Sanskrit-Tibetan Textual Work

Ulrich T. Kragh 103322.630 at COMPUSERVE.COM
Wed Oct 27 19:19:52 UTC 1999

I am based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and it seems that we do not have Nagao's
work in Denmark, neither at our Asian department of the University nor at
the Danish Royal Library.

>If you are ever able to be in London, I could
>possibly lend you my set if you cannot get it from Japan.

I come to London regularly and might very well take you up on this offer. I
will let you know later.

Sorry that I am ignorant, but you will have to clarify for me the following

>There is also the Golden Tenjur MS recently available from China.
I have not heard about this Tenjur edition before. From where is it

>I was not so much thinking of ms tenjurs but possible versions
>surviving independently --- has anything turned up at Tabo for example?
What is "Tabo"?

>For example, I have read a lot of stuff by Long-chen-pa
>who quotes it extensively with variants.
I am interested. Was that in his mdzod bdun or elsewhere?

>There is a possibility that the MAK was translated more than once --
>this certainly is the case with some texts.

Yes, Helmuth Tauscher has pointed to two translations of the
Madhyamakaavataara Kaarikaa, both of which are available in the Peking
Tenjur: the first is by nag tsho tshul khrims rgyal ba in collaboration
with kr.s.n.apan.d.ita, while the second (which is later) is by Pa tshab
lootsaba in collaboration with TilakakalaSa and Kanakalvarma.

The translation by pa tshab is now the one used the most (other Tenjur
editions do not contain nag tsho's translation). Pa tshab first used a
Kashmirian Sanskrit ms while working with TilakakalaSa in Kashmir, and
later edited his translation using an East Indian Sanskrit ms while working
with Kanakalvarma in Lhasa, Tibet. It is unclear to me whether Nag tsho
only translated the kaarikaa or also the bhaas.ya (in which case his
bhaas.ya translation seems to be lost).

>Perhaps it is less relevent in this case as the version you want
>to use is late, but it might be worth collating quotes from early
>Indo-Tibetan authors, possibly based on versions that have not been
>revised (if the MAK has been revised).

I think this would have to be an important part of such text-critical work,
as was also pointed out so well by Birgit Kellner.

>Also have you looked through Sankrityayana's list of mss
>he noted during his several trips to Tibet before WW2 ?
No, although I have heard about Sanskrityayana before, I am not familiar
with any list of mss by him. Do you have a reference?

>Anyway, though for me personally Chandrakirti is very unappealing as a
>person and "thinker", I wish you well with your project.
Well, different strokes for different folks, I guess. I have earlier done
nine years of scholastic studies with native Tibetan scholars in India,
mostly studying Candrakiirti. I personally find his approach very

And now a few replies to Birgit Kellner's posting:

I absolutely agree with you that I would have to work out the various
textual editions to establish a textual basis. This is, of course,
fundamental for any text-critical work. I am aware of the publications by
Helmuth Tauscher. But once such a critical text has been established in
Tibetan, I am still faced with the problems of having a Tibetan text of
Madhyamakaavataara, while my other source is in Sanskrit (Prasannapadaa).
My project is not to reconstruction Madhyamakaavataara into Sanskrit, but
to use these two sources for a study of the method, which
Candrakiirti advocated. What I am searching for is suggestions on how to
deal with two sources in two different languages when analyzing a
philosophical problem explained in these texts.

Thank you very much for the reference to Nils Simonsson. I have already
ordered the book from our library.

With best wishes,
Ulrich T. Kragh
Department of Asian Studies
University of Copenhagen,

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