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Sanskrithandschriften aus den Turfanfunden, vol. 8: Die Katalognummern 1800-1999.

Edited by KLAUS WILLE. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, vol. X,8. Stuttgart: FRANZ STERNER VERLAG, 2000. Pp. x + 289.

This book, the eighth of a projected ten volumes of the Sanskrithandschriften aus den Turfanfunden (SHT), (1) under the general editorship of Heinz Bechert, continues the publication of fragments of Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts collected in the Turfan oasis region and in sites on the northern rim of the Tarim Basin by four German expeditions to Central Asia between 1902 and 1914. This latest volume comprises a "Restbestand von kleineren Fragmenten" of various types and genres, for most of which, unfortunately, the exact findspots are not known (p. viii). Of the two hundred fragments published here, sixty-two have been positively identified and sixty more provisionally identified, at least in terms of their genre. The great majority of the fragments are written in North Turkestan Brahmi type b, which suggests a date not earlier than the seventh century (Sander 1968: 186).

The miscellaneous character of the fragments presented in this volume does not in any way diminish their value; on the contrary, there is a great deal of interesting and important material herein. Among the texts and genres prominently represented in this collection are abhidharma treatises, including numerous fragments of Sanghabhadra's *Nyayanusara and the first known Sanskrit fragment of Devasarman's Vijnanakaya. Other texts of particular interest include two fragments of the Vajracchedika containing some significantly different readings from those of previously known versions of the text; a fragment of Ravigupta's medical text, Siddhasara; and a fragment of the Udanavarga which provides readings for some portions of the text which were not previously attested in other Sanskrit manuscripts.

Also well represented in this collection are sutra fragments, with portions of several texts from each of the Dirgha-, Madhyama-, and Samyukta-agamas. The importance of this Turfan sutra material has become all the greater in light of discoveries within the last few years of the first known sutra texts in Gandhari (Salomon 1999: 24-26; Anon 2001), including, most recently, a substantial body of Samyuktagama texts (Salomon 2003: 79) and a new manuscript of the Sanskrit Dirghagama, apparently from the Gilgit area (Hartmann 2000). These new discoveries, combined with the continued publication of agama texts from the older Turfan collection, promise to open an entirely new chapter in the study of the origins, formation, and interrelationships of the canons of the various Buddhist schools and regional traditions.

Of particular interest in this connection is a small fragment (no. 1994, pp. 154-55) of a Sanskrit equivalent of the Pall Brahmanadhammika-sutta, which occurs in the Cula-vagga section of the Suttanipata. In the past, Sutta-nipata parallels have been found for a few other Central Asian sutra fragments, (2) but these parallels have generally been with the Atthaka- and Parayana-vaggas of the Suttanipata, which seem to have circulated as separate texts in the Sanskrit tradition (Salomon 1999: 161), rather than as part of a larger collection analogous to the Sutta-nipata, for which no clear evidence has been found in the Sanskrit canon. The question therefore arises as to what position this Sanskrit equivalent of the Pali Brahmanadhammika-sutta might have held in the Sarvastivadin canon represented by the Turfan fragments; all the more so since another fragment (no. 1370) of the same text was previously identified in SHT 6: 102, suggesting that this was a fairly well-known sutra in the Sarvastivadin tradition. No solution to this question presents itself at this point, but it provides a good example of the sort of issues that are raised, and may ultimately be solved, by the Turfan material, especially in combination with the new discoveries alluded to above.

Among the several points of linguistic interest in this, as in other volumes of SHT, one in particular is worthy of note here. In the unidentified fragment no. 1947 (pp. 123-24), lines B-bc read:
 ///.. [s](a)ptam[e] vardhamane ksu[n]e | bu .. .y.
 [bh](a)ga[v](a)[t.]. pari[ni] ///
 ///[y]. ya atipatyatvam prat[i]labha
 dvitiye ksune | simre[na] ///

The word ksune/ksune [sic] here is reminiscent of ksunami/ksunami/ksunammi "on this date," which is commonly found in the dating formulae of Kharosthi inscriptions of the Kusana period (Konow 1929: lxxiv; Salomon 2003: 76-77), and which is evidently of Iranian or Central Asian rather than Indic origin, since it also occurs in Saka and Tocharian documents (Konow, ibid.). Given that the contexts in which this word appears in this fragment also evidently involve dates (as further confirmed by ... na-mase dasamam in line A-b), it is very likely that the same non-Indic word is involved, especially since, as noted by the editor, "Die Muttersprache des Schreibers war offensichtlich nicht Sanskrit" (p. 124). Thus we evidently have here a late literary attestation in Sanskrit of this loanword, which was previously attested only in much earlier Gandhari inscriptions.

Like previous volumes of the SHT, this one includes supplementary sections entitled "Erganzungen und Korrekturen zu Teil 1 bis 7" (pp. 160-217), "Fortsetzung des Verzeichnisses der Textpublikationen" (pp. 218-20), "Ubersicht uber die Handschriften nach dem Inhalt" (pp. 221-25), "Abkurzungsverzeichnis" (pp. 226-34), "Konkordanz" (pp. 235-38), and "Worterverzeichnis" (pp. 238-89). The last section, however, is less comprehensive than in the previous volumes, in that the individual members of nominal compounds are no longer listed separately (p. 239). Moreover, it is announced that in future volumes of SHT the word index will have to be omitted entirely, "[i]m Zusammenhang mit der durch die Auflagen der Bund-Lander-Kommission entstandenen Notwendigkeit einer wesentlichen Beschleunigung der Arbeiten ..." One can only sympathize with the frustration that such restrictions must cause the compiler and his collaborators. For although it is true that, as noted here, most, though not all, of this lexicographical material will eventually be published in the Sanskrit-Worterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden und der kanonischen Literatur der Sarvastivada-Schule, the word indices to the individual volumes of SHT are an invaluable tool to researchers in many areas of Buddhist literature; thus the editor's observation that "die Benutzer der Bande dies sehr bedauern werden" (p. 239) is, unfortunately, all too true.

The imposition of these new restrictions, in addition to the elimination of illustrations of selected manuscripts which began in SHT 7, are therefore indeed regrettable, especially since this volume in all other respects continues the high standards of the previous ones in the series. The texts are presented with admirable precision, accuracy, and completeness, for which the compiler, Klaus Wille (who was also responsible for SHT6 and 7), is to be once again thanked and congratulated. While labors of this type and scale may sometimes seem thankless, the many scholars who have in the past and will in the future make use of the SHT will surely appreciate the enormous efforts and vast learning that such work requires.

(1.) For a review of volume 7 of SHT, see JAOS 118 (1998): 121-24.

(2.) See, e.g., fragment no. 1615, edited in SHT 7 but first identified in the "Erganzungen und Korrekturen" of this volume (p. 209); and Hoernle 1916.


Allon, Mark. 2001. Three Gandhari Ekottarikagama-type Sutras: British Library Kharosthi Fragments 12 and 14. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press.

Hartmann, Jens-Uwe. 2000. Zu einer neuen Handschrift des Dirghagama. In Vividharatnakaranda: Festgabe fur Adelheid Mette, ed. Christine Chojnacki, Jens-Uwe Hartmann, and Volker M. Tschannerl, 359-67. Swisttal-Odendorf: Indica et Tibetica Verlag.

Hoernle, A. F. Rudolf. 1916. The Sutta Nipata in a Sanskrit Version from Eastern Turkestan. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1916: 709-32.

Konow, Sten. 1929. Kharoshthi Inscriptions with the Exception of those of Asoka. Calcutta: Government of India.

Salomon, Richard. 1999. Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara: The British Library Kharosthi Fragments. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press; London: The British Library.

--. 2003. The Senior Manuscripts: Another Collection of Gandharan Buddhist Scrolls. JAOS 123: 73-92.

Sander, Lore. 1968. Palaographisches zu den Sanskrithandschriften der Berliner Turfansammlung. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Supplementband 8. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag.


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Author:Salomon, Richard
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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