Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/58

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
lii
INTRODUCTION.

Kuhn to support his contention that the original of Barlaam literature was a Pehlevi Christian adaptation of Christian legends. For my part, I cannot see any evidence for any distinctive dogmatic colouring in the original. As is shown by a comparison with the Georgian, the distinctively Christian passages of the Greek version are interpolations peculiar to it (see App. I. vi., viii., ix., xiii.), or at least to its immediate Syriac source. Removing these interpolations, the original is seen to be entirely and characteristically Buddhistic in form and contents, and we cannot imagine such a work originating elsewhere than in India.

On the other hand, it seems likely that none of the Arabic versions represent completely the original Indian source of them all. They omit the veneration of Josaphat's relics, which is a distinct Buddhistic touch, as Liebrecht saw (Zur Volkskunde, 454-5).[1] The detrition to which the proper names have been subjected in the Arabic text show a long course of transmission, and we cannot, therefore, depend

  1. Kuhn is therefore mistaken (p. 32) in thinking this an independent interpolation of the common source of the Georgian and Greek version.