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xviii
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

of which we wish to determine, has been carefully moulded upon time-honoured models. In such a case new words prove a good deal1, old ones next to nothing. Therefore it would be an abuse of the argument ex silentioto infer from the total absence of such new words in our Saddharma-pundarika that the bulk of the Sutra must date from the earlier period of Buddhism.

I had already occasion to notice that the two versions, the prose and the metrical one, in our Sutra show here and there material discrepancies. The question arises to which of the two we must award the palm of priority. Repeatedly, both in prose and poetry, the Sutra is spoken of as consisting of stanzas; e. g. chap, vii, st 82; chapters x and xxii in the prose portion, several times. As the term of stanza (gâthâ), for aught I know, is never used to denote a certain number of syllables, there is a strong presumption that the ancient text consisted of verses, with an admixture of short prose passages serving as introduction or to connect the more solemn poetical pieces. The idea to expand such passages into a regular prose version would especially recommend itself at a period when the poetical dialect began to become obsolete and obscure. Without being a formal commentary, the prose version would yet tend to elucidate the older holy text.

It will not be objected that, because not all chapters in the Saddharma-pundarika have a poetical version added, the original cannot have been a poem. For the chapters containing but one version, viz. xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxv, and xxvi, show decided traces of being later additions; and as to the final chapter, it may be held to be a moderate amplification of a short prose epilogue. In contending that the original text of our Sutra was probably, in the main, a work in metrical form, I do not mean to say that the poetical version in all the chapters must be

As e.g. the word dtnâra in the Asoka Avadâna; the passage on the Greeks Yonâs, in Assalâyana Sutta (ed. Pischel), p. 10 ; cf. the editor's remark, p. 6; the word karama for kalama, calamus to write with, in Kâranda-vyuha (Calc. ed.), p. 69.