new (Ma-
hayana) discourse, not a confirmation of their previous arahant-
ship ..
I also have trouble with the portrayal here of the arahant as
a socially active individual, in the final analysis. Yes, Spiro is too
strong when he says that even moral action is inimical to nib-
banic salvation (p. 169) in the monk; moral action is integral to
nibbanic achievement. And the Supreme Arahant, the Buddha,
was "socially active" in teaching after enlightenment. So too I
agree with Katz' point that teaching is part and parcel of the
quality of arahants}:lip. But the quality of that teaching seems conduc-
172 jIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
ive to social aloofness in the attainer of enlightenment; he is now free
from all worldly constraints except teaching others by example
and word about the emptiness of worldly activity and effort.
Katz is noticeably provisional in language here as, for example:
" ... he [the monk] is virtuous (sflava),.the virtue' perhaps entail
ing positive action" (p. 167); the role of the virtuous monk as a
field of merit, receiver of lay gifts, "entails a very active receiv-
ing" (p. 186); the emphasis on merit-producing action in Bud-
dhism is more notable among "the devotees," i.e., lay disciples
(p. 187). Certainly the Mahayana lay-saint, Vimalaklrti, superior.
to the heavenly bodhisattvas themselves, would scarcely be
found to be a Theravada arahant, even though, scripturally,
properly motivated ethical actions "would no longer lead to con-
tinued rebirth" (p. 179) for either monk or layman.
A final, and I think important, point is to be raised about
the arahant's "philosophy." Actually it is a philosophy of no
philosophy, foreshadowed in the Buddha's reply to Malunkya-
putta, who came asking for answers about the status of the saint
after death and the finitude or infinitude of the universe; to him
the Buddha replied in the famous poisoned-arrow analogy,
which he concluded by saying that he taught only the pain and
misery of life and the way to their cessation in Nibbana. He was
totally free from theories, but thoroughly conversant with hu-
man psychology. In Katz's interpretation there are no "inno-
cent" questions that are not set in a motivational/existential con-
text and this is the only thing the Buddha (arahant) is interested in, for
" .. the truth or falsity of any given religious statement is not to
be determined by any external criteria of truth and falsity, such
as a principle of verification, but by an existential analysis of the
context or situation in which that language is expressed" (p.
232). All our intellectual constructs embody a hidden agendum
of preferences, self-attachment. The only important ones are
psychological/existential, not metaphysical. Buddhism is a reli-
gion of freedom from theory.
I, too, have elsewhere maintained that Buddhist ultimates
are essentially existential/experiential, not ontological or meta-
physical (cf. my. "The Existential Nature of Buddhist Ultimates,"
Philosophy East and West, 33, 3, pp. 263-71). Yet I cannot blink
two facts of Buddhist tradition away-neither can Professor
Katz, though perhaps I misunderstand him. One fact is the pres-
ence in Buddhism of elaborate philosophies and cosmologies.
There is much of this in the Pali Canon. Professor Katz notes
that the Buddha himself believed in his own magical powers,
consequent upon his arahant attainments, by which, for exam-
pIe, he wafted himself and his disciples through the air over a
swollen river (pp.llO-lll). It was a world in which many super-
humanly powerful gods appeared. But secondly, even in that
seemingly innocent statement to Malmikyaputta, there are em-
bedded, taken for granted, several all-important metaphysical
presuppositions: all beings are endlessly reborn; their lives are
shaped by their own voluntary deeds (karma); this chain of re-
birth can be cut. Indeed implicit in, necessary to, the achiivement of
arahant status is a particular kind of world and human constitution.
Could arahantship be achieved if this were not so, or in other
terms and traditions, such as Muslim of Christian? That the
Buddha's "no theories" approach is one of centering on the
existential importance of tlie human situation rather than upon
metaphysical theorizing I can agree; but that there should be a
significant life-style, such as Buddhism is, without any meta-
physical grounding or assumptions, I cannot accept.
The fact that such questions are raised-and many others-
by Professor Katz's book attests to its value and importance in
ongoing Buddhist studies.
Winston King
The Word of the Buddha: the Tipi(aka and its Interpretation in
Theravada Buddhism, by George D. Bond. Colombo, Sri Lanka:
M. D. Gunasena & Co., 1982. Pages xii + 221. Paperback,
S.L.Rs. 56/50.
In accord with recent theoretical developments in religious
studies, quite a few colleagues in Buddhist studies have been
turning their attention to those modes of enquiry known as her-
meneutics and semiology. This recent trend has not arisen out
of an historical compulsion that whatever is current in the West
must be found in ancient Buddhist scriptures. Such thinking is a
relic of a well-forgotten past when Buddhism itself was on an
ideological and neocolonial defensive. Rather, such research is
being done in the firm conviction that the Buddhist traditions
have genuine contributions to make towards an intellectual
discussion that should not be confined to the West. In the con-
text of this surge of scholarly activity, Professor George D.
Bond's recent book, The Word of the Buddha, is a welcome and
valuable contribution.
174 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
Upon a perusal of this work, what becomes apparent is that
the Theravada tradition offers refreshing and substantive in-
sights into the problems of textual interpretation and exegesis.
The book's foremost contribution is to admonish those of us
working on similar questions in other forms of Buddhism
(whether in the works of Candraklrti, Tsong kha pa or Dagen)
to consider the Theravada as well.
Chapter One sets forth the context in which specific
exegetical techniques are elaborated (as in the Netti-Pakararta)
and in which they are employed (as in Buddhaghosa's great
commentaries). In the Theravada tradition, all of the Tipitaka is
held to be "the word of the Buddha" (Buddhavacanarn), hence
the title of the book. However, whether by "word of the Bud-
dha" is intended an historical or philosophical claim has not
been elucidated in Western scholarship. Bond argues that while
many Theravadins may take it in the first sense, he presents
strong textual evidence that the latter was also intended. Much
as Mahayana writers claimed, the Kathavatthu held that which is
"well said" (subhasitarn) to be Buddhavacanarn. Problems of inter-
pretation arise in the tension of the accessibility of the Dhamma.
As Bond puts it (p. 33), "Theravada has struggled ... with the
problem of how to provide access to the Tipitaka's teaching
while at the same time guarding against false and misleading
interpretations of these immeasurable truths."
To clarify the complex relations between the goal or mean-
ing of a text (attha), which the tradition understands to be nib-
bana, and its linguistic convention or phrasing (byanjana) , the
first century C.E. text, the Netti-Pakararta, assumed a crucial role
in the development of Theravada hermeneutical thought. By
providing five guidelines (naya) and sixteen modes (hara), the
Netti seeks to interweave the text's inner and outer horizons of
goal and convention. Chapter Two introduces the reader to the
exegetical techniques conveyed in this much-neglected text.
Based upon a familiarity with the Netti's methodology,
Chapter Three views the vast collections attributed to the
fifth century authoritative commentator, Buddhaghosa. While
" ... the N etti provided only a method for interpreters" (p. 100),
Buddhaghosa brought this method to its flowering and set the
standards for Theravada exegesis ever since. By viewing Budd-
haghosa in the context of the Netti, one comes to appreciate both
his reliance on its methods and his unique contributions.
Chapter Four evaluates the significance of the study of the
Theravada commentaries for Western scholars. Setting his apc
pI:oach off against those which seek a "pure" Buddhism (such as
Rhys Davids and Conze), Bond argues that to read the Tipitaka
through its commentaries is to see it in its natural "life-setting."
Claiming " ... a pluralistic approach to a pluralistic tradition"
(p. 205), a convincing case is made for such contextualized studies.
While I fully support Bond's position, there seem to be even
wider implications for the study of Buddhist exegetical tech-
niques, implications even beyond a more authentic understand-
ing of Buddhist traditions. Given the tradition's very subtle and
nuanced approach to language and its non-substantialist philo-
sophic underpinnings, the resolutions of the problems inherent
in reading Buddhist texts go beyond Buddhism itself. However,
Bond's meticulous analysis of the Netti-Pakararta and of Budd-
haghosa's writings certainly facilitate the work of those interest-
ed in hermeneutical issues in cross-cultural perspective, in
addition to his stated goal of enhancing our understanding of
the Theravada in particular.
Two additional points deserve mention. The first is Bond's
evident familiarity with contemporary Sri Lankan scholarship
on Buddhism. Many valuable contributions from Sri Lanka are
lost to Western scholars because of poor distribution abroad,
and this is a pity. The second is the very attractive printing and
design by M. D. Gunasena's. Although there are a good number
of printer's errors, the book is of high technical quality.
Nathan Katz
Ascent and Descent: Two-Directional
Activity in Buddhist Thought
Presidential Address for The Sixth Conference of
The lABS
Tokyo, Japan, September, 1983
by Gadjin M. Nagao
It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected as
President of the 6th Conference of the International Associ-
ation of Buddhist Studies and to be invited to address you on
this auspicious occasion.
At the first Conference, held at Columbia University in
1978, I discussed several topics relating to Buddhist studies. Of
course, many more topics remain to be discussed. Today, how-
ever, I would like to consider, with your kind permission, an
idea which I cherish in my own study of Buddhist thought.
Buddhists have formulated doctrines around various key-
terms such as pratztyasamutpada, anatman, sunyata, and tathata, all
of them conveying the fundamental standpoint of Buddhism.
It will be found upon examination, however, that most of these
doctrines contain within them two opposite tendencies, or di-
rections, or activities. By this I mean that in the structure of
Buddhist thought as well as in the way that it is expounded are
found two activities or movements, one of "going forth" or.
"going upward," the other of "coming back" or "coming down."
The two activities for the sake of convenience can be named
simply "ascent" and "descent."
Ascent can be understood as an activity or movement from
this world to the world yonder, or from this human personal
existence to the impersonal dharmadhatu, the world of dharmatii.
Descent is the reverse; it is revival and affirmation of humanity,
or personality in human existence. These two activities function
in opposite directions, so they tend to be paradoxical, at times
illogical, even contradictory. But, in fact, it is this "two-
directional activity," frequently encountered in Mahayanic
ideas, that constitutes the characteristic feature of the Ma-
hayana. Paradoxes, such as "being and yet non-being," "puri-
fied and yet not purified," commonly encountered in the Praj-
niipiiramitii and the other Mahayana sutras, are polar opposites.
But the "two-directional activity" differs from ordinary para-
dox. It is through it that the dynamic movement of Mahayana
thought reveals itself.
While the ideas of ascent and descent are to be found
throughout Mahayana Buddhism, it was a text of Pure Land
School that influenced me most in formulating the idea. T'an-
luan (476-542), in his commentary on Vasubandhu's UpadeSa
of Sukhiivatzvyuha, designated the two-directional activity with
the terms "aspect of going forth" ( ~ t ~ ) and "aspect of com-
ing back" ( ~ t ! ). According to him, a follower of the Pure
Land teaching transfers the merit he has obtained in two ways:
first, he transfers toward his birth in the Pure Land; this is
called the "merit-transference in the aspect of going forth."
Secondly he transfers his merits towards his return to this
world of suffering for the purpose of benefitting others; this is
the "merit-transference in the aspect of coming-back." Being
born in or going forth to the Pure Land refers to ascent, be-
cause it is by ascending to the Pure Land that one obtains the
great enlightenment, whIle coming back from the Pure Land
refers to descent, because it is by descending once again to this
world that one fulfills his act of benefitting others.
The idea of including the coming back into this world with-
in the context of fulfilling one's purpose is a unique one. The
search for paradise is a concept common to all religious quests.
But the concept of seeking earnestly to return to one's original
abode of suffering is rarely seen, and. T'an-Iuan's case is per-
haps one of the few exceptions. He established this unique idea
of "two-directional activity" as early as the 6th century.
178 .lIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
I know of no Sanskrit term that corresponds to the idea of
the two-directional activity as it is found in the later Chinese
text, but, as we shall see, t h ~ b a s i ~ connotation was already
developed rather elaborately m IndIan Mahayana.
The notion of ascent and descent is found also in Chris-
tianity. There, however, it seems that the aspect of descent
comes prior to the aspect of ascent. As the incarnation of God,
or as Son of God, Jesus Christ descends from Heaven to earth
and brings his Father's message. After the crucifixion and res-
urrection, his earthly life ends and he ascends to Heaven.
The Buddhist notion of ascent and descent is the reverse
of this. Gautama Siddhartha, after living as a human being on
this earth, ascends to the throne of mahabodhi, and thereafter,
as a Buddha, descends to the world to engage in missionary
work. He enters parinirvat;a at the end of his life, but according
to Mahayanic belief, his activities on earth as a Buddha contin-
ue forever, even after the parinirvat;a. The general pattern of
two-directional activity in Buddhism is this: the ascent to en-
lightenment comes first and from there, the message comes
Nirvar;ta is the highest virtue to which a Buddhist aspires;
there is no difference in this regard between the earlier and
later forms of Buddhism. The attainment of nirvar;ta is the
result of the activities directed toward ascent. Thus, knowledge
or wisdom (prajfla) also belongs to the same line of ascent,
because nirvar;ta is realized only through the elimination of avi-
dya, ignorance or non-knowing, the fundamental defilement
(kleSa). All practices and learnings likewise belong to the cate-
Another virtue, however, to which a Buddhist aspires, is
"compassion" (karur;ta). It is, for a bodhisattva, no less impor-
tant than wisdom. Compassion is an activity directed toward
descent, because benefitting others is the bodhisattva's primal
concern. Owing to his deep compassion, a bodhisattva refrains
from entering nirvar;ta so long as his fellow beings are not
saved. Rejecting even the exquisite pleasure of nirvar;ta, he-de-
votes himself to the works of benefitting others.
Wisdom and compassion, thus representing opposite di-
rections, stand side by side as the two cardinal Buddhist virtues,
the indispensable constituents of enlightenment. They are
compared to the two wheels of a cart or the two wings of a bird.
Now, it goes without saying that the sutras and sastras are
filled with examples which teach, encourage, urge; or admon-
ish people to ascend to their final aims. But which are doctrines
that represent the direction of descent?
In addition to the doctrine of compassion just mentioned,
there is the doctrine of which means "not
dwelling in nirval).a," i.e., rejecting entry into nirval).a. Another
term that indicates the direction of descent more positively
than this is sarJlcintyabhavopapatti, which means "willingly to take
rebirth in this world." However, as I have discussed these doc-
trines elsewhere,l I shall refrain from going into them in detail
In consideration of these two directions, naturally it fol-
lows that there exists a summit where the ascent ends and from
which the descent begins. What is the characteristic of this sum-
Such a summit can be seen in the career of Gautama Bud-
dha. When he advanced to vajrasana and realized mahabodhi at
Bodhgaya, he reached nirval).a. This great event marks a sum-
mit in his life. The 35 years previous to this event belong to the
ascent, while the 45 years of his mission corne after represent
the direction of descent. We are apt to consider the 80 years of
his life as a single, continuous ascent to parinirvarJa. But his life
is better seen as consisting of two periods, divided by the sum-
mit that constitutes the pivotal point where ascent turns to de-
scent and where the life of acquiring self-benefit becomes a life
of benefitting others.
The pivotal point or summit has a double character of
being simultaneously negative and affirmative. This double
character is due to and corresponds to the two directions of
ascent and descent.
The ascent implies a negative movement, because to aspire
to something higher implies a negation of the present state of
existence in anticipation of a higher one in the future. Ascent is
always nihilistic in character-through self-negating practice, a
practitioner finally reaches the summit of negation, which may
be called sunyata, "negated-ness," or "zero-ness."
Descent, on the other hand, naturally implies an affirma-
tive movement. As stated before, a bodhisattva's primary con-
cern is the practice of benefitting others. He must once deny
the sarpsaric world; but if it should then be totally forsaken,
180 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
there would be no place for a bodhisattva to fulfill his obliga_
tion of helping others. It is in this sense that the world is af-
firmed in the process of the descent.
The structure of two-directional activity with its summit is
clearly seen in the Y ogacara theory of the three knowledges.
The three knowledges are: 1) knowledge held in the stage of
preparatory practice r.prayogika-fiiana) , 2) non-discriminative
knowledge (nirvikalpa-fiiana), and 3) knowledge acquired subse-
quently (tat-pnthalabdha-jnana). Of these, non-discriminative
knowledge, 2), is knowledge in which every form of duality of
subject and object has been abolished; hence, it is non-dual and
non-discriminative and represents the ultimate enlightenment
in this school. It is realized on the path of intuitive sight (dar-
sana-marga) through arduous practice, and it occupies the posi-
tion of the summit in the sense stated above. Knowledge 1),
belonging to the preparatory stage of practice, is itself discrimi-
native but aims for non-discriminative knowledge. It is knowl-
edge practiced in the direction of ascent. Knowledge acquired
subsequently, 3), is obtained and arises from the non-discrimi-
native knowledge. It is discriminative and worldly but differs
from the first kind of knowledge in that its activity is directed in
the direction of descent. It is a pure form of knowledge because
it flows out from non-discriminative knowledge.
This kind of knowledge might seem superfluous, and one
might question the need for it; because once the ultimate en-
lightenment-non-discriminative knowledge-is obtained
there would be no need for it. But it is this knowledge that an
enlightened one must employ as he descends from the dharma-
dhatu to work in this world. As activity in the direction of de-
scent, i.e., in the direction of compassion, it differs from ordi-
nary human knowledge belonging to the preparatory state; it
differs also from the nirval)ic silence which is essentially non-
discriminative knowledge. The formulation of the system of
three know ledges by adding the third stage was one of the great
achievements accomplished by the Yogacaras.
The two-directional activity is observable also in various
other cases. Two words, agama and adhigama, with gam or "to
go" as their common root, are often contrasted. The term
agama literally means "coming hither'.' and is widely used to
denote doctrines, precepts, and sacred works, including Bud-
dhist canonical texts; hence, it indicates the movement "coming
down from above," i.e., descent. In opposition to this, adhigama
rneans"acquisition," and, especially in Buddhism, "spiritual re-
alization," which implies an upward movement or ascent. Thus
the twO terms connote salvation from above and self-realization
from below;
The two-directional activity can be observed even in a sin-
gle term. The word tathagata, for instance, has the two mean-
ings of "thus-gone" (tatha-gata) and "thus-come" (tatha-agata).
Interpreting these two meanings in accordance with the
scheme stated above, it is possible to interpret "thus-gone" as
representing the Buddha's wisdom which denotes ascent, while
"thus-come" can be interpreted as Buddha's compassion which
denotes descent. In the same way, the term bodhisattva also can
be understood in two ways: "a sattva who aspires for bodhi"
(ascent) and "a sattva who has incarnated from bod hi" (de-
The Mulamadhyamaka-karika, XXIV. IS, presents a zigzag-
ging logic, in which dependent co-origination (pratztya-samut-
pada) is identified with the three notions of emptiness (sun-
yaUl) , designation based upon some material (upadaya-
prajnapti) , and the middle path (madhyama-pratipad). It is
zigzagging because what exists is identified with what does not
exist, which is then identified with what exists. This zigzagging
logic defies straightforward reasoning and understanding, but
if we apply the idea of the two-directional activity, the logic will
be understood easily. The identification of dependent co-origi-
nation with sunyata is the activity in the direction of ascent, and
the identification of sunyata with designation based upon some
material (which designation, I think, is another name for de-
pendent co-origination) is the activity in the direction of de-
scent; sunyata occupies the position of summit as stated above.
The final situation, called the middle path, synthesizes the two
directions and is itself the summit between them; it is equated
not only with sunyata, the summit, but also with dependent co-
origination and designation, thereby fully synthesizing the two
These two directions, however, are further claimed to be
one and the same activity, even as they are opposite and contra-
dictory. That is to say, ascent is descent and descent is ascent.
But, how is this identity of contrary directions possible?
If we properly understand the double character of the
182 JIABS VOL. 7 NO. I
summit mentioned above-that is, the two meanings of SlIn_
yata, "non-existence" (abhava) on the one hand, and "existence
of that non-existence" (abhavasya bhavaJ-;) on the other, as de-
fined by the Madhyantavibhaga (I.13)-such an identity will be-
come comprehensible.
Further, such an identification can be illustrated by the
English word "realization." The verb "to realize," meaning "to
make real," has two different senses: 1) "to understand clearly,"
"to conceive vividly as real," and 2) "to bring into concrete
existence," "to actualize." When we say "realization of truth,"
we mean that we are aware of the truth and, at the same time,
we mean that the truth realizes itself, or actualizes itself, in our
awareness. "To be aware" is our understanding-it belongs to
ourselves; but if it is a real understanding, it is consummated
only through the actualization of the truth itself. The former,
the understanding constituting our "self-realization," denotes
the direction of ascent, while the latter, the "self-realization" of
the truth, denotes descent. Thus, in the single word "realiza-
tion" both directions of ascent and descent have been combined
and unified.
The two aspects of this "realization," or enlightenment, are
comparable to the two words adhigama and agama referred to
earlier. Within a religious context, adhigama, our understand-
ing or realization, cannot be realized without agama, the teach-
ing, which always illuminates the path of adhigama from above.
At the end of this path, there is a sphere or a field where
adhigama and agama become identical, become one and the
same activity. That is to say, adhigama is deepened to the depth
of agama and agama becomes our own adhigama.
Realization of such a sphere in which ascent is descent and
descent is ascent is called satori or enlightenment in Zen
Buddhism and salvation or faith in Pure Land Buddhism. As
Nishitani Keiji puts it: " ... the actualization of the Buddha's
Great Compassion and the witness of faith by sentient beings
are seen to be really one, a single realization."3 Here, "the actu-
alization of the Buddha's great compassion" is in the direction
of descent, and "the witness of faith" in the direction of ascent.
They are "really one, a single realization." Through the witness
of faith, one meets the Buddha and his great compassion; it is
a realization even of the identity between the Buddha and
ordinary beings.
So much for the identity of ascent and descent. However, it
is equally true, that ascent is not descent; descent is different
from ascent. Sunyata is the meeting place where adhigama
meets agama and becomes identified with it. But sunyata is not a
mere nihilism which engulfs all entities in its universal dark-
ness, abolishing all differences and particularities. On the
contrary, sunyata is the fountainhead from which the Buddha's
compassionate activity flows out. Sunyata, the summit, is
reached, but in the next moment, differentiation and discrimi-
nation occurs again, notwithstanding the identity accomplished
by sunyata. Therefore, we can say that the two directions, as-
cent and descent, are simultaneously identical and not identical.
The emphasis is often placed on the upward direction
alone, the "aspect of going forth" and "being born in the Pure
Land." But, unless a religion contains the "aspect of return," it
is still incomplete and imperfect. Unless concern is directed to
the world once more, the ultimate goal of religion cannot be
fulfilled. T'an-Iuan made a great contribution to Buddhist
thought when he clarified the concept of return. It is my belief
that the concept of two-directional activity is indispensable for
judging the authenticity of a religious teaching. It should be
used as a touchstone to aid us as we study and re-examine the
various aspects of Buddhist doctrine.
1. "The Bodhisattva Returns to This World," in The Bodhisattva Doctrine
in Buddhism, ed. Leslie S. Kawamura, SR supplements; 10 (Waterloo, Ontario:
Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1981), pp. 61-79.
2. For these discussions, please refer to my article: "From Madhyamika
to Yogacara; An Analysis ofMMK, XXIV.I8 and MV, I.l-2,"JoumalIABS,
2, No.1 (1979), pp. 29-43.
3. Keiji Nishitani, Religion and Nothingness, tr. by Jan Van Bragt (Berke-
ley, etc.: Univ. of California Press, 1982), p. 27.
A Report on the Sixth Conference of
the lABS, Held in Conjunction with
the 31st CISHAAN, Tokyo and Kyoto,
Japan, August 31-September 7, 1983
The 6th Conference of the International Association of
Buddhist Studies (CIABS) was held in conjunction with the 31st
International Congress of Human Sciences in Asia ahd North
Africa (CISHAAN, formerly International Congress of Orien-
talists) both in Tokyo (August 31st to September 3rd) and Kyoto
(September 5th through the 7th),japan. The bulk of the organi-
zational effort in coordinating the two conferences was gracious-
ly carried out by Dr. Akira Yuyama, lABS Regional Secretary
for Asia and Local Secretary for this Conference. He e ~ o y e d
the kind collaboration of Professor jikido Takasaki, Secretary
General of the 31st CISHAAN (and an editor of the journal,
lABS), who also devoted much time and energy to insuring that
the lABS conference would bea success. Professor Gadjin Na-
gao, Honorary Fellow and Founding Chairperson of the lABS,
acted as the President of this conference. His Presidential Ad-
dress is included in this issue of the journal of the lABS.
Although some lABS members read their papers in other
. sectional meetings, most papers were read in Sectional Meeting
III "The Spread of Buddhism and Hindu Culture in Asia," of
the 31st CISHAAN, with which the 6th Conference of the lABS
was incorporated as a joint session. Professor Hajime Naka-
mura, Honorary Fellow of the lABS, was the Convener of Sec-
tional Meeting III. Sectional Meeting III was divided into ten
subsections: 1. The Language and Culture of Classical India;
2. Buddhist Texts in Sanskrit, Pali and Khotanese; 3. Hindu
Culture in Asia; 4. Buddhist Culture in Asia; 5. Buddhism in
South and Southeast Asia; 6. Tibetan Buddhism; 7. Buddhism
in East Asia; 8. Buddhist Texts in Chinese Translation; 9. Com-
parative Religion and Culture; and 10. Recent Trends in.lndian
and Buddhist Studies in Japan. At the request of several mem-
bers of the lABS, Sub-sectional Meeting 10 was organized as a
plenary session of Sectional Meeting III and chaired by Dr. Hu-
bert Durt.
Participants of the 6th Conference of the lABS were all
registered as participants in the 31 st CISHAAN, and were able
to attend all CISHAAN functions. In addition, a number of
functions, organized exclusively for lABS members, were made
possible by the generosity of a number of Japanese Buddhist
organizations and institutions. The following functions were or-
ganized especially for the members of the lABS:
1. The Opening Ceremony of the 6th Conference of the
lABS, which began with a welcome by Professor Jikido Taka-
saki, Secretary General of the 31st CISHAAN and Editor of the
Journal, JABS, was held on September 1 in Tokyo. Professor
A. L. Basham, Chairperson of the lABS, inaugurated the con-
ference with a short speech which preceded the Presidential
Address given by Professor Gadjin Nagao. Thanks were given
by Professor Robert J. Miller, General Secretary, lABS.
2. On September 2, after lunch, and skillfully planned so as
to avoid conflict with panels, an excursion to the Sensoji Temple
at Asakusa, in Tokyo, was made possible through the good of-
fices of Professors Taishun Mibu and Ryotatsu Shioiri (both of
the Temple and TaishoUniversity in Tokyo). It was followed by
a visit to the Reiyukai's Shakaden at Azabu and an inspection of
the International Institute for Buddhist Studies (IIBS). After
visiting the International Institute for Buddhist Studies, lABS
members were treated to a remarkable reception at the IIBS,
adorned by a 7 foot stupa carved entirely out of ice. The recep-
tion was hosted by Mr. Tsugunari Kubb, President of the nBS
and life member of the lABS.
3. The Board of Directors of the lABS met again at the
IIBS building the next evening, September 3. The minutes of
that meeting are included in this report.
4. In Kyoto, the General Business Meeting of the lABS was
planned around an excursion to the Nishi Hongwanji Temple at
Shichijo Omiya. The Nishi Hongwanji Temple's audience
Chamber, where the General Business Meeting was held, is one
of japan's National Treasures. After the meeting (notes of
which are included in this report), there was a visit to the Ryu-
koku University Library's Special Exhibition of the Otani Collec-
tion, organized by Professor Taijun Inoguchi and Shoko Take-
uchi, both members of the lABS.
186 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
5. On September 8, for those lABS members who were
fortunate enough to be able to stay, there was a post-conference
tour to Naraand Osaka, followed by a buffet party in Osaka,
hosted by Dr. J ojun Deguchi, President of the International
Buddhist University (lEU) of Shitennoji. It was'made possible
through the kind offices of Professors Kiyoaki Okuda and Ger00
Mizuo, Acting President and Vice President, respectively, of the
In addition to the generosity of the hosts for the excursions
and receptions listed above, the following organizations were
sponsors for the joint conference: Nihon Gakujutsu Kaigi (Sci-
ence Council of Japan); Toho Gakkai (The Institute of Eastern
Culture); Nippon Chugoku Gakkai (The Sinological Society of
Japan); Nihon Indogaku Bukkyogaku-kai Qapanese Association
of Indian and Buddhist Studies); and the Nippon Oriento Gak-
kai (The Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan).
This conference had the largest number of participants of
any conference held by the lABS thus far: over 170 participants
from all over the world read papers and/or attended the many
well-organized panels. In addition to the papers, there was a
documentary film show on Buddhism and Hinduism in Asia
chaired by Professor A.K. Narain, founding General Secretary
of the lABS and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, lABS. We hope
to publish some of the papers read at the conference in future
issues of the journal.
The conference closed on Wednesday, September 7, with a
farewell party at the site of the 31 st CISHAAN and 6th CIABS
held in Kyoto, The Kyoto International Conference Hall. The
Conference Hall is a spacious modern building offering con-
tinuously changing views of the beautiful mountains surround-
ing Kyoto.
Following is a report of the minutes of the meetings of the
Board of Directors, lABS and General Membership, lABS:
Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors, lABS, September 3,
1983 at the International Institute for Buddhist Studies, Tokyo
Present: A. L. Basham, Chairperson; Heinz Bechert, Vice
Chairperson; Lewis Lancaster; Beatrice Miller, Treasurer; Rob-
ert J. Miller, General Secretary; Gadjin Nagao, President of the
6th Conference, lABS, and Founding Chairperson; A.K. Nar-
ain, Founding General Secretary and Editor-in-Chief, journal,
lABS; Amalia Pezzali, Local Secretary for the 7th Conference,
lABS; Ismael Quiles, Vice Chairperson; Jikido Takasaki, editor,
]lABS and Secretary General, 31st CISHAAN; Alex Wayman;
and Akira Yuyama, Regional Secretary for Asia and Local Secre-
tary for the 6th Conference, lABS. Also present was Rena Hag-
garty, Assistant Secretary, lABS.
The meeting was opened by Professor Basham, and the first
item of business was to thank Dr. Akira Yuyama for his tireless
efforts in seeing that the conference was a success. -
There followed the Treasurer's Report, given by Dr. Be-
atrice D. Miller, who handed out copies of her report, noting
that the slow and steady increase in the cost of publishing the
] Dumal has become serious enough to warrant separate discus-
sion on the agenda of this meeting. Dr. Miller was pleased to
report that Professor Richard Gombrich was able to reimburse
the lABS for some of the expenses incurred for the 5th Confer-
ence, which he had organized in Oxford, England, in August of
1982. She pointed out that both the UNESCO grant given to the
lABS to help a scholar from an economically developing c o u n ~
try to attend the conference, and the grant from the Japan Soci-
ety for the Promotion of Sciences given to primary officers of
the lABS for their attendance at the conference, would go in the
Treasurer's report for 1983-84. Following is the copy of the
report handed out to the members of the Board:
Checking Acct.
Savings Acct.
91 day CD
30 mo. CD
Dues, contributions, subs.
CISHAAN preregistrations
Vth Conference
637.01 **
$ 9,520.85
188 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
On hand 8/1/82 7,756.68
Total: $21,714.92
Expenses: 12,194.07
Balance as of 8/1/83
JIABS, v. VI, # 1 $5,300.00
Ries Graphics 3,500.00
Thomson Shore 1,800.00
Vlth Conference 1,760.00
Airfare ex-Madison
Expenses: $12,194.07*
JIABS 6,75l.25
Shore,V,l,2 3,526.66
Ries Graphics 2,430.39
Roger Jackson 500.00
Copyright 20.00
South Asia Dept. 274.20
Vth ClABS 1,229.96
AK Narain 279.20
R Haggarty 503.33
AL Basham .204.00
BD Miller 243.43
Vlth CIABS 3,310.00
Airfare ex-Madison 1,760.00
Airfare ex-Delhi 1,100.00
3 CISHAA registra
tions 450.00
Other 902.86
Constitution(RG) 465.98
Reimbursements 226.00
Miscellaneous 210.88
(Excluding Life and Founder Members - 30)
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
FULL 63 208+3 40+8 6 2+1 1 +2
STUDENT 2 7 2 -0- -0- -0- -0-
SUBSID. 16 16 2+1 -0- 1 -0- -0-
INST. 6 50+ 1 10+ 1 2 -0- 1 -0-
SUBS. 8+1 18 2 -0- -0- -0-
(+ = partial payments, usually as result of exchange rates, etc.)
* Income total reflects exchange rate = $1.70, (excludes Yen 800,0001-
subvention from Japan Society for Promotion of Sciences dedicated
to officers', etc., living expenses during Vlth Conference.) Expenses
similarly reflect exchange rate.
1 Liabilities excludes officers' etc., living expenses during Vlth Confer-
2 Total includes $10001 transferred from Tokyo dues payments, +
payments as above.
3 Reimbursements include:
A.K. Narain $244.80 from Oxford subvention
R. Haggarty $ 67.64 from Oxford subvention
R. Gombrich $ 68.00 for extra week, Haggarty
**Interest includes:
1 year Golden Passbook # = 5300383
Business Savings Account
CD #89051
CD #89050
CD #87399
CD #92919
$ 39.52 account closed
164.06 account closed
210.46 account closed
104.27 account closed
101.25 account closed
17.45 account closed
Professor Richard Gombrich very kindly forwarded the
sum of $1871.80 (after bank charges) as the amount remaining
after he had paid all.the Vth Conference obligations in Oxford.
UNESCO generously awarded the lABS the sum of
$1100.00 toward meeting the travel expenses from a "Third
World country" to the Vlth CIABS.
Despite the lack of "official" mention under income, the
lABS treasurer wishes to express her appreciation for the gen-
erosity of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences. For-
mal acknowledgement will be made in the next report when the
disposition of these funds can be also noted.
Also unacknowledged, but invaluable, support from the
South Asia Department of the University of Wisconsin continues
to provide lABS with a home, the services of Ms. Haggarty, and
miscellaneous supplies, etc.
Finally, we acknowledge with deep gratitude the generous
contribution of $300.00 from the Reverend Shig Hiu-wan, the
Prajna-dhyana Sangharama, Taiwan
The Membership report was given by Professor Robert J.
Miller, General Secretary. He was pleased to inform the meeting
that membership in the lABS continues to grow, and that at
least 40 new members had joined at the time of the conference
in Japan.
Professor A.K. Narain reported on the development of the
Journal, JABS. The first issue of 1983 was released just in time
for the conference, and lABS members who attended the con-
ference were able to get a preview of the issue they soon would
be receiving in the mail. The higher cost of production was the
main issue of Professor Narain's report, and several suggestions
were discussed. Professor Narain noted that there are now many
high quality papers in his hands, waiting to be published, and
that the idea has arisen of bringing out three or four issues per
year. Professor N arain suggested that the time will come to pro-
duce more issues, perhaps after 1984 or 1985. After discussing
the pros and cons of publishing more issues, the members of the
Board agreed to keep to two issues for the time being, with an
increase in size instead. If the trend continues, and finances
increase steadily, perhaps in a few years the question can be
considered again.
The members of the Board unanimously passed a resolution
thanking Professor Narain for his hard work in keeping the jour-
nal going strong and protecting its quality.
The fourth item of discussion was the conference site for
1987. There were suggestions of Vancouver or San Francisco,
although no formal invitations have been received. Professor
Basham offered the information that the ClSHAAN was decid-
ing among Hamburg, Bangkok and Toronto, as the site for a
conference in either 1986 or 1987. He noted that although no
one is eager to join a big conference again, it is important to
know that these conferences are taking place, so that wecan plan
our own conference schedule effectively. Professor Alex Way-
man pointed out that the 1985 lAHR conference will be held in
Australia, probably from August 17th to the 25th, and that Pro-
fessor Pezzali should keep the dates in mind when planning the
1985 lABS conference in Italy.
The possibilities of regional conferences were discussed.
Professor Miller informed the meeting that although Dr. Steven
Collins initially was organizing a British meeting ofthe lABS, he
has had to hold his plans until he can find some funding sources.
Profesor Basham regretted to have to remind those present that
although the lABS encourages and morally supports regional
conferences, at present there are no funds available with which
to give financial support.
Professor N arain told of a request from Professor Bongard-
Levin of the USSR to have the Institute of Asian Studies join as
an Institutional Member of the lABS. Professor Bongard-Levin
was requesting a formal letter of invitation for the Institute, and
Professor Narain, after discussing the problems individual
members from the USSR had in paying their subscription dues,
felt that it would be helpful to write such a letter for the Insti-
tute. It was decided to send a letter asking the Institute to be-
come a member of the lABS and enclose a copy of the constitu-
A resolution was passed to endorse a formal letter of com-
mendation to Dr. Edward Bastian for his work on documentary
films on Buddhism.
The question arose of selling the lABS mailing list. At the
last lABS meeting it was decided that the list would be sent only
for academic purposes, and not at all for commercial purposes.
Professor Lewis Lancaster noted that other groups sell their lists
for about $35 per 1000 names. It was decided to have two cate-
gories for distribution of our list: The list would be given free
for scholarly purposes, or sent to publishers for either $35 or
free of charge if they advertised regularly in the Journal.
Professor Amalia Pezzali reported on the progress she has
made in her plans for the 1985 conference of the lABS. She has
tentatively planned the conference to start on a Saturday, dur-
ing the 2nd week in July, and mentioned some ideas she has for
Chairperson on the organizing committee, and Honorary Presi-
The Board gave her unanimous approval in the pursuit of
192 J lABS VOL. 7 NO. 1
her plans and moved a vote of thanks to Professor Pezzali for her
efforts, wishing her continued success.
Finally, Dr. Bea Miller asked permission to change the rate
at which we charge for back issues of the] oumal. Our present
policy is to charge the old rate for back issues, but as of August,
1984, Dr. Miller will start charging the current rate for back
Dr. Miller also moved a constitutional amendment to remove
the specific amount charged for dues, as is now written in the
constitution. If this amendment is accepted at the General Busi-
ness Meeting, dues can be changed without requiring a constitu-
tional amendment for such change.
Closing the meeting, Professor Basham announced his de-
sire to resign from the position of Chairperson. He asked the
members to start thinking about a replacement from somewhere
other than the USA. He then gave thanks to all of the Board
Members and the Assistant Secretary of the lABS for their ef-
forts on behalf of the association.
The members of the lABS were welcomed to the Nishi
Hongwanji Temple at Shichijo Omiya by the Monshu Emeritus,
Kosho Ohtani, who graciously gave a discourse on the history of
the temple and its founders.
Professor Gadjin Nagao, President of the 6th Conference of
the lABS, moved a vote of thanks and deep appreciation for the
arrangements at the Nishi Hongwanji Temple to the Monshu
Emeritus and the Present Monshu.
Professor A.L. Basham, Chairperson, lABS, opened the meet-
ing, and Professor Robert Miller, General Secretary of the lABS
read the following resolution of thanks voted by the Board of
Directors at their meeting in Tokyo:
1. The Secretariat and members of the Steering Committee
of the 31st CISHAAN, particularly to Professor Jikido Takasaki,
Chairman of the Executive Committee; Professor Hajime Naka-
mura, Convenor, Section 3; Professor Gadjin Nagao, President,
6th CIABS; Professor Sengaku Mayeda, Acting Convenor, Sec-
tion 3; Professor Shoko Takeuchi, Ryukoku University; and the
foliowing members of the Steering Committee for the 31 st
CISHAAN who were instrumental in coordinating the 6th
ClABS with the 31st CISHAAN: Messrs. Kyuya Doi, Fumimasa
Fukui, Kojun Fukui, Minoru Hara, Masaaki Hattori, Ryusho Hi-
kata, Akira Hirakawa, Yuichi Kajiyama, Shigeo Kamata, Ensho
Kanakura, Shoko Kanaoka, Shozen Kumoi, Shoson Miyamoto,
Kogen Mizuno, Yasuaki Nara, Iichi 'Oguchi, Shuyu Sakurai,
Shoho Takemura, Tokuzen Tamaru, Reimon Yuki, and all those
who worked and helped at the Section 3 Information 'Office and
desks in Tokyo and Kyoto;
2. Dr. Akira Yuyama, Regional Secretary for Asia and Local
Secretary and organizer for the 6th Conference of the lABS for
his tireless efforts on behalf of the lABS;
3. The Nishi Honwanji Temple at Shichijo Omiya and the
Monshu Emeritus and the Present Monshu for their kind ar-
rangements to accommodate members of the lABS;
4. The following persons and institutions for extending their
hospitality to the lABS members in Tokyo and Kyoto:
The Reiyukai at Azabu and Mr. Tsugunari Kubo, President
of the International Institute for Buddhist Studies for the
splendid reception and tour of the Reiyukai;
The Shitennoji Temple in Osaka and the International Bud-
dhist University of Shitennoji and our hosts Dr. Jojun Deku-
chi, President, Professor Kiyoaki 'Okuda, Acting President,
and Professor Genjo Mizuo, Vice President of the IBU.
The Todaiji Temple at Nara, the Patriarch and his staff
members; The Horyuji Temple at Ikaruga of Nara, the Pa-
triarch and his staff members;
The Ryukoku University Library in Kyoto, and Professors
Taijun Inoguchi and Shoko Takeuchi, for their well orga-
nized special exhibition of the 'Otani Collection;
The Sensoji Temple at Asakusa in Tokyo, Professors Tai-
shun Mibu and Ryotatsu Shioiri; and The International In-
stitute for Buddhist Studies and its Director Dr. Akira
Yuyama and his staff, Dr. Tadeusz Skorupski, lIBS Research
Fellow; and
5. The Chairpersons, Co-Chairpersons and their Sub-co-
chairpersons of all the panels comprising the 6th Conference of
the lABS.
This motion was passed unanimously by the General Busi-
ness Meeting. .
194 JIABS VOL. 7 NO.1
A second motion was raised to accept Professor Amalia Pez-
zali's invitation for the 7th Conference of the lABS in Bologna in
the summer of 1985. This motion was passed unanimously.
A third motion was passed unanimously to "Delete each and
every stipulation of precise amount of dues in each category pres-
ently contained in Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution." This
last motion is a constitutional amendment and was passed pre-
viol.lsly by the Board of Directors.
The Treasurer's Report was read as given in the notes from
the meeting of the Board of Directors, and the report was ac-
cepted by acclamation.
Professor N arain gave a report on the status of the Journal,
lABS, as is given in the notes from the meeting of the Board of
Directors, and informed the lABS members that as of Septem-
ber, 1984, all back issues of the Journal would cost the current
membership rate instead of the past rate as is being done at
Old or new business:
Professor Harry M. Buck requested the lABS to coordinate
and standardize the use of computers in developing an interna-
tional network and data bank for scholars in Buddhist Studies.
Mr. Jamie Hubbard offered to organize a committee of interest-
ed scholars to investigate the computerization of Buddhist Stud-
ies. (The committee is presently gathering information on the
use of computers in Buddhist Studies. Please send any sugges-
tions or information to Mr. Hubbard c/o the lABS office in
Mr. Doboom Tulku, Director of Tibet House, New Delhi,
India, informed the meeting that Tibet House organizes semi-
nars, lectures, exhibitions, publications, etc., and publishes small
books on Buddhism from time to time. They are planning to
organize an international conference on Buddhist iconography
in 1984, and request names and addresses of scholars who are
experts on Buddhist iconography.
Dr. Edward Bastian asked for new ideas for programs to be
produced in Asia for educational films for T.v. and video, and
film, in three categories:
1. Archival and research-type tapes on rituals being per-
formed in various sects, accompanied by learning guides;
2. Audio-visual materials for higher education;
3. Television and film programs for general public educa-
He also announced his new production of a series of six
films on Buddhism with the British Broadcasting Corporatioh.
The films will be produced in Japan, China, Thailand, Sri
Lanka, India and Bhutan.
Finally, the meeting ended with a long discussion on the
compilation of a Buddhist bibliography. There were requests
for the lABS to coordinate such an activity, and publish the
results, but as was pointed out, the lABS is not in any position
financially to hire the necessary staff.
The meeting was closed by Professor Basham, who recited
part of a Theravada liturgy r e m e m b e r e d ~ as he said, after many
years. His deep chanting filled the Audience Chamber at the
Nishi Hongwanji Temple, and those present would like to share
the memory with those who could not attend:
Aharp avero homi
A vyapajjho homi
Anlgho homi
Sukharp attano pariharami
Aharp viya
Sabbe satta avera hontu
Avyapajjha hontu
Anlgha hontu
Sukhamo attanarp pariharantu
ldarp me pufifia kammam
asava Kkhayavaharp hotu
(Let me be peaceful
Let me be kindly
Let me be unharmed
Let me keep my inner happiness.
Just like me,
Mayall beings be peaceful
May they be kindly
May they be unharmed
May they keep their inner happiness
May this my work of merit
lead to the decrease of faults.) ,
Rena Haggarty, Assistant Secretary, lABS
Thich Thien Chau
9 rue de Neuchatel
91 120 VillebonlY vette
Ter Ellingson
Ethnomusicology DN-I 0
School of Music
University of Washington
Seattle, W A 9H I H5
Paul CriffIths
Dept. of South Asian Languages
and Civilizations
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
Rena Haggarty
South Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Nathan Katz
Dept. of Religious Studies
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620
Winston King
51 H ealcly Place
Madison, WI 537 I I
Minoru Kiyota
South Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
L.W.J. van der Kuijp
Nepal Research Centre
New Baneshwar
Ming-wood LiLt
Chinese Dept.
University of Hong Kong
Pokf"ulam Rd.
Neil F. McMullin
Dept. of Religion
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, V A 24595
Gadjin M. Nagao
I Sunnyuji-sannai
Kyoto 605
D. Seyfort Ruegg
Dept. of Asian Languages
and Literature
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 9HI95
Richard Salomon
Dept. of Asian Languages
and Literature
University of Washington
Seattle, W A 9H 195
Gregory Schopen
Dept. of Religious Studies
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47401
Geshe L. Sopa
South Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 5,\706
Alexander Syrkin
Institute of Asian
and African Studies
Hebrew University
warner, Langdon. The Enduring Art of Japan, Harvard Univ. Press,
1952. SpIne rubbed, internally fine. b/w plates. Inked on hit.
$15. 00 .
. The Superhuman Life of Gesar of Ling (version of A. David-
Neel). Lond'on, Rider, rev. ed. 1959. Cloth. d/J somewhat
torn & chipped. Internally fine. $30.00.
David-Neel, A. Voyage d'une Parisienne a Lhassa.
plan, 1958 (repr. of 1927). Foxed. b/w plates.
leather. $34.00.
Paris', Librarie
Good in 3/4 red
Rama Rau, Santha.
spine much rubbed,
Gifts of Passage.
internally fine.
New York, H a r p e ~ , 1961.
Vequaud, Yves. The Women Painters of Mithila. London, Thames &.
Hudson, 1977. Color plates. Wrappers. Lightly soiled top & bottom,
else fine. $12.00.
Griswold, A., C. Kim, & P. Pott. Birmanie, Coree, Tibet. Paris,
Michel, 1964. L'Art dans Ie Monde series. Many tipped-in color
plates. Boxed. Spine bumped & rubbed, internally fine. $22.00.
Markings on endpapers are not mentioned. Books may be reserved by
telephone. Price includes packing and handling but not shipping.
B E R K E LEY .C A 9 4 7 0
(4 5) 8 4
BOX 8 3
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