Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg



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Online Workshop 2022

1. Studies on Buddhist Monastic Cultures

German-Japanese Collaboration

For registration please write to:

Part I

March 16, 2022 (Wed) 09:00–12:20 AM (German Time Zone) / 5:00–8:20 PM (Japan Time Zone)

09:00–09:10 Opening address, TAIKEN KYUMA, Mie University, Faculty of Humanities, Law and Economics

Opening address, SATOSHI OGURA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Research Institute of Languages and Cultures of Asia

09:10–10:10 New Perspectives on Late Indian Buddhism, and our Methods for Understanding It, from a Nālandā Inscription by a Lineage from Somapura Mahāvihāra

CHARLYN EDWARDS, University of Hamburg, Asia and Africa Institut, Department of Indology and Tibetology

Abstract: This lecture includes new discoveries and further questions about late Indian Buddhism, and our methods for understanding it, by means of a new edition and interdisciplinary commentary on an inscription from perhaps the last vihāra at Nālanda. “The Nālandā Stone Inscription of Vipulaśrīmitra” seems in response to centuries of Indian religious and artistic conventions, textual and non-textual, which were not exclusively “Buddhist.” The donor of the vihāra is from Somapura, with the members of his teaching lineage each portrayed by a different Buddhist textual tradition, while his donations at Sompura, Nālandā, and elsewhere, are presented as vidyādāna, gifts of knowledge, as described for instance in the Śaiva Sivadharmottara. I continue to investigate whether literary convention or “history” is predominate in this inscription while I also propose that this inscription was created in the context of other physical artefacts which I would like to help bring into focus.

10:10–10:25 Questions and answers, Discussant: ANNETTE SCHMIEDCHEN, Humboldt-University Berlin, Institute for Asian and African Studies, ERC Synergy Grant DHARMA

10:25–10:45    Break

10:45–11:45    Spatial and Somatic Aspects of Early Buddhist and Non-Buddhist Meditations

PHILIPP MAAS, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Oriental Institute, Seminar for Southasian Studies and Indology, Indology

Abstract: The earliest unambiguous textual references to meditation practice in premodern South Asia are brief stock phrases preserved in the Pāli canon, the origin of which is dateable to the earliest phase of Buddhism, i.e., to the lifetime of the historical Buddha or shortly thereafter around 400 BCE. However, these stock phrases are problematic since they do not reveal which posture exactly meditating monks perform. By drawing upon the commentarial literature of the Pāli canon, artefacts, the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya and Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita, this presentation identifies the Buddhist meditation posture as performed at least from the first century of the Common Era onwards. In addition, it analyses quite comprehensive accounts of Buddhist meditation from the Śrāvakabhūmi and the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra to draw a more comprehensive picture of the spatial and somatic aspects of early Buddhist meditation. The emerging conceptions of the early Buddhist meditation posture and the appropriate locations for its practice are then compared to early Non-Buddhist accounts as they occur in the Bhagavadgīta, the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, the Pātañjalayogaśāstra and its Vivaraṇa, the Nyāyabhāṣya and Kālidāsa’s Kumārasaṃbhava. Finally, the presentation concludes that the early Non-Buddhist meditation practice may have been profoundly influenced by its Buddhist analogue.

11:45–12:00 Questions and answers, Discussant: JOWITA KRAMER, University Leipzig, Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies

Closing address, JOWITA KRAMER

Part II

March 23, 2021 (Wed) 09:00–12:00 (German Time Zone) / 17:00–20:20 (Japan Time Zone)

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09:00–09:10 Introduction, TAIKEN KYUMA, Mie University, Faculty of Humanities, Law and Economics

Welcome address, OTTFRIED FRAISSE, Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg, Oriental Institut, Seminar for Judaistic

09:10–10:10    Evidence of Buddhism in 15th-Century Eastern India: Dated Colophons of Sanskrit Manuscripts in Old Bengali Script

SHIN’ICHIRO, International College or Postgraduate Buddhist Studies, Tokyo

Abstract: The destruction of the major Buddhist monasteries, including Vikramaśīla, by Turkic Muslims around the turn of the 13th century delivered a disastrous blow to the Buddhist institutions. However, this did not mark the complete demise of the Buddhist faith in Eastern India. Dated colophons of several Sanskrit manuscripts in Old Bengali script clearly show that Buddhists still survived in some rural areas in Bihar until the middle of the 15th century in spite of the effective rule of a series of Islamic dynasties. In this presentation I will establish the exact dates of the following four manuscripts, attempt to identify the village names recorded in the colophons, and deal with personal names and their titles including the name of a king unknown elsewhere.

1. Kāraṇḍavyūha (1456 CE), 2. Kālacakratantra (1447 CE), 3. Bodhicaryāvatāra (1436 CE), 4. Sanskrit grammatical texts of the Kātantra school originally owned by Vanaratna (1421/1422 CE).

10:10–10:25    Questions and answers, Discussant: TAKEN KYUMA, Mie University, Faculty of Humanities, Law and Economics

10:25–10:45 Break

10:45–11:45    Buddhist monasteries to the south of the Tianshan Mountains in the 5th-8th centuries CE

CHAO-JUNG CHING, Kyoto University, The HAKUBI Center

Abstract: This paper focuses on the complexes of Buddhist monasteries situated to the northern rim of the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China) and their development from the evidence of Chinese literature, historical texts and unearthed documents. The economic base of a few sites around today’s Turfan and Kucha will be examined in depth, and their institutional change after the conquest of the Tang 唐 Dynasty (618–907) will be traced.

11:45–12:00    Questions and answers, Discussant: YUKIO KASAI, Ruhr University Bochum

Closing address, PHILIPP MAAS, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Oriental Institute, Seminar for Southasian Studies and Indology, Indology

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