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By Jonathan A. Silk

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Extra info for Body Language: Indic sarira and Chinese sheli in the Mahaparinirvana-sutra and Saddharmapundarika

Sample text

Then the Grand Minister Poxian and the Grand Minister ]uyi conferred. They wished for the musical praises performed by humans to join with the music of the gods to send off the sheri. This shell once again can point to nothing other than the uncremated corpse. After the bier is carried in one gate of the city and out another, it is taken to the place this text calls Outu YIlk*. Then the Mallas:69 (1 4 ) MtiJJ � � . ��o ���. �M . E � $� . •• � M o . . $�. o Wrapped the Buddha's body lfashentt) in cotton cloth, and next wrapped it a thousand times in 500 finely woven cloths .

Lo9 The hagiographies and the Preface to the Dirghiigama translation agree in attributing "Buddha­ yasa's" translation of both that text and of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya to the bilingual Chinese native Zhu Fonian �{iJt�, with the Chinese disciples Daoshi �± and Daohan �13" acting as scribes . l l o The Preface goes on to mention the careful correction the Dirghiigama translation underwent, especially with regard to the simplicity of its language. l l l The interpretation of these potential parallels is, however, made significantly more difficult by the fact that the genre of the texts available for comparison is entirely different.

When that *sarvajna[ta] body is born, I create a buddha-body (f6shen). I am able to create a buddha-body from *sarvajna[ta] . a, my relics (shelt) will be worshipped. In light of this evidence, it is clear that Zhi Qian's use of the compound shen-sheli is not original, but an adoption of an already existing rendering. What remains true, however, is that, whoever initially coined it, this usage may be relevant to other similar expressions in other translations. As we noted a moment ago, the translations of Zhi Qian and Bo Fazu other than their Mahiiparinirvii�a-siitra efforts provide no good complementary examples of clear usages of sheli in the sense of corpse.

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Body Language: Indic sarira and Chinese sheli in the Mahaparinirvana-sutra and Saddharmapundarika by Jonathan A. Silk


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