Aṅgulimāla and “mala”

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Other Title
  • 指鬘と鬘、華鬘
  • シマン ト マン 、 ケマン

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The Chinese word “zhiman 指鬘” means a wreath or necklace(鬘) made of fingers (shouzhi 手指). It is disturbing to imagine the shape of a zhiman, which is a translated word from Chinese. Aṅgulimāla, the bloodthirsty killer who appears in the biography of the Buddha, wore a zhiman as an ornament. For centuries, the story of Aṅgulimāla, who was at last transformed by Buddhist austerities from a bloodthirsty killer into a Buddhist have received much attention. The story also had a significant influence on Buddhism missionary work in China. In this paper, we will not discuss the story of Aṅgulimāla. Instead, we discuss the new concepts of those Chinese words, such as “鬘,” “摩羅,” “魔,” “末利,” and “茉莉,” from a linguistic angle, which changed during the translation history of Buddhism.


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