[Bibliotheca Buddhica X:] Saddharmapuṇḍarīka. Edited by H. Kern and Bunyiu Nanjio. With 1 plate. St.-Pétersbourg, 1908 (I), 1909 (II), 1909 (III), 1910 (IV), 1912 (V).
Nearly thirty years have passed since I made a complete
copy of the text of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, while I
was studying Sanskrit under the instruction of Professor Max
Müller at Oxford. The manuscript then used was in the possession
of the Royal Asiatic Society in London. It was a modern
MS., consisting of 174 leaves, each leaf being 17 inches by 3
inches, six lines in a page, as described in Cowell and Eggeling’s Catalogue, p. 7. At that time my friend Mr. Kenjiu Kasawara
was with me, who was in fact always a partaker of my
work. Accordingly as soon as my copy was completed, we went
to Cambridge, where we collated it with two MSS. of the University
Library of that place. After that I alone went to London,
where I did the same with a rather old palm-leaf MS. of the
British Museum. It was in July 1882, when Kasawara’s illness
became evident, and he determined to start from England for
Japan. Next year I met Mr. Watters in London, who was then
the British Consul at Formosa. He possessed a Nepalese MS. of
the same Sutra, and lent it me for collation. Beside these five
MSS., I also saw the lithographic text of the 4 th chapter, published
by Ph. Ed. Foucaux, and a wood-cut one of the 24 th
chapter in a collection of several texts, edited in China or Tibet.
The latter book was given to Mr. Wylie by a gentleman in Peking.
A specimen would be seen in the last page of the Anecdota
Oxoniensia, Aryan Series, Yol. 1, Part 1 [Another copy of it is to be found in the Library of the St. Petersburg
University cf. Minajev Introduction to his «Буддизмъ» vol. I, 2]. Though I knew well
that there were two MSS. in Paris, and one each in the Library
of the College of Fort William, and that of the Asiatic Society
of Bengal, yet I was unable to see them. A few years ago, Rev.
Ekai Kawaguchi brought with him MSS. of 43 different texts
from Nepal, one of which was that of this Sutra. I at once borrowed
it from him and collated my old copy with it. But after all,
all the MSS., I ever used, belonged to the same family of texts,
except the Chinese or Tibetan text of the 24 th chapter above
mentioned. From such sources I have carefully copied the whole
text for publication, adding various readings in foot-notes, and
sent it to Professor Kern. It is he, who has made the final judgment
for the most part of many obscure passages, adding different
readings of some fragments of MSS. from Kashgar.
Now I shall add a few words about the Chinese translations
and commentaries of this Sutra. First of all this Sutra is said to
have been rendered into Chinese six times, but three of these
translations were already lost in A. D. 730, when a Catalogue was
compiled by Ch’-shang (Chi-shō in Jap., № 1485 of my Catalogue
of the Chinese Tripiṭaka). The dates of these six versions are about
A. D. 255, 270, 286, 335, 400 and 601 respectively. Those of
A. D. 255, 270 and 335 are the lost ones. The remainiug there
arc Nos. 138, 134 and 139 of my Catalogue, being the versions
of Dharmarakṣa, Kumārajīva, and Jñānagupta and Dharmagupta
respectively. The details of these versions will be seen
in my Catalogue, col. 44—46. JV« 139 is the latest Chinese translation
and agrees for the most part with the Sanskrit text. Beside
these, two incomplete versions are mentioned in Ch’-shang’s Catalogue,
the dates being about A.D. 223 and 335, but they were
also lost already in 730.
As to the commentaries of this Sūtra, there are two versions
of a similar text, entitled the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra-çāstra,
compiled by the Bodhisattva Vasubandhu. In the Chinese title,
the word of upadeça is given in transliteration instead of g’astra.
One of them was translated by Bodhiruci (As 1232), and the
other by Batnamati (№ 1233), the dates being the same as
A. D. 508, or the latter being somewhat later. In China and Japan,
Kumārajīva’s version is most popular, and itis almost worshipped
by the followers of Tendai in both countries, and Nichiren in
the latter. They are used to repeat the seven characters Na-mu-myō-
hō-ren-ge-kyō, i. e. Namaḥ Saddharmapuṇḍarīkāya sūtrāya,
as their formula. So there are several works on the version,
among which the following are found in the sacred canon: Nos.
1542, 1543, 1547 (the author Heoni-sz’ (E-shi in Japanese)
died A.D. 577), 1510,1534,1536,1538,1540,1555,1557 (the
author Ch’-i (Chi-gai) d.597) 1511, 1535, 1537, 1539,1541,
1578 (the author Tsān-zhan (Tan-nen) d. 782), 1518, 1556,
1558 (the author Ch’-li (Chi-rai) about 1010) of my Catalogue.
According to a Catalogue of the Books of several Sects (Sho-shiu-shō-
sho-roku) compiled in Japan (A. D. 1790), there are 2 or 4
works of the Kegon sect, 60 of the Tendai, 15 of the Sanron, 38
of the Hosso, and 14 of the Shingon. Some of these works are
of course not only commentaries of older commentaries, but also
treatises and extracts. Among the 60 works of the Tendai sect,
Hokke-gi-sho (Commentary of the Saddharmapundarlka) is
mentioned. The name of the author is Umayado, better known
by his posthumous name Shī-toku-tai-shi, the Prince Imperial
of his aunt, the 36-th reigning Empress Sui-ko (A. D.
593 — 628). He wrote a commentary each on three Sutras,
namely, Çrīmālādevīsiṃhanada(№ 59),Vimalakīrttinirdeça
(As 146) and Saddharmapuṇḍarīka (№ 134), from A. D. 609
till 615. He composed his works in pure Chinese, so that even a
Chinese priest named Ming-khung (Myō-kū) of the Tang (Tō)
dynasty made a commentary on his first work. The Prince died
in his 49 th year (A. D. 622), and he was the first promulgator
of Buddhism and Confucianism in Japan.
So far for the Chinese translations and commentaries. Now
in conclusion, I wish to express my grateful feelings for the possessors
of the MSS. already alluded to, who have so freely allowed
me that I could have used them for some time, and equally for
my partaker Professor Kern, through whose perseverance only
this text has been published for the first time. Moreover I do not
wish to omit to thank for the editor, whose agreement has very
much encouraged me to forward my own copy for the press.
Tokyo, 30th June 1910
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