mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Sun Dec 21 08:50:41 UTC 2008

The hypothesis that sattva in bodhisattva, mahaasattva,
etc., might be related to satvan was already advanced
by Har Dayal some 70 years ago. I suggest a review of
his work on the part of those who are interested.

Before jumping to conclusions based on the ms. evidence
of satva, instead of sattva, I would suggest verifying
whether or not the same orthography is found in the
case of the word sattva, as in sarvasattva- "all living
beings." In this case proposed derivations from zakta, satvan,
etc., do not seem plausible; and if sattva in
this usage is also spelled satva, it would seem to at least
call into question the impulse to treat bodhisat(t)va as
a special case.

Matthew T. Kapstein
Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
The University of Chicago Divinity School

Directeur d'études
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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