-vada / -vadin

Birgit Kellner kellner at IPC.HIROSHIMA-U.AC.JP
Sun Feb 1 16:55:55 UTC 1998

jonathan silk wrote:
> I recently "corrected" the draft of a friend's paper, and suggested that
> the usage Sarvastivada was correct for the sect, and Sarvastivadin for a
> follower of said sect. The same for Vibhajyavadin. However, in looking
> through some sources my friend tells me that the actual usage in texts
> seems to be inconsistent. Is this possible, grammatically speaking?  In
> other words, can we take 'Sarvastivadin' as the name of the sect and
> 'Sarvastivada' is an adjective form (as the 'Mulasarvastivada-vinaya')?
> Apparently both Frauwallner and Bareau use Sarvastivadin as the name of the
> sect.

A brief glance at Frauwallner's "Studies in Abhidharma Literature and
the Origins of Buddhist Philosophical Systems" (SUNY 1995) shows that
the INDEX has an entry for "Sarvaastivaada/in school", but I could not
find any passage where Frauwallner uses -vaadin for the school, other
than in expressions such as "the Abhidharma of the Sarvaastivaadin", but
he only uses "Sarvaastivaada school" (not "Sarvaastivaadin school"). So
the INDEX-entry is perhaps a shorthand, in the case of "-vaadin", for
"school of the Sarvaastivaadin".

Maybe the source of the confusion is Frauwallner's (and maybe also
Bareau's?) habit of NOT affixing a plural -s to Sanskrit terms, so that
the plural of Sarvaastivaadin is still "Sarvaastivaadin" (other people
such as myself would write "Sarvaastivaadins"). In some contexts, this
may leave the misleading impression that "-vaadin" indeed refers to the
school or doctrine.

I am not aware of any Sanskrit texts where an occurrence of "-vaadin"
unambiguously refers to a school a doctrin,

Birgit Kellner
Department for Indian Philosophy
Hiroshima University

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