[Buddha-l] Is this true?

Piya Tan dharmafarer at gmail.com
Tue Aug 24 23:07:12 MDT 2010


Could we have the full context of the remarks for proper study.

Gombrich is not the foremost expert in Pali texts. Like other schylars, he
has pur forward some interesting theories and ideas but they were not always
right. For example, he thought of the possibility of Angulimala as a Saivite
looking for sacrificial victims, but there were no Saivites in the Buddha's

Much of the Pali texts are very ancient (like the Sutta Nipata) but parts of
them (like the Petavatthu) are late.

With metta,


On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:20 PM, [DPD CDT] Shen Shi'an <shian at kmspks.org>wrote:

> 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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