Sanskrit-Tibetan Textual Work

Wed Oct 27 17:52:48 UTC 1999

Hi, Dan !

> >Also, you might like to bear in mind that there IS an extant
> >copy of the Madhyamakaavataara held by the Chinese
> What is your source for this? There have been a number of claims
(some by
> the Chinese, some by others) that the Chinese have - but are not
> available to Western scholars - numerous Sanskrit manuscripts of
> otherwise no longer extant in Sanskrit (e.g., I have heard reports
> they have a complete Sanskrit edition of the Yogacarabhumi sastra).
> Chinese claim some of these are the originals brought to China by
> during the early Tang dynasty. That seems unlikely, however.
> Is there any reliable inventory of such Sanskrit texts currently
held by
> the Chinese?

I have replied in general to this msg directly to Ulrich.  As I
mention there, the Chinese have published a catalogue of some Sanskrit
mss.  The Japanese seem to have privileged access to some of this
material -- perhaps very fat wads of cash is the answer !
Their copy of the YBS is very likely to be the same one that
Sankrityayana partly transcribed and partly photographed -- his
material is held in Patna at present, as you probably know. By the by,
I have never been able to find out what exactly they do have there,
not having had the chance to visit.
I agree the chances of Xuanzang period mss having survived is highly
unlikely but it sounds a good *upaaya* to conceal the true orgin of
the mss.  Apart from the devastation cause by war -- the An-lu-shan
rebellion, the Tibetan and Uighur occupation of Chang-an, the Mongols
etc etc.  Apart from those events, the Chinese showed very little
interest in preserving the originals once they had been translated --
well, not the same interest as we would.  They often cut up the mss
and sold/used them as talismans or soaked them in water for
"medicinal" puposes !

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

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