Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 33, No 1-2 (2016)

Walking the Deckle Edge: Scribe or Author? Jayamuni and the Creation of the Nepalese Avadānamālā Literature

Camillo A. Formigatti
Issued Date: 20 Jan 2017

Abstract


The article presents a preliminary survey of textual reuse in Nepalese collections of jātakas and avadānas, focusing in particular on three works: the Avadānaśataka, the Divyāvadāna, and the Dvāviṃśatyavadānakathā. The reassessment of the manuscript tradition of these three Sanskrit collections, based on Nepalese manuscripts and Tibetan translations, sheds more light on the role of scribes in the creation of these collections and of the Nepalese avadānamālā literature. In particular, the great role played in the 17th century by the Nepalese scribe and scholar Jayamuni in shaping the text of the Avadānaśataka, the Divyāvadāna, and many other Buddhist narrative works is brought to light. The result of this preliminary survey shows that a study of this type of collections based on the available critical editions should be rethought in the light of the specific character of their manuscript and textual transmission in medieval and early modern Nepal.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.31643

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