When did the gods become literate?

Wed Nov 10 22:28:48 UTC 1999

Hi, Nanda !

A couple of things I meant to point out to you regarding your ideas
about Sanskrit and Mahayana.

1.    Some of the early texts now considered as Mahayana were not
actually composed as "Mahayana" texts but as "mahayana", if you
understand the distinction I am alluding to.   They were composed by
"liberal" members of Hinayana schools.

2.    Probably most of the early Mahayana sutras were not written in
Sanskrit but in some Prakrit but later converted into Sanskrit or BHS.
Such texts would include the Lotus Sutra, the A.s.tasahasrika, the
Sukhavatii Suutra etc.  This is clear from the many transliterations
to be found in early translations of Mahayana texts done in China
during the late 2nd / early 3rd centuries by Lokak.sema and others.

> MahAyAna polemics does refer to three kinds of Bauddhas, which might
map to
> TheravAda, Samskrutic HinayAna and MahAyAna : In the
> while trying to maintain the supremacy of MahAyAna over the other
> bauddhas is split up into three as : 1. shravakas (TheravAdins), 2.
> bauddhas (SarvAstivAdins) and 3. Bodhisattvas (MahAyAnists). I
request the
> specialists to confirm this.

What is the basis for your glosses on the Shraavaka / Pratyekabuddha /
Bodhisattva groups ?  Of course, Bodhisattvas =  Mahayana is
acceptable, but the other two glosses are unusual -- I have never
encountered them in any Buddhist texts.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

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