In the political sense, South Asia encompasses the seven independent states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but linguistically and culturally also includes some adjacent areas to the east and north, notably Tibet. Southwest Asia is understood here as comprising the Iranian language-speaking territory to the west of South Asia, i.e., the states of Afghanistan and Iran and the geocultural transnational region Kurdistan, consisting of parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
The languages – both ancient and modern – of South and Southwest Asia have played a central role in linguistics from the field’s very beginnings as a modern scientific endeavor, and continue to occupy a central position in discussions in many linguistic sub-disciplines, including the following, among others:
• historical linguistics
• typology and language universals
• areal studies
• heritage languages
• writing systems
The series seeks high-quality, state-of-the-art contributions on all aspects of the languages of this linguistically diverse and fascinating area.
The article discusses Bhāviveka’s Prajñāpradīpavṛtti and Avalokitavrata’s Prajñāpradīpaṭīkā commentaries on the “not without a cause” (nāpy ahetutaḥ) alternative of Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 1.1ab, from which it emerges that at least two distinct theories of causality can be attributed to the Lokāyata school. The first one is a physicalist theory that confines all causal relations within the sphere of material elements and is assimilated to accidentalism. The second one is a naturalist theory that attributes causal power to inner nature (svabhāva). The paper discusses the theoretical differences between these two approaches, considers Bhāviveka’s and Avalokitavrata’s counter-arguments and concludes that some of the conjectures that modern scholars have put forward on the relation between svabhāvavāda, accidentalism and Lokāyata should be revised.
The paper focuses on the 12th chapter of the *Saddharmaparikathā, a Buddhist homileticians’ guidebook containing sample sermons, dealing with the topic of gambling (dyūta). I edit, translate, and discuss the chapter with an introduction that includes a short overview of gambling in Sanskrit literature at large. The anonymous author is dismissive of gambling in all its forms, whether it is practised for material gain, for mere pleasure, and even if studied as an art. In spite of its exiguity, his discussion of the topic is, as far as we are aware, the most comprehensive in classical Buddhist literature.
This is the first notice, edition, and translation of a royal order in Sanskrit, engraved on a set of three copper-plates kept in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The inscription is dated to the seventh year of the reign of Nannarāja I, king of the Pāṇḍuvaṃśin lineage active in Dakṣiṇa Kosala in the sixth and seventh centuries CE. The inscription provides important new information about a family of engravers, probably relocated from Śarabhapura to Sirpur, who served both the Śarabhapurīya and Pāṇḍuvaṃśin courts. The plates further suggest that Nannarāja I, as the first Pāṇḍuvaṃśin king of South Kosala, continued the epigraphic traditions of the Śarabhapurīyas, whom he may have served with his father Indrabala in his early career before the conflicts which brought him to power.