1. TOYO UNIVERSITY >
  2. International Research Center for Philosophy >
  3. 3rd Unit : 3rd Meeting of Study Group Series “Formations of Written Religious Sacred Texts and Their Meaning: A Consideration for Tools for Creating Multicultural Harmonious Coexistence”

3rd Unit : 3rd Meeting of Study Group Series “Formations of Written Religious Sacred Texts and Their Meaning: A Consideration for Tools for Creating Multicultural Harmonious Coexistence”

3rd Meeting of Study Group Series “FormationsofWritten Religious Sacred Tetxs and Their Meaning: A Concideration for Tools for Creating Multicultural Harmonious Co-existence,”, 3rd Unit

1  

 

 

 

  On 21 October, 2014, the 3rd meeting of the 3rdUnit'sstudy group series " Formations of Written Religious Sacred Texts and Their Meaning: A Consideration for Tools for Creating Multicultural Harmonious Coexistence" was held at the Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Building 8, Meeting Room 2). Professor Matsuda Kazunobu (Bukkyo University) gave a presentation entitled "From India to Central Asia: Bamiyan Buddhism as Seen from Unearthed Indian-Language Manuscripts."

  While Buddhist scriptures were at first transmitted by recitation, around the turn of the Common Era manuscript-based transmission began. Until recently, manuscripts had been discovered in only Sri Lanka, Nepal, and similar nearby locations since the transmission of Buddhism was interrupted in India. However, at the beginning of the 1990s, many manuscripts came to be discovered in other areas. First, Buddhist texts copied onto palmleaves or birch bark and written in the Kharoṣṭhī or Brāhmī script were discovered in Zargaran (Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan). These texts were Gāndhārī or Sanskrit-language manuscripts written in various Indian scripts on palm leaves, birch bark, and parchment that dated back between the second to eighth century AD. If we include small fragments, the total number of recovered texts exceeds ten thousand. Many manuscripts were also discovered in Gandhara and Gilgit (Pakistan). These included both traditional canonical and Mahāyāna texts. All older (before the fifthcentury) Bamiyan manuscripts are written on palm leaves, some from the fifth to sixth century are also written on birch bark and animal skin, and those from the eighth century onwards are written exclusively on birch bark. In this way, Matsuda shared with us the manuscript research he has been engaged in over the past ten years, as well as the field's latest findings, while providing careful explanations and visual assistance with slides. There were approximately 20 people in attendance, and after the presentation a lively question-and-answer session was held. 2