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 email@example.com.
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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 between these two bodies of literature (Buddhist texts in Indic languages and the Epic) in the usages of commonplace or secular terms. Naturally, Edgerton understood this as well as anyone. As a single instance, in the above-mentioned review he corrected my deletion of a na from icaccid me bhog na rajnco vdpahriyerams . ,and appealed to the 'I-hopechapter' (kaccid-adhyaya) of the Mahabharata. Edgerton might have obviated certain criticisms if he had set forth his views on the relation of BHS to the Epic in the Introduction to the ]HS Grammar. But Raghavan (op. cit., p. 314) cites approvingly the views of Keith and Jacobi that Pdli and Epic language are two different developments; and it is a continuation of these divergent trends that makes Buddhist Sanskrit and the Epic stay at
The Buddhism and the Sanskrit of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit
is the tradition of Gautama Buddha's ancestry, both contrasting with the lunar race of kings who figure in the Mahabhhrata. It may be that the 'original part' of the Rjmayana is pre-Buddhist. But for proving this, it is not a good argument to say that the Buddhists did not know the old name but only Ayodhy&-the setting for the Rdma-yana, referred to that city by the later name of Sdketa.4 For in the Buddhist siltra orimaladevisimhanhda, famous in Sino-Japanese Buddhism, the setting is also the city Ayodhya, the residence of Queen Srlmdld, the daughter of King Prasenajit of Kosala.5 Again, the mythological theme of the Ramayana is understood by modern scholars to be a reformulation of old Indra myths.6 This required figuring out: the Ramaiyana does not obviously portray Indra concomitants. In contrast, Buddhism does not conceal its debt to the old Indra religion. Indra whether as Sakka in the Pali, Sakra in the Sanskrit texts; also Devendra, Satakratu, Kausika-is well nigh ubiquitous in Buddhist texts, and with his thunderbolt (vajra) reappears in Tantric Buddhism as Vajrapani and Vajradhara. In the Sibi-Jdtaka of the Jdtakamala, King Aibi does his Truth Act before Devendra, who long before had replaced Varuna, the guardian of truth, as the chief Vedic deity. This shows that the Buddhist Sakra has descended from the Vedic Indra even if the character of this deity has undergone a transformation in Buddhist works. In Pdli Buddhism Sakka does all he can to promote the Buddhist religion,7 and the role is continued in MahaydnaBuddhism, as for instance, when in the last chapter of the ?rim&Utdevisimhanada Kausika promises to protect the Buddhist doctrine. The above comparisons of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts with the two Epics suggest an agreement between language and subject matter differences.' For the argument, see Arthur A. MacDonell, A History of Sanskrit Literature (Indian reprint, Delhi, 1962), p. 259. 6 Of the two extant Chinese translations of the sfitra, Taish6 No. 353 transcribes the name AyodhyR, Taish6 No. 310 translates it 'non-fighting capital ' agreeing with the Tibetan hthab med in the Kanjur. Saketa is translated into Tibetan by gnas boas ( Mahdvyutpatti No. 4133). "Jacobi worked this out. Cf. S. N. Ghosal, er., The Ramayana; Das RAmAyan.ia of Dr. Hermann Jacobi translated from German (Baroda, 1960). 7Cf. entry Sakka in G. P. Malalasekera, Dictionary of Pdli Proper Names, II, 957, ff.
That is, in language, Buddhist Sanskrit reveals its Middle Indic origin in different degrees of frank hybridization-hence the three classes of texts in Edgerton's classification, while the Epic is fairly successful in covering up its language origins by sanskritization. In subject matter, the Buddhist Sanskrit texts present explicitly their religious tenets and symbols, whether borrowedor developed within Buddhism; while the Epic, as the Rarmyana, certainly covers up its mythological origins, and, as the Mahabhhrata, probably hides the true reasons for the great War of which it is an Epic. The foregoing comparison seems consistent with the usual judgment that Buddhism (meaning the non-tantric form) does not have an esoteric doctrine. Its predominant trend of popularization militates against dividing the audience into noneligible and eligible and secreting a body of doctrine for the latter. But it claims to be profound and that the audience divides itself up into the superficial and the profound. Let me attempt to justify some of the previous comments by tracing out, even if only in a sketchy way, the process by which Buddhist texts came to change from their original linguistic form into the language which Edgerton has brilliantly described. The 'original' language of Buddhism is certainly a form of the Pracya or Eastern dialect, perhaps Magadhi. According to Edgerton, it is Middle Indic, and hence early Middle Indic. But since the Buddha directed that the monks should learn the doctrine in their own dialects (see BHS Grammar, pp. 1-2), the Buddhist sermons may soon have been repeated by speakers of all three main Aryan dialects, spoken in Udlcya (the North-West), Madhyadesa (the Middle Country), besides Pr...