Norden wrote: ↑Sat May 15, 2021 4:16 pm
I'm interested to know who wrote the diamond sutra or vajracheddika prajna paramita sutta? I think you know better than me therefore I asked this question.
Well of course we would say that they were "spoken" by the Buddha, but the Buddha did not "write" them with a pen or carve the letters into palm leaves. Prior to being written they were memorised by monks and bodhisattvas, but there are some theories that written drafts or summaries could have accompanied oral traditions—the primary and most important aspect in Buddhist transmission, however, is generally held to be memorisation, so even when there are manuscripts, they seem to be more objects of worship than of study. Nāgārjuna apparently retrieved manuscripts which had been hidden or stored in other realms, and finding hidden treasure texts is something which became important in the Tibetan tradition. Revelation by bodhisattvas is also something which is said to have occured.
As for the actual question of who wrote these, it is hard to know about the early period, because we need ritual manuals to know about who is permitted to "write down" sūtras. In India and Nepal there were scribe classes who were permitted to do this task with the blessings of monastics. There are also instructions which specify that teachers, such as vajrācāryas, are responsible for this task. It invovles the empowerment of the body of the scribe, as well as the materials used—we can find this information in the Kriyāsaṅgrahapañjikā.
As for specific sūtras, sometimes scribes are mentioned in colophons, but I don't think we can know the earliest scribes' names.