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On some who are not allowed to become Buddhist Monks or nuns: an old list of types of slaves or unfree laborers.

As has been so often times the case in work on the social history of early India, when Buddhist sources have been cited in discussions of slavery or servitude those sources have been almost exclusively Pali sources. (1) This, of course, has introduced a degree of distortion that is only now starting to become clear since it is also starting to become clear that, for example, in matters of Vinaya the Pali material may be the least representative, (2) and Vinaya has a good deal of material bearing on Indian social history. But it has also meant that a wealth of material in Sanskrit and other Buddhist languages has been all but ignored and left unexplored, with potentially important connections being missed and lexical problems left unsolved. My purpose here is to give but one small example.

An Upasampada-karmavaca was among the very first Pali texts to become known in Europe. (3) It is a manual giving the rules and procedures for ordaining a Buddhist monk, and it gives a series of questions that the candidate must be asked regarding things that would disqualify him for ordination. Two of these things are of particular interest. In Spiegel's edition, published in 1841, after the candidate is asked if he is a human and a male, and he answers in the affirmative, he is then asked bhujisso'si "Are you a free man?" and anano'si "Are you free from debt?" (4) These, too, must be answered affirmatively or the individual cannot be ordained. It has already been pointed out that in the Mulasarvastivadin ordination formulary the second of these two questions differs significantly--and we have several versions of it preserved in Sanskrit. (5) In these Mulasarvastivadin versions the candidate is first asked if he has any debt (deya), whether small or large, and if he answers yes he is then asked if he will be able to pay it after he has entered the religious life (pravrajya). Unless he says he will be able to do so he cannot be ordained. (6) The Mulasarvastivadin version of the first question also differs significantly.

There are at least four versions of this first question which have come down to us in Sanskrit manuscripts. The earliest of these manuscripts is (I) the Gilgit manuscript of a Bhiksukarmavakya (7th cent.); then comes (II) a single leaf from Nepal (10th cent.); followed by (III) a Sanskrit manuscript from Tibet that Jinananda has edited under the title Upasampadajnapti (11th-12th cent?); and finally (IV) a Bhiksunikarmavacana manuscript also from Nepal (12th--13th cent.). (7) Unlike in the Pali formulary where there is a single question expressed positively--"Are you a free man?" --in the Mulasarvastivadin versions, which in terms of manuscript traditions are almost certainly much older, there is a series of questions expressed negatively:
I. masi daso        II. m[asi] dasi    III. masi daso    IV. masi dasi

   ma ahrtakah (8)      [m]ahrtila          ma praptako      ma ahrtika
                        [Rd; -ka] (9)

   ma praptako          ma praptika         ma               ma
                                            vaktavyako       vikritika

   ma vaktavyakah       ma vaktavyaka       ma ahrtako       ma

   ma vikritako                             ma               ma
                                            vikritako        vaktavyika

It should, of course, be possible to translate the individual terms in these lists--a generic meaning for some seems obvious, and others are listed in Edgerton. In regard to the first category, dasa/dasi, for example, would conventionally--if disputedly--be translatable by 'slave'; ahrtaka would be easily taken as 'captive' or 'one who was seized/taken away'; and vikritaka 'one who is sold'. Praptaka and vaktavyaka are less obvious, but they, like both ahrtaka and vikritaka, are also both listed in Edgerton. This, however, does not get us as far as one might have thought, and the problems emerge already with his entries for vikritaka and ahrtaka.

Of our Sanskrit lists Edgerton seems to have known only a first edition of IV, and since this was a formulary for the ordination for nuns his forms are cited in the feminine. His least problematic entry perhaps is under vikritika: "one that has been sold (as a slave) ... (not to be initiated as a nun)." (10) But his uncertainty about ahrtaka is clear from the fact that it is put in parentheses and also from his definition "(doubtless = Pali ahataka ...), perhaps hired servant (of some particular kind)." His other definitions have a similar tone. For praptika he gives "seemingly some kind of servant or slave, at any rate, one not to be accepted as a nun"; for vaktavyika "some kind of person not to be initiated as a nun; subject to orders (?), or worthy of reproach, blameworthy (?)."

Edgerton does not cite any Tibetan "equivalents" for our terms, but there are at least four Tibetan translations of what appears to be the same list. The first of these occurs in the Tibetan translation of the Pravrajyavastu, the first section of the canonical Vinayavastu. It is repeated in Kalyanamitra's commentary, the Vinayavastutika, and occurs twice in the Ekottarakarmasataka, a handbook of formal monastic procedures extracted from the canonical Vinaya which in the Tibetan tradition is ascribed to Gunaprabha, once in the section dealing with the ordination of monks, and once in the section dealing with the ordination of nuns. (11) Unlike in the Sanskrit sources, where the order of the questions seems to diverge as the manuscripts get later, the order in these Tibetan sources is always the same:
khyod bran ma yin nam/
brkus pa ma yin nam/
rnyed btson [v. 1. brtson] ma yin nam/
rtsod pa can ma yin nam/

btsongs |v. 1. brtsongs] pa ma yin nam/

If only the order of the questions was stable in our Sanskrit sources it would, of course, be a relatively straightforward matter to establish the Sanskrit terms that these Tibetan lists were translating, but the fact that there is an increasing divergence in the Sanskrit lists introduces an element of uncertainty, and this is further complicated by the additional fact that the meanings of two of the Tibetan terms here are not in themselves clear.

Starting with what is clear, however, it can be said that Tibetan bran is almost certainly translating dasa--this is a standard and widely attested translation, and bran means 'slave, servant'. It is almost equally certain that Tibetan brkus pa is translating ahrtaka: the Tibetan means 'steal, rob, or carry off and frequently translates forms of [[square root of] (hr)]. And btsongs pa is an attested equivalent for vikrita 'sold'. The standard Tibetan list is therefore almost certainly translating a Sanskrit list that had das a first, ahrtaka second, and vikritaka fifth, a list that--so far at least--would have corresponded to that found in the Bhiksukarmavakya from Gilgit, the earliest manuscript witness that we have for the Sanskrit list. For the correspondence to be complete would only require that rnyed btson [v. 1. brtson] was translating prdptaka, and rtsod pa can was a rendering of vaktavyaka. If this were the case, both of the earliest Sanskrit manuscripts (I and II) and the standard Tibetan lists would have the first four items in exactly the same order. The problem here is that--as we have seen--the meanings of both praptaka and vaktavyaka are far from clear, and the meanings of Tibetan rnyed btson [v. l. brtson] and rtsod pa can are equally obscure.

Neither rnyed btson [v. l. brtson] nor rtsod pa can occurs in the standard dictionaries, with one exception: the Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo lists rnyed brtson--note the spelling--and says it is "old" or "ancient" (rnying) for gta' ma'i tshul gyis sbyin pa, "one who is given by way of a surety (or pledge or pawn)." (12) This, of course, does not tell us what the correct reading was or whether we should read btson or brtson, nor does it explain the developments that allowed either collocation to have this meaning. It would seem, however, to indicate that if rnyed btson [v. 1. brtson] is translating praptaka--and the chances are good that it is--then praptaka is another, and perhaps (earlier) Buddhist name for a type of slave which Ndrada lists as adhattah svamind "one who was pledged by his master." and the Arthasastra calls an ahitaka "(a man or a woman) kept as a pledge." (13) Given the definition supplied by the Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo it could hardly be otherwise. But this definition itself appears, at first sight, not to be particularly well anchored.

The Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo is a Tibetan-Tibetan-Chinese dictionary published in Beijing in 1985. It does not cite its sources or give references for its entries, and this, too, introduces a necessary element of uncertainty. But in this case at least it marks its definition as "old" (rnying), and since a significant number of definitions so marked appear to come from the canonical Vinaya or Vinaya commentaries, (14) this raises the suspicion that its definition of rnyed brtson may also come from just such a source. And, indeed, it almost certainly does.

The definition cited by the Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo appears in fact to come from Kalyanamitra's Vinayawastutika, an early ninth century commentary on a part of the canonical Vinaya. This pushes the date of the definition back a thousand years, and gives it the weight of the Mulasarvastivadin scholastic tradition. Kalyanamitra, although--interestingly enough--he might be called a Sautrantika Acdrya, is also described as an "expert in Vinaya" and at least a half dozen works on the Mulasarvastivada-vinaya are attributed to him. (15) This commentary, moreover, does not define just praptaka = rnyed btson [v. l. brtson]; it defines or glosses all of the terms in the Mulasarvastivadin list and thereby further confirms some of what has already been said, and may provide an important clue for the meaning of vaktavyaka. It deserves, in any case, to be cited in full. For the text I have been able to consult the Derge and Peking prints of the bstan 'gyur.


Derge bstan 'gyur, 'dul ba Tsu 249b.3-4 = Peking bstan 'gyur, 'dul ba Dzu 282a.4

bran zhes bya ba ni khyim nas skyes pa'o I

brkus(1) pa zhes bya ba ni gzhan gyi rgyal srid las gya tshom du mthus bkug pa'o I

rnyed bison zhes bya ba ni gta i tshul gyis byin pa 'o I

rtsod pa can zhes bya ba ni skyin po (2) la sags pa blangs nas phyis 'tsho ba ma lus (3) pa na bran (4) nyid du bsgas (5) pa'o I

btsongs pa zhes bya ba ni tshong gis thob pa 'o I

(1) Peking: bskus. (2) Peking: bskyin pa. (3) Peking: nus. (4) Peking: bran pa. (5) Peking: dgos.

Again on the assumption that the standard order in the Tibetan lists corresponds to the order in the Gilgit Bhiksukarmavakya, this can be translated as

For the word dasa it [i.e., the meaning] is 'one who is born from [i.e., in] the house' [grhaja, grhajata].

For the word ahrtaka it is 'one who is stolen/carried off precipitately by force from another kingdom'.

For the word praptaka it is 'one who is given by way of a surely [or: pledge/pawn--adhi, bandhaka]'.

For the word vaktavyaka it is 'one who after having taken out a loan or the like, later, when no other means remain, declares himself a slave".

For the word vikritaka it is 'one who is obtained by sale".

The second and fifth of Kalyanamitra's definitions or glosses are very much what one might have etymologically anticipated, and they have correspondents as well in other Indian lists of types of slaves or kinds of servitude. His definition of ahrtaka associates it with the first of Manu's "seven kinds of slaves," the dhvajahrta, which Olivelle translates as 'a man captured in war', (16) and with one of the fifteen types listed by Narada, the prapto yuddhat "one who was obtained in battle'--the Arthasastra also refers to the dhvajahrta. (17) All three as well refer to the krita 'one who was purchased', and this would seem to link with the Buddhist vikritaka as glossed by Kalyanamitra. Even Kalyanamitra's seemingly odd definition of dasa as 'one who is born in the house' appears to be less so in the light of these other lists: grhajata 'one born into a household', is the first of Narada's fifteen types of dasa and the first of a list of four found in the Arthasastra, (18) while grhaja is the third of Manu's seven. This leaves only praptaka and vaktavyaka in our Buddhist lists, and we might first consider the latter.

Although Olivelle translates bhaktadasa as 'a man who makes himself a slave to receive food'--which is Manu's second type--strictly speaking Manu does not seem to refer to one selling oneself into slavery. But the Arthasastra does, and at least three of Narada's types might involve this in some form. One explicitly does: the last of his types is vikreta catmanah 'and one who sells himself. Narada, however, also lists moksito mahatas carnat 'one freed from a large debt', and tavaham ity upagatah, "one who came forward and said I am yours.'" Kalyanamitra's gloss of what appears to have been vaktavyaka might well cover or include all three, and the Buddhist choice of this term to do so might be explained by some very brahmanical values.

In her still valuable "reflexions" Bongert says:
  Contrairement a ce qui se passait a Rome, la volonte e'tait en effet
  reconnue dans l'Inde comme source de servitude. Les motifs
  susceptibles de pousser un individu a faire abandon de sa liberte ou
  a sacrifier celle d'un membre de sa famille etaient soil la piete
  soit, le plus souvent, le besoin. Sans doute de telles pratiques,
  sans etre interdites, comme a Rome, etaient-elles neanmoins
  considerees avec une certaine defaveur: du point de vue de la morale
  des castes e'etait la une action condamnable, voire meme un crime
  entrainant l'expulsion de la caste, au moins lorsqu'il s'agissait de
  vente. (19)

And Narada is explicit in his condemnation:
vikrinite ya atmanam svatantrah san naradhamah I
sa Jaghanyataras tesam naiva dasyat pramucyate II

The wretch who gives up his freedom and sells himself is the lowest of them all; he is never to be freed from slavery.

Lariviere adds in a note to this verse: "Bhava says that the one who sells himself is the most evil of all the fifteen kinds of slaves." (20)

These considerations may do two related things: they might confirm that Kalyanamitra was indeed glossing vaktavyaka and that the order of types in the canonical Pravrajyavastu was, therefore, the same as that found in the extant Sanskrit text of the Bhiksukarmavakya from Gilgit. And they might confirm that Edgerton was on the right track with his second queried meaning for vaktavyaka: 'worthy of reproach, blameworthy'. The vaktavyaka was the most blameworthy of slaves because he had, on account of debt or something similar, declared himself, i.e., sold himself, as a slave. This might even account for the otherwise curious Tibetan translation: rtsod pa more normally means 'contentions' or 'disputatious', but could probably by extension become 'disreputable' given the strong negative connotation associated with its more basic meanings.

Obviously if Tibetan rtsod pa can is translating Sanskrit vaktavyaka, and Kalyanamitra's fourth gloss is of it, then rnyed btson [v. 1. brtson] can only be translating praptaka: all other possibilities will have been eliminated. It is equally obvious that without knowing for certain whether the correct Tibetan form is rnyed btson or rnyed brtson there is little point in speculating about the precise meaning of the Tibetan translation. It can, however, be noted that since btson--the reading accepted by Eimer in his edition of the canonical text--typically means to imprison or confine, this might favor it. In regard to the literal meaning of Sanskrit praptaka the possibilities are so broad as to make any precision unattainable. In the end what can be said, it seems, is that regardless of what praptaka or rnyed btson [v. 1. brtson] literally meant, they refer--according to Kalyanamitra--to a type of slave who became such by being given by another as a surety, and they therefore correspond to the term ahitaka that is found, for example, in the Arthasdstra. Even, finally, if one were to insist--rightly--that, because of variations in the order of the terms in the extant Sanskrit lists, the equations rtsod pa can = vaktavyaka and rnyed btson [v. l. brtson] = praptaka are not certain and the equations could be interchanged, the fact would remain that one of the two refers to slavery or servitude that results from being given as a pledge or surety, and the other to servitude or slavery that results from the volitional acceptance of such a state on account of debt or something similar, and that the Mulasarvastivadin tradition not only recognized both categories, but ruled that a man or a woman who had either designation was barred from becoming a Buddhist monk or nun.

In terms of broader observations in regard to our Mulasarvastivadin list, they can be few and mostly tentative. One might be that the Mulasarvastivadin list does not clarify the old and seemingly intractable question of whether or not the Sanskrit term dasa is correctly translated as 'slave'. In fact it seems rather to complicate it even further. Unlike the lists in Manu, Narada, the Arthasastra, and even in the mostly late Pali lists, the Mulasarvastivadin list is not presented in its canonical source, nor in the various ordination handbooks, as a list of types or categories of dasas: Manu's list is said to be of "seven kinds of slaves" (saptaite dasayonayah), Narada's as a list of "the fifteen slaves mentioned in the texts" (sastre dasah pancadasa smrtah). But the Mulasarvastivadin list nowhere has such a heading, and even Kalyanamitra uses the word dasa (bran) only in his gloss of what was probably vaktavyaka. Moreover, he appears to restrict the term dasa to what appears elsewhere to be only one of its types, i.e., 'one who is born in the house'. How best to interpret all this remains unclear. It is equally unclear what one is to make of the fact that Buddhist lists--whether of types of slaves or kinds of servitude--are noticeably less elaborate and long than the lists found in "brahmanical sources; this could have regional or chronological causes, or both, or neither.

A second observation might be that the Mulasarvastivadin list, at least as it is glossed by Kalyanamitra, is much closer to the "brahmanical' sources than are Pali sources--the only Buddhist sources usually cited in the secondary literature--in regard to the role of debt in the circumstances leading to servitude or slavery: loans or debt play a part in two of its categories, but are all but invisible in the Pali lists. A close relationship to "brahmanical sources appears in fact to be characteristic of Mulasarvastivadin sources.

A third observation might be that it is also unclear how best to describe what these Buddhist lists tell us about Buddhist attitudes to servitude or slavery, especially given the fact that these lists are not simply an enumeration of abstract categories, but lists of kinds of men and women who were barred from becoming Buddhist monks or nuns, and therefore excluded from full participation in the Buddhist religious life. (21) It could be that such exclusion represents only a passive acceptance by Buddhist communities of the cultural norms and properly laws of the larger communities that surrounded them. But it is perhaps more justifiable--if less generous--to see in the Buddhist insistence on these disqualifications not passive acceptance, but active support. The Buddhist rule that dasas, ahrtakas, etc., could not become Buddhist monks or nuns does not seem simply to accept the larger cultural and legal fact that such individuals had no independence or freedom of action (svatantra) and were a type of property; it seems to actively reinforce it. There is in any case no hint of protest or reform. (22)

A penultimate observation is one that might render the whole discussion less abstract or clinical and concerns numbers. We of course have no way of knowing how many women or men were prohibited by our rule from full participation in the Buddhist religious life in early India. What numbers we have are late medieval or early modern and little more than approximations. But even they are sobering. Fukazawa, for example, has noted
  First, according to a very rough estimate made by Banaji, the slave
  population around the year 1841 was about four million in Bengal
  Presidency, about four million in Bombay and Madras Presidencies, and
  altogether about sixteen million in the entire sub-continent.

Here too we find much the same types of "slaves":
  ... captives in war ... children disposed of by their impoverished
  parents, wives sold off by their husbands, those who had sold
  themselves, those who had been illegally kidnapped and sold, and
  those who had become slaves of their creditors for a certain number
  of years or for life. (23).

Fukazawa's own material--eighteenth-century Marathi records and documents--also make it possible that our Buddhist rules could have been especially detrimental to women. A very high percentage of his documents concern female slaves--at least sixty-five out of ninety records. (24) Although the total number of available records is much smaller, a similar pattern appears also to be visible in surviving documents from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Mithila: there too the number of women appears to be disproportionately high. (25)

If, then, a proportionate number of "slaves" existed in earlier periods, the Buddhist rules regarding ordination would have excluded a not insignificant part of the population from full participation in the religious life, and a large number of those who were thus excluded may have been women. This in turn might well have further reduced an already limited pool of women who could have become Buddhist nuns, and made the survival of Buddhist communities of nuns even more difficult or problematic. A possible nexus between an increasing number of female slaves and a decreasing number of Buddhist nuns is at least worth pondering.

A final observation may bring us full circle. The single example treated here concerning an important question that was to be asked of a woman or a man who was seeking ordination into a Buddhist order is perhaps already enough to indicate what will happen when Pali sources are no longer allowed to represent the whole of the early Indian Buddhist tradition. In our example, in fact, the Pali tradition appears remarkably vague and non-specific, or categorical. As the Pali term bhujissa is usually understood, the ordination formulary would seem to allow only ill-defined 'free' women or men to become Buddhist nuns and monks, or it categorically disqualifies all women or men who are not bhujissa, without saying what exactly bhujissa meant. The Mulasarvastivadin formulary, by contrast, precisely defines--even if its definitions are for us not always easy to follow--who or what categories are disqualified. This contrast, at the very least, problematizes the term bhujissa, and in fact how the term bhujissa, which in Sanskrit meant 'dependent, in service' or even 'Diener, Sclave', came in Sanskrit lexicography and "regularly" in Pali (bhujissa) to mean 'free' has not, to my knowledge, been adequately explained. (26) This, moreover, is not the only problem with the term: although both canonical and non-canonical versions of the Pali ordination formulary use the term bhujissa in the question to be asked of the candidate (bhujisso'si, bhujissasi), the term does not occur anywhere else in the Pali Vinaya in regard to men or women, and the canonical Pali rule which forbids the ordination of "slaves" uses the word dasa: na bhikkhave daso pabbajettabbo. Even the canonical Pali lists of types of slaves or kinds of servitude that are comparable to that found in the Mulasarvastivadin ordination formulary are not free of problems, are not consistent, and occur in altogether different--and seemingly late--contexts. One such list occurs in the Vidhurapandita-jataka, one of the last and longest in the collection, in the mouth of a royal minister, in the context of a game of dice; it lists four types of slaves, the last of which is unknown elsewhere: bhaya panunnapi bhavanti dasa "others are slaves driven by fear." (27) A second canonical Pali list--the one most commonly cited--does not appear to be any more firmly anchored. It occurs only in the word-commentary (padabhajaniya) attached to samghadisesa I of the Bhikkunivibhanga, not in the male Vibhanga; it lists only three types of slaves, only one of which is designated with a term similar to what occurs in the Jataka [the Jataka has as the second on its list dhanena kitapi bhavanti dasa "others are slaves bought for money," and the second of the Vinaya list is dhanakkita]; and--as in the Jataka--the context has nothing to do with ordination. (28) In fact the Vinaya list does not enumerate categories of people who are barred from ordination, but categories of people whom a nun must not enter into litigation with or go to court against. But since "slaves" should not have any independent legal status this would appear to be most peculiar. The inclusion of our single Mulasarvastivadin example in the discussion, then, not only appreciably enriches and augments our understanding of the Indian Buddhist vocabulary concerning slavery or servitude, but it also further problematizes the Pali sources bearing on these same issues and what has been said in the secondary sources based almost exclusively on them. That further non-Pali Buddhist sources--especially Vinaya sources--will carry this process even further is all but certain. (29)

(1.) Still "standard" examples are D. R. Chanana, Slavery in Ancient India, us Depicted in Pali and Sanskrit Texts (New Delhi, 1960) (which is a somewhat revised version of a version published in French in 1957; it has been given new life in a longish extract from it reprinted in Subordinate raid Marginal Groups in Early India, ed. A. ParasherSen [New Delhi, 2004], 96-124); Y. Bongert, "Reflexions sur le probleme de 1' eselavage dans l'Inde ancienne: A propos de quelques ouvrages recents," Bulletin de l'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient 51 (1963). 143-94 (which, as the title indicates, is focused on Chanana and on the work of G. F. Iljin and W. Ruben as well, in none of which do non-Pali Buddhist sources have a significant role); U. Chakravarti, "Of Dasas and Karmakaras: Servile Labour in Ancient India," in Chains of Servitude: Bondage and Slavery in India, ed. U Patnaik and M. Dingwaney (Hyderabad, 1985), 35-75 (where "Buddhist literature" is virtually coterminous with Pali texts); and more recently and more broadly A. Testart, L'esclave, la dette et le pouvoir: Etudes de sociologie comparative (Paris, 2001) (which relies uncritically almost entirely on Chanana, which he says is a "travail remarquable" and "notre seule grande synthese sur la question," p. 60); see also O. von Hinuber's entry in Handworterbuch der antiken Sklaverei, ed. H. Heinen, fasc. I--II (Stuttgart, 2008), s.v. Indien.

(2.) For a typical example recently and well studied, see S. Clarke, "Monks Who Have Sex: Parajika Penance in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms," Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (2009): 1-43.

(3.) See J. W. de Jong, A Brief History of Buddhist Studies in Europe and America (Tokyo, 1997), 21-22.

(4.) Spiegel, Kammavakyam: Liber de officiis sacerdotum Buddhicorum (Bonn, 1841), 6.11-12. The canonical Pali versions of these two questions use exactly the same wording: H. Oldenberg, The Vinaya Pitakain (London, 1879-83) [hereafter cited as Pali Vinaya], i 93 = I. B. Horner, The Book of the Discipline (London, 1938-66) [hereafter = BD], IV 120 (for males); and Pali Vinaya ii 271 = BD v 215 (for females, adjusted for gender).

(5.) G. Schopen, Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India (Honolulu, 2004), 3, 16 n. 8, 123-24. 160 n. 12.

(6.) In Buddhist Monks and Business Matters (p. 160 n. 12) it was said that "the statement about repayment, is not found in" the Bhiksuni-karmavacana most recently edited by Schmidt (see next note); it also does not occur in the Nepalese fragment edited by Bendall, the other formulary meant for the ordination of women preserved in Sanskrit (see also next note). It is, however, found in the formulary for the ordination of nuns in the Ekottarakarmasataka, Derge bstan 'gyur 'dul ba Wu 126a.5 [all citations of Tibetan texts are to The Tibetan Tripitaka, Taipei Edition, ed. A. W. Barber (Taipei, 1991)], and all of this may bear on the questions surrounding the issue of a women's ability to independently incur and be held responsible fur debt in classical India; for non-Buddhist sources sec P. Olivelle, Language, Texts, and Society: Explorations in Ancient Indian Culture and Religion (Florence, 2005), 247-60.

(7.) I: A. C. Banerjee, Two Buddhist Vinaya Texts in Sanskrit: Pratimoksa Sutra and Bhiksukarmavakya (Calcutta, 1997), 62.15; II: C. Bendall, "Fragment of a Buddhist Ordination-Ritual in Sanskrit," in Album-Kern: Qpstellen geschreven ter eere van Dr. H. Kent (Leiden, 1903), 373-76, esp. 375.6; III: B. Jinananda, Upasampadajnaptih (Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series, vol. 6) (Patna, 1961), 14.3; IV: M. Schmidt, "Bhiksuni-karmavacana: Die Handschrift Sansk. c.25 (R) der Bodleian Library Oxford," in Studien zur Indologie und Buddhismuskunde: Festgabe des Seminars fur Indologie und Buddhismuskunde fur Professor Dr. Heinz Bechert zum 60. Geburtstag am 26. Juni 1992, ed. R. Grunendahl et al. (Bonn, 1993), 253.12; see also M. Schmidt, "Zur Schulzugehorigkeit einer nepalesischen Handschrift der Bhiksuni-Karmavacana," in Untersuchungen zur buddhistisehen Literatur, ed. F. Bandurski et al. (Gottingen, 1994), 155-64.

(8.) Banerjee prints ahatakah but the manuscript--the readings of which are given here--has very clearly ahrtakah; see R. Vira and L. Chandra, Gilgit Buddhist Manuscripts: Facsimile Edition (Satapitaka, vol. 10.1) (New Delhi, 1959), pt. 1, fol. 46b.l.

(9.) Bendall prints [m]ahrtila but in a note gives "hrtila (or [degrees]ka?)," and the latter is supported by all three of the other sources.

(10.) All references to Edgerton are of course to F. Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary (New Haven, 1953).

(11.) H. Eimer, Rab tu 'byun ba'i gzi: Die tibetische Ubersetzung des Pravrajyavastu im Vinaya der Mulasarvastivadins (Asiatische Forschungen, vol. 82) (Wiesbaden, 1983), pt. 2, 141.23; Vinayavastutuka, Derge bstan 'gyur Tsu 249b.3; Ekottarakarmarmasataka, Derge bsan 'gyur Wu 108b.6; 126a.1. the list in the Pravrajyavastu has already been translated in light of the Vinayavastutika in G. Schopen, "Making Men into Monks," in Buddhist Scriptures, ed. D.S. Lopez, Jr. (London, 2004), 236, but no notes or discussion was possible there.

(12.) Zhang Yisun et al., Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo (Beijing, 1985), vol. 1. 994.

(13.) K. W. Lariviere. The Naradasmrti (Philadelphia, 1989), V.24 (pt. 1, 155); pt. 2, 111--all citations of text and their translation come from Lariviere; R. P. Kangle, The Kautiliya Arthasastra, 2nd ed. (Bombay, 1962). 3.13.16 Glossary 299--citations are all to this edition and translation.

(14.) To cite just one example, its entry under chugs rgya ('promissory note'), marked rnying, is word-for-word identical to the gloss of the same term found in the old word-commentary embedded in Bhiksuni-vinya-vibhanga, Derge 'dul ba Ta 123b.7; see also G. Schopen, "On Buddhist Nuns and Business Laws: Two Examples from Early India." in Buddhism and Law, ed. R. R. French, forthcoming.

(15.) A final colophon is missing from the tika, but the chapter colophons describe the work as mdo sde 'dzin pa dge legs bshes gnyen gyis aye bar shyar ba "composed by the mdo sde 'dzin pa Kalyanamitra," Derge bstan 'gyur 'dul ba Tsu 342b.2; in the colophon of the Pratimoksavrttipadapremotpadika (Derge bstan 'gyur "dul ba Mu 215a.1) Kalyanamitra is also called a mdo sde 'dzin pa; while in still others he is called a mdo sde 'dzin pa dpon or slob dpon mdo sde 'dzin pa (Derge bstan 'gyur 'dul ba Su 57b.5; 74b.4; 132b.6). A. C. Banerjee (Sarvastivada Literature [Calcutta, 1957], 37, 42, etc.) without hesitation takes mdo sde 'dzin pa here as meaning 'Sautrantika', but the evidence for this is thin. Sautranlika is perhaps more regularly mdo sde pa/ha--so Mahdvyuipatti--or mdo sde smra ba'i sde, and mdo sde 'dzin more typically translates sutradhara--again Mahavyutpatti. Given the interest that might attach to a Sautrantika teacher writing commentaries on Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya texts this should be sorted out.

Taranatha places Kalyanamitra in the time of Devapala (L. Chimpa and A. Chattopadhyaya, Tarandtha 's History of Buddhism in India [Simla, 1970], 268--see also p. 417 for a list of works attributed to him), and Huntington places Devapala in the first half of the ninth century (S. L. Huntington, The "Pala-Sena" Schools of Sculpture [Leiden, 1984], 32-37; 40).

(16.) P. Olivelle, Manu's Code of Law; A Critical Edition and Translation of the Manava-Dharmasastra (Oxford. 2005), VIII.415. All references for Manu are to this edition.

(17.) Naradasmrti V.24-26; Arthasastra 3.13.19.

(18.) Arthasastra 3.13.20.

(19.) Bongert. "Reflexions sur le probleme de l'esclavage." 157-58.

(20.) Naradasmrti V.35. Testart (Li'esclave, 150) refers in Narada's stipulation as "la disposition la plus etonnante."

(21.) Buddhist groups were, of course, not the only monastic communities in which slaves were barred from membership. For early Egyptian monasticism see J. H. Gonzalez., Faith and Wealth: A History of Early Christian Ideas on the Origin, Significance and Use of Money (Eugene, 1990), 165; (or St. Basil see Sister M. M. Wagner, Saint Basil: Ascetical Works (The Fathers of the Church, vol. 9) (Washington, D.C., 1962), 261-62; for Byzantine monasticism Y. Rotman, Byzantine Slavery and the Mediterranean World (Cambridge, Mass., 2009), 144-53; for medieval France J. F. Benton. Self and Society in Medieval France: The Memoirs of Abbot Guibert of Nogent (New York. 1970), 184 and n. 6 (here of course referring to "serfs"). This is just a small and very random sample.

(22.) Even the occasional exhortations in Buddhist sources (e.g., J. E. Carpenter, The Digha Nikaya. vol. III [London, 1911], 190-91) to treat slaves (dasa) well are probably best read in light of Finley's blunt remark in regard to the Classical world: "Neither exhortations nor the rare legal enactments to treat slaves decently were anti-slavery measures in intention or effect" (M. I. Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology [London. 1980], 127). Moreover, a variety of sources indicate that if South Asian Buddhist monastic communities barred slaves or other types of persons in servitude from becoming members, those same communities could accept and own slaves and other "people" in servitude as property; see as a sample Schopen, Buddhist Monks and Business Matters, p. 118 Mulasarvastivada-vinaya text in which the Buddha directs that slaves that come to a Sangha by the provisions of a will are to be held as property in common by the community), and pp. 193-218 (both Mulasarvastivadin and Pali Vinaya texts in which the Buddha authorizes the acceptance and ownership by the community and individual monks of servants or slaves); S. Sankaranarayanan, "A Brahmi Inscription from Alluru," Sri Venkateswara University Oriental Journal 20 (1977): 75-89 (a second-century inscription from Andhra recording the gift of, among other things, both male and female slaves to Purvasaila monks). For the relatively abundant evidence for the ownership of slaves and servants in Sri Lankan monasteries see W. Rahula, The History of Buddhism in Ceylon: The Anuradhapura Period (Colombo. 1956). 140-50; R. A. L. H. Gunawardaua, Robe and Plough: Monasticism and Economic Interest in Early Medieval Sri Lanka (Tucson, 1979), 120-21; farther afield see R. C. Agrawala, "Position of Slaves and Serfs as Depicted in the Kharosthi Documents from Chinese Turkestan." The Indian Historical Quarterly 29 (1953): 107 (but the Niya documents need to be much more carefully studied on this and many other issues in spite of even more recent work): Et. de la Vaissiere, Sogdian Traders: A History (Leiden, 2005),169-70 (a Sogdian contract for the purchase of a female slave by a monk).

(23). H. Fukazawa "Some Aspects of Slavery (Ghulam and Kunbina)," most recently reprinted in his The Medieval Deccan: Peasants, Social Systems and States, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries (Delhi, 1998), 114. For more recent work based on much the same Marathi material see S. Guha, "Slavery, Society, and the State in Western India, 1700-1800," in Slavery and South Asian History, ed. I. Chatterjee and R. M. Eaton (Bloomington, 2006), 162-86.

(24.) Fukazawa, "Some Aspects of Slavery," 116, 119.

(25.) K. P. Jayaswal, "A Judgement of a Hindu Court in Sanskrit," Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society 6 (1920): 246-58; S. Jha, "Deux actes de vente d'esclaves en Sanskrit au XVIII siecle." Journal asiatique 238 (1950): 319-24; U. Thakur. "Some Aspects of Slavery in Mithila in the 17th--19th Centuries," Journal of the Bihar Research Society 64 (1958): 47-52 and Some Aspects of Ancient Indian History and Culture (New Delhi, 1974), 207-17; for Gujarat at what may have been a considerably earlier period see P. Prasad. "Female Slavery in Thirteenth Century Gujarat Documents in the Lekhapaddhati." The Indian Historical Review 15 (1988-89): 269-75. In all four of the model contracts dealing with the sale of slaves the slaves in question are female; see now I. Strauch, Die Lekhapaddhati-Lekhapancasika: Briefe und Urkunden im mittelalterlichen Gujarat (Monographien zur Indischen Archaologie, Kunst und Philologie, vol. 16) (Berlin, 2002), 188-93 (2.39); for Prasad's comment, on this fact see her p. 269.

(26.) Certainly bhujisya continues to mean 'dependent, in service' in Sanskrit Buddhist sources; for just one example see the cliche about the five benefits or blessings (anusamsa) of entering the religious life, where it is linked with dasa, presya (see n. 29 below), and nirdesya, one example of which occurs at E. B. Cowell and R. A. Neil, The Divyavadana (Cambridge, 1886), 302.26; see also R. Gnoli, The Gilgit Manuscript of the Sanghabhedavastu (Serie Orientale Roma, vol. 49) (Rome, 1978), pt. II, 227.15.

(27.) V. Fausboll, The Jataka (London, 1896), vol. VI, 285 = E. B. Cowell, The Jataka (Cambridge, 1895), vol. VI, 139. The other two, which appear to have correspondents elsewhere under different names, are 1 amayadasa 'slaves from their mothers' and 3 sayam pi h'eke upayanti dasa 'some come of their own will as slaves'.

(28.) Pali Vinaya IV 224 = BD iii 180. The first of this List is antojata 'born within', and the third is karamaranita 'taken in a raid'. Pali commentarial literature also needs to be re-examined.

(29.) Though perhaps unnecessary, it should be noted that our single Mulasarvastivadin example does not by any means include all forms of servitude mentioned in its literatures. Again as but one example note that Mulasarvastivadin sources repeatedly represent the status of a presya as a 'state of slavery' (dasabhava)--see R. Gnoli, Gilgit Manuscript of the Sayanasanavastu and the Adikaranavastu (Serie Orientale Roma, vol. 50) (Rome, 1978), 62-63; J. S. Speyer, Avadanasataka (Bibliotheca Buddhica, vol. 3) (St. Petersburg, 1906-9), vol. II, 12-13. It should also be noted that recently Petra Kieffer-Pulz (Stretching the Vinaya Rules and Getting Away with It," Journal of the Pali Text Society 29 [2007]: 1-49) has treated in rich detail the question of the ordination of one category of unfree laborers, aramikas, on the basis of Pali commentarial sources, without, perhaps, taking fully into account that, to judge by Sri Lankan inscriptional and historical sources, the institution of aramikas underwent a peculiar and prominent development there that may have had no counterpart in India.


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