The Sanskrit Karmavibhaṅga [= KV] has two textual traditions: one is represented by what are termed manuscripts A and B, both found in Nepal, and the other by what is called Nepalese manuscript C, and seven fragments of the Schøyen Collection from Afghanistan. The former tradition contains a number of quotations from various Buddhist texts, while the latter does not. Furthermore, these two traditions reflect origins from different Buddhist schools: the former belongs to the Saṃmitīyas, the latter to the Sarvāstivādins.
Recently, another Nepalese manuscript has been identified as the KV; it was procured by Cecil Bendall in 1898–99 and is preserved in the Cambridge University library. It has a total of eleven folios (nos. 10, 30–39); folio no. 10 corresponds to the middle part of the uddeśa and folios 30–39 correspond to KV §§ 63–80.
This manuscript belongs to the same tradition of the MS[C] transmitted by the Sarvāstivādins. However, the order of the sections and the contents of the merits brought by each donation are different. Not only does this mean that there are different versions of the same text across different regions, but there are multiple texts in the same region, especially in Nepal, and sometimes even within the same school.
The Nichiren shōnin chūgasan 日蓮聖人註画讃 is a biography of Nichiren 日蓮 (1222–1282) written by Nitchō 日澄 (1441–1510). This book has 12 versions written in Chinese and 9 in Japanese. Those written in Japanese can be classified into two main groups: (a) the Myōrenji 妙蓮寺 and Spencer version, and (b) the Honmonji 本門寺 version, together with published books of the Edo period. The Myōkenji 妙顕寺 version has different contents from the major types.
Each of the various subsects of the Nichiren school refers to the sect or school that has Nichiren as its founder. From Nichiren’s time in the Kamakura period, his disciples formed an organization that expanded with the progress of time. In the Muromachi period, its priests of the sect were active in various places, and among them, a number of branches were formed based on differences in doctrine and disagreements over succession. The organization that emerged from these branches was organized by the head temple as a result of religious control during the Edo period, and then reborn as a modern sect as a result of the religious policies of the early Meiji period. Through this process, the Nichiren sects became nine in the Taisho period (1912–1926), and seven of them began concrete activities to unify them in 1914. These activities were triggered by the commemoration in 1902 of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Nichiren Buddhism, the subsequent rise of Nichiren shugi 日蓮主義 (Nichirenism), which became a social phenomenon, and the sect’s involvement in World War I. In this paper, I consider the integration activities conducted by each subsect of Nichiren’s followers during the Taisho era, including the background of the conference held in 1914 with the chief abbot of each subsect in attendance.
The Nichiren doctrinal term jigu sanzen 事具三千 is used to represent the truth taught in the honmon 本門 (second half) of the Lotus Sūtra, and is a term sourced in the Tendai debate concerning jikkai gogu 十界互具 (mutual possession of the Ten Worlds). The debate concerns whether the buddha inherent in ordinary beings is a principle (ri 理) or is actual (ji 事).
This question was first brought up by Annen 安然 (841?–915?), and in Tendai the term jigu jikkai 事具十界 came to be used, meaning that buddha is inherent in ordinary beings in an actual sense. In the Muromachi period, Chōjun 貞舜 (1334–1422) developed this thought into the term jigu sanzen in his Shūyō kashiwabara anryū 宗要柏原案立.
Nichiryū 日隆 (1385–1464), who lived in the same period as Chōjun, was the first to use jigu sanzen as a Nichiren doctrinal term. Nichiryū used and explained this term in his Kaishaku kenpon shūyōshū 開迹顕本宗要集 in the same way as Chōjun did in the Shūyō kashiwabara anryū. Nichiryū adapted the Tendai term jigu sanzen to more accurately express Nichiren’s teachings.
Kōzōin Nisshin 広蔵院日辰 (1508–1576), a learned priest who flourished in Kyoto during the Sengoku Period, wrote many books, as well as transcribing and collecting classical books across a broad range of fields. Among them, this article covers a yet-to-be-published book called Hokkeron ryakutaiko 法華論略大綱, which is in the possession of the Yōbōji 要法寺 in Kyoto. Nisshin selected and recorded teachings of Buddhism that he recognized as important, referring to the Hokkeron kachu 法華論科註 by his former master, Jofukyōin Nichishin 常不軽院日真 (1444–1528), compiling them into the book under discussion in January 1546. The Hokkeron kachu in its turn used the Hokkeron ki 法華論記 by Enchin 円珍 (814–891) as a reference, and therefore, in principle, the Hokkeron ryakutaiko also follows that basic approach. However, it includes not only excerpts from the Hokkeron kachu but also to a considerable extent Nisshin’s unique comments on the Hokkeron 法華論 and Hokkeron ki. Thus, the Hokkeron ryakutaiko contains many elements that can be regarded as unique to Nisshin. This article considers aspects of Nisshin’s reception of the Hokkeron using such characteristic elements as clues.
Kenjuin Nichikan 堅樹院日寛 (1665–1726) was the 26th chief priest of the Taisekiji 大石寺, the head temple of Nichiren Shōshū. He is famous in the history of Nichiren doctrine as the scholar who systematized the philosophy of the Taisekiji.
One assertion of Nichikan’s religious thought is that one should not create statues of the Buddha in the age of the degeneration of the law (mappō 末法). However, Kōzōin Nisshin 広蔵院日辰, who was active about 160 years before Nichikan, had insisted that statues of the Buddha should indeed be erected. In this way, although the two monks belonged to the same “Nikkōmon school (日興門流)”, their ideas differed.
Since the religious thought of Nisshin was the mainstream at the Taisekiji at that time, Nichikan severely criticized Nisshin’s claim in his work called the Zōbutsu rongi 造仏論義 in order to change the mainstream religious thought of the Taisekiji to follow his own views.
The content of the Tendai doctrinal debates in Hosshōji-Mihakkō is closely related to the scholarship of that time, the 12th–13th c. There are two points, the first of which is that there are many arguments for the accurate understanding of the sacred texts. Second, quite a few important points of argument were adopted within the Tendai sect. This point has not been mentioned in previous studies. As a future task, first of all, it is necessary to classify the Tendai doctrinal debates in Hosshōji-Mihakkō as precisely as possible.
The Kanjō samayakai 灌頂三昧耶戒 (Abhiṣeka Samaya Commitments), attributed to Ennin (円仁, 794–864), is known as the first text used in the ritual of giving and receiving the Samaya precepts 三昧耶戒. However, from long ago it was questioned whether this was a Chinese compilation, who the compiler was and what the process of compilation entailed.
The compiler briefly shows the tradition of Esoteric Buddhism with reference to Saichō’s 最澄 Naishō buppō sōjō kechimyakufu 内証仏法相承血脈譜. However, considering the sages said to have been involved in the transmission, some confusion is evident concerning the time of the introduction of Esoteric Buddhism into Japanese Tendai, and it is possible that the upper limit of the establishment of this text might be brought down to the time of Enchin 円珍 (814–891). Since Annen 安然 (841?–915?) added one sentence to the Introduction, it can be excluded that Annen is the author. This introduction also influenced the Tōmitsu 東密 tradition, and the Introduction was introduced into the ritual text once more, so this can be said to be a good example of the importance of Taimitsu’s 台密 tradition and precepts.
This paper deals with the Fugen-san 普賢讃, one of the parts of the Hokke Senbō 法華懺法performed in the Shunie ceremony 修二会 at the Nigatsu-do Hall of the Todaiji 東大寺二月堂. The Fugen-san consists of sixteen verses, and can be found in the Dasheng bensheng xindiguan jing 大乗本生心地観経. However, the texts of this sūtra nowhere mention the term fugen, and it is not clear why the Fugen-san is so called. To find the origin of the name, this paper examines the ideological content of the Dasheng bensheng xindiguan jing. This sūtra was considered important by Tendai scholars such as Annen 安然, Ryōgen 良源and Genshin 源信, and it is regarded as having the same meaning as the Guan puxian pusa xingfa jing 観普賢菩薩行法経. Therefore, this paper argues that an ideological factor may have influenced the origin of the name.
The Shōjukyō 摂寿経 is a non-extant scripture, only fragments of which exist in other works. This paper considers two issues related to this text.
First, the Shōjukyō features Pṛthivī 堅牢地神, which has farming tools on eight arms. The four-armed Pṛthivī, which is likely related to the eight-armed Pṛthivī, can be found in texts of the Shingon sect. This paper proposes two hypotheses regarding the formation of the four-armed Pṛthivī: a) it was derived from the four-armed Sarasvatī 弁才天, or b) it emerged from a fusion of Pṛthivī with the four-armed Acalanātha 不動明王 in the esoteric ritual, Anchinhō 安鎮法.
Second, in the Shōjukyō, Pṛthivī is regarded as a bodhisattva. This theory can be traced back to the Jinguangming jingshu 金光明経疏, attributed to Jizang 吉蔵. In Japan, Gangyō 願暁’s (?–874) Konkōmyō saishō’ōkyō gensū 金光明最勝王経玄樞 quotes this theory. Gangyō was the teacher of Shōbō 聖宝 (832–909). Therefore, the Shōjukyō may have been formed in Shingon temples.
This paper examines the characteristics of all debates on the Sanron 三論 school recorded in the Hosshōji mihakkō mondōki 法勝寺御八講問答記, currently owned by the Tōdaiji library. The Hosshōji mihakkō mondōki was collected and copied by Sōshō 宗性 (1202–1278). The text contains 320 debates on the Sanron school. Of those, 123 were founded on the opinion of the Chinese monk Huiyuan 慧遠 (334‒416). This number is larger than the number of debates on the opinion of Jizang 吉蔵 (549‒623). Many of the 123 Huiyuan-related debates are also recorded in the Daijō gishō shō 大乗義章抄, a commentary on Huiyuan’s Dasheng yizhang 大乗義章 and a copy of which is owned by the Minobu Bunko 身延文庫 in the Minobusan Kuonji 久遠寺.
This paper explores when and how the development of interpretations regarding the relationship between the Inherent Obstruction (自性障) mentioned in the Yuqi jing 瑜祇経 and the Infinitesimal Attachment (微細妄執) mentioned in the Hizōki 秘蔵記 occurred in annotated editions of the Yuqi jing in Shingon Esoteric Buddhism.
Jichiun 実運 (1105–1160) of Daigoji, a Shingon esoteric monk, introduced the concept of Infinitesimal Attachment into the interpretation of the Yuqi jing as an index for distinguishing whether or not inherent obstruction can become Vajrasattva and obtain mokṣa. However, Jichiun did not consider inherent obstruction and infinitesimal attachment to be the same.
The identification of inherent obstruction and infinitesimal attachment is likely to have been made for the first time by the later Shingon esoteric monks Jichigen 実賢 (1176–1249) and Dōhan 道範 (1179–1252).
However, not all Shingon scholars after Dōhan were influenced by Jichigen and Dōhan. In some cases, they developed their own doctrines, as did Yūban 宥範 (1270–1352), who belonged to the school based in Izu 伊豆流. This shows the diversity of Shingon Buddhism.
In Japan, in the context of nursing and physical response at the time of death, value is placed not only on spirit but also on physical contact. Various approaches are sought, starting with physical contact, such as writing characters on the palm of the dying person.
The present paper, utilizing new materials, analyzes the essential theory of nursing based on Japanese precepts from social aspects and behaviors. How are central activities inspired by vows and rituals utilized, structured, and developed for nursing and end-of-life physical activity? In addition, the paper considers what connects the body of the dying individual and the caregiver, and how the space that mediates between them was developed and used.
This study provides an overview of the ideas of the Tagahōin-ryū 多賀法印流, a school of medicine that flourished from the late 16th to the early 17th century. The school was established by Shūyohōin 宗与法印, a monk who performed Buddhist rituals at a Shintō shrine named Taga Taisha 多賀大社; this was a common religious practice at the time due to the merging of Buddhism and Shintō. While the medical books of this school are influenced by Buddhist ideas in multiple ways, the influence of the Hongaku 本覚 doctrine and beliefs concerning the Lotus Sūtra is particularly strong. This study first lists works that are traditionally said to be the medical books of the Tagahōin-ryū. Subsequently, the two texts that are used in all the medical books of the school are introduced. These two texts describe the idea of the human body based on the Hongaku doctrine and the relation between medicine and beliefs concerning the Lotus Sūtra.
Among the Kōshōji manuscripts are a total of two manuscripts, an old manuscript and an old edition, of the Miaofa lianhuajing youbotishe translated by Bodhiruci 菩提流支. Although this document had only been known in the past as part of the inventory, the author fortunately had the opportunity to examine valuable reproductions. In this paper, the content of these two volumes is introduced, along with an investigation and evaluation with reference to relevant philological research.
As a result of the investigation and evaluation, structural similarities were found between the old manuscript and the old edition at Kōshōji and the first and second text referenced in the Fahua lunshu 法華論疏 written by Jizang 吉蔵 based on Bodhiruci’s translation.
The title Zhaoxuan shamendu 照玄沙門都 for Bodhiruci written in the old manuscript at Kōshōji is not seen in any of the other existing texts of the Miaofa lianhuajing youbotishe, as far as the author knows. This suggests that the old manuscript at Kōshōji is a text with a unique lineage.
These manuscripts at Kōshōji, which contain different expressions from various other books in existence, are valuable and rare books. In particular, the old manuscript is a transcription from the cloistered government during the Heian period, with a high likelihood that it was copied from a sūtra from the Nara period. Therefore, it could be a text belonging to the official Dazangjing lineage from the Tang era.
This paper considers Dōgen’s 道元 interpretation of the expressions “yuibutsu yobutsu” 唯仏与仏 and “shohō jissō” 諸法実相 in the Chapter on Upāyakauśalya of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra that Dōgen quotes in the ‘Shohō jissō’ fascicle of his Shōbōgenzō正法眼蔵. In my opinion, Dōgen does not read the scripture in its original sense and interprets “yuibutsu yobutsu” and “shohō jissō” as the same. In doing so, Dōgen views yuibutsu and shohō as phenomenal matters, and sees them as ultimate truths, whereas yobutsu and jissō are treated as the essence. There is a level of disagreement here regarding existence or truthfulness. Kyōgō 経豪 (1451–1492), commenting in his Shōbōgenzōshō 正法眼蔵抄, places emphasis on “jissō” and gives a different interpretation than Dōgen’s. Tenkei天桂 (1648–1735), in his Shōbōgenzō benchū 正法眼蔵弁註, reveals his critical awareness of those who fail to understand Dōgen’s findings
In the Shisho 嗣書 (Certificate of Succession) volume of the Shōbōgenzō 正法眼蔵, Dōgen道元 introduces various forms of writing the shisho, Certificate of Succession, that he saw in other sects of Chan Buddhism during his journeys to Song China. Although these forms differ from the shisho of the Caodong 曹洞 sect, Dōgen recognized them as shisho. Several forms of writing the shisho existed under the Linji 臨済 sect. However, Dōgen is obscure about forms of writing shisho in the Caodong and Linji Huanglong 黄龍 sects, perhaps because these were secret teachings directly connected to himself. Furthermore, the Goyuigon kiroku 御遺言記録 mentions secret teachings transmitted between Dōgen and Ejō 懐奘 (1198–1280) only orally. However, many records of Dōgen’s studies were written later, and aspects that Dōgen and Ejō had kept unwritten were recorded by their followers Gikai 義介 (1219–1309), Keizan 瑩山 (1268–1325), and others. In the Goyuigon kiroku, forms of writing the shisho are concealed, and even when recorded in kirigami 切紙 secret documents in later generations, this awareness was passed down only with obstacles to open understanding through the use of devices such as cryptograms.
The Buddha said, “It is just the dharmas that combine to form this body. When it arises, it is simply the dharmas arising; when it ceases, it is simply the dharmas ceasing. When these dharmas arise, [the bodhisattva] does not state, ‘I arise’; when these dharmas cease, he does not state, ‘I cease’.” “In prior thought moments and subsequent thought moments, the moments do not relate to each other; in prior dharmas and subsequent dharmas, the dharmas do not oppose each other. This is called the the ocean seal samadhi.” (Trans. Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich)
It is commonly thought that the source is the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa 維摩詰所説経, and the same phrase can be seen in the Mazu daoyi chanshi guanglu 馬祖道一禅師広録 (Recorded Sayings of Mazu.).
In this paper, by considering the renewal of this phrase, Dōgen uniquely added the words “this method (此法)” to the words “此法起時, 不言我起, 此法滅時, 不言我滅” (When these dharmas arise, [the bodhisattva] does not state, ‘I arise’; when these dharmas cease, he does not state, ‘I cease”’). It is therefore clear that he presented four phrases.
The Shōbōgenzō 正法眼蔵, Dōgen’s 道元 (1200–1253) central work, has been characterized as difficult to understand, and many researchers have cited peculiarities in the use and interpretation of phrases of Chinese origin (kanbun) in the text as a factor. Based on these views, I tried to analyze syntactic contents in the text in terms of complex sentence structures with a fresh approach. I began by classifying over 1400 typical complex sentences, drawn from each chapter of the text, into seven types (including positive, negative, imperative/prohibitive, and paraphrastic etc.), indicating a high frequency of complex sentences. I also analyzed the entire text of five chapters of the work, including “Genjōkōan 現成公案” and “Busshō 仏性, ” indicating a rate of complex sentences of approximately 75%. I confirmed that the sermon’s use of periphrasis of complex sentences made it possible to express images like greatest common divisor, thereby enabling comprehension among his disciples, who were learning the doctrine at different levels of understanding. I think that Dōgen avoided the immobilizations of words and the conclusive discussions with single sentences, using complex sentences to aid understanding, which, in turn, resulted in intricate expressions.
This study examines the transcription of the Shōbōgenzō during the late Edo period. The survey target was the Shōbōgenzō manuscript copied by Iwata Raihō 岩田来鳳 (?–1886) at the Kōkenji 孝顕寺 in Kawagoe 川越 city toward the end of the Edo period. According to appended materials, in this book the marginal notes were transcribed by Iichi Jōin 惟一成允 (1788–1861) and Gettan Zenryū 月潭全龍 (?–1865), who were Genzōka 眼蔵家 (specialists in the Shōbōgenzō) at the time. In this study, I have compared the text and marginal notes with related books such as the Shōbōgenzō copied by Kaiden 戒傳. I discovered that the text was influenced by the editions of Kōzen 晃全 and Manzan 卍山. Therefore, the conventional perception that most of the Shōbōgenzō manuscripts after the publication of the Eiheiji 永平寺 edition were transcripts of the Eiheiji edition needs to be revised. Additionally, I confirmed that marginal notes match across multiple transcripts, and discovered that Genzōka marginal notes were transcribed and propagated by multiple scribes.
The Genkō Shakusho 元亨釈書 compiled in 1322 by Kokan Shiren 虎関師錬 (1278–1346) was written at the end of the Kamakura period and entered the Tripiṭaka through the efforts of Ryōsen Ryōzui 龍泉令淬 (?–1364), his disciple, in 1360. With an emphasis on the transformation of the Tōfukuji into a Zen temple at that time, it is thought that the Shōichi school (聖一派) needed to emphasize the legitimacy of its Zen. After the Shakusho’s inclusion in the Tripiṭaka, the legitimacy of Japanese Zen and the Shōichi sect, which Kokan advocated in the Genkō Shakusho, was secured by the establishment of the Sōroku system 僧録制度 immediately after the Kōryaku coup (1379).
Concentrated meditation retreats have been conducted in Japanese Zen monasteries since the Middle Ages (1185–1600). The Zen retreats held during the Middle Ages, known as jōza 定坐, differed somewhat from the type of retreats held during the Edo period (1603–1868), known as sesshin 摂心, a form of concentrated meditation practice similar to present-day Zen retreats (still known as sesshin). The sesshin format appears to have developed under the influence of the Ōbaku school of Zen, a Chinese Zen school transmitted to Japan from Ming-dynasty China during the early seventeenth century. Evidence for this is found in the Ōbaku sannai shingi 黄檗山内清 (Detailed regulations of Mount Ōbaku) and the recorded sayings of early Ōbaku-school monks. The prototype of the sesshin was probably a Song-dynasty seven-day form of retreat known as the xiaoxian 小限.
It has been pointed out that Hōnen’s Sanbukyōshaku 三部経釈 (Notes on the Three Pure Land Sūtras) consists of two layers of texts: the original part written by Hōnen himself, called the kosō 古層 (older layer), and sections added later, called the shinsō 新層 (new layer). Extant versions of the text are understood to be a mixture of these two layers of writing. In this paper, I focus on the part of the text titled “Daikyōshaku” 大経釈 (Notes on the Larger [Sukhāvatīvyūha] sūtra), and examine the process of its formation by comparing it with citations of this text found in the writings of Hōnen’s disciples. As a result of my examination, I conclude that the later additions to the text underwent multiple steps until arriving at the present version of the text.
Hōnen regarded himself as a bombu 凡夫 (ordinary foolish being) and thought of Amida Buddha’s salvation as created for such a being. What was emphasized is the superior and easy nembutsu practice that was delivered through Śākyamuni to conform to the abilities of the bombu. In this sense, Hōnen does not esteem the resonantal stimulus and response (感応) as suggested in the teachings of the Tendai school, but he accepted the possibility of emotional response through the working of Amida’s Vow power. Hōnen kept records of his personal experiences but chose not to make any of these public. The reason for this is because talking about whether one experienced the power of a buddha’s vow and relating this to birth in the Pure Land has no connection with the intent of Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow. This attitude was also passed on to Hōnen’s disciples. This paper, while looking at how Hōnen and his disciples interpreted the significance of emotional response, will explore the differences in doctrinal understanding that resulted.
Through Rennyo’s (1415–1499) instruction attached to the Tannishō 歎異抄, it is known that he made it public as a sacralized text from what was originally a collection of personal letters preserved in the Hino 日野 family. According to the Bokiekotoba 慕帰絵詞, the Tannishō is a collection of the Dharma messages (hōmon 法文) which Yuien 唯円 (1222?–1289?) entrusted via Nyoshin 如信 (1235?–1300) to Kakunyo 覚如 (1270–1351), a nephew-in-law of Yuien, for the sake of the development of the genuine religious school and to counter the rise of the sect led by Shinran’s (1173–1263) eldest son Zenran 善鸞 (1211?–1292?) using talismans to gain popularity. After thorough consideration, Yuien entrusted these letters meant to counter Zenran to Nyoshin, the son of Zenran, to relay them to Kakunyo. The original form of those letters begins with the current article 10. Yuien also attached a collection of “important proof texts” (taisetsu no shōmondomo 大切の証文ども) against Zenran, and he asked Nyoshin, who acted as intermediary, to write an accompanying note. Kakunyo, who had heard Yuien’s true intention of writing these letters, then accepted these Dharma messages and founded the Honganji 本願寺. Therefore, the theory claiming the Tannishō to be a “prohibited text” is a misunderstanding developed by those ignorant of this process of transmission and the contents of the texts. Rennyo, descendant of Kakunyo, edited the texts, which were originally a collection of the Hino family’s personal letters, to prevent them from dissipation, and he openly promulgated the Tannishō as a sacred text. After a great effort, Rennyo successfully re-established and expanded the institutional foundation for the development of the present Honganji, which is his splendid achievement as a religious leader.
This paper examines citations of Shandao’s 善導 Wangsheng lizan 往生礼讃 in the section called “Great Practice 大行” within the “Practice 行” chapter of the Kyōgyōshinshō 教行信証 in order to consider Shandao’s nianfo thought, and to compare it with Shinran’s nembutsu thought as seen in his usage of those citations.
The Wangsheng lizan, in addition to expressing Shandao’s own worship and veneration of Amida Buddha, urges others to follow the teaching of Amida so that sentient beings might repent of their own evil and take refuge (namo 南無) in the Buddha. However, Shandao himself accomplished the contemplation of the Buddha both through visualization practice and by the recitation of Amida’s name, so it is difficult to say that he solely promoted the single practice of the recitation of the Name.
Next, I examine how Shinran viewed Shandao’s nianfo thought. Shinran understood that the primary purpose of Shandao’s veneration of Amida was to urge people to aspire to be born in his Pure Land by the practice of the recitation of Amida’s Name. Although Shandao was known as a “person accomplished in samādhi” who practiced the visualization of Amida Buddha, for Shinran, the fact that the master consistently promoted the single practice of the recitation of the Name was the central characteristic of Shandao’s teaching. Based on this interpretation, we can see the uniqueness of Shinran’s emphasis on “hearing the Name” (monmyō 門名). Further, regarding the term “seeing the Buddha” (kenbutu 見仏), Shinran reinterpreted the word “seeing” (ken 見) as “hearing and seeing” (monken 聞見), through which he expressed his profound joy at hearing that one should say Amida’s Name, receive shinjin, and venerate the Dharma. Shinran viewed the experience of encountering Amida Buddha as the world of nembutsu expressed through the “recitation and hearing of the Name.”
This paper takes up Shinran’s interpretation of “the aspiration to leave birth and death.” In the Songō shinzō meimon 尊号真像銘文, Shinran provides his interpretation of several passages from Hōnen’s Senjakushū 選択集. One of the passages includes a problem about the aspiration to leave birth and death 欲離生死. Originally, aspiration is something that is required of the readers of the Senjakushū, but the Songō shinzō meimon interprets this as something that Hōnen commands. This interpretation is strange even when compared with other strange readings that Shinran provides in his other works, but when we read the Eshinni shōsoku 恵信尼消息 that describes Shinran’s experiences, we can understand that this interpretation originated from Shinran’s personal experience.
Shinran understands Prince Shōtoku 聖徳太子 to be a manifestation of Avalokiteśvara and Hōnen 法然 to be a manifestation of Mahāsthāmaprāpta. The reason is that Hōnen represents the history of the Original Vow itself, while Prince Shōtoku encouraged Shinran to join in that history, and performs a different function. However, Prince Shōtoku and Hōnen are not simply understood in terms of the framework of Avalokiteśvara and Mahāsthāmaprāpta. Shinran also says that they are manifestations of Amida. This does not mean that Prince Shōtoku simply acted as mercy and Hōnen just acted as wisdom, but that the two functions were inseparable and that the root was Amida Buddha.
This paper looks at Shinran’s handwritten manuscripts of the Yuishinshō 唯信鈔 (Essentials of Faith Alone) called ‘Shinshōbon 信証本,’ and the Yuishinshō mon’i 唯信鈔文意 (Notes on ‘Essentials of Faith Alone’), known as the ‘Shōgatsu nijūshichinichibon 正月二十七日本,’ which Shinran produced and presented as a set to his disciples. Additionally, the paper compares the text of the Yuishinshō mon’i to the marginal notes made by Shinran to various other manuscripts of the Yuishinshō. Through this two-pronged examination of the current form of the texts, I demonstrate the method of Shinran’s teaching. A comparison of the marginalia of the various other manuscripts of the Yuishinshō shows that each version includes notes unique to that manuscript, and the placement of notes is different depending on the date when the manuscript was copied. In the Shinshōbon, Shinran’s marginalia are concentrated around passages concerning sanshin 三心 (Three Minds), which suggests that he was paying special attention to the interpretation of sanshin when he copied the Shinshōbon manuscript (at which time he was 85 years old). A comparison of the contents of the Yuishinshō mon’i with the marginalia in the Shinshōbon also shows that Shinran’s interpretations in the Yuishinshō mon’i are the same as the understanding expressed in the marginália in the Shinshōbon, thus revealing Shinran’s unique understanding. The Shōgatsu nijūshichinichibon manuscript of the Yuishinshō mon’i is thought to have been made to serve as a reading guide for the Shinshōbon version of the Yuishinshō. By making these two manuscripts into a set, Shinran made the most use of the marginalia for the convenience of his followers. It may be thought that, by reflecting the doctrinal interpretations demonstrated in the Yuishinshō mon’i in the marginalia added to the Yuishinshō, Shinran was trying to enhance his followers’ understanding of sanshin in the Contemplation Sūtra (Kanmuryōjukyō 觀無量壽經).
What is self-benefitting and benefitting others in Jōdo Shinshū 浄土真宗? In Jōdo Shinshū, which is based on the merit transference of the power of the Original Vow, self-benefitting and benefitting others can be said to be part of the role of Hōzō Bosatsu 法蔵菩薩, the bodhisattva who became Amida Buddha. However, how can we actually become conscious of the functioning of this vow in the world? This question will be considered in light of the fact that when discussing “practice” in the Jōdo monrui jushō 浄土文類聚鈔, Shinran says that “there are two aspects to the merit transference of the power of the Original Vow.” This paper argues that while the two types of merit transference by the Tathāgata described in the Kyōgyōshinshō 教行信証 are the basis, in terms of actual practice, this functions in the world through the calling of name, where the two aspects of going forth and returning are both realized.
This study examines debates between Zonkaku 存覚 (1290–1373) and Nichiren followers, focusing on Zonkaku’s understanding of the relationship between nembutsu practice and the teaching of the Lotus Sūtra to clarify the characteristics of his response to Nichiren followers’ criticism against the nembutsu.
An examination of Zonkaku’s explanations of the relationship between nembutsu practice and the Lotus Sūtra shows that there are three characteristics to his interpretation. First, while Zonkaku accepts Nichiren followers’ claim that the teaching of the Lotus Sūtra and the practice of nembutsu belong to different doctrinal entities, he stresses that they share the same doctrinal quality. Second, although the Lotus Sūtra does not explicitly preach that the nembutsu is superior to the Lotus Sūtra, Zonkaku claims that the Lotus Sūtra implicitly suggests the superiority of nembutsu. Finally, he maintains that the teaching of nembutsu, like the teaching of the Lotus Sūtra, is the teaching of the one vehicle (ekayāna).
Based on Shinran’s view of the Lotus Sūtra and reflecting the social situation of his time, Zonkaku tried to demonstrate the doctrinal supreriority of the nembutsu over the teaching of the Lotus Sūtra.
This paper examines the significance of the development of the idea of Amida’s light of guidance (chōjuku 調熟) in Jōdo Shinshū. In Shin Buddhist studies, it is widely accepted that the Buddha makes use of two types of light: the light of guidance (chōjuku no kōmyō 調熟の光明) and the light of embracing (sesshu no kōmyō 摂取の光明). The former represents Amida’s working to guide and nurture non-believers to maturity to awaken to faith. The latter is understood as the light of embracing and protecting those who attain faith. However, this classification of Amida’s light is a provisional idea, because the two types are simply aspects of the same light which is originally inseparable and ultimately non-dual.
Discussions of Shinran’s understanding of light usually focus on the aspect of Amida’s light of embracing, while the aspect of Amida’s light of guidance is rarely mentioned. The reason seems to be obvious: because Shinran used the idea of the “light of embracing” in his writings but never used the term “light of guidance.” How, then, did this idea of the “light of guidance” come to be a doctrinal term in Shin Buddhist studies? This paper traces the significant influences on the interpretation of Amida’s light made by the third head priest of the Hongwanji, Kakunyō 覚如 (1270–1351), as well as subsequent developments in Shin Buddhist Studies during the Edo period.
In this paper, first I introduce Kakunyo’s understanding of Amida’s light. Next, I examine how the idea of the “light of guidance” took root in Shin Buddhist studies during the Edo period, by focusing on the development of interpretations of the idea of “Amida’s Light and Name as the Cause for Birth” (kōgō innen shaku 光号因縁釈).
The most representative instantiation of Great Compassion 大悲 in East Asia is surely Avalokiteśvara 観音菩薩. Although a large number of studies discuss Avalokiteśvara, the exact date when Great Compassion was connected to Avalokiteśvara was not clear. In early annotations, Jizang 吉蔵 and Wŏnch’ŭk 円測 found the connection between Great Compassion and Avalokiteśvara in the Gaṇḍavyūha入法界品. As we cannot determine when the Qing Guanshiyin pusa xiaofu duhai tuoluni zhoujing 請観世音菩薩消伏毒害陀羅尼呪経 was translated, in this study, we merely clarify that the Gaṇḍavyūha connected Great Compassion and Avalokiteśvara at a relatively early period.
Moreover, from Wŏnch’ŭk’s annotation and in the translation of the Samantamukhaparivarta 普門品 by Kumārajīva 鳩摩羅什, we find that the wisdom of Avalokiteśvara apparently appears, but Great Compassion does not. On the other hand, in the Gaṇḍavyūha, we find that Avalokiteśvara is repeatedly described as possessing Great Compassion. Emphazising on “Great Compassion” might change the inpression of Avalokiteśvara.
It has been pointed out that there is a problem in the framework of intellectual history regarding the Three and One Vehicle theories presented by Tokiwa Daijo 常盤大定, which describes that Chinese controversy by focusing on the controversy between Tokuitsu 徳一and Saichō 最澄 in Japan.
In this paper, in an attempt to revisit the historical framework of the controversy between the Three Vehicle and One Vehicle theories presented by Tokiwa, I examine the controversy between the Three Vehicle and One Vehicle Theories in Dunhuang manuscripts, and show that in the early Tang period: (1) Dunhuang manuscripts contain fragments of the Yisheng foxing jiujing lun 一乗仏性究竟論 by Fabao 法宝; (2) descriptions in the Dunhuang manuscripts related to the controversy between the Three Vehicle and One Vehicle theories fall under the influence of Daoyin 道氤 (668–740), who was influenced by Chinese Yogācāra and emphasized the One Vehicle theory; (3) discussions on the debate regarding emptiness and existence (空有諍論) in Dunhuang show a different aspect than the development of the debate in Japan.
The Shi moheyan lun 釈摩訶衍論 (hereafter Shilun 釈論) is a commentary on the Dasheng qi xin lun 大乗起信論, but it expounds ideas and possesses characteristics that differ from other commentaries. Until now, the thesis that it was composed in Korea has had wide support, but this thesis is problematic in that almost no signs of the Shilun can be found on the Korean peninsula. In the past, I have comparatively analyzed the preface to the Shilun and the text proper with reference to the policies of Empress Wu Zetian 武則天, the so-called Zetian characters introduced by her, and the preface to the Chinese translation of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra in eighty fascicles. Recently, in the field of research on the history of Buddhist art during the Tang period, there has been presented a new perspective on Wu Zetian, the Zetian characters, and her political policies through an analysis of Bodhiruci’s translation of the Ratnamegha-sūtra. The Ratnamegha-sūtra contains a passage pertaining to the appearance of Wu Zetian, according to which there would emerge from a land in the east a cakravartin ruler, at the time of whose coronation mountains would rise up throughout the realm and who would receive a prophecy of future enlightenment from the bodhisattva Maitreya. When this is compared with the preface to the Shilun, it is found that the preface includes views that can be considered to have incorporated these ideas about the appearance of Wu Zetian. When the above circumstantial evidence is combined with my past findings, it can be pointed out that the author of the Shilun was quite familiar with Wu Zetian’s policies, and one can also point to the influence of not only the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra but also the Ratnamegha-sūtra, something that had not been pointed out in the past.
This paper introduces a formerly unidentified fragment of the Huayanjing lun 華厳経論 by Lingbian 霊弁 (477–522) and considers its significance. Although the Huayanjing lun was introduced to Japan as early as about 754, the text was soon scattered and lost, and currently only ten volumes of the text are included in the Manji Zokuzōkyō 卍続蔵経. Since Satō Taishun discovered volumes 51–56 of the text in 1951, several other volumes have also been discovered. In this paper, I introduce two materials that show the same fragment of the text.
The results of my examination reveal the following:
①The newly discovered text is part of the nineteenth volume of the Huayanjing lun. While it is brief, it has never been mentioned in any previous research.
②According to the afterword attached to the text, only fifty volumes of the Huayanjing lun were copied in 774 as part of the collection of Empress Komyō’s “Gogatsu-tsuitachi-kyō五月一日経” using the text that belonged to Simsang (Jpn. Shinjō) 審祥 (?–742).
③The Huayanjing lun in sixty-five volumes is listed among the scriptures recorded to have been brought to Japan by Simsang. In light of this fact, it is thought that this fragment originated from a copy made by Simsang’s disciple Jikun 慈訓 (d. 777) that was then borrowed by the compilers of the “Gogatsu-tsuitachi-kyō.”
The Jueyi sanmei 覚意三昧 was taught by Zhiyi 智顗. In this paper, I tried to clarify its characteristics through comparison with the Shichan boluomi cidi famen 釈禅波羅蜜次第法門, the first lecture of Zhiyi. As a result, it became clear that the Jueyi sanmei had the same concept as did the Shichan boluomi cidi famen, but the specifics were similar to Zhiyi’s later works.
Sun Wukong 孫悟空, Zhu Bajie 猪八戒 and Sha Wujing 沙悟浄 were disciples of Sanzang Fashi 三蔵法師 in the Ming dynasty novel The Journey to the West 西遊記. Many mysteries remain regarding their roots. This article points out that some of the real disciples of Xuanzang 玄奘 (602–664) were their models.
The model of Sun Wukong can be found in the Gaochang 高昌 native Ma Xuenchi 馬玄智 who delivered Xuanzang’s letter from Khotan 于闐 to Emperor Taizong 太宗 of Chang’an 長安, and in the exotic-looking attendant in Xuanzang’s portrait. The two may be the same person. He became a “monkey practitioner” 猴行者 in the Song dynasty novel The Narrative Story of Acquisition of Sūtras by Sanzang of the Great Tang Dynasty 大唐三蔵取経詩話 and a monkey-faced attendant in the painting of Acquisition of Sūtras by the Tang Monk 唐僧取経図 found in the Anxi Yulin Grottoes 安西楡林窟 during the same period.
The model of Zhu Bajie is considered to be Xuanzang’s disciple Kuiji 窺基 (632–682). According to the Song Biographies of Eminent Monks 宋高僧伝, he traveled with women and food in carriages and was called the “Three Carriages Monk” 三車和尚. Given his image of greed and amorousness, he was fused with a boar (or pig) pulling the chariot of Marīcī 摩利支天 in The Journey to the West of the Yuan Dynasty 元本西遊記. In The Journey to the West, critical Edition by Yang Donglai 楊東来先生批評西遊記 of the Ming dynasty, he calls himself “General Carriage” 御車将軍, a subordinate of Marīcī.
The model for Sha Wujing is the Great God 大神 dreamed by Xuanzang, when he was in distress in the desert. He was called “Shensha God” 深沙神 in the Song Dynasty novel The Narrative Story of Acquisition of Sūtras by Sanzang of the Great Tang Dynasty, but in The Journey to the West of the Yuan Dynasty he came to be known as “Sha Monk” 沙和尚. His level of divinity was demoted from god to monk because of the appearance of Zhu Bajie, which was modeled after Kuiji, and the image of Wŏnch’uk 円測 (613–696), a rival of Kuiji was superimposed.
As the name suggests, Chapter 25 of the Fahua jing 法華経 (Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra), “Guanshiyin pusa pumen pin” 観世音菩薩普門品, concerns the salvation of Guanshiyin pusa (Avalokiteśvara bodhisattva). In this paper, I particularly focus on the section that discusses the question of why some people are saved and others are not, especially by believing in Guanshiyin.
The first person to mention this issue was Jizang 吉蔵 (549–623) of the Sanlun school三論宗. He considers the reasons from four perspectives, such as weak faith and weak relationship with Guanshiyin.
Cien dashi 慈恩大師 Kuiji 窺基 (632–682) of the Faxiang school 法相宗 also considers a similar issue in the Fahua xuanzan 法華玄賛. He discusses the existence of salvation from the viewpoint of karma, and states that buddhas and bodhisattvas may not be able to change the results of karma. However, the result of the karma can be changed by heartfelt repentance. Although Jizang introduced a similar theory, Kuiji discusses it in detail using Yogācāra works, and states his assertion based on Jizang’s interpretation.
This paper focuses on problems concerning the stages attained by Tanluan 曇鸞 (476–542), and reconsiders a generally accepted theory on this issue.
It is generally accepted that Tanluan considered himself among those who had attained birth in the lowest grade of the lowest rank (Jpn. gebon geshō 下品下生) mentioned in the Sūtra of Contemplation on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life (Guan Wuliangshoufo jing 観無量寿仏経). As such, in his writings Tanluan attached great importance to those who attain birth in the lowest grade of the lowest rank. In addition, works such as Passages on the Land of Happiness (Anle ji 安楽集) and Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks (Xu Gaosengzhuan 続高僧伝) describe how Tanluan considered himself an ignorant and foolish being. On the other hand, in his writings there are also explanations of Tanluan as a bodhisattva or a saint as well as in other works, thus warranting a reconsideration of the generally accepted view that Tanluan considered himself a foolish person.
This paper reexamines various works to investigate whether indeed Tanluan considered himself among those who had attained birth in the lowest grade of the lowest rank.
This study examines the introduction of the Three Natures theory, using the Qunyi lun 群疑論 of the Tang monk Huaigun 懐感 as an example. Before Huaigun, Pure Land Buddhism held an orthopraxis according to the Two Truths theory. However, in addition to the Two Truths theory, the Three Natures theory is also explained in the Qunyi lun. This study explores the development of the argument, and as a result points out two things. First, the historical necessity of the “acceptance of the new translation texts,” that is, those tied to Xuanzang and his workshop. Second, the shift in Chinese Pure Land-centric debates leading to more detailed consideration of “awareness of Buddha body and Buddhist land.”
The Koryŏ dynasty Sŏn priest Chinul 知訥 (1158–1210), in his Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun 勧修定慧結社文, cites many passages from the works of Yongming Yanshou 永明延寿 (904–976), who lived during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. In this paper, I consider how Chinul used Yanshou’s words.
By closely investigating the quotations from Yanshou’s works, I reinforce the theory that Chinul often used words from the sūtras and commentaries as his own words.
At the Pogwangsa 普光寺 in Andong 安東, North Kyŏngsang Province 慶尚北道, South Korea, there is a wooden seated Avalokiteśvara bodhisattva statue thought to have been created around the thirteenth century (Koryǒ period). In 2008, 194 relics of ten types were found in its belly, including an approximately 1100 character “White Paper Black Ink Humane Kings Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra.” A report published in 2009 sees this fragment as Kumārajīva’s translation of the Ten Kings Sutra. However, reading this fragment, one finds that it is actually a commentary on the Ten Kings Sutra. But, being only a fragment, its author’s name is unknown. By comparing extant commentaries on the Ten Kings Sutra and this fragment, I found that it is not an extant commentary. Rather, it contains edited excerpts from a commentary by Wŏnch’ŭk (613–696), a Silla monk who was active in China, as well as at times explanations that build on this commentary. Judging from the number of chapters and the writing style, it may be a commentary by the Yogācāra scholar-monk T’aehyŏn 太賢, who was active around the mid-eighth century (Silla period).
This paper aims to identify the purpose of forming the Bukkyōgakkai 仏教学会, which was established as an auxiliary organization of the Ōtani Sect of Shin Buddhism, as well as to look at the structure of the lecture notes, and to examine the efforts to educate monks and lay followers. As a result, the following three points became clear.
Firstly, the creation of the Bukkyōgakkai was officially announced in a bulletin published by the Ōtani Sect. In that announcement, various regulations were listed, and the Bukkyōgakkai was defined as an auxiliary educational organization of the Ōtani sect. In addition, lecture notes for distance learning were also released.
Secondly, the structure of these lecture notes differs between the first year of the program and its second year. Courses were not only taught by scholar-monks of the Ōtani Sect, but in some cases they relied on scholars and experts of other sects.
Lastly, the lectures notes published by the Bukkyōgakkai were highly influential and were praised as having more influence than building a new school. The publication of a new magazine called Fukyōkai 布教界 was also announced.
From the above, we can gather that in addition to publishing lecture notes, the fact that the Bukkyōgakkai also encouraged lay practitioners to become members aided the organization in its education of lay followers.
This paper examines the debate over “mental dharmas and physical forms” (shinpō shikigyō 心法色形) found in the third volume of the Daisho shinanshō 大疏指南鈔 (hereafter Shinanshō) written by the Shingon monk Chōkaku 長覚 (1340–1416). Comparing this to the treatment of the same debate by his contemporary Yūkai 宥快 (1345–1416) in the fourth volume of his Shūgi ketchakushū 宗義決択集 (hereafter Shūketsu), I examine the characteristics of Chōkaku’s interpretation.
We would have expected Chōkaku to have taken the position that “form and mind are non-dual” (shikishin funi 色心不二), but instead the interpretation of “mental dharmas and physical forms” is discussed from the standpoint of “duality of form and mind” (shikishin ni ni 色心而二), which agrees with the stance of Yūkai. Their conclusion that “the mind has color and shape” is common, but it became clear that there are different points in the process leading up to that conclusion.
The Shinanshō discusses why the mind has color and shape by using “part and whole, no duality, identity and difference, not mistaken” (bunman funi sokuri fubyū 分満不二即離不謬), which associates “form and mind are non-dual” with “duality of form and mind”. However, Yūkai denies this interpretation using the same notion.
This interpretation affects the interpretation of “mental dharmas and physical forms” after Chōkaku, and it is this interpretation which was used by Ryōchō 良重 (?–1488) and In’yū 印融 (1435–1519).
The author posits five stages in the formative process of the Sho-ajari shingon mikkyō burui sōroku 諸阿闍梨真言密教部類惣録 (T. 2176) based on date and content. They are (1) Sho-ajari shingon mikkyō burui sōroku 諸阿闍梨真言密教部類惣録 edited by Annen 安然 in sixteen categories; (2) Sho-ajari shingon mikkyō burui sōroku 諸阿闍梨真言密教部類惣録edited by Annen in twenty categories; (3) manuscript copies from the late Heian to the early Edo periods; (4) the mid-Edo period printed edition; and (5) the Taishō edition published in 1928. After comparing eight extant manuscripts belonging to category (3), it was learned that they each have some degree of collations and enlargements. This paper makes use of three passages to examine the textual lineages of these manuscripts.
The Record of the Masters and Disciples of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra (Lengqie shizi ji 楞伽師資記), written by Jingjue 浄覚 (683–750?), is the oldest surviving Chan history text that records the lineage of the eight Chan Patriarchs, the list beginning here out of respect for the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra with Guṇabhadra 求那跋陀羅, the translator of that sūtra, followed by Bodhidharma 菩提達摩, Huike 慧可, Sengcan 僧璨, Daoxin 道信, Hongren 弘忍, until Shenxiu 神秀. It is of note that the text places Guṇabhadra as the founder of the lineage, which is quite a different claim than the traditional Chan view which places Bodhidharma as the founder of the lineage. However, the organization of the text of The Record of the Masters and Disciples of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra as a whole is extremely complex, and there are still many unresolved problems regarding its origin. In this paper, I focus on texts referenced by The Record of the Masters and Disciples of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, in order to trace its origins. Through examining the characteristics of the quotes in the text, as well as the aim of quoting them, I will explore the importance of this text within the field of Chan Buddhist studies.
As far as it is possible to judge by the content of the “Niangu 拈古” of the Jiewai lu 劫外録of Zhenxie Qingliao 真歇清了, his style of Chan does not stagnate in the kind of fixation for silence and quietness that was an object of criticism by Dahui 大慧, and it contains elements of a Chan that proclaims the identity of action and stillness, alertness and quiescence.
Although there are innumerable samādhis in Mahāyāna Buddhism, in the Da zhidu lun, the śūraṃgama-samādhi and the pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi are regarded as important in the bodhisattva path to enlightenment. First, the śūraṃgama-samādhi, which means “the samādhi of heroic valor”, enables a tenth-stage bodhisattva or a buddha to overcome every obstacle and bring about the salvation of sentient beings. Although the śūraṃgama-samādhi is based on the contemplation of emptiness, it makes possible the edification of sentient beings by the dharma-kāya. Second, the primary purpose of the pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi, to which great importance is attached by the Pure Land schools in China and Japan, is to see buddhas. In this paper, I discuss the relationship between the two samādhis from the point of view of the bodhisattva’s stages of practice for attaining enlightenment or avinivartanīya (nonretrogression).
In conclusion, there is a linear relationship between the pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi and the śūraṃgama-samādhi: the former is maintained from the first step of the bodhisattva path through the attainment of nonretrogression, while the latter is attained at the tenth bhūmi. Also, for nonretrogressing bodhisattvas, seeing the dharma-kāya is the starting point and bringing about the salvation of all sentient beings is the goal. Moreover, I show that the reason that the Da zhidu lun treats these two samādhis as the most representative Mahāyāna samādhi is because both have buddha-kāya as a common factor.
This paper is a study of the relationship between the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra, especially the Da Amituo jing 大阿彌陀經 (T. 362), the earliest version of this sūtra, and the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra. Although some scholars presented their ideas on the relationship between these two sūtras, a significant issue, the internal relationship between the earliest two versions, the Da Amituo jing and the Wuliang qingjing pingdengjue jing 無量清淨平等覺經 (T.361, below Pingdengjue jing), and the extant Sanskrit version has been overlooked. According to my recent research, a great amount of evidence suggests that the Da Amituo jing is a version largely compiled by its Chinese translator based on his Mahāyāna views, and the original Indian text of the Pingdengjue jing, which was translated in the 3rd century, is probably quite similar to the extant Sanskrit version, whose earliest extant manuscript is known to have been written in the middle of the 12th century. This paper presents new approaches to this issue.
First, I discuss the formation of the fourth vow in the Da Amituo jing, and the relationship between this vow and the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra. I pointed out that the items in the fourth vow, Praising the Merits of Amitābha and His Land and Rebirth by Hearing Amitābha’s Name, might have been derived from references to the contents of the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra.
Second, I discuss the relationship between the eight short paragraphs before the Tōhō-ge 東方偈 in the Pingdengjue jing and their counterparts in the Da Amituo jing and the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra. I concluded that even though there might have been a Tōhō-ge in the original Indian text of the Da Amituo jing, instead of translating all the stanzas, the translator of the Da Amituo jing only translated the first four stanzas (1–4) in prose, which the translator of the Pingdeng jue jing might have expanded to those lines using the syntax of the part of Praising of Amitābha’s Virtue by the Buddhas of the Six Quarters found in the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha sūtra.
In sum, there is no evidence verifying that the Da Amituo jing was formed earlier than the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha. By contrast, the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha was extant at the time when the Da Amituo jing and the Pingdengjue jing had been translated into Chinese, and the translators of these two versions respectively referred to the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha.