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Article

Devatāsūtra в арабском «Сборнике летописей» Рашид ад-Дина

In the Compendium of Chronicles (Jāmi‘ al-tawārīkh) of a famous medieval scholar, physician, and influential vizier at the Ilkhanid court Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadhānī (1249/50–1318) that was compiled on the basis of the works of the court historian Abū-l-Qāsim Qāshānī (died after 1323/4), one finds the History of India (Tārīkh al-Hind wa’l-Sind), which contains a lengthy section about the Buddha and Buddhism. Among the Arabic sources on Buddhism, this work of Rashīd al-Dīn is considered to be the most important. One of the chapters in this section is a version of the famous Buddhist sutra adapted for the Muslim reader, in which the Buddhist teachings and ethical principles are presented in the form of questions-riddles addressed by a heavenly being to Buddha and his answers given to them. The article provides a survey of the Asiatic versions of this work that were in use in Buddhist cultures in the Middle Ages, as well as a comparison of the Muslim and Buddhist interpretations of this sutra presented in the Arabic version of the Compendium of Chronicles. The article is followed by an edition of the Arabic text of the sutra based on the only preserved manuscript from the London collection Khalili MSS 727, and its Russian translation.