Seminar - The First Chapter of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā: An investigation into its doctrinal evolution
The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong
The First Chapter of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā:
An investigation into its doctrinal evolution
CHAN Yiu Nin
13 November 2018 (Tuesday), 7:00 – 8:00pm
Venue: The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong
28/F Pacific Plaza, 410 Des Vouex Road West, Hong Kong
The purpose of this study is to find out how the early Mahāyāna doctrines evolve from the earlier words of the Buddha. It is evident that the development of the Mahāyāna Buddhism was not separated from the early Buddhism.
The first chapter of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā (The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines) is widely regarded by contemporary scholars as the foundation of the earliest Mahāyāna doctrines. Seven translations of this sūtra have been preserved in the Chinese Buddhist canon dated from the late 2nd century A.D. to the early 11th century A.D. There are also extant Sanskrit and Tibetan versions which are similar to the late Chinese versions. In 1999, there was a discovery of fragments of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā in Gāndhārī which may be older than the early Chinese translations. Although this Gāndhārī version has only about one-third of the first chapter, it offers invaluable information about the earliest form of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā.
It is fruitful to compare these versions to trace the evolution of the early Mahāyāna doctrines as a way to better understand the words of the Buddha. This presentation will focus more on the findings originated from the Gāndhārī version of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā.
All are welcome