Oak and the Tribe of the Buddha

Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Tue Oct 4 01:09:43 UTC 2005

In response to J Kirk's doubt:

>Is it sure that the "sisters" in question were sisters of the same 
>lineal descent as the brothers?

I refer to my own earlier posting, in which I pointed out that at 
least the  Mulasarvastivada Vinaya version in Skt explicitly 
distinguishes between svakasvakaa bhaginii and vaimaat.rkaa bhaginii. 
I don't think it gets much clearer than this. One thing that I have 
found interesting in my collection and analysis of these stories is 
precisely this point, that from a legal point of view, as well as a 
more or less commonsensical one, there isn't a whole lot of 
difference between a full and half sister. I beliee that the original 
version has the brothers marry full sisters, an arrangement which was 
later softened. but why, if the softening doesn't really do much?

As far as I have been able to discover, this story (cycle, if you 
will) has absolutely nothing to do with the legends of cross-cousin 
marriage of the Buddha, etc etc. (Incidentally, it has been suggested 
that the 'intrusion,' if this is what it is, of these patterns into 
the life story of the Buddha owes it origins not to Dravidian 
influence, as argued most forcefully by Trautman (and others), but 
perhaps to Iranian influences. I am not qualified to comment on this 

Jonathan Silk
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
Director of South & Southeast Asian Languages Program
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310)206-8235
fax:  (310)825-8808
silk at humnet.ucla.edu

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