Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)
by Charles Eliot
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Nor did this edition close the work of translation: 275 later translations, made under the Northern Sung, are still extant and religious intercourse with India continued. The names and writings of many Hindu monks who settled in China are preserved and Chinese continued to go to India. Still on the whole there was a decrease in the volume of religious literature after 900 A.D.[674] In the twelfth century the change was still more remarkable. Nanjio does not record a single translation made under the Southern Sung and it is the only great dynasty which did not revise the Tripitaka.

The second Sung Emperor also, T'ai Tsung, was not hostile, for he erected in the capital, at enormous expense, a stupa 360 feet high to contain relics of the Buddha. The fourth Emperor, Jen-tsung, a distinguished patron of literature, whose reign was ornamented by a galaxy of scholars, is said to have appointed 50 youths to study Sanskrit but showed no particular inclination towards Buddhism. Neither does it appear to have been the motive power in the projects of the celebrated social reformer, Wang An-Shih. But the dynastic history says that he wrote a book full of Buddhist and Taoist fancies and, though there is nothing specifically Buddhist in his political and economic theories, it is clear from the denunciations against him that his system of education introduced Buddhist and Taoist subjects into the public examinations.[675] It is also clear that this system was favoured by those Emperors of the Northern Sung dynasty who were able to think for themselves. In 1087 it was abolished by the Empress Dowager acting as regent for the young Che Tsung, but as soon as he began to reign in his own right he restored it, and it apparently remained in force until the collapse of the dynasty in 1127.

The Emperor Hui-Tsung (1101-1126) fell under the influence of a Taoist priest named Lin Ling-Su.[676] This young man had been a Buddhist novice in boyhood but, being expelled for misconduct, conceived a hatred for his old religion. Under his influence the Emperor not only reorganized Taoism, sanctioning many innovations and granting many new privileges, but also endeavoured to suppress Buddhism, not by persecution, but by amalgamation. By imperial decree the Buddha and his Arhats were enrolled in the Taoist pantheon: temples and monasteries were allowed to exist only on condition of describing themselves as Taoist and their inmates had the choice of accepting that name or of returning to the world.

But there was hardly time to execute these measures, so rapid was the reaction. In less than a year the insolence of Lin Ling-Su brought about his downfall: the Emperor reversed his edict and, having begun by suppressing Buddhism, ended by oppressing Taoism. He was a painter of merit and perhaps the most remarkable artist who ever filled a throne. In art he probably drew no distinction between creeds and among the pictures ascribed to him and preserved in Japan are some of Buddhist subjects. But like Hsuan Tsung he came to a tragic end, and in 1126 was carried into captivity by the Kin Tartars among whom he died.

Fear of the Tartars now caused the Chinese to retire south of the Yang-tse and Hang-chow was made the seat of Government. The century during which this beautiful city was the capital did not produce the greatest names in Chinese history, but it witnessed the perfection of Chinese culture, and the background of impending doom heightens the brilliancy of this literary and aesthetic life. Such a society was naturally eclectic in religion but Buddhism of the Ch'an school enjoyed consideration and contributed many landscape painters to the roll of fame. But the most eminent and perhaps the most characteristic thinker of the period was Chu-Hsi (1130-1200), the celebrated commentator on Confucius who reinterpreted the master's writings to the satisfaction of succeeding ages though in his own life he aroused opposition as well as enthusiasm. Chu-Hsi studied Buddhism in his youth and some have detected its influence in his works, although on most important points he expressly condemned it. I do not see that there is much definite Buddhism in his philosophy, but if Mahayanism had never entered China this new Confucianism would probably never have arisen or would have taken another shape. Though the final result may be anti-Buddhist yet the topics chosen and the method of treatment suggest that the author felt it necessary to show that the Classics could satisfy intellectual curiosity and supply spiritual ideals just as well as this Indian religion. Much of his expositions is occupied with cosmology, and he accepts the doctrine of world periods, recurring in an eternal series of growth and decline: also he teaches not exactly transmigration but the transformation of matter into various living forms.[677] His accounts of sages and saints point to ideals which have much in common with Arhats and Buddhas and, in dealing with the retribution of evil, he seems to admit that when the universe is working properly there is a natural Karma by which good or bad actions receive even in this life rewards in kind, but that in the present period of decline nature has become vitiated so that vice and virtue no longer produce appropriate results.

Chu-Hsi had a celebrated controversy with Lu Chiu-Yuan,[678] a thinker of some importance who, like himself, is commemorated in the tablets of Confucian temples, although he was accused of Buddhist tendencies. He held that learning was not indispensable and that the mind could in meditation rise above the senses and attain to a perception of the truth. Although he strenuously denied the charge of Buddhist leanings, it is clear that his doctrine is near in spirit to the mysticism of Bodhidharma and sets no store on the practical ethics and studious habits which are the essence of Confucianism.

The attitude of the Yuan or Mongol dynasty (1280-1368) towards Buddhism was something new. Hitherto, whatever may have been the religious proclivities of individual Emperors, the Empire had been a Confucian institution. A body of official and literary opinion always strong and often overwhelmingly strong regarded imperial patronage of Buddhism or Taoism as a concession to the whims of the people, as an excrescence on the Son of Heaven's proper faith or even a perversion of it. But the Mongol Court had not this prejudice and Khubilai, like other members of his house[679] and like Akbar in India, was the patron of all the religions professed by his subjects. His real object was to encourage any faith which would humanize his rude Mongols. Buddhism was more congenial to them than Confucianism and besides, they had made its acquaintance earlier. Even before Khubilai became Emperor, one of his most trusted advisers was a Tibetan lama known as Pagspa, Bashpa or Pa-ssu-pa.[680] He received the title of Kuo-Shih, and after his death his brother succeeded to the same honours.

Khubilai also showed favour to Mohammedans, Christians, Jews and Confucianists, but little to Taoists. This prejudice was doubtless due to the suggestions of his Buddhist advisers, for, as we have seen, there was often rivalry between the two religions and on two occasions at least (in the reigns of Hui Tsung and Wu Tsung) the Taoists made determined, if unsuccessful, attempts to destroy or assimilate Buddhism. Khubilai received complaints that the Taoists represented Buddhism as an offshoot of Taoism and that this objectionable perversion of truth and history was found in many of their books, particularly the Hua-Hu-Ching.[681] An edict was issued ordering all Taoist books to be burnt with the sole exception of the Tao-Te-Ching but it does not appear that the sect was otherwise persecuted.

The Yuan dynasty was consistently favourable to Buddhism. Enormous sums were expended on subventions to monasteries, printing books and performing public ceremonies. Old restrictions were removed and no new ones were imposed. But the sect which was the special recipient of the imperial favour was not one of the Chinese schools but Lamaism, the form of Buddhism developed in Tibet, which spread about this time to northern China, and still exists there. It does not appear that in the Yuan period Lamaism and other forms of Buddhism were regarded as different sects.[682] A lamaist ecclesiastic was the hierarchical head of all Buddhists, all other religions being placed under the supervision of a special board.

The Mongol Emperors paid attention to religious literature. Khubilai saw to it that the monasteries in Peking were well supplied with books and ordered the bonzes to recite them on stated days. A new collection of the Tripitaka (the ninth) was published 1285-87. In 1312, the Emperor Jen-tsung ordered further translations to be made into Mongol and later had the whole Tripitaka copied in letters of gold. It is noticeable that another Emperor, Cheng Tsung, had the Book of Filial Piety translated into Mongol and circulated together with a brief preface by himself.

It is possible that the Buddhism of the Yuan dynasty was tainted with Saktism from which the Lama monasteries of Peking (in contrast to all other Buddhist sects in China) are not wholly free. The last Emperor, Shun-ti, is said to have witnessed indecent plays and dances in the company of Lamas and created a scandal which contributed to the downfall of the dynasty.[683] In its last years we hear of some opposition to Buddhism and of a reaction in favour of Confucianism, in consequence of the growing numbers and pretensions of the Lamas.

Whole provinces were under their control and Chinese historians dwell bitterly on their lawlessness. It was a common abuse for wealthy persons to induce a Lama to let their property be registered in his name and thus avoid all payment of taxes on the ground that priests were exempt from taxation by law.[684]

The Mongols were driven out by the native Chinese dynasty known as Ming, which reigned from 1368 to 1644. It is not easy to point out any salient features in religious activity or thought during this period, but since the Ming claimed to restore Chinese civilization interrupted by a foreign invasion, it was natural that they should encourage Confucianism as interpreted by Chu-Hsi. Yet Buddhism, especially Lamaism, acquired a new political importance. Both for the Mings and for the earlier Manchu Emperors the Mongols were a serious and perpetual danger, and it was not until the eighteenth century that the Chinese Court ceased to be preoccupied by the fear that the tribes might unite and again overrun the Empire. But the Tibetan and Mongolian hierarchy had an extraordinary power over these wild horsemen and the Government of Peking won and used their goodwill by skilful diplomacy, the favours shown being generally commensurate to the gravity of the situation. Thus when the Grand Lama visited Peking in 1652 he was treated as an independent prince: in 1908 he was made to kneel.

Few Ming Emperors showed much personal interest in religion and most of them were obviously guided by political considerations. They wished on the one hand to conciliate the Church and on the other to prevent the clergy from becoming too numerous or influential. Hence very different pictures may be drawn according as we dwell on the favourable or restrictive edicts which were published from time to time. Thus T'ai-Tsu, the founder of the dynasty, is described by one authority as always sympathetic to Buddhists and by another as a crowned persecutor.[685] He had been a bonze himself in his youth but left the cloister for the adventurous career which conducted him to the throne. It is probable that he had an affectionate recollection of the Church which once sheltered him, but also a knowledge of its weaknesses and this knowledge moved him to publish restrictive edicts as to the numbers and qualifications of monks. On the other hand he attended sermons, received monks in audience and appointed them as tutors to his sons. He revised the hierarchy and gave appropriate titles to its various grades. He also published a decree ordering that all monks should study three sutras (Lankavatara, Prajnaparamita and Vajracchedika), and that three brief commentaries on these works should be compiled (see Nanjio's Catalogue, 1613-15).

It is in this reign that we first hear of the secular clergy, that is to say, persons who acted as priests but married and did not live in monasteries. Decrees against them were issued in 1394 and 1412, but they continued to increase. It is not clear whether their origin should be sought in a desire to combine the profits of the priesthood with the comforts of the world or in an attempt to evade restrictions as to the number of monks. In later times this second motive was certainly prevalent, but the celibacy of the clergy is not strictly insisted on by Lamaists and a lax observance of monastic rules[686] was common under the Mongol dynasty.

The third Ming Emperor, Ch'eng-tsu,[687] was educated by a Buddhist priest of literary tastes named Yao Kuang-Hsiao,[688] whom he greatly respected and promoted to high office. Nevertheless he enacted restrictions respecting ordination and on one occasion commanded that 1800 young men who presented themselves to take the vows should be enrolled in the army instead. His prefaces and laudatory verses were collected in a small volume and included in the eleventh collection of the Tripitaka,[689] called the Northern collection, because it was printed at Peking. It was published with a preface of his own composition and he wrote another to the work called the Liturgy of Kuan-yin,[690] and a third introducing selected memoirs of various remarkable monks.[691] His Empress had a vision in which she imagined a sutra was revealed to her and published the same with an introduction. He was also conspicuously favourable to the Tibetan clergy. In 1403 he sent his head eunuch to Tibet to invite the presence of Tson-kha-pa, who refused to come himself but sent a celebrated Lama called Halima.[692] On arriving at the capital Halima was ordered to say masses for the Emperor's relatives. These ceremonies were attended by supernatural manifestations and he received as a recognition of his powers the titles of Prince of the Great Precious Law and Buddha of the Western Paradise.[693] His three principal disciples were styled Kuo Shih, and, agreeably to the precedent established under the Yuan dynasty, were made the chief prelates of the whole Buddhist Church. Since this time the Red or Tibetan Clergy have been recognized as having precedence over the Grey or Chinese.

In this reign the Chinese made a remarkable attempt to assert their authority in Ceylon. In 1405 a mission was sent with offerings to the Sacred Tooth and when it was ill received a second mission despatched in 1407 captured the king of Ceylon and carried him off as a prisoner to China. Ceylon paid tribute for fifty years, but it does not appear that these proceedings had much importance for religion.[694]

In the reigns of Ying Tsung and Ching-Ti[695] (1436-64) large numbers of monks were ordained, but, as on previous occasions, the great increase of candidates led to the imposition of restrictions and in 1458 an edict was issued ordering that ordinations should be held only once a year. The influence of the Chief Eunuchs during this period was great, and two successive holders of this post, Wang-Chen and Hsing-An,[696] were both devoted Buddhists and induced the Emperors whom they served to expend enormous sums on building monasteries and performing ceremonies at which the Imperial Court were present.

The end of the fifteenth century is filled by two reigns, Hsien Tsung and Hsiao Tsung. The former fell under the influence of his favourite concubine Wan and his eunuchs to such an extent that, in the latter part of his life, he ceased to see his ministers and the chief eunuch became the real ruler of China. It is also mentioned both in 1468 and 1483 that he was in the hands of Buddhist priests who instructed him in secret doctrines and received the title of Kuo-Shih and other distinctions. His son Hsiao Tsung reformed these abuses: the Palace was cleansed: the eunuchs and priests were driven out and some were executed: Taoist books were collected and burnt. The celebrated writer Wang Yang Ming[697] lived in this reign. He defended and illustrated the doctrine of Lu Chin-Yuan, namely that truth can be obtained by meditation. To express intuitive knowledge, he used the expression Liang Chih[698] (taken from Mencius). Liang Chih is inherent in all human minds, but in different degrees, and can be developed or allowed to atrophy. To develop it should be man's constant object, and in its light when pure all things are understood and peace is obtained. The phrases of the Great Learning "to complete knowledge," "investigate things," and "rest in the highest excellence," are explained as referring to the Liang Chih and the contemplation of the mind by itself. We cannot here shut our eyes to the influence of Bodhidharma and his school, however fervently Wang Yang Ming may have appealed to the Chinese Classics.

The reign of Wu-tsung (1506-21) was favourable to Buddhism. In 1507 40,000 men became monks, either Buddhist or Taoist. The Emperor is said to have been learned in Buddhist literature and to have known Sanskrit[699] as well as Mongol and Arabic, but he was in the hands of a band of eunuchs, who were known as the eight tigers. In 1515 he sent an embassy to Tibet with the object of inducing the Grand Lama to visit Peking, but the invitation was refused and the Tibetans expelled the mission with force. The next Emperor, Shih-T'sung (1522-66), inclined to Taoism rather than Buddhism. He ordered the images of Buddha in the Forbidden City to be destroyed, but still appears to have taken part in Buddhist ceremonies at different periods of his reign. Wan Li (1573-1620), celebrated in the annals of porcelain manufacture, showed some favour to Buddhism. He repaired many buildings at P'u-t'o and distributed copies of the Tripitaka to the monasteries of his Empire. In his edicts occurs the saying that Confucianism and Buddhism are like the two wings of a bird: each requires the co-operation of the other.

European missionaries first arrived during the sixteenth century, and, had the Catholic Church been more flexible, China might perhaps have recognized Christianity, not as the only true religion but as standing on the same footing as Buddhism and Taoism. The polemics of the early missionaries imply that they regarded Buddhism as their chief rival. Thus Ricci had a public controversy with a bonze at Hang-Chou, and his principal pupil Hsu Kuang-Ch'i[700] wrote a tract entitled "The errors of the Buddhists exposed." Replies to these attacks are preserved in the writings of the distinguished Buddhist priest Shen Chu-Hung.[701]

In 1644 the Ming dynasty collapsed before the Manchus and China was again under foreign rule. Unlike the Mongols, the Manchus had little inclination to Buddhism. Even before they had conquered China, their prince, T'ai Tsung, ordered an inspection of monasteries and limited the number of monks. But in this edict he inveighs only against the abuse of religion and admits that "Buddha's teaching is at bottom pure and chaste, true and sincere: by serving him with purity and piety, one can obtain happiness."[702] Shun-Chih, the first Manchu Emperor, wrote some prefaces to Buddhist works and entertained the Dalai Lama at Peking in 1652.[703] His son and successor, commonly known as K'ang-Hsi (1662-1723), dallied for a while with Christianity, but the net result of his religious policy was to secure to Confucianism all that imperial favour can give. I have mentioned above his Sacred Edict and the partial favour which he showed to Buddhism. He gave donations to the monasteries of P'u-t'o, Hang-chou and elsewhere: he published the Kanjur with a preface of his own[704] and the twelfth and last collection of the Tripitaka was issued under the auspices of his son and grandson. The latter, the Emperor Ch'ien Lung, also received the Teshu Lama not only with honour, but with interest and sympathy, as is clear from the inscription preserved at Peking, in which he extols the Lama as a teacher of spiritual religion.[705] He also wrote a preface to a sutra for producing rain[706] in which he says that he has ordered the old editions to be carefully corrected and prayer and worship to be offered, "so that the old forms which have been so beneficial during former ages might still be blessed to the desired end." Even the late Empress Dowager accepted the ministrations of the present Dalai Lama when he visited Peking in 1908, although, to his great indignation she obliged him to kneel at Court.[707] Her former colleague, the Empress Tzu-An was a devout Buddhist. The statutes of the Manchu dynasty (printed in 1818) contain regulations for the celebration of Buddhist festivals at Court, for the periodical reading of sutras to promote the imperial welfare, and for the performance of funeral rites.

Still on the whole the Manchu dynasty showed less favour to Buddhism than any which preceded it and its restrictive edicts limiting the number of monks and prescribing conditions for ordination were followed by no periods of reaction. But the vitality of Buddhism is shown by the fact that these restrictions merely led to an increase of the secular clergy, not legally ordained, who in their turn claimed the imperial attention. Ch'ien Lung began in 1735 by giving them the alternative of becoming ordinary laymen or of entering a monastery but this drastic measure was considerably modified in the next few years. Ultimately the secular clergy were allowed to continue as such, if they could show good reason, and to have one disciple each.


[Footnote 591: See B.E.F.E.O. 1910, Le Songe et l'Ambassade de l'Empereur Ming Ti, par M. H. Maspero, where the original texts are translated and criticized. It is a curious coincidence that Ptolemy Soter is said to have introduced the worship of Serapis to Egypt from Sinope in consequence of a dream.]

[Footnote 592: [Chinese: ] No doubt then pronounced something like Vut-tha.]

[Footnote 593: [Chinese: ] or [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 594: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 595: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 596: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 597: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 598: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 599: See Chavannes, Les documents Chinois decouverts par Aurel Stein, 1913, Introduction. The earliest documents are of 98 B.C.]

[Footnote 600: The Wei-lueh or Wei-lio [Chinese: ], composed between 239 and 265 A.D., no longer exists as a complete work, but a considerable extract from it dealing with the countries of the West is incorporated in the San Kuo Chih [Chinese: ] of P'ei-Sung-Chih [Chinese: ] (429 A.D.). See Chavannes, translation and notes in T'oung Pao, 1905, pp. 519-571.]

[Footnote 601: [Chinese: ] See Chavannes, l.c. p. 550.]

[Footnote 602: See Francke, Zur Frage der Einfuhrung des Buddhismus in China, 1910, and Maspero's review in B.E.F.E.O. 1910, p. 629. Another Taoist legend is that Dipankara Buddha or Jan Teng, described as the teacher of Sakyamuni was a Taoist and that Sakyamuni visited him in China. Giles quotes extracts from a writer of the eleventh century called Shen Kua to the effect that Buddhism had been flourishing before the Ch'in dynasty but disappeared with its advent and also that eighteen priests were imprisoned in 216 B.C. But the story adds that they recited the Prajnaparamita which is hardly possible at that epoch.]

[Footnote 603: Sam. Nik. v. 10. 6. Cf. for a similar illustration in Chuang-tzu, S.B.E. XL. p. 126.]

[Footnote 604: I may say, however, that I think it is a compilation containing very ancient sayings amplified by later material which shows Buddhist influence. This may be true to some extent of the Essays of Chuang-tzu as well.]

[Footnote 605: See Legge's translation in S.B.E. Part I. pp. 176, 257, II. 46, 62; ib. I. pp. 171, 192, II. 13; ib. II. p. 13; ib. II. p. 9, I. p. 249; ib. pp. 45, 95, 100, 364, II. p. 139; ib. II. p. 139; ib. II. p. 129.]

[Footnote 606: Ib. I. p. 202; cf. the Buddha's conversation with Vaccha in Maj. Nik. 72.]

[Footnote 607: Kumarajiva and other Buddhists actually wrote commentaries on the Tao-Te-Ching.]

[Footnote 608: [Chinese: ] It speaks, however, in section 36 of being born in the condition or family of a Bodhisattva (P'u-sa-chia), where the word seems to be used in the late sense of a devout member of the Buddhist Church.]

[Footnote 609: But the Emperor Huan is said to have sacrificed to Buddha and Lao-tzu. See Hou Han Shu in T'oung Pao, 1907, p. 194. For early Buddhism see "Communautes et Moines Bouddhistes Chinois au II et au III siecles," by Maspero in B.E.F.E.O. 1910, p. 222. In the second century lived Mou-tzu [Chinese: ] a Buddhist author with a strong spice of Taoism. His work is a collection of questions and answers, somewhat resembling the Questions of Milinda. See translation by Pelliot (in T'oung Pao, vol. XIX. 1920) who gives the date provisionally as 195 A.D.]

[Footnote 610: Accounts of these and the later translators are found in the thirteen catalogues of the Chinese Tripitaka (see Nanjio, p. xxvii) and other works such as the Kao Sang-Chuan (Nanjio, No. 1490).]

[Footnote 611: [Chinese: ]. He worked at translations in Loyang 148-170.]

[Footnote 612: Dharmakala, see Nanjio, p. 386. The Vinaya used in these early days of Chinese Buddhism was apparently that of the Dharmagupta school. See J.A. 1916, II. p. 40. An Shih-kao (c. A.D. 150) translated a work called The 3000 Rules for Monks (Nanjio, 1126), but it is not clear what was the Sanskrit original.]

[Footnote 613: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 614: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 615: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 616: [Chinese: ] He was a remarkable man and famous in his time, for he was credited not only with clairvoyance and producing rain, but with raising the dead. Remusat's account of him, based on the Tsin annals, may still be read with interest. See Nouv. Melanges Asiatiques, II. 1829, pp. 179 ff. His biography is contained in chap. 95 of the Tsin [Chinese: ] annals.]

[Footnote 617: [Chinese: ] Died 363 A.D.]

[Footnote 618: Ts'in [Chinese: ] must be distinguished from Tsin [Chinese: ], the name of three short but legitimate dynasties.]

[Footnote 619: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 620: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 621: See Nanjio, Catalogue, p. 406.]

[Footnote 622: [Chinese: ] For this title see Pelliot in T'oung Pao, 1911, p. 671.]

[Footnote 623: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 624: [Chinese: ] He was canonized under the name of Wu [Chinese: ], and the three great persecutions of Buddhism are sometimes described as the disasters of the three Wu, the others being Wu of the North Chou dynasty (574) and Wu of the T'ang (845).]

[Footnote 625: [Chinese: ] For the 25 pilgrims see Nanjio, p. 417.]

[Footnote 626: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 627: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 628: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 629: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ]. See Chavannes, "Voyage de Song Yun dans l'Udyana et le Gandhara, 518-522," p. E in B.E.F.E.O. 1903, pp. 379-441. For an interesting account of the Dowager Empress see pp. 384-5.]

[Footnote 630: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 631: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 632: [Chinese: ] and [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 633: See chap. XXIII. p. 95, and chap. XLV below (on schools of Chinese Buddhism), for more about Bodhidharma. The earliest Chinese accounts of him seem to be those contained in the Liang and Wei annals. But one of the most popular and fullest accounts is to be found in the Wu Teng Hui Yuan (first volume) printed at Kushan near Fuchow.]

[Footnote 634: His portraits are also frequent both in China and Japan (see Ostasiat. Ztsft 1912, p. 226) and the strongly marked features attributed to him may perhaps represent a tradition of his personal appearance, which is entirely un-Chinese. An elaborate study of Bodhidharma written in Japanese is noticed in B.E.F.E.O. 1911, p. 457.]

[Footnote 635: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 636: The legend does not fit in well with chronology since Sung-Yun is said to have returned from India in 522.]

[Footnote 637: See Takakusu in J.R.A.S. 1905, p. 33.]

[Footnote 638: Mailla, Hist. Gen. de la Chine, p. 369.]

[Footnote 639: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 640: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 641: See Biot, Hist, de l'instruction publique en Chine, pp. 289, 313.]

[Footnote 642: [Chinese: ] Is celebrated in Chinese history as one of the greatest opponents of Buddhism. He collected all the objections to it in 10 books and warned his son against it on his death bed. Giles, Biog. Dict. 589.]

[Footnote 643: [Chinese: ] An important minister and apparently a man of talent but of ungovernable and changeable temper. In 639 he obtained the Emperor's leave to become a priest but soon left his monastery. The Emperor ordered him to be canonized under the name Pure but Narrow. Giles, Biog. Dict. 722. The monk Fa-Lin [Chinese: ] also attacked the views of Fu I in two treatises which have been incorporated in the Chinese Tripitaka. See Nanjio, Cat. Nos. 1500, 1501.]

[Footnote 644: Subsequently a story grew up that his soul had visited hell during a prolonged fainting fit after which he recovered and became a devout Buddhist. See chap. XI of the Romance called Hsi-yu-chi, a fantastic travesty of Hsuan Chuang's travels, and Wieger, Textes Historiques, p. 1585.]

[Footnote 645: [Chinese: ] This name has been transliterated in an extraordinary number of ways. See B.E.F.E.O. 1905, pp. 424-430. Giles gives Hsuan Chuang in his Chinese Dictionary, but Hsuan Tsang in his Biographical Dictionary. Probably the latter is more correct. Not only is the pronunciation of the characters variable, but the character [Chinese: ] was tabooed as being part of the Emperor K'ang Hsi's personal name and [Chinese: ] substituted for it. Hence the spelling Yuan Chuang.]

[Footnote 646: [Chinese: ] See Vincent Smith, Early History of India, pp. 326-327, and Giles, Biog. Dict., s.v. Wang Hsuan-T'se. This worthy appears to have gone to India again in 657 to offer robes at the holy places.]

[Footnote 647: [Chinese: ] Some of the principal statues in the caves of Lung-men were made at her expense, but other parts of these caves seem to date from at least 500 A.D. Chavannes, Mission Archeol. tome I, deuxieme partie.]

[Footnote 648: [Chinese: ] Ta-Yun-Ching. See J.A. 1913, p. 149. The late Dowager Empress also was fond of masquerading as Kuan-yin but it does not appear that the performance was meant to be taken seriously.]

[Footnote 649: "That romantic Chinese reign of Genso (713-756) which is the real absolute culmination of Chinese genius." Fenollosa, Epochs of Chinese and Japanese art I. 102.]

[Footnote 650: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 651: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 652: [Chinese: ] The meaning of this name appears to vary at different times. At this period it is probably equivalent to Kapisa or N.E. Afghanistan.]

[Footnote 653: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 654: See B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 161. This does not exclude the possibility of an opposite current, viz. Chinese Buddhism flowing into Burma.]

[Footnote 655: Wu-Tsung, 841-847.]

[Footnote 656: "Liu-Tsung-Yuan has left behind him much that for purity of style and felicity of expression has rarely been surpassed," Giles, Chinese Literature, p. 191.]

[Footnote 657: Apparently in 783 A.D. See Waddell's articles on Ancient Historical Edicts at Lhasa in J.R.A.S. 1909, 1910, 1911.]

[Footnote 658: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 659: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 660: See Eitel, Handbook of Chinese Buddhism, p. 185 s.v. Ullambana, a somewhat doubtful word, apparently rendered into Chinese as Yu-lan-p'en.]

[Footnote 661: Sec Nanjio Catalogue, pp. 445-448.]

[Footnote 662: He is also said to have introduced the images of the Four Kings which are now found in every temple. A portrait of him by Li Chien is reproduced in Tajima's Masterpieces, vol. viii, plate ix. The artist was perhaps his contemporary.]

[Footnote 663: E.g. Sacki, The Nestorian Monument in China, 1916. See also above, p. 217.]

[Footnote 664: See Khuddaka-Patha, 7; Peta Vatthu, 1, 5 and the commentary; Milinda Panha, iv. 8, 29; and for modern practices my chapter on Siam, and Copleston, Buddhism, p. 445.]

[Footnote 665: [Chinese: ] Some native critics, however, have doubted the authenticity of the received text and the version inserted in the Official History seems to be a summary. See Wieger, Textes Historiques, vol. iii. pp. 1726 ff., and Giles, Chinese Literature, pp. 200 ff.]

[Footnote 666: The officials whose duty it was to remonstrate with the Emperor if he acted wrongly.]

[Footnote 667: Giles, Chinese Literature, pp. 201, 202—somewhat abbreviated.]

[Footnote 668: See Wieger, Textes Historiques, vol. III. pp. 1744 ff.]

[Footnote 669: "Thousands of ten-thousands of Ch'ing." A Ch'ing = 15.13 acres.]

[Footnote 670: Presumably similar to the temple slaves of Camboja, etc.]

[Footnote 671: One Emperor of this epoch, Shih-Tsung of the later Chou dynasty, suppressed monasteries and coined bronze images into currency, declaring that Buddha, who in so many births had sacrificed himself for mankind, would have no objection to his statues being made useful. But in the South Buddhism nourished in the province of Fukien under the princes of Min [Chinese: ] and the dynasty which called itself Southern T'ang.]

[Footnote 672: [Chinese: ] See Kokka No. 309, 1916.]

[Footnote 673: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 674: The decrease in translations is natural for by this time Chinese versions had been made of most works which had any claim to be translated.]

[Footnote 675: See Biot, L'instruction publique en Chine, p. 350.]

[Footnote 676: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 677: See Le Gall, Varietes Sinologiques, No. 6 Tchou-Hi: Sa doctrine Son influence. Shanghai, 1894, pp. 90, 122.]

[Footnote 678: [Chinese: ] Compare the similar doctrines of Wang Yang-Ming.]

[Footnote 679: E.g. his elder brother Mangku who showed favour to Buddhists, Mohammedans and Nestorians alike. He himself wished to obtain Christian teachers from the Pope, by the help of Marco Polo, but probably merely from curiosity.]

[Footnote 680: More accurately hPhags-pa. It is a title rather than a name, being the Tibetan equivalent of Arya. Khubilai seems to be the correct transcription of the Emperor's name. The Tibetan and Chinese transcriptions are Hvopilai and Hu-pi-lieh.]

[Footnote 681: For this curious work see B.E.F.E.O. 1908, p. 515, and J.A. 1913, I, pp. 116-132. For the destruction of Taoist books see Chavannes in T'oung Pao, 1904, p. 366.]

[Footnote 682: At the present day an ordinary Chinese regards a Lama as quite different from a Hoshang or Buddhist monk.]

[Footnote 683: The Yuan Emperors were no doubt fond of witnessing religious theatricals in the Palace. See for extracts from Chinese authors, New China Review, 1919, pp. 68 ff. Compare the performances of the T'ang Emperor Su Tsung mentioned above.]

[Footnote 684: For the ecclesiastical abuses of the time see Koppen, II. 103, and de Mailla, Histoire de la Chine, IX. 475, 538.]

[Footnote 685: See Wieger, Textes Historiques, III. p. 2013, and De Groot, Sectarianism and Religious Persecution in China, I. p. 82. He is often called Hung Wu which is strictly speaking the title of his reign. He was certainly capable of changing his mind, for he degraded Mencius from his position in Confucian temples one year and restored him the next.]

[Footnote 686: See de Mailla, Histoire de la Chine, IX. p. 470.]

[Footnote 687: Often called Yung-Lo which is strictly the title of his reign.]

[Footnote 688: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 689: See Nanjio, Cat. 1613-16.]

[Footnote 690: See Beal, Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, p. 398. The Emperor says: "So we, the Ruler of the Empire ... do hereby bring before men a mode for attaining to the condition of supreme Wisdom. We therefore earnestly exhort all men ... carefully to study the directions of this work and faithfully to follow them."]

[Footnote 691: Nanjio, Cat. 1620. See also ib. 1032 and 1657 for the Empress's sutra.]

[Footnote 692: Or Kalima [Chinese: ] In Tibetan Karma de bshin gshegs-pa. He was the fifth head of the Karma-pa school. See Chandra Das's dictionary, s.v., where a reference is given to kLong-rdol-gsung-hbum. It is noticeable that the Karma-pa is one of the older and more Tantric sects.]

[Footnote 693: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ] Yuan Shih K'ai prefixed to this latter the four characters [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 694: See Yule, Cathay and the Way Thither, pp. 75 ff.]

[Footnote 695: When Ying Tsung was carried away by the Mongols in 1449 his brother Ching-Ti was made Emperor. Though Ying Tsung was sent back in 1450, he was not able to oust Ching-Ti from the throne till 1457.]

[Footnote 696: [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 697: [Chinese: ] His real name was Wang Shou Jen [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 698: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 699: Though the ecclesiastical study of Sanskrit decayed under the Ming dynasty, Yung-lo founded in 1407 a school of language for training interpreters at which Sanskrit was taught among other tongues.]

[Footnote 700: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 701: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 702: De Groot, l.c. p. 93.]

[Footnote 703: Some authorities say that he became a monk before he died, but the evidence is not good. See Johnston in New China Review, Nos. 1 and 2, 1920.]

[Footnote 704: See T'oung Pao, 1909, p. 533.]

[Footnote 705: See E. Ludwig, The visit of the Tcshoo Lama to Peking, Tien Tsin Press, 1904.]

[Footnote 706: The Ta-yun-lung-ch'ing-yu-ching. Nanjio's Catalogue, Nos. 187-8, 970, and see Beal, Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, pp. 417-9.]

[Footnote 707: See for an account of his visit "The Dalai Lamas and their relations with the Manchu Emperor of China" in T'oung Pao, 1910, p. 774.]


CHINA (continued)


The Buddhist scriptures extant in the Chinese language are known collectively as San Tsang[708] or the three store-houses, that is to say, Tripitaka. Though this usage is justified by both eastern and European practice, it is not altogether happy, for the Chinese thesaurus is not analogous to the Pali Canon or to any collection of sacred literature known in India, being in spite of its name arranged in four, not in three, divisions. It is a great Corpus Scriptorum Sanctorum, embracing all ages and schools, wherein translations of the most diverse Indian works are supplemented by original compositions in Chinese. Imagine a library comprising Latin translations of the Old and New Testaments with copious additions from the Talmud and Apocryphal literature; the writings of the Fathers, decrees of Councils and Popes, together with the opera omnia of the principal schoolmen and the early protestant reformers and you will have some idea of this theological miscellany which has no claim to be called a canon, except that all the works included have at some time or other received a certain literary or doctrinal hall-mark.


The collection is described in the catalogue compiled by Bunyiu Nanjio.[709] It enumerates 1662 works which are classified in four great divisions, (a) Sutra, (b) Vinaya, (c) Abhidharma, (d) Miscellaneous. The first three divisions contain translations only; the fourth original Chinese works as well.

The first division called Ching or Sutras amounts to nearly two-thirds of the whole, for it comprises no less than 1081 works and is subdivided as follows: (a) Mahayana Sutras, 541, (b) Hinayana Sutras, 240, (c) Mahayana and Hinayana Sutras, 300 in number, admitted into the canon under the Sung and Yuan dynasties, A.D. 960-1368. Thus whereas the first two subdivisions differ in doctrine, the third is a supplement containing later translations of both schools. The second subdivision, or Hinayana Sutras, which is less numerous and complicated than that containing the Mahayana Sutras, shows clearly the character of the whole collection. It is divided into two classes of which the first is called A-han, that is, Agama.[710] This comprises translations of four works analogous to the Pali Nikayas, though not identical with the texts which we possess, and also numerous alternative translations of detached sutras. All four were translated about the beginning of the fifth century whereas the translations of detached sutras are for the most part earlier. This class also contains the celebrated Sutra of Forty-two Sections, and works like the Jataka-nidana. The second class is styled Sutras of one translation.[711] The title is not used rigorously, but the works bearing it are relatively obscure and it is not always clear to what Sanskrit texts they correspond. It will be seen from the above that the Chinese Tripitaka is a literary and bibliographical collection rather than an ecclesiastical canon. It does not provide an authorized version for the edification of the faithful, but it presents for the use of the learned all translations of Indian works belonging to a particular class which possess a certain age and authority.

The same characteristic marks the much richer collection of Mahayana Sutras, which contains the works most esteemed by Chinese Buddhists. It is divided into seven classes:

1. [Chinese: ] Pan-jo (Po-jo) or Prajnaparamita.[712]

2. [Chinese: ] Pao-chi or Ratnakuta.

3. [Chinese: ] Ta-chi or Mahasannipata.

4. [Chinese: ] Hua-yen or Avatamsaka.

5. [Chinese: ] Nieh-pan or Parinirvana.

6. [Chinese: ] Sutras in more than one translation but not falling into any of the above five classes.

7. [Chinese: ] Other sutras existing in only one translation.

Each of the first five classes probably represents a collection of sutras analogous to a Nikaya and in one sense a single work but translated into Chinese several times, both in a complete form and in extracts. Thus the first class opens with the majestic Mahaprajnaparamita in 600 fasciculi and equivalent to 200,000 stanzas in Sanskrit. This is followed by several translations of shorter versions including two of the little sutras called the Heart of the Prajnaparamita, which fills only one leaf. There are also six translations of the celebrated work known as the Diamond-cutter,[713] which is the ninth sutra in the Mahaprajnaparamita and all the works classed under the heading Pan-jo seem to be alternative versions of parts of this great Corpus.

The second and third classes are collections of sutras which no longer exist as collections in Sanskrit, though the Sanskrit text of some individual sutras is extant. That called Pao-chi or Ratnakuta opens with a collection of forty-nine sutras which includes the longer version of the Sukhavativyuha. This collection is reckoned as one work, but the other items in the same class are all or nearly all of them duplicate translations of separate sutras contained in it. This is probably true of the third class also. At least seven of the works included in it are duplicate translations of the first, which is called Mahasannipata, and the sutras called Candragarbha, Kshitig., Sumerug., and Akasag., appear to be merely sections, not separate compositions, although this is not clear from the remarks of Nanjio and Wassiljew.

The principal works in class 4 are two translations, one fuller than the other, of the Hua-yen or Avatamsaka Sutra,[714] still one of the most widely read among Buddhist works, and at least sixteen of the other items are duplicate renderings of parts of it. Class 5 consists of thirteen works dealing with the death of the Buddha and his last discourses. The first sutra, sometimes called the northern text, is imperfect and was revised at Nanking in the form of the southern text.[715] There are two other incomplete versions of the same text. To judge from a specimen translated by Beal[716] it is a collection of late discourses influenced by Vishnuism and does not correspond to the Mahaparinibbanasutta of the Pali Canon.

Class 6 consists of sutras which exist in several translations, but still do not, like the works just mentioned, form small libraries in themselves. It comprises, however, several books highly esteemed and historically important, such as the Saddharmapundarika (six translations), the Suvarnaprabhasa, the Lalitavistara, the Lankavatara, and the Shorter Sukhavativyuha,[717] all extant in three translations. In it are also included many short tracts, the originals of which are not known. Some of them are Jatakas, but many[718] deal with the ritual of image worship or with spells. These characteristics are still more prominent in the seventh class, consisting of sutras which exist in a single translation only. The best known among them are the Surangama and the Mahavairocana (Ta-jih-ching), which is the chief text of the Shin-gon or Mantra School.[719]

The Lu-tsang or Vinaya-pitaka is divided into Mahayana and Hinayana texts, neither very numerous. Many of the Mahayana texts profess to be revelations by Maitreya and are extracts of the Yogacaryabhumisastra[720] or similar to it. For practical purposes the most important is the Fan-wang-ching[721] or net of Brahma. The Indian original of this work is not known, but since the eighth century it has been accepted in China as the standard manual for the monastic life.[722]

The Hinayana Vinaya comprises five very substantial recensions of the whole code, besides extracts, compendiums, and manuals. The five recensions are: (a) Shih-sung-lu in sixty-five fasciculi, translated in A.D. 404. This is said to be a Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, but I-Ching[723] expressly says that it does not belong to the Mulasarvastivadin school, though not unlike it. (b) The Vinaya of this latter translated by I-Ching who brought it from India. (c) Shih-fen-lu-tsang in sixty fasciculi, translated in 405 and said to represent the Dharmagupta school. (d) The Mi-sha-so Wu-fen Lu or Vinaya of the Mahisasakas, said to be similar to the Pali Vinaya, though not identical with it.[724] (e) Mo-ko-seng-chi Lu or Mahasanghika Vinaya brought from India by Fa-Hsien and translated 416 A.D. It is noticeable that all five recensions are classed as Hinayanist, although (b) is said to be the Vinaya used by the Tibetan Church. Although Chinese Buddhists frequently speak of the five-fold Vinaya,[725] this expression does not refer to these five texts, as might be supposed, and I-Ching condemns it, saying that[726] the real number of divisions is four.

The Abhidharma-Pitaka or Lun-tsang is, like the Sutra Pitaka, divided into Mahayanist and Hinayanist texts and texts of both schools admitted into the Canon after 960 A.D. The Mahayanist texts have no connection with the Pali Canon and their Sanskrit titles do not contain the word Abhidharma.[727] They are philosophical treatises ascribed to Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu and others, including three works supposed to have been revealed by Maitreya to Asanga.[728] The principal of these is the Yogacarya-bhumisastra, a scripture of capital importance for the Yogacarya school. It describes the career of a Bodhisattva and hence parts of it are treated as belonging to the Vinaya. Among other important works in this section may be mentioned the Madhyamaka Sastra of Nagarjuna, the Mahayanasutralankara of Asanga, and the Awakening of Faith ascribed to Asvaghosha.[729]

The Hinayana texts also show no correspondence with the Pali Pitaka but are based on the Abhidharma works of the Sarvastivadin school.[730] These are seven in number, namely the Jnanaprasthanasastra of Katyayaniputra with six accessory treatises or Padas.[731] The Mahavibhashasastra, or commentary on the Jnanaprasthana, and the Abhidharmakosa[732] are also in this section.

The third division of the Abhidharma is of little importance but contains two curious items: a manual of Buddhist terminology composed as late as 1272 by Pagspa for the use of Khubilai's son and the Sankhyakarikabhashya, which is not a Buddhist work but a compendium of Sankhya philosophy.[733]

The fourth division of the whole collection consists of miscellaneous works, partly translated from Sanskrit and partly composed in Chinese. Many of the Indian works appear from their title not to differ much from the later Mahayana Sutras, but it is rather surprising to find in this section four translations[734] of the Dharmapada (or at least of some similar anthology) which are thus placed outside the Sutra Pitaka. Among the works professing to be translated from Sanskrit are a History of the Patriarchs, the Buddhacarita of Asvaghosha, a work similar to the Questions of King Milinda, Lives of Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu and others and the Suhrillekha or Friendly Epistle ascribed to Nagarjuna.

The Chinese works included in this Tripitaka consist of nearly two hundred books, historical, critical, controversial and homiletic, composed by one hundred and two authors. Excluding late treatises on ceremonial and doctrine, the more interesting may be classified as follows:

(a) Historical.—Besides general histories of Buddhism, there are several collections of ecclesiastical biography. The first is the Kao-seng-chuan,[735] or Memoirs of eminent Monks (not, however, excluding laymen), giving the lives of about five hundred worthies who lived between 67 and 519 A.D. The series is continued in other works dealing with the T'ang and Sung dynasties. For the Contemplative School there are further supplements carrying the record on to the Yuan. There are also several histories of the Chinese patriarchs. Of these the latest and therefore most complete is the Fo-tsu-t'ung-chi[736] composed about 1270 by Chih P'an of the T'ien-T'ai school. The Ching-te-ch'uan-teng-lu[737] and other treatises give the succession of patriarchs according to the Contemplative School. Among historical works may be reckoned the travels of various pilgrims who visited India.

(b) Critical.—There are thirteen catalogues of the Tripitaka as it existed at different periods. Several of them contain biographical accounts of the translators and other notes. The work called Chen-cheng-lun criticizes several false sutras and names. There are also several encyclopaedic works containing extracts from the Tripitaka, arranged according to subjects, such as the Fa-yuan-chu-lin[738] in 100 volumes; concordances of numerical categories and a dictionary of Sanskrit terms, Fan-i-ming-i-chi,[739] composed in 1151.

(c) The literature of several Chinese sects is well represented. Thus there are more than sixty works belonging to the T'ien T'ai school beginning with the San-ta-pu or three great books attributed to the founder and ending with the ecclesiastical history of Chih-p'an, written about 1270. The Hua-yen school is represented by the writings of four patriarchs and five monks: the Lu or Vinaya school by eight works attributed to its founder, and the Contemplative School by a sutra ascribed to Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch, by works on the history of the Patriarchs and by several collections of sayings or short compositions.

(d) Controversial.—Under this heading may be mentioned polemics against Taoism, including two collections of the controversies which took place between Buddhists and Taoists from A.D. 71 till A.D. 730: replies to the attacks made against Buddhism by Confucian scholars and refutations of the objections raised by sceptics or heretics such as the Che-i-lun and the Yuan-jen-lun, or Origin of man.[740] This latter is a well-known text-book written by the fifth Patriarch of the Hua-yen school and while criticizing Confucianism, Taoism, and the Hinayana, treats them as imperfect rather than as wholly erroneous.[741] Still more conciliatory is the Treatise on the three religions composed by Liu Mi of the Yuan dynasty,[742] which asserts that all three deserve respect as teaching the practice of virtue. It attacks, however, anti-Buddhist Confucianists such as Han-Yu and Chu-Hsi.

The Chinese section contains three compositions attributed to imperial personages of the Ming, viz., a collection of the prefaces and laudatory verses written by the Emperor T'ai-Tsung, the Shen-Seng-Chuan or memoirs of remarkable monks with a preface by the Emperor Ch'eng-tsu, and a curious book by his consort the Empress Jen-Hsiao, introducing a sutra which Her Majesty states was miraculously revealed to her on New Year's day, 1398 (see Nanjio, No. 1657).

Though the Hindus were careful students and guardians of their sacred works, their temperament did not dispose them to define and limit the scriptures. But, as I have mentioned above,[743] there is some evidence that there was a loose Mahayanist canon in India which was the origin of the arrangement found in the Chinese Tripitaka, in so far as it (1) accepted Hinayanist as well as Mahayanist works, and (2) included a great number of relatively late sutras, arranged in classes such as Prajnaparamita and Mahasannipata.


The Tripitaka analyzed by Nanjio, which contains works assigned to dates ranging from 67 to 1622 A.D., is merely the best known survivor among several similar thesauri.[744] From 518 A.D. onwards twelve collections of sacred literature were made by imperial order and many of these were published in more than one edition. The validity of this Canon depends entirely on imperial authority, but, though Emperors occasionally inserted the works of writers whom they esteemed,[745] it does not appear that they aimed at anything but completeness nor did they favour any school. The Buddhist Church, like every other department of the Empire, received from them its share of protection and supervision and its claims were sufficient to induce the founder, or at least an early Sovereign, of every important dynasty to publish under his patronage a revised collection of the scriptures. The list of these collections is as follows:[746]

1. A.D. 518 in the time of Wu-Ti, founder of the Liang. 2. " 533-4 Hsiao-Wu of the Northern Wei. 3. " 594 } Wan-ti, founder of the Sui. 4. " 602 } Wan-ti, founder of the Sui. 5. " 605-16 Yang-Ti of the Sui. 6. " 695 the Empress Wu of the T'ang. 7. " 730 Hsuan-Tsung of the T'ang. 8. " 971 T'ai-Tsu, founder of the Sung. 9. " 1285-7 Khubilai Khan, founder of the Yuan. 10. " 1368-98 Hung-Wu, founder of the Ming. 11. " 1403-24 Yung-Lo of the Ming. 12. " 1735-7 Yung-Ching and Ch'ien-Lung of the Ch'ing.[747]

Of these collections, the first seven were in MS. only: the last five were printed. The last three appear to be substantially the same. The tenth and eleventh collections are known as southern and northern,[748] because they were printed at Nanking and Peking respectively. They differ only in the number of Chinese works admitted and similarly the twelfth collection is merely a revision of the tenth with the addition of fifty-four Chinese works.

As mentioned, the Tripitaka contains thirteen catalogues of the Buddhist scriptures as known at different dates.[749] Of these the most important are (a) the earliest published between 506 and 512 A.D., (b) three published under the T'ang dynasty and known as Nei-tien-lu, T'u-chi (both about 664 A.D.), and K'ai-yuan-lu (about 720 A.D.), (c) Chih-Yuan-lu or catalogue of Yuan dynasty, about 1285, which, besides enumerating the Chinese titles, transliterates the Sanskrit titles and states whether the Indian works translated are also translated into Tibetan. (d) The catalogue of the first Ming collection.

The later collections contain new material and differ from the earlier by natural accretion, for a great number of translations were produced under the T'ang and Sung. Thus the seventh catalogue (695 A.D.) records that 859 new works were admitted to the Canon. But this expansion was accompanied by a critical and sifting process, so that whereas the first collection contained 2213 works, the Ming edition contains only 1622. This compression means not that works of importance were rejected as heretical or apocryphal, for, as we have seen, the Tripitaka is most catholic, but that whereas the earlier collections admitted multitudinous extracts or partial translations of Indian works, many of these were discarded when complete versions had been made.

Nanjio considers that of the 2213 works contained in the first collection only 276 are extant. Although the catalogues are preserved, all the earlier collections are lost: copies of the eighth and ninth were preserved in the Zo-jo-ji Library of Tokyo[750] and Chinese and Japanese editions of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth are current. So far as one can judge, when the eighth catalogue, or K'ai-yuan-lu, was composed (between 713 and 741), the older and major part of the Canon had been definitively fixed and the later collections merely add the translations made by Amogha, and by writers of the Sung and Yuan dynasties.

The editions of the Chinese Tripitaka must be distinguished from the collections, for by editions are meant the forms in which each collection was published, the text being or purporting to be the same in all the editions of each collection. It is said[751] that under the Sung and Yuan twenty different editions were produced. These earlier issues were printed on long folding sheets and a nun called Fa-chen[752] is said to have first published an edition in the shape of ordinary Chinese books. In 1586 a monk named Mi-Tsang[753] imitated this procedure and his edition was widely used. About a century later a Japanese priest known as Tetsu-yen[754] reproduced it and his publication, which is not uncommon in Japan, is usually called the O-baku edition. There are two modern Japanese editions: (a) that of Tokyo, begun in 1880, based on a Korean edition[755] with various readings taken from other Chinese editions. (b) That of Kyoto, 1905, which is a reprint of the Ming collection.[756] A Chinese edition has been published at Shanghai (1913) at the expense of Mrs. Hardoon, a Chinese lady well known as a munificent patron of the faith, and I believe another at Nanking, but I do not know if it is complete or not.[757]


The translations contained in the Chinese Tripitaka belong to several periods.[758] In the earliest, which extends to the middle of the fourth century, the works produced were chiefly renderings of detached sutras.[759] Few treatises classified as Vinaya or Abhidharma were translated and those few are mostly extracts or compilations. The sutras belong to both the Hina and Mahayana. The earliest extant translation or rather compilation, the Sutra of Forty-two sections, belongs to the former school, and so do the majority of the translations made by An-Shih-Kao (148-170 A.D.), but from the second century onwards the Prajnaparamita and Amitabha Sutras make their appearance.[760] Many of the translations made in this period are described as incomplete or incorrect and the fact that most of them were superseded or supplemented by later versions shows that the Chinese recognized their provisional character. Future research will probably show that many of them are paraphrases or compendiums rather than translations in our sense.

The next period, roughly speaking 375-745 A.D., was extraordinarily prolific in extensive and authoritative translations. The translators now attack not detached chapters or discourses but the great monuments of Indian Buddhist literature. Though it is not easy to make any chronological bisection in this period, there is a clear difference in the work done at the beginning and at the end of it. From the end of the fourth century onwards a desire to have complete translations of the great canonical works is apparent. Between 385 and 445 A.D. were translated the four Agamas, analogous to the Nikayas of the Pali Canon, three great collections of the Vinaya, and the principal scriptures of the Abhidharma according to the Sarvastivadin school. For the Mahayana were translated the great sutras known as Avatamsaka, Lankavatara, and many others, as well as works ascribed to Asvaghosha and Nagarjuna. After 645 A.D. a further development of the critical spirit is perceptible, especially in the labours of Hsuan Chuang and I-Ching. They attempt to give the religious public not only complete works in place of extracts and compendiums, but also to select the most authoritative texts among the many current in India. Thus, though many translations had appeared under the name of Prajnaparamita, Hsuan Chuang filled 600 fasciculi with a new rendering of the gigantic treatise. I-Ching supplemented the already bulky library of Vinaya works with versions of the Mulasarvastivadin recension and many auxiliary texts.

Amogha (Pu-K'ung) whose literary labours extended from 746 to 774 A.D. is a convenient figure to mark the beginning of the next and last period, although some of its characteristics appear a little earlier. They are that no more translations are made from the great Buddhist classics—partly no doubt because they had all been translated already, well or ill—but that renderings of works described as Dharani or Tantra pullulate and multiply. Though this literature deserves such epithets as decadent and superstitious, yet it would appear that Indian Tantras of the worst class were not palatable to the Chinese.


The Chinese Tripitaka is of great importance for the literary history of Buddhism, but the material which it offers for investigation is superabundant and the work yet done is small. We are confronted by such questions as, can we accept the dates assigned to the translators, can we assume that, if the Chinese translations or transliterations correspond with Indian titles, the works are the same, and if the works are professedly the same, can we assume that the Chinese text is a correct presentment of the Indian original?

The dates assigned to the translators offer little ground for scepticism. The exactitude of the Chinese in such matters is well attested, and there is a general agreement between several authorities such as the Catalogues of the Tripitaka, the memoirs known as Kao-Seng Chuan with their continuations, and the chapter on Buddhist books in the Sui annals. There are no signs of a desire to claim improbable accuracy or improbable antiquity. Many works are said to be by unknown translators, doubtful authorship is frankly discussed, and the movement of literature and thought indicated is what we should expect. We have first fragmentary and incomplete translations belonging to both the Maha and Hinayana: then a series of more complete translations beginning about the fifth century in which the great Hinayana texts are conspicuous: then a further series of improved translations in which the Hinayana falls into the background and the works of Asanga and Vasubandhu come to the front. This evidently reflects the condition of Buddhist India about 500-650 A.D., just as the translations of the eighth century reflect its later and tantric phase.

But can Chinese texts be accepted as reasonably faithful reproductions of the Indian originals whose names they bear, and some of which have been lost? This question is really double; firstly, did the translators reproduce with fair accuracy the Indian text before them, and secondly, since Indian texts often exist in several recensions, can we assume that the work which the translators knew under a certain Sanskrit name is the work known to us by that name? In reply it must be said that most Chinese translators fall short of our standards of accuracy. In early times when grammars and dictionaries were unknown the scholarly rendering of foreign books was a difficult business, for professional interpreters would usually be incapable of understanding a philosophic treatise. The method often followed was that an Indian explained the text to a literary Chinese, who recast the explanation in his own language. The many translations of the more important texts and the frequent description of the earlier ones as imperfect indicate a feeling that the results achieved were not satisfactory. Several so-called translators, especially Kumarajiva, gave abstracts of the Indian texts.[761] Others, like Dharmaraksha, who made a Chinese version of Asvaghosha's Buddhacarita, so amplified and transposed the original that the result can hardly be called a translation.[762] Others combined different texts in one. Thus the work called Ta-o-mi-to-ching[763] consists of extracts taken from four previous translations of the Sukhavativyuha and rearranged by the author under the inspiration of Avalokita to whom, as he tells us, he was wont to pray during the execution of his task. Others again, like Dharmagupta, anticipated a method afterwards used in Tibet, and gave a word for word rendering of the Sanskrit which is hardly intelligible to an educated Chinese. The later versions, e.g. those of Hsuan Chuang, are more accurate, but still a Chinese rendering of a lost Indian document cannot be accepted as a faithful representation of the original without a critical examination.[764]

Often, however, the translator, whatever his weaknesses may have been, had before him a text differing in bulk and arrangement from the Pali and Sanskrit texts which we possess. Thus, there are four Chinese translations of works bearing some relation to the Dhammapada of the Pali Canon. All of these describe the original text as the compilation of Dharmatrata, to whom is also ascribed the compilation of the Tibetan Udanavarga.[765] His name is not mentioned in connection with the Pali text, yet two of the Chinese translations are closely related to that text. The Fa-chu-ching[766] is a collection of verses translated in 224 A.D. and said to correspond with the Pali except that it has nine additional chapters and some additional stanzas. The Fa-chu-p'i-yu-ching[767] represents another edition of the same verses, illustrated by a collection of parables. It was translated between 290 and 306. The Ch'u-yao-ching,[768] translated in 399, is a similar collection of verses and parables, but founded on another Indian work of much greater length. A revised translation containing only the verses was made between 980 and 1001.[769] They are said to be the same as the Tibetan Udana, and the characteristics of this book, going back apparently to a Sanskrit original, are that it is divided into thirty-three chapters, and that though it contains about 300 verses found in Pali, yet it is not merely the Pali text plus additions, but an anthology arranged on a different principle and only partly identical in substance.[770]

There can be little doubt that the Pali Dhammapada is one among several collections of verses, with or without an explanatory commentary of stories. In all these collections there was much common matter, both prose and verse, but some were longer, some shorter, some were in Pali and some in Sanskrit. Whereas the Chinese Dhammapada is longer than the Indian texts, the Chinese version of Milinda's Questions[771] is much shorter and omits books iv-vii. It was made between 317 and 420 A.D. and the inference is that the original Indian text received later additions.

A more important problem is this: what is the relation to the Pali Canon of the Chinese texts bearing titles corresponding to Dirgha, Madhyama, Samyukta and Ekottara? These collections of sutras do not call themselves Nikaya but A-han or Agama: the titles are translated as Ch'ang (long), Chung (medium), Tsa (miscellaneous) and Tseng-i, representing Ekottara rather than Anguttara.[772] There is hence prima facie reason to suppose that these works represent not the Pali Canon, but a somewhat similar Sanskrit collection. That one or many Sanskrit works may have coexisted with a somewhat similar Pali work is clearly shown by the Vinaya texts, for here we have the Pali Canon and Chinese translations of five Sanskrit versions, belonging to different schools, but apparently covering the same ground and partly identical. For the Sutra Pitaka no such body of evidence is forthcoming, but the Sanskrit fragments of the Samyuktagama found near Turfan contain parts of six sutras which are arranged in the same order as in the Chinese translation and are apparently the original from which it was made. It is noticeable that three of the four great Agamas were translated by monks who came from Tukhara or Kabul. Gunabhadra, however, the translator of the Samyuktagama, came from Central India and the text which he translated was brought from Ceylon by Fa-Hsien. It apparently belonged to the Abhayagiri monastery and not to the Mahavihara. Nanjio,[773] however, states that about half of it is repeated in the Chinese versions of the Madhyama and Ekottara Agamas. It is also certain that though the Chinese Agamas and Pali Nikayas contain much common matter, it is differently distributed.[774]

There was in India a copious collection of sutras, existing primarily as oral tradition and varying in diction and arrangement, but codified from time to time in a written form. One of such codifications is represented by the Pali Canon, at least one other by the Sanskrit text which was rendered into Chinese. With rare exceptions the Chinese translations were from the Sanskrit.[775] The Sanskrit codification of the sutra literature, while differing from the Pali in language and arrangement, is identical in doctrine and almost identical in substance. It is clearly the product of the same or similar schools, but is it earlier or later than the Pali or contemporary with it? The Chinese translations merely fix the latest possible date. A portion of the Samyuktagama (Nanjio, No. 547) was translated by an unknown author between 220 and 280. This is probably an extract from the complete work which was translated about 440, but it would be difficult to prove that the Indian original was not augmented or rearranged between these dates. The earliest translation of a complete Agama is that of the Ekottaragama, 384 A.D. But the evidence of inscriptions[776] shows that works known as Nikayas existed in the third century B.C. The Sanskrit of the Agamas, so far as it is known from the fragments found in Central Asia, does not suggest that they belong to this epoch, but is compatible with the theory that they date from the time of Kanishka of which if we know little, we can at least say that it produced much Buddhist Sanskrit literature. M. Sylvain Levi has suggested that the later appearance of the complete Vinaya in Chinese is due to the late compilation of the Sanskrit original.[777] It seems to me that other explanations are possible. The early translators were clearly shy of extensive works and until there was a considerable body of Chinese monks, to what public would these theological libraries appeal? Still, if any indication were forthcoming from India or Central Asia that the Sanskrit Agamas were arranged or rearranged in the early centuries of our era, the late date of the Chinese translations would certainly support it. But I am inclined to think that the Nikayas were rewritten in Sanskrit about the beginning of our era, when it was felt that works claiming a certain position ought to be composed in what had become the general literary language of India.[778] Perhaps those who wrote them in Sanskrit were hardly conscious of making a translation in our sense, but simply wished to publish them in the best literary form.

It seems probable that the Hinayanist portion of the Chinese Tripitaka is in the main a translation of the Canon of the Sarvastivadins which must have consisted of:

(1) Four Agamas or Nikayas only, for the Dhammapada is placed outside the Sutta Pitaka.

(2) A voluminous Vinaya covering the same ground as the Pali recension but more copious in legend and anecdote.

(3) An Abhidharma entirely different from the Pali works bearing this name.

It might seem to follow from this that the whole Pali Abhidharma and some important works such as the Thera-Therigatha were unknown to the Hinayanists of Central Asia and Northern India in the early centuries of our era. But caution is necessary in drawing such inferences, for until recently it might have been said that the Sutta Nipata also was unknown, whereas fragments of it in a Sanskrit version have now been discovered in Eastern Turkestan.[779] The Chinese editors draw a clear distinction between Hinayanist and Mahayanist scriptures. They exclude from the latter works analogous to the Pali Nikayas and Vinaya, and also the Abhidharma of the Sarvastivadins. But the labours of Hsuan Chuang and I-Ching show that this does not imply the rejection of all these works by Mahayanists.


Buddhist literary activity has an interesting side aspect, namely the expedients used to transliterate Indian words, which almost provided the Chinese with an alphabet. To some extent Indian names, particularly proper names possessing an obvious meaning, are translated. Thus Asoka becomes Wu-yu, without sorrow: Asvaghosha, Ma-ming or horse-voice, and Udyana simply Yuan or park.[780] But many proper names did not lend themselves to such renderings and it was a delicate business to translate theological terms like Nirvana and Samadhi. The Buddhists did not perhaps invent the idea of using the Chinese characters so as to spell with moderate precision,[781] but they had greater need of this procedure than other writers and they used it extensively[782] and with such variety of detail that though they invented some fifteen different syllabaries, none of them obtained general acceptance and Julien[783] enumerates 3000 Chinese characters used to represent the sounds indicated by 47 Indian letters. Still, they gave currency[784] to the system known as fan-ch'ieh which renders a syllable phonetically by two characters, the final of the first and the initial of the second not being pronounced. Thus, in order to indicate the sound Chung, a Chinese dictionary will use the two characters chu yung, which are to be read together as Ch ung.

The transcriptions of Indian words vary in exactitude and the later are naturally better. Hsuan Chuang was a notable reformer and probably after his time Indian words were rendered in Chinese characters as accurately as Chinese words are now transcribed in Latin letters. It is true that modern pronunciation makes such renderings as Fo seem a strange distortion of the original. But it is an abbreviation of Fo-t'o and these syllables were probably once pronounced something like Vut-tha.[785] Similarly Wen-shu-shih-li[786] seems a parody of Manjusri. But the evidence of modern dialects shows that the first two syllables may have been pronounced as Man-ju. The pupil was probably taught to eliminate the obscure vowel of _shih_, and _li_ was taken as the nearest equivalent of _ri_, just as European authors write _chih_ and _tzu without pretending that they are more than conventional signs for Chinese sounds unknown to our languages. It was certainly possible to transcribe not only names but Sanskrit prayers and formulae in Chinese characters, and though many writers sneer at the gibberish chanted by Buddhist priests yet I doubt if this ecclesiastical pronunciation, which has changed with that of the spoken language, is further removed from its original than the Latin of Oxford from the speech of Augustus.

Sanskrit learning flourished in China for a considerable period. In the time of the T'ang, the clergy numbered many serious students of Indian literature and the glossaries included in the Tripitaka show that they studied the original texts. Under the Sung dynasty (A.D. 1151) was compiled another dictionary of religious terms[787] and the study of Sanskrit was encouraged under the Yuan. But the ecclesiastics of the Ming produced no new translations and apparently abandoned the study of the original texts which was no longer kept alive by the arrival of learned men from India. It has been stated that Sanskrit manuscripts are still preserved in Chinese monasteries, but no details respecting such works are known to me. The statement is not improbable in itself[788] as is shown by the Library which Stein discovered at Tun-huang and by the Japanese palm-leaf manuscripts which came originally from China. A few copies of Sanskrit sutras printed in China in the Lanja variety of the Devanagari alphabet have been brought to Europe.[789] Max Muller published a facsimile of part of the Vajracchedika obtained at Peking and printed in Sanskrit from wooden blocks. The place of production is unknown, but the characters are similar to those used for printing Sanskrit in Tibet, as may be seen from another facsimile (No. 3) in the same work. Placards and pamphlets containing short invocations in Sanskrit and Tibetan are common in Chinese monasteries, particularly where there is any Lamaistic influence, but they do not imply that the monks who use them have any literary acquaintance with those languages.


[Footnote 708: [Chinese: ] For an account of some of the scriptures here mentioned see chap. XX.]

[Footnote 709: A catalogue of the Chinese Translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1893. An index to the Tokyo edition has been published by Fujii. Meiji XXXI (1898). See too Forke, Katalog des Pekinger Tripitaka, 1916.]

[Footnote 710: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 711: Tan-i-ching [Chinese: ]. Some of the works classed under Tan-i-ching appear to exist in more than one form, e.g. Nanjio, Nos. 674 and 804.]

[Footnote 712: These characters are commonly read Pojo by Chinese Buddhists but the Japanese reading Hannya shows that the pronunciation of the first character was Pan.]

[Footnote 713: Vajracchedika or [Chinese: ] Chin Kang.]

[Footnote 714: Winternitz (Gesch. Ind. Lit. II. i. p. 242) states on the authority of Takakusu that this work is the same as the Gandavyuha. See also Pelliot in J. A. 1914, II. pp. 118-21. The Gandavyuha is probably an extract of the Avatamsaka.]

[Footnote 715: Nos. 113 and 114 [Chinese: ] and [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 716: Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, pp. 160 ff.]

[Footnote 717: The longer Sukhavativyuha is placed in the Ratnakuta class.]

[Footnote 718: The Sutra of Kuan-yin with the thousand hands and eyes is very popular and used in most temples. Nanjio, No. 320.]

[Footnote 719: No. 399 [Chinese: ] and 530 [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 720: Said to have been revealed to Asanga by Maitreya. No. 1170.]

[Footnote 721: [Chinese: ] No. 1087. It has nothing to do with the Pali Sutra of the same name. Digha, I.]

[Footnote 722: See below for an account of it.]

[Footnote 723: Record of Buddhist Practices, p. 20.]

[Footnote 724: See Oldenberg, Vinaya, vol. I. pp. xxiv-xlvi.]

[Footnote 725: See Watters, Yuan Chwang, I. p. 227. The five schools are given as Dharmagupta, Mahis'asika, Sarvastivadin, Ka'syapiya and Mahasanghika. For the last Vatsiputra or Sthavira is sometimes substituted.]

[Footnote 726: Record of Buddhist Practices, p. 8.]

[Footnote 727: The Chinese word lun occurs frequently in them, but though it is used to translate Abhidharma, it is of much wider application and means discussion of Sastra.]

[Footnote 728: See Watters, Yuan Chwang, I, pp. 355 ff.]

[Footnote 729: Nos. 1179, 1190, 1249.]

[Footnote 730: For a discussion of this literature see Takakusu on the Abhidharma Literature of the Sarvastivadins, J. Pali Text Society, 1905, pp. 67 ff.]

[Footnote 731: Nanjio, Cat. Nos. 1273, 1275, 1276, 1277, 1292, 1281, 1282, 1296, 1317. This last work was not translated till the eleventh century.]

[Footnote 732: Nanjio, Cat. Nos. 1263, 1267 and 1269.]

[Footnote 733: See Takakusu's study of these translations in B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 1 ff. and pp. 978 ff.]

[Footnote 734: Nanjio, Cat. Nos. 1321, 1353, 1365, 1439.]

[Footnote 735: [Chinese: ] No. 1490.]

[Footnote 736: [Chinese: ] No. 1661. For more about the Patriarchs see the next chapter.]

[Footnote 737: [Chinese: ] No. 1524, written A.D. 1006.]

[Footnote 738: [Chinese: ] No. 1482.]

[Footnote 739: [Chinese: ] No. 1640.]

[Footnote 740: [Chinese: ] and [Chinese: ] Nos. 1634 and 1594.]

[Footnote 741: See for some account of it Masson-Oursel's article in J.A. 1915, I. pp. 229-354.]

[Footnote 742: [Chinese: ] by [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 743: See chap. XX on the Mahayanist canon in India.]

[Footnote 744: It is described at the beginning as Ta Ming San Tsang, but strictly speaking it must be No. 12 of the list, as it contains a work said to have been written about 1622 A.D. (p. 468).]

[Footnote 745: Thus the Emperor Jen Tsung ordered the works of Ch'i Sung [Chinese: ] to be admitted to the Canton in 1062.]

[Footnote 746: Taken from Nanjio's Catalogue, p. xxvii.]

[Footnote 747: Ch'ien-Lung is said to have printed the Tripitaka in four languages, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongol and Manchu, the whole collection filling 1392 vols. See Mollendorf in China Branch, J.A.S. xxiv. 1890, p. 28.]

[Footnote 748: But according to another statement the southern recension was not the imperial collection begun in 1368 but a private edition now lost. See Nanjio, Cat. p. xxiii.]

[Footnote 749: See for the complete list Nanjio, Cat. p. xxvii. Those named above are (a) [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ], [Chinese: ], Nos. 1483, 1485, 1487, and (b) [Chinese: ], No. 1612. For the date of the first see Maspero in B.E.F.E.O. 1910, p. 114. There was a still earlier catalogue composed by Tao-an in 374 of which only fragments have been preserved. See Pelliot in T'oung Pao, XIX. 1920, p. 258.]

[Footnote 750: For the Korean copy now in Japan, see Courant, Bibliographie coreenne, vol. III. pp. 215-19.]

[Footnote 751: See Nanjio, Cat. p. xxii.]

[Footnote 752: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 753: [Chinese: ]]

[Footnote 754: Also called Do-ko.]

[Footnote 755: The earlier collections of the Tripitaka seem to have been known in Korea and about 1000 A.D. the king procured from China a copy of the Imperial Edition, presumably the eighth collection (971 A.D.). He then ordered a commission of scholars to revise the text and publish an edition of his own. The copy of this edition, on which the recent Tokyo edition was founded, was brought to Japan in the Bun-mei period 1469-1486.]

[Footnote 756: A supplement to the Tripitaka containing non-canonical works in 750 volumes (Dai Nippon Zoku-Zokyo) was published in 1911.]

[Footnote 757: The Peking Tripitaka catalogued by Forke appears to be a set of 1223 works represented by copies taken from four editions published in 1578, 1592, 1598 and 1735 A.D., all of which are editions of the collections numbered 11 and 12 above.]

[Footnote 758: For two interesting lives of translators see the T'oung Pao, 1909, p. 199, and 1905, p. 332, where will be found the biographies of Seng Hui, a Sogdian who died in 280 and Jinagupta a native of Gandhara (528-605).]

[Footnote 759: But between 266 and 313 Dharmaraksha translated the Saddharmapundarika (including the additional chapters 21-26) and the Lalitavistara. His translation of the Prajnaparamita is incomplete.]

[Footnote 760: In the translations of Lokakshi 147-186, Chih-Ch'ien 223-243, Dharmaraksha 266-313.]

[Footnote 761: But his translation of the Lotus won admiration for its literary style. See Anesaki Nichiren, p. 17. Wieger (Croyances, p. 367) says that the works of An-shih-kao illustrate the various methods of translation: absolutely literal renderings which have hardly any meaning in Chinese: word for word translations to which is added a paraphrase of each sentence in Chinese idiom: and elegant renderings by a native in which the original text obviously suffers.]

[Footnote 762: Yet it must have been intended as such. The title expressly describes the work as composed by the Bodhisattva Ma-Ming (Asvaghosha) and translated by Dharmaraksha. Though his idea of a translation was at best an amplified metrical paraphrase, yet he coincides verbally with the original so often that his work can hardly be described as an independent poem inspired by it.]

[Footnote 763: [Chinese: ] No. 203.]

[Footnote 764: See Sukhavativyuha, ed. Max Muller and Bunyiu Nanjio, Oxford, 1883. In the preface, pp. vii-ix, is a detailed comparison of several translations and in an appendix, pp. 79 ff., a rendering of Sanghavarman's Chinese version of verses which occur in the work. Chinese critics say that Tao-an in the third century was the first to introduce a sound style of translation. He made no translations himself which have survived but was a scholar and commentator who influenced others.]

[Footnote 765: This is an anthology (edited by Beckh, 1911: translated by Rockhill, 1892) in which 300 verses are similar to the Pali Dhammapada.]

[Footnote 766: [Chinese: ] No. 1365.]

[Footnote 767: [Chinese: ] No. 1353.]

[Footnote 768: [Chinese: ] No. 1321.]

[Footnote 769: [Chinese: ] Fa-chi-yao-sung-ching, No. 1439.]

[Footnote 770: There seem to be at least two other collections. Firstly a Prakrit anthology of which Dutreuil de Rhins discovered a fragmentary MS. in Khotan and secondly a much amplified collection preserved in the Korean Tripitaka and reprinted in the Tokyo edition (xxiv.'g). The relation of these to the other recensions is not clear.]

[Footnote 771: Nanjio, Cat. 1358. See Pelliot, J.A. 1914, II. p. 379.]

[Footnote 772: [Chinese: ] For the relations of the Chinese translations to the Pali Tripitaka, and to a Sanskrit Canon now preserved only in a fragmentary state, see inter alia, Nanjio, Cat. pp. 127 ff., especially Nos. 542, 543, 545. Anesaki, J.R.A.S. 1901, p. 895; id. "On some problems of the textual history of the Buddhist scriptures," in Trans. A. S. Japan, 1908, p. 81, and more especially his longer article entitled, "The Four Buddhist Agamas in Chinese" in the same year of the Trans.; id. "Traces of Pali Texts in a Mahayana Treatise," Museon, 1905. S. Levi, Le Samyuktagama Sanskrit, T'oung Pao, 1904, p. 297.]

[Footnote 773: No. 544.]

[Footnote 774: Thus seventy sutras of the Pali Anguttara are found in the Chinese Madhyama and some of them are repeated in the Chinese Ekottara. The Pali Majjhima contains 125 sutras, the Chinese Madhyamagama 222, of which 98 are common to both. Also twenty-two Pali Majjhima dialogues are found in the Chinese Ekottara and Samyukta, seventy Chinese Madhyama dialogues in Pali Anguttara, nine in Digha, seven in Samyutta and five in Khuddaka. Anesaki, Some Problems of the textual history of the Buddhist Scriptures. See also Anesaki in Museon, 1905, pp. 23 ff. on the Samyutta Nikaya.]

[Footnote 775: Anesaki, "Traces of Pali Texts," Museon, 1905, shows that the Indian author of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sastra may have known Pali texts, but the only certain translation from the Pali appears to be Nanjio, No. 1125, which is a translation of the Introduction to Buddhaghosa's Samanta-pasadika or commentary on the Vinaya. See Takakusu in J.R.A.S. 1896, p. 415. Nanjio's restoration of the title as Sudarsana appears to be incorrect.]

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