CAITYAPRADAKṢIṆĀGĀTHĀ, lit. “the song (Skt. gāthā) about circumambulating (Skt. pradakṣiṇā) a holy place (Skt. caitya),” the title of a Buddhist text, a Khotanese version of which is extant. In this text Śāriputra, one of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, asks him about the religious merit accruing from walking round a sacred place, usually a monument containing relics of the Buddha (Skt. stūpa). The original Sanskrit text is no longer extant, but translations into Tibetan (Kanjur, Peking ed., vol. 39, Mdo Śu 208a3-210b1) and Chinese (Taishō Issaikyō. The Tripitaka in Chinese, ed. J. Takakusu and K. Watanabe, Tokyo, 1924-29, no. 700) survive. The Khotanese text is contained in a manuscript from Dunhuang kept in the India Office Library, London (Ch 0048). Unlike the Sanskrit work it refers to itself as a sūtra (Pradakṣināsūtra), and it begins in sūtra style: “Thus it has been heard. Once the Buddha dwelt in the land of Śrāvastī, in the garden of Prince Jeta.” The Khotanese text was published by H. W. Bailey in transcription in his Khotanese Buddhist Texts (London, 1951, pp. 72-74) and in translation in Buddhist Studies in Honour of I. B. Horner (ed. L. Cousins et al., Dordrecht, Holland, 1974, pp. 15-18).
See also R. E. Emmerick, A Guide to the Literature of Khotan, Tokyo, 1979, p. 25, and I. Karunaratne in Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed. G. P. Malalasekera et al., III/4, pp. 565-66.
(Ronald E. Emmerick)
Originally Published: December 15, 1990
Last Updated: December 15, 1990
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 6, pp. 645-646