[INDOLOGY] Buddhavacanam

Eltschinger, Vincent Vincent.Eltschinger at oeaw.ac.at
Wed Apr 19 13:00:18 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues,
This passage has been the focus of intense discussion for more than one century. As scholars such as Sylvain Lévi, John Brough and Franklin Edgerton have shown, the Chinese parallels are of great relevance, too (most of them are translated in the first pages of Edgerton's BHSG). They clearly testify to the fact that these passages and other relevant passages were interpreted quite differently according to sect-governed sociolinguistic imperatives.
Here is a short bibliographical list on the subject:

Brough, John. 1954. The Language of the Buddhist Sanskrit Texts. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 16. 351-375.
Brough, John. 1980. Sakāya niruttiyā: Cauld kale het. In Bechert, Heinz (ed.), The Language of the Earliest Buddhist Tradition, 35-42. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
BHSG/D. Edgerton, Franklin. 1993 [19531]. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Gram­mar and Di­c­tion­ary. Vol. II (Dictionary). Delhi: Mo­­­tilal Banarsidass.
Lévi, Sylvain. 1915. Sur la récitation primitive des textes bouddhiques. Journal Asiatique, mai-juin 1915. 401-447.
Lin, Li-Kouang. 1949. Introduction au Compendium de la Loi (Dharma-Samuccaya): L’Aide-mémoire de la Vraie Loi (Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra). Recherches sur un Sūtra développé du Petit Véhicule. Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient Adrien Maisonneuve.
Norman, KR. 1980. The dialects in which the Buddha preached. In Bechert, Heinz (ed.), The Language of the Earliest Buddhist Tradition, 61-77. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. [Reprint in Norman, K.R. 1991. Collected Papers. Vol. II, 128-147. Oxford: Pali Text Society.]
Pollock, Sheldon. 2006. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
Seyfort Ruegg, David. 2000. On the Expressions chandaso āropema, āyataka gītassara, sarabhañña and ārṣa applied to the ‘Word of the Buddha’ (buddhavacana). In Tsuchida, Ryutaro, Albrecht Wezler (eds.), Harānandalaharī, Volume in Honour of Professor Minoru Hara on His Seventieth Birthday, 283-306. Reinbek: Dr. Inge Wezler Verlag fur Orientalistische Fachpublikationen.

With best regards,
Vincent Eltschinger

Vincent Eltschinger, korrespondierendes Mitglied der OeAW
Directeur d'études
École Pratique des Hautes Études, Section des sciences religieuses
Patios Saint-Jacques, 4-14 rue Ferrus - 75014 Paris
vincent.eltschinger at ephe.sorbonne.fr
0033 1 56 61 17 34 / 0033 7 85 86 84 05
Von: INDOLOGY [indology-bounces at list.indology.info]" im Auftrag von "Stella Sandahl via INDOLOGY [indology at list.indology.info]
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 19. April 2017 13:04
An: Wujastyk Dominik
Cc: Indology
Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] Buddhavacanam

I still think Professor Smith’s interpretation makes sense. nirutti does not refer to any particular language,
it makes better sense to take sakAya niruttiyA  as "in my own words", i.e. without embroidering on it. The
Buddha did not want his teaching to be distorted by fanciful interpretations.
What language the Buddha actually spoke is an entirely different question. Was the Buddha really concerned
with the linguistic varieties in India?
The census takers in modern India ask people what language they speak. A villager from Ratnapur (I have
invented this village name) will say he speaks Ratnapuri. A worker from Hoshiapur will give his language
as Hoshiapuri.
Stella Sandahl
Professor emerita
University of Toronto

On Apr 18, 2017, at 11:43 PM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com<mailto:wujastyk at gmail.com>> wrote:

The Pali doesn't actually say "Buddha's own dialect".  That's the whole point of the problem and why it has been discussed by many scholars.  It says "in his own dialect." This is ambiguous: we don't know whether "his own" (saka) refers to the Buddha or to a person in the audience.   Is the Buddha saying "teach people in my language" or "teach people in their own language?"

Professor Dominik Wujastyk<http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics<http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


On 18 April 2017 at 00:54, alakendu das via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:

I had been curiously following the scholastic deliberations on Buddhabachanam.
Since long, I had an inner feeling that there is actually a reference where Siddhartha
Gautama Buddha insisted on using his own language while propagating his teachings. Finally
I stumbled upon a reference from Chullavagga( a constituent part of Vinaya Pitaka),in course
of studying a chapter on Pali in a certain book on the History of Sanskrit Literature. I am
not conversant in Pali, but the qoute in ChullaVagga has Buddha instructing- ANUJANAMI
translates as - While teaching the views of Buddha , one should use Buddha's own dialect(
sakaya Nirutya implies own dialect).About Buddha's own dialect, it is well known that hailing
from Magadha ,BUDDHA spoke Magadhi . There is a further reference ( source unknown)which says-
knowledge in Pali,I can understand the above qoute as- Buddha was a resident of Magadha and
his own dialect was Magadhi.


INDOLOGY mailing list
INDOLOGY at list.indology.info<mailto:INDOLOGY at list.indology.info>
indology-owner at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-owner at list.indology.info> (messages to the list's managing committee)
http://listinfo.indology.info<http://listinfo.indology.info/> (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20170419/aba8dd2a/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list