pots, brahmin names, and potters

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Fri Dec 11 14:52:10 UTC 1998

Artur Karp wrote (I quote just the last part of your last message):
>Was the vessel [kumbha] given to Don.a the same with the iron oil trough
>[a_yasa_ tela-don.i_], in which the body of the Buddha was placed prior to
>its cremation?
>Or an urn to which the relics were transferred after cremation and prior to
>their division by Don.a? (Thus, it seems, Buddhaghosa; but the text of the
>MPS does not say anything on the matter.)

The Sanskrit MahAparinirvANasUtra (with its Tibetan and Chinese parallels),
ed. E. Waldschmidt, Berlin 1950-51, p. 410 (Vorgang 46.7) is quite clear on
this point:
First mentioning the "tailapUrNA ayodroNI" into which the body of the
king/Buddha is laid, and a second "ayodroNI" which is used as a cover, the
text says that the body is burnt and, thereafter, the bones (asthIni) are
put in a golden urn: "sauvarNa kumbha". This is the kumbha that later on
(51.17) is given to the brahmin who in the Pali MPS is called doNa and in
the Sanskrit version dhUmrasagotra.

Georg v. Simson

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