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Q = MSV + SDP and other Buddhist texts

By Dr. Christian Lindtner

Introductory remarks

Q is the main Buddhist source of the four gospels of the New Testament. It is also a major source for most of the other books of the NT, above all The Acts and Revelations.

Q = MSV+SDP: Major parts of the Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya (MSV) were first edited, on the basis of the Gilgit Manuscript (SBV), by the Italian Sanskritist Raniero Gnoli in 1977-78. For references, see the review of Chr. Lindtner in Acta Orientalia 43 (1983), pp. 124-126. There is still no translation into a modern language.
Other important parts of the MSV, namely Catusparisatsûtra (CPS), and Mahâparinirvânasûtra (MPS), were edited, along with parallel texts in other ancient Buddhist languages, by the late Ernst Waldschmidt, Berlin 1952-1962, and 1950-1951, respectively. For further references, I recommend the standard work of E. Lamotte, History of Indian Buddhism, Louvain 1988.

Q not only refers to MSV, but also to the Saddharmapundarîka-sûtram (SDP), also known as the Lotus Sûtra. English translations by H. Kern and W.E. Soothill are readily available. The emphasis on mere faith in the Buddha as sufficient for salvation, and the idea that tricks, puns, symbolic language, codes, parables etc., should be used by Buddhist missionaries to convert all living beings to the secret of the Buddha, derives directly from the SDP. The Sanskrit text is also available, most recently as edited by the Indian scholar P.L. Vaidya, Darbhanga 1960.

A few other Sanskrit texts have also been copied by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These authors also copied passages from the OT, as known, often without giving the source. That they copied Q in the same way, should therefore not really come as a surprise to us. The Greek text of the Gospels is often obscure, ambiguous or otherwise odd. This partly has to do with the fact that the editors had to leave out or add words in order to get the numerical patterns right, but it also reflects Sanskritisms. In a sense, the “Hebrew dialect” (Papias) of the Greek language of Matthew etc. could be called “Greekskrit”. Some examples are provided in the 2001 paper by CL: “ Some Sanskritisms in the New Testament Gospels”.

The earliest translations of Buddhist texts on Dharma into Greek date back to the time of king Asoka. Bilingual coins of king Menander etc. are, as known, very common. People must have known Greek as well as Indic dialects related to Sanskrit. As J. Duncan M. Derrett observes in his important book, The Bible and the Buddhists, Sardini 2000, p. 95, there is an old Bactrian inscription that reproduces the standard homage to the Buddhists Trinity.

The Sanskrit is: namo Buddhâya, namo Dharmâya, namo Samghâya
The imitation, originally in Greek letters: namô o bodo, namô o douarmo, namô o saggo. Jesus imitates the Buddhist Trinity in his own way in his “last wish”, Matthew 28:19. But with an ambiguity that is only too typical, he imitatates not only the namo to the Buddha, to the Dharma and to the Samgha. He also has puns on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit of the SDP.

The secret of the Holy Spirit is also the secret of the SDP. You have to dip all people into the name (namo) of the Tri-ratnas, the Trinitas. But the Greek word for name also imitates the sanskrit word for homage. A typical ambiguity!

As pointed out in my 9/11 Klavrestrom paper, Revelations 13:18 :

a-rith-mos gar an-thrô-pou es-tin
provides a perfect and typical imitation of
sad-dhar-ma-pun-da-rî-ka-sût-ram.

If you have a bit of sophia, as required, you cannot fail to see that the Greek imitates the sense, the sound and the numerical value of the Sanskrit, for the numerical value of pundarîka is, of course, 666. So the Man is the Pundarîka.

Who, then, can deny that SDP is a part of Q?

EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATING THAT Q = MSV+SDP

1. Matthew 1:1 runs:

biblos geneseôs, ´Iêsou Khristou, huiou Daueid, huiou ´Abraam.

Book of descent, of Jesus Christ, of son David, of son Abraham.

Commentary: One person cannot possibly be the son of two different fathers belonging to two widely different periods of time. The son of David, the son of Abraham not only has two fathers. He is also the son of Man, of mary, of Joseph etc.
The original source solves the intentional paradoxes.
The source is the introduction to the MSV.

Ma-hâ-Maud-gal-yâ-ya-nam, becoming the Math-thai-on le-go-me-non, Matthew 9:9, introduces the MSV by relating the legend of the vamsas = biblos of the kula, genitive, kulasya = geneseôs of the Sâkyas in Kapila-vastu, alias Ka-phar-naoum. The MSV (SBV) begins by providing a long list of kings. This is combined with the list of the seven last Buddhas, each of whom is associated with 6 individuals, giving us 7x6 = 42. This text (Mahâvadânasûtram) also belongs to MSV. The seven Buddhas belong to three different periods.

This lists of names are combined and imitated by Matthew and assmilated to OT names. The names constituting the biblos geneseôs = kulasya vamsas, are assigned to three periods each of which has “fourteen generations”.
So, Matthew introduces his book by imitating the pattern and the numbers of his sources.

The hero of the MSV is the ksatriyas called Sâkyamunis. There are numerous puns on Sâkyamunis later on in Matthew. The numerical value of Sâkyamunis is 932 = the numerical value of to haima mou.

The genitive form of ksatriyas, son of a king, is ksa-tri-yas-ya. These four syllables in Greek become ´Iê-sou Khris-tou. As will be seen, when comparing the Greek and the Sanskrit, all the syllables and consonants of the original Sanskrit have been preserved. This means, in this case, that the - sou of ´Iêsou represents the genitive ending of ksatriyasya, namely -sya. Moreover, the `I represents the y.

There are, to be sure, several Sanskrit originals behind Jesus. More about this later on. Normally Sanskrit ksatriyas becomes ho Khristos in the Greek. The article ho is there in order to imitate the three syllables of the original. So, as a rule, Sanskrit ksa-tri-yas is translated as ho khris-tos. Such a ksatriyas is also anointed. Thus the Greek represents not only the sound but also the sense of the Sanskrit perfectly. The sense is, of course, at the same time assimilated to that of the Messiah.

The ksatriyas is, in Q, the son, Sanskrit putras, of the king, called deva. He is, therefore, a deva-putras, a son of the king. Sanskrit devas also means god. He is , therefore also the son of god. This is nicely assimlitated to the king Dauid. So the deva-, god and king, is nicely assimliated to the king David. Note also, that the Greek has no word for “of”. It says “son David”. The reason is clear. It has to have four syllables only, as does the Sanskrit.

Finally, he is the son (of) Abraham. The Sanskrit original is Brahmâ. The ksatriyas descends from the world of Brahmâ. He is, as such, one of the numerous sons of Brahmâ. Thus it is easy to see that the son of Abraham - a chronological absurdity - was originally the son of Brahmâ.

But Matthew is always ambiguous. He has many cards in his sleeves.
The ksatriyas often describes himself as a brâhmanas, the descendant of Brahmâ. Thus, the final two words in Matthew 1:1 also render Sanskrit brâhmanas.
Later on matthew will offer other nice versions of brâhmanas, the happiest of which is phro-ni-mos, which represents the form and the sense of the original just perfectly.

So, to sum up: The Sanskrit original of the intial eight words of Matthew runs in simplified Romanization: kulasya vamsas ksatriyasya deva-putrasya brâhmanasya .

The total number of syllables, is of course, the same in both sources.
The reader who consults the first few pages of the MSV (being here SBV I) will easily be able to make further identifications.

Let me only add, that the ksatriyas was supposed to be the next king of Kapilavastu. He was the son of a king. But things turned out otherwise. So we have the son of a king who never became a normal king. He did, however, become a king of Dharma.
Just like o khristos. This is, in brief, the secret of Christ. The same person, under the same circmstances, tells the same story of the same story: The ksatriyas in the disguise of o khristos.