.lournu1 of the American Oriental Society
exploit the advantage that the existence of multiplecopies presents us with.Most of the pillar inscriptions connected with the
re structured in exactly the same way.They begin with
"success!"; thisis followed usually by (2) an invocation to the Buddhawhich consists of the word
"adoration to,"followed by a string of epithets of the Buddha in thegenitive. Then comes
the name of the place atwhich the gift recorded was made, put in the locative;
the name of the donor, her 'pedigrees'and relation-ships:
the purpose or intent behind her gift:
thenature of the gift. etc. We will be concerned here onlywith the second and third elements: the invocationconsisting of the
plus the string of epithets inthe genitive, and the name of the place at which thegift was made in the locative.The first thing to notice is that the number ofepithets in the string of genitives following
varies. The fullest form of the formula containing theinvocation and the name of the location at which thegift was made is, in the Prakrit original:
namo bhagavato deva-raja-sakatasa supabudha-bo-dhino savamfiuno sava-sat-anukampakasa jita-raga-dosa-moha-vipamutasa
hathisa samma-sambudhasa dhatuvara-parigahitasamahacetiye
Sircar translates this into Sanskrit as:
namah bhagavate devar%jasatkrt?tya suprabuddhabo-dhaye sarvajfiaya sarvasattvanukampak%ya-jitara-gadosamoha-
bahusankhyaka-Sisya-mahacaryesu pradhanah) samyaksambuddhayadhatuvara-parigrhitaya
and Vogel puts it into English as:
Adoration to the Lord, the Supreme Buddha, hon-oured by the Lord of the gods, omniscient, compas-sionate towards all sentient beings. freed from lust,hatred and delusion which have been conquered byhim, the bull and musk-elephant among great spiri-Vogel, EI20 (1929), A2-A4; BlLB5; ClLC5; D2-D4; and
Citations in the text are made according to Vogel'sletter1 number system.
D. C. Sircar,
Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian His-tor?: and Civilization,
2nd ed. (Ca!cutta, 1965). 230 (1 have
corrected two misprints in the passage cited).tual leaders, the perfectly Enlightened One, who isabsorbed by the best of the elements (i.e., by Nir-vana). At the Mahachetiya.
At least four "copies" of this same inscription omiteverything after
reading as a consequence:
namo bhagavato deva-raja-sakatasa samma-sambu-dhasa dhatuvara-parigahitasa mahacetiye
Vogel's interpretation of what he takes to be thelast of the string of
"absorbed by the best of the elements (i.e.. by Nir-vana)"-was suggested to him by de la Vallee Poussinwho added: "If the inscriptions belonged to the Ma-hasanghikas, a conjectural explanation of
would not be excluded. The
was sometimes a kind of Buddhist Brahmanfor the followers of the ~ah2yIna."~ircar also hastaken the term in much the same way, glossing it with
and Dutt, who translates the com-pound by "possessed of the excellent dhatu," wants tosee in it evidence that raises "the presumption that theAndhaka conception of Nirvana was different fromthat of the Theravadins or their sub-sect the MahiSB-sakas,"' which de la Vallee Poussin at least does notquery."'
Shastri, finally, sees in the expressionevidence indicating that "the Andhakas
upheld thedocetic theory and believed that the Buddha wassupra-mundane." and. following de la Vallke Poussin,that it "most probably alludes to the Kaya doctrine ofthe Mahayanists for whom the Buddha was not ahistorical personality.""This line of interpretation, which connects the ex-pression with the development of MahayIna scho-
20 (1929): 17.
(1929): 16 n. 2; B3, CI, D2 and D4.Vogel,
(1929): 29 n. 1.
Dutt, "Notes on the Nagarjunikonda Inscriptions," 649-50, and N. Dutt,
Buddhist Sects in India
L. de la Vallte Poussln, "Notes et
Mdlanges chinois et bouddhiques
1 (1931-32): 383.
An Outline of Early Buddhism (A His-torical Survey of Buddhology, Buddhist Schools and San-ghas Mainly Based on the Studj, of Pre-Gupta Inscriptions)
(Varanasi, 1965), 29-30; cf.
Shastri, "The LegendaryPersonality of the Buddha as Depicted in Pre-Gupta IndianInscriptions."
The Orissa Historical Research Journal