By Jonathan A. Silk
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Additional info for Body Language: Indic sarira and Chinese sheli in the Mahaparinirvana-sutra and Saddharmapundarika
O The Buddha spoke to Sakra Devanam Indra: "Because it is not through the shen-shelt, one becomes a Buddha from *sarvajna[tii] (omniscience). The Tathagata emerges from Prajfiaparamita (the Perfection of Wisdom). Just so, Kausika, the body of "sarvajna[tii] emerges from Prajfiaparamita. The Tathagata, Arhat, Samyaksambuddha is born from *sarvtljna[tii] . I obtained a buddha-body lf6shen). After my parinirval)a, my relics (shell) will be worshipped. 1 I3 However, we do find the term shen-sheli also employed in other works attributed to Fonian.
But is this really clearly understandable , or on the contrary, might it give an impression not unlike that one might gain by reading modern translations of the Mahiiparnirvii1Ja-siitra which, as we have seen above, fluctuate in their treatment of the term farira in such a way as to render coherent comprehension of the text almost an impossibility? w 0\ Mallas Narrator Aniruddha Ananda Monks Ka§yapa Buddha's sheli as corpse 1 8 CDCZ), 1 9 1 9-his, his, 24 @ 24 CD Buddha's sheli as relics 24 @@ Buddha's corpse asf6shin Cakravartin's corpse as tz, shin Cakravartin's sheli as relics Buddha's corpse as shin 1 9 CDCZ) @@ 2 0 CD Buddha 2 3 CD 21 ® 2 3 CD 22 @ 2 3 @@ ® 2 3® 20 CZ)@ @ 5 CZ)@ 20 ® 5® 2 1 @@ I The Buddha's Funeral in the Dirghagama and Dharmaguptaka Vinaya 37 Let us turn to a basic question: why is the unburned corpse called sheli?
In Upavattana. Arriving there, they spent the entire day in honoring, respecting, venerating and worshipping the Blessed One's body with dances, songs, music, garlands, and scents . . Then it occurred to the Mallas of Kusinara: "It's too late today to cremate the Blessed One's body. " And so they spent the second day . in honoring . the Blessed One's body with dances . . 6; Rhys Davids and Carpenter 1 903 : 1 59 . 5 (§VI. 1 3 - 1 4) Burmese Sixth Council edition (Dhammagiri-Pali-Ganthamala 2 [Dhammagiri, Igatpuri: Vipasanna Research Institute, 1 993]): 1 1 9.