Re: [INDOLOGY] Luis O. Gomez Sukhāvatī-vyūha-sūtra translations

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at
Thu Apr 18 19:55:58 UTC 2019

Dear Jonathan,

Thanks for this information, that Luis himself seems to have had no plans
to publish whatever he had accomplished. His Preface to the 1996 book gave
the impression that much of the writing of the other two projected volumes
was already done. Besides saying that he had prepared two different
translations of each text, a free one and technical one (p. xi), he also
wrote (p. xiv):

"In the introductions to the technical translations, I explain in more
detail what I mean by 'free' and 'technical.' There I also explain the
theoretical justification for this distinction and in what sense this is to
a great extent a working or pragmatic distinction."

He indicated that his technical translations were heavily annotated. It
would be a shame if all this work was lost forever.

I was glad to hear of your own work on the smaller sutra. Please do let us
all know when you publish this. Of course, no rush, but please live long
enough to complete it (unlike the lamented Luis Gomez)!

You mentioned the Sanskrit materials published by Fujita. I wonder if you
are referring to the corrections he published in 1975, both to the larger
sutra edited by Atsuuji Ashikaga, and to the smaller sutra edited by F. Max
Muller and Bunyiu Nanjio. Or did he also publish complete editions? I only
know of his published corrections.

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.

On Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 12:10 AM Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at> wrote:

> Dear David
> As far as I know--and I tried to find out several times--Luis himself had
> no plans to publish whatever he had accomplished, despite my own entreaties
> and offers to help. Moreover, while I do not have direct contact with his
> widow, it is my understanding that access to the materials he left behind
> is not easy.
> As far as the smaller sūtra goes, however, I myself will publish something
> (let's not get into my promising a date!) which will try to take into
> account all available materials, including a reconsideration of the
> Sanskrit materials published by Fujita who, however, actually normalized
> his texts to a degree that perhaps slightly misrepresents the tradition as
> available.
> When I have something, I'll let you know.
> Best, Jonathan
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 9:08 PM David and Nancy Reigle via INDOLOGY <
> indology at> wrote:
>> As many of you know, English translations by the late Luis O. Gomez of
>> both the shorter and longer Sukhāvatī-vyūha-sūtras, from Sanskrit, and
>> again from Chinese, were published in 1996 by University of Hawai'i Press
>> in the book titled, The Land of Bliss. These were what he called his "free"
>> translations of these texts. Two more volumes were to come out, giving his
>> technical translations of these texts, heavily annotated. Does anyone know
>> if these translations were completed? If they still exist? If they will
>> ever be published?
>> Thanks.
>> Best regards,
>> David Reigle
>> Colorado, U.S.A.
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> --
> J. Silk
> Leiden University
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
> 2311 BZ Leiden
> The Netherlands
> copies of my publications may be found at

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