To encourage further research, a bibliography of resources relevant to study of the Sanghāta can be downloaded here. This bibliography includes references to help scholars locate editions of the sutra, as well as secondary materials.
Even without observing what has gone on around it, if ever there was a text that imagined itself as the focus of intense worship, surely the Sanghāta Sūtra is such a text. Remarkably, within a few short years after the Sanghāta Sūtra was brought back to the attention of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners in 2002, the practices anticipated by and described in the text were already in full evidence in the community that is engaging with the Sanghāta. (It is particularly noteworthy that sutra recitation was not a widespread practice among Tibetan Buddhists, outside certain specialized ritual contexts.)
This would seem to recommend the Sanghāta as a key text for considering Schopen's influential theory. However, the vast majority of scholarly interest in the Sanghāta to date has been philological. A number of fine critical editions have been prepared by European scholars. These editors made invaluable contributions to the study of the Sanghāta, through their work dating and editing its manuscripts, but found the content of the text 'confused' (Oskar von Hinüber, in a 1980 article) or 'cryptic' (Giotto Canevascini in his 1993 work). As such, minimal attention was paid to its content, or to its place in the communities that preserved and valued it.
Art historian Deborah Klimburg-Salter is among the few to consider the impact that the Sanghāta may have had on the culture around it. In a 1987 article, she points out that the decorative manuscript covers found with the Sanghāta in Gilgit were among the very earliest suggests that the text itself played a pivotal role in shifting attitudes towards books in India:
Those interested in pursuing further
research into the Sanghāta will find a good deal
about the early
transmission of the text in the section of this
site devoted to translations. This site also provides an account
of the trajectory that the Sanghāta has taken
in its recent revitalization in the hands of Buddhist communities. The guide
for readers adapts portion of a 2004 masters' thesis written
on the text (from which the bibliography posted here is drawn.)
If there are other resources that would be welcome on this page, please do send your suggestions.
Please note that what is here printed in the word 'sanghāta' as a 't' is actually retroflex, and the 'n' in 'sanghāta,' of course, represents a velar nasal. The title of the text is correctly transliterated in the bibliography. (We have had intractable problems on this site displaying diacritics, a problem we may or may not manage to solve in the near future.)