Тхеравада: термин и традиция в историческом контексте


(1) This is a considerably revised recension of a paper presented under the title “Ubiquitous and Elusive: In Quest of Theravada” at the conference “Exploring Theravada Studies: Intellectual Trends and the Future of a Field of Study,” hosted by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore, August 12–14, 2004, and organized by Guillaume Rozenberg and Jason Carbine. I am grateful to the organizers of the conference for inviting me to speak, to the participants for their comments, and to colleagues too many to mention for discussions in the intervening years. I especially thank Giuliana Martini for her comments on and corrections to the final draft. Note: “Sanskrit” and “Prakrit,” rather than “Samskrta” or “Prakrta,” have been widely accepted in Indological writing for decades. I see no reason to persist with the use of “Pali” and “Gandhari,” and I therefore use “Pali” and “Gandhari” throughout. In addition, taking into account the compelling evidence presented by Gouriswar Bhattacharya, I write “bodhisatva” rather than “bodhisattva”: see Gouriswar Bhattacharya, “How to Justify the Spelling of the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Term Bodhisatva?” in From Turfan to Ajanta: Festschrift for Dieter Schlingloff on the Occasion of his Eighteenth Birthday, ed. Eli Franco and Monika Zin (Rupandehi: Lumbini International Research Institute, 2010), 35–50.

(2) See, for example, John Clifford Holt, Jacob N. Kinnard, and Jonathan S. Walters, eds., Constituting Communities: Theravada Buddhism and the Religious Cultures of South and Southeast Asia, SUNY Series in Buddhist Studies (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003). The standard monograph remains Richard F. Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (1988; 2nd ed., London: Routledge, 2006). The title is problematic insofar as it implies that “Theravada” began in “ancient Benares,” that is, the Deer Park at Sarnath: however, the sermon at Sarnath is the foundation of all that later became Buddhism – not only Theravada, but all schools.

(3) Kevin Trainor, ed., Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide, rev. ed. (London: Duncan Baird, 2004), 120–131.

(4) Other nikayas seem to be grouped under the general name acariyavada, a term not used, as far as I know, in other Buddhist schools. Another term met with in Pali is nikayantara, which is also used in Sanskrit texts. Further research is needed to determine how “Theravada” has viewed the “Other” through its long history, during which it has been in constant interaction with other religions and practices.

(5) I refer to the research paper of Todd Perreira presented at the XV-th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2008), to be included in Jason Carbine and Peter Skilling, eds., How Theravada Is Theravada? (Taipei: Dharma Drum Publishing Corp., forthcoming). Guruge states that “Resulting from the reaction of Buddhists of South and Southeast Asia to the use of the rather pejorative term ‘Hinayana’ to designate the form of Buddhism practiced in the region, the term ‘Theravada’ came to be applied to it around mid-twentieth century.” See Ananda W. P. Guruge, “Does the Theravada Tradition of Buddhism Exist Today?” in Buddhist and Pali Studies in Honour of the Venerable Professor Kakkapalliye Anuruddha, ed. K. L. Dhammajoti and Y. Karunadasa (Hong Kong: Centre of Buddhist Studies, 2009), 97.

(6) For a lucid and reliable account of the Pali canon and Pali literary traditions, see Oskar von Hinüber, “Pali, Buddhist Literature in,” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, ed. Robert E. Buswell, Jr., 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 2:625–629.

(7) Steven Collins, Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities: Utopias of the Pali Imaginaire, Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions 12 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). See now the abridged version, Steven Collins, Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

(8) Kevin Trainor, ed., Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide, rev. ed. (London: Duncan Baird, 2004), 120.

(9) Note that it is not true that the Theravada is the only school that has “survived into the present day,” since up to the present a Sarvastivada monastic lineage is followed in Tibet and a Dharmaguptaka lineage is followed in East Asia.

(10) Dipavamsa 4:6, therehi katasamgaho theravado ’ti vuccati.

(11) P. A. Payutto, Phra traipidok: sing thi chao phut tong ru / The Pali Canon: What a Buddhist Must Know (Bangkok: privately printed, BE 2546 = CE 2003), 17. I prefer, however, to translate “thera” as “senior” or “senior monks” rather than “elder.”

(12) One significant distinction is that the Theravada tradition maintained that it preserves the original redaction, while in north India it was admitted that the original redaction (mulasamgiti) was no longer extant: see Peter Skilling, “Scriptural Authenticity and the Śravaka Schools: An Essay towards an Indian Perspective,” The Eastern Buddhist 41, no. 2 (2010): 1ff.

(13) Mahavamsa 3:40cd, thereh’ eva katatta ca theriyayam parampara; 5:1, ya mahakassapadihi mahatherehi adito, kata saddhammasamgiti theriya ti pavuccati.

(14) I am not certain when or by whom the term Sthaviravada was coined. It is already used by Lamotte, and might have been given currency by A. K. Warder in his Indian Buddhism (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1970), passim. There is no equivalent – *Gnas brtan smra ba’i sde? – in Tibetan. Sometimes “Sthaviravada” is reconstructed in European translations from the Chinese, but on investigation the Chinese turns out to be something like *Sthavira-nikaya. The key point is the absence of the suffix –vada.

(15) Keisho Tsukamoto, A Comprehensive Study of the Indian Buddhist Inscriptions, part 1 (Kyoto: Heirakuji-Shoten, 1996), I: Bihar 1.5, I: Bodh-Gaya 21, and III: Ajanta 68.6. For feminine forms of the term see Peter Skilling, “A Note on the History of the Bhikkhuni-sangha (I): Nuns at the Time of the Buddha,” World Federation of Buddhists Review 31, nos. 2–3 (April–September BE 2537 = CE 1994): 47–55.

(16) Claudine Bautze-Picron, The Art of Eastern India in the Collection of the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin: Stone and Terracotta Sculptures, Monographien zur indischen Archäologie Kunst und Philologie, Band 12 (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1998), no. 305.

(17) The Peking edition of the Mahavyutpatti has Arya-sthabirah (’phags pa gnas brtan pa); see Daisetz T. Suzuki, ed., The Tibetan Tripitaka, Peking Edition – Kept in the Library of the Otani University, Kyoto, vol. 144 (Tokyo–Kyoto: Tibetan Tripitaka Research Institute, 1957), no mtshar bstan bcos, go, 305b1. The Sanskrit index of Ryōzaburō Sakaki’s edition of the Mahavyutpatti (orig. pub. 1925; repr., Tokyo: Suzuki Research Foundation, Reprint Series 1, 1962, Index volume, 162) gives the form sthavira, but the text (§9095) gives Arya-sthavirah, which is presumably a misprint (see note at Franklin Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, Vol. II, Dictionary [orig. pub., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953; repr., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1972], 105b, s.v. “Arya-sthavira”). N. D. Mironov’s edition (Mahavyutpatti, Bibliotheca Buddhica XIII [orig. pub. 1911; repr., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1992], § 275.18) and the edition of Yumiko Ishihama and Yoichi Fukuda (A New Critical Edition of the Mahavyutpatti, Sanskrit-Tibetan-Mongolian Dictionary of Buddhist Terminology [Tokyo: The Toyo Bunko, 1989], §9032) have Arya-sthavirah.

(18) See Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, Vol. II, Dictionary, 105b.

(19) D. L. Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra: A Critical Study, London Oriental Series, vol. 6 (orig. pub. 1959; repr., London: Oxford University Press, 1980), II 5, 68.

(20) Bu ston Chos ’byun (Krun go bod kyi śes rig dpe skrun khan, 1988), 133.13. The phrasing of ’Jam-dbyans Bźad-pa is slightly different: gnas brtan ’phags pa’I rigs yin par ston pas gnas brtan pa (’Jam-dbyans Bźad-pa’i-rdo-rje, Grub mtha’I rnam bśad kun bzan źin gi ñi ma [Kan su’u mi rigs dpe skrun khan, 1992], 264.10).

(21)See Mori Sodō, “Ariyavamsa and Ariyavamsa-katha,” in Studies on Buddhism in Honour of Professor A.K. Warder, ed. N. K. Wagle and F. Watanabe (Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for South Asian Studies, 1993) (South Asian Papers, no. 5), 100–112.

(22) Śramana Yijing, Buddhist Monastic Traditions of Southern Asia: A Record of the Inner Law Sent Home from the South Seas, translated from the Chinese (Taishō Volume 54, Number 2125) by Li Rongxi (Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research [BDK English Tripitaka 93-I], 2000), 11. The fourschool model is vouchsafed by Indian sources for, at any rate, the seventh century on. Chinese sources also know a five-school model which seems to reflect the situation in the Northwest. This model deserves further attention, given that it includes the Dharmaguptakas, with whom many of the recently discovered Gandhari manuscripts are believed to be associated. For sources and for the historiography of the study of the four- and fiveschool models in European scholarship up to about 1945, see Lin Li-Kouang, Introduction au Compendium de la loi (Dharma-Samuccaya): L’aide-mémoire de la vraie loi (Saddharma-Smrtyupasthana-sutra): recherches sur un sutra développé du Petit Véhicule, introduction by P. Demiéville (Publications du Musée Guimet, Bibliothèque d’études, t. 54) (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1949), 176–216.

(23) Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra, I, 49; II, 5–6, 90, 149, and 156; Ch. Willemen, The Chinese Hevajratantra: The Scriptural Text of the Ritual of the Great King of the Teaching, the Adamantine One with Great Compassion and Knowledge of the Void (Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 1983), 38–39, 97–98; G. W. Farrow and I. Menon, The Concealed Essence of the Hevajra Tantra with the Commentary Yogaratnamala (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1992), 20–21, 225. The four philosophical schools are also mentioned in Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra, part II, p. 156. In dPa’-bo Gtsug-lag-phren-ba’s (1504–1566) Chos ’byun mkhas pa’i dga’ ston (Mi rigs dpe skrun khan, 1986), part I, p. 71 there is an interesting note – originally interlinear? –  on this:

’di la gnas brtan pa kho na sde pa’i rtsa bar ’dod pa dan thams cad yod smra

rtsa bar ’dod pa sogs bśad lugs man du yod kyan gsan snags su dgyes rdor

dan sambhutar rtsa ’khor lo bźi la sde pa bźi’i min du gsuns pa dan dus ’khor

du źal bźi las sde pa bźi spros pa sogs yod pas rtsa ba’i sde bźi kho nar ’thad

pa yin no.

Herein, because the Sthaviras want [their school] alone to be the

root nikaya, the Sarvastivada want [their school alone] to be the root

nikaya, there are many methods of explanation [of the emergence

and relations of the schools]; in the Mantra [system] the Hevajra and

Samputa [tantras] apply the names of the four main nikayas to the

cakras, while the Kalacakra [system] applies them to the four faces,

only the four main nikayas are accepted.

(24) Many of these sources are preserved in Tibetan translation, which uses gnas brtan for sthavira, and gnas brtan sde for *Sthavira-nikaya or, perhaps, *Sthavariya, etc.

(25) See Peter Skilling, “Theravadin Literature in Tibetan Translation,Journal of the Pali Text Society 19 (1993): 154–155. Yijing refers to three divisions of the Sthaviras without naming them.

(26) See Heinz Bechert, “The Nikayas of Mediaeval Sri Lanka and the Unification of the Sangha by Parakramabahu I,” in Studies on Buddhism in Honour of Professor A.K. Warder, ed. N. K. Wagle and F. Watanabe (Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for South Asian Studies, 1993) (South Asian Papers, no. 5), 11–21.

(27) Go-rams-pa Bsod-nams-senge, “Sdom gsum rab dbye’i rnam bśad rgyal ba’I gsun rab kyi dgons pa gsal ba,” in Sdom pa gsum gyi rnam gźag ston pa’i gźun gces btus (New Delhi: Institute of Tibetan Classics, 2009) (Bod kyi gtsug lag gces btus vol. 12), 152.4.

(28) ’Jam-dbyans Bźad-pa’i-rdo-rje, Grub mtha’i rnam bśad kun bzan źin gi ñi ma (Kan su’u mi rigs dpe skrun khan, 1992), 267, penult.

(29) This means that it is the same as that of the Sammitiyas, described as snam phran ñer gcig nas lna yan chad. According to Bu-ston (Bu ston chos ’byun, 133.14), both number of panels and insignia are shared with the Sammitiyas (snam phran dan brtags man pos bkur ba dan mthun par grag go). The phrase snam phran has been misunderstood in previous translations (Obermiller uses “fringe” of the “mantle” in Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub, History of Buddhism [Chos-hbyung] by Bu-ston, trans. E. Obermiller [Heidelberg: In Kommission bei O. Harrassowitz, 1931–1932], II, 99–100; Vogel, “strips” of the “waist-cloth” in Claus Vogel, “Bu-ston on the Schism of the Buddhist Church and on the Doctrinal Tendencies of Buddhist Scriptures,” in Zur Schulzugehörigkeit von Werken der Hinayana-Literatur, Erster Teil, ed. Heinz Bechert, Symposien zur Buddhismusforschung, III, 1 [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985], 107–108). The Sanskrit terminology may be gleaned from the Vinaya-sutra: khanasamghatyam nava prabhrtya pañcavimśater yugmavarjam = snam sbyar gyi snam phran dag ni dgu yan chad ñi śu rtsa lna man chad de zun ma gtogs so (reference from J. S. Negi, Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, vol. 7 [Sarnath, Varanasi: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 2001], 3243b). These are the dimensions given for the Sarvastivadins by Bu-ston and ’Jam-dbyans Bźad-pa. For Thai tradition see Somdet Phra Maha Samana Chao Krom Phraya Vajirañanavarorasa, The Entrance to the Vinaya, Vinayamukha, vol. 2 (Bangkok: Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, BE 2516 = CE 1973), 13–18, esp. 15: “A civara must have not less than five khana, but more than this can be used provided that the numbers of them are irregular – seven, nine, eleven. Many khana may be used when a bhikkhu cannot find large pieces of cloth.”

(30) Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen, A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes: Essential Distinctions among the Individual Liberation, Great Vehicle, and Tantric Systems, trans. Jared Douglas Rhoton, ed. Victoria R.M. Scott (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002), vv. 173–175 (for the Tibetan text see p. 287). For a “quintessential summary” in prose, see Sa pan’s “Letter to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the Ten Directions,” ibid., p. 244. For Gorampa’s commentary, see Go-rams-pa Bsod-nams-senge, “Sdom gsum rab dbye’i rnam bśad rgyal ba’i gsun rab kyi dgons pa gsal ba,” 150ff.

(31)Sarva-darśana-samgraha of Sayana-Madhava, ed. Mahamahopadhyaya Vasudev Shastri Abhyankar, 3rd ed. (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1978), chap. 2 line 41: te ca bauddhaś caturvidhaya bhavanaya paramapuruartham kathayanti. te ca madhyamika-yogacarasautrantikavaibhaikasamjñabhih prasiddha bauddha.

(32) See Katsumi Mimaki, La réfutation bouddhique de la permanence des choses (sthirasiddhiduana) et la preuve de la momentanéité des choses (kanabhangasiddhi), Publications de l’Institut de Civilisation Indienne, Fascicule 41 (Paris: Institut de Civilisation Indienne, 1976), 67–69 for a list of sources – Indian Buddhist, Indian non-Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist, and Tibetan Bon po – for the four schools. These and other sources are cited in ’Jam-dbyans Bźad-pa’i-rdo-rje, Grub mtha’i rnam bśad kun bzan źin gi ñi ma, 246–248.

(33) For Kalacakra, see Vesna A. Wallace, The Kalacakratantra: The Chapter on the Individual Together with the Vimalaprabha (New York, NY: American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2004), 241–247; and citations in Khedrup Norsang Gyatso, Ornament of Stainless Light, An Exposition of the Kalacakra Tantra (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2004), 570–573.

(34) Mimaki, La réfutation bouddhique, 69.

(35) Perhaps the earliest notice of the four philosophical schools to be published in a European language was that presented by the pioneering Hungarian scholar Alexander Csoma de Kőrös in his “Notices on the Different Systems of Buddhism Extracted from the Tibetan Authorities,” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 7, no. 1 (1838): 142; reprinted in Alexander Csoma de Kőrös, Tibetan Studies, Being a Reprint of the Articles Contributed to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and Asiatic Researches, ed. E. Denison Ross (orig. pub. 1912; repr., New Delhi: Gaurav Publishing House, 1991), 73–79. For doxographic literature see Katsumi Mimaki, Blo gsal grub mtha’: Chapitres IX (Vaibhaika) et XI (Yogacara) édités et Chapitre XII (Madhyamika) édité et traduit (Kyoto: Zinbun Kagaku Kenkyusyo, Université de Kyoto, 1982); Jeffrey Hopkins, “The Tibetan Genre of Doxography: Structuring a Worldview,” in Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, ed. José Ignacio Cabezón and Roger R. Jackson (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 1996), 170–186. For translations of works in this genre see Geshe Lhundup Sopa, Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. Jeffrey Hopkins (London: Rider and Company, 1976) (Part Two gives a translation of Dkon-mchog-’jigsmed-dbang-po’s [1728–1791] Precious Garland of Tenets).

(36) ’Jam dbyans bźad pa’i rdo rje, Grub mtha’i rnam bśad kun bzan źin gi ñi ma, root-text, 8.8, commentary, 246–248; translation from Daniel Cozort and Craig Preston, Buddhist Philosophy: Losang Gönchok’s Short Commentary to Jamyang Shayba’s Root Text on Tenets (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2003), 143 v. 1.

(37) I doubt whether Sautrantika in particular ever represented a historical body or even lineage. It represented, perhaps, a hermeneutic stance. Can we compare the term to, for example, “Marxist”? Some historians identify their approach as Marxist; others criticize or condemn Marxist historiography: that is, the term can be positive, negative, or neutral. Marxist historiography has evolved and changed considerably with time. Historians who consider themselves Marxist may disagree on fundamental points, they do not belong to any formal school, and they may be professionally associated with a variety of unrelated institutes. For Sautrantika see the collection of essays devoted to the school in the special issue of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 26, no. 2 (2003), and Collett Cox, Disputed Dharmas: Early Buddhist Theories on Existence: An Annotated Translation of the Section on Factors Dissociated from Thought from Sanghabhadra’s Nyayanusara, Studia Philogica Buddhica Monograph Series XI (Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 1995), 37ff.

(38) Peter Skilling, “The Samskrtasamskrta-viniścaya of Daśabalaśrimitra,” Buddhist Studies Review 4, no. 1 (1987): 3–23; Peter Skilling, “Theravadin Literature in Tibetan Translation,” Journal of the Pali Text Society 19 (1993): 69–201.

(39) See the examples connected with the indriyas in Peter Skilling, “Discourse on the Twenty-Two Faculties Translated from Śamathadeva’s Upayika-tika,” in Dharmapravicaya: Aspects of Buddhist Studies, ed. Lalji ‘Shravak’, Prof. N. H. Samtani Felicitation Volume (New Delhi: Buddhist World Press, forthcoming).

(40) See for example Y. Karunadasa, The Dhamma Theory: Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma Philosophy, Wheel Publication 412/413 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1996).

(41) This is, however, something that warrants further investigation. My description of pramana as a concern of North Indian Buddhists may be an overstatement, given the epistemological material in the Tamil Manimekhalai and the importance of epistemology in Indian thought in general, including the noteworthy Jaina contributions.

(42) Fortunately recent research reconstructs at least some of the scope of Buddhism in the south: see for example Anne E. Monius, Imagining a Place for Buddhism: Literary Culture and Religious Community in Tamil-Speaking South India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

(43) Our sources for the Vibhajyavada are inconclusive and contradictory. For recent studies see L. S. Cousins, “On the Vibhajjavadins: The Mahimsasaka, Dhammaguttaka, Kassapiya and Tambapanniya Branches of the Ancient Theriyas,” Buddhist Studies Review 18, no. 2 (2001): 131–182; and Y. Karunadasa, The Theravada Abhidhamma: Its Inquiry into the Nature of Conditioned Reality (Hong Kong: Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong, 2010), Appendix: “Theravada and Vibhajjavada,” 282–293. Oliver Abeynayake, “The Theravada Tradition: Its Identity,” Journal of Buddhist Studies, Centre for Buddhist Studies Sri Lanka 7 (2009): 90–100, generally follows Karunaratne. The phrase vibhajjavadimanalam otaritva, rendered by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli as “one who keeps within the circle of the Vibhajjavadins,” as the first of a series of qualifications of the attitude of who explains dependent origination is intriguing if inconclusive. See Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosâcariya, ed. Henry Clarke Warren, revised by Dharmananda Kosambi, Harvard Oriental Series, Volume 41 (orig. pub., Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1950; repr., Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, 1989), § XVII, 25; Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, trans., The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga) by Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975), § XVII, 25.

(44) Vinaya (Pali Text Society edition) II 72.27.

(45) I follow the Syamrattha edition (vol. 6, 298) in reading -vadanam. The Pali Text Society and Chatthasangiti editions read -padanam: Chatthasangiti, Cullavaggapali, 187.10 with footnote that Sihala editions read vibhajjavadinam.

(46) This is a rare example of an explicit statement of school affiliation in a colophon. As far as I know it is the only case in the Pali scriptures. The only North Indian texts that identify their school affiliation are those of the Mahasamghika-Lokottaravadins.

(47) For a brief report see Indian Archaeology 1997–98: A Review (New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 2003), 206–207. The inscriptions were published in B. S. L. Hanumantha Rao et al., Buddhist Inscriptions of Andhradesa (Secunderabad: Ananda Buddha Vihara Trust, 1998), copper plates of Siri Ehavala Chantamula, 191–193 and Pl. VI (c); also, and better, Journal of the Epigraphical Society of India 25 (1999): 114–121, copper plates of Madhavavarma, 207 foll. Another inscription also mentions mahavihara, but this seems to be a local monastery.

(48) For examples see Cousins, “On the Vibhajjavadins.”

(49) R. A. L. H. Gunawardana, “The World of Theravada Buddhism in History: Relevance of a Territorial Category as a Conceptual Tool in the Study of History,” in Asanga Tilakaratne et al., eds., Dhamma-Vinaya: Essays in Honour

of Venerable Professor Dhammavihari (Jotiya Dhirasekera) (Colombo: Sri Lanka Association for Buddhist Studies, 2005), 55–89.

(50) See the entries by H. Durt and A. Forte, s.v. “Daiji” (mahavihara), in Hôbôgirin: Dictionnaire encyclopédique du bouddhisme d’après les sources chinoises et japonaises, Sixième fascicule: Da–Daijizaiten (Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient Adrien-Maisonneuve and Tokyo: Maison Franco-Japonaise, 1983), 679–711.

(51) Stephen C. Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism: A Survey (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), 147–148. One of the curiosities of Buddhist studies is that Ceylon is often located in Southeast Asia – presumably because of its putative Theravadin status (for which we turn to Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, and the Pali texts, rather than to the distinctive archeological record, which has its own trajectory, not adequately integrated into current “Sri Lankan history”). This logical anomaly is rather like situating the Philippines in Southern Europe because it is predominantly Roman Catholic. See, for example, the “Timeline of Buddhist History” for Southeast Asia in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, ed. Robert E. Buswell, Jr., 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 2:935–936, which in its general unreliability undoes the good done by the better entries in the Encyclopedia. One is grateful to Berkwitz for relocating Sri Lanka in South Asia, and for putting the category of “South Asian Buddhism” back on the table.

(52) For the lateness of Theravada in relation to Mahayana see, for example, Peter Skilling, “Mahayana and Bodhisattva: An Essay towards Historical Understanding,” in Phothisatawa barami kap sangkhom thai nai sahatsawat mai [Bodhisattvaparami and Thai Society in the New Millennium], ed. Pakorn Limpanusorn and Chalermpon Iampakdee, Chinese Studies Centre, Institute of East Asia, Thammasat University (proceedings of a seminar in celebration of the fourth birth-cycle of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn held at Thammasat University, 21 January 2546 [2003]) (Bangkok: Thammasat University Press, BE 2547 = CE 2004), 139–156.

(53) Note the recent establishment of Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU).

(54) I doubt that in any nikaya the monks and nuns as a whole subscribed to the “particular school of thought” of their nikaya: the relations between ordination, belief, and thought is another point that needs serious consideration.

(55) R. A. L. H. Gunawardana, Robe and Plough: Monasticism and Economic Interest in Early Medieval Sri Lanka, Association for Asian Studies: Monographs and Papers, No. 35 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1979), 85–86.

(56) Wilhelm Geiger, ed., Culavamsa, Being the Most Recent Part of the Mahavamsa (orig. pub. 1925, 1927; repr., London: The Pali Text Society/Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980), 42:17: theriyanam tapassinam. Cf. also 41:99. I prefer to follow the manuscripts in calling the whole work Mahavamsa rather than to follow the European convention of calling the later parts Culavamsa.

(57) Ibid.,52:46.

(58) Ibid., 54:46.

(59) Ibid., 54:47: upassayam karitvana mahamallakanamakam, theravamsamhi jatanam bhikkhuninam adapayi.

(60) Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 143. Every sentence in the paragraph contains errors, most of them major.

(61)D. G. E. Hall, A History of South-East Asia, 4th ed. (orig. pub. 1955; repr., London: Macmillan, 1985), 158–161.

(62) Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism, 144.

(63) See Peter Skilling, “The Advent of Theravada Buddhism to Mainland Southeast Asia,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 20–21 (1997):

93–107; Peter Skilling, “The Place of South-East Asia in Buddhist Studies,” Buddhist Studies (Bukkyō Kenkyu) 30 (2001): 19–43; Peter Skilling, Buddhism and Buddhist Literature of South-East Asia: Selected Papers by Peter Skilling, ed. Claudio Cicuzza (Bangkok and Lumbini: Fragile Palm Leaves, 2009 [Materials for the Study of the Tripitaka Volume 5]); and esp. Prapod Assavavirulhakarn, The Ascendancy of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2010).

(64) For Surya see Peter Skilling, “A Recently Discovered Surya Image from Thailand,” in Prajñadhara: Essays on Asian Art, History, Epigraphy and Culture in Honour of Gouriswar Bhattacharya, ed. Gerd J. R. Mevissen and Arundhati Banerji (New Delhi: Kaveri Books, 2009), 455–465 and pls. 46.1–10. For the hybrid nature of “Thai religion” see Peter Skilling, “Worship and Devotional Life: Buddhist Devotional Life in Southeast Asia,” in Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Lindsay Jones, 15 vols., 2nd ed. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson Gale), 14:9826–9834; Peter Skilling, “King, Sangha, and Brahmans: Ideology, Ritual and Power in Pre-modern Siam,” in Buddhism, Power and Political Order, ed. Ian Harris (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), 182–215.

(65) Skilling, “King, Sangha, and Brahmans.”

(66) Andrew Skilton, A Concise History of Buddhism (Birmingham: Windhorse Publications, 1994), 156.

(67) For the intricacies of Siamese Buddhism, see Peter Skilling, “Geographies of Intertextuality: Buddhist Literature in Pre-modern Siam,” Aséanie – Sciences humaines en Asie du Sud-est 19 (June 2007): 91–112. For Thai Buddhism in the Ratanakosin or Bangkok period see Peter Skilling, “For Merit and Nirvana: The Production of Art in the Bangkok Period,” Arts Asiatiques 62 (2007): 76–94; Peter Skilling, “Similar Yet Different: Buddhism in Siam and Burma in the Nineteenth Century,” in Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775–1950, ed. Forrest McGill (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, 2009), 46–73.

(68) The problem for any synthetic writing on Southeast Asian Buddhism – that is, on over two thousand years of prehistory and history in a dozen cultures over a vast and diverse ecological and cultural landscape – is the dearth of reliable materials in European languages and the persistence of outdated information and frameworks. The thumbnail sketch is difficult if not impossible to achieve, and most fail, scuppered on the reefs of overgeneralization and inaccuracy. Recent sources that give more reliable and perceptive accounts include (for the early period) Prapod Assavavirulhakarn, The Ascendancy of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia; Kate Crosby, “Theravada,” in Encyclopedia of  Buddhism, ed. Robert E. Buswell, Jr., 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 2:836–841; Robert L. Brown, “Southeast Asia, Buddhist Art in,” in ibid., 2:782–788; Bonnie Brereton, “Theravada Art and Architecture,” in ibid., 2:841–844; and (the very brief) Rupert Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 256–257. For the dynamics of regional developments on the broader global canvas, see Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, Volume 1: Integration on the Mainland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

(69) For “Buddhism” see John Ross Carter, On Understanding Buddhists: Essays on the Theravada Tradition in Sri Lanka (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), especially chaps. 1 and 2.

(70) See C. A. F. Rhys Davids, “Sasana,” in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, 12 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922), 11:200–201. The early use in Western scholarship of the word “dispensation” for śasana is intriguing, and smacks of biblical influences.

(71)After Piriya Krairiksh, “Towards a Revised History of Sukhothai Art: A Reassessment of the Inscription of King Ram Khamhaeng,” in The Ram Khamhaeng Controversy: Collected Papers, ed. James R. Chamberlain (Bangkok: The Siam Society, 1991), 78.

(72) Chareuk lanna phak 1 lem 1: Chareuk changwat Chiang Rai Nan Phayao Phrae/ Lanna Inscriptions Part I, Volume I: Inscriptions from Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao and Phrae: Texts (Bangkok: Amarin Printing Group Ltd. [published by James H. W. Thompson Foundation on the auspicious occasion of the third birth-cycle of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn], BE 2534 = CE 1991), Inscription Chiang Rai 4. For plate see ibid., Part I, Volume II, plate 7.

(73) A. P. Buddhadatta, Jinakalamali (London: Pali Text Society, 1962), 95.2, 119.15.

(74) Yuan Phai v. 76, in Photchananukrom sap wannakhadi thai samai ayutthaya: khlong yuan phai (Bangkok: Rajabanditayasathan [The Royal Academy], BE 2544 = CE 2001), 100; A. B. Griswold and Prasert na Nagara, “A Fifteenth-Century Siamese Historical Poem,” in Southeast Asian History and Historiography: Essays Presented to D. G. E. Hall, ed. C. D. Cowan and O. W. Wolters (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1976), 144. Griswold and Prasert translate the phrase choen chuay song phu phaew kaletklai as “to invite a saintly monk,” but given that Thai nouns have no plural form, and that an ordination requires a chapter of five to ten monks, I prefer to interpret song (= Pali sangha) as plural here. It seems more logical that, in order to lend authority to the ordination, a number of revered Lankan monks would have been invited to conduct the ceremony together with local monks.

(75) Other monastic categories from Ceylon, such as pamsukulika, do not seem to have been introduced to Siam, although there was a brief pamsukulika lineage in Tibet.

(76) G. Coedès, in Recueil des Inscriptions du Siam, Première partie, Inscriptions de Sukhodaya (Bangkok: Bangkok Times Press, 1924), takes the liberty of adding the word “sect” where the Thai has simply upasampada nai gamavasi, upasampada nai arañavasi: Inscr. 9, Wat Pa Daeng, p. 136: “[il] eut reçu l’ordination dans la secte des Gamavasis en sakkaraja 705 . . . il reçut l’ordination dans la secte des Araññavasis en sakkaraja 710. . . .”

(77) In this context, “Lao” refers to a wide cultural and linguistic zone from Chiang Mai in Thailand to Luang Prabang and northern Laos, once a band of Tai principalities – it does not refer to the modern state of Laos.

(78) “Kham prakat devata khrang sangayana pi wok samritthi sok pho. so. 2331 rajakal thi 1,” in Phrachao Boromawong Thoe Kromaphra Sommot Amonphan, ed., Prakat kan phra rajabidhi lem 1 (Bangkok: Ongkankha khong Khurusapha, BE = 2508 = CE 1965), 304.

(79) Phraya Śri Dharrmaśoka, to judge from inscriptions, was a historical title or figure (ca. twelfth century CE?), but we know more about him from local legends from several regions of Thailand.

(80) Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, Tamnan gana sangha (Bangkok: Ho Phra Samut Vajirañana [Vijarañana Library]/Rongphim Sophonphiphatthanakorn, BE 2466 = CE 1923), 39–41; Sutthiwong Phongphaibun, “Ka 4 fay: khana song,” in Sutthiwong Phongphaibun, ed., Saranukrom wathanatham thai phak tai pho. so. 2542, 10 vols. (Bangkok: Amarin Kanphim, BE 2542 = CE 1999), 1:176–178. See also Chaiwut Piyakun, “Kalapana Wat Khian Bang Kaew,” in Saranukrom wathanatham thai phak tai, 1:283–285; Lorraine M. Gessick, In the Land of Lady White Blood: Southern Thailand and the Meaning of History (Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1995). The identity of Ka Jata is not certain. Prince Damrong interpreted it as a lineage of monks from Lanka itself (taking jata as jati). If we take jata in the sense of “red,” the name suggests the Pa Daeng lineage.

(81. Hans Penth, Jinakalamali Index: An Annotated Index to the Thailand Part of Ratanapañña’s Chronicle Jinakalamali (Oxford: The Pali Text Society/Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1994), 171; see Penth’s individual references and see Saeng Manavidura, “Some Observations on the Jinakalamalipakarana,” in The Sheaf of Garlands of the Epochs of the Conqueror: Being a Translation of Jinakalamalipakarana of Ratanapañña Thera of Thailand . . . With an Introductory Essay by Saeng Manavidura, trans. N. A. Jayawickrama, Pali Text Society Translation Series No. 36 (London: The Pali Text Society, 1978), xliv–xlv.

(82) Given the many significances of “dhamma,” I leave the word untranslated. It is simplistic to call Dhammayuttika a “reformed nikaya,” both in its inception and in is evolution.

(83) Note that the name is commonly romanized as “Mun,” but is pronounced “Man” with a short “a” as in “fun.”

(84) The invention of schools of Buddhism is not unique to the region. For Nepal see David N. Gellner, “Hodgson’s Blind Alley? On the So-Called Schools of Nepalese Buddhism,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist

Studies 12, no. 1 (1989): 7–19. For the problems of the concept of the “Pure Land school” see Robert H. Sharf, “On Pure Land Buddhism and Ch’an Pure Land Syncretism in Medieval China,” T’oung Pao 88 (2002): 282–331. For the problems that surround the concept of Chan–Zen, see John R. McRae, Seeing through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).

(85) André Padoux, “What Do We Mean by Tantrism?” in The Roots of Tantra, ed. Katherine Anne Harper and Robert L. Brown (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002), 23. Louis de La Vallée Poussin’s entry on “Tantrism (Buddhist),” in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, 12 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922), 12:197 may still be consulted with profit. Robert Sharf launches a sharp critique in his “Does Indian Buddhism Have Tantra Nature?” paper presented at the panel “A Response to Ronald M. Davidson’s Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, GA, November 2003.

(86) Ronald M. Davidson and Charles D. Orzech, “Tantra,” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, ed. Robert E. Buswell, Jr., 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 2:820. For another discussion of the term see the editor’s introduction to David Gordon White, ed., Tantra in Practice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000).


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