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Abhidhamma em Gandhari

Recentemente adquirido pela Universidade de Washington um dos mais antigos manuscritos buddhistas existentes. Consistindo de oito fragmentos de um manuscrito na língua gandhari ele foi definido como sendo parte do Abhidhamma. Gandhari foi a língua falada na região de Gandhara, uma região-chave na expansão do Buddhismo do subcontinente indiano para a Ásia Central e China. Gandhara fica na região do atual Afeganistão e Paquistão.
Collett Cox, o professor de línguas e literaturas asiáticas da universidade diz que:

“This text is very exciting, because it is the earliest commentary that we’ve found. All other early texts have been extensively reworked. This is clearly in its ‘raw’ form. We can only speculate on how it was used, but it is possible that it was lecture outlines for teaching in the monastery. Buddhism was just moving from an oral tradition to writing. This manuscript will give us insight into how textual collections developed–not just how texts evolved over time, but how the monastic community used them. We will learn more about what early teachers thought was important about the history of Buddhism prior to that time, what they thought was worth passing on to future generations. We’re seeing a stage of development in the history of Buddhism of which just a few years ago we were completely ignorant.”

O projeto de recuperação de manuscritos buddhistas da universidade é tão vasto que o professor diz que certamente não será completado nessa geração.

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