[Buddha-l] The Pali-Tibet Connection

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Tue Sep 29 00:31:40 MDT 2009

On Sep 29, 2009, at 3:09 AM, Piya Tan wrote:

> From what I gather, the Tibetan canon (some paper I read decades  
> back), the
> Kanjur lack many of the ancient Pali texts. Perhaps the specialists  
> might
> tell us more here.

A couple of decades ago I looked through the index of the Peking  
edition of the Kanjur and was a little surprised to find that almost  
nothing of the Pali canon was translated into Tibetan. The basis of  
the pre-Mahāyāna parts of the Tibetan canon were the Sanskrit (or at  
least Indic) āgamas, which were not exactly counterparts of the Pāli  
canon. The counterparts of the Samyutta and Anguttara nikāyas are  
quite a bit different from the Pali. Etienne Lamotte has a fairly  
extensive account of the details of the contents of the Pali canon,  
the Sanskrit āgamas and the pre-Mahāyāna sections of the Chinese  
canon in his Histoire du Bouddhisme (also available in English  

Richard Hayes
Visiting Numata Professor
International Institute for Asian Studies
P.O. Box 9500
2300 RA Leiden
the Netherlands
Office tel: +31 71 527 4146
Fax: +31 71 527 4162
Mobile: ++31 6 81439358

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