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xix
INTRODUCTION.

considered to be prior to the prose1. The Gathas of the Saddharma-puWarika are nowhere very brilliant, but in some chapters they are so excessively clumsy and mechanically put together that involuntarily we are led to the assumption of their having been made by persons to whom the old dialect was no longer familiar. The stanzas, e. g. in chapters xi and xiv, are abominable in form, and unusually silly; those in chap, xxiv are a pattern of mechanical verse-making, and give the impression as if they were intended rather to stultify than to edify the credulous reader. Now it is a curious fact that in a Chinese preface to the translation of our Sutra by Gw&nagupta and Dharmagupta, A.D. 6oi 2 , we meet with the following notice: 'The omission of the G4th4s in No. 134, chaps. 12 and 25 s , have since been filled in by some wise men, whose example I wish to follow V

Here we have a direct proof that the G4thls of some chapters have been added in later times. Had we similar notices concerning all the chapters in which the G&this are of a comparatively modern date, and could we prove that the prose of such chapters belongs to a later period, then the supposition of the ancient text of the Saddharma-pu/fc/arika having been in the main a metrical one would seem to lose in strength. For, reasoning by analogy, one might say that just as some later chapters have notoriously been enriched with a metrical version in later times, so the ancient parts also will have gradually received their G&th&s. Still the fact remains that those chapters in which the metrical portion is wanting clearly belong to a later period, so that it is questionable whether their case is entirely analogous to that of the more ancient part of the whole work.

Isolated stanzas, as in chapters xxii, xxv, and elsewhere, are wholly left out of question.

Catalogue of the Tripi/aka (Oxford), by Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio ; Sutra Pifeka, col. 45.

In the English translation chapters xi and xxiv.

Another notice in the above-mentioned Catalogue, col. 44, runs thus: 'The

portion of prose' (of chap, xxiv) 'was translated by Kumaragiva, of the latter Tshin dynasty, A.D. 384-417; and that of Gathas by G&anagupta, of the Northern JTeu dynasty, a.d. 557-589.' So it seems that the Gathds have been added, and, not unlikely, been composed, between 417 and 557 A.D.


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