From the Palm-Leaf Manuscript ‘Sa’ to a New Edition of the Mahavastu

From the Palm-leaf Manuscript ‘Sa’ to a New Edition of the Mahāvastu
REL Distinguished Guest Lecture Series

Dr. Katarzyna Marciniak

Research Centre of Buddhist Studies
University of Warsaw, Poland

From the Palm-Leaf Manuscript ‘Sa’ to a New Edition of the Mahāvastu

The Mahāvastu, a Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit biography of the Buddha belonging to the Vinayapiṭaka of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins, is an extremely important text for several reasons. In the recent years a new edition of the text has been published (vol. III, 2019; vol. II, 2020, vol. I is still under preparation) on the basis of the oldest palm-leaf manuscript ‘Sa’ of the text dated to ca. 12th c. CE, which has been preserved in Nepal. The proposed talk outlines the process of the preparation of the new edition of the Mahāvastu, beginning with the research on the preserved manuscripts and their paratexts (colophons and post-colophons, in particular), through the construction of the stemma codicum, the examination of the language (Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit) attested in the oldest extant manuscript ‘Sa’ and its relation to that preserved in all the later copies of the text, mostly in the oldest paper manuscript ‘Na’, ending with the final result of the research – the new edition of the Mahāvastu and its importance for Buddhist philology.

Organized by the Department of Religious Studies and REL Graduate Council. For more info, please email


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