[INDOLOGY] crossing oceans?

Rolf Heinrich Koch rolfheiner.koch at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 13:49:49 UTC 2016

I think the origin of that idea is the ahiṃsā-precept: Conquering water 
may kill animals (by accident).

I remember while working on my Ph. D. (Edition of Prakrit-manuscripts):
For a monk it is forbidden to step across water (e. g. during the rainy 
season) because he might step into the water and kill small animals.
.../aṇṇayā so sādhū vivarayaṃ uttarai. tattha ya pāda-vikkhaṃbhaṃ 
pāṇiyaṃ. teṇa pādo pasārio gai-bhedeṇaṃ. tattha ya devayāe chiddaṃ 
labhiūṇaṃ [ūruo] chiṇṇo. so bhaṇai: »micchā-dukkaḍaṃ mā āukkāe paḍio 
bhojja«tti. aṇṇāe sammaddiṭṭhiyāe diṭṭhā. sā ghā-ḍiyā. tah’eva sappadeso 
laio rūḍho ya devayā-pabhāveṇaṃ/...(āvaśyaka-cūrṇi 514sq.)

This idea is also connected with the buddhist precept for monks not to 
travel during the rain season (vassa).



Rolf Heinrich Koch

Am 13.10.2016 um 14:51 schrieb Matthew Kapstein:
> Dear Dominik,
> When does the ban on ocean travel first appear? And when and how did 
> it become the norm?
> Ocean travel is often mentioned in Buddhist texts (e.g. BaverujAtaka) 
> and the extension of
> Indian civilization throughout SE Asia during the first millennium 
> required Brahmans to journey
> as well.
> The theme of "India and the Sea" perhaps requires further inquiry -- 
> or am I merely ignorant
> of a great mass of research laying, so to speak, submerged?
> best,
> Matthew
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
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