Yang (2018), Bukong 不空 aka. Amoghavajra

Yang, Zeng. 2018. ‘A biographical study on Bukong 不空 (aka. Amoghavajra, 705-774): networks, institutions, and identities’. PhD diss., University of British Columbia. DOI:10.14288/1.0363332. URI: hdl.handle.net/2429/64506

Note: This dissertation is distinguished by its use of Japanese scholarship and secular historical sources in Chinese. However, the back-Sanskritization of Chinese jingang ding 金剛頂 as Vajroṣṇīṣa adopted here (p. 4, n.1) is doubtful. Continue reading “Yang (2018), Bukong 不空 aka. Amoghavajra”

Lee (2017), The Śarīrārthagāthā

Lee, Hsu-Feng. 2017. ‘A Study Of The Śarīrārthagāthā In The Yogācārabhūmi‘. PhD diss., University of Sydney. 290 pp. URI: [PDF]

From the Abstract: The Śarīrārthagāthā (Tǐyì qiétā 體義伽他;‘dus pa’i don gyi tshigs su bcad pa) is a collection of canonical verses with accompanying commentary in the Yogācārabhūmi (Yúqié shī dì lùn 瑜伽師地論; rnal ‘byor spyod pa’i sa), an encyclopedic text of India’s major Mahāyāna philosophical school. […] Continue reading “Lee (2017), The Śarīrārthagāthā”

Longdok Nima (2012), Mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism

བསྟན་འཛིན་ལུང་རྟོགས་ཉི་མ། མཐུ་སྟོབས་རྣམ་རྒྱལ། ཨོ་རྒྱན་རིག་འཛིན། 《བོད་བརྒྱུད་ནང་བསྟན་སྔ་འགྱུར་བཀའ་གཏེར་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་དཔེ་རིས་》 གྲུབ་དབང་རྫོགས་ཆེན་སྔ་འགྱུར་བཀའ་གཏེར་སྒྲུབ་འཕྲིན་ཕྱག་བཞེས་ཉམས་གསོ་ཆོགས་པ། བོད་ལྗོངས་མི་དམངས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང། (ལྷ་ས་)

旦増·龍多尼瑪 / 士多尼瑪 等 (主編) 《藏传佛教坛城度量彩绘图集》 西藏人民出版社 2012年6月 680元

Tenzin Longdok Nima (ed.-in-chief.) Mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism. Lhasa: Dzogchen Monastery’s Early Tradition Canonical and Treasure Teaching Revival Group & Tibet People’s Press, 2012. xi+226+ii pp. ISBN 9787223035569.

From the Preface

This volume “Mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism” features over sixty detailed mandalas. It is the result of over two years of dedicated research and preparation by a group of eminent scholars from the famous Dzogchen Monastery, one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma tradition.

དཔལ་དུས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོའི་ཚོན་ལྡན་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར། (2012:112-113)
དཔལ་དུས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོའི་ཚོན་ལྡན་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར། (2012:112-113)

Karashima, ‘Was the Aṣṭasāhasrikā composed in Gāndhārī?’ (2013)

Seishi Karashima. ‘Was the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Compiled in Gandhāra in Gāndhārī?’ Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (ARIRIAB) at Soka University for the Academic Year 2012, vol.XVI, 2013, pp.171–188. [PDF]

This is a remarkable piece of detective work and a milestone in the study of the Mahāyāna, whether or not one thinks (as I do) that Prof. Karashima’s theory nails it. Karashima’s many years of lexicographical toil seem to have finally paid off: the earliest Chinese phonetic transcriptions from the Aṣṭasāhasrikā agree most fully with the newly found Gāndhārī fragments (for which see also Strauch 2007). And that, moreover, is merely one of many compelling indicators pointing to the composition of the text in Gandhāra.

One minor comment: the image of Dharmodgata discovering the Prajñāpāramitā written on gold plates vilīnena vaidūryeṇa — in “melted” lapis, according to Karashima (p.181) — sounds excessively fantastic. The reference is to lapis lazuli pigment, well known to medievalists as ultramarine, ‘beyond the sea’ — i.e., from Afghanistan.

Allon, ‘A Gāndhārī Śrāmaṇyaphala-sūtra’ (2013-04-05)

Mark Allon. ‘A Gāndhārī version of the Buddha’s Discourse on the Fruits of Living the Ascetic Life (Śrāmaṇyaphala-sūtra)’. Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies Victoria Seminar, 5th April 2013, Deakin Prime Campus, Melbourne.


The Senior collection of Gandhāran Buddhist manuscripts includes a scroll which contains a Gāndhārī version of the introductory section of the Śrāmaṇyaphala-sūtra, the Buddha’s discourse to King Ajātaśatru on the benefits of living the ascetic or holy life. The appearance of a Gāndhārī version of this interesting and popular sūtra coincides with the appearance of a second Sanskrit witness of it, namely, that included in the new Dīrghāgama manuscript, which preliminary research indicates is similar to but not identical with the Sanskrit version found among the Gilgit manuscripts. We therefore now have Indic versions of the Śrāmaṇyaphala-sūtra in Gāndhārī (albeit incomplete), Pali, and Sanskrit, a Tibetan translation and four Chinese translations, which belong to a diversity of schools and originate from different times and places. Not surprisingly the Gāndhārī sūtra is not identical to any other version, but shows a complex relationship with them. In this paper I will discuss the Gāndhārī version of the sūtra and its relationship to the parallels in other languages, the possible reasons for its popularity, and the likely reasons for its inclusion in the Senior collection.

Dr Mark Allon
Dr Mark Allon (photo © I. S.)

Park, Korean-Chinese-Sanskrit-English dictionary (2012)

Park_2012_cover-med박 종매 (Pak Chong-mae). 현대 한·영 불교용어사전 (Hyeon-dae Han-yeong Bul-gyo yong-eo sa-jeon). 푸른 향기. 2012-05-19. 28,000원 [official announcement]

Jongmae Kenneth Park. Modern Korean-Chinese-Sanskrit-English Buddhist dictionary. Seoul: Prunbook Publishing, 2012. 642 pp. ISBN 9788992073929.

The Sanskrit terms are typeset without diacritics, unfortunately. A scholarly Buddhist dictionary of Korean and Sanskrit is yet to be produced.

Sonam Tsemo (Xu tr.), Intro to Buddhist Tantra (2012)

Xu_2012_Xubuzongjianlilun薩迦二祖索南孜莫(作者), 許明銀(譯者) 《印度西藏密教概論:認識最初之體系性密教概說》 大千出版社 2012年12月22日

Sa skya Bsod rnams rtse mo [b.1142], Xu Ming Yin [b. 1952] (tr.). Yindu Xizang mi jiao gai lun: ren shi zui chu zhi ti xi xing mi jiao gai shuo [*Introduction to Indo-Tibetan Tantric Buddhism: Understanding the first systematic primer on tantra(?)]. Taipei: Darchen, 2012. ISBN: 9789574472673 [books.com.tw]

A partial Chinese translation of the earliest rGyud sde spyi’i rnam par gzhag pa. See Xu’s unofficial introduction.