In the Lotus Sūtra, which is not an EBT, we find a curious construction in the Chinese:
The Bhagavān’s dharma over a great many years has been taught, the locus shall be spoke in ultimate truth.
Speaking to the myriad śrāvaka masses, and to those who solicit pratyayasaṃbodhiyāna, I say:
“I cause to be severed, duḥkha’s binds, to be seized and obtained, parinirvāṇa.”
Now, if you know Mahāyāna, saying “I say X when speaking to śrāvakāḥ” means that an formerly esoteric teaching that complicates the old Buddhavacana is about to be delivered, but this particular Mahāyāna discourse is not the subject of this post (although, if anyone is interested, for the sake of contextualization, the LS is going to have the Buddha expound a dharma of non-abiding nirvāṇa and identify himself as ‘primordial’, or more controversially, as ‘eternal’).
The intent of this post, instead of asking a question about the LS, is to inquire about the curious word 緣覺乘 (“cause-awakening-vehicle” or “cause-awakened-vehicle”, or if readers will forgive me my poor Sanskrit, likely *pratyayabodhiyāna or *pratyayasaṃbodhiyāna). This term (without the vehicle/乘/yāna added at the end) actually predates the LS by quite a bit, appearing in some, at least 19, of the āgamāḥ hosted here at SuttaCentral. Going back further from the date of the Chinese translations hosted here, in Jain literature, for instance, we find (rare) references to “pratyayajina” rather than “pratyayabuddha” on occasion.
*pratyaya(saṃ)bodhiyāna is likely a ‘mistranslation’ of “paccekabuddha vehicle”.
Buddha --> bodhi is a rather easy change to understand, but pratyeka --> pratyaya is a bit more mysterious to me.
Some people link the construct pratyayabuddha with the ascendence of Gāndhārī, citing a regular confusion between K’s & Y’s as well as between A’s and E’s in that language, but I don’t know much about Gāndhārī. Is this reasonable?
What is the history of the specifically “pratyaya” Buddha, as it exists as a piece of terminology?