Buddhism, Food and Food Charity: A Philological Analysis on Three Ancient Uighur Fragments
Erzurum Teknik Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi, Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Bölümü
Keywords: Old Uighur, Buddhism, food, food charity, text edition.
After the passing of the historical Buddha, two fundamental schools in Buddhism emerged: Theravāda and Mahāyāna. Mahāyāna has principles and concepts that coincide with the Theravāda. In particular, food and food charity are among the common concepts between the two schools. In Buddhism, food is seen as a resource for sustaining the life of living beings, both physically and mentally. At this point, four types of food provide nourishment for living beings in four distinct areas: biological, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. The Buddhist tradition of food charity helps to sustain the lives of monks and nuns. This research concentrates on the philological edition and vocabulary components of three unpublished fragments of Buddhist Uighur literature on the aforementioned topics, which are held in the Berlin Turfan Collection under the archive numbers Mainz 342 (T II 638), Mainz 798 (T I), and U 2050 (o. F). The importance of the article is to present new data on Old Uighur studies on the basis of three fragments. The originality of the study lies in the subjects of the three fragments. The first fragment mentions the characteristics of the Mahāyāna school and the interpretation of some teachings related to this school, the second fragment discusses the concept of āhara-catuṣka “four types of food” in Buddhism, and the third fragment refers to the concept of piṇḍapāta “food charity”. As a result of the study, 112 lines of Old Uighur are uncovered and 220 headlines, 182 of which are noun bases and 38 of which are verb bases, were determined in the vocabulary of the texts. Within this vocabulary, 13 borrowed words have been identified.
Ethical committee approval is not required for this research.
The author declares no conflicts of interest in this study.
The Turkish Academy of Sciences-Outstanding Young Scientist Program (TÜBA-GEBİP) funded this paper.