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Mahāsāṃghika and Mahāyāna: An Analysis of Faxian and the Translation of the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya (Chin. Mohe Sengqi Lü)
ZHAN Ru 湛如
Keywords: Faxian, Mahāyāna, Mahāsāṃghika, Sengqi lü, Wufen lü
Abstract: Faxian’s purpose in going to India in search of the Dharma was to bring back the material missing from the Vinaya canon. He brought back three Vinaya texts to China in total, namely, the Mohe sengqi lü 摩訶僧祇律 [Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya] (hereafter abbreviated to Sengqi lü), the Sapoduozhong lü chao 薩婆多眾律抄 [Annotation to the Sarvāstivādin Vinaya] and the Mishasai wufen lü 彌沙塞五分律 [Five-Part Vinaya of the Mahīśāsaka School] (hereafter abbreviated as Wufen lü), respectively. Why did he choose to translate the Sengqi lü? Did it have something to do with the features of Sectarian Buddhist thought? Was it related to Buddhist thought of the time? This article raises and attempts tentative answers to these questions.
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