JÑĀNOLKADHĀRAṆĪ, lit. “Spell of [the Buddha] Jñānolka,” the name of a short Buddhist text of the Mahayanist tradition containing two magic spells (dhāraṇī, q.v.) aimed at the protection and deliverance of beings. The only remnants of the Sanskrit original were found in Khotan: a fragment (SHT 4369 = [Hoernle] 142 SC 164) has been identified by Klaus Wille (1996, pp. 390-92, with facs. on p. 405), and three tiny fragments of a single folio from another manuscript of the Sanskrit text with a Khotanese colophon (IOL Khot 195/8-9, 219/4) were published but not recognized by Prods O. Skjærvø (2002, pp. 436, 476). The complete text is known from two Chinese versions (Taishō Issaikyō: The Tripitaka in Chinese, ed. J. Takakusu, K. Watanabe and G. Ono, Tokyo, 1924-35, nos. 1397 and 1398), the first of which was translated by the Khotanese monk Devendraprajña (see Forte, 1979), and from a Tibetan translation (Kanjur; see A Catalogue-Index of the Tibetan Buddhist Canons, Sendai, 1934, nos. 522, 848, for the Derge ed.).

A virtually complete version of the text in archaizing Late Khotanese is known from thirteen folios and fragments from at least five manuscripts from Khotan. Ernst Leumann (1908, pp. 84-85, 104, and 1920, pp. 157-64) designated the three manuscripts known to him as Jñ¹, Jñ², and Jñ³, while two further manuscripts were designated as Jñ⁴ and Jñ⁵ by Ronald E. Emmerick (1992, pp. 24-25). The whereabouts of Jñ³ and Jñ⁵ are unknown. Other fragments in Berlin and London may be referred to as JñB and JñL (see Bibliography). Yet another fragment (H. 144 NS 74: Bailey, 1963, p. 50; Skjærvø, 2002, p. 364, with tr.) contains a dhāraṇī which corresponds closely to the second one of the Jñānolkadhāraṇī, though the text preceding it differs (cf. Leumann, 1908, p. 85, and Wille, 1996, p. 391). Only the first folio of Jñ¹ is missing, but its contents can in part be supplemented by the beginning of Jñ⁴, which corresponds to Jñ¹ [1v-]2v3. The other fragments correspond as follows: Jñ² = Jñ¹ 3r5-5v4; Jñ³ = end of Jñ¹ + colophon; Jñ⁵ = Jñ¹ 3r1-5r1; JñB = Jñ¹ 2r3-3r4, 5v1-6r2; JñL = Jñ¹ 5r-6r3 (side a is the reverse, side b the obverse). The Khotanese text does not agree closely with the Chinese and Tibetan versions according to Leumann (1920, pp. 157, 160-61), and the Khotanese manuscripts seem at times to be at variance among themselves, since Jñ⁴ v6 and JñB r1 are without parallels in Jñ¹ and the wording of the obverse of JñL agrees with the Sanskrit but differs from the overlapping Khotanese manuscripts (e.g. jaṃb[v]īyā hvąnḍ[ä] “the men of Jaṃbudvīpa,” Skt. jāṃbudvīpakānāṃ manuṣyāṇ[ā]ṃ).



Editions. Jñ¹ = SI P 3: ed. and tr. Leumann, 1920, pp. 157-63, and Emmerick and Vorob’ëva-Desjatovskaja, 1995, pp. 21-24, with facs. in Emmerick and Vorob’ëva-Desjatovskaja, 1993, pls. 2-6. Jñ² = H. 142 NS 81-82: Bailey, 1963, p. 105; variants listed by Leumann, 1920, p. 159; ed. and tr. Skjærvø, 2002, p. 349. Jñ³ = a folio once in St. Petersburg: ed. and tr. of the colophon by Leumann, 1920, p. 157. Jñ⁴ = H. 143 MBL 22: Bailey, 1963, pp. 36-37; ed. and tr. Skjærvø, 2002, p. 355. Jñ⁵ = Ōtani 1-2: Bailey, 1963, pp. 313-14; facs. in Seiiki kōku zufu 2, 1915 (repr. 1972), and Shin Seiiki-ki, 1937. JñB = [Hoernle] 143 SC 31 and 185: ed. Skjærvø, 2002, p. 586. JñL = IOL Khot 204/6: ed. and tr. Skjærvø, 2002, p. 451.

Literature. H. W. Bailey, Khotanese Texts V, Cambridge, 1963; repr., 1980.

R. E. Emmerick, A Guide to the Literature of Khotan, 2nd ed., Tokyo, 1992.

Idem and M. I. Vorob’ëva-Desjatovskaja, Saka Documents VII: The St. Petersburg Collections, Corpus Inscr. Iran. II/V, London, 1993.

Idem, Saka Documents. Text Volume III: The St. Petersburg Collections, Corpus Inscr. Iran. II/V, with contributions by H. Kumamoto et al., London, 1995.

A. Forte, “Le moine khotanais Devendraprajña,” Bulletin de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient 66, 1979, pp. 289-97.

E. Leumann, “Über die einheimischen Sprachen von Ostturkestan im frühern Mittelalter. Zweiter Teil: Von der arischen Textsprache,” ZDMG 62, 1908, pp. 83-110.

Idem, Buddhistische Literatur nordarisch und deutsch I: Nebenstücke, Leipzig, 1920; repr., Nendeln, 1966).

P. O. Skjærvø, Khotanese Manuscripts from Chinese Turkestan in The British Library: A Complete Catalogue with Texts and Translations, with contributions by U. Sims-Williams, Corpus Inscr. Iran. II/V/Texts VI, London, 2002.

K. Wille, “Die Hoernle-Fragmente in der Turfan-Sammlung (Berlin),” in Turfan, Khotan und Dunhuang: Vorträge der Tagung ‘Annemarie v. Gabain und die Turfanforschung’, veranstaltet von der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin (9.-12.12.1994), ed. R. E. Emmerick et al., Berlin, 1996, pp. 385-408.

(Mauro Maggi)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 17, 2012

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