Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 30, No 2 (2013)

Two Sūtras in the Chinese Saṃyuktāgama without Direct Pāli Parallels — Some remarks on how to identify ‘later additions’ to the corpus

Marcus Bingenheimer
Issued Date: 1 Jan 2014


23 out of the 364 sūtras of the Shorter Chinese Saṃyuktāgama (BZA: Bieyi zaahan jing 別譯雜阿含經 T.100) and many more of the Longer Chinese Saṃyuktāgama (ZA: Zaahan jing 雜阿含經 T.99) have no known direct counterpart in Pāli, Sanskrit or Tibetan. These sūtras are especially suitable to introduce common problems regarding the relationship of early Indian sūtras and their Chinese translation. While usually the existence of an Indian parallel helps researchers to narrow down the range of likely forms of names and words, in the absence of Indian versions our understanding of translations and transcriptions becomes all the more conjectural. Āgama texts without a Pāli counterpart must also be suspected to be later additions to the collection and we have to deduce from form and content of the sūtra as well as its position in the collection, when, where and why the text came into being. The article introduces these problems as they appear in two BZA sutras (153 and 184), both of which are translated below.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.v30i2.201


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