Lokāyata and Its Derivatives in the Sad-dharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra
The word lokāyata both in Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit is generally used as substantive to mean disputatio. It is attested by the Suttas in the Tipiṭaka as well as the Śārdūla-karṇāvadānasūtra (in Divyāvadāna). The emendations made by Cowell and Neil, Mukhopadhyaya, and Vaidya in the latter text clearly show that in all cases of its occurrence lokāyata is to be taken as a Brahminical subject of study. In view of this, the only solution to the reading of a problematic passage in the Sad-dharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra is to emend the text, not on the basis of further manuscript evidence but by such evidences as are found in other Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit texts. Since lokāyataṃ in all available sources stands for the science for disputation, there is no reason why it should mean something else in this instance. In the Milindapañha the king is described as «fond of wordy disputation and eager for discussion with casuists, sophists, and gentry of that sort» Similarly, Milinda is «skilled alike in casuistry and in the knowledge of the bodily marks that foreshadow the greatness of a man» As Rhys Davids has noted: «The above are the stock phrases for the learning of a scholarly Brahman […]». What seems to have happened in the case of the Sad-dharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra is this: the scribe has mistakenly written the word lokāyatamantradhārakān in place of lokāyatayajñamantradhārakān (or °pāragān), and without noticing his own error went on copying. The basis of this emendation is that lokāyata, yajñamantra, and mahāpuruṣalakṣaṇa are found mentioned in Buddhist literature while enumerating the curriculum for a Brahmin or a prince.
vol. 7, n. 2 (2012)
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Ramkrishna Bhattacharya, "Lokāyata and Its Derivatives in the Sad-dharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra", in: Esercizi Filosofici, vol. 7, n. 2 (2014), pp. 98-103