The Work: The Tibetan text of the "sKyes pa rabs kyi gleṅ gźi (Jātakanidāna)" provides an example of the translation work of the later period in the history of transmission of Indian texts into the Tibetan by Ñi ma rgyal mtshan, a teacher of Bu ston, and one of the renowned Tibetan translators of his era. It is unique in being the longest single Pāli work translated into Tibetan, consisting of canonical verses and later commentarial prose. The work is of interest on a number of levels, historical, philological and doctrinal. The critical edition of the "sKyes pa rabs kyi gleṅ gźi" is based on six Tibetan editions and divides the text into its constituent parts. The primary purpose of this work is to provide a full description of the Tibetan translations of the text with all variant readings given in the critical apparatus. In addition to this the critical apparatus records various omissions, additions, variations and variant orthographies encountered in the Tibetan, as well as giving the Pāli forms of proper names occurring in the Tibetan translation of the text. There are also eight appendices providing information on the many verses contained in the text, a list of omissions and additions from the Pāli text, and a list of other works by the Tibetan translator.
The Author: Sean Gaffney was awarded a BA in history and philosophy by Middlesex University in 1983, an MA in Buddhist philosophy, Ancient Indian philosophy and Buddhist Art and Architecture by SOAS, University of London, in 1985, and a PhD in Buddhist Studies by SOAS in 2003. He studied Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan and Prākrit at SOAS between 1985-2017. He also studied Tibetan philosophy and textual studies under Prof. D. Seyfort-Ruegg, 1989-98. From 1997-2007 he was an assistant editor to Dr. T. Skorupski on the Tibetan-English Dictionary Project at SOAS. He has been a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS from 1996 to the present on courses relating to various historical and doctrinal aspects of Buddhism, Pāli, pre-Classical and Classical Tibetan. Currently he is a Research Associate at SOAS, with interests including Tibetan translations of Indian texts, Buddhist narrative literature, and the comparative study of Pāli, Prākrit and Tibetan textual traditions.