Gaffney, Sean (2019) sKyes pa rabs kyi gleṅ gźi (Jātakanidāna): Prologue to the Birth Stories: an English translation of a critical edition based on six editions of the Tibetan bKa’ ‘gyur. Indica et Buddhica Jātakanidāna, vol. II. Oxford: Indica et Buddhica.
The English translation is based on the text of the Tibetan critical edition, and provides a fully annotated translation of that text. The translation and its annotations allow for an exhaustive comparison with the Pāli original text, and for making references to any sections, or sentences, that do not agree in both versions. This translation is intended to supplement the critical edition, by indicating in the footnotes those parts of the text that vary from the Pāli original. It provides a view of a version of the text as it was transmitted in the fourteenth century from Pāli into Tibetan. It has significant philological importance for the study of the Tibetan translation and transmission process encountered in the later spread of Buddhism to Tibet. The translation also provides annotations to the text that show in detail any discrepancies or irregularities that were found between the phrasing or wording of the Tibetan and Pāli texts. A good deal of information is included in the footnotes that was not justified in the critical edition, but which has relevance for understanding the translation.
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—2019. 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.