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WMO 2(9), 2008 Print E-mail



of the orient




Journal based in 2004

Issued twice a year


Table of Contents as a *.PDF file


Vasubandhu. Abhidharmakośa. Samadhi-nirdeşa. Russian Translation from Sanskrit, Commentary and Introductory Article on the Revival of the Russian Imperial Academy's Project on the Studies of Abhidharmakośa in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts by Ye.P. Ostrovskaya and V.I. Rudoy - 5


The introductory article to the Russian translation of the Abhidharmakośa by Vasubandhu deals with the history of the studies of this text. An international research project of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences was started in 1917 by Academician F. I. Scherbatskoy, who suggested publication of the text and translations of its Tibetan, two Chinese versions and the Sanskrit commentary of Yashomitra. The present article analyzes the results of the Sanskrit original Abhidharmakośa studies, which were resumed at the end of 1960s at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (former Saint-Petersburg Branch of Institute of Oriental Studies).

Val.V. Polosin. Gigantic “Baysunghur's Qur'an” in View of the New Data and Assumptions - 34


This study takes up once more the question of the origin of the magnificent Qur'an manuscript attributed sometimes to 'Umar al-'Akta' who might have penned it for the well-known conqueror Timur (ruled 1370-1405), and sometimes to Baysunghur (1397-1433), Timur's grandson. The metro-logical analysis of a sheet from this manuscript, kept in Washington and published in Sheila S. Blair's book The Islamic Calligraphy (Edinburgh, 2006), shows that it was not produced in Central Asia where there was residence of Timur but, probably, in the Persian Azerbaijan. Some other features of this sheet allow of the assumption that the survived isolated sheets of this gigantic Qur'an known only in a small amount, are not what was left of a full copy of the Qur'an, but only represent selected texts of the Qur'an that were written in a large calligraphic script for the subsequent transfer of these texts to a firm material and then for accommodating them in interiors of a mosque.

M.V. Orelskaya. The Description of rasa in Sańgītaratnākara by Śārńgadeva. Translation and Commentary - 52
This is the first ever Russian translation of the Sańgītaratnākara by the famous Indian aesthete Śārńgadeva (13th century A.D.). This Sanskrit treatise is considered to be one of the most significant works on musicology and dance theory. The translated passage is extracted from the seventh Chapter of the work, the Nartanādhyāya, and deals with the Rasa theory. While following traditions established in the oldest extant work on drama and theatre, the Nātyaśāstra ascribed to the sage Bharata (200 B.C.— 200 A.D.), Śārńgadeva also reflects upon some later and contemporary theoretical schools and tries to discuss their misconceptions.
Each of the nine Rasas is systematized and described in full detail, the appropriate examples illustrate the most difficult and contradictory statements made by previous authorities and the author himself. All the necessary Rasa aspects and attributes are being defined and analyzed in accordance with the canonical rules laid down by the ancient classical tradition.

The Chronicle of the King of Kings of Ethiopia Theodore II, Written by Aleqa Wolde Mariam. Translation and Commentary by Maxim Zabolotskikh - 67
The chronicle of the king of kings of Ethiopia Theodore II, written by aleqa Wolde Mariam, is one of the three chronicles dedicated to this ruler. It was written 13 years after the death of Theodore, thus it is advantageously more impartial than the other two, which were created during the lifetime of the king. Wolde Mariam depicts the reign of Theodore vividly and at the same time historically true, which makes this chronicle a valuable source on the history of Ethiopia. Translation is as adequate and close to the original as possible, in order to give the reader an opportunity to feel the manner of the chronicler.


Т.О. Batyrkaev. Qur'anic Exegesis of the Volga and Ural Regions' Muslims (Between the End of the 18th and the Beginning of the 20th Centuries) - 104
Recently the writings of Muslim theologies from Volga and Ural region such as 'Abd ar-Rahim al-Bulgari Utyz-lmani (1754-1834), 'Abd an-Nasr al-Kursavi (1776-1812), Shihab ad-din al-Mardjani (1818-1889), 'Alim-jan Barudi Galeev (1857-1921), Musa Bigiev (1875-1949), Ziia ad-din Kamali (1873-1942) and others arouse big interest.
Their polemics and interaction determined the main content of three important periods of the Russian Islam's history. It is obvious that the key element of discussion was the Qur'anic text.
Disputes about approaches to the Qur'an's commentaries and translations reflected deep processes occurring among Russian Muslims of that period, while the compositions of that time, the social life and religious consciousness of Muslims were more or less influenced by various events in politics, culture, philosophy, and science of Muslim world that took place outside and inside Russia between the end of 18th and the beginning of 20th centuries.
The tafsirs of Muslim authors of Volga and Ural regions reflected in specific form the fundamental stages of ideological and political struggle within Turkic-Tatar society. At the end of 18th — beginning of 20th centuries Tatar tafsirs enabled intellectuals to learn the Sacred Book of Islam better, their works reflected basic tendencies of social and political life of Muslim community.
The Russian Muslims succeeded in forming an independent system of original approach to the Sacred Book, found in the Qur'an the basis for social, economic and political reforms.

Zhang Huiming. Les représentations des apparitions du mont Wutai de Dunhuang au 9e siècle: origine et diffusion des prototypes - 131
The beginning of the paper

Le mont Wutai, lieu saint où le Bodhisattva Manjusrï a sa résidence, est bien connu sous les Tang par les dévotions impériales et populaires bouddhiques. Selon les sources chinoises et japonaises, à partir des années 660 jusqu'au début du 9e siècle, l'influence du culte du Wutaishan lié à Manjusrï a peu à peu passé la frontière chinoise; les moines et les dévots étrangers s'y rendaient de concert. Le célèbre moine cachemirien Budhapâpali se rendit deux fois au Wutaishan, en 676, puis à nouveau en 683. Des ambassadeurs, envoyés par le royaume tibétain, sont venus dans la Chine centrale pour chercher une Représentation du mont Wutai en 824. Seize ans plus tard le grand maître (Tripitaka) de l'Inde du sud Fada réussit à copier une inscription concernant les apparitions merveilleuses au Wutaishan sur stèle et en même temps, le moine japonais Ennin obtint une peinture de la représentation de l'apparition du Wutaishan par un moine chinois en 840. A partir du milieu du 9e siècle, le Wutaishan et Manjusrï étaient bien connus partout. De plus, des copies des peintures et des manuscrits concernant le mont Wutai ont été également transmises par les voyageurs chinois et étrangers jusqu'à Dunhuang, à Qoco (Gaochang), à Khotan, au Tibet, en Inde, en Corée et au Japon...

K.J. Solonin. “The Twenty-Five Answers Concerning the Buddhist Principles”: A Tangut Buddhist Manual from St. Petersburg Tangut Collection - 147
The beginning of the paper

The Tangut Buddhist texts preserved in St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences) have attracted scholarly attention since the very beginning of Tangut studies as a separate field. The value of the Buddhist sources in Tangut language is twofold: on the one hand, they throw some light on the development and contents of the Buddhist faith in the Tangut area; on the other hand, they demonstrate the peculiarities of the development of Chinese Buddhism itself. Several attempts in this regard have been undertaken recently, but are not exactly satisfactory. However, initial research into the Tangut Buddhism has also demonstrated outstanding potential for this kind of research. Still, there are two major obstacles, which hindered the progress of the Tangut studies, especially research into the Tangut Buddhist texts. One is the nature of the Tangut language itself, while the other is the lack of the reference material and historical data necessary for the proper understanding of the texts and their location within the general framework of East Asian Buddhism. Insofar, Tangut Buddhist texts are treated as some kind of a curiosity, rather than an object for proper scholarly research in its own right. Therefore, one of the appropriate approaches to the research of the Tangut Buddhist texts, especially those not found in their Chinese or Tibetan versions might be their broad presentation to the scholarly public in their most readable form. In this regard I see my responsibility as a Tangut scholar to provide Chinese reconstructions (or Chinese versions), however tentative they might seem, of the relevant texts and preparing translations with the utmost possible accuracy. Thus the Tangut Buddhist works and compilations could be brought into a broader circulation and could be researched by a community of qualified scholars rather than be an object of independent research.
The present paper intends to introduce one of Tangut Buddhist texts, The Twenty-five answers to the questions on the Buddhist Principles, posed by the monks before the State Preceptor Tangchang while [he] was staying in the Palace of Light Monastery (further: Twenty-Five Answers), with a Chinese reconstruction and preparatory translation, to the scholarly audience. Thus, alongside my own observations, other qualified scholars of Chinese Buddhism could arrive to their own conclusions concerning the nature of the text…


A.E. Ivanov. The Fear of the Lord of Those Who Walk in Right Ways (Towards the Question of Origin and the Exact Meaning of Zhou Categories de and weiyi). Part 2. The Category weiyi - 171
Intrinsically linked to each other the categories de and weiyi are the key concepts of the Zhou China religious worldview. The aim of this article is to consider the actual cultural and historical context of their origin and to establish the exact primary meanings of them. The first part of the article was devoted to the category de (see Written Monuments of the Orient. 2 (7). M., 2007. P. 47-77). Its established primary (Yin) meanings are “to walk in right ways”, “walking in right ways” and the “right ways” themselves.
The second part represented above is devoted to the category weiyi. In the opinion of the author, during the Zhou period (1045-256 B.C.) this category was used in the predicative and nominal forms of its literal and sole meaning: “to fear the Lord”, “the fear of the Lord”, “godfearing” (in the Biblical sense of this concept). By way of evidence of this exact sense, the analysis of all cases of the category weiyi usage in the Zuozhuan is undertaken. Moreover, the author states some opinions in favor of Yin origin of the category in question. These opinions reveal clearly the content of communication between the concepts weiyi and de and, at the same time, discover in the meaning of the category weiyi rather unexpected and interesting nuances.

M.S. Pelevin. Literary Traditions in the Clan of the Khatak Tribal Chiefs - 210
The article summarizes available bio-bibliographical facts about the life and literary activities of the Afghan men of letters from the Khatak ruling clan in the 17th 18th centuries. Although the Khatak authors discussed here — Ashraf Hijrī (d. 1694), Sadr (d. after 1712), 'Abd al-Kādir (d. after 1714), Sikandar (d. after 1704), Afzal-khan (d. 1740/4 l),'Kāmgār (d. 1751/52) and others — by no means represented a single "literary school" in the modern sense of the term, their creative work with different genres, ideological foundations and content did pursue their common family traditions laid by Khūshhāl-khān (d. 1689) and on the whole aimed at cultivating among compatriots the Pashto language, book writing, secular and religious learning.

D.G. Kukeev. On Khoshut and Torgut Alliance with the Oirat Union - 231

The ethnogenesis of Oirats is poorly investigated, that's why there are a lot of disputable problems concerning the origin and formation of Oirat tribes. The ethnic structure of Oirats is not clear because of few sources related to the so-called “dark period” of Oirat's history (15th—16th centuries). The inclusion of Khoshuts and Torguts into Oirat's union was a great event in the history of Oirats. Torguts, Khoshuts, Dorbets, as well as Choros were the basic ethnic components of the Oirat nation in the 15th century. Later they all formed the Kalmyk people in the delta of the Volga river. The alliance of Khoshuts and Torguts with Oirat's union had deep influence on further history of Oirats in Central Asia and Kalmyks in Russia, as well as that of their neighbors — the states and peoples of Central Asia.

Nie Hongyin. Family Models: The Model of the Tangut Work “Newly Collected Biographies of Affection and Filial Piety” - 237
The beginning of the paper
The Tangut work Newly Collected Biographies of Affection and Filial Piety (hereafter NCB), found by the Kozlov Expedition in the Khara-khoto ruins and now preserved as inv. No. 616 at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, was first recognized by Nevsky and described by Gorbacheva and Kychanov. More than twenty years later, Keping gave us a thorough study of this interesting compilation, including Russian translation, detailed commentary and photolithograph of the Tangut original. The most recent publication of the same photos can be found in the Russian Collection of the Heishuicheng Manuscripts (pp. 120-138), issued by the Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House in 1999.
It is already known so far that the NCB was compiled and translated into Tangut by a Xixia minister Cao Daole, in order to propagate a sense of Chinese ethics and morals. The last half (juan xia) of the extant text of NCB presents a total of 44 items of biography collected from Chinese historical records, of which 38 items were identified by Keping in her brilliant study, except that the name Wang Xiang was mistranslated into Wang Xiu. Keping admirably searched for the original of almost each item in various classics, but previous investigation leads us to believe that scholars and officials in Xixia were not as knowledgeable as those in the Song dynasty, so we may ask: Did Cao Daole really look over such a vast array of Chinese historical materials in preparing so apparently insignificant a booklet?..


Jana Benicka. Chan Buddhism and Huayan: Yongjue Yuanxian (1578-1657) on the “Five Positions” (wu wei) Theory of Dongshang Liangjie - 243
The beginning of the paper
Early Chan Buddhism (in particular the so-called Northern Chan School) is often said to have heavily relied on Huayan thought, as developed by Fazang (643-712) and his disciples on the basis of the Avatamsaka-sutra. With the demise of that school, and the rise of its rival, the Southern School, in the mid-eighth century, the importance of Huayan thought was downplayed. It nevertheless continued to influence some trends of Chan. Gui-feng Zongmi (780-841), a patriarch of the Huayan School, played for instance a significant role as author of one of the first Chan “histories”. Even after Zongmi, and despite Chan's alleged “anti-intellectualism”, Huayan continued to influence certain trends of Chan, in particular the more intellectual Caodong (J. Soto) school, founded by Dong-shan Liangjie (807-869) and his disciple Caoshan Benji (804-901).
A case in point is the theory of the “five positions” (wu wei) developed by Dong-shan Liangjie. This rather obscure system of speculations on the relationship between the noumenal and phenomenal aspects of reality has always attracted commentators and scholars, who gave widely divergent explications of the theory from various points of view. Mediaeval commentators as well as modern scholars mainly comment on the “positions” as different modes of experiencing reality in terms of the proper discernment of the mutual relationships between “the right” (zheng) and “the biased” (pian). According to this basic interpretation, “the right” and “the biased” are observed at various “positions” as two inseparable aspects of the same reality, where their “real” relationship is, according to the “level” of the awakening, more or less revealed or concealed; they are also thematized through an analogy with the “four dharmadhātus” (Chn. fajie) of the Huayan School. In this article, I will use the example of the commentaries on the “five positions” by the Chan master Yongjue Yuanxian (1578-1657) to try to show that the traditional comparison of the Chan “five positions” with the Huayan's “four dharmadhātus” is plausible…

K.A. Edleeva. The Mongolian Hymns from the Manuscript Department of the Saint-Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts - 256

The article is devoted to the study of the Mongolian hymns collection kept at the Department of oriental manuscripts and rare documents of the Saint-Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. It has been collected by Russian researchers during two centuries. Most of these manuscripts are Buddhist hymns. Now it consists of 167 items in Old Mongolian and Oirat script. It is one of the largest collections of Mongolian hymns in the world. The article includes a catalogue of Mongolian hymns collection and a vocabulary of Mongolian terms.

Dayriymaa Baasanjargal. The Folklore Materials Kept at the Department of Mongolian Folklore and Dialectology Studies at the Institute of Language and Literature (Mongolian Academy of Sciences) - 294
The article is devoted to the history of study of Mongolian folklore at the Institute of Language and Literature (Mongolian Academy of Sciences). The author offers her own division of the Mongolian folklore studies in the 20th century into periods, characterizes each stage of these studies in Mongolia. A summary of the folklore materials kept at the Department of Mongolian folklore and dialectology studies of the Institute of Language and Literature is given.


Amusin I.D.; Dunaevskaya I.M.; Yelanskaya A.I.; Kononov A.N.; Keping K.B.; Mikluho-Maklay N.D.; Nikitina M.I.; Perepiolkin Yu.Ya.; Struve V.V.; Salakhetdinova M.A.; Tumanovich N.N.; Terentiev-Katanskiy A.P. - 297


Ye. P. Ostrovskaya. The First Cultural Studies Readings in Memory of L.I.Mechnikov (St. Petersburg, Russian Christian Humanitarian Academy. May 31, 2008) - 318

I. V. Kulganek. The Third Dorzhiev's Readings in Buryatia (July 8-12,2008) - 320

A.I. Kolesnikov. Conference: The Rise of the Persian Renaissance (Oxford University, July 14-15, 2008) - 322

N.A. Somkina. Conference: Problems of the Literatures of the Far East (St. Petersburg State University, June 24-28, 2008) - 325

K.G. Maranjan. Symposium: Interpretations of Japanese Culture: Views from Rusia and Japan (Moscow, October 31 — November 2, 2007) - 326


Stary G. Manchu Studies. An International Bibliography. Wiesbaden, 1991-2003 (by T.A. Pang) - 328

A.L. Khosroev. History of the Manichaeism (Prolegomena). St. Petersburg, 2007 (by A.I. Kolesnikov) - 329

L.K. Gerasimovich. The Mongolian Literature of the 13th to Early 20th Centuries. Elista, 2006 (by L. Chaloupkova) - 330

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