UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Chi tsang Binkley, Taylor Francis


The Hsü Kao Seng Chuan [Chinese characters omitted] biography of Chi Tsang [Chinese characters omitted] (Taishō 2060, T.50.513c-5l5a) is translated. It is preceded by a discussion of Chi Tsang's place in the history of Chinese Buddhism - he was a prominent exegete of the San Lun school, the Chinese counterpart to the Indian Mādhyamika School. The place of the Mādhyamika school in Indian Buddhism is discussed, as well as the history of its introduction into China. This is followed by a discussion of the nature of the sources for Chi Tsang's life - principally the Hsü Kao Seng Chuan notice - and the general unreliability and lack of depth of such accounts is discussed. The outstanding features of Chi Tsang's life are then discussed. He studied with Pa Lang, great re-vivifier of San Lun. He wrote abundantly and was renowned as a great lecturer. His interest encompassed the numerous Buddhist activities of his time, and his writings on the San Lun are the best we possess; on the Lotus sūtra, among the very best. He wrote commentaries to at least fifteen sutras. He disciples transmitted his teaching into the T'ang and to Japan, and he is reckoned the founder of the San Lun school. He was born in 549 and died in 623, and enjoyed the patronage of the Ch'en, Sui and T'ang ruling houses.̈̈

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