Notes on the Nagarjunikonda Inscriptions

Dutt, Nalinaksha
The Indian Historical Quarterly

p.633 Notes on the Nagarjunikonda Inscriptions I NAGARJUNIKONDA AND NAGBRJUNA The discovery of the Prakrt Inscriptions at Nagarjunikonda recently edited and published by Dr. Vogel in the Epigraphia Indica, vol. XX, pt i, is of great importance to the history of Buddhism. Importance of the site of Nagarjunikonda In my note on the ''Discovery of a Bone-relic at an Ancient Centre of Mahayana" published in the I.H.Q., (1929), vol.V,pp.794-796, I dwelt on the importance of the site, Nagarjunikonda, as a famous resort of the Buddhists of the early centuries of the Christian era, and probably also, as an early centre of Mahayana. Just as BodhGaya grew up on the bank of the Neranjara as a very early centre of Hinayana and a place of pilgrimaga for the early Buddhists so also did Amaravati (extending to Jaggayapeta) and Nagarjunikonda on the bank of the Krsna (including its tributary Paler) as a flourishing centre of proto-Mahayana and Mahayana in the pre- Christian and the early Christian era and a place of pilgrimage for the later Buddhists. On the basis of the style of sculptures and the palaeographic data, Burgess, agreeing with Fergusson, holds that the construction of the Amaravatr Stapa was commenced in the 2nd century B.C., and enlarged later and decorated with new sculptures, the latest of which was the great railing erected a little before 200 A.D.(1) It was some time after the completion of this Amaravati Stupa, that the stupas at Jaggayyapeta and Nagarjuni- konda came into existence, their dates being, according to Burgess and Vogel respectively, the 3rd or 4th century A.D.(2) This estimate of date is based on palaeographic evidences and the mention of the king called Madhariputa Siri Virapurisadata (=Matharrputra Sri Virapurusadatta) of the Ikhaku dynasty.(3) The inscriptions on the -------------------------- 1 Burgess, Buddhist Stupas of Amaravati and jaggayyapeta (Arch. Survey of Southern India) p. II2-3. 2 Ep. Ind., XX, p. 2. 3 Buhler assigns 3rd century A.D. to the reign of king Purisadata, Ep. Ind., XX, p. 2, quoting Ind. Ant., XI (1882), pp. 256ff. p.634 ayaka-pillars at Nagarjunikonda contain not only the name of this king, but also that of his father Vasethiputa Siri Camtamula and his son and successor Vasethiputa Siri Ehuvula Camtamula.(1) It appears from the inscriptions that the principal donor of the subsidiary structures of the stupa, was Camtasiri, the sister of the king Siri Camtamula, and the paternal aunt (pitcha) , later on, probably mother-in-law, of the king Siri Virapurisadata.(2) Hence, the time of the inscriptions, mentioning the names of the kings Camtasiri and Virapurisadata, is the 3rd or the 4th century A.D. It should be remembered that the period mentioned here relates to the subsidiary structures of the main stupa, and not to the stupa itself--the Mahacetiya, which must be assigned to an earlier period. Yuan Chwnng's testimony about Nagarjuna's place of residence The Buddhistic remains at Nagarjunikonda of Palnad Taluk of the Guntur District and the Tibetan tradition about the residerice of Nagarjuna at Sri-parvata near Dhanyakataka tempt us to trace some connection of Nagarjuna, the expounder of Madhramika philosophy, with this locality, and have, in fact, led scholars to enter into speculations about the identification of Po-lo-mo-lo ki li of Yuan Chwang, with Sriparvata. Yuan Chwang states that from Kalinga he travelled northwest about 1800 li (=300 imles roughly) through hills and forests and reached southern Kosala, where he found--'an old monastery with an Asokan tope" said to be the residence of Nagar- juna.(3) He further states that while residing here Nagarjuna met Aryadeva who hailed from Sengkala (Simhala) (4) About 300 li (=50 miles) to the south-west of the 'old' monastery of Nagarjuna stands the mountain called Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li (rendered into Chinese by 'Hei-feng' meaning 'Black Peak' and 'Hei-feng-feng' signifying 'Black Bee mountain').(5) On the authority of Beal and Burgess, and ------------------------- 1 Ep. Ind., XX, p. 3. 2 Ibid. 3 Watters, Yuan Ghwnng, II, p. 200; Taranatha Geschichte des Buddhismus (Schiefner), p. 83. 4 Ibid. 5 Watters, op. cit., II, p. 207; Cunningham, Ancient Geography. new ed., pp. 598f, Varamula girl = Varula = Elura. p.635 Fa-hien's Parvata-giri, Watters with some hesitation restores it as Bhramara-giri, and identifies it with Sriparvata,(l) where, according to the testimony of Tibetan writers, Nagarjuna spent the latter part of his life.(2) Yuan Chwang, however, does not state clearly that Nagarjuna lived at Po-lo mo-lo-ki-li, which may have been a Buddhist establishment built at his instance within the province of Daksina Kosala. To identify this mountain with Sriparvata, which, if identified with a mountain near Dhanakataka, must have been more than 50 miles distant from any part of Daksina Kosala, seems to me to be wide of the mark. Tibetan and Sanskrit Traditions Yuan Chwang's mention of Nagarjuna in connection with Daksina Kosala and the identification of this country, as suggested by Cunningham, with "the ancient province of Vidarbha or Berar, of which the present capital is Nagpur'(3) reminds us of the Tibetan tradition which says that Nagarjuna was born of a brahmin family of Vidarbha.(4) The Lankavatara could have been pointed out as the source of this tradition if the "Vedalyam of the undermentioned verse(5) could have been shown to be a locality in Vidarbha or if the word had been a variant for Vaidarbha."(6) ------------------------- 1 Watters, op. cit., p. 207. 2 Taranatha, op. cit., pp.71, 81, 303; dPag. bsam. ljon. bzan, p.86: dPal. gyi. ri=Sriparvata or Srisaila. 3 Cunningham, op. cit., p. 595. 4 Taranatha, op. cit., Appendix, pp.301, 303; dPag. bsam.ljon. bzan, p.85:Iho phyogs-Vaidarbhar-bram. zehi. rigs. su. hkhruns. 5 Lankavatara, Sagathakam, p.286: [At Vedali in the south, there will be the renowned monk known by the name of Naga, supporter of the doctrine of both existence and and non-existence]. 6 The reading 'Vedalyam' of Nanjio, followed by H.P. Sastri, (Buddhistic Studies, ed. by B. C. Law, p.853) is not warranted by the Tibetan version of the verse, which is as follows: Iho-phyogs Vedahi yul du ni / dge-slon dpal-ldan ches grags-pa // etc. See Walleser, Life of Nagarjuna (Hirth Anniversary volume), p. 19. p.636 The Manjusrimulakalpa furnishes us with a few particulars about Nagarjuna corroborating the Lankavatara but does not mention his birth-place or the chief centre of his activities. It says,-- [ln the fourth century after my parinirvana,(1)there will be a monk known by tile name of Naga engaged in doing good to the Faith. By attaining the Mudita stage (i.e. the first of the ten bhumis) he will live for 6oo years. He will attain perfection in Mayurividya.(2) That master of the knowledge of the various sastras and dhatus, and of the non-reality of all things, will after demise be reborn in the Sukhavati, and will in due course attain Buddhahood]. The Madhyamik-Nagarjuna confused with the Tantrik-Nagarjuna. The Manjusrimulakalpa, belonging to a date prior to the 11th century A. D.,(3) has very probably mixed up the traditions relating to more than one person bearing the name Nagarjuna. It corroborates the Lankavatara(4) when it states that Nagarjuna-will be the master of the --------------------- 1 In the Appendix to Taranatha, op.cit., pp.301, 303, Wassiljew writes that according to Sumbum of Toguan chutuktu, Nagarjuna was born in Vidarbha in the south, 400 years after Buddha's parinirvana. See also dPag. sam. Ijon. bzan, p. 83. 2 Nanjio speaks of six Mahamayuri-Vidyarajnis (nos. 306-311). The earliest translation, dated 317-420 A.D., is attributed to Poh Srimitra, the next in order being that of Kumarajiva. See also As. Researches, XX, p. 516; R. L. Mitra, Nepalese Buddhist Literature, PP. 173, 292. 3 Its Tibetan translation was made in the IIth century. See Csoma Korosi, Asiatic Researches, vol. XX. 4 As the passage occurs in the last chapter (Sagathakam) of the Lankavatara, the date of the tradition may be taken to be as old as p.637 doctrine of existence and non-existence and that he will after attaining the Mndita stage (i.e. Pramudita, the first of the ten bkumis), be reborn in Sukhavati, but it omits the prophecy that Nagarjuna will propagate the Mahayana(1) doctrine of Buddhism. On the other hand, it says that he will attain perfection in the Mayuri-vidya and will live for 600 years. To attribute mastery of the Mayuri Tantra(2) to the expounder of Madhyamilka philosophy looks absurd on the face of it, hence, it may be unhesitatingly stated that the Manjusra-mulakalpa makes a con- fusion between the traditions about the Madhyamik-Nagarjuna and the Tantrik-Nagarjuna. That there was a Tantrik Nagarjuna is proved by the tradition preserved in the dPag-bsam-ljon-bzan (p. 86), in which it is recorded that, according to the account of the 84 mahasiddkas (grub-chen-gra-bshi), one Nagarjuna was born at Kahora, a part of Kanci, was educated at Nalanda, where he learned the Sastras, practised the Siddhis and visualized the goddess Tara. He lived for some time at Ghantasaila and thence came to Sriparvata. Of the two traditions mixed up in the Manjusrimulakalpa, I think, one originated in the Lankavatara and the other in the Mahasiddhi-Vrttanta. Taking Nagarjuna to be a single person, his span of life has been supposed to be of 600 years. Taranathas(3) obtained much of his information from the Manjusrimulakalpa and gave currency to the view that Nagarjuna lived for 600 years, or more correctly, 529 or 571 years. Though the author of the dPag bsam. Ijon. bzan(4) has recorded the traditions separately he was not sure about the fact that there were two Nagarjunas, as he described the first Nagarjuna as successful in the sadhana connected with the goddesses Mahamayuri and Kurukulla.(5) In the Tibetan tradition, how- ---------------------- the 5th century A.D., because the Chinese translations of this chapter were made by Bodhiruci (513 A. D.) and Siksananda (704 A. D.). See also J.R.A.S., 1905, p. 835; Walleser, Life of Nagarjuna (Hirth Anniversary volume). pp. 20, 21. 2 This has been pointed out by Dr. B. Bhattacharya in his Intro. to the Sadhnnamala, vol, II, p. xlv. 3 Op, cit., p. 730. 4 pp. 85, 86 5 For particulars about these Tantrik goddesses, see Dr. B. Bhattacharya's Preface to the Sadhanamala, vol,II I.H.Q, SEPTEMBER,1931 p.638 ever, one Nagarjuna is counted as a Tantrik guru, being the disciple of Saraha(1); hence it is quite possible that the incidents of the life of the second Nagarjuna have been mixed up with those of the first. Confusion was further helped by the fact that this Tantrik Nagarjuna had as his disciple one Kanaripa, who was also called Aryadeva(2) Taranatha's statements utilised for dentangling ths traditions For disentangling these traditions, we may utilise Taranatha's division of Nagarjuna's life of 600 years into three periods, viz., 200 years in the Madhyadesa, 200 years in the south, and 129 or 171 years on Sriparvata.(3) Taranatha linked up the life-span of the first Nagarjuna with that of the last, and as the belief in the capacity to prolong life through Tantrik methods was then current, he did not think it absurd in ally way that a person should live for about 600 years. Nagarjuna of Madhyadesa was very probably the student of the Prajna- paramitas and the expounder of the Sunyata philosophy, while the Nagarjuna of Sriparvata was born in the south probably 400 or 500 years after the first Nagarjuna and spent the latter part of his life on ----------------------- 1 dPag. sam. ljon. bzan, p. 124, based on the account of the 84 Mahasiddhis. See also Sadhanamala, II, intro., p. xli. Taranatha (p. 105) also mentions him. 2 Ibid., p. 124. It is not unlikely that this is also a confusion made by the Tibetan writers with Aryadeva of the Madhyamika school. 3 Taranatha, op. cit., p. 73. 4 It may be shown from traiptions of these two Nagarjunas that the Madhyamika Nagarjuna lived in or about the first century A. D. The second Nagarjuna, whose disciple met Yuan Chwang, may be placed in the beginning of the 6th century A. D. If the total length of time from the birth of the first Nagarjuna to the death of the second Nagarjuna be taken as 529 or 571 years, as Taranatha states, then the date of the first Nagarjuna is to be taken back to just tht beginning of the Christian era or a few decades earlier. The latter alternative fits in with the prophecy as recorded in tire Lanka- vatara and the Manjusrimulakalpa that Nagarjuna will come into existence in the fourth century after Buddha's death. Some may say that Nagarjuna, the Madhyamika expounder, lived in the fitst century B.C. In another paper, this point will be dealt with. p.639 Sriparvata, convertin it into a centre of Tara worship.(1) In all pro- bability it was the Tantrik Nagarjuna, who was regarded as the great alchemist.(2) Yuan Chwang says that he met a disciple of Nagarjuna(3) and that the first Nagarjuna lived somewhere in Daksinakosala at a place consecrated by an "Asokan tope, which perhaps will come to light at some future date. In his Geographical Dictionary,(4) Mr. De writes that there is near Nagpur a place called Ramagiri (mod. Ramtek) where a temple is said to have been dedicated to Nagarjuna. Taking into account all these evidences, it may be stated that the first Nagarjuna had nothing to do woth the Nagarjunikonda, Srlparvata, or Dhanyakataka, and that his activities were confined to Daksina-kosala. The Sanskrit inscription at Jaggayyapeta recording the establisment of a Buddhapratima by the donor and his aspiration to Buddhatva(5) cannot but be a record of a comparatively late date and hence its reference to Nagarjunacarya is evidently to the Tantrik Nagarjuna. The Gandavyuha,(6) a work of about the 2nd or the 3rd century A,D., speaks of Dhanyakara as a great city of Daksinapatha and a seat of Manjusri, who lived in an extensive forest at Mala-dhvajavyuhacaitya and converted a large number of Nagas and other inhabitants of that place, but refers neither to Nagrrjuna nor to Sriparvata. It is in the Manjusrimulakalpa(7) that Sriparvata and 1 Dhanyakataka find mention as important centres of Buddhism, and hence these should be associated with the second Nagarjuna rather than with the first. ------------------------ 1 The conversion of a centre of Tara worship into that of Durga or Parvati is not uncommon. There is now a Sivadurga temple at Sriparvata (See De, Geog. Dict., p. 193). This fact has led Beal to identify Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li with Srlparvata. 2 This raises the questions, as to the contemporaneity of Nagarjuna with Satavahana; the authorship of the Suhrilekha (JPTS, 1886); the discoverer of the so-called elixir of life, and the identity of Nagarjuna about whom fresh information has been supplied by Prof. Sylvain Levi in his article "Sur le Buddhisme de basse epoque dans l'lnde" in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental, vi, pt. 2. As these topics fall beyond the scope of this paper, I wish to deal with them in a subsequent issue of the Quarterly. 3 Watters, op. cit., I, p. 287. 4 Sv. Ramagiri. 5 Burgess, op. cit., p. 112. 6 A. S. B. Ms., leaf 21b. 7 Manju'srimulakalpa, pp.88, 628, p.640 II PAMCA-MATUKAS The occurrence of the terms 'Pacanekayika, ' 'Sutantika, ' Trepitaka, Sutatikini, ' 'Petakin', Vinayamdhara(1) in Barhut, Sanci and other ins- criptions, has been generally accepted to imply that the Buddhists of the 3rd or 2nd century B.C, had a Tripitaka, one of which was the Sutta Pitaka, divided into 5 Nikayas, just as we have it today. Until the discovery of the inscriptions at Nagarjunikonda we had not come across any epigraphic record specially naming the Nikayas. Vinayadharas and Samyuktabhanakas of Mahavanasaila On the pillar of an outer railing of the Amaravati Stupa there is an inscription which describes some nuns as Vinayadharas(2), and another inscription which speaks of the monks of Mahavanaseliya as Mahaxinayadaras, (3) These two inscriptions distinctly prove the existence of a Vinayapitaka at that time. An inscription on one of the slabs found near the central stupa of Amaravati refers to a monk of Mahavanasala (Mahavanasala- vathavasa), who was a pupil of the Samyutabhatuka mahatheras [Samyutabhatukanam mahath(e) ranam](4) . Burgess translated the word as "the brother of Samyutaka," The letter "ta" of ''bhatuka" in the plate is distinctly ''na." Burgess probably was not aware of the use of the word 'bhanaka', a term not rare in the inscriptions(5) and read it as 'bhatuka.' It is only in the works of Buddhaghosa,(6) we find that monks were used to be grouped as ''Dighabhanakas", "Majjhimabhanakas", "Samyuttabhanakas" or "Anguttarabhanakas". Now, the Samyuttabhanakas of the above mentioned inscription ----------------------- 1 Vogel, Ep. Ind., VIII, pp. 173, 196; Bloch, J.A.S.B., 1898. pp. 274. 280; Stede, Pali Dict., sv. Pitaka; Luders' List. 2 Burgess, op cit., p. 37. 3 Ibid., p, 102. 4 Burgess, op. cit., P. 91 (Plate xlviii, no. 35), see also p. 105. 5 See Index to Luders' List. 6 Sum, Vil., p. 15; Visurddhimagga, pp. 74, 76, 77: Anguttara- bhanaka; pp. 36, 266, 275, 286: Dighabhflnaka;pp. 275, 286, 431: Majjhimabhanka; pp. 275, 431: Samyuttabhanaka. p.641 are associated with the Mahavanasala(1). Burgess adopts the reading 'sala' for 'sala', and I think, he would have no objection if one adopted the reading 'sela.' From the Gandavyuha(2) we learn that on the east of the great city Dhanyakara, there was a great forest called Victramaladhvajavyuha. So it is very likely that there was a series of forest-covered hills which went by the name of Purvasaila or Purvamahavanasaila and Aparasaila or Aparamahavanasaila, and these are referred to in Nagarjunakonda inscriptions as Aparamahavinasela.(3) From what has been said above as also from the Amaravati inscriptions it may be inferred that there were, on the forest-covered hills near Dhanyakara, a few Buddhist establishments with a large number of monks and nuns the latter being much in evidence as donors and donees of gifts. The establishments belonged to a Buddhist sect which had a Pitaka divided into Sutra and Vinaya, the former having sub-divisions, one of which was the Samyukta.(4) Digha-Majhima-Nikaya-dhara It is for the first time in the inscriptions at Nagarjunikonda that we get the use of the words, Digha, Majjhima and Matrka, in passages like Digh-Majhima-pa[m]ca-matuka-osaka-vacakaam and Digha-Majhima-mikaya-dharena' in the Ayaka-pillar C1, and "Digha-Majhma-pamda-m[a]tukadesa[ka-va][ca-kanam]" and" Digha-Ma-nigara- dharena" in the Ayaka pillar C2. Any comment on the expressions "Digha-Majhima" or "Digha Majhima-Nikaya-dhara" is hardly necessary except this that the use of such appellations is not usual in the Pali literature, where the appellations "dhammakathika",(5) ''dhammadhara" are very --------------------- 1 See Burgess, op, cit., p. 105. 2 A. S. B. ms., leaf 21a: 3 Ep.. Ind., XX, p. 4. 4 See infra, for Digha and Majjhima. 5 Dhammakatikas, according to Buddhaghosa, are really Abhidhammikas, but he further says that ordinary Dhamma preachers are also called Dhammakathikas. Attha., p. 29. Samyutla, III, pp. 162ff: See the answer given to the question, "kittavata nu kho bhante Dhammakathiko hoti'ti"? Its use is found also it the Amara,mti and other inscriptions, See Burgess, op. cit., p. 24 and Index to Luders' List. p.642 commonly found. The Pali expressions which repeatedly occur in every Nikaya for referring to the masters of the various branches of the Buddhist literature are, "bahussuta agatagama dhammadhara vinayadhara matikadhara",(1) and not Nikayadhara The slight difference noticed in the sets of such appellations in the Nagarjnikonda inscriptions and the Pail texts tends to show that the inscriptions were concerned with a Buddhist sect which was not exactly the Theravada (the Pali School) but had a literature and tradition very similar to those of the Theravada School. We now pass on to the next expression 'Pamca-matuka' which also points to the inference that the inscriptional records are concerned with a sect other than the Theravada. The word 'matuka' is evidently a corrupt form of Sanskrit matrka or Pali matika. The common explanation of matika as given in the Pali texts is Abhidhamma, By the term matikadhara, the Pali texts refer to a master of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The interpretation has its origin in the tradition that Buddha preached Abhidhamma to his mother in Tavatimsa heaven and gave its matika (=substance or main themes) to Sariputta among his disciples, and that Sariputta later on expanded the matiha's and developed them into the Abhidhamma pitaka; hence the Abhidhamma has become synonymous with matika. The older of the Sarvastivada traditions, as preserved in the A-yu-wang king (Asokaraja sutra) and A-yu-wang-tchouan (Asokarajavsdana sutra),(2) while giving an account of the First Council, says, that Mahakasyapa, after completing the recitation of the Vinaya with the help of Upali, proceeded to recite the Matrka or Matrkapitaka. Kasyapa said to the bhiksus that by the matrka or matrkapitaka one is to understand the following topics: 4 smrtyupasthanas, 4 samyak- pradhanas, 4 rddhipadas, 5 indriyas, 5 balas, 7 bodhyangas, astangika- marga, (i.e. the 37 Bodhipakkhiyadhammas) as also the 4 Pratisamvits, the Samadhis; in short, the exposition of the precepts and the dharmas constitutes the matrka. In the Pali texts also, these 37 Bodhipakkiya- ----------------------- 1 Majjhima, I, p. 223; CV. i II; Anguttara, III, p. 78: dullabho bahussuto dullabho dhammakathiko, dullabho vinayadharo; Atth4ra., p.15: Anandatthero hi bahussuto tipitakadharo. For further references , see P.T.S. Pail Dictionary, s.v. 2 J. Przyluski,Le Concile de Rajagha, pp. 45, 334; cf. Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 160; mDo (Sutra), Dulva (Vinaya) and Ma-mo (Matrka). p.643 dhammas(1) are often pointed out as the essentials of Buddhism. Though matika came to mean the Abkhdhammapitaka in the Pali texts, its use in its original sense is not excluded. While discussing whether the Kathavatthu can be regarded as 'Buddhabhasita', it is contended by Buddhaghosa that Moggaliputta Tissa did not compose the work from his own knowledge but from the matika given by the Teacher (sattha dinnayena thapitamatikaya deseti).(2) In support of this contention Buddhaghosa adds that the Madhupindikasuttanta is regarded as Buddhavacana though it was Mahakaccana's composition on the ground that it was only an exposition of the matika given (tkapitama-tikaya) to him by Buddha. It is also in this sense that we find its use in the Vinaya texts, but there are a few passages(3) in which 'matika' means the Patimokkha-Sutta. Later on, however, Matika more properly Dvematika, became a technical name for the Bhikkhu- Patimokkha and Bhikkhunipatimokkha.(4) Without multiplying -------------------- 1 Digha, II, p. 119-120: (Mahaparinibbanasutta): Katame ca te bhikkhave dhamma maya abhinnaya desita......? Seyyathidam cattaro satipatthana, cattaro sammappadhana, cattaro iddhipada, panc' indriyani panca balani, satta bojjhanga, ariyo atthangiko maggo In the Majjlhima Nikaya (II, p. 245), Buddha just after enumerating these asked Ananda if there were any two monks who held different opinions about them (imesu dhammesu dve pi bhikkhu nanavade ti?), to which Ananda answered in the negative. This conversation was concluded by the remark that there might in future be difference in opinion relating to minor rules of discipline (ajjhajive adhipati-mokkhe) but not to these essentials. 2 Attha., p. 4. 3 E. g. Vinaya, Mv., I, p. 98: Khandhake Vinaye: c'eva Parivare ca Matike / Yathatthakari kusalo patipajjati yoniso // See also Vidhusekhara Sastri, Patimokkhastta, p. 12-13: Naiva matikaya na padabhajane vuttam (Kankha-Vitarani Pac. 19), in which matika means pada, i.e, of the Patimokkhasutta. Samantapasadika, p. 18; Attha p. 19: Pancavidha-patimokkuddesa-parajikadisatta apattikkhandha- matika. 4 See Mabel Bode, Pali Literature of Burma, p.6. She says in the footnote that her attention was drawn by Dr. Barnett to a book reedited in Burma as Dvematika, which included Bhikkhu- and Bhikkhuni-patimokkha, Kammakammavinicchaya, extracts from the Parivara and other Vinaya texts, and a Patimokkhuddesa. p.644 instances, it may be slated that even in Pali literature, Matika means not only the Abhidhanma-pitaka but also the Patimokkhasutta, and for the matter of that, the Vinaya Pitaka. Childers in his Pali Dictionary (s.v. Matika), writes on the authority of Burnouf's translation of the Saddharma Pundarika, that it means "the list of the Vinaya precepts, omitting all the explanations and other details". The "matuka" of the Nagarjunikonda inscriptions may therefore be taken to mean both Vinaya and Abhidhamma. Panca of Pamcamatuka Now let us turn to the significance of the numerical adjective pamca in the expression 'pamca-matuka.' The Pali Vinaya-Pitaka is usually regarded as consisting either of 4 parts or of 5 parts thus: (i) Patimokkha, (ii) Vibhanga, (iii) Khandhakas, and (iv) Parivara, or, (i) Parajika; (ii) Pacittiya, (iii) Mahavagga; (iv) Cullavagga and (v) Parivara.(1) The latter division is more common, and hence pamca-matuka may be taken to refer to the Pali Vinaya or a version very similar to the same. Much information is now available from the Chinese sources about the Vinaya texts of the different schools,(1) and a flood of light has been thrown on them by Mons. Przyluski in his "Le Concile de Rajagrha."(3) Among the Vinaya texts in Chinese, catalogued by Nanjio, we notice that four works have 'matrka' as a part of their names, viz., Sarvastivada-nikaya-vinaya-matrka, (1132) ; Mulasarvastivada-nikaya- ------------------------ 1 The corresponding Sarvastivada titles are,--(i) Vinaya-vastu, (ii) Pratimoksa-sutra; (iii) Vinaya-vibhaga; (iv) Vinaya-ksudraka-vastu, and (v) Vinaya-uttara-grantha, see my Early History etc. pp. 283ff. 2 For Dharmagupta Vinaya, see jourual Asiatique, 1916; and for the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya, see Ibid., 1914; also Csoma Korosi in the Asiatic Researches, XX summarised in my Early History etc., pp. 282 ff.; see also my introduction to the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa Sutra (I. H. Q., June, 1931). 3 A work though published in 1926-28 is not widely known even among scholars writing on the first two Buddhist Councils, the main source of which are the Vinaya texts of different schools. They depend for their information on the paper by Prof. La Vallee Poussin published two decades ago. See Buddhistic Studies (1931), Ch. II: Buddhist councils, p.26. p.645 matrka (1134); Vinaya-matrka-sastra (1138) of the Dharmaguptas,(1) Mulasarvqastivada-nikaya-vinaya-nidana- matrka-gatha (1140). Of these, the Vinaya-matrrka-sastra furnishes us with the information that the Vinaya Pitaka (i.e. of the Dharmaguptas) consisted of five parts, viz. Khanda (kathina, etc.), Matrka, Ekottara, Bhiksu- Pratimoksa and Bhiksuni-Pratimoasa. (2) Likewise, we are told that the Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahasanghikas was also divided into five parts and that the Mahasanghikas had a particular fancy for the number 'five', specially in connection with the Vinaya, for they have repeatedly mentioned this number while speaking of the divisions of the Vinaya rules.(3) We have seen that the matrka has been used to denote the Vinaya Pitaka as much as the Abhidhamma; hence, the Pamca-matuka of the Nagarjunikonda inscriptions may be taken to mean either a Vinaya-Pitaka or am Abhidharma Pitaka, in five divisions, Now, let us see if any school had the Abhidhamma Pitaka in five divisions. The Abhidhamma Pitaka, so far as is known to us, consists of seven texts whether in Pali(4) or in Sanskrit,(5) and the Mahasanghikas, so far as the traditions go, did not recognise the seven texts of the Theravadins as Buddhabhasita, (6) but had an Abhidharma Pitaka of their own according to the testimony of Yuan Chuang,(7) who further supplies us with the information that he himself studied certain Abhidharma treatises of the Mahasanghika -------------------------- 1 Przyluski, op. cit., pp.I69. 3I6. ''The title P'i-ni-mou (Vinay matrka) indicates that this work is a matrka of a Vinaya, and at the end of the fragment translated, it is written that the Vinaya appertains to the Haimavata school. 2 Przyluski, op. cit., pp. I77, 353. 3 Ibid., pp 212: ''I y a cinq regles de la purete"; p. 2I5: "Dans le Vinaya cinq choses sont relatees; p. 216: 'Il ya a cinq Vinaya" 4 Pali (Theravada) : (i) Dhammasanogani, (ii) Vibhanga, (iii) Kathavatthu, (iv) Puggala Pannatti, (v) Dhatukatha, (vi) Yamaka and (vii) Patthana. 5 Sanskrit (Sarvastivada): (i) Jnana-prasthana-sutra with its six supplements, viz., (ii) Sangiti Paryaya, (iii) Dhatukaya; (iv) Prajnaptisara (v) Dharmaskandha, (vi) Vijnanakaya and (vii) Prakaranapada. See my Early History etc., pp. 288 ff. 6 See Dipavamsa, ch. v, 32-38. 7 Watters, op.eit., II, pp. I6I, 2I7.I.H.Q, SEPTEMBER.000 cit.. II. pp. 161, 217. p.646 school with two monks at Dhanakataka. If it could have been ascertain- ed that their Abhidharma had five divisions, we would have no hesitation in stating that the Pamca matuka referred to the Abhi- dharma Pitaka of the Mahasanghikas. The only Abhidharma Pitaka existing in five parts, as far as we know, is that of the Dharmaguptas, whose Vinaya-Pitaka was in four parts, (1) but as the inscrip- tional and literary evidences do not point to the existence of that school in this locality, they may be left out of account. Coming to the Vinaya Pitaka, we find that five of the principal schools, viz., Theravada, Mahisasaka, Haimavata, Sarvastivada and Mahasanghika had their Vinaya Pitakas in five divisions,(2) and in view of the fact that the appropriate place of the Vinaya Pitaka is after the Nikayas, the term 'pamca-matuka' refers, I think, to the Vinaya- Pitaka and to the one belonging to the Mahasanghikas, because the inscriptional and literary evidences, as we shall see presently,(2) suggest it. III SCHOOLS OP BUDDHISM CONNECTED WITH NAGARJUNIKONDA The testimony of Yuan Chwang about the schools of Buddhism prevalent in Dhanakataka and its neighbourhood is our best guide in this enquiry. He says that in the twenty monasteries existing at the time, there were the monks of the Mahasanghika School, and that on a hill to the east of Dhanakataka stood the Purvasaila monastery, and on a hill to the west, the Aparasaila monastery.(4) The inscriptions so far discovered in this locality nowhere mention the name of the Mahasanghikas, as we find in the Karle Caves (Mahasaghiyas) .(5) The names of schools, rather local schools, that are mentioned in these inscriptions are: (i) Mamghi (Burgess, op. cit., p. 105). Ayira-haghana (Ep. Ind., XX, pp. 17, 20). (ii) Caityikas (Burgess, op. cit., pp. 100, 102). Cetiavadakasa (Ibid., p. 102). ---------------------- 1 Przyluski, op. cit., pp. 353, 357, 359. 2 Ibid. 3 See infra, p. 649. 4 Watters, op. cit., II, pp. 214, 217. 5 For references, see my Early History etc., p. 243. p.647 (iii) Aparamahavinaseliya (Ep. Ind,, XX, p. 41). Mahavanaseliyana (Burgess, op, cit., p. 105). (iv) Puvasele (used rot as a sect but a place name, see Ep. Ind., XX. p. 22). (v) Rajagiri-nivasika (Burgess, op. cit., p. 53) Rajasaila (Ibid., p. 104). (vi) Sidhathikanam (Ibid., p. 110). (vii) Bahusutiya, (Ep. Ind., XX, p. 24). (viii) Mahisasaka (Ibid). Drs. Burgess and Vogel have drawn our attention to five of the abovementioned schools, viz., (1) the Caityikas, comprising (2) the Aparaseliyas and (3) Puvaseliyas, and (4) Bahusutiyas and (5) Mahisasakas. Of these the Mahisasakas need not be taken into account, first because, the donor who makes the gift to this sect hails from the distant province of Vanavasa, and secondly because it is a branch of the Sthaviravadins and not of the Mahasanghikas. All the other sects mentioned in these inscriptions are branches or sub-branches of the Mahasanghikas. Aryasamgha = Mahasamgha My first object is to show that the Mahasanghikas have been here referred to as Ayira-hamgha or simply, Hamgha, for reasons stated below. Whenever a sect is named in the inscriptions it is preceded by the expression 'Acariyanam, e.g., Acariyanam Aparamahavina- seliyanam; Acariyanam Bahusutiyanam; Acaiyanam Mahisasakanam, hence Acariyanam Ayira-hamghanam refers to the sect of Ayirahamghas or simply Hamghas. In the Chinese titles of the Vinaya texts, the Mahasanghikas is sometimes shortened to Sanghika, (1) and it is quite natural. The use of the term 'Hamghi' before "gahapatiputasa Dusakasa"(2) is significant, Burgess takes Hamghi as a proper name, whereas, I think, it means 'one belonging to the Hamgha (Sangha) sect.' It is still more significant that a householder (gahapati) is pointed out as belonging to the sect, a thing rather unusual in ------------------------ 1 See Nanjio, 1159 [Pratimoksa-sanghika (san-khi)- vinayamula), an extract from the text no, 1119 Mahasanghika (Mo-ho-san-khi) vinaya]. 2 Burgess, op. cit., p. 105. See also pp. 72, 78, 90, 91. p.648 Buddhism, but it should be remembered that the Mahasanghikas, as the forerunners of the Mahayanists, were the first Hinayanists to give a place to the laity in the Buddhist dharma, The derivation of the term 'Mahasangha', as offered by Yuan Chwang is as follows,--"And because in the assembly, both common folk and holy personages were mixed together, it was called the assembly of the great congregation".(1) Hence, we should take 'Hamgha' or 'Samgha' as a proper name and a shortened form of Mahasangha. Then the use of "arya' for "maha'' is not uncommon in Sanskrit or pali; hence ''Aryasangha" may well be taken to mean the Mahasangha'. All the Andhakas (=Pubbaseliya, Aparaselriya, Rajagiriya, Siddhatthid) are spectifically named in the inscriptions The Caityikas were a branch of the Mahasanghikas. Probably, a section of the Mahasanghikas attached great importance to the worship of the stupa or caitya as is to be found in the Mahavastu,(2) and got the appellation of Caityika. But it is doubtful whether the Aparaseliyas or Pubbaseliyas were independent sects, though the commentary on the Kathavatthu attributes to them some differences of view in regard to doctrine, and psychological analysis. In the Mahavamsa(3) it is stated that in later times, some(local) schools came into existence in India, viz., Hemavata, Rajagiriya, Siddhatthika, Pubbaseliya, Aparaseliya and Vajiriya.(3) Four of these sects, viz., Rajagirikas, Siddhatthikas, Aparaseliyas and Pubbaseliyas are collectively called the Andhakas.(4) The members of the Mahasarnghika sect, it seems, came to be known after the names of the hills, on which they had their monasteries, without probably vital differences in doctrinal and disciplinary matters, Yuan Chwang remarks that be saw only the Mahasanghikas in the existing monasteries of Dhanakataka, and specifically refers to two monasteries, one on the Aparasila and the other on the Purvasila, without pointing out that they were two independent sects. Mrs. Rhys Davids infers from the statements of Buddhaghosa in his commentary on the Kathavatthu ----------------------- 1 Beal, Records of the Western Countries, II, p. 164. 2 Mahavnastu, II, pp. 362ff. 3 Mahavamsa, p. 29. 4 Points of the Controversy, intro. p.649 that the Mahasanghikas were not actually existing at Buddhaghosas time. Buddhaghosa, however, speaks of the Andhakas as existing in his time.(1) The inference that can be drawn from these statements is that either the Mahasanghikas came to be called by their prolonged residence in the Andhra country as the Andhakas or the four sects that issued out of the Mahasanghikas were, by their residence on the hills of the Andhra country, called the Andhakas. To reconcile the statements of Yuan Chwang and Buddhaghosa, we may say that the Mahasanghikas residing within the Andhra country were known as the Andhakas. Dr. Burgess overlooked the fact that the terms, Rajagiri or Rajasaila and Sidhathika,(2) so often mentioned in the Amaravati inscriptions, refer in some cases to the local sects as much as the Puvaseliya and Avaraseliya do. Sidhathika is not in all instances the name of a person as Dr. Burgess supposes it to be. Except the Mahisasakas, all the sects named in the inscriptions are branches or sub branches of the Mahasanghikas, hence it may be concluded that the whole Buddhist establishment at Nagarjunikonda belonged to the Mahasanghikas thourgh visitors came there from far off countries' for the great sanctity of the Stupa, containing as it did, the bone-relic of Buddha.(4) It follows therefore that 'Digha-Majhima-Nikayadhara' or 'Pamcamatukadesakavacaka, ' mentioned in the inscriptions belonged to the Mahasanghikas or the Andhakas as they were later on called. Doctrrinal Evidences point to the Andhakas A remarkable aspect of the Nagarjunikonda inscriptions is the mention of a few points relating to the Buddhist doctrine, Buddha is described as jita-raga-dosa-moha (one who has conquered attachment, ill-will and delusion) and dhatuvaraparigahita (possessed of the excel- lent dhatu), and the donor expects as a result of his or her gifts merits which he or she can transfer (parinametum) to his or her relatives and friends--an article of faith not recognised in the Pall works ------------------------ 1 Paints of the Controversy, p. xxxiv. 2 Burgees, op., cit., pp. 101, 103, 104, 110. 3 Watters, Yuan Chwang, II, p. 214; Manjusrimulakalpa, p. 88, and infra, pp. 652-3. 4 I.H, Q., vol. IV, PP. 794-6. Discovery of a Bone-relict p.650 where attadripa attascarana is the maxim. The fruits expected are (i) religious merits, for himself, his relatives and friends resulting in their happiness in this world and the next (ubhaya-loka hita-sukhava- hananaya),--a merit which reminds us of the Asokan inscriptions: esa budha dekhiye iyam me hidatkye iyammana me Palatikaye ti and (ii) Nivana-sampati (nirvanadom) for himself or herself.(1) The recording of the view that gifts may bring happiness to all, but nirvana only to oneself, deserves our careful consideration. The distinction drawn in this way is rather uncommon and is not made even in the inscriptions recording the gifts of the Queen of Vanavasi to the Mahisasakas(2) or in the long inscription of the Sinhalese donor.(3) This may well serve as an evidence to prove that all the inscriptions of Nagarjunikonda except the two mentioned above belong to one sect, viz., the Mahasanghikas or their sub-sects, or in other words, the Andhakas. Then the expresions 'dhatuvara-rarigzahita' or 'nivana-sampnti-sampa daka' raise the presumption that the Andhaka-conception of Nirvana was different from that of the Theravadins or their sub-sect the Mahisa- sakas. In the Kathavatthu, there are two controversies (ix, 2; xix, 6), re- lating to the conception of Nirvana as prevailing among the Andhakas, The one attributed to the Puvaseliyas is that the Amatapada (=Nirvana), is ''an object of thought of a person not yet free from bondage",(4) and the other attributed to the Andhakas is that "the Nibbanadhatu is kusala (good)" in the sense in which mental states are spoken as kusala (good) and it is a faultless state,(6) Both these statements bear the implication that the Mahasanghikas or the Andhakas conceived of Nirvana as a 'positive faultless state'-a conception which can hardly be accepted by the Theravadins, who speak of realizing the Nibbana within one's own self (paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi) and not of grasping the same as some object producing pure happiness.d Hence, the expression nivana-sampati-sampadaka (the obtainment of the wealth of Nirvana) cannot be the utterance of an adherent of a sect other than the Andhakas. --------------------- 1 Ep. Ind., XX, pp. 16, 18, 19, 20, 21: "atano" or ''apano.'' 2 Ep. Ind., XX, p. 24. 3 Ibid., p. 22. 4 Mrs. Rhys Davids, Points of the Controvevsy, pp. 231-3. 5 Ibid., p. 339. 6 See Majjhima Nikaya, Mulapariyayasutta. p.651 IV PASADAKANAM In the second Apsidal Temple inscription F, the following wards occur at the end of 1. I: acariyanam Kasmira-Gamdhara-Gamdharra-Cina-Cilata- Tosali-Avaramta-Vamga-Vanavasi-Yava[na]-Da[mila-Pa]lura- Tambapamni-dipa-pas[a] dakanam theriyanam Tambapa[m]nakanam suparigahe, etc. It has been translated by Dr. Vogel thus: "For the benefit of the masters and of the fraternities (of monks) of Tambapamna (Ceylon) who have converted Kashmir, Gandhara Cina, Cilata (Skt, Kirata) , Avaramta (Sk. Aparanta), Vanga, Vanavasi, Yavana(?) Damila(?) Palura (?) and the isle of Tamba-pamni (Ceylon)".(1) The gift has been made by an upnsika Bodhisiri for the benefit of her husband Budhamnika, and of her father, the householder Revata residing at Govagama, as also for many others. Our object is to see how far Dr. Vogel is justified in making such an assertion, unknown in the history of Buddhism, as that "the fraternities of Ceylonese monks had converted Kasmir"(2) and other places named in the inscription. His sole authority for this statement is the word ''pasadakanam'' in the line quoted above. Childers explains ''pasadaka" by 'causing serenity and happiness' and then refers to its use as dipapasadako thero (Maha- vamsa, XX, 8) which literally means that "the priest who brought peace or pleasure to the island, " from which Chlilders gives the secon- dary meaning "the priest who converted the island." Childers made himself quite clear in his notes subvace pasado, but probably Dr. Vogel did not care to go through them, having in his mind a meaning which satisfied his new theory. The Pali word for initiation into Buddh- ism is ''pabbajanam" (becoming a Buddhist monk) or periphrastically, "saranasilesu patitthapanam'' (Mah, XII. p. 19). The distinction made between pasadanam and pabbajanam is made clear in the verses 42 and 43 of the Mahavamsa (ch. XII) relating to the mission of Majjhima to Himavanta: Visum te panca ratthani panca thera pasadayum, purisa satasahassani ekekasseva santike pabbajimsu pasadena sammasambuddhasasane. ---------------------- 1 See Ep. Ind., XX, pp. 22, 23. 2 Ibid., pp. 7, 23. p.652 [The five (i. e. Majjhima and his four companions) gladdened(1) the five kingdoms separately, each of them ordained (lit. brought out from the world) 100,000 persons, believing (as they did) in the doctrine of Buddha]. In the Mahavamsa, it is said in connection with Mahinda that he was waiting for a suitable time for "pasadetum Lankadipam XIII vs, 2). This passage may admit of the secondary meaning 'for converting the island of Lanka" but in verse 64 (of ch. XIV), "pasidimsu nagara" clearly means ''the city people became faithful.'' Without further multiplying the instances of the use of the word Pasadaka'(2) (for which see P. T. S. Pali Dictionary) I may make myself clearer by pointing out that in Hinayana (specially Pali) Buddhism, 'conversion' has no sense unless a person is admitted into the Order, Anyone, even an animal or a spirit or a Naga may develop faith (pasada) in Buddha, his Dhamma aud his Sangha, but that does not make the being a Buddhist; so also any non-Buddhist may be believers (pasadaka) in Buddhism, but unless and until he is either estab- lished in the Trisaranas and Panca-silas or admitted into the Order as a Samana, he cannot be called a person 'converted'. Hence, strictly speaking, "pasadakam" can never mean "conversion" The entry of any saint into a country gladdens the hearts of the people of the country. It is in this sense that the word "Pasadakanam'' in the inscriptions should be untlerstood, and the passage: Kasmirm Tamba- panni-dipapasadakanam therriyanam should be translated thus: Those nuns (not monks, as Dr. VogeI writes, for the word is theriyanam) who gladdened the hearts of the people of Kasmira...Tambapannidrpa. The inscription, I think, refers in a general way to the nuns of all countries who by their saintly lives bring joy and peace to the people of the countries visited by them. The reason for glorifying the nuns only is probably due to the fact that the donor is an upasika, and as such she wanted to eulogize the bhiksunis alone. Dr. Vogel takes the theris to whom the gift is made as all belonging to Tambapanni, following the grammatical construction of the sentence, Kasmira...Tambapamnidpapasadakanam theriyanam Tambapamnakam suparigahe, etc. He shows no hesitation in remarking in the introduction (p. 7) that "the fraternities of Ceylonese ---------------------- 1 Not 'converted' as Prof. Geiger translates. 2 Every chapter of the Mahavamsa is ended by line "Sujanappasada samvegatthaya etc." p.653 monks who had converted Kashmir...the isle of Tambapanni (Ceylon). But as this statement is not supported by any data, not even by the Ceylonese Chronicles, one should think twice before coming to any conclusion. In Sanskrit, the genitive is sometimes used for specifying (nirdharane) one out of many, and therefore, the passage may very well be translated as "Among the nuns who have brought joy and peace to the people of Kasmira...Tamhapamnidipa, the gift is made for acceptance by the nuns of Tambapanni alone." It has been already pointed out that Dhanyakataka, Sriparvata and other places in the neighbourhood became very important as holy centres of Buddhism, and as such they were visited every year by a large number of pilgrims which fact is borne out by Yuan Chwang's records.(1) Hence it may safely be stated that nuns congregated there from various countries and rich devotees hailing from a particular country quite naturally erected establishments for the residence of monks and nuns of their own country; in this particular case, an upasika of Ceylon(2) provides a Caitya hall for the nuns only of her own country. Another reason, why Dr. Vogel's interpretation that Ceylonese monks (theriya?) converted the Indian provinces cannot be accepted is the significant silence of the Mahavamsa about suck a fact of momentous importance to Ceylon. The Mahavamsa, on the other hand, speaks of the conversion of Ceylon and the Indian provinces by Indian monks and even refers to various centres of Buddhism in India,(3) wherefrom went monks in large number to attend the ceremony of consecretion of the Mahathupa of Dutthagamani. Hence, Dr.Vogel's rendering of the passage in question cannot be accepted as correct unless more evidences are forthcoming regarding the activity of the Ceylonese monks in the conversion of places in India as far north as Kashmir. ------------------------ 1 Watters, op. cit., II, p. 214. 2 As Dr. Vogel admits that this is a donation of a Ceylonese devotee, cannot Covagama, the home of the donor's father, be identified with Gonagama of the Mahavamsa (ch. VIII, 24), according to which it was a pore of Ceylon where landed Bhaddakaccana, grand-daughter of Amitodana Sakya? 3 Mahavamsa, ch. XXIX, pp. 29ff..Rajagaha, Isipatana, Jetavana vihara, Vesali, Kosambi, Ujjeni, Pupphapura, Kasmira, Pallavabhogga, Alasanda, Bodhimandavihara, Vanavasa, Kelasavihara.