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बोधिसत्तवभूमिः : Bodhisattva Bhumih- Being the XVth Section of Asangapada's Yogacarabhumih (An Old and Rare Book)

बोधिसत्तवभूमिः : Bodhisattva Bhumih- Being the XVth Section of Asangapada's Yogacarabhumih (An Old and Rare Book)
Item Code: NAU524
Author: Nalinaksha Dutt.
Publisher: K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Patna
Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Edition: 1978
Pages: 352
Other Details: 9.50 X 6.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.53 kg
The Author
In the colophon of the present ms, it is stated that its author was, Kara Asatigapada. Paramartna (499-569 A. D.), the biographer of Vasubandhu, makes an incidental reference to Alafia. He writes that Alafia belonged to a learned Brahman family of Peshawar and was the eldest brother of Vasubandhu, whom he converted to the Mahayana faith. The authorship of the following works is attributed to Alafia, :-

1. Yogacarabhumi in seventeen sections

2. Mahayanasutralankara, and

3, Mahayanasamgrahasastra.

The first work is well known; the second may be an alternative title of Mahayana-sutralankara edited by Prof. Sylvain Levi; and the third has been translated from its Chinese version into French by Prof. E. LaMotte. In the last page of the present text, it is claimed that the Bodhisattvabhumi can also be regarded as a Mahayanasamagraha.

Asanga specialized in Yogcara philosophy while Vasubandhu in Saravastivada doctrines. A Mahayana scholar must also acquire 7-- enough knowledge of Hinayana practices and meditations found in the Hinayana literature, as out of the ten stages of perfections (Bht7mis) of the Dasubhumikasutra and twelve Vedas of the viharapatala of the present text, prescribed for the spiritual advancement of a Bodhisattva, six Bhumis or eight Viharas are common to both Hinayana and Mahayana (vide infra, Bk. II, ch. iv) Hence Asanga was no less a master of Hinayana doctrines than his brother Vasubandhu, and this is clearly evidenced by the first fourteen sections of the Yogacarabhumi. The last two sections, sixteenth and seventeenth also deal with Hinayana topics, viz, Sopadhidesa-nirvana, i e, the emancipated state of Buddha while in his physical human body and Nirupadhisesa-nirvana, i, e. when Buddha departs from this world after his m2hdparinirvana. Asafiga must have lived in about 275-345 A D., as the date of Vasubandhu has been determined by Prof Peri (vide BEFEO 1911) from 280-350 A. D. But Vasubandhu's date cannot be reconciled with the date of the Crown prince Nara-simhagupta Baladitya, unless we accept Frauwalner,s theory that there were two Vasubandhus, the earlier one being the brother of Asafiga and the later one was the teacher of Baladitya. The dates of Chinese translations of Alafia’s works lend support to the date ascertained by Peri.

The Bodhi8attvabhami is the largest of the seventeen sections of Casaba’s voluminous and monumental work, Yogacdrabhami. The two sections just preceding this Bhumi are Sravakabhumi and Pratyekabuddhabhumi referred to by the late Pandit Rahnla Sankratyayana in JBORS, XXIV, p. 138 as two important finds. Prof Vidhusekhar Bhattacharya published the first five Bhumis with the title Yogacarabhumi through the Calcutta University. Thus, six &limit; are now published, including the present one of the remaining Barnes, the saravakahatna and. Pratyekabudha-bhumi are perhaps lying in the photographic copy-stage in the Institute. The Bodhisattvabhami throws a flood of light on the aims and aspirations of a Bodhisattva as also on Mahayana doctrines. All the other sixteen sections deal with both Hinayana. And Mahayana practices as it appears from their titles (see infra P. 5). I am grateful to the authorities of the K. P. Jayaswal Institute, and particularly to my late valued friend Prof. A. S. Alticor for entrusting to me the editing of the present manuscript, as also to the Honey. Directors Prof. K. K. Datta and Prof. S. H. Askari for arranging and expediting the printing of the book. I should also thank Pandit Baldev Mishra of the Institute for preparing a copy from the photographs, all of which are not legible. As the photographs were not kept in order, the Pan4it's copy also suffered from the same defect. The copy however reduced my labor of decipherment to a large extent though I had to prepare a fresh and reviled copy for the Press. I should also pay compliments to the Manager and staff of the Tara Printing Works for co-operating with me in setting the Mrs. in types and in the revision of proofs.


The photographic copy of the original Mrs. of the Bodhisattva-bhumi was procured by the versatile and indefatigable scholar late Pandit Rahall Sfdkrty5yana from the Shale monastery of Tibet in 1938. The photographs were enlarged and deposited in the K. P. Jayaswal Institute. This Mrs. is complete in 266 leaves. In the Cambridge University Library there is another copy of this Mrs. in which a few leaves are wanting. In Kyoto Imperial University there is a third copy procured probably form Nepal but it is incomplete. On the basis of the Cambridge and Kyoto mss., Prof. U. Wogihara published an edition in Romanized script. A copy of this work came into my hands when I had nearly completed the edition of the present Mrs. I found that the readings of the Cambridge ms, agreed with those, in our Mrs. The present Mrs. being almost complete, it filled up the lacuna in Wogihara's edition. It lacks however one leaf containing the Awthrama (see infra, p. 6-7) which is found in the Cambridge Mrs. the Ankara seems to be an addition by a later writer. THE TIME OF COMPOSITION OF THE BODHISATTVABHUMI

The main criterion for ascertaining the time of composition of the book is the date of its earliest Chinese’s translation, which is attributed to Dharmarala between 414 and 418 A. D. The second translation was made by Gunavarman in 431 A. D. and the third by Hiuen Tsang in 647 A. D. The Tibetan translation, which does not mention the date, was made by Prajavarman. The Tibetan translation is more literal and accurate than the Chinese. Commentaries were also written on some chapters of the work by the Chinese and Tibetan scholars. Among the latter, mention may be made of jinamitra, Gunaprabha and Samudra-megha. On the basis of the earliest inset translation, the time of composition of the Bodhisattva bhumi should be placed before 414 A. D., say about 340 A. D.


The Bodhisattvabhumi is the fifteenth section of Asanga's work Y. oldedharmi or Yogacarabhumi. The other sections are of these seventeen of particular interest is the Bodhisatvabhumi, which is exclusively devoted to Mahayana practices and philosophy. Attention of distinguished European orient lists was drawn to it as far back as 1905 when C. Bendall and L. de la vale Poisson published an English summary of the Bikini with Notes in the Mu8eon 1905-6 and 1911; E. Leumann and K. Watanabe discussed its importance in ZDNIG 1 08; U. Wogihara published in Japan in 1936 an edition of the whole text with Introduction and Notes; Prof. Paul Demievilla published a French translation of the 13th chapter ( hydnapa tala) in Recognize Orientalistly, Warsaw, 1957: and Prof. Vidhusekhar Bhattacharya edited the first five Bhatas and published the same.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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