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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/20

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xiv
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

Ginâ hi mâdrisâ gfteyâ, ye prâptâ âsravakshayam, gitâ me pâpakâ dharmâs tenopa(ka) Gino [hy] aham.

The following verses, taken from Mah&vagga and Lalita-vistara l. c, have likewise the same origin, notwithstanding some variations:

dhammakakkam pavattetuw ga^MAmi K&sinaw puraw, andhabhtitasmi lokasmia* dha/ihi amatadudrabhiw.

Compare:

Vârânastw gamishyâmi gatvâ vai Kâsikâm purtm, andhabhtitasya lokasya kartâsmy asadr/siw 1 prabhâm. Vârân2Lsitn gamishy&mi gatvâ vai Kâsik&fn purtm, sabdahinasya lokasya tâdayishye 2 'mrztadundubhim. Vârânasim gamishy&mi gatvâ vai Kâsikâw purim, dharma£akra*« pravartishye lokeshv aprativartitam.

An important passage on the divine sight of the Buddha in Lalita-vistara, p. 439 seq., almost literally occurs in the Sâmaññaphala-Sutta, as has been pointed out by Burnouf3.

These few examples I have chosen will suffice to prove that the material of a Mahâvaipulya Sûtra is partly as old as that of any other sacred book of the Buddhists. The language of the prose part of those Sûtras does not differ from that used in the simple Sûtras of the Northern canon. Should the Sanskrit text prove to be younger than the Pâli text, then we may say that we do not possess the Northern tradition in its original shape. That result, however, affords no criterion for the distinction between the simple Sûtras and the Mahâvaipulya Sûtras, for both are written in the very same Sanskrit, if we except the Gâthâs.

It would lead me too far, were I to enter into the heart of the question which of the three idioms, Sanskrit, Pâli, and the so-called Gâthâ dialect, was the oldest scriptural language of the Buddhists, and I will therefore confine myself to a few remarks. In the first place it will be granted

The reading aham sadrisîm of the Calc. ed. is clearly a corrupt reading.

This word, which spoils the metre, has manifestly replaced an older expression, not unlikely âhañhi, or a similar form of the future tense of âhan (Sansk. âhanishye).

Lotus de la bonne Loi, p. 864.