Mi, 05.06.2024 – 07.06.2024

Maitreyaparipṛcchā: Reading session II

International source reading workshop with Jonathan A. Silk and Péter-Dániel Szántó

The Maitreyaparipcchā (“Inquiry of Maitreya,” abb. Mp), a chapter of the Mahāratnakūa, is a Mahāyāna sūtra that focuses on the future buddha Maitreya and his bodhisattva ideal. While the bodhisattva Maitreya is best known as residing at present in Tuṣita heaven awaiting his future birth, the Mp rather highlights his past lives and contrasts his bodhisattva path with that of Śākyamuni Buddha. Therefore, it is a unique source for studying the Maitreya cult. The sūtra is extant in four divergent historical translations. These are in Chinese (T. 310, T. 349) and Tibetan (D. 85, Pelliot tibétain 89), and date from between the 4th and 9th centuries CE. Of the sūtra’s original Sanskrit, only a short fragment from one folio has been identified thus far. Based on close reading and textual analysis of all four ancient translations of the Mp, the primary aim of this reading workshop is to produce critical editions of each, as well as a new understanding of the textual relationship among the existing versions. These will be accompanied by scholarly annotated English translations. Together, these textual studies are expected to yield a more precise and nuanced understanding of the composition, growth, and diffusion of this Buddhist text.

Reading session II

Guest researchers: Prof. Jonathan A. Silk (Leiden University) and Prof. Péter Szántó (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

Primary objectives: (1) to read the Sanskrit fragment, compare it with the Chinese and Tibetan counterparts, and improve the current diplomatic and critical editions; (2) to compare the canonical version (D. 85) with the Dunhuang version (Pelliot tibétain 89), to illuminate their distinct translation principles and different choices of translation terms; (3) to compare variant readings of over 20 recensions of the Tibetan canonical version (D. 85), and decide the best readings.

In-person attendance is preferred. The workshop can be hybrid on request.


Wednesday, 05.06.2024

9:30–10:45Session 1
 Coffee break
11:15–12:15Session 2
 Lunch break
13:45–15:00Session 3
 Coffee break
15:20–16:30Session 4

Thursday, 06.06.2024

9:30–10:30Session 5
 Coffee break
11:00–12:00Session 6
 Lunch break
13:30–15:00Session 7
 Coffee break
15:20–16:00Session 8

Friday, 07.06.2024

9:30–11:00Session 9
 Coffee break
11:20–12:20Session 10

This workshop is sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), project ESP 125.



Time: 5–7 June 2024

Austrian Academy of Sciences
Room 4, 4th floor
Georg-Coch-Platz 2
1010 Vienna

Channa Li