MAHAVASTU AVADANA PDF

The evidence outside the textual corpus does not corroborate the conclusion that Mahayana started around the beginning of Common Era. The principal reason is the utter lack of inscriptional and archaeological records in support of such a conclusion. There is just an isolated inscription and an image depicting Amitabha, the deity most central to Mahayana during the whole period of five centuries. The inscriptions refer to Hinayana groups: the Sarvastivadins, Mahasanghikas and Chetiyas etc. Thus it was not the period of Mahayana but of Hinayana.

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Affection comes into being from keeping company; following on affection, this suffering arises. Seeing the danger that comes from affection, one should wander alone like a rhinoceros horn. Cultivating at the right time love, equanimity, compassion, liberation and gladness, unimpeded by the whole world, one should wander alone like a rhinoceros horn.

The three versions of this text are in three important languages for the transmission of Early Buddhist texts. It is interesting to see these languages side by side. Unlike the Vedas which were rigidly transmitted in a single language that gradually became unintelligible too many of those involved in the transmission, the Buddha encouraged his followers to pass on the Dharma each in their own language.

We know that even among speakers of languages descended from Vedic that there must have been considerable linguistic variation. Compare the situation in Europe where we have languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Romanian all descended from vernacular Latin.

It was some time before Sanskrit was a adopted as a lingua franca, not for many centuries. Some scholars think that Pali might have been an attempt at a lingua franca.

As well is the evidence of texts in several Indian languages, there are two stories in the Pali Canon which tell us that this was more than just a drifting apart.

One of these, Vin ii. My understanding is that all we can draw from this passage is the notion that the Buddha did not want everything standardised linguistically.

Here the Buddha explicitly says that one should not insist on using the local dialect, nor override local usage. Clearly I believe that having reference to the traditional canons is helpful. One of the consequences of this translation process is that not only is the language translated, by which I mean the words; but the cultural references also change.

So the Buddhism of any given culture gradually becomes distinctive as it orientates itself to that culture. If we only use doctrine as a frame of reference for understanding Buddhism then we may fail to understand the way that some Buddhists practice.

This opens up the wider question which I hope to address in the future essay: who is a Buddhist? What is Buddhism? Specifically is Buddhism not simply what Buddhists say and do; or is Buddhism only what it says ancient texts? University of Washington Press, Addition 20 May If you are interested in parallel versions of texts then there is a Comparative version of the Dhammapada compiled by Bhikkhu Anandajyoti.

In addition he includes parallel verses from other texts where they are known about. Vol 31, No 2

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Mahavastu Avadana Vol Ii

Affection comes into being from keeping company; following on affection, this suffering arises. Seeing the danger that comes from affection, one should wander alone like a rhinoceros horn. Cultivating at the right time love, equanimity, compassion, liberation and gladness, unimpeded by the whole world, one should wander alone like a rhinoceros horn. The three versions of this text are in three important languages for the transmission of Early Buddhist texts. It is interesting to see these languages side by side. Unlike the Vedas which were rigidly transmitted in a single language that gradually became unintelligible too many of those involved in the transmission, the Buddha encouraged his followers to pass on the Dharma each in their own language. We know that even among speakers of languages descended from Vedic that there must have been considerable linguistic variation.

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महावस्तु अवदान - भाग 1 | Mahavastu Avadana - Vol I

Furthermore, both contemporary reconstructions and traditional accounts contain a plurality of voices and perspectives on history, relying on different and usually very fragmentary data, especially when it comes to such factual details as which language or languages the Buddha may have taught in. While we offer here a tentative and small sample of views and hypotheses, this is by no means comprehensive, nor conclusive, and should be taken as a starting point for further reflection rather than as a definitive account of the distant Buddhist past. It should be understood that different types of Sanskrit texts employ different sociolinguistic registers , with different degrees of conformity to standardized rules of grammar: in this, Buddhist texts are in no way unique, and thus terms like " Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit " should perhaps be used with some caution and contextual care. The use of Sanskrit as a sacred language survives in the Newar Buddhism of Nepal , and arguably the vast majority of Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts have been preserved by this tradition.

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Mahavastu Avadana Vol I

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