miércoles, 3 de mayo de 2017

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Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies (AABS)

Dear list members,

Our next seminar will be at 6:00-7:30pm on Thursday May 11 in the Rogers Room (N397) of the John Woolley Building, University of Sydney.

We hope you can attend.

Kind regards,
AABS Executive

The Lalitavistara in its Devotional and Intertextual Context

This paper advances the proposition that the Lalitavistara, a partial biography of the Buddha composed in the early centuries CE, is a text responding in part to devotional elements in the narrative of the Mahābhārata. The Lalitavistara includes one specific mention of the five Pāṇḍavas and Draupadī, and also reflects some of the technical language used of the avatāra in the few times this doctrine occurs on the Mahābhārata.  It also mentions the name Nārāyana in particularly interesting ways, and uses derivatives of the verb pūj in the sense of “to worship/act of worship” many times. Alf Hiltebeitel has already shown that the Buddhacarita makes reference to the Śānti- and Anuśāsana-parvans of the Mahābhārata, and it would be surely significant if another Buddhist text composed early in the Common Era also refers to the Mahābhārata in a manner that shows the author knew its narrative quite well.

In an earlier paper Tracey Coleman has suggested the need to compare the Buddha with Kṛṣṇa in the sense that both are regarded as exemplary measures of dharma within their own traditions. It is this connection with the rising popularity of Kṛṣṇa in the early centuries of the Common Era that may have contributed to the highly devotional nature of a text like the Lalitavistara. This may be so notwithstanding traces of Buddhist devotionalism already in the Pāli Canon.

Greg Bailey, formerly Reader in Sanskrit, is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Program in Asian Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has published translations and studies of the Gaṇeśa Purāṇa, Bhartṛhari’s Śatakatrayam and books on the god Brahmā, early Buddhism and many articles on Sanskrit literature, as well as a book on contemporary Australia. At present he is working on social, literary and economic aspects of the relationship between early Buddhism and the Mahābhārata, and a detailed study of some Sanskrit verbal forms.

Buddhist reliquary stupa

Gold leaf covered schist reliquary in the form of a stupa.  Kusana period, North Western India. National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan. Copyright: Huntington, John C. and Susan L.Huntington Archive