Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (3):273-290 (2009)

Douglas Osto
Massey University
This article argues for a new interpretation of the Sanskrit compound gaṇḍa-vyūha as it is used in the common title of the Mahāyāna text the Gaṇḍavyūha-Sūtra.The author begins by providing a brief history of the sūtra’s appellations in Chinese and Tibetan sources. Next, the meanings of gaṇḍa (the problematic member of the compound) are explored. The author proposes that contemporary scholars have overlooked a meaning of gaṇḍa occurring in some compounds, wherein gaṇḍa can mean simply “great,” “big” or “massive.” This general sense is particularly common in the compound gaṇda-śaila (a “massive rock” or “boulder”) and is found in such texts as the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the Harivaṃśa and the Harṣacarita. Following the discussion of Gaṇḍa, the author examines the term vyūha (“array”) as it is used in the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra. The article concludes with the suggestion that a more appropriate translation of the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra would be “The Supreme array Scripture.”.
Keywords Gaṇḍa   Vyūha   Gaṇḍavyūha  Mahāyāna  Sūtra
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-008-9056-6
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References found in this work BETA

Essays in Zen Buddhism.E. H. S. & Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki - 1962 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 82 (1):141.
Indian Buddhism.Patricia Bjaaland - 1973 - Philosophy East and West 23 (4):537-544.
Indian Buddhism.B. G. Gokhale - 1972 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 92 (4):503.

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