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The Gāndhārī 'Accent' and Upāsaka parallels


#1

Mark Allon and Andrew Glass published Three Gāndhārī Ekottarikāgama-type Sūtras: British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments 12 and 14 in 2001. In it, they look at a Gāndhārī parallel to the Doṇabrāhmaṇasutta (AN 5.192), and they put forward a romanization of the Kharoṣṭhī script.

Independently, in 2009, Stefan Baums published A Gāndhārī Commentary on Early Buddhist Verses:
British Library Kharoṣṭhī fragments 7, 9, 13 and 18
where he includes a fascinating section of reconstructed phonology, or how Gāndhārī might have actually sounded as spoken.

In a completely unscholarly (and I must stress this) and amateur (this also) but interesting venture (one hopes), I have combined the work of these two to assemble a bilingual gloss of the Doṇabrāhmaṇasutta parallel passage from Allon and Glass’s work with some of the suggested phonology from Baums’s work.

I’ll use IPA for the phonetic section where the sounds significantly differ from how they are written in IAST, Allon/Glass’s IAST-based romanization to indicate how the Gāndhārī is written (as opposed to how it may have sounded), and then standard IAST-style Pāli and the English from Allon/Glass’s translation.

Gāndhārī (phonetic reconstruction):

avikatu vu ɦoðama avikatu. zuyazaʋi vu ɦuðama niujiðu ukuje. paɽichano a ʋiʋaɽe. muɽhaza ʋa maɦu praɦaʝe. aðaɦaro aloka ʋa dharae. yaʋað eʋa cakʂuatu ruana dhɽekʂatu. eʋam eʋa ʂamanena ɦoðamena krirno ʂukro dharmu aɦaðe ʋiʋaɽe zapraɦaʝiðe. eʐao ʂamano ɦuðamu ʂarano ɦachami dhama ca viɦuzaɦa ca uazaɦu mi ʂamane ɦuðame dhareðu ajaʋaɦrena yaʋajiʋu pranouʋiaðe ʂarano ɦaðe aviprazane.

Gāndhārī (as written in Kharoṣṭhī):

abhikatu bhu ghodama abhikatu. suyasavi bhu ghudama ṇiujidu ukuje. paḍichaṇo a vivare. muḍhasa va maghu praghaśe. adhagharo aloka va dharae. yavad eva cakṣuatu ruaṇa dhrekṣatu. evam eva ṣamaṇeṇa ghodameṇa krirṇo śukro dharmu akhade vivaḍe sapraghaśide. eṣaho ṣamaṇo ghudamu śaraṇo ghachami dhama ca bhikhusagha ca. uasaghu mi ṣamaṇe ghudame dharedu ajavaghreṇa yavajivu praṇouviade śaraṇo ghade abhiprasaṇe

Pāli Upāsaka Formula:

Abhikkantaṃ bho gotama, abhikkantaṃ bho gotama, seyyathāpi bho gotama nikkujjitaṃ vā ukkujjeyya, paṭicchannaṃ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṃ ācikkheyya, andhakāre vā telapajjotaṃ dhāreyya cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhintīti, evamevaṃ bhotā gotamena anekapariyāyena dhammo pakāsito. Esāhaṃ bhagavantaṃ gotamaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi dhammañca bhikkhusaṅghañca. Upāsakaṃ ma bhavaṃ gotamo dhāretu ajjatagge pāṇupetaṃ saraṇaṃ gataṃ.

English of Gāndhārī from Allon/Glass

Wonderful, venerable Gotama! Wonderful! Just as, venerable Gotama, one would set upright what has been overturned or uncover what has been covered or show the path to one who is lost or bring light into the darkness, so that those with eyes might see forms, even so has the monk Gotama declared, revealed, and proclaimed the dharmas, bright and dark. I go to the monk Gotama as a refuge and to the Dharma and to the Saṅgha. May the monk Gotama accept me as a layman who with faith has gone to him as a refuse from today onward, for as long as there is life, until my last breath.

Here you can click on IPA sounds to hear them here: