[Buddha-l] Is this true?

[DPD CDT] Shen Shi'an shian at kmspks.org
Tue Aug 24 22:20:52 MDT 2010

Someone sent me the below.
Does anyone have any thoughts to share on it?
Does anyone know where to get more info on this, if it’s valid?


Richard Gombrich, Foremost Expert on the Pali Texts, Reveals the Truth that the Hinayana Buddhists Don’t Want You To Know

“Modern editors of the Pali Canon, however, have generally contented themselves with trying to establish a textus receptus or ‘received text’. Let me explain. Most of our physical evidence for the Pali Canon is astonishingly recent, far more recent than our physical evidence for the western classical and biblical texts.

While talking of this, I want to take the opportunity to correct a mistake in something I published earlier this year. In Professor K. R. Norman’s splendid revision of Geiger’s Pali Grammar, published by the Pali Text Society (Geiger, 1994), I wrote an introduction called ‘What is Pali?’ (Gombrich, 1994a). In that I wrote (p. xxv) that a Kathmandu manuscript of c.800 A.D. is ‘the oldest substantial piece of written Pali to survive’ if we except the inscriptions from Devnimori and Ratnagiri, which differ somewhat in phonetics from standard Pali. This is wrong. One can quibble about what ‘substantial’ means; but it must surely include a set of twenty gold leaves found in the Khin Ba Gôn etra, Burma, by Duroiselle in 1926-7. The leaves are•trove near Śrī K inscribed with eight excerpts from the Pali Canon. Professor Harry Falk has now dated them, on paleographic grounds, to the second half of the fifth century A.D., which makes them by far the earliest physical evidence for the Pali canonical texts (Stargardt, 1995). — Richard F. Gombrich

Therefore, according to this reliable information, the Sanskrit text of the Lotus Sutra is older than the Pali texts that the Hinayana Buddhists arrogantly claim to be the only authoritative texts of the Buddha.

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