The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet by the great scholar Boston Richen grub-pa. Also called Burdon Riposte, is held in great esteem by Tibetan and Mongolian learned lamas. It is distinguished from the work of Traumata by the plan of its compositor, ft consists of three parts. The history proper is preceded by systematical review of the whole of Buddhist literature so far as preserved in Tibet and it is followed by a systematical catalogue of works, authors and. translations of all the literature contained in the Kanji and Injure collections, the first Part is of. an overwhelming scientifically value: 1t represents a synthesis of everything which directly or remotely bears the stamp of Buddhism. The whole of its literature sacred and profane is here reviewed as divided in periods, schools and subject matter. No one was better qualified than Bu-stone for he was one of the redactors of the Kanji and Tenure collections in their ft4L form. The present Translation is divided. Hello 2 boo. Book I eoptains3 parts. Part I the merit of studying and preaching the doctrine, part II general review of the literature of Buddhism, Part III The consideration and ftmlfihlment of the ml6, prescribed for study aid teaching. Book II includes. The History of Buddhism, The difference Axons the Buddha’s of the Fortunate Add, The rise of the Buddha in this world. An exhaustive note in the end enhances its utility:
To European readers Tibetan historiography is known from Traumata’s History of Buddhism in India, translated simultaneously by two members of the St. Petersburg Academy of Science, W.P. Wassilieff into Russian and A. Schaefer into German.’ But this is not the only work of this kind which the Tibetan literature contains. There are many others. Among them, “The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet”2 by the great scholar Bu-stony Rin-chen-grub-pa (pronounce Burdon Rinchenclub), also called Burdon Repose, is held in great esteem by Tibetan and Mongolian learned lamas. It is distinguished from the work of Traumata by the plan of its composition. It consists of three parts. The history proper is preceded by a systematical review of the whole of Buddhist literature so far as preserved in Tibet, and it is followed by a systematical catalogue of works, authors and translators of all the literature contained in the Kanjur and Tanjur collections. The first part is of an overwhelming scientifically value. It represents a synthesis of everything which directly or remotely bears the stamp of Buddhism, that synthesis which is also the ultimate aim of the European investigation of that religion. The whole of its literature, sacred and profane, is here reviewed as divided in periods, schools and subject-matter. No one was better qualified for such a task than Burdon, for he was one of the redactors of the Kanjur and Tanjur great collections in their final form. As a matter of fact his “History” is but an introduction and a systematical table of contents to the Narthaft editions of the Kanjur and Tanjur.
His work has not failed to attract the attention of European scholarship. Wassilieff quotes it in the first volume of his Buddhism; Sarat Candra Das has translated some excerpts out of it. I myself have published a translation in French, in the Museum 1905 (“Notes de literature bouddhique. La literature Dogcart drapers Houston”), of the part devoted to the literature of the Dogcart school, and, in English, of the part dealing with the Abhidharma literature of the Sarvãstivadins, included in Prof. Takakusu’s work on the Abhidharma literature of the Sarvästivadins. In the years 1927 and 1928 1 has interpreted the work to my pupil E.E. Overfilled making it the subject of our seminary study. He then has made an English translation which was revised by me and is now published, thanks to the kind attention accorded to it by the Heidelberg Society for the Investigation of Buddhist Lore and by its president Professor M. Walleye.
The translation of the first part, now published, was not an easy task, since it consists predominantly of quotations, many of them having the form of mnemonic verse (karikã’s). They had to be identified and their commentaries consulted. With very few exceptions all has been found out by E.E. Overfilled in the Tenure works. The high merit of this self-denying, absorbing and difficult work will, I have no doubt, be fully appreciated by fellow scholars who have a personal experience of that kind of work.
Burdon Riposte was a native of Central Tibet. He lived in the years 1290-1364. He consequently belongs to the old school of Tibetan learning, the school which preceded the now dominant Geauga sect (the yellow-caps) founded by Tonkawa. Besides the History he has written many other works. A full block-print edition of all his works in 15 volumes has recently appeared in Lassa. No copy of it has as yet reached Leningrad. Among his works there is one on logic, TshadTma-rnam-fies-pai-b suds-don=Pramänaviniçcaya-pinçlartha, with his own commentary. A block print containing his biography (rnam-thar) is in my possession. It will be analyzed by E.E. Overfilled in the Introduction also dealing with the sources of Tibetan historiography, which will be attached to the translation of the whole work. The Translation is made from the text of
the old block-print edition, a copy of which is found in the Asiatic Museum of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
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