the verses in the Northern books in general, as well as the prose of the Mahavastu ', have been Sanskritised to a large extent, so that they ought to be restored, as much as possible, to a more primitive form, before a comparison with Pali can lead to satisfactory results. When we come across such words as hesthad (Sansk. adhastad), gunebhih, &c., we easily perceive that these forms are more primitive than Pali hettha, gunehi; but what warrant have we of such forms being really in use at the time when the Gathas were composed, if we observe that in a verse, Lalita-vistara 53, the syllable bhih is reckoned as a short one in the words gunebhih pratipürna? In short, in their present state the Gathas afford no conclusive evidence that the language in which they were composed is older than Pali.
Whatever ma)- have been the phonetic aspect of the oldest Standard dialect of the Buddhists, its vocabulary is unmistakably closely related to that of the £atapatha-brahmana. The coincidences are so striking that the interval separating the younger parts of the £atapatha and the beginnings of Buddhist literature can hardly be supposed to have been very great. Among those coincidences I cite sarvavat, a word which as yet has not been discovered in the whole range of Sanskrit literature except Q'atap. XIV, 7, 1, 10, and in Northern Buddhist writings, as well as in Pali (sabbava). The cwt«£ keyó/nsvov ekoti, £atap. XII, 2, 2, 4, recurs in ekotibhava, Lalita-vistara, p. 147, 8 2; p. 439, 6; Pali ekodi-bhava. 3 The expression samïrita in the sense of «equipped, furnished with» occurs in £atapatha thrice4, in Atharva-veda once, in Saddharma-pundarïkaseveral times, e. g. in pattaghantasamïrita, chap. xxii. We may add the Prakritism inj in saminjayati, Brhad-aranyaka VI, 4, 23, the usual form in Buddhist works in Sanskrit, Gatha dialect, and Pali; further manku, £atap. V, 5, 4, 11; manda in the compound naumanda, £atap. II. 3, 15, 15; cf. bodhi-manda. An archaic trait in the stanzas is the expletive use of the partiele u, e.g. in teno, yeno, tasyo, adyo, for tena, yena, tasya, adya. Both in prose and poetry5 we meet with no, sometimesin the sense of Sansk. no, which etymologically of course is identical with it, at
1 The able editor of this work, M. Senart, makes tlie following remarks on its language (p. xii): «Nous sommes ici en présenoe d'une langue irréguliere et instable, mélange singulier de formes diverses d'age et d'origine.»
2 Ekabhibha va of the Calc. text is a clerical blunder.
s See duiders' Pali Dict. p. 134, where the Thero Subhüti's efcymology eko udeti proves that he does not know the origin of the word; nor is it likely that the writer of the Pali passage cited by Childers knew more, for had he recognised the word, he would have written ekoti, becauso a Prakrit d between two vowels, if answering to a Sanskrit t, usually requires a t in Pali.
4 UI, 5, 1, 31; VIII, 2, 6; XIV, 1,3, 31.
5 Also in the inseriptions of Ayoka.