using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
52 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Sutra”—as well as others previously unknown in any language. These texts are leading scholars to rethink the long-debated origins of Mahayana Buddhism, revealing Gandhara to have been a— though not necessarily the—center of early Mahayana. The texts have also called into question the widespread assumption that the Mahayana sutras were originally composed or set down in Sanskrit, rather than a regional dialect such as Gandhari. Even more signifi- cant are the circumstances of the discovery of these ten Mahayana sutras; in every case, they constituted part of larger groups of manuscripts, the majority of which were non-Mahayana texts. Thus, we’re left with the impression that Mahayana Buddhism in the early centuries of the Common Era was not institutionally, and perhaps not even doctrinally, distinct from what later came to be called the “Hinayana” or “Lesser Vehicle.” All indications are that the more traditional or conservative practices coexisted with Mahayana ideas, even within the same monastic communities. a hint of what has Been lost The discovery of previously unknown texts also offers a hint of how much of the Buddhist literature that once existed has not come down to us. The fact that extensive remnants have come to light in Gandhara is no coincidence but rather a result of particular climatic and cultural factors. Gandhara lies beyond the central monsoon zone, whose extremes of heat and humidity prevent the longterm survival of organic materials such as birch bark or palm leaf. Addi- tionally, the Buddhists of ancient Gandhara had a practice of ritually interring their manuscripts in clay pots or other containers in the precincts of their monasteries, further promoting their preservation. It was likely due to these incidental factors that the oldest known Buddhist manuscripts were found in Gandhara, and not because such manuscripts were unique to the region. Similar texts must have existed elsewhere—perhaps everywhere—in the Buddhist cultures of the Indian heartland, but there is virtually no chance such manu- scripts would have survived the deleterious effects of the monsoon climate.