[Buddha-l] Return of blasphemy?

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 6 13:40:13 MST 2011

Asvaghosa needn't be considered the origin of the story, Joy. He embellished 
it with poetic detail (like describing the exhausted, sleeping dancing 
girls, drooling in their sleep, and Siddhartha's poetic flights of 
existential questioning while surveying the carnage) but various versions of 
the story, at least its bare bones, is much earlier, floating around in 
various texts of various schools. Dating this stuff except in broad strokes 
is not feasible at this stage.

For a discussion of the templates used also found in other versions of that 
sutta (Skt fragments, the Chinese Agamas, Mahisasika vinaya, Mahavastu, not 
to mention other parts of the Nikayas and Pali vinaya with parallel 
passages) see Bhikkhu Analayo's _A Comparative Study of the Majjhima Nikaya_ 
vol. 1, Taiwan: Dharma Drum, 2011, which goes through MN sutta by sutta 
analyzing each in comparison with related materials. Two Highly recommended 
for anyone serious about sources. Altogether two volumes. Written in an 
accessible manner as well.


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