Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 32, No 2 (2015)

Tibetan Evidence for the Sources of Chapters of the Synoptic Suvarṇa-prabhāsottama-sūtra T 664 Ascribed to Paramārtha

Michael Radich
Issued Date: 24 Feb 2016

Abstract


Four chapters survive of a supposed translation of the Suvarṇa-prabhāsottama-sūtra by Paramārtha (499–569). Versions of these chapters are also found in a later Chinese version of the sūtra by Yijing. In earlier work, I have argued that these chapters were most likely composed in China, basing my argument upon extensive verbatim correspondences between these chapters and a number of earlier Chinese texts. However, a significant obstacle still stands in the way of this thesis. A Tibetan version of the sūtra (here called 'Tib II') also includes the same chapters, and Tibetan tradition holds that this version is a translation from Sanskrit. Here, I examine evidence that suggests that these portions of Tib II might in fact be translations from Chinese, despite the reports of Tibetan bibliographers. In closing, I consider some broader implications of my findings.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.v32i2.27084

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