Literary History of Sanskrit Buddhism and other Essays

Around 2009 I prepared a transcript of the first six chapters of J. K. Nariman’s Literary History of Sanskrit Buddhism. These chapters dealt with just the early tradition, covering such works as Mahāvastu, Lalitavistara, Aśvaghoṣa’s works, and the Avadānas.

Recently, mainly through the efforts of Donny Hacker, I have managed to publish the rest of the work, which covers such topics as the Mahāyāna Sūtras, Nāgārjuna’s works, and the Strotras, Dhāraṇīs and Tantras of the later works. And I have also included an appendix on the Sūtrālankāra.

Nariman also included many essays at the back of his book, by himself and others, and some of these are now published separately as works in their own right in the growing reference section of Ancient Buddhist Texts, they are his own:

Beginnings of Indian Studies in Europe. A very useful overview of the beginnings of the European study of Indian works, especially Sanskrit texts up and till the end of the 19th century.

Treasure Trove of Ancient Literatures. A look at the various archaeological findings in Central Asia, which really opened up so much of Buddhist studies in particular.

and two works by Nariman’s teacher Moriz Winternitz:

Buddhist Drama. A short essay on the Drama in the Buddhist texts, open and implied.

Most Ancient Buddhist Records. An appreciation of the value of the Pāli texts as being the earliest and most reliable source for our knowledge of the Buddha’s teaching.

All of these works are available in html and pdf formats, and help expand a section on this website that I have been adding to all year.


Literary History of Sanskrit Buddhism



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