[Buddha-l] Bodhisattvas in Taisho 474

James Ward jamesward at earthlink.net
Sat May 21 13:25:53 MDT 2005

Hi all,

I have just recently compiled a database of Bodhisattvas from the list 
toward the beginning of Taisho 474, Zhi Qian's translation of the 
Vimalakirtinirdesasutra.  Basically, I just took each Bodhisattva's 
name and ran a Google advanced search on it, searching only the CBETA 
website.  For each sutra that was listed, I then cut and pasted the 
translator and dynasty information available at Christian Wittern's 
Taisho canon web-pages, supplemented in a few cases by information from 
Lewis Lancaster's Korean Tripitaka Catalogue made available by Charles 

This amounts to a little catalogue for the name of each Bodhisattva who 
is mentioned in T 474, and does _not_ include the same Bodhisattvas as 
they are translated in T 475 and T 476, although a few are present in 
all three.  Note also that three or four of the "big name" 
Bodhisattvas, such as Maitreya and Akasagarbha, are not catalogued 
because they returned hundreds of references, and I didn't have the 
patience to deal with that.  Still, the patterns that emerge for the 
uses of the names of the slightly less prominent Bodhisattvas may be of 
interest to some of you.  These names are in particular used by Zhu 
Fahu (Dharmaraksa), maybe to a greater extent than any of the other 
translators.  It is curious that Zhi Qian himself returned very few 
hits for these names -- they probably just didn't come up in the other 
texts that he translated.

Anyway, I would like to get these preliminary results out there, 
because it seems like they should be useful to at least a few, and I 
haven't decided yet how to publish them, or how much more interpretive 
work to do with them before trying to establish a web-site or some such 
thing.  The results could assist in trying to plot the flows of the 
translators' mutual influence, or eventually even in discovering 
relationships between the sutras in their original languages, after 
more databases have been constructed that include other translators and 
other sutras.  So, if you would like an rtf (rich text file) copy of 
this catalogue, write to me off-list and I will be happy to send it to 
you (unless I am overwhelmed by e-mail, in which case I will probably 
grumble).  Feel free to use the results of this work in your own work, 
but please credit the source -- I don't seem to have lost all 
ego-attachment yet in this regard.

All the best,

James Ward
jamesward at earthlink.net 

More information about the buddha-l mailing list