In the present article some unpublished Buddhist Sogdian texts belonging to the German Turfan collection are studied. Apart from a small fragment from the Sogdian version of the
, I selected those texts which belong to categories unknown or not well represented among the Buddhist Sogdian texts published so far. Thus, specimens of the
literature, Zen Buddhism and apocryphal texts are cited. One group of fragments contains Tocharian loanwords and is likely to have been translated from Tocharian, while another group is unique in that it is provided with a colophon in the Uighur language. Finally, various forms denoting “bodhisattva” are collected and in light of their distribution and number of occurrences among the texts I challenge the generally accepted view that they came into Sogdian via Parthian, and that the Uighur form
had its origin in Sogdian.
In this paper three Buddhist Sogdian texts discovered from Turfan are identified and edited. These are unique among the Buddhist Sogdian texts in that they are not translated from the Chinese prototypes, but are dependent on, if not translated from, the originals which were popular among the Buddhists resident in Kucha, Karashahr or Turfan, i.e. the area along the Northern Silk Road, whereas most Buddhist Sogdian texts are shown to have been translated from Chinese originals. The three are the Sogdian versions of (1) the Karmavibhaṅga, (2) the so-called Prātihārya-sūtra or chapter twelve of the Divyāvadāna, and (3) the legend of King Kāñcanasāra. The last one constitutes the fifth chapter of the Daśakarmapathavadānamālā, of which the Tocharian and Uighur versions have been discovered.