Gilgit MSS II.4 (2017), Further Mahāyānasūtras

 Gilgit Manuscripts in the National Archives of India, Facsimile Edition. Volume II.4: Further MahāyānasūtrasAdelheid Mette, Noriyuki Kudo, Ruriko Sakuma, Chanwit Tudkeao and Jiro Hirabayashi, eds. 2017. Gilgit Manuscripts in the National Archives of India, Facsimile Edition. Volume II.4: Further Mahāyānasūtras. New Delhi: The National Archives of India and Tokyo: The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University 創価大学 国際仏教学高等研究所. xliv pp + 151 pp of plates. ISBN 978-4-904234-15-0.

Series official site:

Gilgit MSS II.4 Ratnaketuparivarta, Kāraṇḍavyūha
Gilgit MSS vol. II.4, pp.74-75: folios from the Ratnaketuparivarta and Kāraṇḍavyūha

Contents: Continue reading “Gilgit MSS II.4 (2017), Further Mahāyānasūtras”

Ham (2016), Buddhist Critiques of the Veda

Ham, Hyoung Seok. 2016. “Buddhist Critiques of the Veda and Vedic Sacrifice: A Study of Bhāviveka’s Mīmāṃsā Chapter of the Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā and Tarkajvālā“. University of Michigan: PhD diss. URL: [PDF]

From the Abstract: The dissertation includes an overview of Bhāviveka’s long chapter on Mīmāṃsā in his Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā and reviews previous scholarly opinion on the identity of opponent of the chapter. It next examines how Bhāviveka employed each of the traditional critiques against the new opponent, demonstrating that he drew heavily on the Abhidharma and Sāṃkhya literature to counter the Mīmāṃsaka defense of the Veda and Vedic sacrifice, while adding new levels of specificity and sophistication.

Kragh ed., The Buddhist Yogācārabhūmi Treatise (2013)

Ulrich Timme Kragh (ed.) The Foundation for Yoga Practitioners: The Buddhist Yogācārabhūmi Treatise and Its Adaptation in India, East Asia, and Tibet. Harvard Oriental Series 75. “Available 07/22/2013”. ISBN 9780674725430.

From the Summary

“The present edited volume, conceived by Geumgang University in South Korea, brings together the scholarship of thirty-four leading Buddhist specialists on the Yogācārabhūmi from across the globe. The essays elaborate the background and environment in which the Yogācārabhūmi was composed and redacted, provide a detailed summary of the work, raise fundamental and critical issues about the text, and reveal its reception history in India, China, and Tibet. The volume also provides a thorough survey of contemporary Western and Asian scholarship on the Yogācārabhūmi in particular and the Yogācāra tradition more broadly.”

(Contains, among others [updated, 2013-05-01]:

H. Sakuma 佐久間秀範, ‘Remarks on the Lineage of Indian Masters of the Yogācāra School: Maitreya, Asaṅga, and Vasubandhu’, pp.330–366.
M. Delhey, ‘The Yogācārabhūmi Corpus: Sources, Editions, Translations, and Reference Works’, pp.498–561.)

Book of the Year: ‘Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism’

Giovanni Verardi (appendices by Federica Barba). Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India. Nalanda-Sriwijaya Series 4. Delhi/Singapore: Manohar & Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011. 523 pp.

Not a very catchy title, but I doubt that something more direct (say, The Hindu Extermination of Buddhism) would have been very appealing to Singapore’s Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, the book’s publisher.

This book is an extraordinary achievement, all the more so for it relying only indirectly, for the most part, on scriptural and epigraphic sources. Verardi’s contribution is based on something at least as useful: first-hand observation of the key sites and remains, clearly articulated in terms of long-term patterns. It is by far one of the most important contributions to the study of Buddhism in India published in a long time — though I don’t agree with everything in it, by any means. (Given the chance, I will expand on that later.) The omission of any discussion of the Theravādins’ catastrophic role, painstakingly explained in Peter Schalk’s 2002 Buddhism among Tamils volumes, has to be regarded as particularly puzzling — at least until one sees Peter Skilling’s name in the acknowledgements. But let me be clear: Verardi, who has pursued his line of inquiry for over three decades, has succeeded in making sense out of a slew of data in a way that is unlikely to be bettered for some time.

Gutschow, ‘Architecture of the Newars’ (2011)

Niels Gutschow. Architecture of the Newars: A History of Building Typologies and Details in Nepal. 3 volumes. Serindia, November 2011. 1030 pp. USD$450 (excluding postage). ISBN 978-1-932476-54-5 [official site]

From the Abstract

Architecture of the Newars by Niels Gutschow presents the entire history of architecture in the Valley of Kathmandu and its neighbours over a period of 1,500 years — right up to the present. It is a rare tribute to an urban culture which has preserved fascinating lifestyles to this very day. Gutschow first travelled to Nepal in 1962, returning in 1970 after reading architecture, and has constantly worked since then on the connections between ritual and the city. Since 1980 he has worked with measured drawings to identify the various building typologies, which are documented in three volumes with 862 photos and 939 drawings.

Buddhist monasteries (bāhā, bahī); Gutschow (2011:707, 724)

The first volume presents the complexity of the sacred landscape of the Valley and the urban context as well as the early periods, Buddhist votive structures (caityas), architectural fragments and temples from the early periods (5th–14th century). The second volume presents the Malla period (1350–1769) with a host of drawings documenting caityas, maths, tiered temples, shrines and monasteries. The third volume presents the modern period with temples and palaces of the Shaha kings and the Ranas; a variety of new caitya types; domestic architecture of the early 20th century; modern architecture and urban planning. The final chapter presents selected architectural details populated by airborne spirits in a transcultural perspective.


Update: Book signing by the author at Vajra Books, Kathmandu, 2pm 14 December 2011.