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WMO 2(21), 2014 Print E-mail

of the Orient
2 (21)
Autumn-Winter 2014

Journal based in 2004
Issued twice a year

Selected Materials as a *.PDF file


Vasubandhu. Abhidharmakośa (Encyclopaedia of Abhidharma). A Fragment of Section “Samādhi-nirdeśa” (Teaching of Meditation). Preface, Translation from Sanskrit and Commentary by H.P. Ostrovskaya 5
The article presents a commented translation from Sanskrit of a fragment of “Samādhi-nirdeśa”, a chapter of the encyclopaedic treatise “Abhidharmakośa”, ascribed to the legendary Buddhist thinker Vasubandhu (ca. 300–400 A.D.). The fragment treats the four noble qualities (maitrī, karun(ā, muditā, upekṣā) and other phenomena of consciousness appearing in the practice of meditation. The translation was done for the first time. It is based on the edition: Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya. Ed. by P. Pradhan. Poona, 1967. P. 452–459. In the foreword, “Abhidharmakośa” is characterized as a key text binding the problem field of canonical Abhidharma treatises with the theory of consciousness (vijñānavāda) developed in the Mahāyāna philosophy.

“Āndhramahābhāratamu”. Book II, “Sabhāparvamu”, chapter 2. Introduction, Translation from the Telugu Language and Comments by E.V. Tanonova 27
This translation is an opportunity for Russian reader to get acquainted with the first literary work in Telugu, known as the “Āndhramahābhāratamu”, which was created by the poet named Nannaya Bhatta in the middle of the 11th century A.D. as an adaptation of the Sanskrit epic “Mahābhārata” for the Telugus. There is a short glimpse of important part of the motif of the Abuse of the Hero’s Wife in the structure of the “Mahābhārata” and of the essential differences in its presentation in the both epics given in the Introduction.

A Fragment of Political Treatise in a Dunhuang School Manual (Дх-11656). Introduction, Translation from Chinese, and Comments by I.F. Popova 41
The paper contains a Russian translation and study of fragment Дх-11656 from the collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS, which is a part of educational material, used in a local school in the neighborhood of Dunhuang under the Tang and the Five Dynasties. The document is titled “Five Permanencies” (Wu chang 五常) and includes analysis of categories ren 仁, yi 義, li 禮 and zhi 智 (the xin 信 category is not included) on whose clarification the Confucian education in China was based. The explanation of zhi category (“wisdom”) contains a text of political remonstrance by Wang Gui 王珪 (570–639), a dignitary of the Tang dynasty, addressed to Taizong, the second emperor of the Tang dynasty (Li Shiming, 599–649, reigned in 626–649), and supplemented with the latter’s approving reply. This text was included in a modified form into the famous work of Wu Jing 吳兢 (670–749), Zhen-guan zheng yao 貞觀正要 (“Essentials of Government of Zhen-guan Period”), which contains dialogues between Taizong and his chancellors on governance and ethics. The characteristics of other noblemen of the early Tang, such as Gao Shilian 高士廉, Hou Junji 侯君 集, Zhang Gongjin 張公謹, Wei Zheng 魏徵 appear in the document fragment. The use of a political treatise as teaching material in a remote locality was evidence of the high standard of formal education in China under the Tang dynasty.

Sarashina Genzo’s Ainu Densetsushu (“A Collection of Ainu Legends”). Introduction, Selected Translations from Japanese and Comments by E.E. Uzhinin56
The article is a Russian translation of some Ainu legends from the book Ainu Densetsushu (‘A collection of Ainu legends’) by Sarashina Genzo, a Japanese poet and ethnographer born in Hokkaido. The legends are collected and recorded in various regions of the island of Hokkaido. The studies and papers on Ainu folklore published in Russian deal mainly with Sakhalin Ainu, so the material of the article could be interesting for ethnographers and folklorists in a comparative aspect. Besides that, Japanese influence experienced by the folklore of Hokkaido Ainu makes its study interesting in terms of the history of Japanese-Ainu contacts. Each legend is followed by the translator’s comments.


Z.A. Yusupova. The “Divan” of the Kurdish Poet Jafai (in the Gorani Dialect). A Grammatical Description 80
The article is a continuation of the present author’s work on studying and introducing the language of the literary texts written in the southern Kurdish dialect of Gorani into the academic world. That dialect played the role of a literary language in the whole of South-Eastern Kurdistan for several centuries. That dialect presents a synchronic morphological description of the language of the “Divan” written by an 18th century Kurdish poet Jafai. A further analysis involving a linguistic comparison of this “Divan” with those of other authors: Maulavi, Vali-Devana and Ranjuri, previously studied by Yusupova, will be undertaken in her subsequent final publication on this subject.

I.V. Bogdanov. The Concept “Status” in the Old Kingdom Egypt 99
The paper reconsiders the meaning of the Old Kingdom phrase jrt ḳd, usually translated as “to make reputation”. Actually, this expression meant “to respect the status” and was opposed to the term wnwt, “hourly service”, and to the concept jrt sr/srt, “to be an official”. A new interpretation of some texts from Dynasties VI–XI containing the expression jrt/jrj ḳd (Urk. I, 106, 222–223; Elkab N 5; Koptus M; Moalla IIb2; Naga ed-Deir N 89) is proposed. Special attention is paid to the interpretation of texts BM 120 [1372] and Peasant B1 163–165. By the end of Dynasty XI, the expression jrt ḳd had lost its other meanings and was used solely to describe the moral qualities of an official.

I.S. Gurevich. “The Pinghua on How King Wu Defeated Zhou” and the Novel “Investiture of the Gods”: The Inner World of Language Tools of the Works 108
The point inspected in the paper under review is the comparison between two “inner worlds” of the language tools in the texts mentioned above. Regarding the pinghua, such specific syntactic resources as anaphora, epiphora, antithesis are quite common; besides, certain elements of lexical archaization (or historical stylization) also occur. With respect to the novel, a reference to the phenomenon of reduplication should be specially made.

S.L. Neveleva. On the Typology of Ancient Indian Epics 117
The article deals with the main problems of historical-comparative studies of the Sanskrit epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. To begin with P.A. Grintser’s monograph The Old Indian Epic: Its Genesis and Typology (M., 1974), modern scholars are studying the peculiarities of their content and the composition, comparing them to other epic monuments of the world. P.A. Grintser has posed the question of a common archetype for the structure of the epic plots and folktales. As to the epic motifs and themes, these have very plain typological resemblance with those of the world epic tradition. Ya.V. Vassilkov’s monograph Myth, Ritual and History in the Mahābhārata (SPb., 2010), according to its title, is a very important and serious study of all main aspects of the epic contents.


M.M. Yunusov. From the Нistory of the Decipherment of West Semitic Writing: Events and People. (II) Palmyra Texts in Europe: J.J. Scaliger 125
This article is a continuation of a series of essays on some major stages of early West Semitic epigraphy in Europe. At the very end of the 16th century, a Greek-Palmyrene bilingua, carved on a marble bas-relief and published in the collection of J. Lipsius and M. Smetius Inscriptionum antiquarum in 1588 (PL. XXXII), attracted the attention of J.J. Scaliger. He used the Greek version of the bilingua in his book De emendatione temporum, which appeared in its third edition in 1598. The work on the book proceeded under difficult conditions: civil (religious) wars, enemies, enviers. However, at the same time, the brilliant French scholar was surrounded by friends and admirers.

O.V. Lundysheva. Fragments of dhāraṇī Blockprints from the Manuscript Collection of the IOM, RAS 153
In February 2014, a blockprint dhāraṇī edition from Khara-Khoto was found among unundentified and unpublished fragments of the Serindian manuscript collection of the IOM, RAS. The characters printed have much in common with the so-called “Pala” script widespread in the north-eastern India associated with the Pala Empire. The blockprint survived in the form of several fragments. According to the content, there are two independent parts. Their mutual relationship is still unknown as the well as the total number of pages. The first block of text is preserved in its entirety. It consists of five lines of text. The first four lines are a triple repetition of Akṣobhya Buddha Dhāraṇī. The fifth line was composed of five bija mantra and the famous “Buddhist creed” Ye dharma mantra. The second block demonstrates only a half of the original text, still it can be identified and supplemented as mūlamantra, hṛdaya and upaṛdaya of Bodhigarbhālaṅkāralakṣa dhāraṇī. There is also a half of a printed engraving related to the blockprint. According to the image features and stylistic peculiarities to it is very similar to the printed engravings related to Tangut and Dunhuang collections. It is assumed that the entire blockprint could have represented a compilation of selected prayers used in common Buddhist ritual practice. The type of paper, image and script let us date the blockprint to around 12th century A.D.

Yu.A. Ioannesyan. The Treatment of the Baha’i Religion and the Babi Faith in Russian Popular Literature and Media around the Turn of the 20th Century 177
The history of the Baha’i and Babi faiths was closely related to Russia since their inception in Iran in the 19th century. This is also attested by the attention these phenomena received from Russian scholars and diplomats as well as from the general public. While the interpretation of the subject in academic literature in Russia and the USSR has previously been discussed in some scholarly works, the present article focuses on the way in which the Baha’i and Babi faiths were treated in publications intended for a broad audience.

A.G. Groushevoy. Reforming the Schools of the Russian Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (Palestinskoye Obschestvo) in Syria – the Projects of Russian Inspectors and the Attitude of Local Arab Orthodox Population (According to the Documents of Inspection of 1910) 189
The article deals with the characteristics of the orthodox Arab population of Syria and those of the clergy of the Antiochene Patriarchate given by A.A. Dmitrievski in his letters sent to the Vice-President of the Russian Imperial Orhodox Palestinian Society during the inspection of all Institutions of the Society in Syria and Palestine in the first months of 1910. A.A. Dmitrievski (1856–1919), the Secretary of the Society, was the head of this inspection. During the inspection, A.A. Dmitrievski had many contacts with the communities of local Arab Christian population in order to discuss all aspects of education in the schools organized by the Palestinskoye Obschestvo. The mutual interest of the Russian inspectors ano the local communities was great, as also were the difficulties in attempts to find a common ground. These difficulties can be explained mostly by the fact that Russian schools for local orthodox Arabs functioned within the Ottoman Empire that had a different culture and different traditions.


T.V. Ermakova. Collecting the Buddhist Manuscripts at the Indian Depository of the Asiatic Museum, RAS, in 1850–1910s 201
The article is devoted to reconstruction of the period of the most intensive growth of the Buddhist Manuscripts Collection at the Asiatic Museum depository (1850–1910s). The author undertook biobibliographical and archival study that revealed the details of the integration of collections by W. Wright and N.I. Vorobyov. The history of S.F. Oldenburg and Th. Scherbatsky’s participation in the enrichment of the Asiatic Museum’s collection was also reconstructed. The role of the RAS in the process was explained as well.

S.H. Shomakhmadov. Xylographs in the Siddham Script at the IOM Collection 212
The article begins the study of two block prints that were found by Pyotr K. Kozlov in Khara-Khoto during the Mongol-Sichuan expedition (1907–1909). A paleographic description with a brief overview of features of the Siddham script and a general analysis of the content of both xylographs’ texts are given. Suggestions as to the date and functional purpose of the block prints are given.

S.G. Elisseeff. Russian-Japanese Relations and the Desirability of a Russian-Japanese Alliance. Publication, Introduction and Commentaries by A.A. Borisova and S.I. Marakhonova 222
This work is housed at the Orientalists Archives of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. It was written in the autumn of 1916 and dealt with the signing of the Russian-Japanese alliance in Petrograd on June, 20 / July, 3, 1916. Elisseeff’s report is based generally on the Japanese press data and reflects the public mood in the Japanese society before the signing of the alliance and after it. Elisseeff examines long-term relations between Russia and Japan and gives his own estimation of the alliance on the basis of the available data.


V.P. Ivanoff. 35th Zograff Readings “The Problems of the Traditional Indian Text Interpretation” (May 14–16, 2012, St. Petersburg) 243

O.M. Chunakova. Seminar on Iranian Studies “Freiman Readings” (May 28, 2014, St. Petersburg)251

Yu.V. Boltach. The Report on the “Sixth Dorjiev Readings” Conference (July 13–16, 2014, Ulan-Ude – Naryn-Atsagat, Buryatia)256

A.A. Sizova. The Practical Research Conference “The 250th Anniversary of the Pandito Khambo Lama Institution in Russia” (September, 15–18, 2014, St. Petersburg) 260

V.P. Ivanoff. The Open Theoretical Seminar of the Section of South Asian Studies, Department of Central Asian and South Asian Studies. Lecture by Dr. Safarali Shomakhmadov (October 1, 2014)263


Death in Maharashtra: Imagination, Perception and Expression (by S.L. Burmistrov) – 266

Gilgit Manuscripts in the National Archives of India. Facsimile Edition. General Editors: Oskar von Hinuber, Seishi Karashima, Noriyuki Kudo. Vol. I. Vinaya Texts / Ed. by Shayne Clarke (by S.H. Shomakhmadov) – 271

Yokota-Murakami Takayuki. Futabatei Shimei kutabatte shimae (Selected biographies of the remarkable Japanese) ヨコタ村上 孝之『二葉亭四迷 くたばってしまえ』(ミネルヴァ日本評 伝選)、京都、ミネルヴァ書房 (by Kimura Takashi) – 273


T.A. Pang. Indexes to the Written Monuments of the Orient issues № 2(11) 2009 – № 1(20) 2014 276


Sergei Grigorievich Klyashtorny (1928–2014) (I.V. Kulganek, I.V. Kormushin, D.M. Nasilov) – 292

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