Introduction to a Fifth-century Buddhist Preachers' Manual

22.03.2019 15:15 - 17:00

Péter-Dániel Szántó | University of Oxford

The *Saddharmaparikathā is a hitherto completely unstudied text, surviving in a single Sanskrit manuscript photographed in Tibet by both G. Tucci and R. Sankrityayana. In mixed verse and prose, it is essentially a preacher's manual on how to provide sermons for the laity. This lecture introduces this unique text and offers a number of examples of its fascinating rhetoric. I will argue that it probably dates from the fifth century, and therefore provides a window into an aspect of developing Indian Buddhism heretofore entirely obscure to us. Special attention will be given to one of the most interesting passages, which deals with refuting other religions and systems of thought: Brahmanism, Sāṃkhya, Vaiśeṣika, Digambara Jaina, and Nirgranthas (possibly the Ājīvikas).

Péter-Dániel Szántó started his studies at ELTE Budapest (Diploma in Tibetology 2004, Diploma in Indology 2006). He read for a DPhil in Oxford under the guidance of Prof. Alexis Sanderson. His thesis title was "Selected Chapters from the Catuṣpīṭhatantra" in which he explored and partially edited a hitherto almost completely unstudied Buddhist tantra. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford (2010-2013), a Nachwuchsinitiative Stipendiant in Hamburg (2013-2014), and a Numata Visiting Professor in Leiden (2018 winter). He is currently finishing his five-year post-doctoral research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. Most of his publications focus on the literature and history of esoteric Buddhism in India.

Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Seminarraum 1 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde