Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies: E-journal, Vol 2.1, Zhang

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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 2.1 (2019): 325–370;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Faxian)

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The Biography of Faxian: On the Practice and Spread of Chinese Buddhist Precepts during the Jin and Song Dynasties (Fourth–Fifth Century CE)

ZHANG Xuesong 張雪松
Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Religious Theory, Renmin University of China
English Translation by Gina Yang,

Keywords: Faxian, novice, śrāmaṇera, precepts, Mohe sengqi lü, Mahāsāṅghika Vinaya, Shisong lü, Daśabhāṇavāra Vinaya, Xin Monastery

Abstract: This paper discusses the religious importance of Faxian receiving the novice (śrāmaṇera) precepts early in life, his travel to the West in search of Dharma as an adult, his engagement in translating Buddhist scriptures after returning to China, and his relocation to Xin Monastery in later life. The focus of discussion is the significance of Faxian’s search, translation and propagation of Buddhist precepts during his lifetime. Furthermore, the current paper points out potential fallacies of some common claims about Faxian’s biography. From this, it investigates the practice and spread of Chinese Buddhist precepts during the Jin and Song dynasties.


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