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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
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.
Keywords: Faxian, Mahāyāna, Mahāsāṃghika, Sengqi lü, Wufen lü
About the Author: Zhan Ru is a Professor in Peking University’s School of Foreign Languages. Additionally, he is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and Vice President of the Peking University Orientalism Research Institute.
His areas of research include: Buddhist and Buddhist literature, the Indian Ministry of Buddhism, Dunhuang Buddhism, Buddhist system.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.