|Budget Amount *help
¥2,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
A Study of Buddhist Sanskrit Litcrature from Central Asia
The aim of the present study is to shed light on Buddhism In Central Asia, where many different civilizations have converged, on thc basis of written sources. Since, however, Central Asia has today become Islamized, It has been necessary to rely on literary remains from ancient times. It has accordingly been attempted to elucidate the distinctive features of Central Asian Buddhism by examining the Buddhist manuscripts, especially those In Sanskrit, that are being discovered at numerous Buddhist sites.
This report begins with survey of the characteristics of Central Asian Buddhism and summarizes historical research focussing on the manuscripts discovered there, as well as describing the current state of research and future Issues. By this means it should be possible to gain an outside view of research on the complexities of Central Asian Buddhism.
Next, from among the various manuscripts, a number of manuscripts of the Prajnaparamit
a-sutra and other scriptures were selected to be examined in greater detail through comparison with Chinese. As result, It has been possible to point out in concrete terms some distinctive features of the religious thought of Central Buddhism, and by building up a body of such research, It should be possible to clarify the historical development of Central Asian Buddhism.
The following conclusions were reached.
(1) The Activities of Buddhism in Central Asia
Central Asia did not serve simply as a transit point for the spread of Indian Buddhism to neighbouring regions, but produced many monks and functioned as a center of Sectarian (or Mainstream) Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism.
(2) The Religious Thought That Developed in Central Asian Buddhism
Some basic doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism, such as the idea that the Buddhist teachings will eventually cease to exist, as well as the scriptures forming the basis of these doctrines, actually evolved in Central Asia. At the same time, numerous scriptures of Indian provenance assumed new significance by being translated into languages used in Central Asia. Less