The present volume contains the translation of the 2nd part of Bu-ton’s History of Buddhism, i.e. of the historical part proper. The letter begins with the Life of the Buddha and ends with an account of the work carried out by the Tibetan Lotsvas and Indian Pandits of Bu-ton’s own period and immediately before him (XII and XIII Cent.), viz the translation of the Buddhist Canonical texts and exegetical treatises from the Sanskrit. There are numerous quotations from both sutra and sastra. Owing to this it becomes possible to get a clear aspects of the principal sources from which Bu-ton has compiled his history, and which have likewise later on served as a basis for the work of Taranatha. The book is divided into following principal parts. Pt. I- The life of Buddha Sakyamuni, the narrative of the so-called 12 Acts of the Buddha (mdzad-pa bcu-gnis), or rather of the 12 principal events in the life; Pt. II- The Rehearsals of the Buddhist Scripture. This part begins with the account of the first Rehearsal: Pt. III- The different theories concerning the time of duration of the Buddhist doctrine: Pt. IV- The “peophesies” concerning the persons that have furthered the spread of Buddhism. The most important are those contained in the Lankavatara, the Mahakaruna- pundarika and the Manjusri- Mulatantra. A separate prophecy referring to the Tantrik Acharyas, that of the Kalacakra Uttaratantra and Mahakala- Tantraraja is given at the end of this part. Pt. V- The biographies of the celebrated Buddhist teachers, viz. Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candragomin, Candrakirti, Aryasanga, Vasubandhu, Sthirmati, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Haribhadra, Santideva etc. Each of these is followed by name of the works composed by the teacher in question. An indication of the Volumes of the Tangyur in which the works are contained is always given in the notes. A short summary of the history of the grammatical literature, or rather of the legends referring to it, viz. The stories about Brhspati, Panini, Sarvavarma etc.; Pt. VII- Prophesies of an apocalyptic character foretelling the disappearance of the Buddhist doctrine; Pt. VIII- The History of Buddhism in Tibet. It begins with the genealogy of the early legendary Tibetan kings, commencing with Nathi-tsen-gam-po. These are followed by a more detailed account concerning the spread of Buddhism in Tibet during the reign of Thi-sron-de-tsen the selection of the first 7 Tibetan monks, the dispute between the adherents of Kamalasila and of the Chinese Hva- san Mahayana etc. In particular there is a enumeration of the texts translated by some of the Lotsavas from the Sanskrit. In the end book contains a detailed index of the Sanskrit works quoted in the book.
The present volume contains the translation of the 2nd Part of Buton’s History of Buddhism, i.e. of the historical part proper. The latter begins with the Life of the Buddha and ends with an account of the work carried out by the Tibetan Lotsavas and Indian Pandits of Bu-ton’s own period and immediately before him (XII and XIII Cent), viz, the translation of the Buddhist kanonical texts and exegetical treatises from the Sanskrit. We have here, just as in the 1st Part, numerous quotations from both sutra and castra. Owing to this it becomes possible to get a clear aspect of the principal sources from which Bu-ton has compiled his History, and which have likewise later on served as a basis for the work of Taranatha.
Bu-ton’s History of Buddhism proper is divided into the following principle parts:
I. The Life of the Buddha Cakyamunt, the narrative of the so- called 12 Acts of the Buddha (mdzad-pa bcu-gnis), or rather of the 12 principal events in his life. The account of the first eleven, ending with the first “Swinging of the Wheel of the Doctrine” (chos-kyi hkhor-lo bskor- ba =dharma- cakra- pravartana) represents a summary of the Lalita- vistara-sutra and contains numerous verses from it. Then, after a short indication of the Second and the Third Swingings (i.e. of the Scripture of the intermediate and the later period), there follows the story of the Buddha’s attainment of Nirvana. It is taken from the Vinaya- ksudraka (tib. Hdul-ba- phran- tshegs, Kangyur HDUL, XI), being a summary of the corresponding part of the latter.
II. The Rehearsals of the Buddhist Scripture. This part begins with the account of the first Rehearsal (Mahakacyapa, Ananda, Upali), of the death of Kacyapa and Ananda, and of the second Rehearsal (Yacas, Kubjita, Revata, etc.) The only source here is likewise the Vinaya- ksudraka, the corresponding text of which is rendered in an abridged form, all the verses being quoted at full length. As concerns the 3rd Rehearsal and the 18 Sect, the texts referred to on this subject are:
1 The Nikaya- bheda- upadar cana- samgraha of Vinitadeva
2 The Bhiksu-varsagra-prccha of Padmakaraghosa.
3 The Prabhavati of Cakyaprabha.
4 The Tarkajvata of Bhavaviveka.
The latter work, though not directly mentioned, represents the principal source, Some passages of it are fully contained in Bu- ton’s text.
III. The different theories concerning the time of duration of the Buddhist Doctrine. Here we have quotations from the Karuna- pundarika, from Vasubandhu’s Commentary on the Aksayamati- nirdeca- sutra (Tg. MDO. XXXV.), the Commentary on the Vajracchedika (Tg. MDO. XVI), the commentary on the 3 Prajnaparamita- Sutras (Tg. MDO. XIV), etc. We have likewise the chronological calculations of the Sa- skya Pandita and others concerning the time that has passed since the death of the Buddha.
IV. The “prophecies” concerning the persons that have furthered the spread of Buddhism. The most important are those contained in the Lankavatara, the Maha-karuna- pundarika (Kg. MDO. VI) and the Manjucri- mula- tantra. (Kg. RGYUD. XI. Narthan edition, or XII. Derge edition) A separate prophecy referring to the Tantric Acarya, that of the Kalacakrauttaratantra (Kg. RGYUD. I) and the Mahakala- tantra- raja (Kg. RG YUD. V), is given at the end of this part. It is especially the Manjucri- mula- tantra which is to be regarded as a source of the greatest importance, not only for the History of Buddhism, but for the historiography of India in general. The most interesting is that part of it which refers to the Indian kings- Acoka, Virasena, Nanda, Candragupta, etc. Noteworthy is the passage concerning Panini who is spoken of as the friend of the king Nanda- A detailed analysis of the historically important parts of all these texts will be published by me before long.
V. The biographies of the celebrated Buddhist teachers, viz. Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candragomin, Candrakirti, Aryasanga, Vasubandhu, Sthiramati, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Haribhadra, Cantideva, etc. Each of these is followed by a list of the works composed by the teacher in question. An indication or the volumes of the Tangyur (Sutra and Tantra) in which the works are contained is always given in the notes.
VI. A short summary of the history of the grammatical literature, or rather of the legends referring to it, viz. the stories about Brhaspati, Panini, Sarvavarman (alias Carvavarman, Saptavarman, or Icvaravarma), etc. After that comes an enumeration of the Kanonical texts (Sutras and Tantra) which have been lost or have not been translated into Tibetan.
VII. Prophecies of an apocalyptic character foretelling the disappearance of the Buddhist Doctrine. Among these, that of the Candragrabha- pariprccha is quoted at full length with a very few abbreviations. This prophecy is treated in the Kangyur as a separate work (Kg. MDO. XXXII). In this place the text of the Lhasa block- print of Bu-ton’s History contains a great number of mistakes in the proper names, which are sometimes quite illegible (e.g. Akandradha instead of Agnidatta!). A correct rendering of these names has been made possible with the help of the Derge (Sde-dge) edition of the Kangyur.
VIII. The History of Buddhism in Tibet. It begins with the genealogy of the early legendary Tibetan kings, commencing with Na-thi-tsen-po. Next come the legends about Tho-tho-ri- nen-tsen account concerning the spread of Buddhism in Tibet during the reign of Thi-sron-de-tsen, viz. the activity of Cantiraksita (called the “Acarya Bodhisattva”), the selection of the first 7 tibetan monks (Sad-mi- mi bdun), the dispute between the adherents of Kamalacila and of the Chinese Hva-can Mahayana (the Tsen-min and the Ton- mun), etc. Then we have a brief account of the reign of Ral-pa-can, of the persecution by Lan-dar-ma, and of the restauration of the Church by the 10 monks of U and Tsan, an indication of the monasteries and monastic sections founded by the said monks and their pupils and finally, a narrative of the events that followed, viz. the arrival of Dipamkaracrijnana (Atica)in Tibet and the subsequent propagation of Buddhism. In particular we have an enumeration of the texts translated by some of the Lotsavas from the Sanskrit. It may be noted that, with very few exceptions, the texts mentioned belong to the Tantric parts of the Kangyur and Tangyur. Here ends the history proper. It is followed by a list containing the names of all the Pandits and Lotsavas who have acted in Tibet, beginning with Cantiraksita and Padmasambhava. With it ends the 3rd Chapter (lehu) of Bu-ton’s text: “The History of the Doctrine in Tibet”.
The last part is a systematical Index of all the Buddhist literature which has been translated from the Sanskrit by the Lotsava and Pandits. It is divided into 1. Sutra Scripture (including the Vinaya, Prajnaparamita, Avatamsaka, Ratnakuta and Sutra sections of the Kangyur), 2. Sutra Exegesis, 3. Tantra Scripture and 4. Tantra Exegesis. This Index, as well as the list of the Lotsavas and Pandits, arranged in the alphabetical order, will form a separate 3rd part which is to contain numerous other indices and Appendices besides.
The part now published, similar to the first, includes a great number of smaller chapters and subdivisions. The system according to which these have been designated, is the same as in the first part, and is directly connected with the latter. A full table of the contents is given at the end.
I may now be permitted to express my deepest gratitude to my revered teacher Professot Tsh. Stchernatsky and Professor M. Walleser whose kind attention has made it possible for this work to appear in press. My deepest thanks are likewise due to the Tshan-nid Lama Cho-dag (Chos-grags =Dharmakirti) Vanchenu, now Abbot of the Kijinge Monastery, for his kind assistance in my study of this part of Bu-ton’s text during the summer of 1927, in Transbaikalia.
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend