Description

A Gandhari Version of the Rhinoceros Sutra

British Library Kharosthi Fragment 5B

Richard Salomon
With Andrew Stuart Glass

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  • Published: December 2014
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies, Religious Studies, Archaeology, Textual Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 256 pp., 15 illus., 5 in color, 1 foldout, 8.5 x 11 in.
  • Series: Gandharan Buddhist Texts
  • Contents

Prominent in several Buddhist traditions, the Rhinoceros Sutra espouses the virtues of solitude, explaining the dangers of attachments, prescribing a solitary spiritual life, and discussing the nature of friends and friendship. British Library Fragment 5B is the remnant of a scroll that originally contained a complete text of the Rhinoceros Sutra. A Gandhari Version of the Rhinoceros Sutra examines in detail the literary and textual background of the sutra, describes the condition of the scroll and its reconstruction, analyzes the text, comparing it with other extant versions, and presents a literal English translation.

Although the original provenance of the British Library's Kharosthi scrolls is uncertain, there are strong indications that they came from Hadda in the Jalalabad Plain of eastern Afghanistan, just west of the Khyber Pass. The scrolls were most likely written during the reign of the Saka rulers, in the early first century A.D., making them in all probability the oldest Buddhist texts ever found, as well as the earliest surviving manuscripts in any Indic language. The discovery of the British Library scrolls has brought to light a previously unknown realm of Buddhist literature and scholarship, and revealed that Gandhari was one of the major literary languages of Indian Buddhism.

For more information go to the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project web site at http://www.ebmp.org/
Richard Salomon is professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington and director of the University of Washington Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project. He is the author of Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara.
Contents
List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
Gandharan Buddhist Texts: Series Introduction
List of Abbreviations
PART 1: INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS
1.The Rhinoceros Sutra
2. The Text of Gandhari Rhinoceros Sutra
3. The Uddana
4. Comparison of the Pali, Sanskrit, and Gandhari Versions of the Rhinoceros Sutra
5. Paleography and Orthography (sections 5.1-5.8 by Andrew Glass)
6. Phonology
7. Morphology
PART 2: TRANSCRIBED TEXT WITH TRANSLATION
PART 3: ANNOTATED TEXT, TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY
Appendix 1: Readings of Unlocated Fragments
Appendix 2: Concordance of Gandhari, Pali, and Sanskrit Texts of the Rhinoceros Sutra
Appendix 3: Texts of the Pali and Sanskrit Versions of the Rhinoceros Sutra
Appendix 4: Edition of British Library Fragment 5A
References
Word Index
Reviews