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The Language of the Buddhist Sanskrit Texts John Brough Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies,

University of London, Vol. 16, No. 2. (1954), pp. 351-375.

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HEN Buddhist works in Sanskrit were first introduced into Europe, it was at once obvious that the language of some of them as it appears in the manuscripts was, in comparison with Classical Sanskrit, frequently ungrammatical, and on occasion barbarously so. The immediate and natural reaction of scholars accustomed to the regularity of Sanskrit was to stigmatize these shortcomings, and to attempt to remove as many irregularities as possible by forcibly emending the text. I t was, however, very soon recognized that many of the seeming anomalies could not be abolished, and that they must be accepted as genuine in their own context. This was especially clear in the case of the verses of some of the older texts, where the metre often guaranteed nonPiiqinean forms ; and the language of these verses, variously called the Giithiidialect, mixed Sanskrit, or hybrid Sanskrit, was recognized as something in its own right. The same courtesy was readily extended to the prose of the Mahivastu, which in places could only have been made to resemble Sanskrit by completely rewriting the text. The prose of the other texts, being in many ways virtually Sanskrit, took considerably longer to win the same recognition ; but for many years now it has been generally admitted that here also is a language which must be judged according to its own standards, and not exclusively by the canons of classical Sanskrit grammar. I t is possible, however, for an editor to accept all this in principle, and yet to be in serious doubt when trying to establish a text ; for unless he has a grammatical norm against which to measure his text, he is unable to apply the diagnostic test of grammatical abnormality, which in classical Sanskrit or in Latin would often provide the first hint that a passage is probably corrupt. Hitherto, editors have had to make shift with the classical grammar and dictionary, supplemented by their own memory of other Buddhist texts. But the lack of a systematic study of Buddhist Sanskrit has frequently resulted in over-correction by editors, and a considerable number of the published texts really require re-editing. I n these circumstances it is a matter of great satisfaction to all who are concerned in this field that Professor Franklin Edgerton has now published a grammar and dictionary of Buddhist Sanskrit.1 This is a major work, the fruit of many years' careful study, and it must remain for a long time to come a vade mecum for future editors of Buddhist texts. Indeed, it is probably not an exaggeration to say that it may well determine for a generation the attitude of young editors towards their texts. For this reason I should like to discuss a number of questions arising out of the work in rather more detail than is customary in a review. But I would ask the reader to remember that, although some of these
1 Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary ; and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Reader. Yale University Press, 1953. See also below, p. 421. VOL. XVI. PART 2. 25



matters are important, the total of my criticism concerns only a relatively small part of the work ; and I should not wish it to be thought that I am in any way lacking in appreciation of the great value of the work as a whole, or in gratitude for the enormous labour bestowed by the author on his task. Rather, most of what I have to say is in the nature of a few additional footnotes and adjustments, together with a few suggestions to indicate a possible direction for future work in this field. Both Grammar and Dictionary are confined to reporting forms and words or meanings which do not occur in Classical Sanskrit. I t follows that a reader would get a most distorted picture of the language from reading only the Grammar, which, being a systematic collection of anomalies, is serviceable only to one who already knows the texts. There is of course no ground for complaint in this. I t is in the result primarily a grammar of the ' gathl ' language, and it cannot claim to provide a complete grammatical picture of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts as a whole. Indeed, it is doubtful whether an editor of a Buddhist Tantra, or a medieval verse Avadlna-text, would get very much direct help from the Grammar, although the Dictionary u~ouldof course be valuable. The material is arranged in the Grammar according to the categories of classical Sanskrit, and while this procedure is satisfactory as providing a ready means of reference, it occasionally induces explanations which seem to me unjustified. For example, nouns ending in -a frequently occur in verses as plurals and the direct object of verbs ; and it would doubtless be sufficient to say of these that they are simply uninflected or stem forms (a situation which is admitted for the singular in 8.3 ff.),l and that their plurality and their status as direct object arise from the context. To say that they represent a metrical shortening of -a, which is itself a nominative plural used in the sense of the accusative, is to tie the grammar into quite unnecessary knots (8.94). In the same way it seems unnecessarily complicated to say that in anyatra karma sukrtad the form karma is an ablative of an a-stem for an la-stem, i.e, for *karmi(t), with metrical shortening of -a (8.9). The alternative explanation simply as a stem-form, admitted in 17.13, seems much to be preferred ; and it may perhaps be suggested that in instances like this the inflexion of sukrtad was felt to belong to the phrase as a whole. As already remarked, many of the published texts are badly edited, and Edgerton has supplemented them wherever possible by making full use of manuscript variants when these are reported by editors ; and in the course of the work he has many valuable corrections and emendations to suggest. While the work will naturally be very useful to those who simply wish to read and understand Buddhist Sanskrit, its chief value will undoubtedly lie in the fact that it will assist future editors to produce better editions ; and it is chiefly from the point of view of editors that the following is written. As we have noted, there has always been a tendency for editors to lean too much towards correct classical Sanskrit. Edgerton, in reaction against this,

References in figures with no other indication are to the sections of the Grammar.



goes to the other extreme, and in the preface to the Reader he propounds a principle for editors : ' Any non-Sanskritic form presented in the MSS. must, in general, be regarded as closer to the original form of the text than a " correct " Sanskrit variant '. The term ' non-Sanskritic '-which would cover all sorts of copyists' blunders-is modified a few lines later into ' Middle Indic or semiMiddle Indic '. Even this, however, seems to me to go much too far. On some occasions, which we shall note below, apparently middle-Indian forms can very easily result from scribal error ; and in some contexts (in the semi-kivya style, for example) any markedly non-Sanskrit form would be highly improbable. We shall return to this point later. Edgerton adds that this principle is not to be applied mechanically ; that the context, as well as variant manuscript readings, will vary from case to case, and each must be separately studied. My fear is that, from excessive reaction against earlier editions, editors may not take this caveat sufficiently to heart, and that we may have a crop of bad editions comparable to the notorious edition of the Xvayarnbhupuriqa, where the Brahman editor, considering that Buddhists could not be expected to write good Sanskrit, seems to have put into his text deliberately numerous copyists' errors from the manuscripts. It seems to me that Edgerton throughout rather underestimates the degree of accidental transmissional corruption which our texts may have suffered, and many of his notes seem to imply that at least the archetype of our manuscripts must be correct, except in those places where more Sanskritic forms have been intentionally introduced. I t may be that an unreasoning confidence in the accuracy of the scribe's hand and eye is traditional in these studies ; for in 1916 we find Liiders writing l: ' For sragsitavin the Nepalese MSS. read sagiritavan. The correct reading undoubtedly is sragsitavi~a, but it is difficult to understand how this should have been replaced by sagiritavin, unless we assume that the original reading was a Prakrit form, such as, e.g. sagsitavi. This has been correctly Sanskritized into sragsitava?~ in the fragment, whereas in the Nepalese version it was wrongly rendered by sagiritavin '. This is incredible as an argument ; and indeed it does not require much experience of Nepalese manuscripts to realize that sragsitavin could hardly fail to be read and transcribed by some copyist or other as sagiritavin, and that a reconstruction from the Prakrit need not enter into the picture here at all. Before it could have any force, Luders' argument would require assent to the proposition that all textual corruption is interpolation, a dogma of scribal infallibility which few editors would care to hold. Some of Edgerton's conclusions seem to depend upon a rather similar faith in the scribes, or at least in the scribe of the archetype. By way of illustration I shall deal here with a few matters of orthography. Since most of our texts depend either exclusively or chiefly upon Nepalese manuscripts, it is desirable to consider the idiosyncrasies of Nepalese scribes in
In ~Tfanuscript remains of Buddhist Literature found i n E. Turkestan, ed. A. I?. R. Hoernle, p. 161.



general before attempting to assess the credibility of their witness in any particular instance. The main points of spelling are well known, and a few are mentioned almost as a matter of course in the introductions to editions, but as they seem to have been accorded rather less weight than is their due, it may be useful to give a brief account of them here. The following frequently interchange : i and S ; u and G, and ri (seldom ra) ; e, ya, and ye ; o, va, and vo ; j a and ya ; j'a and gya ; la and ta ; ra and la ; i a and sa ; 8a and kha ; k8a, cha, khya, and occasionally kha. In many of these, in particular r/l, 9/s, it would seem that Newar scribes considered the two forms to be merely graphic options, to be used haphazard according to the fancy of the moment, in much the same way as the copperplate forms of s and capital T alternate at random in my own handwriting with forms based on the printed shapes of these letters. In addition to these options, the use of the superscript r is of interest. Since the following consonant is regularly doubled, a bond seems to have been established between a double consonant and a superscript r, and as a result any double consonant may attract to itself a superscript r. The alternations of spellings with and without the r then would seem to have led to its occasional use over other conjuncts and even over single consonants, and to its equally frequent omission where it is historically required ; and it is hfficult to avoid the impression that the sign was felt to be a mere ornament of the handxmiting-perhaps playing a similar prestige role to that of the b in doubt or the c in scissors when these spellings were first introduced into our own orthography. Most of the following examples, illustrating the results of some of these spelling habits and of a few others less frequent, come from the Cambridge manuscript of the A8tamS-vratamihatmya, but similar forms are frequent in most Newari manuscripts. The list includes only Sanskrit borrowings (though the same fluctuations in spelling appear also in Newari words), and the standard Sanskrit spelling is almost always equally permissible. ; sarvage (sarvajpa) ; yojpakvara (yogeivake (vakya) ; arbhigyaka (abhi~eka) vara) ; jagya (yajpa) ; jvajpa (yogya) ; dyervva (deva) ; rvyara (vela, for Class. vela) ; rmEra (mira) ; rbhikgu (bhlkpu) ; nErma (nama) ; urttama, urttarma, uttarmma (uttama) ; burddha (buddha) ; vasirtha (vasiptha) surga (sukha) ; nimirtti, nimisti, nimistri (nimitti) ; dullabha (durllabha) ; vEttE (virttl) ; jalma, jarlma, jarnma, jarmma, jamma, jartma, jatma (janma) ; yarma, janma (yama) ; nilmala, nilmara, nirlma [perhaps intended to be read as nirmla] (nirmala) ; likhi (I@) ; ZEjakura (rljakula) ; kyd& (krida) ; dharmEtramE, dhatmtitramti (dharmatml) ; mokga (miircha) ; bhavikga (bhavieya) ; chichirika [monk's staff: cf. Dict. svv. khakkhara, khakhar/a(ka), khikkhira, and add to references under khankharaka, Gilgit MSS., vol. iii, 2, p. 142, and p. x ; given by Hodgson, Essays on the Languages, Literature, and Religion o f Nepal and Tibet, p. 141, as khikshari ; in the Sanskrit text of the PEpa-parimocana, 27, as kiikgirikE, kcikgTrZ]. Now, although the above examples come from Newar scribes writing Newari texts, almost all of these vagaries can occur when the same scribes write Sanskrit



manuscripts. I n most of the latter, however, such spellings are decidedly less frequent than in Newari. This is an important point, since it shows that the scribes did not learn such habits from Sanskrit manuscripts, and it is therefore not possible to argue that some of these aberrations are due to the form in which the Sanskrit tradition had been handed down. The scribes apparently were quite aware that there was a norm of Sanskrit spelling and attempted for the most part to follow it when copying a Sanskrit text. But even the best of them are liable on occasion to introduce Newari spellings, and most Nepalese Sanskrit manuscripts show a fair number. In the light of these considerations, it appears that a number of manuscript spellings quoted in Edgerton's Grammar are not in any way evidence for the forms of the original texts. Thus, for example, he says (1.32), ' The BHS occurrences of 1 for r are balanced by a substantial number of r for I,' and in 2.49 he gives a list of both changes : ankula, kala (for kara), Kubela, vicilana, panjala, abhin-ira, kira (for kila), raghu, i-itara, sakara, etc. Since no doubts are expressed, and since these forms are allowed to appear in the Dictionary, it would seem that he accepted them as genuine. But since any initial or intervocalic r or 1 may be written on any given occasion as 1 or r respectively (less frequently in conjuncts, though even here it occurs from time to time), it is clear that spellings such as the above can give us no information at all. This is so even if at any given point all the available manuscripts agree. A typical example is provided by the bird-name karavinka/kalavinka. Both forms are entered in the Dictionary, and it is, of course, recognized that both denote the same bird, since they occur in identical stereotyped contexts. (Incidentally, it seems unlikely that the Indian cuckoo is meant, since kokila, the common name for the latter, occurs alongside kalavinka in lists of birdnames.) Under karavinka the note is added : ' In meaning = Pali karavT, -vika ; in form a blend of this with kalavinka, which in Skt. = sparrow '. But Pali also has kalavinka, and it seems most probable that we have here two dialectally different Middle Indian forms of the same word, kalavinka and karavzka (which may, of course, have subsequently been differentiated in meaning). In the Buddhist Sanskrit texts, however, the citations in the Dictionary present only karavinka twice from the Lalitavistara, and kalavinka thrice. I should, therefore, have no hesitation in attributing the variation simply to the scribes, and restoring kalavinka everywhere in Sanskrit. If, on the other hand, a form in -vTka were to turn up in a Buddhist Sanskrit text, then an editor might incline towards the spelling karavika, on the basis of the Pali evidence (whether his manuscripts had -1- or -r-) : though even here a doubt would still be possible, in view of the normal scribal indifference concerning both the vowel-length and the employment or omission of the anusv6ra. With regard to the sibilants, a doubt is indeed expressed (2.56) that ' corruptions in the tradition are very much to be suspected in this case '. But again, since virtually any s may be written as S, and vice versa, the list in 2.63 cannot tell us anything. Even the sporadic appearance of -it- for -st-, of which two



examples are quoted in 2.61, is not convincing, since the interchange also appears optionally in Newari spelling, for example asti and agti (Skt. asthi), both of which occur within a few lines of one another in the Newari version of the Pcipaparimocana. If therefore we accept the reading agtayga (see Dict. s.v.) for astayga in LV 390.8, it will be only because of the first of Edgerton's arguments, namely the play upon words with actam in the following line, though it may be felt that this is rather slender support for an isolated anomaly. (I should like to suggest here that the entry which follows in the Dictionary, AgtabhuginZ, the gotra of the nakeatra Revati, Divy. 641.11, may perhaps be emended to Artabhcigini. This emendation would imply the converse of the type of misspelling noted above in Vasirtha for Basi,stha, and would produce a well-attested gotra-name.) In the same way, the frequent aberrations of the superscript r make it most improbable that adhivattati (2.11) is really an example of assimilation. The form is quoted from one manuscript in a single passage (Mv. i.269.15), and because it coincides in spelling with the Pali form-quite accidentally, in my view-Edgerton (Dict. s.v.) suggests that it should be introduced into the text. But it seems unlikely that we have here an original reading which other manuscripts have independently Sanskritized ; whereas it is quite natural to suppose that the force of the r had resulted in a double consonant in an older copy, and that the ' optional' superscript had afterwards been omitted. Precisely analogous to this is a spelling of a personal name, Dharnmasiyha, which I have seen on an 18th century Nepalese bronze figure, where Dharnmais not to be directly connected with the Pali assimilation of -rm-, but is a comparatively recent orthographic variant for -rrnm-. In the same way, there is no reason to consider dullabha to result from an early assimilation of -rl- in durlabha: rather, it is merely an alternative spelling for durllabha. Such spellings may perhaps reflect Nepalese pronunciations, but they are not in themselves sufficient evidence for the original texts. The converse of this situation appears in the spelling marjjay, marjay, for Skt. majjan, in Mv. i.20.2. Senart retains in his text the form with -r-, but Edgerton here is rightly doubtful, remarking that if the form is to be kept, it is hyper-Skt. In view of the known propensities of the scribes in this matter, the -r- can be banished from the text without hesitation. A doubt likewise attaches to some of the forms in 2.34 ( jfor y, and y for j). A single occurrence each of jakrt for yakyt (LV 208.18, where in any case a v.1. ya- is reported), and Yarnbhaka for Jambhaka (Mv. ii.112.6) is hardly enough to justify their acceptance. The spelling an6rjay for anaryay (Nv. ii.79.3) is again typically Newari, and can hardly be accepted as valid on the basis of this single appearance. Forms such as tydhd, tyvidhay, rnyyati, are quoted as examples of ' hyperSanskrit ' formations, and the description may be accepted, provided that it is understood that the culprit is again in all probability the scribe. Similarly, a ' hyper-Sanskrit ' spelling such as trikcutto has very little claim on an editor,



and should doubtless be interpreted as trikhutto (Skt. -kytvaJ. For the scribal variants in this word, see Dict., s.v. krtva). I t seems to me that the normal confusion between e, ya, and ye makes it quite impossible to be certain whether the feminine oblique-case ending was -6ye or -6ya, or whether both were used by the authors of the texts. Edgerton (p. 63), taking the manuscript readings at their face value, remarks that their distribution among the several texts is peculiar ; -aye is almost restricted to the Mah&vastu where it is commoner than -6ya ; while the latter is common in the verses of other texts, though -6ye also occurs. But it is doubtful whether this really carries us beyond the spelling habits of the scribe of the archetype of our Alahtivastu manuscripts, which, as Senart recognized, must be of relatively recent date. The alternative in -6e is much rarer than the other two, presumably because the scribes were aware that this sort of hiatus should not occur in a Sanskritic text. On one occasion where it does occur, in the word imtie, Edgerton remarks that one manuscript has imtiya : but for a Nepalese scribe this is the same reading. There would certainly be no justification for accepting -6e into the text, in spite of the fact that it is the normal Prakrit form ; and the choice between -aye and -6ya can only be certain when the quantity of the final syllable is metrically determined. An interesting example where this alternation e:ya:ye may be applied to the interpretation of the text can be seen in SP. 209.5 (9.65). Here the Central Asian version has paraTpar6ya tatha anyamanyam ; but the Nepalese recension has paranjpar6 eva tathtinyarnanyarn, where paran~par6is interpreted as an instrumental. This is clearly intended to mend the metre, and to get - rid of the hiatus in tatha anya- ; but it would be strange if this were done only at the expense of introducing a new hiatus. I would suggest that e is here written for ye, and an editor of the Nepalese recension should, therefore, read paraypardy' eva. Closely linked to these orthographical questions are a few where the chief consideration is palzographical. The most striking of these is the acceptance by Edgerton of the forms ygiti, ytiti, ylla. Of ytiti (Dict.) he says, ' But for the repeated occurrence one might suspect a merely graphic corruption for Skt. jhat-iti (var. jhag-iti) ' ; and under ylla, ' Senart . . . was inclined to think the word a graphic error for jhalla, as was Burnouf ; but he kept the MSS. reading, which seems too common to emend.' Here I think we ought to be much bolder, and reject all these forms as monstrosities. The sequences yt-, y1- are, if I am not mistaken, strangers to the normal phonological patterns of Sanskrit ; and while this may be no fundamental objection for a quasi-onomatopoeia, it would still be an extraordinary coincidence if the Sanskrit pair jhatiti, jhagiti were matched by a Buddhist pair ytiti, ygiti, and still more surprising if jhalla, already provided with a partner in the jingle jhalla-malla-, should have a synonym (which also usurps its place in the compound with rnalla) distinguished from it in most Nepalese writing only by a single short stroke. The repeated occurrence of these forms, which has been relied upon to justify their reality,



means simply that jha- has repeatedly been misread as r-, either by scribes or by editors. (The spelling rigiti in the Mah6vyutpatti, if genuine, would show that scribes were quite capable of this misreading.) Equally suspect, I feel, are the 3rd plural optative and aorist forms in -itsu(b), -etsu(b), etc. These again are accepted as real by Edgerton, and indeed it would almost seem that he gives them preference whenever they appear in the manuscripts. Two alternative explanations are suggested (32.97, 98) : either -ensu(b) has become *-elztsu(b),and then, with ' denasalization ', -etsu($) ; or the singular in -et has engendered a plural -et-su, on the analogy of aorists in -i, -i-gu. The second of these explanations would mean that this form is in origin entirely distinct from those in -eysu(b), -ensu(b) ; but if this is so, we are none the less forced to admit that the scribes have so completely entangled it with them that it would be a hopeless task to recognize it now with certainty. The other explanation implies a historical development which is admittedly possible ; and indeed there is evidence that it did take place in one Prakrit dia1ect.l But it would be hazardous to connect the present situation directly with this. I t is true that the explanation permits -etsu(b) to remain historically linked with -ensu(b) ; but it does not explain the apparently haphazard alternation in the manuscripts. Further, if -ns- had really developed historically here to -ts-, it might seem probable that only the latter ought to have survived ; or, if forms of different ages are to be assumed as appearing in the same text, the intermediate form in -nts- or -rgts- might have been reasonably expected to occur also ; and so far as I am aware, it never does. The scatter of the forms in the manuscripts shows beyond any doubt that -ysu, -nsu, and -tsu are three ways of writing what to the scribe was the same form ; and there is no reason to doubt that they represent a single form for the authors of the texts also. If this be accepted, then it seems that an editor must make a choice between the -t- and the nasal. The choice between -rg- and -n- is a different, and less important question. But the fact that -rg- does occur, coupled with the evidence from other Middle I n l a n sources, decides absolutely in favour of the nasal. Thus, we shall also accept abhdrgsu rather than abhdtsu, comparing (as Edgerton does) the ASokan ahuysu ; and we shall emend tisitsu to tisirgsu (or tisirgsu), comparing the Pali tisirgsu. Edgerton, however, urges strongly that we must admit that the author of the Mahtivastu actually used the form in -etsu(b). ' As to -etsu(b) ', he writes (32.96). ' I cannot believe that the hundreds of occurrences in Mv are all manuscript corruptions, as Senart assumes. Why should copyists introduce secondarily such a monstrous-seeming form, in such a regular and constant way ? '
See. T. Burrow, The Language of the Kharogthi Documents from Chinese Turkestan, p. 19 (e.g., maytsa for miLysa) ; also the Prakrit Dhammapada, ed. H. W . Bailey, BSOAS., xi, mhich has satiana, satbara, ahitba for saysanna, saysdra, ahiysb respectively ; and also bhametbu (previously read by Senart bhamerjsu), mhich is strikingly like the forms under discussion here. The Pali version (Dhp. 371) has bhuvassu, which editors have emended to bhamassu, on the basis of the Prakrit passage. But the whole situation here appears still to await a satisfactory explanation.



This is a most dangerous argument, and while the task of editors would certainly be much easier if its implications could be accepted, it attributes to the scribes a degree of literal trustworthiness far beyond their deserts. I t is true that the manuscripts of a given text provide our primary evidence, but none the less they must always be read in conjunction with all the other information at our disposal, and in particular the knowledge derived from the rest of the literature, and the knowledge of scribal habits derived from manuscripts of other texts. Edgerton's argument, if rigidly applied, would in some texts force us, for example, to print nisphala for .izigphala, since the spelling with the dental -s- is, within my experience, almost universal in Nepalese manuscripts, though it is not mentioned by Edgerton in the grammar, and I do not remember having met it in an edition. The same reasoning would compel the adoption in other texts of jatma for janma, since some manuscripts know of no other writing of the word. In practice, editors restore nigphala and janma as readily as they differentiate b and v in their texts, although Nepalese (and many other northern) manuscripts distinguish them not a t all. And as for the form -nsub itself, it is possible to point to one instance where the stenlma codicum shows beyond doubt that a whole group of manuscripts have the spelling -tsub ' introduced secondarily ', namely Suvarqabhasottamasiitra, p. 241.6. Here the manuscripts ACF have abhistavitsub, while BDE read -stavinsub, and G shows -stavimu, which is clearly a miscopying of -stavi(q)su. This is one of the few texts where, thanks to the very careful edition by Nobel, the stemma is crystal clear. Denoting lost manuscripts by Greek letters, it is as follows :

If the readings quoted are viewed against this stemma, it is virtually certain that the archetypal reading was -nsu(b) or -qsu(b)-at all events, with the nasal-and that the alteration to -tsu$ was introduced secondarily somewhere in the neighbourhood of the point /3. Any other explanation would involve coincidences so improbable that they need not be considered. The explanation here of the ' regular and constant way ' in which -tsu($) is written in these forms may perhaps be sought more in graphic than in



linguistic considerations. In some forms of the Central Asian scripts, for example, the appearance of n and t is very similar ; and it may well be that a t some stage in the development of Nepalese writing there was a genuine coalescence in graphic forms of conjuncts such as -ts- and -ns-, -tm- and -nm-. If this is so, then it may be that, in the older Nepalese manuscripts at least, the shapes which from their appearance we transcribe as -ts-, -tm-, were actually intended by the scribes as -ns-, -nm-. Alternatively, the confusion may simply have started through straightforward misreading of archaic exemplars. However this may be, it is certain that some later scribes considered that they had two alternatives for their free choice. Where the second member of the conjunct is m (graphically close to s), this alternation has clearly been assisted by the normal sandhi of t before a following m. In a number of places I have seen phrases like tan me, with a tail added to the n in a second hand, thus producing tat me. I t would seem that a reader of the manuscript, either for his own reassurance or in teaching a pupil, has ' restored ' the basic grammatical form. From instances of this sort, some scribes may have even derived the feeling that the perverse writing looked more learned than the other, and for this reason introduced it elsewhere also. The following examples illustrating the confusion in both directions are taken from a single manuscript (K) of the : verse 64, jatmatya-loke (for yan Xubhatita-ratna-karaqda of Arya-i~ra martya-) ; 71, irzman sukha- (for irimat) ; 80, dnmd (for atma) ; 123, bh5tCt samCivEsayate (for bhztan, acc. plu.) ; 129, mathat satva- (for mathan, acc. plu.) ; 167, nEnmakymena (for niitmakrameqa) ; 174, anmanam (for atmanam) ; 194, syin kuryat (for sylt). The last example shows that the alternation of t and n is not confined to conjuncts with -s and -m, though most frequently found with these. Another manuscript of the same text has in verse 107 tan pratra- for tat pitra-. This work, I should add, is in good classical Sanskrit, and no editor could in any case dream of accepting into his text such forms as mathat or bhztlt as accusative plurals. In view of all this, and in spite of the frequency of -etsu(b)in the manuscripts of the Mahivastu, I should without hesitation follow Senart in rejecting these forms entirely. Likewise, vihatsyase (31.24) should be emended to vihansyase (or vihavpyase). Nepalesg manuscripts are decidedly poor witnesses for anusvfira and visarga. These are readily dropped or inserted in the wrong places, even in texts which are indisputably in real Sanskrit ; and it seems therefore that an accusative singular in -a for -av need not necessarily be original, unless justified by metre. The same doubt would be in order with regard to some of the apparent acc. pl. masc. forms in -as, etc., since out of eleven examples cited (8.93), seven are
If the writing is careful, they ought not to be confused. In the manuscript of the Kalpamimaqiitika (ed. with selected facsimiles by Luders, Kleinere Samkrit-Texte, ii), the distinction between tm and nm is perfectly clear, and an editor could hardly be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. This, however, does not mean that a scribe, who did not necessarily understand what he was writing, might not on occasion have slipped even in copying an exemplar as clear as this.


36 1

followed by c- or t-, and may equally well intend, for all the manuscripts can s The two dots, as used for the visa~ga,are fretell us, -%pi c- and - 6 ~ t-. quently employed in Newari manuscripts simply as a mark of punctuation, and this usage has occasionally found its way into Sanskrit manuscripts also. A distinction is sometimes made by writing the visarga as two small circles, or in the shape of a figure 8 ; but a confusion is possible, and editors should be on their guard. As an example, I may quote the apparent form Erabhyab, a-hich occurs thrice in the Cambridge manuscript of the Pcipaparimocana for the absolutive Crabhya. The other manuscripts, however, supply the normal form ; and although Edgerton's principle would incline us to accept Crabhyab (we should then doubtless explain it as a hyper-Sanskritism), I have little doubt that it arose simply from an earlier manuscript a-hich used the two dots with the force of a comma. Palzeographic considerations may also perhaps be called on to help to explain the strange form bhitatka, physician, about a-hich Edgerton is rightly doubtful (2.38). The form occurs thrice in the edition of the SP ; but elsewhere it appears as bhitagka, which is also the form reported from the Paris manuscript. Edgerton adds, ' One cannot help wondering where Kern and Nanjio got their reading bhitatka, allegedly found in all their MSS.'. I suspect the answer lies in the fact that in many hands g in the conjunct closely resembles t and that the manuscripts did in fact read bhitagka. If it be not too hazardous, I would tentatively suggest that this may in its turn have arisen from a misunderstanding of a reading h ~ where , the dot denoted not the nasal, but the doubling of the consonant, so that the correct reading would be bhitakka, formally identical with the Pali. This use of the dot to show a doubled consonant is familiar in Prakrit in South Indian manuscripts, but i t seems to have occurred sporadically in the North also. A good example appears in the DhvanyCloka, ad iii, 36, where the editions, with the northern as well as the southern manuscripts, read targsa, though tassa is clearly required. A word should be said here about the frequent use in the Grammar of the argument : ' so the majority of the MSS.'. This is a ghost which refuses to be laid, in spite of the efforts of generations of critics. Only if the manuscripts are related in descent in quite specific ways is a simple majority good evidence for the archetypal reading. An example to the contrary is provided by the Suvarq,abhCsottama-sutra,where the six manuscripts ABCDEF are all descended from an interpolated copy (see the stemma given above), and when they are united in opposition to G, which is independent and relatively free from interpolation, they are as often as not wrong. On the other hand, the agreement of G with any one of the interpolated group, even against the united testimony of all the five others, is very weighty indeed ; and in such a case the majority is almost certainly wrong. An example of this (unimportant in itself) may be seen on p. 52 of Nobel's edition, where F and G read imu, and all the others ima. Edgerton, on quoting the rare dual form imu from this passage (8.75), appears to cast doubt on it by adding the note : ' but the majority of MSS.



ima '. None the less, the agreement of these two manuscripts so much outweighs the remainder that there is an extremely strong presumption that the archetype read imu, which Nobel accordingly, quite properly, accepts into his text. It would, of course, be perfectly in order for an editor to go on from here, and argue that, for such and such reasons, the archetypal reading itself was corrupt ; and (as a purely hypothetical case) he might even find cause to believe that the correct reading was in fact ima. But if he did, the one argument he could ?tot use is that it occurs in ABCDE, which could only show it by several lucky scribal emendations. The twin ghost, the ' best manuscript ', appears equally frequently ; but it would be otiose at this date to reiterate Housman on this point, and I content myself with the single observation that in any given place the ' best ' manuscript may be wrong, and the critic must decide without reference to this label, which is, after all, only attached to the manuscript by other critics. In the foregoing paragraphs I have tried to demonstrate a number of points on wliich the uncorroborated evidence of Nepalese manuscripts is inconclusive. I do not, of course, mean to suggest that it is proved that all the examples quoted of non-Sanskritic forms are necessarily wrong. But whenever these forms can be shown to be capable of resulting from common Nepalese scribal practice, I feel that it would be foolhardy of an editor to attribute them to his text, unless they can be supported by evidence from sources other than Nepalese. As Edgerton rightly stresses, his principle is not to be applied mechanically, but the editor must use his judgment in every individual case. This being so, however, the principle itself may well seem to be superfluous. Now it is clear that for the bulk of the more Sanskritic part of the Buddhist writings, the prime criterion against which to measure Nepalese manuscripts must of necessity be classical Sanskrit itself. If in view,of Edgerton's work this statement appears reactionary, I should qualify it in the same manner as he : that the measure is not to be applied mechanically. But we must always have in the centre of our consideration the fact that the authors of a very large part of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts extant really did intend to write Sanskrit. An editor must not, of course, if he can help it, attribute to his author better Sanskrit than the latter wrote. But it is sometimes an equal danger to underestimate the author's Sanskrit ability. It must be freely admitted that in many cases there can, from the nature of the evidence, be no absolute certainty. The great value of Edgerton's work is that it now enables us to see at a glance those non-Sanskrit features which occur sufficiently frequently, over a sufficient range of texts, for us to believe that these features were accepted as part of the language by the Buddhist authors themselves. The exceptions are those outlined above, where constantly recurring features are much more probably to be laid at the door of the scribes. We should thus, for example, reject jatma and -etsub, because tm and nm, ts and ns, are so frequently confused in writing, even in word-junctures ; but on the other hand, I feel we ought to accept the form dhEtvEvaropaqa (for



dhitv-avaropaqa), though Edgerton rejects it : since the manuscripts in more than one text are unanimous for the long vowel,' and-the important pointthe interchange of a and 6 is sufficiently infrequent to make it unlikely that the manuscripts of different texts should have chanced upon the same mistake. In the absence of this sort of constancy of occurrence, isolated anomalies must always remain uncertain. This is not to say that they are necessarily heydpeva are not logically impossible. But if a simple graphical wrong-;rat explanation can derive a given rarity from a normal form, an editor must give this fact due weight. Thus, while only two examples are quoted (4.26) of the elision of final -i, both from verses of the Lalitavistara, there seems to be no very strong reason for doubting them. But on the other hand a form such as y6durbhEmi, reported from only one place (p. 224 and 24.11) is immediately suspect, in spite of the antithesis with anturdhami, since it could so easily be a scribal misreading for -bhomi or a scribal omission of the single sign a in -bhav6mi. Of other isolated forms, bhihi, which is quoted only twice from the Mahivastu, seeins in itself to be a not impossible popular formation (though Edgerton's explanation of it in 30.10 as an aorist injunctive is complicated and improbable : if real, it could hardly have been felt as anything other than an imperative). But since elsewhere in the same text, and also in the Lalitavistara we find bhahi, and since the indicative bhii is known in Prakrit, an editor might well consider the possibility that bhShi is merely a misreading for blzahi by the scribe of the archetype. Still less credible is uvacat (33.10) which is quoted only once, from MahEvastu iii.337.13. Edgerton notes that a variant uvEca is also recorded here; but he apparently accepts the weird reading and adds, ' the aor. avocat no doubt helped to create the form '. I should be most reluctant to accuse any ancient Indian author of this, and the monstrum horrendum informe is without doubt the product of mere scribal corruption. Senart prints it in his text, saying in his note that he had decided not to suppress this hybrid form, but adding that it was in all probability a mistake. But there is no chance at all of its being correct. Direct speech is very frequently indeed introduced in the Mahivastu by the words e t d avocat, and only slightly less often by etad uvEca. I t seems almost certain that the text here originally had etad avocat, and that at some stage in the descent a scribe, copying mechanically, misread the o and wrote etad avacat. A corrector then, overlooking the final t, and thinking that uvEca was meant, wrote in a u under the -d. he resulting form has then been copied mechanically by some of our manuscripts, while others have made the obvious scribal correction to uvEca. By far the most valuable supplement to the Nepalese information is provided
To Edgerton's references from the Kdragia-uytiha, Dict. s.v. auaropaqa, can now be added DudviyBaty-av&na, x. Note, however, that in the SubhiLtita-ratna-karaqia around which the Dud. is built, the separate manuscripts have in the colophon here dhiLtvdropaga-, and the text has only the phrases dhiLtur dropyate, dhiLtoj sarmiropaga-, dhiLtum ciropya. We may then say that for Buddhist kcivya in correct Sanskrit the form ciropaga only seems to be used, and that the auadcina form with dua- results from a contamination of the other with ava-.



by the manuscripts of Buddhist texts found in Central Asia. Indeed, it was largely due to them that scholars first started seriously to investigate Buddhist Sanskrit as such. I t was on the basis of fragments of a Central Asian version of the Saddharrna-puqdarika, differing in numerous details from the known Nepalese recension, that Luders suggested that many of the Sanskrit Buddhist texts started off their career in a much more Prakritic form, and that they had subsequently been gradually Sanskritized by generations of scribes, in differing ways in different scribal traditions. Edgerton's principle of preferring the less Sanskrit reading was enunciated by Luders with reference to such texts ; though from this point of view it ought to apply only to the choice between the readings of the two recensions, andnot simpliciter to the variants in the Nepalese manuscripts among themselves. And on many of the points of orthography which are apt to vex an editor, the Central Asian manuscripts, where they present a correct Sanskrit form in opposition to a Nepalese spelling, undoubtedly justify the former ; and it would be a mistake, I feel, to hold that in these matters also the Sanskrit form in general is a ' correction '. I t is a great misfortune for Buddhist philology that so little of the vast literature translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan and Chinese has survived in the original language ; and although the considerable fragments which have been recovered from Central Asia in the last half-century do provide us already with a very good sample of manuscripts much earlier than the Nepalese, each additional text which comes to light may furnish collateral evidence of great value for the editor who has to work from Nepalese sources. The volumes so far published of the texts from Gilgit already show much interesting material, though unfortunately they reached Edgerton too late to enable him to utilize them to the full. I t is to be hoped that in due course photographic facsimiles of these manuscripts will be published, or, if this be too expensive, that at least microfilm copies might be supplied to the principal libraries, so that their evidence might be exploited to the best advantage. Meanwhile Professor Ernst Waldschmidt continues the invaluable work begun by Liiders of editing the Buddhist Sanskrit fragments from Turfan ; and I take the opportunity here of noting a few points relevant to our present purpose from two of the most recent of these publications, the Mah6parinirvaqasctra (MPS) and the Mah&vad&na-siitra (MAS).l The most important general observation is that these canonical texts seem to show distinctly less Prakritic tendencies than, for example, the contemporary fragments of the Saddharmapuqdarika. I t is true that Prakritic forms do occur, for example, devanukarnpitappotalj (for -purupzlj) &IPS,p. 13 ; vipakyisya &lAS,pp. 15, 23 (Waldschmidt wrongly emends to vipakyinas on p. 15) ; janetrs (forjanayitri), ibid., pp. 21,33. These however are virtually confined to the verses (though janetr5 on p. 21, 25, line 3, may perhaps be in prose) ; and metre occasionally indicates a Prakritic pronunciation, e.g. MAS, pp. 29, 30, bhavati, several times scanned as two syllables ; MPS, p. 13, bhavati, two syllables, kalpayati, three syllables :
See also below, p. 421.



though in the same verses pcjayati and bhojayitva must each have their full four syllables. This last circumstance might perhaps indicate that verses of this sort are not the result of a simple transposition of a Middle Indian original into Sanskrit spelling. And in spite of the non-Sanskritic features the verses of these texts are in general almost as Sanskritic as the prose. Although an occasional metrical shortening may occur, e.g. MAS, p. 17, mEtE mahivu7ya prabhikarasya (note also that pr- does not make position: Waldschmidt wrongly emends to mahmayC), none the less, the most striking of the features of the hybrid glthas of the Lalitacistara are absent, and it seems hardly likely that we have here a Sanskritization of an earlier form in hybrid Sanskrit. Now it is clear that the existence of these texts in relatively correct Sanskrit already as early as the sixth century A.D. (in some cases even earlier) carries considerable weight ; and if our Nepalese manuscripts in opposition to them show in a given place a non-Sanskritic form, then it seems that, other things being equal, there is a prima facie case for considering the latter to be a corruption. To take a single example, the occurrence of the spelling Gydhrakcte in &IPS,p. 7, will justify the restoration of this form in the majority of the texts, even although the Nepalese manuscripts in most cases favour the (apparently) semi-Prakritic form GyddhakQte. I do not of course mean to suggest that the Central Asian manuscripts are in themselves always better than the Nepalese. Indeed, they are frequently careless in detail, and sometimes perverse in a manner comparable to the Nepalese writing of -tsub for -nsub. For example, we find a scribe whose script clearly distinguishes b and v writing forms such as vuddha and vodhisatva,l and ~ while another writes sarvba, p i i r ~ b a , ~ a third ~ a t b a . Similarly we find occasional confusion of i and 2, though not so frequently as in Nepalese manuscripts, e.g. nyaiidat, sukhaiii (for -EL), eva~gvidha.~Visarga is frequently dropped, particularly, it would seem, at the end of verses ; but as it also frequently appears in the correct places, its omission is in all probability due for the most part to scribal carelessness. In one instance at least, drakiyata for -tab, 3rd person dual, the omission could not be attributed to a Prakritic original. In spelling conventions, we already find at this early date the typical -8rp for i n , and ns for ~ g ; s and also 9s' for 799, e.g. viyiati, trivs'at, MAS, pp. 14, 15, together with the normal spelling with ~ g .Of interest also is yanv aharp, MAS, p. 22 (for yan nv ahaTg), which is very common in Nepalese manuscripts and is adopted by some editors, though Edgerton does not mention it. Although it is doubtless as vulgar as the spelling ' alright ' in English, its occurrence as early as this clearly gives it as much right to be considered by editors as the comparable simplifications in satca, etc., which are likewise common both here and in Nepalese sources. On the other hand, the Central Asian manuscripts do not seem to show the typical Nepalese weakness in the confusion of r and I ; and if in individual

Kleinere Sanskrit-Tezte ii, pp. 203, 207, 208. Hoernle, -Manuscript Remains, pp. 133 f. MAS, pp. 13,27,39.

ibid., pp. 29,30. MAS, p. 35.



words they should disagree with classical Sanskrit in these letters it is probable that their evidence should be accepted. Thus sakara, depending only on Nepalese sources, should be rejected (Edgerton, Dict. s.v., gives only one reference ; but in Newari manuscripts this spelling is almost as common as sakala) ; vichlana remains doubtful, in spite of the Ardha-MCgadhi form viyalaqa, since the spelling could equally well have arisen in Nepal ; but samprad6layati can safely be accepted, since, in addition to the Pali sampaddeti, we can cite in its favour samprad6lya from a Central Asian manuscript, against the standard Sanskrit pradtirayati. Similarly, the Middle Indian liikha, liiha (Skt. riikta) has its initial justified by the occurrence of liiha- in MPS, p. 93. A spelling of great interest appears in the word c a ~ p a k a and the related townname caqpE, MPS, pp. 31, 33, 57. This is most striking and not at all the sort of thing which one would expect to arise simply from textual corruption ; and it is therefore surprising that Waldschmidt emends both, without comment, to the standard Sanskrit ca~npaka, campa. I t should be noted that not only do both manuscripts which preserve the passage show caqpaka here, but that the manuscript of the Kalpana-maqditika (early 4th century A.D.) also has the same spelling.1 On the latter passage Liiders commented that he believed that we might recognize this to be the earlier form, which later by assimilation became campaka. There seems to be no room for doubt here. Burrow has pointed out that the Tamil form of the word is caqpakam, ceqpakam ; and although Gonda has argued for an Austro-Asiatic origin, these Buddhist occurrences of the Tamil-like spehng seem to establish with certainty that, whatever the ultimate derivation, it was a Dravidian language which was the immedate source from which the Sanskrit word was borrowed. Thus the Central Asian manuscripts, fragmentary though many of them are, provide a most valuable supplement to our knowledge of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts, not only in the new material which they have brought to light, but also by helping us to assess more justly the worth of the Nepalese tradition ; and this assistance is no less welcome to an editor where they support the latter, as in fact they do to a considerable degree. I t is true that in a text like the Saddhrma-puq4ar;iX.a the Nepalese recension is convicted of having to some extent corrected non-Sanskrit forms; and the same tale is told of the SuvarqabhGsottarna-siitra by the fortunate chance of the survival of the old palm-leaf manuscript G. But this is only part of the picture. It is equally important that the canonical fragments show us a t this early date a language which is virtually the same as that presented by the Nepalese manuscripts of, for example, the PrajnEpGramitEs, or the great Avadana collections. I t would therefore be over-hasty, I feel, to conclude that the whole range of the old Buddhist Sanskrit texts has been equally subjected to a continuing process of Sanskritization. We have, indeed, direct evidence to the contrary in the

Ed. H . Liiders, Kbinere Sanskrit-Texte, ii, p. 139. Transactions of the Philological Society, 1946, p. 17. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-, e n Volkenkunde, 105,1, pp. 137 ff.

ibid., p. 39.



preservation of the MahEvastu itself; since any scribal corrector who knew enough Sanskrit to feel that the language of the-Mahavastti required improvement would surely have been able to produce a better ' corrected ' version than that which has i n fact come down to us. Also, as is well known, the distance of the language of this text from Sanskrit varies considerably from one place to another, and there is no good reason why a scribal editor should not have produced a more uniform result. The simplest explanation would certainly seem to be that these differences represent the styles of different authors, possibly of different ages, but that in essentials they have been transmitted in the form in which they were left by the original compilers who built up the illahavastu largely out of inherited materials. Similarly, in the case of the Sanskrit canon, it is obvious from comparing the Pali version that it is very largely constructed out of older material in some Prakrit dialect ; but there seems to be no reason for assuming that it is anything other than a quite definite translation into Sanskrit, done at a specific period, when the Sarvastiviidins decided to adopt Sanskrit as their official language. In direct opposition to this view Edgerton writes in the preface to his Reader : ' All BHS texts, even the Mahavastu, have been subjected to a good deal of Sanskritization, some of it very likely going back to the original composition of the work, but much of it, in the case of most if not all BHS works, introduced by copyists and redactors in the course of the tradition '. I t is impossible to deny that this is true of some texts ; but put in these terms it seems to me very much to overstate the case, and for much of the extant Buddhist Sanskrit, if not the major part, it would be nearer the truth to reverse . the statement, and say that some degree of additional Sanskritization has doubtless been carried out by scribes, but that a very great deal of the Sanskritic appearance is in all probability due to the original authors or compilers. I cannot believe that the texts as we now have them in the manuscripts would show such clearly defined distinctions of style if scribes or late redactors had tampered with them to the extent which Edgerton seems to envisage. o n the basis of the degree of approximation to Sanskrit ~ d ~ e r t b classifies n his material into three groups (Grammar, p. xxv), in which (1)both prose and verse are hybridized-principally the MahEvastu ; ( 2 ) the verses are hybridized, but the prose has relatively few signs of Middle Indian phonology or morphology, e.g. Saddharrna-pu~larika, Lalitavistara, etc. ; (3) both prose and verse are substantially Sanskritized, e.g. DivyEvadEna, etc. Of the third group he says, ' Non-Sanskritic forms are not common ; the vocabulary is the clearest evidence that they belong to the BHS tradition '. This seems quite satisfactory ; but throughout most of the work the term Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit seems to be directly applied to the language not only of group 1 and the verse of group 2 , but equally to the prose of group 2 and to group 3. This is a very different matter from saying that the latter are ' in the tradition ' of BHS. I t is true that they share many features with the hybrid texts, particularly in vocabulary and





syntax. But in spite of this, the language in the typical prose style of the canonical works and the Avadinas is much further removed from the more Prakritic portions of the Mahiivastu (see, for example, the passage quoted below) than it is from Classical Sanskrit. And if it is misleading to call the Avadtina-style simply Sanskrit, it seems to me all the more misleading to group it with the Githa-language as Hybrid Sanskrit. No one would deny that the Avadiina-style has its own idiosyncrasies which mark it off from anything Brahmanical. But to call it ' hybrid ' for this reason seems as little justified as it would be to call a medieval Hindu commentary ' Brahmanical Hybrid Sanskrit ', merely on the score that a few Dravidian words or echoes of Dravidian syntax might be traced in it. I t would surely be better to retain the older use of the term, and confine the description Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit to those texts or portions of texts which are, in fact, hybridized in grammar ; and to distinguish the other texts simply as ' Buddhist Sanskrit '. Edgerton has stressed particularly the unity of tradition running throughout the texts, and it is indeed important that this should be clearly understood. But it is equally important, particularly for an editor, to realize also the clear differences between one Buddhist style and another. From one point of view the history of Buddhist Sanskrit might almost be said to be a study of the fluctuations of the degree of badness of the Sanskrit ; but it is not all bad in the same way, nor for the same reasons. The main outlines of the story appear to be as follows. The earliest Buddhist Sanskrit authors (or compilers) had inherited a considerable literature of canonical and semi-canonical texts which, we may suppose, had been handed down chiefly by oral tradition. I t has sometimes been said that this ' protocanonical ' material must have been in some Prakrit dialect, and that the Sanskrit and Pali versions of the canon represent two different translations of the early canon with, of course, certain modifications of the actual matter according to school. But there seems to be no compelling reason for postulating a single Prakrit dialect as the ' original ' language ; and it seems much more likely that the texts were handed down in diverging ways in different communities. If this is so, then the Pali might - be held to be a local crystallization of a relatively fluid tradition, rather than a translation as we would normally understand the term. The Sanskrit version, however, is rather a different matter. The rendering of the traditional material into Sanskrit would demand a much more positive intention. So far as concerns the Sarv5stiv5din canon a t least, there is no room to doubt that the authors fully intended to write Sanskrit, and they would have been surprised at the suggestion that they were writing in a language essentially Prakritic in nature, since their whole effort was to present their doctrine in the language of learning and prestige. The same desire must surely underly Sanskritizing in the other texts also ; and if the result in some places would have evoked the Brahman's derision, the authors themselves were doubtless satisfied that they had achieved something. The fact that they fell short of the classical standard in



varying degrees may on occasion be attributed to a simple inability to write correct Sanskrit, since not all the monks had had the benefit of a Brahmanical education. But it is significant that the early Sanskrit Buddhist philosophical and literary works-in effect, the non-canonical writings which are ascribed to individual authors-are almost entirely in classical Sanskrit ; and it is therefore likely that the chief reason for imperfect Sanskrit in the early days was the resistance of the material itself. This resistance has often been attributed largely to the exigencies of the metre ; but probably a much more important factor was the hieratic character of the texts, which the Sanskritizers would be concerned to alter as little as possible. I t is understandable that the verses would in this way be more resistant than the prose ; and that in the prose itself word-order, syntax, and vocabulary would more readily persist than phonology and morphology. I t is important to observe, however, that Middle Indian words and turns of phrase, when retained in a Sanskritized version of older material, would naturally tend to be accepted by later writers as legitimate for use also in original compositions ; and where no parallel in Pali has survived it is usually impossible to say whether a given verse was actually composed in Hybrid Sanskrit or was transposed from a genuine Prakrit original. Within the hybrid texts a number of fairly distinct styles can be discerned. I quote here specimens of two extreme and quite different varieties. (a) tena ca yiithapatinii ye anye Bqapiyanti te pi na icchanti gantuq, nasmiikam osaro, amukiiye mrgiye osaro, sB gacchatii ti. sii ahaq tehi na mucyiimi osariito, vucyiimi gacchiihi tava osaro ti, tad icchiimi mrgariijena ato anyaq mrgaq visarjamiinaq, y a q velaq ahaq prasiitii bhavigyami tat0 gamigyiimi. so mrgarBjB mrgim a h a : tiiva mii bhiiyiihi, anyaq visarjayigyaq. tena mrgariijena iiqapako mrgo iiqatto, ito yiithiito yasya mrgasya osaro t a q iiqapehi, etaye mrgiye may%abhayaq dinnaq. (iWahnvustu, i. 36%3 ; Edgerton's Reader, p. 3.) (b) ye jina piirvaka ye ca bhavanti ye ca dhriyanti dadadidi loke tepa jiniina karomi praqiiman] te jina sari-a ahaq prastavipye (Xuvur?~ubh~sottu~~a-sutra, ed. Nobel, p. 45.)

The first of these is hardly to be called Sanskrit a t all. Apart from a thin veneer of Sanskrit spelling, it is typically Prakrit, not only in many of its word-forms and inflexions, but also in the stiff, awkward style characteristic of a good deal of Prakrit prose. Indeed, we may reasonably surmise that it is passages of this sort which underly the persistent tradition that the Xahiisiinghikas used Prakrit, in contrast to the Sarviistiviidins who employed Sanskrit.l The second example is typical of stotra-verses in the dodhuka-metre, and contrasts sharply with the first in the feeling of ease and flow in its language. This admittedly
For a full discussion of this matter, see Lin Li-kouang, L'aide-mimoire de la craie loi, 1949, pp. 176 ff.



may be due largely to the metre itself. But whereas the former passage is beyond doubt composed in Prakrit, a great deal of the stotras and similar verses in stronglyrhythmic metres may well have been composed in what to the authors was essentially Sanskrit, with the admission (by ' poetic licence ') of certain well-defined abnormalities. The less Prakritic portions of the iMahEvastu gradually tend towards the style found commonly in the old prose Avadanas and the canonical works generally, of which the following is a typical specimen :(c) tena khalu samayena gandhamadane parvate raudrikgo nama brahmaqag prativasati sma, indrajalavidhijnag. airaugid raudrikgo brihmaqo bhadraiillyiq rijadhanyaq candraprabho nama r i j i sarvaqdado 'smity atmanan) pratijanite. yan nv ahaq gatva iiro yaceyam iti. tasyaitad abhavat : yadi tavat sarvaqdado bhavigyati, mama diro dasyaty, api t u dugkaram etad asthanam anavakiiio yad evam igtaq kantaq priyaq manipam uttamingaq parityakgyati yad uta iirgaq, nedaq sthiinan) vidyata iti viditvi gandhamadanat parvatad avatirqag. (DivyEvdZna, p. 320.) This style might almost be called Buddhist Sanskrit par excellence. I t is in general tolerably correct in grammar, though it shows the Prakritic part of its ancestry in some frequently recurring turns of phrase, and a fair sprinkling of Middle Indian vocabulary. A further development in the same direction, coupled no doubt with the benign influence of good poets such as Aivaghoga, led in some places to the use of an ornate Sanskrit which, apart from its subject-matter, shows very few distinctively Buddhist features. A good example of this, which might be called the semi-klvya style, can be seen in the first version of the story of the tigress in chapter xviii of the SuvarqabhEsottama-sBtra, which commences :-. (d) divi bhuvi ca visytavimalavipulavividhagurlagatakiraqo'pratihatajninadardanabalapadkramo bhagavan bhikgusahasraparivytab pancalegu janapadegu janapadacirikaq caramaqo 'nyatamavanakhaq4am anupripto babhiiva. sa tatra dadaria haritamydunilaildvalatatavividhakusumapratimaqditaq pythivipradedaq, dygtvi ca bhagavin Byupmantam anandam amantrayate sma : dobhano 'yam inanda pythivipradedab. (Suvarqabhcisottama-s4tm, p. 202.)

It must, of course, be recognized that here, as elsewhere, various gradations of style may be found. Thus, chapter xxii of the DivycivadEna (from which example c above is taken) presents passages of ornate semi-kivya prose mingled with, and merging into, typical Avadina-prose ; while most of the last chapter of the same work (the story of Maitrakanyaka) might not unfairly be describedif we discount the mediocre ability of the poet-as real Sanskrit klvya. In the medieval period a great deal of the distinctively Prakritic inheritance tends to fade. Most of these later texts are as yet imperfectly explored, and I can give here only a few tentative hints concerning their language. Except for the



Manjuiri-mda-kalpa, they lie outside the scope of Edgerton's grammar ; and of the language of this text he remarks that it seems ' bizarre, even for BHS ' (10. 4). There is no doubt that the text as it appears in the edition is corrupt in many places ; but much of it is reasonably typical of what might be called the didactic style. This style is frequent in tantric works, though not confined to them, and in its more extreme forms it may give the impression that the authors were only semi-literate. The following specimens illustrate a number of the commoner varieties of grammatical and metrical divergences from classical Sanskrit. (e) tathaiva piijayet sarvailj samiidhitrayabhavanailj ialidhanyaq ca Fat prasthaq Fagti dipaq prajviilayet. tathaiva karayet piijiiq jiigareqa vini~kramaq grahamiitykii(q) samabhyarcya yathoktaq grahasadhane. daiame dviidaie vlhnau dviiviqiati dinegu va niimakaraqaq prakartavyaq varqiinaq ca viiegatalj. (Piipaparimocana, 17-19.) priitar utthiiya iayaniit snatvii caiva iuce jale (f) nibpraqake jale caiva sarinmahiisarodbhave udghygya gatraq mantrajno mydgomayaciirqitailj mantrapWaq tat0 krtva jalaq caukpaq sunirmalam sniiyita japi yuktiitmii niitikalaq vilanghaye.

... . . ..
sugandhapugpais tatha iastu arghaq dattvii tu japinalj praqamya iirasa buddhanaq tad5 tu iigyasambhavaq. (Manjuirz-mcla-kalpa, pp. 97-8.) A very common feature of this style, which naturally has no literary pretensions, is the frequent occurrence of ellipsis and anacoluthon, though these do not normally obscure the sense. Rather different from these, and in general closer to classical Sanskrit, is the language of the medieval verse Avadanas. I n its better portions, in fact, it is hardly to be distinguished from normal medieval narrative ilokas ; but in its less good parts, occasional blunders appear which are not likely to be found in Brahmanical works. The author of the following passage clearly demonstrates by his verse-fillers and his jejune and awkward short sentences the difficulty he experienced in composing in Sanskrit. ( g ) dadaria bhiipatir jirqa-praqaliq margake 'tha salj : praviihitaq na piiniyaq, tad-darianena vahitaq. ' prak na praviihitaq, kena idaniq t u praviihitam ? ' aicaryeti sthite bhiipa, iikiiiiid enam iiciviin : ' puqyavaqs t v a q mahiiriija, tvat-prabhiiviit pravahitam. bhagnabhiita praqiiliyaq, niinam abhyantare jalam.3 tvaq tu dharmatanur, evaq jlnihi kila bhiipate '. (DvEviyiaty-avadEna, vi.) Ed. sanirmalam. i.e. ' (a voice) spoke to him from the sky '. MSS. abhyantare yatab.



A still more striking lack of ability to control the language is found in a later chapter of the same work (though presumably by a different author), where the benefits of offering various kinds of flowers to the Buddha is described :(h) brahmahatyii-iataq pipaq iatajanma-krtini vai rohaqaq mighya-pugpiiqiq iamayati na saqiayab. kokilik~aq prarohante janaviin dhanavin bhavet vidyiivatiiq kule jiitab sarvalokaib prapfijyate. rohaqiic campakaq pugpaq nari ye iraddhayi kila kirtiiabdai ca lokegu sarva-sampada labhyate. (DvEviqSaty-avadlna, xv.) Here again the sense is quite clear, alid the individual words for the most part appear to be Sanskrit ; but they would defy any attempt at syntactical analysis in orthodox terms. The h a 1 decrepitude of Buddhist Sanskrit is reached in a text like the Aivaghoga-nandimukhEvad~na.I have consulted four manuscripts of this work, and I find it impossible to follow even the thread of the story without constant assistance from the Newari translation. Xaking every allowance for scribal corruption, which is probably considerable, it would still appear that the author wrote in a style reminiscent of a schoolboy's Latin prose composition. The text of the following short extract is reasonably certain, apart from the obelized word. (The Newari version has for this ' looked around ', so that some form of saqlak~ayati is needed.)

(i) nandimukho aivaghogo devim iijnii iirasi nidhiya matya-maqdalaq gatau, gatvi ca tat0 matya-maqdalaq carituq t saqrak~aritramatyamaqdale. niinivicitropakiiranaq dptii l abhiita jitau. aho matyamaqdale ramaqiyaq, kathanj caritavyaq jniitavyaq. caqdikii-sthiine sthitvii vicitraq stri-riipaq dhirayimi. gitaq karoti cintya, surabhimanojna-gho~aqsiikgmeqa gitaq karoti sma.
The foregoing account of Buddhist Sanskrit styles is necessarily sketchy, and makes no claim to be either final or exhaustive ; and it must be recognized that any classification of the material in this way is a mere convenience, a framework which we construct, within which we can organize our thinking on the subject. Further study of the texts will make possible a more detailed account. But it is most important that anyone who undertakes to edit a Buddhist Sanskrit text should be aware that there are such different styles, and that features which are regular and common in one may be quite unknown in another. A good deal of mischief can be done by an editor who is not sufficiently conscious of these differences, the most likely pitfall being the introduction of typical ' hybrid ' forms by way of emendation into passages which are either in
i.e. dl@tvB. i.e. adbhuta ' astonished

'. One manuscript has, in fact, atbhata.



real Sanskrit or in semi-kiivya style. An example of this may be seen in the Suvarqabhiisottama-stltra, p. 210, where Eobel prints :krpslkaruqasamudgatiiryasattvii divi bhuvi ceha ca labhyante svadehaq : Qataiaiha karonti nirvikiiraq muditamansllj parajivitiirtham.

Here labhyante, karonti, and parajit~ithrtham are emendations of the editor, who is thus willing to attribute to the author the following lapses from grace : (1)labhyante, a passive verb used in an active sense ; (2) karonti ; (3) mzcditamanab, a singular adjective with the plural subject ; (4) an incomplete sentence (' for the sake of the lives of others they do . . . '-what ? Unless perchance liaronti was taken to be an intransitive verb ; or -artham thought to be its object, which is not only impossible in itself, but is contradicted by the Tibetan phyir upon which the emendation is based) ; and if, as seems most probable, the metre of the stanza is puspitigrz, metrical irregularities in (5) kypii- ; (6) labhyante ; and ( 7 ) the metre left two syllables short in parajTzlitzrtham. Xow tllis stanza comes in the middle of a section of the text in the semi-kiivya style, and was clearly intended by the author to be in good, correct Sanskrit. I t is true that, in order to accommodate some of the more elaborate metres, he allows hiinself an occasional licence, for example, p. 211 dhyhnzdibhi guqaifi (for -bl(ir), p. 215 bhratrqii (for bhratr6)-unless, indeed, more deep-seated corruption underlies some of these. But an accumulation of seven faults in a single stanza, without even good sense resulting, is quite incredible. The editor remarks in a footnote, ' Die \lTorte sind stark verderbt und unsicher ', and his emendations might almost seem designed to ensure that they doubly earn their obelus. The following readings (neglecting trifles) are presented by the manuscripts : krpalcaru@- G, krp6karu~a-P l ; karota G, karoti P ; parijiaites marair G (-s with virhma, and marair dislocated in the manuscript), parajivite darire P. It may be observed also that the Tibetan version confirms the plural -sattviifi (sems can dug), while rnuditamanab demands a singular in the second half of the verse. If then we may allow that the poet might have written lirpa- for krpii- for the sake of his metre, I would suggest the following for consideration :-

krpakaruqasamudgatiiryasattvii, divi bhuvi ceha ca labhyate svadeham : Qataiaiha karotu nirvikiiraq muditamaniib parajivitopakiiram.

' Koble beings are born of pity and compassion, and an om-n-body is obtained either in heaven or here on earth : (therefore) here on earth, with joyful mind, one should in a hundredfold ways unremittingly do that which is of service to the lives of others.' This, I think, does less violence than the edition to the

= the

consensus of the interpolated group of manuscripts.



manuscript tradition and to the language,' and it is metrically satisfactory ; and while no absolute certainty is claimed for it, it is a t least in keeping with the generally Sanskritic nature of the story as a whole. Equally with the editor, the interpreter and grammarian must guard against seeing hybrid forms in styles where they are prirna facie improbable. For 405, printed in the edition as :example, Divyavadci?~a Mauryab sabhrtyab sajanab sapaurab sulabdhaliibharthasuyaptayajna4) : yasyedrial~siidhujane prasiidab kale tathotsahi k r t a q ca danam. (We may note in passing that the second pada should be emended to sulabdhalcibhad ca suyastayajnab, and that in the third i d y b b should be corrected to idyie, since the nominative absurdly makes the king appear to be praising himself, whereas the whole context shows that it is the monks who are the objects of praise.) In the fourth piida, Edgerton (8. 60) understands utsahi to be a metrical shortening for utsahe, ' co-ordinate with kale '. This seems to me to be entirely ruled out, not only by the difficulty of construing the verse in this way, but also by the fact that the verses in this section are in kavya Sanskrit, with very few lapses. In the present verse yagta for the correct ista is much easier to accept than -i for -e. I suggest, therefore, that we should take utsahi-kytatg as a compound. The sense of the stanza would then be that the Maurya king (the speaker) really is a king, ' since his liberality is bestom-ed on such holy persons, and since the gift, made by one full of religious enthusiasm, has come so appropriately a t the right time '. These examples, together with the specimens of styles, will suffice to indicate the attitude which I believe editors ought to maintain towards their material. It is now no longer possible to ' correct ' indiscriminately the language of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts so as to bring it into as close agreement as possible with classical Sanskrit ; and to Edgerton, more than to any other
The translation given implies a ' hyper-sandhi ' in the first pcida, for - s a m u d g a ~ Bryasattocij. (This could be avoided if we understood the whole of the pcida as a compound in the vocative plural, ' 0 noble beings, born of pity, etc.' But such a vocative is out of keeping with the context, and would also imply that the second ca is merely a verse-filler.) The Tibetan translation urould seem to support the view that the ciryasattocij are not the subject of the second half of the verse, but are merely held up as a model. This a t least seems a possible interpretation of the two small additions to the word-for-word rendering : ' Considering that (seam ste) noble beings are produced, etc. : in like manner (hthun par) for the sake of the lives of others (I) shall show pity '. (The subject of course is indeterminate.) Corresponding to the conjectured karotu, upak&ram, the Tibetan has only brtse, v. 1. rtse, of which the former is taken by the Kalmuck version (eneriku, have pity, Altan Gerel, ed. E. Haenisch, p. 106.12), and the latter by the east Nongollan (I. J. Schmidt, Grammatik der ,Mongolischen Sprache, p. 166, erfreuen-though the normal sense of rtse in the dictionaries is ' play, sport ', Skt. krig-.) The Chinese versions given no ass~stance, since Dharmak~ema omits the verse entirely, and I Ching has in its place an entirely different passage (Taish6 Tripitaka, xvi, p. 354b, and p. 451b, c). I am grateful to my colleague Professor W. Simon for his assistance in comparing all these versions with the Sanskrit text. The other formal possibility, that idr8nj might be taken as agenitive with yasya, is an-kurard and a t best yields a tame sense, and seems to me most unlikely.



single scholar, is due the credit for this advance in our understanding. But it is all too easy, as these two examples shorn-, to fly to the other extreme, and work on the implicit assumption that ' anything is possible in Buddhist Sanskrit ' ; and an editor must try to adopt a madhyamii pratipad. The immediate task for the future is the closer delineation of the various forms and styles of the Buddhist writings in Sanskrit, and a detailed grammatical analysis of each type. Those who undertake this task will find in Edgerton's Grammar and Dictionary an invaluable guide to a very large part of the field, and an indispensable work of reference not likely soon to be superseded.