A Study and Translation of the Rastrapalapariprccha-sutra

Bodhisattvas of the Forest, by Daniel Boucher, delves into the socioreligious milieu of the authors, editors, and propagators of the Rastrapalapariprccha-sutra (Questions of Rastrapala), a Buddhist text circulating in India during the first half of the first millennium C.E. In this meticulously researched study, Daniel Boucher first reflects upon the problems that plague historians of Mahayana Buddhism, whose previous efforts to comprehend the tradition have often ignored the social dynamics that motivated some of the innovations of this new literature. Following that is a careful analysis of several motifs found in the Indian text and an examination of the value of the earliest Chinese translation for charting the sutra’s evolution.

“This important study makes the Rastrapalapariprccha-sutra available, for the first time, in an English translation that highlights the differences between the oldest version (a third-century Chinese translation) and the much later Sanskrit version. Highly recommended for all those who are interested in the process of evolution of Mahayana scriptures over time.” —Jan Nattier, International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University

Studies in the Buddhist Traditions
September 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-2881-3 / $54.00 (CLOTH)