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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 5.2 (2022): 92–130;

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On the Authorship of the *Śūraṃgama-sūtra Ascribed to *Pāramiti

University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Abstract: Research presented in this paper is primarily based upon two manuscripts from the Kongōji 金剛寺 manuscript set of the Buddhist canon Zhenyuan xinding Shijiao mulu 貞元新定釋教錄 [Buddhist Catalogue Newly Revised during the Zhenyuan-era (785–805); T no. 2157; henceforth Zhenyuan lu and abbreviated as Z] (1) Z no. 0502-007(a&b)–008 and (2) Z no. 1181-001. The first manuscript is a late-Heian period copy of what appears to be a Naraera manuscript of the apocryphal Shoulengyan jing 首楞嚴經 [Skt. *Śūraṃgama-sūtra; Book of the Hero’s March], T no. 945. The second manuscript is a Kamakura-era copy of a Nara period manuscript of the Xu gujin yijing tuji 續古今譯經圖紀 [Supplement to the Portraits and Records of Translated Scriptures, Past and Present, T no. 2152], which is an account of nineteen translators compiled by Zhisheng 智昇 (active 700–740), in 730. Both of our earliest accounts of the composition of the Shoulengyan jing, the Kaiyuan shijiao lu 開元釋教錄 [Catalogue of Buddhist Texts Made during the Kaiyuan-era (713–741)] and Xu gujin yijing tuji agree that Huaidi 懷迪 and an anonymous ‘Indian monk’, rather than *Pāramiti, compiled the Shoulengyan jing. Yet almost all later sources in China and modern secondary studies of this important scripture ascribe the *Śūraṃgama-sūtra to *Pāramiti in error.

Keywords: Chinese Buddhist, History of the Shoulengyan jing, Śūraṃgama-sūtra, Apocryphal Buddhist Scriptures, Huaidi, Kaiyuan Era Catalogue, Old Japanese Manuscript Buddhist Canons, Kongōji, Dunhuang manuscripts


About the Author: George A. Keyworth received his Ph.D. in Chinese Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2011, he joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada as an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies and East Asian Religions. After receiving tenure in 2017, he transferred to the Department of History, where he has been teaching courses in the areas of premodern Chinese and Japanese history, Asian Studies, the history of religion in East Asia, and comparative manuscript studies. Keyworth has published on topics ranging from Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) Chinese Chan Buddhism and the figure of Juefan Huihong 覺範惠洪 (1071–1128); Japanese pilgrims to Song China (e.g., Jōjin 成尋[1011–1081]); apocryphal Chinese Buddhist scriptures and the particular case of the Shoulengyan jing 首楞嚴經 (*Śūraṃgamasūtra, T no. 945) using Chinese and Khotanese Sanskrit sources from Dunhuang; esoteric Buddhism in Tang (618–907) and Song China; Zen Buddhism in Edo (1603–1868) Japan and the figures of Xinyue Xingchou 心越興儔 (Shin’etsu Kōchū, 1639–1696) and Kakumon Kantetsu 覚門貫徹 (d. 1730); and old Japanese manuscript Buddhist canons (issaikyō 一切経), especially from Nanatsudera 七寺 the Matsuo shrine 松尾社 canon kept at Myōrenji. He is currently working on two books, tentatively titled: Zen and the Literary Arts and Copying for the Kami: A Study and Catalog of the Matsuo Shrine Buddhist Canon. He has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to support his research projects.


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