Buddhism and Sanskrit Buddhist
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The Buddhism and the Sanskrit of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Author(s): Alex Wayman Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1965), pp. 111115 Published by: American Oriental Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/597713 . Accessed: 03/01/2011 17:39Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=aos. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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THE BUDDHISM AND THE SANSKRIT OF BUDDHIST HYBRID SANSKRITALEX WAYMANOF UNIVERSITY WISCONSIN IN THE DECADE SINCE the publication of Franklin Edgerton's Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Reader (New Haven, 1953) scholars have certainly profited by this monumental accomplishment. The present writer, for one, made much use of the Dictionary in a work Analysis of the 6rivakabhiimi Manuscript (Berkeley, 1961) and was rewarded by Edgerton's review (Language, 38: 3, 1962, 307-10), in the course of which he replied to one critic by name and generally replied to all the critics of his Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit (BHS) thesis. In his last years Edgerton gave generously of his time to such reviewing, sometimes carried on in personal correspondence. He considered the adverse positions of Nobel and Waldschmidt in an article, " On Editing Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit," JAOS, 77:33, 1957, 184, ff. I concede inability to defend his thesis with the vigor and erudition which he displayed, but a different approach may be helpful; and I shall restrict myself to consider the AngloIndian criticism in John Brough's " The Language of the Buddhist Sanskrit Texts," BSOAS, 1954, xvi/2, 351-75; and in Raghavan's "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit," Suniti Kumar Chatterji Jubilee Volume, 1955, 313-22. Briefly speaking, Brough feels the BHS Dictionary to be of more use than the BHS Grammar to a future editor of a Buddhist text. Indeed, the Grammar-" a systematic collection of anomalies " -does not completely describe the grammar of Buddhist texts. He claims that Edgerton frequently takes as genuine forms what are merely scribal corruptions. Buddhist Sanskrit is not "hybrid," but merely possesses different degrees of bad fluctuation from correct Sanskrit. Above all, Brough rejects Edgerton's thesis of a single Prakrit dialect as the 'original' language of Buddhism. Brough provides valuable data on Nepalese manuscripts; but since he limits himself to considerations of text transmission, his advice reduces trivially to a warning that Buddhist text editors should use Edgerton's Grammarwith caution! Paghavan criticises more gently than doesll.
Brough. His observations are more suggestive of the true state of affairs because he recognizes that Buddhist Sanskrit is Buddhistic just as the Rdmdyana is Brahmanical. Thus, he asserts (op. cit., p. 314), "we can see that the base of this mixed language is the spoken form and that it is not exclusively Buddhistic but common to the class of Brahmanical literature called the Epics." In support of this statement he cites twenty-seven expressions from the BHS Dictionary to show that they are also found in the Vedic or Epic vocabulary or in strictly classical Sanskrit. However, Edgerton's policy statement (Grammar, p. 9) makes it clear that his inclusion of an expression from a BHS text is independent of its appearance or non-appearance in non-Buddhistic sources, only stipulating that it not be 'standard Sanskrit.' So only those items of Raghavan's that were 'standard Sanskrit '-and of course the mere fact of being in the Epic does not prove this condition-indicate mistaken inclusion in the BHS Dictionary. Also Raghavan points out that a certain construction which Edgerton claims to be known only in PAli and Sanskrit Buddhism, i. e. the special usage of yena . . . tena, is in fact found also a number of times in the Rdmayana Epic. Both Brough's and Raghavan's positions are consistent with the usual practice of modern Indian writers as well as a number of European scholars to depict the Buddha as a product of the Brahmanical system and Mahayana Buddhism as a compromisewith the Hindu bhalctisystems.' Likewise, the words in the Sanskrit Buddhist books are Indic words: there is nothing exclusively 'Buddhist' about the vocabulary outside of a relatively few terms used in a special sectarian sense and a group of words which they have caused to look slightly different from the standard form by means of addition of a prefix or a -ka suffix. By like reasoning, there cannot be a 'Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar,'because the Buddhists did not1 See, for example, Radha Kumud Mookerji, Ancient Indian Education (Brahmanical and Buddhist) (3rd ed., Delhi, 1960), pp. 386, ff.
The Buddhism and the Sanskrit of Buddhist Ihybrid Sanskrit least as far apart. It is harder to 'spell out' the difference. The difference is stated as follows by Sukumar Sen: Epic Sanskrit (the language of the Rdm&yana and the Mahabhjrata) is really a highly sanskritized form of spoken or conversational Sanskrit; Buddhistic Sanskrit is essentially a prakritized form of spoken Sanskrit.2 The last statement is not true for 'Buddhistic Sanskrit,' but is true if we substitute 'Pdli,' because by 'spoken Sanskrit' Sen means 'Old Indic' which he calls 'Old Indo-Aryan,' and Pali is a Prakrit derived therefrom. According to Edgerton, Buddhist Sanskrit is a hybrid of Buddhist Prakrit and classical Sanskrit. Since both the Epic and Buddhist Sanskrit represent end results of a sanskritizing process, one wonders why those end products are so linguistically at variance. The language of the Epic and of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts presents striking differences because in one case (the Buddhist), hieratic Middle Indic texts were sanskritized; and in another case (the Epic, non-hieratic Old or Middle Indic texts were sanskritized. It is proper for Raghavan to call the Epic 'Brahmanical' because it does contain didactic passages exemplary of that religion. However, the hieratic Brahmanical texts are well known: the Vedas and Brdhmanas are celebrated for resistance to change; they are exempt from alteration into 'standard Sanskrit.' The 'highly sanskritized' Epic contains non-Sanskritic elements simply because it is not completely or thoroughly sanskritized. The Buddhist Sanskrit texts have a hybrid linguistic character because they originate in a hieratic Prakrit dialect which resists the prestigious sanskritizing process. A brief comparison with the Rdmayana is pertinent. Raghavan,3agreeing with certain European scholars, demonstrates quite convincingly that Asvaghosa's Buddhacarita is influenced in certain poetical expressions by VYlmiki's Ramayana. The Rdmayana is important in the development of Mdvya literature, of which Abvaghosa's is an outstanding early example. Moreover, the RjmIyana is the classical source for the 'Hindu Act of Truth,' found also in many Buddhist books. The Ramayana royal lineage is solar as2 Sukumar Sen, History and Pre-History of Sanskrit (Mysore, 1958), pp. 36, 50. 3 V. Raghavan, " Buddhalogical Texts and the Epics," reprint from Adyar Library Bulletin, Vol. XX, parts 3-4.
exclusively own and hybridize 'their' Indic language (the "single Prakrit dialect") to generate a peculiarly 'Buddhist' grammar. In short, if their compositions in Sanskrit do not conform to standard Sanskrit, they simply wrote Sanskrit badly. Such viewpoints are off the mark, and it has been Edgerton's merit to reveal the true linguistic situation under the title 'Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit.' First of all, Buddhism is essentially different from Brahmanism because its destiny is different. Brahmanism and its transformation into Hinduism is the national religion of India, and is the only surviving native religion of an Indo-Europeanlanguage-speaking people: all the others have adopted a foreign religion. As such, Brahmanism is of enormous interest. But Buddhism became a world religion and virtually disappeared from the land of its origin. Next, Buddhist Sanskrit does have important elements in common with the Epic, as Raghavan suggests; but important differences as well, which he does not mention. The vocabulary agreement with the Epic I noticed while engaged in analyzing the 9ravakcabhf7mi manuscript. If a non-technical Sanskrit word in this text has a number of recorded meanings, the meaning in point is generally the one specified for the Epic. Not having kept count, I did not write this in the published Analysis . . . Since the Mahcbhdrata is held to have been composed during the period 400 B. C.400 A. D., and the Rima-yana embellished in the first centuries of this inclusive period, and since the main corpus of Buddhist scriptures falls in this same inclusive period, it is reasonable that there would be an over-all consistency b