Sven Bretfeld und Jens Wilkens(Hrsgg.): Indien und Zentralasien—Sprach-und
Kulturkontact , Harrassowitz Verlag , Wiesbaden , 2003 , I-VIII +276 pp. ISBN
The book is a collection of
papers read in the International Symposium convened in 2001 by the Kommission
fuer buddhistische Studien der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen and
the Seminar fuer Turkologie und Zentralasienkunde in Goettingen together with
the Hungary Academy of Sciences et
al. It was published as volume 61 of the Veroeffentlichungen der Societas
Uralo-Altaica in 2003.
Besides the editors’ preface
and Prof. K. Roehrborn’s
introduction , the book consists of 14 papers divided into 2 parts:
Sprachkontakt(language contact) and Kulturkontakt(culture contact).
Articles presented by scholars
coming from China, Hungary and Japan are written in English. Prof. G.-J Pinault
(France)’s paper is written in French. The others(coming from Germany)are
written in German. The list of the papers is in the following:
Juden Oda(Japan): Indian Buddhist
missions to Uighuristan,based on Chinese sources
Pinault: Contacts linguistiques en Asie Centrale a la lumiere des texts
Tibor Porcio(Hungary): On the
technique of translating Buddhist texts into Uighur
influence on Indian words in Mongolian Buddhist texts
Abdurishid Yakup(China): On
the newly unearthed Uighur Buddhist texts from the northen grottoes of Dunhuang
The German scholars’ papers are:
Zieme: Indische Woerter in nichtbuddhistischen alttuerkischen Texten
P. Laut: Methoden und Moeglichkeiten der Wiedergabe von indisch-buddhistischen
Termini im Alttuerkischen
Raschmann: Einige Bemerkungen zu den Buddhanamen im 8. kapitel des
Sagaster: Sanskritische Personennamen im Mongolischen
Wilkens: Indiens Beitrag zur Erzaehlungsliteratur der zentralasiatischen
Manichaeer and other 4 papers.
Since the end of 19th century
Chinese Central Asia (also called Serindia –a place locating between China and
India) attracted and is attracting more and more attention of the scholars of
Central Asia Studies(Turcology , Indology , Iranistik , Tokharology, etc.). The
book begins with Roehrborn’s introduction. In his introductory paper , Prof.
Roehrborn gives a common cultural background of the region. In the meantime he
points out that Prof. Klimkeit unduly stressed the Manichaean influence on
Uighur Buddhism in Maitrisimit. But in the last part of his introduction, he
said that the old Indian word “kuSal”(< Skt “ku1ala”[good]
) becomes “gUzel” (beautiful ) in modern Turkic . I think this makes a farfetched
book begins with Prof. J. P. Laut’s paper titled “ Methoden und Moeglichkeiten
der Wiedergaben von indisch-buddhistischen Termini im Alttuerkischen”. In his article Laut discusses the principles of terminology
translation in Uighur texts : translation and transliteration or
transliteration + translation.
Prof. Oda is an expert in
studying the Uighur history as well as Uighur Buddist scriptures. In his paper
, on the basis of Chinese materials , he introduced several famous Uighur
Buddhist translators during the Yuan time(1279-1368). At the end of the paper
he also published a new manuscript written in Brahmi script.
Dr. Yakup, my former doctorate
student , acquainted readers with the newly discovered 34 Uighur fragmentary manuscript of
Dunhuang. In addition , he gives the transcription and translation of some
pieces of the manuscripts. By the way , I want to point out that owing to his
carelessness , he made wrong spelling of some Chinese authors’s names, e.g.
Huang Jing instead of correct Huang Hao.
Pof. Pinault is an famous
Tokharolog . In his French paper , on the basis of his(co-author) newly
published book “ Maitreyasamimiti-nataka” (in Tokharian A) and our ( Geng
Shimin , H.-J. Klimkeit , J. P. Laut’s ) publications about “Maitrisimit” (in
Uighur ) , from 2 aspects—style (syntax) and vocabulary—analyzed the Tookharian
influence on Uighur Buddhist texts.
The Hungarian young scholar T. Porcio is not only a good
Turcolog , but also an excellent
Tibetolog. In his paper he holds
that the Uighur tantric scriptures translated during the Yuan Dynasty are
mainly translated from Tibetan , but in the meantime the translators also consulted
the Sanskrit originals. Some works are translated from Chinese , but the
versions in Tibetan and Sanskrit are also consulted by the translators.
Prof. P. Zieme in his article
quoting copiously from many sources ( e.g. on word “uragun”—“bitter medicine”)
studies some Indian loan words used in the non-buddhist (early Islamic) Turkic
Dr. J. Wilkens in his excellent
paper approaches the subject from different aspects (from the content as well
from the form). He proves that many Indian famous stories through Manichaeans
spread into European world (e.g. “ Barlaam and Joasaph” ,etc. ).
Lady S.-C. Raschmann in her paper
studies the 25 Buddha names in “ Golden-light Sutra”.
K. Sagaster , M. Shogaito and M. Taube in their papers study
the Sanskrit loan words in Mongolian language respectively.
Last but not least we should mention the
following 3 articles : S. Bretfeld , “Visuelle Repraesentation im sogenanten ‘
buddhistischen Yogalehrbuch’ aus Qizil” , S. Dietz ,” Die Kosmologie nach den
buddhistischen Sanskrit-Texten aus Zentralasien” , D. Weber ,“ Regen und Wind:
Probleme um den sogdischen Regenzaubertext P3 ” .
It is a pity that in this book
there is no papers concerning the important problems like the influence of
Prakrit language and the Buddhist schools (e.g. Sautrantika , Dharmagupta ,etc.
) as well the Gandhara Buddhist art in the ancient Tarim Basin.
In a word , this is a good book .
It is also a big contribution for Serindia—Chinese Central Asia Studies.
Shimin , Beijing
( Dept. of Uighur Dept. of Uighur Language and Culture , Central University of
Nationalities , 100081 Beijing , China)