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Author

Yuan Ren

Date of Award

9-1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religious Studies

Supervisor

Professor Phyllis Granoff

Abstract

This dissertation contains four sections including an introduction, the translation of two texts--the Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a-vadana from the Mahajjhatakamala and from Ks[dotbelow]emendra's Avadanakalpalata , a discussion of Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a's many roles in other Buddhist texts, and an analysis of Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a's act of dana . The first chapter deals with relevant scholarship on the texts to date. It generally introduces what scholars have done on the Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]avadana . The next focus of this chapter is on the transmission and development of the Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]avadana . Chapter 2 contains two translations of Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a story. The next section, Chapter 3, is mainly concerned with the variety of the texts on Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a that exist outside India and are found today in the Chinese Tripit[dotbelow]aka. This "larger" picture of the Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a story points out the significance of different roles that Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a played. Chapter 4 discusses Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a's well-known heroic action, selfless giving, or dana. It could be considered "sin-expiation", etc.; but another consideration of this action is given. I seek to understand this deed as the first stage (bhumi) of a Bodhisattva's spiritual journey toward the highest enlightenment. He must symbolically die, in order to be reborn on a higher level in his progress on the Bodhisattva path. The sacrifice of Man[dotbelow]icud[dotbelow]a in this interpretation is a kind of initiatory ritual.

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