Tibetan translations; Chinese sūtras; Dunhuang; China–Tibet relations
Most Tibetan sūtra translations were produced from Indic sources, in principle in Sanskrit. However, just as the sources of Tibetan Buddhism are not solely Indian, the sources of scriptures translated into Tibetan are also not uniquely Indian. The present contribution identifies a set of sūtra translations in Tibetan based not on Sanskrit sources, but rather on Chinese. Many of these were evidently produced in Dunhuang. Their study will inform us not only about the state of Buddhism in the 8th-10th centuries in the Tibetan emprire, but also provide a unique window into their Chinese sources, since the Tibetan translations offer a contemporary educated reading of these texts. They represent, therefore, in addition to their cultural value, a priceless source for the study of Buddhist Chinese language.
Preliminary List of Tibetan Scripture Translations from Chinese 229 Chinese Not Yet Identified 218 Questionable cases 239