The commentary to the Yuanjue jing in Old Uigur, which was published by Kudara (1992) and Zhang - Zieme (2012), includes unique teachings and quotations ascribed to the Great Master SYLW, whose name apparently derives from a Chinese honorific title for eminent Buddhist monks, which has remained unidentified so far. This paper examines the nature of this commentary by tracing the Great Master SYLW in Chinese Buddhist texts.
In the Mongol period, the Uighurs who settled around the Turfan region not only translated Chinese Buddhist works into the Uighur language, but also directly copied them in Chinese characters or composed original works with the combination of arbitrary quotations from Chinese works. The Insadi-Sūtra is such a work in question. The author of this paper succeeded in identifying two Chinese Buddhist texts written by Uighurs. They will help us better understand the background in which these Uighur-Chinese mixed texts came about.
This paper identifies three manuscript fragments from Turfan as an Old Uyghur version of the story of Shunzi 舜子, a medieval Chinese narrative about Emperor Shun acting as a filial son. In China, the story was part of the lore of filial sons (xiaozi 孝子), popular throughout most of the dynastic period. Early versions of the Chinese story survive in Japan and Dunhuang, and these display obvious parallels with the Uyghur text. While this allows a positive identification of the content of the three Turfan fragments, the differences reveal that none of the known Chinese versions could have served as the source text for the translation. The Old Uyghur version, therefore, represents an otherwise unattested version of the story, which may have developed among the Uyghurs.