The Sanskrit Lotus Sutra, Saddharmapuṇḍarīka (SP) is regarded as one of the earliest examples of Mahayana Buddhist texts. There are three classical Chinese translations of the Lotus Sutra in existence, including Kumārajīva’s translation, Myōhō-renge-kyō（鳩摩羅什『妙法蓮華経』）, which is one of the most important sutras in East Asia. It has had a major influence on the formation and development of other sutras, ideas and cultures. Where literary problems and issues arise in relation to the SP and the Chinese translations of the Lotus Sutra, in particular with regard to the correct interpretation of the Myōhō-renge-kyō, it is vital to study the SP in its original language.
There are problems such as failure to achieve a unified view of the original source of the Chinese Lotus Sutra. This solution requires a strict contrast between the philological SP manuscripts and the Chinese Lotus Sutra, but there is a SP study that meets the academic demands as a contrasting study of the Chinese Lotus Sutra. In this research, the basic material of SP manuscripts by linguistics content research using our original ICT analysis tools was constructed, and by this and the strict contrast of the Chinese Lotus Sutra, a new perspective was clarified in the circumstances of SP compilation and the original source of the Chinese Lotus Sutra.
To solve this, we are promoting our research as the followings: (1) making out recensions of transcription in roman script's etexts, (2) making out compilation, indexes and metrical analysis, (3) estimation of manuscripts' copy age, (4) systematic classification of SP manuscripts and (5) construction of a basis for SP. Please refer to the research and achievements for our research progress.
In the future, as we will build on the basis of such as these studies, this is likely to shed new light on our knowledge of the compilation of the Lotus Sutra and the development of its traditions. Deeper research into the SP enables us to better resolve the problems posed by the SP and the Chinese Lotus Sutra.