asoka and the buddhist samgha

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Aśoka and the Buddhist "Saṃgha": A Study of Aśoka's Schism Edict and Minor Rock Edict I Author(s): Herman Tieken Reviewed work(s): Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 63, No. 1 (2000), pp. 1-30 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/03/2012 19:30 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Cambridge University Press and School of Oriental and African Studies are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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Aoka and the Buddhist "Sagha": A Study of Aoka's Schism Edict and Minor Rock Edict I Author(s): Herman Tieken Reviewed work(s): Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 63, No. 1 (2000), pp. 1-30 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/03/2012 19:30Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]

Cambridge University Press and School of Oriental and African Studies are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Aioka and the BuddhistSamgha:a study of Aioka's SchismEdict and Minor Rock Edict IHERMAN TIEKEN

Introduction In the legendary accounts of the Buddhist canon concerning the growth and plays an importdevelopment of Theravada Buddhism (Norman, 1987) AMoka ant role. In support of these legends modern scholars have quoted Agoka's own so-called Schism Edict from Allahabad (Kausambi), Sanchi and Sarnath, in which the emperor would claim to have acted against schisms in the Buddhist Church (e.g. Alsdorf, 1959). However, Bechert has convincingly shown that in this edict AMokais not concerned with schisms in the Buddhist Church but with divisions within local, individual samghas (Bechert, 1961; 1982). It should immediately be added that this does not imply a denigration of AMoka's importance for Buddhism but merely brings his role into line with contemporary realities. At the time the level of organization in Buddhism did not go It is all the more important to identify beyond that of the individual samrgha. interferencein the sarmgha. However, it is precisely exactly the details of AMoka's here that problems start, as several passages in the text of the Schism Edict, an important source on this topic, are still unclear. By way of example I refer to posathdye in the Sarnath version, which has been variously interpreted as a dative of direction and a dative of time. The difference would be whether official should go to the uposatha ceremony or should go to the samgha AMoka's on the uposatha day. An inventoryof the problems The present study will deal with some of the problems in the text of the Schism Edict in order to gain a clearer picture of the nature and circumstances of interference in the Buddhist samghas. Before going into detail I would AMoka's like to present an inventory of the more obvious problems in the text. The Schism Edict is found in three places, namely in Allahabad (Kausambi),2 Sanchi and Sarnath respectively. The text consists of two parts. The first, which is found with only minor variations in all three versions, consists of a standard introduction ([devdnam]piye inapayati kosambiyam maBelow I quote the barest three sentences. followed the by following hamdtd),3 of the three versions, from Allahabad, as reconstructed by Alsdorf (1959: 163):4 1. samghe samage kate 2. samghasi no lahiye bhede

1An earlier version of this article was read by Professor Tilmann Vetter and Dr Clodwig H. Werba, to both of whom I am grateful for their comments. The article has benefited greatly from discussion with Professor Jan Heesterman, whom I would like to thank here for the keen interest shown in the topic and his many comments and suggestions. 2 While the inscription has been found at Allahabad, the edict had been addressed to the mahamatras of Kausambi. In the Sanchi version this part of the text is unreadable. In Sarnath the text is readable only 3 from the third line onwards (ye kena pi samghe bhetave ...). For the most recent attempt at reconstructing the opening part of this version, see Norman (1987: 8-9). inscriptions. 4 Unless indicated otherwise references are to Hulztsch's 1925 edition of the AMoka Other sources are Schneider (1978), for the Rock Edicts (RE), Andersen (1990), for the Minor Rock Edicts (MRE), and Alsdorf (1962), for the Separate Edicts of Dhauli and Jaugada (SE).

? School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 2000



3. ye samnghamr bhdkhati bhikhu va bhikhuni va se pi ca oddtani dusani samnamdhapayituanavasasi avasayiye 1. The samrgha is said to have been made samagga. This sentence is missing in Sarnath. 2. In the samgha division should not be allowed. In Sanchi this sentence is found before (1). 3. The third sentence apparently says that the monk or nun who (in the future) will divide the samgha (samrgharn bhdkhati) is to be made to wear white robes again and to be expelled from the avasa of the sam.gha. In Sarnath, and only in this version, this is followed by a passage which seems to provide instructions to the mahamdtrasconcerning, among other things, the circulation of the edict. An important landmark in the study of the edict is Bechert's article published in 1961 (see also Bechert, 1982). As indicated above, it was until then assumed that the edict referred to the schisms in the Buddhist Church which ultimately led to Theravada Buddhism. As such, the inscription would corroborate the accounts of that schism in Theravada sources, according to which it had taken place in the wake of ASoka's interference in the Buddhist Church at a moment at which it was irremediably divided.5 Bechert argues that samrgha in the edict does not refer to the 'the Buddhist Church', but to a local samngha. He arrived at this conclusion after a careful study of the use of the terms in Vinaya, showing that they were legal terms for samagga and sarmghabheda in particular the procedures taking place procedures used in the local samrgha, at the uposatha ceremony. However, if the terminology in the inscription is indeed that of Buddhist Vinaya, it is curious to note that neither Bechert nor any of the scholars after him questioned, or even commented on,6 the analysis of bh[. ]khati7 in for the verb to be expectedsam.gham is bhid-,9 bh[.]khati as a future of the verb bhan-j-;8 the term always being samrghabheda, never Note expressions like samrngham and ye kenapi samrnghe bhetave. bhindati, *sam.ghabhariga. jnadti samgho bhijjissattti, It is clear that for the derivation of the verb bh[.]khati other possibilities should be explored. The problem of the meaning and derivation of bh[.]khati is linked to that of samagga, in that the action of bh[.]khati results in the annihilation of the being samagga. Unfortunately, two possibilities as to the meaning of samrngha samagga have been left open, namely 'complete' and 'unanimous' (most recently Hu-von Hinliber, 1994: 219-26). The situation is justified by assuming a distribution of the two meanings over two mutually exclusive contexts: 'unanimous' where samagga is found in opposition to samghabheda, andFor the various traditional accounts of this schism see Norman (1987: 16-8). One of the few scholars to comment on the use of the verb bhaflj-instead of bhid- is Norman (1987: 10). 7 The vowel is uncertain. Allahabad-Kauarmbi has [...]khati, Sarnath bh[...]t[i], and Sanchi bh[.]khati. -kh- stands for both single or for double -kh-/-kkh-, depending on whether the preceding vowel is long (bh[d]khati) or short (bh[a]kkhati). 8 See, for instance, Turner (1931), who, however, also drew attention to the problems involved in this derivation, which assumes the loss of the nasal element ni in bhariksyati. 9 On final analysis the derivation of bh[.]khati from a form of bhalij- is the outcome of the search for a synonym of the verb bhid- found in samghabheda. In this connection it should be noted that the meanings of bhahj- 'to break (in two pieces, to break off)' and bhid- 'to divide, to break open' overlap only partly. It should be noted again that ad hoc variations in the legal terminology were at all costs to be avoided. In this respect Buddhist law was no exception as may be gathered from, for instance, the insistence on the correct pronunciation of the words used in the legal procedures of the Buddhist sarmghas (see von Hiniiber, 1987).5 6



'complete' in the other contexts, which deal mostly with the preparation of the uposatha ceremony. E.g. with anujdnami... samagganam uposathakammam (Vinaya I 105) the Buddha would order that all monks attend: 'Ich ordne ... eine Uposathafeier fUr die vollzahligen (MOnche)an'. On the question to what area this 'completeness' extends, the Buddha answered: anujanamibhikkhave etavata samaggt yavata ekavaso'ti, 'Ich ordne an, ihr Mbnche, daB die Vollzihligkeit sich so weit wie ein Ava-sa(erstreckt)'. The word samagga will be the starting point of an excursion into the semantics of the term on the one hand, and the 'history' of the Buddhist uposatha ceremony on the other. It will be argued that for samagga we should start from the meaning 'unanimous'. Doubt about the correctness of that meaning in certain contexts is due to the specific form the Buddhist uposatha ceremony has taken when compared to its secular 'predecessor'. It is generally assumed that the three sentences quoted above are addressed to the mahamatras, who are instructed on what to do with dissenting monks and nuns; the mahdmatras are to defrock them and to dispel them from the The passage which follows (only in Sarnath) avasa of the particular then not have been meant for publication. In it AMoka would, or rather could, sam.gha. 'merely' tells his officials what to do with the preceding text. Norman (1987: 12; 1982) introduced for this second part in Sarnath the term 'covering letter'. However, some words vital for understanding the text of this second part are unclear and the interpretation of some other passages is questionable. In Hultzsch's edition the text reads as follows: 5. hevam iyam sasane bhikhusamghasi ca bhikhunisamrghasi ca vimrnapayitaviye 6. hevam devanampiyedha hedisa ca ika lipTtuphakamtikam huvati nasi nikhita sam.sala7. ikamrn ca lipirnhedisamevaupasakanarntikamrn nikhipatha te pi ca upasaka yvu anuposathamrn 8. etameva sdsanamrn ca dhuvaye ikike mahavisvarnsayitaveanuposathamrn mate posathdye 9. ydti etam eva sdsanamrn djdnitave ca dvate ca tuphdkamrn visvamrnsayitave dhale 10. savata vivdsayctha tuphe etena viyamjanenahemeva savesu kotavisavesu etena 11. viyamrjanena vivasapayatha. Thus this edict must be submitted both to the Samrngha of monks and to the Samgha of nuns. Thus speaks Devanampriya: Let one copy of this (edict) remain with you deposited in (your) office; and deposit ye another copy of this very (edict) with the lay-worshippers. These lay-worshippers may come on every fast-day (posatha) in order to be inspired with confidence in this very edict; and invariably on every fastday, every Mahamatra (will) come to the fast-day (service) in order to be inspired with confidence in this very edict and to understand (it). And as far as your district (extends), dispatch ye (an officer) everywhere according to the letter of this (edict). In the same way cause (your subordinates) to dispatch (an officer) according to the letter of this (edict) in all the territories (surrounding) forts. (Translation by Hultzsch)



As indicated, our understanding of the text is considerably hampered by at least two words which so far have defied any attempt at interpretation.10 The first word is visvamsayitave, the second vivdsaydtha/vivdsapaydtha. With precisely these two verbs Adoka instructs his officials what to do, or rather to have done, with the text of the three sentences. Given this uncertainty the interpretation of this second part of the edict as a 'covering letter' is, to say the least, premature. I have already referred to the problem posed by the dative posathdye. It is important to define the meaning of the dative exactly, for posathdye must have a very specific meaning since the role of outsiders at the uposatha ceremony was (and still is) severely restricted. Probably because of the problems posed by posathdye yet another strange dative expression, namely dhuvdye, has been left without comment. If one thinks about it, the current translation' invariably' is clearly an ad hoc solution, lacking support from elsewhere. An attempt will be made to make sense of the word. The examination of this second part of the edict will draw attention to the formulaic nature of the text of the first part, a feature which until now has gone unnoticed. As I will try to show, the combination of the three lines invites a comparison with other Buddhist formulae, in particular the prdtimoksasi-tra and karmavacand.The determination of the relationship of our text with either of these two sets of formulae depends on, among other things, at exactly which stage in the uposatha ceremony the mahamdtrasare supposed to present themselves. On analysis this appears to be one of the key questions of the present study. An answer will be found in the very word posathdye, and confirmation found in another inscription by ASoka, namely Minor Rock Edict I (MRE I), in which the emperor mentions his visit in his capacity of lay follower to a Buddhist samrngha and the beneficial effects of this visit on his actions. The edict is notorious for the enigma posed by the reference to ASoka's '256 nights', which at one time was taken to refer to the years elapsed since Buddha's death and as such played an important role in determining the date of this event (see Dietz, 1992). A more recent interpretation of the meaning of the 256 nights is given by Falk (1990), according to whom they refer to the number of uposatha days elapsed since ASoka's conversion to Buddhism (for a correction of Falk's calculation, see Hu-von Hintiber, 1996). However, as I will try to show, the 256 nights refer to quite something else; they indicate the moment of the year at which ASoka visited the samgha. visvamsayitave, vivasayatha and vivasapayatha Norman has shown that the derivation of visvamsayitavefrom the causative visvasaya- does not yield a meaning which fits in the present context (Norman, 1987: 14ff). His own attempt to make sense of the word by dividing it into visvam (vi;vasm)and sayitave, which latter word, through savitave, would be the infinitive of the rare verb Sravati 'to hear', is clearly a tour deforce. In the second round he suggested that the word hidden beneath visvamsayitavewas Sanskrit vibramsa-,for which the dictionaries give, among other meanings, 'to betray, to publish' (Norman, 1993: 21). However, a quick look at the same dictionaries shows that the meaning 'to betray' is to be taken literally. It is an ad hoc translation of 'to let slip a secret'. This cannot have been the meaning intended in the inscription. The words vivasayatha and vivasapayathdare generally derived from viva0oAnother

unclear word is samsalana in line 6, which will not, however, be considered here.



saya- 'to banish', the causative of vi-vas-. To Falk's derivation from vi-vas'to dawn' (Falk, 1990) I will return. The verb is taken to mean something like 'to dispatch'. The object of the verb is not specified in the text but, as we have seen, Hultzsch supplied AMoka'sofficers." However, Falk has already objected to the translation of vivdsaya- as 'to dispatch' in the light of the markedly negative connotations of the causative vivdsaya- in Sanskrit (Falk, 1990: 119). Starting from the meaning 'to banish' one could think of supplying the bhikkhus who divide the samrngha. However, this solution is awkward, as the 'object' so far is the text (lipi) of the edict (sasane) itself. Moreover, it Beside 'to banish' (I does not fully account for the phrase etena viyarnjanena. no longer consider 'to dispatch') viyarnjanenadefies translation. In any case it cannot mean anything like '(to banish [them]) on the basis of this text' or refers to the literal text, not to its meaning, 'with this text in hand'. viyanmjana as may be gathered from its opposition to attha (see Falk, 1990: 121, with reference to Neumann, 1913) or hetu as in hetuto ca vyarnjanatoca in RE III (E), Girnar. I think we are justified in assuming that the object of vivasayatha/vivdsdpayatha, as in the preceding sentences, is the edict, and that etena viyarnjanena specifies the way in which the particular action is to be carried out: 'you should cause the edict to be ... literally', or 'you should cause the literal text of the edict to be ... '. At the same time it is difficult to see how the text of an edict can be said to be made to live abroad. In what follows I will therefore elaborate on the idea that vivdsaya- is an emendation of a word which was perceived to be even more nonsensical.'2 For the origin of vivdsayatha/vivasapayatha I think we have to go back to preceding visvamsayitave,with which it is related through the substitution of -am- by -d-, which is indeed fairly common in later manuscripts,'3 and the transposition of -s- and -v-. However, as already are themselves probindicated, the derivation and meaning of visvamrnsayitave lematic. As far as the form is concerned, with visvasaya- the possibilities of a derivation are virtually exhausted, though there is still no satisfactory meaning. A possible conclusion is that visvamsayitavemight itself be a corruption. In this connection the following observations may be made. First, in the corpus of Asoka inscriptions Sanskrit sv and Sv are throughout represented as sv (or sp). This development is peculiar as it goes against the general trend in the language, according to which one would expect s (initially) or ss (medially). Leaving aside the question of whether sv represents a linguistic reality, I would next like to refer to similar occasional instances of sr (srundru,susriisd) beside s(s) (samana, susumsd). These instances show that s(s) was occasionally replaced by the cluster found in the original Sanskrit word.'4 Third, we should11'And as far as your district (extends) dispatch ye (an officer) everywhere according to the letter of this (edict)'. In a note Hultzsch adds: 'I supply the missing object of the verb from the first separate rock-edict (Dhauli, Z-CC; Jaugada, AA-DD), viz. mahamdtram.' (Hultzsch, 1925:12 For the moment the argument is restricted to this inscription. I will return to the parallel passage in the Rfipna-thversion of MRE ii below. as a substitute for akammdsa (akalmdsa)in Siyagada, '~ For akammamsa see Tieken (1986: 15-16, n. 11). Another instance is samsayam in Uttarajjhayd 1.9.26a/254 for (akarmdm.Ia) sasayam (svadraya)(so for jo in Pdda a, which is a printing error): samsayam khalu so kunaijo magge kunat gharam jattheva gamtum icchejjd tattha kuvvejjasdsayam, He makes a place to rest for himself, who makes a home on the road. Wherever he wishes to go, he should make a home for himself. The verse is an answer to the exhortation to king Nami to have a beautiful and luxurious palace built before giving up his kingship and becoming a wandering monk. 14 These instances of -sr- should be kept separate from those of -Cr- or -rC- met in the northwestern versions of the REs.




consider the orthographical practice seen in the inscriptions, in which medial double ss is written as s and is as such indistinguishable from single s. By assuming sv to be a substitution of s interpreted as ss, we arrive at a form visamsayitave,the infinitive of the causative of Skt. vidamsa-'to recite'. In the context of the uposatha ceremony (... anuposatham yavu), which is indeed marked by the recitation of formulae, the verb makes perfect sense: 'The lay followers/officials are to take care that (at each uposatha) it (the above text) is recited (by the monks)'. At the root of the corruption, or rather 'correction', of visamsayitavewould have lain the rarity of the verb visamsa-.'5 It may be assumed that once the meaning of visamsayitavehad been lost, the connection with visamsa- was not the first to come to mind again. If we have indeed to do with a correction, it is curious to note that the result is a verb which is otherwise unknown: if the other option, vis-r-amsayitave,was rejected because it made no sense, neither does vis-v-amsayitave.The situation does not improve if we assume the scribe had been thinking of visvdsaya-. Probably the substitution of s(s) with sv was carried out more or less blindly. If the derivation of visvamsayitavefrom vilvdsay- had indeed come to be considered at all it was also rejected. That is to say, in the words vivasaydtha/ vivasapayathawe may recognize the outcome of the attempt to make sense of visvamsa-, or else of visvasa- (with a for am, for which see above). By transposing the -s- and -v- a new verb was created, which as the causative of vivasa-, which usually means 'to banish', could with some imagination be taken to express the idea of 'to dispatch' as well. are In support of this reconstruction, in which vivdsaydtha/vivdsapaydtha placed at the very end of a string of corruptions ultimately going back to visamsayitave, from the verb vikamsa-'to recite', I may point to the combination of vivdsaydthaand vivasapaydthawith the phrase etena viyamjanena'in precisely these words'. The emphasis AMokaplaces on the recitation of the literal text of the three sentences is striking. This becomes clear if we compare this attitude with the one expressed in RE xiv. I quote Schneider's reconstructed text (without the variants) and his translation (Schneider, 1978: 118-9): [A] iyam dhammalipidevanampiyena piyadasind lajind likhapitd: athi yeva samkhitena, athi majhimena,athi vithatend [B] no hi savata save savata ghatite. [C] mahalake hi vijite bahu ca likhite likhapayisdmiceva nikayam. [D] athi cu heta puna puna lapite tasa tasa athasa madhuliydye ena. jane tathd patipajeyd. se [E] siya ata kichi asamati likhite desam vdsamkhaya kalanam vd alocayitu lipikaldpalddhenavd ti. [A] Diese Schrift tiber den Dhamma ist auf Veranlassung des K6nigs D.P. geschrieben worden: Sie existiert schon, sei es in mehr oder weniger abgektirzter, sei es in ausftihrlicher (Form). [B] Denn nicht tiberall paBt alles. [C] Denn weit ist mein Reich, und viel ist geschrieben worden; und ich werde auch in Zukunft (?) noch weiter schreiben lassen. [D] Es ist aber schon in dieser Hinsicht immer wieder gesagt worden, wegen15 For vi'amsa- 'to recite', see Narten (1959: 41). PW quotes Ait. Br. 3.19: trir nividd su-ktam vidamset'Thrice (and) with a Nivid he should recite the formula'. However, the verb is restricted to Vedic Sanskrit, and is not found in Pali or classical Sanskrit.



der Unwiderstehlichkeit [wirtlich: 'StiBigkeit'] der verschiedenen Themen (und) damit die Leute sich entsprechend verhalten. [E] Es mag sein, daB hier oder dort irgendetwas unterschiedlich geschrieben wurde, entweder, weil die Region [= der betreffende Teil des Reiches] einzukalkulieren war oder weil ich an einem AnlaB [scil. das Betreffende da zu schreiben] keinen Gefallen gefunden hatte, oder infolge einer Nachlaissigkeit des Schreibers. Through this insistence that during its recitation not a word may be omitted or added, the three sentences of the Schism Edict are almost automatically placed in the same category as the karmavacands and prdtimoksasuitras.It would seem that Agoka is actually dictating a formula, which the monks are to recite (vidamsa-)during the ceremonies taking place during the uposathaday. anuposatham ca dhuvaye ... posathaye This conclusion brings to the fore an old problem, for the Buddha himself has forbidden the presence of outsiders at the uposatha ceremony, or at least at the recitation of the prdtimoksasuitras. So how could the officials take care that the formula was recited, let alone see to it that the sanction stipulated in it was carried out? To this question I will return later. At this point I will restrict the discussion to the problem as it is posed by the dative posathdye in the sentence anuposathamca dhuvayeikike mahamateposathdye yati.16As outsiders were not allowed at the uposatha ceremony Norman objected to a translation of the posathaye yati with 'he (i.e. the mahamatra) should go to the uposatha ceremony'. Instead he assumed that we are dealing with a dative of time: 'he should go on the uposatha day'. However, as far as I can see, the dative of time never expresses simply 'the day on which'. Another point is that posathaye, coming after anuposatham, seems to be somehow redundant. Apart from that, posathdye is not the only problematic word in the sentence, the other being dhuvdye. This dative adjective is generally taken, or at least translated, as an adverb, 'invariably'. However, this is clearly an ad hoc solution. As I see it, we should turn to T6pra v for a possible explanation of the occurrence of dhuvaye in this sentence. The passage concerned (H) reads: tisu catummastsutisdyampurnnamasiyamrn pamnadasamrn timnidivasdnicavudasamrn patipaddye dhuvaye cd anuposatharn.Admittedly, the comparison may not be immediately obvious. In this passage Agoka specifies a number of days on which fish may no longer be killed or sold. These include the days of the full moon in the three seasons and the full moon in the month of Taisa. Next, the text mentions the uposatha days on the fourteenth and fifteenth of the month, and a third, patipaddye dhuvaye (ca anuposatharm). The fourteenth and fifteenth are the final days of a paksa of a month of 29 and 30 days respectively. The months of 29 and 30 days alternate to compensate for the fact that the actual lunar month lasts approximately 29.5 refers to the first day of an actual lunar fortnight. days. By contrast, patipadad The patipadd day is calculated on the basis of observation of the moon. In this sense it is invariable (dhuvd).The patipadd is the day immediately following the uposatha. It would thus seem that the phrase patipaddye dhuvaye (ca anuposatham) refers to an alternative way of calculating the uposatha day: namely, one based on the moon rather than one based on the days of the months.


The sentence is notoriously problematic (see Bechert, 1961: 27 and Norman, 1987: 12ff).



In patipaddye dhuvaye we would consequently have to do with a dative of time. However, the dative of time does not denote 'the day on which' as assumed by Norman, but 'the day leading to, that is, before '.17 A clear case of this dative of time is found in the Ruipnath version of the MRE (F): yd amisa deva husu te ddni misa katd, 'Those gods in imdya kaldya jarmbudipasi Jambudvipa who before (i.e. up to) this time did not live among (the people), do now live among (the people)'. It should be noted that in the light of the Vedic expression misrd devebhih (see Meille, 1949; Schlingloff, 1985: 330) the text of Ruipnath is secondary compared to that of, for instance, Bahapur, in which the subject is mankind (jambudipasi amisa devehi samtam manusd). See also Schmithausen, who for this reason prefers the 'intermediate' reading misamdevaof Ahraura, Gujarra and Sahasram (Schmithausen, 1992: 130-3)."8 The meaning of the dative becomes clear when we consider the corresponding text in Maski: purejambu[dipa]s[iye amisa deva husu] te [dd]n[i] misibhutd. The function of the dative of time'9 was not universally understood, as is shown by the Gavimath text, in which the dative of (masculine) kala has been substituted by the formally close locative of (feminine) veld (imayam veldyam). Most of the other versions of the edict read etena (ca) amtal/rena (Sahasram, Gujarra-,Ahraura, Bahapur) or imind ca/u kalena (Brahmagiri, Siddapura, Erragudi, Rijula-Mandagiri, Nitttir, Udegolam), without ddni in the main clause. The sense, however, is the same: 'In the course of this period the gods who (before) did not live (among the people) have [now] come to live among the people'. Erragudi, with imin[f] cu kalena and d[f]ni seems to present a conflated version.20"7The meaning 'before' is supported by the alteration of imdya kadlya and pure, for which see below. All other examples of the dative of time do not involve a moment but a period (samvatsardya, cirakaldya; see Renou, 1968: 298 and Hopkins, 1903: 6-7), in which case the end of the period is taken as the limit before which the work is to be done (Renou: 'Dat. de temps, notant la p6riode au terme de laquelle le proces sera accompli vatsardya nivartanTyah Malav.