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Nobuyuki Suzuki

PhD candidate / guest

N. Suzuki
+31 71 527 2727

Nobuyuki Suzuki is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Nobuyuki Suzuki

Fields of interest

Mahāyāna Buddhist scriptures, Sanskrit literature, Shingon Buddhism

PhD research

A Critical Edition, Translation, and Study of the Candrottarā-dārikā-vyākaraṇa.

This project aims to provide a critical edition, an English translation, and a comprehensive analysis of the Candrottarā-dārikā-vyākaraṇa, a Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtra that was probably composed around the 3rd or 4th century CE in India. The Sanskrit title of this sūtra can be translated as “The Prediction Concerning the Girl Candrottarā”, and indeed the principal character of the work is not the Buddha, but the 8-year-old girl Candrottarā, who is the daughter of Vimalakīrti who supposedly lived in the ancient Indian city of Vaiśālī. Despite her young age, she is endowed with an extraordinarily beautiful appearance and skilled at preaching with profound wisdom. She performs numerous miracles and finally receives a prophecy from the Buddha that she will become a Buddha in the future.

There are two extant versions of the text, one translation each in Tibetan and Chinese, as well as Sanskrit fragments that are preserved in the Śikṣāsamuccaya and in the Schøyen collection. Some scholars point out that the sūtra was produced under the strong influence of the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa. In addition, the influence of the text on the 10th-century Japanese folk tale Taketori Monogatari 竹取物語 (Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) has been discussed by several Japanese literary scholars. However, to date, the existing research that has been conducted on the Candrottarā-dārikā-vyākaraṇa in both English and Japanese is limited, and there remain many unaddressed questions.

Therefore, this project addresses the contents in relation to parallels found in other related sūtras including the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, the connection with the Taketori Monogatari, issues on gender identity, child prodigies, and prophecy (vyākaraṇa) in Mahāyāna contexts. An in-depth analysis of the Candrottarā-dārikā-vyākaraṇa will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the position of the sūtra in Indian Buddhism and to its role in the formation and development of critical themes in the history of Buddhist thought.

Supervisor Professor: Prof. dr. Jonathan A. Silk



  • Sep. 2019-Present PhD Candidate at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
  • Apr. 2018- Sep. 2018 Visiting Scholar at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
  • Mar. 2016 M.A. in Indian Philosophy & Buddhist Studies, Graduate School of Letters, Toyo University
  • Mar. 2013 B.A. in Indian Philosophy & Buddhist Studies, Department of Indian Philosophy, Faculty of Letters, Toyo University


Otc. 2016  1st Prize in the 2nd Nakamura Hajime Eastern Philosophy and Culture Study Prize (第二回中村元東洋思想文化賞 優秀賞)


  • The Contrasts Between the Bodhisattvayāna and the Śrāvakayāna in the Śikṣāsamuccaya's Theory of Bodhicitta", in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 67-3 (148), Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 2019, pp. 101-105.
  • Śikṣāsamuccaya ni okeru śraddhā ni tsuite” (Śikṣāsamuccayaにおけるśraddhāについて  Features of Śraddhā in the Śikṣāsamuccaya) in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 66-2 (144), Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 2018, pp. 836-839.
  • Śikṣāsamuccaya ni okeru śraddhā (shin) no tokushoku”, (Śikṣāsamuccayaにおけるśraddhā(信)の特色  Features of Śraddhā (faith) in the Śikṣāsamuccaya) in Bulletin of the Graduate School, Toyo University Graduate School of Letters (Literature), Vol. 54, Toyo University, Tokyo, 2018, pp.191-206.
  • Śikṣāsamuccaya ni tokareru Saṃvara no gainen ni tsuite”  (Śikṣāsamuccayaに説かれるSaṃvaraの概念について The Concept of Saṃvara in the Śikṣāsamuccaya) in Bulletin of the Graduate School, Toyo University Graduate School of Letters (Literature), Vol. 53, Toyo University, Tokyo, 2017, pp.129-140.
  • Śikṣāsamuccaya ni tokareru jukaiho wo megutte” (Śikṣāsamuccayaに説かれる受戒法をめぐって  Conception of Self-restraint (saṃvara) in the Śikṣāsamuccaya: Development of Mahāyāna-style Precepts) in Toyo University Oriental Studies, Vol. LIV, The Institute of Oriental Studies, Toyo University, Tokyo, 2017, pp.121-143.

Ancillary activities

Nobuyuki (Shinko) Suzuki is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 1200-year-old Koyasan Shingon tradition of Japanese Buddhism. In March 2020, he performed the fire ritual (Goma) at Buddha Pāda Institute in Perli Thegchog Ling Monastery in Kalimpong, India. Alongside his academic and religious career, he is a teacher of History and Geography at Japanese Saturday School Amsterdam since April 2021. In addition, he has an active interest in Japanese traditional music. He specializes in two types of Japanese flutes: the Shinobue and the Nohkan. He has performed in several cities in the world, including Kalimpong and New Delhi in India, Bayreuth in Germany, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

PhD candidate / guest

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS India en Tibet
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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