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Studies in the Literature of the the Great Vehicle - Three Mahayana Buddhist Texts

Text of Studies in the Literature of the the Great Vehicle - Three Mahayana Buddhist Texts

  • -STUDIES IN THE LITERATURE OF

    THE GREAT VEHICLE

    THREE MAHAyANA BUDDHIST TEXTS

    Edited by

    Luis O. Gomez

    and

    Jonathan A. Silk

    Ann Arbor

    Collegiate Institute for the Study of Buddhist Literature and

    Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies The University of Michigan

    1989

  • Copyright 1989

    by

    Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies The University of Michigan

    All rights reserved

    Studies in the literature of the great vehicle (Michigan studies in Buddhist literature; no. 1)

    ISBN 0-89148-0544 ISBN 0-89148-0552 (pbk.)

    Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 89-60438

    The cover photo is of a painting on the left wall of the antechamber of cave seventeen at Ajanta, India.

    Printed in the United States of America

  • CONTENTS

    Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

    PART I

    The Stitra of the King of Samtidhis: Chapters I-IV Translation Committee .................... 1

    Abbreviations and Bibliography ............................. 3 Introduction to the English Translation ...................... 11 Translation ofthe King of Samadhis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Notes.................................................... 79

    PART II

    The Manuscript of the Vajracchedikii Found at Gilgit Gregory Schopen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

    Abbreviations and Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Introductory Note.. . . .. . . .. . . . .. . ......... . . . . . . . . .. .. .... 95 Transcription of the Gilgit Text ............................. 99 Textual Notes ............................................ 109 Translation of the Gilgit Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 123 Notes ................................................... ". 133

    v

  • PART III

    Santarak~ita's MadhyamakalaThkara Masamichi Ichig6 ......................... 141

    Abbreviations and Bibliography .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 143 Introduction: The Central Tenet of the

    Yogiiciira-Miidhyamika School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 151 Siintarak~ita's Madhyamakalainkara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 185 The Madhyamakalainkara-karika: Text and Translation ....... 189 Notes to the Introduction .................................. 227 Appendix: Sutra Quotations in the MA V and MAP ............ 237

  • PREFACE

    The study of the textual traditions of Indian Buddhism has not yet received the attention in the United States that it continues to receive in Europe and Japan. Although research in Buddhist literature is not the only viable approach to the study of Buddhist history and doctrines, it is an essential element contributing to our understanding of the historical development and complexities of this tradition. To a great extent, research into almost every aspect of premodern Buddhism is dependent on, or must at least utilize, the results of textual studies. The student of contemporary Buddhism can observe rituals, conduct interviews, and otherwise seek an understanding of Buddhist society and culture. But one can travel into the past only through what is left behind, and even the stones that are the research materials of archeologists and art his-torians could hardly yield much sense without the help of written texts. Texts allow one to, quite literally, contextualize almost every type of evidence. In this sense, textual studies serve as the foundation for research into premodern Buddhism.

    In the following pages we offer the reader three studies on Mahayana Buddhist texts of India. The first two present sl1tra materials. The third concerns itself with sastra material, that is, philosophical litera-ture. Taken together, the three contributions illustrate different methodologies employed in the study of Buddhist literature, and are motivated by differing aims. From one point of view, then, this volume is intended to furnish several possible models for the textual study of Buddhism.

    The translation of the King of SamlLdhis is free of brackets and (it is hoped) Sanskritic English, and the introduction provides an overview of the history of the text. The goal is to make available to both general and scholarly audiences the content of an important Mahayana scripture. Professor Schopen's VajracchediklL translation, on the other hand, seeks to reproduce the syntax of the Sanskrit text quite literally, and the transcription of the manuscript and the textual notes are geared primarily toward an audience made up of his fellow scholars. Professor

    vii

  • Preface

    Ichigo's study, presented in the third part of the volume, seeks to emphasize the philosophical and doctrinal standpoint of Santarak~ita's text. The introduction and translation, though amply provided with documentation from Sanskrit and Tibetan sources, are directed primarily at readers whose interests and abilities tend more toward the philosophical than the philological.

    Although each part of the present volume emphasizes a different aspect of the study of Buddhist literature, it should be obvious that no one approach is sufficient to fully elucidate the multiple facets of any text. One of the things that makes the study of texts so fascinating is the endless variety of approaches one can take-each approach illuminating something new about the others. A glance at the list of published studies of the King of Samadhis Satra in Part I will give the reader an idea of some of the kinds of research that can be undertaken. One of the under-lying assumptions behind the present group of studies, however, is the notion that any serious "higher criticism" of Buddhist literature (or for that matter of all literature) requires, first, the critical establishment of a philologically correct text and, second, the ability to, in one way or another, render that text intelligible. The papers in this volume illustrate the problems inherent in both of these tasks-the philological and the hermeneutic enterprises.

    The first paper in the volume contains a lengthy introduction to the Samadhiraja-satra and a translation of its first four chapters. This translation of the King of Samadhis is the result of an experiment in group translation, the members of the group consisting of faculty, visit-ing scholars, and advanced graduate students at the University of Michigan from 1982 to 1983. An effort was made throughout the intro-duction and translation to make the presentation of these materials accessible to the interested nonspecialist, while still maintaining rigorous scholarly standards. The introduction contains detailed bibliographic information about the sfttra, its classical versions and its modern edi-tions, translations and studies. A text of capital importance for the Mahayana philosophical school called Madhyamika, this sfttra is quoted extensively in sastric literature. These quotations are documented in detail. Furthermore, an outline summary of the whole sfttra is given, chapter by chapter. It is hoped that the availability of some portions of the sfttra in English translation might prompt others to undertake trans-lations of the remaining chapters in the near future.

    viii

  • Preface

    For reasons explained in detail in Part I, the text taken as a basis for the translation is the version preserved in the Buddhist Sanskrit manu-scripts of Nepal. Since many Mahayana siitras do not survive in their Indian-language originals, Tibetan and Chinese translations provide us with valuable textual materials for the study of Indian Mahayana Bud-dhism. Even in cases like that of the King of Samadhis, for which we still possess a Sanskrit version, careful and judicious use of the Tibetan and Chinese translations can aid our reading of the text. It is important, however, for modern scholars to avoid creating their own new, conflated text of a siitra. Often scholars will fail to adequately distinguish the various recensions of a given text, using translations not to shed light on one version but to actually rewrite the text. The study in Part I cautions against such a method, and shows in the notes to its translation one approach to the comparative use of classical translations of Indian Buddhist texts.

    Part II of the volume contains Gregory Schopen's edition, notes and translation of the Gilgit text of the Vajracchedika, a siitra well known in the West under the title of the Diamond Siltra. The main object of Pro-fessor Schopen's contribution is to present a critical transcription of the unique, incomplete manuscript of the siitra discovered at Gilgit in present-day Pakistan. This manuscript represents one of the earliest pieces of evidence we have for the Sanskrit text of the siitra. Accom-panying Professor Schopen's transcription is a critical apparatus in which he points out the limitations of previous editions of the Gilgit manuscript. These textual notes also draw attention to some of the dif-ferences between the Gilgit recension and other Sanskrit texts of the siitra. Also included in Part II are an English rendering of the transcribed text and notes to this translation. The aim of Professor Schopen's translation contrasts with that of the translators of the Samadhiraja, since he seeks to represent the literal structure of the San-skrit text. The notes to the translation explain some English renderings and discuss several of the doctrinal points raised in the text, illustrating these with reference to parallel passages in other texts.

    Professor