Three Gandhari Ekottarikagama-Type Sutras

British Library Kharosthi Fragments 12 and 14

Mark Allon
With Andrew Stuart Glass

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  • Published: 2001. Paperback 2014
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies; Archaeology
  • Bibliographic information: 368 pp., 11 illus., 8 color, 8.5 x 11 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Gandharan Buddhist Texts
  • Contents

Three Gandhari Ekottarikagama-Type Sutras continues the Gandharan Buddhist Texts studies of the first-century A.D. birch bark scrolls in the British Library's Kharosthi manuscript collection. It describes the text found on two fragments which constitute the lower part of a scroll and consists of the remnants of three sutras. All three sutras are relatively short and have an association with the number four, which suggests that they are from a Gandhar- Ekottarikagama, a collection of short discourses grouped according to numerical principles and one of the major collections of writings in the Buddhist canon.

The first sutra records a discussion in which a brahman asks the Buddha four questions. The second su-tra, like the third, depicts the Buddha preaching to monks. The structure of this sutra is based on the four postures: walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. The Buddha's discourse in the third sutra concerns the four efforts (or abandonings).

The book describes the condition of the scroll and its reconstruction; examines in detail the literary and textual background of the sutras, comparing them with other extant versions and parallels in other languages; and presents a transcription of the extant text, a reconstruction, and an English translation. It includes chapters on the paleography, orthography, phonology, and morphology of the text, and offers a detailed analytic commentary.

For more information go to the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project web site at
Mark Allon is senior lecturer in South Asian Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a senior research associate with the British Library/University of Washington Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project. He is the author of Style and Function: A Study of the Dominant Stylistic Features of the Prose Portions of Pali Canonical Texts and Their Mnemonic Function.
List of Illustrations and Tables
Format, Transcription, and Citation System
List of Abbreviations
1. British Library Kharosthi Fragments 12 and 14
2. Comparison of the Gandhari, Pali, Sanskrit, and Chinese Versions
3. Physical Description of the Manuscript
4. Paleography and Orthography
5. Phonology
6. Morphology
7. Transcribed Text, Reconstruction, and Translation
8. The "Dhona-sutra"
9. The "Budhabayana-sutra"
10. The "Prasana-sutra"
Appendix 1. Readings of Unlocated Fragments
Appendix 2. The Gandhari Avadana of Puniga
Appendix 3. The Pali Parallels to the First and Third Gandhari Sutras
Word Index