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a a In the study of Mahyna sutra literature the issue of dating is vexed. a a These texts are considered by Mahyna tradition to be buddhavacana, and therefore the legitimate word of the historical Buddha. The sravaka a a tradition, according to some Mahyna sutras themselves, rejected these texts as authentic buddhavacana, saying that they were merely a a inventions, the product of the religious imagination of the Mahynist monks who were their fellows.1 Western scholarship does not go so far a a as to impugn the religious authority of Mahyna sutras, but it tends to a assume that they are not the literal word of the historical Skyamuni Buddha. Unlike the sravaka critics just cited, we have no possibility of knowing just who composed and compiled these texts, and for us, removed from the time of their authors by up to two millenia, they are effectively an anonymous literature. a a It is widely accepted that Mahyna sutras constitute a body of literature that began to appear from as early as the 1st century BCE, although the evidence for this date is circumstantial. The concrete evidence for dating any part of this literature is to be found in dated a a Chinese translations, amongst which we nd a body of ten Mahyna sutras translated by Lokaksema before 186 C.E. and these constitute . our earliest objectively dated Mahyna texts.2 This picture may be a a qualied by the analysis of very early manuscripts recently coming out of Afghanistan, but for the meantime this is speculation. In effect we have a vast body of anonymous but relatively coherent literature, of which individual items can only be dated rmly when they were translated into another language at a known date. We generally accept, without concrete evidence, a date before the common era for the earliest representatives of this literature, and in the absence of a dated translation, we have to resort to inference from a variety of data to suggest a chronological order for other representatives. This has most frequently involved dating on the basis of comparative doctrinal development, references (real or imagined) to other dated texts and, even more subjectively, matters of literary style. Some methods involve inference from data taken to reect the historical circumstances of an
Journal of Indian Philosophy 27: 635652, 1999. c 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.



original Mahyna community, e.g. the numbers and constitution of a a the Buddhas audience as described in the nidana. And nally, it has been remarked, with only partially humorous intent, that each scholar working on a text feels an overwhelming obligation to establish two points about it: that it is important, and that it is early. While I need not pursue the accuracy of this as an observation on the frailty of human motive, we can agree that located as we are on this side of the chronological span in which a text has been extant, there is an inevitable interest and even an obligation of sorts to locate the further side of that same span. My own interest has been focused for some time on a substantial a a Mahyna text known as the Samadhiraja Sutra (hereafter SRS). This a a shares many characteristics of the Mahyna sutra genre, including anonymous composition and compilation and no obvious characteristics by which a date might be ascertained. The most inuential assessment of a date for this text is that made by C. Regamey, who adduces the 4th century Chinese translation of Shih Hsien-kung to establish a concrete date for the terminus ante quem for the composition of the basic text, but then removes this to a further century on the basis of internal evidences, above all certain archaisms of the metaphysical topics [sic] that allow us to place the text in the age of the Prajnaparamitasutras and before that of the Lankavatara, i.e. in the IIIrd century, although he immediately points out that direct proofs are wanting for this more distant date. He also suggests the 7th century as the terminus ante quem for the attainment of what he calls its present size, by which he means the recension known to us from the Nepalese mss. and the Tibetan translation.3 The date of the SRS has been discussed subsequently by a number of authors, their arguments bearing largely upon the same concrete evidences, all of which are dateable, and various speculations concerning the date of an Indian original which take the Chinese translations as their starting point. The study in Gomez and Silk rightly criticizes Murakamis linear model of development from the Gilgit mss., through the version represented by the Tibetan translation, to the Nepalese mss., although it does not commit itself to an alternative model.4 Any such linear model of development can only be described as nave. We have little option but to accept that where a text is disseminated across a wide geographical area, as the SRS clearly was, textual development will have been complex, taking place upon several independent fronts. Where different recensions are identied, dating becomes a matter of establishing a chronology for each recension, and since I have



argued elsewhere that there have been up to four distinct recensions of the SRS, we have precisely that challenge in relation to this text. Until the scholarly community learns considerably more about the real a a circumstances of the composition and compilation of the Mahyna sutra texts that we now know, where multiple recensions of a text exist, generalisations around a single date of origin raise more problems than they resolve. For present purposes my understanding of the recensional situation regarding the SRS is as follows. The SRS appears to have circulated in s four recensions: 1. that translated into Chinese by Narendrayaas (T 639) and witnessed in Sanskrit by three mss. folios from Central Asia, and pasamadhi Sutra; 2. that which was known by the name Candraprad preserved, without title, in the ms. of our text from the Gilgit collection; 3. a longer text, preserved in Nepalese mss. and Tibetan translation, designated by me as SRS I and possibly known as the Samadhiraja Sutra; and 4. a revised version of this long text preserved in Nepalese mss., denitely known as the Samadhiraja Sutra, and designated by me 5 My present intention is to add a chronological dimension as SRS II. to this picture, seeking both to rene our discussion of the dating of these recensions, as well as to suggest the earliest reasonable absolute date for it.6 For the reasons already cited, discussion should start with the Chinese translations. The colophon to the Chinese translation (T 641) mentions an earlier but lost translation of the SRS by the 2nd century translator An Shih-kao, but two factors make this questionable. Firstly, the high status of An Shih-kao within the Chinese tradition led to the attribution to him of many works clearly not his; and secondly, the body of work a a judged genuinely to be his is exclusively non-Mahyna, making it doubtful that he would have worked on this Mahyna text.7 These a a considerations remove the most frequently cited evidence for a 2nd century text of the SRS. More concrete evidence from this source is provided by the dates of the surviving translations: that of the complete s text by Narendrayaas (T 639), which was made in 557 C.E.; and that of an incomplete text by Shih Hsien-kung (T 640) which was presumably completed in the latter part of his working life (420479 C.E.), i.e. s during the second half of the 5th century C.E. Since Narendrayaas translation was based on a distinct recension, only witnessed in the original language by the three Central Asian fragments (mss. K8 and V9 ), we must conclude that the 5th century is the earliest rm date for that recension alone, and not for any recension of the full surviving Sanskrit text. The Central Asian mss. themselves belong, in the case



of K to the 9th century10 , and to the 5th or 6th century in that of V11 , and so extend our time frame for this recension in only one direction. When we turn to the more substantial Sanskrit sources for the SRS, the earliest rm date for an existing Sanskrit text is determined by palaeographic analysis of the Gilgit manuscript (the earliest surviving Sanskrit manuscript of substance) which gives us a date of the 6th century.12 Since this is a unique ms., recording its own recension of the text, in the present discussion this date is only of signicance for that recension. Other than this the next earliest Sanskrit ms. is the a . a Snkrtyyana ms. in Patna which has been tentatively dated to the 11th century, but which is a witness to the recension SRS I.13 If we seek to establish an earlier date than such concrete criteria as mss. and translations allow, we can turn to references to and citations of the SRS in works or by authors that allow such a date to be inferred. As the following examples demonstrate, the problem of differentiating recensions becomes more acute, and is compounded by occasional ambiguities and uncertainties over whether or not we are dealing with a reference to our text at all. It is well known that the SRS is cited by a number of Indian Buddhist a authors, amongst whom Mdhyamikas seem to have had a particular fondness for it as a proof text.14 In works by Candrakrti, Sntideva, and a s Kamalala frequent reference to or citation of the SRS is explicit and the passages involved can in most cases be identied. As the earliest of these authors Candrakrti has prompted the most discussion of a date for this text. Opinion is divided between placing his working life in the 6th or the rst half of the 7th century C.E. but either way establishes a terminus ante quem for the text Candrakrti quotes.15 In his discussion of the date of the SRS, Regamey notes that Candrakrti quotes a verse which is not in the Chinese translation. In fact this verse is one of three occasions on which Candrakrti quotes passages not in the Chinese. The passages in question are: ch. 8 Dutt p. 87, n. 2 (=Regamey, ch.8 v.6); ch.9 v.11, and ch.29 Dutt p. 361, n. 3.16 Dutts edition states that the verse in question in ch.29 appears only in his ms. A, but it is found in both SRS I and II, as are the other two passages. In conjunction with the testimony of the Gilgit ms., which was not known to Regamey at the time (and which also omits all three passages) we can see that Candrakrtis quotations require one of two conclusions: either that these changes, and these alone, took place by the rst half of the 7th century; or that there was in existence during Candrakrtis lifetime the third, expanded recension of the SRS, i.e. that now preserved in Nepalese mss. and the Tibetan translation (=SRS I/II). In the absence



of any evidence that suggests that recensions SRS I/II were compiled piecemeal, I would like to suggest that these quotations demonstrate that he indeed had access to that fuller recension in toto, as we know it. Clearly then, Candrakrti knew and cited one of two distinct, but in this case indeterminable, recensions, and the date that is established by his citation is a date for one of these two SRS recensions (SRS I/II). They also show that this longer version was roughly contemporary with the Gilgit ms., as well as the recension of the Central Asian ms. and Chinese translations. There is no a priori argument against the contemporaneity of these distinctive recensions, and indeed, work by .. Regamey on the Karandavyuha Sutra undermines the assumption of higher critical studies that expanded texts appear after and replace original short versions.17 That Candrakrti was familiar with this long recension and prepared to use it as authoritative buddhavacana suggests that it was an established text in his milieu. Whereas until now dating of this recension has relied upon the evidence of the Tibetan translation alone, I now argue for the existence of the long recension of the SRS (i.e. at least SRS I), as witnessed by Candrakrti, and provided with an earliest rm date by his working life. There remain to be mentioned ve sets of textual references to the SRS, of which only the rst has so far been considered in its dating. This comprises two references to our text, by name but without quotation. They are discussed briey by Tatz, and occur in the Manjusrmulakalpa.18 In the rst instance, which occurs in chapter 2, a a the SRS is one of four Mahyna sutras assigned each to one of the four quarters:
. . prasastasabdadharmas ravanacatusparsanukulamahayanasutram caturdiksu pustakam . . . . vacayan / tadyathapi bhagavat prajnaparamita daksinam [sic] disi vacayet / . . . . . . aryacandrapradpasamadhih pascimayam disi / aryagandavyuha uttarayam disi .. . . / aryasuvarnaprabhasottamasutram purvayam disi / evam adhtacatuhsutrantikam . . . . . pudgalam dharmabhanakam pustakabhavad adhyesayet dharmasravanaya /19 . . .

In the second, which occurs in chapter 11, the SRS is recommended for recitation alongside ve other texts:
. . . . visramya ca muhurtam ardhordhekayamam va tatah patam abhiv. . . . . andya sarvabuddhanam saddharmapustakam vacayet / aryaprajnaparamita aryacandrapradpasamadhim aryadasabhumakah aryasuvarnaprabhasottamah . . . . . aryamahamayur aryaratnaketudharanm /20

Clearly the redactor(s) of these passages knew a recension of our pasamadhi, which I have tentatively identext entitled Aryacandraprad s tied with that translated into Chinese by Narendrayaas. Following Govinda, Tatz does no more than mention the possibility that the



Manjusrmulakalpa may date from as early as the 1st century C.E., while Govinda himself admits the uncertainty regarding the date of this text, without specifying the arguments for or against this date.21 However, we know from various studies that this text is composite and its dating problematic.22 Within the Tantric Buddhist tradition, the Manjusrmulakalpa is classied as a kriyatantra, i.e. one of a very large body of instrumental ritual texts which appeared between the 2nd and 6th centuries C.E. Given the lack of a certain date for the Manjusrmulakalpa, we can only conclude that this does not for the time being help the problem of dating any recension of the SRS. I have so far reviewed the main textual evidence utilised by others in establishing a date for the SRS, indicating which recensions I believe are implicated by this evidence. I wish now to discuss four bodies of further textual evidence not so far used. The rst of these consists a a of four quotations from the SRS in the Sutrasamuccaya of Ngrjuna. Regrettably, the Sanskrit text of this work does not survive, and we now know it through its translations into Tibetan and Chinese.23 There, the pasamadhisutra24 , Chinese translator rendered the title as Candraprad pas while the Tibetan translators used Aryacandraprad utra (phags pa zla ba sgron mai mdo25 ). As with the Manjusrmulakalpa, this appears s to refer to that recension of the SRS translated by Narendrayaas, the two translated names having, I have suggested elsewhere, the same referent.26 Were the authenticity of this work not disputed, these would stand as the earliest rm reference to any recension of our text. Unfortunately, the authorship of this interesting work remains a matter of debate, the basic premise of those who doubt that it was compiled by the a a Ngrjuna being that the Sutrasamuccaya cannot be authentic because a a it quotes from many Mahyna sutras that we think of as having a later provenance than 2nd century C.E. The potential circularity of such a line of argument is immediately apparent the texts it quotes a a are too late to have been quoted by Ngrjuna, and we know they are too late because we will not accept as early anything that quotes these texts. I have nothing to contribute to the debate on this issue, but draw the attention of the reader to C. Lindtner, who accepts the authenticity of the Sutrasamuccaya on the basis that it agrees with a a Ngrjunas Mulamadhyamakakarika in style, scope and doctrine, and is, moreover, explicitly . . . ascribed to Nagarjuna by the testimony 27 in this case these witnesses include of trustworthy witnesses a sla. Candrakrti, Sntideva and Kamala 28



aa Psdika, the modern editor of the Tibetan text, gives his edition the title, Nagarjunas Sutrasamuccaya, but in an earlier publication warns, the Lankavatara quotations in the SS [Sutrasamuccaya], however, guard against any real condence where the authorship of the SS is a a concerned.29 Even so, critics of the attribution to Ngrjuna who argue that quotation from scriptures hitherto regarded as somewhat later than a a Ngrjuna disprove the authenticity of Sutrasamuccaya will need to refute what appear to be frequent references to such texts, especially the Lankavatara Sutra (or an Ur-Lankavatara Sutra), throughout other texts rmly attributed to this author, and reviewed by Lindtner.30 Until the authenticity of the Sutrasamuccaya is positively disproved these references stand as the earliest direct evidence known for the existence of any recension of the SRS. To the Sutrasamuccaya quotations we can compare what Lindtner a a suggests is an allusion to the SRS in verse 25 of Ngrjunas 31 Acintyastava.
utpannas ca sthito nas. ah svapne yadvat sutas tatha .t . na cotpannah sthito nas.ta ukto loko rthatas tvaya . .

Just as a son who is born, established and deceased in a dream, thus the world, You have said, is not really born, enduring or destroyed.

This is to be compared to SRS ch. 9 v. 1732 :

. yatha kumar supinantarasmim sa putra jatam ca mrtam ca pasyati . . . jate titus. a mrta daurmanahsthita tathopaman janatha sarvadharman .t . .

Just as, in a dream, a maiden sees a son being born and dying, and is overjoyed at his birth and griefstricken at his death: know that all dharmas are like that.

This juxtaposition can hardly be considered conclusive evidence of direct dependence. In favour of Lindtners interpretation is a a a that the Ngrjuna verse is partially quoted in Prajnkaramatis Bodhicaryavatarapanjika, where it is drawn from an un-named but authoritative source.33 If the verse is dependent upon the SRS it also draws upon the chapter that was to prove the most frequently quoted by other Madhyamaka scholars. Nevertheless, the authenticity of this verse as a part of the Acintyastava is problematic since it is not present in the Tibetan translation, although it is in all Sanskrit mss. of this work. This raises the possibility of it being an interpolation, post-dating the e Tibetan translation. The verse also expresses something of a clich, although I would not wish to be drawn on the frequency of expression of this sentiment in Buddhist literature as a whole. Its appearance in both texts could be simple coincidence or show parallel dependence upon a third source. Nevertheless, the style of this verse is consonant with that



of adjacent verses and its antiquity is established by its quotation by a Prajnkaramati, although none of these considerations is conclusive. a a Together, the quotations by Ngrjuna could be the most concrete evidence that we have for pushing back the absolute date for the recen pasamadhi (Sutra) and that presumably sion known as the Candraprad corresponded in major outline and content to the scripture that we now a a know as the SRS.34 As to the date of Ngrjuna himself, at present scholarly opinion seems to favour a date in the second half of the 2nd century C.E.35 The next body of evidence comes from a sutra text. In 663/4 C.E., a a Hsuan-tsang made a translation of a short Mahyna sutra, the title of which can be reconstructed as Prasantaviniscayapratiharyasamadhisutra 36 This text is of interest for present purposes because it (PVPS). borrows from Chapter 1 of the SRS a substantial section of what a I have dubbed the samdhi list, i.e. the list of c.330 doctrinal items that forms the core of the rst chapter in all recensions of our text. As one might expect, a literary item as fragile as a list of words is usually sensitive to recensional divergence, and therefore the characteristics of the section utilized in the PVPS could offer further insights into dating our text. This is indeed the case, for we nd a number of signicant variations which help us identify the recension utilized in the redac tion of this curious sutra. Thus we have the omission of several s terms that are found only in the version translated by Narendrayaas and in the Gilgit ms., e.g. priyavadita, between purvabhilapita and ehtisvagatavadita (Matsunami p. 227 1.15); pravrajyacittam, between dharmapravicayakausalyam and dharmaviniscayakausalyam . . anaprativedhajnanam, between (Matsunami, p. 226 1.14); and jn . arthaprativedhajnanam and jnananubodhah (Matsunami, p. 225 1.9).37 . These features show us that the redactor of the PVPS was not using s the Gilgit recension or that known to Narendrayaas. With these two recensions thus excluded, inclusion of mardavata . between alpabhasyata and mandamantranata (Matsunami p. 224 1.10) . rather than displaced to a position between anacaravivarjanata and am adusanata (Matsunami p. 224 1.9) conclusively demonstrates . . kulan that the PVPS was quoting from recension SRS I rather than SRS II.38 The PVPS thus provides us with a terminus ante quem of the mid-7th century for the recension SRS I. The last and, I suggest, most interesting reference to the SRS occurs in a passage in Asangas Mahayanasamgraha, but has, however, not yet . been recognised as such. In the seventh chapter Asanga enumerates six



a a a ways in which the Mahyna is superior to the Hnayna in respect of adhicittam.39 The second of these distinctions concerns diversity (sna tshogs nyid kyi rab tu dbye ba) in a passage which Lamotte translates (with his restoration of Sanskrit terms) as follows:
. Superiorite en variete (nanatvavisesa), car la variete des concentrations (samadhinanatva), comme le Mahayanaloka (Eclat du Grand Vehicule), le Sarvapunyasamuccaya (accumulation de tout merite), le Samadhirajabhadrapala . (Roi de concentration, bon protecteur), Suramgama (Marche Heroque), etc., est . . innie (apramana).40

[Mahyna exhibits] Superiority regarding diversity, since the diversity of its a a a a a concentrations, such as the Mahynloka (Brilliance of the Great Vehicle), the a a a Sarvapunyasamuccaya (accumulation of all merit), the Samdhirjabhadrapla (King . of concentration, good protector), and the Suramgama (Heroic Advance), etc., is . innite.

As it stands, this translation is misleading, for Lamotte has taken a the subject of the statement to be samdhi in the sense of meditative concentration, whereas I would like to suggest that the general context of this passage indicates that the items here listed are to be understood as items of scripture. My argument for this re-interpretation is twofold, based on external and internal evidence. Firstly, the subjects of Chs. 68 in the Mahayanasamgraha, i.e. . adhislam, adhicittam, and adhiprajna, correspond to the ubiquitous threefold formula of the Path as sla, samadhi, and prajna. These three a yna and Srvakayna Buddhism of all a trainings are found in Maha a periods. The three categories are understood to be expounded, according to Buddhaghosa, by three bodies of scripture, as follows: adhislam by the Vinaya, the monastic rule book; adhicittam by the Sutras, i.e. the discourses of the Buddha; and adhiprajna by the Abhidharma, the third main division of scripture, which abstracts, organizes and correlates the doctrinal categories to be found in the Sutras.41 Buddhaghosa, a a of course, cannot be taken as an authority upon Mahyna doctrine, although we cannot rule out the possibility that he reects here a broader current of Indian Buddhist thought (he was himself Indian, and had taken ordination there). More signicantly, Asanga himself, . in the Mahayanasutralamkara, states that adhicitta (and adhisla) is 42 I suggest we should therefore expect accomplished through the sutras. that Asangas exposition of adhicitta could refer to a body of scripture, rather than to meditative attainments. Secondly, even a cursory glance at the list offered here by Asanga should be sufcient to recognize the titles of three major Mahyna scriptures: Samadhiraja [Sutra], Bhadrapala [Sutra]43 and a a uramgama[-samadhi Sutra].44 The second of these scriptures is named S .



after the main interlocutor with the Buddha, i.e. a layman called a Bhadrapla, but it also circulated under the title of Pratyutpannabuddha a sammukhavasthitasamadhi Sutra, i.e. the name of the samdhi which the . text teaches. The Sarvapunyasamuccaya is a less well known scripture. . Consultation of Tibetan and Chinese catalogues reveals that this name too is an abbreviation, and the full title is Sarvapunyasamuccayasamadhi . 45 I have not as yet found any scriptural candidate for the Sutra. Mahayanaloka, but despite this we have here four samdhi sutras.46 a The conation of the rst two items, making the second an attribute of the rst, may be a literal translation of the Tibetan, but the Tibetan itself may only transmit the omission of the connective ca (Tib. dang) in the original, a usage perfectly in accordance with both Sanskrit and, for that matter, Tibetan syntax for lists. We should note that a a passage in the Tibetan translation of Asvabhvas commentary to the Mahayanasamgraha, the Mahayanasamgrahopanibhandana (but not in . . Hsuan-tsangs earlier Chinese translation of the same) duplicates this interpretation by seeking to explain this item as follows:
ting nge dzin gyi rgyal po bzang skyong ni / jig rten gyi rgyal po bzhin du ting nge dzin thams cad kyi bdag po ste / gang yod na phyogs bcu rnams su da ltar byung ba i dus kyi sangs rgyas bcom ldan das rnams mngon sum du mthong bar gyur bao // a a a a Le Samdhirjabhadrapla, ` linstar dun roi de la terre (lokaraja), est le chef a e e de tous les Samdhi. Par sa prsence, les Buddha Bhagavat du temps prsent e e a (pratyutpannakala) et situs dans les dix rgions (dasadis) sont vus face ` face.47

Asvabhva takes the element samdhirja to qualify bhadrapla, a a a a but his denition of the latter is a succinct denition of the a a Pratyutpannabuddhasammukhvasthitasamdhi, the subject of the . Sutra. So far as I am aware, the Bhadrapala Sutra Bhadrapala never describes its subject as samadhiraja. If the wording of the Mahayanasamgraha is to be understood as I suggest, it may be relevant to . the explanation for the error shared between main text and commentary, that the same translators were responsible for the Tibetan translations of text and commentary.48 Presumably it is the commentary that encouraged Lamotte to interpret the passage as he did. However, I note with interest the translation of the same passage in the BDK Tripitaka series (vol. 46III): Its varieties: it encompasses sundry . states of concentration, such as the Great Vehicle Light Concentration, the Merit Accumulation Royal Concentration, the Illustrious Protector Concentration, and the Heroic March Concentration.49 The conation here involves the 2nd and 3rd items, rather than the 3rd and 4th as in the Tibetan. This suggests that the original Sanskrit employed a lengthy dvandva compound which the translators unpacked in different ways.



I also suspect the possibility that mahayanaloka may not have been used as the title of a text at all, but as a description in apposition to a the four samdhi texts that are named, i.e. [these texts . . . ] which are a a the splendour of the Mahyna. As we might expect, the scriptural referents in a passage seeking a a to demonstrate the superiority of the Mahyna form of Buddhism are a a Mahyna scriptures. That four of these scriptures each contain the a term samdhi in their title is sufcient to explain the presence of this term in a non-meditative context. Asangas usage indicates that it was considered appropriate for him (and presumably therefore for others in a his milieu) to refer to scriptural texts that contain the term samdhi in a a their title (because they claim to teach a specic samdhi) as samdhis. This interpretation is supported, moreover, by an interesting passage in the SRS itself:
tasyodgrhtah sugatasya mentikad . . itah samadheh parivarta ekah /50 . . .

In the presence of that Sugata I learned one chapter from this samdhi.51 a

Here the term samdhi is used to denote the text of the SRS itself, and a this usage occurs elsewhere in the SRS, with a variety of expressions a indicating that the samdhi is understood to be a text (though not necessarily a written text) rather than a meditative state. Thus, a brief survey of such references:52
yo gatha dhareya itah samadhitah 2.24 . . . yas co samadhim imu varu sres.tha grhnec . . . catuspadam gatha sa tus.tacittah 36.44ab . . . itu dharayi samadhitas ca gatham 3.13c

And less specically:

dhareti yah santasamadhi dudrsam 2.25d . . . dhareti yah santam imam samadhim 2.27d . . . samadhi srutva imu dharayeyuh 2.28d . bahutaru punyu samadhi dharayitva 3.17d . tasya mama etu samadhi srutva 16.5a dharentu vacentu imam samadhim 16.7d . . . . . . bahunam ca buddhanam bhagavatam antikan maya pravrajitvayam kumara sarvadharmasvabhavasamatavipancitah samadhir vistarena sruta udgrhtah prs. o . . ..t . . . . dharito vacitah pravartitah aranabhavanaya bhavito bahulkrtah parebhyas ca . . . . vistarena samprakasitah 17 (Dutt p. 220. 47; as elsewhere) . . . tasyo imam santa samadhi bhasatah 17.46a . .



sa parthivah srutva samadhim etam 17.51a . . . kaccij jino bhasati tam samadhim 17.58d passim . . . . . ima vara santa samadhi bhasamanah 18.7d srutva ima samadhi santa bhum 18.14c imam samadhim srutveha 24.67c . tatha vyakaromy aham anantamatim hastasmi yasya susamadhivaram 29.82cd . acaryu loke bhavisyati nityakalam . dharitva santam imu virajam samadhim 32.172cd (and as a refrain thereafter) . . . dharetva vacetva imam samadhim 36.36d . . sa srosyate etu samadhi santam 36.38b asrutva etam viraju samadhi santam . . yatha srutva sgram labhati sa buddhajnanam 36.45cd .

To these instances we can add the nal colophon of SRS I, which describes the text as the aryasarvadharmasvabhavasamatavipancitat . samadher yathalabdham parivarto nama c[atv]arimsatimah, i.e. the . . fortieth chapter, as received from the noble samadhi elaborated as the sameness in their essence of all phenomena, is concluded. Together these citations demonstrate that for the tradition of the SRS there can be no doubt that this sutra was known and knew itself under a the general appellation of samdhi, and is replete with passages in a which the term samdhi is used to denote a text. Our next step should therefore be to establish whether such usage was idiosyncratic and restricted to the SRS alone. To do this we can begin by examining a those other texts cited by Asanga as samdhis. Examination of the Pratyutpanna Sutra (=Bhadrapala Sutra), for example, conrms that this is the case. Thus, quoting the most emphatic examples (a number of which indicate that here a written text is understood):53
through desire for this samadhi, for the sake of making this samadhi endure for a long time and in order that this samadhi be preserved, copying it well and presenting it as a book; 4D (2) On hearing this samadhi, experience joy, And discard all the various spells of the world; 5E.8ab It is the same, Bhadrapala, with any sons of good family . . . [etc.] . . . to whose hearing such a precious samadhi as this has come: if on hearing it they do not copy it in book form, teach it, recite it, preserve it, read it, expound it, cultivate it, or put it into practice,. . . 6A Those who, on hearing a sutra and samadhi like this, 6J.2a Those who, on hearing this samadhi-sutra,. . . 6J.6a (and similarly throughout chapter 7 with . . . on hearing . . . )



Bodhisattvas desiring much merit, Who keep and read this samadhi,. . . 7G.2ab Those who master a single four-line verse From this samadhi bestowed by the Buddhas . . . 7G.4ab
The merit of those who keep a verse from this samadhi . . . 7G.7c They recite and develop the excellent samadhi 13L.3d (and similarly for vv.13L.4d, 6d and 11d; and for 14J.9, 10, 11 and 12)

Again we have unambiguous evidence that for a second early Mahyna a a a sutra text, the term samdhi is used to denote the text itself. To these can be added similar passages from the Suramgamasamadhi Sutra: .
67. . . . Ceux qui nont pas entendu le Sgs. [Suramgamasamdhi] sont certainement a . .t possedes par Mara (maradhis. hita); ceux qui lont entendu sont certainement proteges . par les Buddhas (buddhaparigr hta). Que dire alors (kah punar vadah) de ceux qui, . . ` layant entendu, le repetent et le pratiquent? Bhagavat, le bs. qui veut penetrer les attributs des Buddha (buddhadharma) et ` arriver a lautre rive, doit ecouter attentivement (ekacittasravana) le Sgs. . . . . 76. . . . Le devaputra dit: Ce sont ceux qui tiennent en mains ce Sgs. que le monde entier avec les dieux et les hommes (sadevamanusya loka) devrait venerer. . 113. . . . Sils entendent le Sgs., ils se xeront, eux aussi, sur les attributs des Buddha (buddhadharmes u niyata bhavisyati). . . ` 118. . . . Eh bien, tous les lieux ou lon preche le Sgs. sont absolument identiques . ` ` ` (sama, nirvisesa) a ce Siege de diamant. De meme aussi tous les lieux ou le Sgs. est preche (desita), recite (vacita) ou ecrit (likhita).

132. . . . Mais maintenant que, de la bouche du Buddha, nous avons entendu ce samadhi . . .
173. . . . Si un matre de la Loi (dharmacarya) ecrit (likhayati), etudie (svadhyayati) ou enseigne (uddesayati) le Sgs. . . . 174. . . . Drdhamati, celui qui ecrit (likhati) et qui etudie (svadhyatati) ce Sgs. . . . ..

176. . . . Le bs. qui, ayant entendu des enseignements non encore entendus, veut y croire et ne veut pas les rejeter, ce bs. doit ecouter le Sgs.

Together these passages demonstrate unambiguously that, within at a a a least a part of the early Mahyna community, the term samdhi was a used to denote a scriptural text when the term samdhi was a part of the a title. (Each of these texts purports to teach a specic, named samdhi.) Further, we can conclude that this usage was a natural one for a scholar such as Asanga to use. a Therefore, given that samdhi could be used to denote a scriptural text, I think we can accept with condence that this passage of the Mahayanasamgraha constitutes a reference by Asanga to the . a Samadhiraja Sutra, along with other well known samdhi texts, some of which are attested at an even earlier date.54 This would therefore establish the existence of a recension of the SRS available as a scriptural



authority for Asanga, a scholar who is dated to the period 310390 C.E.55 Since he uses the title Samadhiraja, we may be justied in concluding that he knew one or the other of those recensions that I have suggested elsewhere were designated by that title, i.e. SRS I or SRS II. By way of summary, the evidence that we now have demonstrates that there were at least three recensions circulating contemporaneously: s 1. that of the Chinese translation of Narendrayaas and Central Asian fragments; 2. that of the Gilgit ms.; and 3. that of the long version quoted by Candrakrti and recorded in the Nepalese mss. While the rst of these may be the most archaic, and is probably that for which we have the earliest evidence, i.e. the Sutrasamuccaya quotations, the Central Asian folios demonstrate that this was still in circulation as late as the 9th century C.E., i.e. we have evidence that it was in circulation between the 2nd and 9th centuries C.E. The Gilgit ms. was copied prior to 630 C.E., probably in the 6th century. The long version (SRS I/II) was for a long time known only from late Nepalese mss. and the Tibetan translation, the latter being used to establish its date. Candrakrtis quotations from this text give sound evidence that this long recension too was in circulation by the 6th century C.E., and the borrowing of PVPS conrms this date specically for recension SRS I. If this was the recension known characteristically as the Samadhiraja Sutra, as pasamadhi Sutra, then Asangas reference to distinct from Candraprad a text of that name may push the date for this recension back to the 4th century. Otherwise, the recension SRS I is attested directly in Sanskrit a . a only as early as the 11th century by the Snkrtyyana ms., and SRS II to the 12th century by a fragmentary Nepalese palmleaf manuscript.56


(Some) scoff with words such as these: You are teaching the doctrine on your own inspiration, for this is not what was taught by the Tathagata. You have made this doctrine to please yourselves. The doctrine you teach has your own creation as its source, so there is no need for you to show it respect, no need to show it veneration , from the Adhyasayasamcodanasutra, transl. D. Snellgrove, . Note on the Adhyasayasamcodanasutra, BSOAS xxi (1958) pp. 620623. A . similar situation appears to be referred to in a short sutta from the Samyutta . . Nikaya, Evam eva kho bhikkhave, bhavissanti bhikkhu anagatam addhanam. // Ye te suttanta tathagatabhasita gambhra gambhrattha lokuttara sunnatapatisamyutta . . / tesu bhannamanesu na sussusissanti / na sotam odahissanti / na annacittam . . . upat.thapessanti / na ca te dhamme uggahetabbam pariyapunitabbam mannissanti // . . . Ye pana te suttanta kavikata kaveyya cittakkhara cittavyanjana bahiraka savakabhasita / tesu bhannamanesu sussusissanti sotam odahissanti annacittam upat. hapessanti / te . . .t . dhamme uggahetabbam pariyapunitabbam mannissanti // Evam eva tesam bhikkhave . . .



. . . . suttantanam tathagatabhasitanam gambhranam gambhratthanam lokuttaranam . . sunnatapatisannuttanam antaradhanam bhavissati, SN vol. II p. 267 (PTS edition). . . a The debate was on-going, so as to trouble even Sntideva, Bodhicaryavatara, 9.41ff. 2 These texts are reviewed in P. Harrison, Who Gets to Ride in the Great Vehicle? a a Self-Image and Identity Among the Followers of Early Mahyna, JIABS 10 (1987), pp. 6789. 3 C. Regamey, Three Chapters from the Samadhirajasutra (originally published Warsaw 1938) reprinted New Delhi 1990, pp. 1112. 4 L. Gomez and A. Silk, eds. Studies in the Literature of the Great Vehicle Three Mahayana Buddhist Texts, Ann Arbor 1989, pp. 188 (p. 15). 5 For a detailed presentation of my argument, see A. Skilton, Four Recensions of the Samadhiraja Sutra, forthcoming. 6 Pace Gregory Schopen (lecture given at Oxford, 1997), I cannot bring myself to declare that the Samadhiraja Sutra is either late or unimportant, but this reluctance may indeed just be due to my having studied it for several years. 7 Private communication from Paul Harrison, 7/7/92. Regamey was of the same opinion, op. cit., p. 10. Compare the more equivocal view in Bangwei Wang, a a naya Mahyna or H na: A Reconsideration of the yana Afliation of An Shigao and His School, in Bauddhavidyasudhakarah Studies in Honour of Heinz Bechert . on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, eds. P. Kieffer-Pulz and J.-U. Hartmann, Swisttal-Odendorf 1997, pp. 689697. 8 That the two leaves of K are from a single ms. has been suggested in private communication from J.-U. Hartmann, 4/9/95. Ki St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Studies, Central Asian Manuscript Collection SI P/67(11); see G. M. Bongarda a Levin, Fragment sanskritshoy Samdhirjasutra iz Central noj Azii, Sanskrit I drevneindijskaja kultura I, Moskva 1979 pp. 6272 (facsimile and transcription); G. M. Bongard-Levin and M. I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya, Indian Texts from Central Asia (Leningrad Manuscript Collection), Tokyo 1986 (catalogue); G. M. Bongard-Levin, Indian Texts from Central Asia, Vol. 2 (Russian) Moscow 1990, pp. 264266, plates 152153 (facsimile and transcription); H. Matsumura, Marginalia to the Sanskrit Fragments of Some Buddhist Texts, Central Asiatic Journal 37 (1993) pp. 120 e 149 (revised transcription and discussion, pp. 137141). Kii Paris, Biblioth`que Nationale, Pelliot Sanskrit Mss.: No.092001092003, R.44583, Godfrey A; see T. Inokuchi, I. Irisawa, N. Azuma, E. Uno and N. Ohara, A Catalogue of the Sanskrit ` Manuscripts Brought from Central Asia by Paul Pelliot Preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale [Preliminary], Kyoto 1989, p. 39. I have been able to use an unpublished transcription and description of this folio generously provided by K. Wille and J.-U. Hartmann. 9 Bongard-Levin 1990 op. cit., pp. 266268 (plates 154155). 10 Suggested with caution by K. Wille. in private communication from J.-U. Hartmann, 5/2/96. 11 Script identied as Early Turkestan Brahm (type b) by K. Wille; private communi cation, 9/5/96. 12 See O. von Hinuber, Die Bedeutung des Handschriftenfundes bei Gilgit, in F. Steppat, ed., XXI. Deutscher Orientalistentag: Ausgewahlte Vortrage (Zeitschrift a der Deutschen Morgenlndischen Gesellschaft: Supplement, 5), Wiesbaden 1983, pp. 4766. 13 J.-U. Hartmann, A Note on a Newly Identied Palm-Leaf Manuscript of the a a Samdhirjasutra, Indo-Iranian Journal 39 (1996), pp. 105109. 14 A summary of such citations is given in L. Gomez and A. Silk, eds. Studies in the Literature of the Great Vehicle Three Mahayana Buddhist Texts, Ann Arbor 1989, pp. 3238.



D. S. Ruegg, Towards a Chronology of the Madhyamaka School, in Indological and Buddhist Studies, ed. L. A. Hercus et al., Canberra 1982, pp. 505530. 16 I refer the reader to the list of testimonia in Gomez and Silk, where the complex rti, pattern of citation of these passages, which are used several times over by Candrak is summarized on pages 3334. Note that in the case of the last passage (ch.29), rti Candrak places the crucial verse after v.17 (Vaidya 1960, 47.912 and 208, n. 1), whereas it occurs after v.14 in the SRS itself. 17 C. Regamey, Randbemerkungen zur Sprache und Textuberlieferung des a .. Krandavyuha in ASIATICA. Festschrift Friedrich Weller, Leipzig 1954, pp. 514 527. 18 M. Tatz, Revelation in Madhyamika Buddhism, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Washington 1972, p. 12. Tatz does not give textual references for these, but instead directs the reader to the work of M. Lalou. Apart from this reference, his discussion of the date of the SRS is unremarkable. In particular, he asserts that a Edgerton has proven that the SRS and other texts, Mdhyamika sutras for the most part, were composed in the centuries around the time of Christ, and that by this linguistic evidence the antiquity of the SR is established most rmly. There is no need to recapitulate here the controversy concerning Edgertons thesis to establish the inadequacy of this argument. The second of these references is mentioned by Regamey (1990, p. 7, n. 1) but not with regard to its signicance for dating. 19 P.L. Vaidya, ed. Mahayanasutrasamgraha, part 2 Darbhanga 1964, p. 26 1.2427. . 20 Ibid. p. 79 1.1214. 21 Angrika Govinda, Tantric Buddhism, in 2500 Years of Buddhism, New Delhi a a 1956, p. 316 (not p. 361, as reported by Tatz). 22 s m Y. Matsunaga, On the Date of the Manjur ulakalpa, Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques xxii (1985) pp. 882894. 23 Cf. Bhikkhu Psdika, Nagarjunas Sutrasamuccaya: a critical edition of the mDo aa kun las btus pa, Copenhagen 1989. 24 T1635: 58a3, 61a6, 61c3, 71a13. 25 Psdika, op. cit., pp. 37, 57, 9798, 175. aa 26 See A. Skilton, Four Recensions . . . . Of the three passages in the Sutrasamuccaya that have been identied, none comes from a distinctive passage from the longer recension, but each is to be found in all recensions. If my hypothesis regarding the recensions is correct, detailed study of the Chinese translation may provide the aa source for the remaining unidentied verse (Psdika . . . op. cit., p. 36). 27 C. Lindtner, Nagarjuniana: Studies in the Writings and Philosophy of Nagarjuna, Copenhagen 1982, p. 10. Note that although Williams (P. M. Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, London 1989, pp. 567) follows the Tibetan a a classication of Ngrjunas work, which does not list the Sutrasamuccaya amongst his non-Tantric works, he elsewhere uses the evidence of the Sutrasamuccaya to suggest a similarly early date for the Vajracchedika, p. 42. Seyfort Ruegg remains non-committal on the issue of the authenticity of this text (D. Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, Wiesbaden 1981). 28 Lindtner 1982, p. 172. Candrak provides a succinct denition of Ngrjunas rti a a . . opus in his Madhymakas astrastuti 10: dr. . va Sutrasamuccayam parikatham Ratnavalm . st . . samstuti abhyasyaticiram ca Sastragaditas tah Karika yatnatah / Yuktyakhyam atha . . . . Sas. ikam sa Vidalam tam Sunyatasaptatim ya casav atha Vigrahasya racita Vyavartan, . . t . . tam api // . . . (as quoted from de Jongs edition, in Lindtner 1982, p. 31, n. 89). 29 Prolegomena to an English Translation of the Sutrasamuccaya, JIABS 5.2 (1982) pp. 101109 (p. 106). 30 a a Lindtner, 1982 passim. Also note Lindtner, The Lankvatrasutra in Early Indian Madhyamaka Literature, Etudes Asiatiques XLVI (1992) pp. 244279, in which the author sets out to substantiate the authenticity of the references to the Lankavatara



Sutra in accepted works of Ngrjuna. Not surprisingly, Lindtners conclusions are a a not universally accepted. 31 Acintyastava 25; translated and identied by Lindtner 1982, p. 149 and n. 25. 32 C. Cuppers, The IXth Chapter of the Samadhirajasutra A text critical contribution to the study of Mahayana sutras, Stuttgart 1990. 33 S. Tripathi, Bodhicaryavatara of Santideva with the Commentary Panjika of Prajnakaramati, 2nd ed. Darbhanga 1988, p. 273. In this edition, the use of square a a brackets indicates that the explicit identication of the source of the verse as [ngrjunah . a catuhstave] is an editorial addition, and not given by the author. Prajnkaramati quotes . a the second line of this verse in explication of precisely the same sentiment in Sntidevas . text, tasmat svapne sute nas.te sa nastti vikalpana / tadbhavakalpanotpadam vibadhnati . mr. a ca sa, 9.141. . s 34 The identied quotations are from chapters 3 and 32, Gomez and Silk, op. cit., p. 37. 35 Ruegg op. cit., 1982 p. 507; Williams, op. cit., 1989 p. 56. 36 Taisho 648 (vol. 15, 723a727b). There is also a Tibetan translation from the 9th century, e.g. Peking Tripitaka vol. 32, #797 (mdo thu 189b228a). . 37 I give references to Matsunamis edition since he alone clearly distinguishes s between his Nepalese text and the Gilgit recension. Although both Narendrayaas and the Gilgit recension both give extra terms at these places, it not the case that the terms given are identical between these two recensions. 38 Matsunami follows the reading of SRS II in constructing his edition. 39 E. Lamotte, La Somme du Grand Vehicule dAsanga (Mahayanasamgraha), 2 . vols. Louvain-la-Neuve 1973: vol. I, p. 70, 7.3. 40 theg pa chen po snang ba dang / bsod nams thams cad yang dag par bsags pa dang / ting nge dzin gyi rgyal po bzang skyong dang / dpa bar gro ba la sogs pai ting nge dzin sna tshogs nyid tshad med pai phyir ro, Lamotte, op. cit. 1973, vol. II, p. 219. The following translation, including the material in square brackets, is provided by the present author. 41 . tsu pi ca etesu tisso sikkha tni pahanani catubbidho gambhrabhavo vedit abbo, tatha hi vinayapitake visesena adhislasikkha vutta, suttapitake adhicittasikkha, . . abhidhammapitake adhipannasikkha, Atthasalin (L. Cousins, Atthasalin (revised . edition) London 1979, p. 21). 42 . xi.1 punah siksatrayadesana sutrena adhisladhicittasampadanata vinayena slavato . . . . vipratisarad avipratisarena . . . Unfortunately there is a problem with the text, since the sole Nepalese ms. used by Levi in his edition was corrupt at this point (reading vipratisaradinemana), and the present text is his emendation. He himself emends . again to vipratisaradikramena for his translation. On the basis of the Tibetan trans. lation Lamotte suggests a different emendation: vipratisaratikramena (1973, p. 2, n. . 3). 43 v. P.M. Harrison, The Tibetan Text of the Pratyutpanna-Buddha-Sam mukhavasthita. Samadhi-Sutra, Tokyo 1978, and The Samadhi of Direct Encounter with the Buddhas of the Present, Tokyo 1990 (translation). The title Bhadrapalapariprcchasutram is . also used. 44 v. E. Lamotte, La Concentration de la Marche Heroque (Suramgamasamadhisutra), . Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, XII (1965). English translation by S. Boin Webb, Suramgamasamadhisutra, Concentration of Heroic Progress, London 1998. . 45 Tibetan translation, sTog Palace 107 (T. Skorupski, A Catalogue of the sTog Palace Kanjur, Tokyo 1985); Chinese translation, T.381 and T.382; Korean Canon, K140 and 141 (L. Lancaster, The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue, Berkeley 1979). 46 I note that the Dharmasamgraha (CI) gives, as the rst of four, the alokasamadhi. . By way of contrast, we nd in the bka gyur a translation of the Aryasvabhavasunyata



Acalapratisarva Aloka Sutra, an unlikely candidate for the text in question (Derge Kanjur, New Delhi: Da, ff.171a.1174b.1). 47 Lamotte, op. cit. 1973, vol. II p. 219 and n. 3. 48 Lamotte, op. cit. 1973, vol. I p. v. 49 J. P. Keenan, The Summary of the Great Vehicle by Bodhisattva Asanga, BDK English Tripitaka 46-III, Berkeley 1992, p. 89. . 50 Ch. 2.10, S. Matsunami, ed. Samadhiraja-sutra Taisho Daigaku Kenkyu Kiyo, Memoirs of Taisho University, The Departments of Buddhism and Literature, 60 (1975), pp. 244188 (=SRS chapters 14). 51 Parivarta is the term used throughout the SRS to denote its chapters. 52 I do not believe that this list is exhaustive. While the following examples all indicate that samdhi indicates a text, heard or read, I explore elsewhere an important a ambiguity in a number of these citations, i.e. whether the reference is to the entire sutra text, or to a specic passage within the sutra. See Skilton, State or Statement: a a a Samdhi in some early Mahyna sutra, forthcoming. 53 Translation from Harrison, op. cit. 1990. 54 The Bhadrapala and Suramgama Sutras are amongst those texts translated by . Lokaksema into Chinese in the second half of the 2nd century C.E. and are thus the . a a very earliest concretely dated Mahyna sutras. 55 Williams, op. cit. 1989 p. 80. Frauwallner suggests 315390 C.E. (E. Frauwallner, Landmarks in the History of Indian Logic, WZKSO 5 (1961) pp. 125148). Without doubt there is a complex of problems concerning the authorship and dating of texts a attributed to Maitreya(ntha) and his pupil Asanga, which cannot be addressed here. e e e For a rsum, see J. May, La Philosophie Bouddhique Idaliste, Etudes Asiatiques 25 (1971) pp. 265323 (p. 285ff. and notes). 56 The manuscript is incomplete, with folios preserved in two archives: Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project, A38/8 and Tokyo University Library, 333.ii.

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