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Buddhist Translations in the Northern Sung - Bowring

Buddhist Translations in the Northern Sung - Bowring

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RICHARDBOWRING
BriefNote
BuddhistTranslationsintheNorthernSung
I
n
19
64
JohnBroughpublishedanarticlein
AsiaMajor
entitled"TheChinesePseudo-TranslationofArya-sura's
jatakn-mala.'"
Broughsub.jeeredtheBuddhistcanonicaltext
P'u-sape7i+sheng-manlun
if
rfi;;$:~..~
toathoroughanderuditeanalysis,provingintheprocessthatitwasnotatallwhatitwassupposedtobe,namelyatranslationintoChineseofthe
[atoka-mala?
Thefirstpanof
P'u-sa
pen-sheng-11Ulnlun
turnedouttoconsistoffourteenstoriesthatwereinfactaseriesofill-concealedborrowingsfromvarioustexts,amongwhich
Hsien-yu
ching
'If
fM,.~
wasprominent.Thelinkto
jataka-rnitJJl
wastenuousintheextreme,anditwasapparentthatthe"translators"hadbeendesperate,oftenmerelyidentifyingawordintheorig-inaltitleandthensearchingforarelatedstorythatwasalreadyavailableintranslation.Atypicalexampleisthefirststory,whereweareinfacttreatedtoareplayofthetaleofthetigressfromI-ching's
!I]~
(635
-7
13)
transla-tionofthepenultimatechapterof
Suuamabhasouamastura.
Thesecondpartof
P'u-sapen-sheng-manlun
presentedBroughwithrathermoreproblems,untilherealizedthatitwasinfactnot,ashadbeenassumed,agarbledcommentaryonthetextoracompletelydifferentwork(alsogarbled),butrathera"serious"attempttotranslatetheoriginal.Theattemptbadnotgotveryfar:itwasinfactanearlydraftbysomeonewhohadonlyasmatteringofSanskritatbest.ThelatterpartofBrough'sarticle
is
anobjectlessoninthedifficultiesthattheChinesecouldfaceinworkingouteventhecorrectworddivisions
in
Sanskritwithoutexperthelp.Brough,asascholarofSanskrit,wasprimarilyinterested(atleastinthisarticle)
in
the
jataka-mala,
not
in
ChineseBuddhisttextsandtranslationsperse.
It
is
presumablyforthisreasonthathesimplydatedthetextas"North-ernSung
(960-1127)"
anddidnotgoanyfurtherintothevexedquestionofwhysuchabadtranslationhadbeenallowedtoseethelightofday.Thisreluctancetoproceedwiththedetectiveworkandtheeagernesswithwhichhedemolishedthetranslators'reputationsisperhapsunderstandable,butit
,See
AM
NS11.1(1964),pp.27-53.
'rlH4
pm
hrng.=..
I....isprintedin
TaiJhdshiruha
daizAltyil
7c
IE
flIT.,
7c
,f;I!,
eel.
TakakusuJunjir6
i!IItmMR*~
andWatanabeKaikyoku
i!t.il:mJh!!
(Tokyo;Daizokyokai,1924-1935;hereaftercited
ali
TaisM),
vol.3.no.160.
79
 
RICHARDBOWRING
hashadsomeunfortunaterepercussions.Thearticlegivestheimpressionthat
P'u-sapen-slung-manlun
wasnottheonlysuchbotchedjobtohave
sur.
vived.BroughthustendedtobolstertheviewthatBuddhismwasingeneraldeclinethroughouttheNorthernSung,and,inparticular,hisarticle
b",
beenreadasimplyingthatweneednottakethetranslationscarried
OUt
duringthisperiodtooseriously.Brough'sdetectiveworkwasintroducedtoJapanesescholarstwoyeanlater,in1966,inafour-pagesummarybyMizunoKogen
*If
5l.][;
withwhomhehadworkedinTokyo.Referencesto
theJataka-mdlil
articlecanhefoundhereandthere,
in
Japanandelsewhere,wheneversomeonewishes
to
stressthegenerallylowstandardofNorthernSungtranslations.'ButhowcanwesquarethisviewwithwhatweknowoftheinstituteinK'ai-feng
1JI!J;j
wheretheworkwascarriedout?Theobjectofthisessayistoinvestigatethematterfurtherand,intheprocess,todefendatleastoneofthetranslatorsinvolvedfromsomeofBrough'smoreunwarrantedassertions.InformationastohowthetranslationofBuddhisttextswasorg~nizedduringtheNorthernSungisnotdifficulttofind"Almostalltranslationswerecarriedoutbygovernmentemployeesatacentrallocation,aninstitutesetupfortheexpresspurposeinK'ai-feng.Thegovernmentpaidfortheconsiderableexpensesinvolved,andalltranslationsweremarked"inaccor-dancewithimperialedict."ThishadnotbeenthecaseintheTangandbefore,whentranslationcentersweremorewidespreadandlessunderthethumbofthecentralauthorities.TheordertoopenanInstituteforSutraTranslation~~
If1G
inthegroundsoftheTai-pinghsing-kuo-ssu
:*.zp:.m~
inK'ai-fengwasgivenin980,andthebuildingswerereadyforoccupationin982.InSeptember983thenamewaschangedtotheInstituteforTransmissionoftheDharma
ft
tt
1f1G,
andafurtherprintinghousewasadded.Itwasherethatthe
130,000
woodblocksfromCh'eng-tuarrived,readyforthefirstprinted
,MizunoKegen'sreviewcanbefoundin
IndogaAu
lJuk!_,.,-gaku
Mnlt.yu
E[J
It
*~
$.!(¥
if~
14(1966),
RP'
~OI-
5.Fo~three
typical
usa~~
Brough's.
articl~,
seeN,~ur:'Kikunos~
g:.
tt~
;L~,
SoDenpoinyakukyosanzo
YUlJO
nodenkioyobin<!1lpu
*-
~?'£~
&!\*,=-ffUf·
0)
~re.&u1f.l1f,
in
Bunka:)(
ft.
4I.
1
-2.
('977),pp.I-59;N.lyanaga,
"Recits
de
la
soumission
de:
MahdvaraparTrilokyavijaya,"
in
M.
Strickmann,ed.,
T~n.tric~ndTaom
Studie5,
Melange<chinoisetbouddhiques~~(Bruxelles:InstirutBeigedesHautes
Etudes
Chinoises,19.85)3,
P:
736;andRobertE.Buswell,Jr.,"Introduction,"in
Chine5tBuddAist
Apocrypha
(Honolulu:U.ofHawaiiP.,1990),p.
IL
The
main
detailsforthissectionhave
been
culledfromthefollowing:Nakamura,
050
Denpoin,"whichcontainsadetailedchronologyofmajoreventsfrom973-105I;JanYOn·hua,"BuddhistRelationsBetweenIndiaandSungChina,"
HiJtory
ofRe/igioru
6(1g66),
Pll.
24-42.,
'35-68;and
MakitaTairyo,
tlt
ElHFli1r;,
Ajia
lJuk!_"'-5hi
Chilg<J.tu
h<m
7';;7'
{A
tl~
g:.
ES
iii
(Tokyo:Koseishuppansha,1976)2.,pp.29-46.
80
BUDDHISTTRANSLATIONS
editionoftheBuddhistcanon.
It
washome,therefore,toaneventofmajorimportanceinthehistoryoftheprintedword.Wedonotknowexactlyhowmanycopiesofthisfirsteditionwereproduced,butwedoknowthattheJapanesemonkChonen
if~,
whowasinChinafrom983
co
987,managedtoobtainacompletesetandtakeitbackwithhimtoJapan.TheInstituteitselfsurvivedasatranslationbureauundertheCourtofDiplomaticRecep-tions(theHung-lu-ssu
1lJ
lil9",
whichalsooversawtheadministrationofTaoistRegistrars),providinginterpretersandothersuchservices,until1082,afterwhichtimeitsusefullifecametoanendanditbecamenomorethanaceremonialshell,Theinitialfundingofthewholeenterprisehadstrongimperialbacking,sincetheworkoftranslationwasseenasanecessaryadjuncttoanadminis-trationthatintendedtofoundadynasty.InterpreterswouldbeneedediftheSungwere
to
extendtheirborderstothewest,andinformationabouttheseregionswasoftenbestobtainedfromtravelingmonks.There
is
arecordthatintheearlyyearsoftheSungamonkcalledTao-yuan
i1i
III
returnedfromaneighteen-yeartriptoIndia,bringingbackwithhimalargequantityofrelicsandpalm-leafmanuscripts;hewasaccompaniedbyanUighurenvoy.
It
mayhavebeenreportsfromthesementhatcausedtheemperorT'ai-tsung
:*.
*
toencourageotherstoventurefartherwest.In966amonkcalledHsing-ch'in
fT
III
declaredhisdesiretogotoIndiaviaKhotanandKashmirinthecompanyof157like-mindedmeninordertosearchformoresutras.Theemperornotonlyencouragedthembutgavethem
30,000
cash.Thereisanotherrecordof
300
monkswhobadleftin946,returningwithmoresutrasin976.AllthissuggeststhattheInstitutemaywellhavebeensetuptohandleasuddeninfluxofnewmaterialthatneededtranslation.Fortunately,togetherwiththematerialcamemonkscapableofdealingwithit,amongwhomwefindthethreemostimportanttranslatorsduringtheearlyyearsoftheInstitute:Fa-t'ien
$
'T..,
whoarrivedin973,T'ienHsi-tsai
'T..
,~W"
giventhenameFa-hsien
$
Jl
in981,andShih-hu
lifUI
(Danapala).AllofthemcouldapparentlyspeakChinese;thelasttwowerecousinsfromKashmir,andarrivedin980.ThesuccessoftheInstitutedependedonthreefactors:asufficientsupplyofnewtexts,asufficientsupplyofscholar-monkswhocouldreadthesetexts,andcontinuedimperialsupport.Intheearlyyearsallthreepreconditionswerefulfilled,andasuccessionofemperors(andpossiblyempresses)seemstohavehadapersonalstakeinthewholeoperation.Itis,ofcourse,unwisetocharacterizeBuddhismintheSungasifitweremonolithic,anentitysubjecttoafixedstatepolicy.Thebureaucracy,
 
R!CHARDBOWR!NG
t~roughtheexaminati.onsystem,wasclosedtoBuddhistandTaoistclergyalike,andyetBuddhistmonasticcomplexesflourished,offeringawiderangeofsectarianchoices,fromCh'antoHuaYenandT'ien-t'ai,Monas,
teries
wieldedconsiderableeconomicinfluenceintheirownrightandwereamajorpresenceinK'ai-feng.Considerableresourcesweresometimeslav,ishedonthem.".Wh~,however,didasuccessionofemperorsshowsuchaproprietaryinterest
111
theInstituteanditswork?Officialvisitswerepaidonanumberor.occasionsandspecialsolicitudewasshowntothescholar-monkswhenevertheyfellill.Whentheydied,itwasexpectedthatthegovernmentWouldcoverallnecessaryexpenses.EmperorChen-tsung
rJ!
*
tookaparticularinterestinthetranslationtechniquesused,andtheInstituteitself
Was
repairedandfurtherenlargedonimperialorderin
I028.
Imperialprefaceswerewillinglywrittenonmanyoccasions;moreover,theInstitutecustom~arilypresentedthereigningemperorwithanewtranslationonhisbirthday.
As
wehaveremarked,allworkwaslabeled"inaccordancewithimperialedict."Translationswerestoredawayratherthanbeingimmediatelydissem-inated
to
othermonksandtemples,ashadbeengeneralpracticeduringtheTang.TheevidencepresentedbyNakamuraKikunoshinsuggeststhatentryintotheprintedcanonwasnotautomaticbutrathercarefullypoliced.Ini-tially,ofcourse,translationsmusthavebeenproducedinmanuscriptform.Thosecopiesofferedtotheemperorhimselfwouldpresumablyhavefoundtheirwayintohisownprivatelibrary,theTai-ch'inglou
7f:..
ifIf.tl.
Themajorityweresimplydepositedinanotherlibrary.Butwhere?
It
isunlikelythattheywereplacedintheImperialLibrary.Thefourinstitutesthatcom-prisedthislibraryweredestroyedbyfirein
IOI5,
aneventthattheBuddhistrecordsdonotconsiderasaparticulardisaster.Itismorelikelythattrans-lationswerefirstdepositedinthelibraryoftheInstituteitself.Thedecisionastowhethertheyshouldbeincludedinthecanon
A
M
waspresumablymadeatalaterstage,althoughthisisdifficulttoverifyinmostcases."
~ThisgoesforboththeT'ai-pinghsing-kuo-ssuandthemuchlargerandprestigiousHSlall~-kuo-ssu,onwhichseethedetailedstudybyA.C.Soper,"Hsiang-kuo-ssu,an'ImperialTempleofNorthernSungChina,"
JAOS
68
(1948),pp.
'9-45.
A
useful
mapof.K'ai-fengwithmajorlandmarks
can
befoundin
D.
Kuhn,
DU:
S<>ng-~
(Wienheim:Acta.Humanoria,
V.C.
H.,
Ig87),
p.
u8
FormoreinformationonlibrariesintheSung,seeJohnH.Winkelman,"TheImpc:ri.a.lLibraryinSouthernSungChina,
I
127-
1179,"'
TransactionsoftheAl7U'7"ICanPhiJ050phUal
Societ]
xs
64·8
(rg74).
The
T'ai-ch'Ing-lou
(erectedin
979
andcarriedoffbytheJurchenin
IU7)
wasreservedfortheemperor'sprivateuse.Eachgovernmentdepartmenthaditsown
small
referencelibrary,butthemainresourceforscholarsandhistorianswastheImperialLibrary,knownastheCh'ung-wen-ynan~)(
WG.
Intheearlydaysofthedynastythistermreferred
82
BUDDHISTTRANSLATIONS
Itwouldseem,therefore,thataccesstothesemanuscriptswasrestricted;onlyafterthetextswereapprovedforinclusionintheprintedcanonwouldtheyhavereachedalargeraudience.Whatlaybehindthisunusualdegreeofcare?PressurefromsectsalreadypowerfulinChina,unwillingtocounte-nancenewtextsandnewideas,hasbeencitedasapossiblefactor,buttheanswerismorelikelytolieintheverynatureofthetexts.Infact,fullyfortypercentoftheworksthatwek.now
to
havebeentranslatedatthistimeandthatarenowincludedinthecanonweretantricinnature.Thesetextsin-cludedanumber
ofyoganuttaratantras,
suchasthe
Guhyasamajatantra
(trans-latedbyShih-huin
1002)
andthe
Heuajratasura
(translatedbyFa-hu
$.
in
I
054-
1
055),
manyofwhicharefundamentaltotheTibetantradition.
7
As
CharlesWillemenhasshown,themoreexplicitpartsseemtohavebeencen-soredfromtheprintedversions,quiteprobablybythetranslatorsthem-selves,andacorrectunderstandingofwhatactuallywentonintheesotericritualscouldnotbeobtainedifallonehadtorelyonwastheChinesever-sion."A5iswellknown,thehigheryogatanrrasaremarkedbytheirgeneralabsencefromtheChinesecanon,anditmaywellhavebeenthatmanymorewereinfacttranslatedattheInstitutebutneverprinted,forobviousreasons.
It
isnormallyarguedthatesotericBuddhismneverreallysurvivedthesuppressionattheendoftheTangandthatitfelltotheJapanesetotakeoverthisformofBuddhismasShingon.Butthis
is
to
ignorethecontinuedfascinationwithspellsandmagicthatinformedmuchthatwentonatcourtandelsewheresincethesixthcentury.'EvidenceofimperialconcerninTao-istmagic
is
welldocumented,particularlyunderChen-tsung,"andwealso
to
thecomplexthathousedanumberofimportantlibrariesanditonlycameintobeingasaproperadministrativeunitin
J082,
thesameyearinwhichtheInstituteforTransmissionoftheDharmabecameofficiallymoribund.
1
The
TaislJo
numbersarc
882
-g,-
Fordetails
turn
toTakeuchiKozen
:iii:;
p;j
>1='*,
"Sodai
hon'jaku
kyotennotokushokuni
tsuite"
'*~
III~
fit~(})
¥¥
{3
t::::
":_::I
0
-c,
MUlkyrJ
l>unka:
$1A!t)(
11::.
I
'3
(Feb.
1975)
pp.
27-53·
Thisarticleisanimportantsourceofinformation.Itincludesachronologyofworkstranslated
in
theperiod98Z-
1037
and
has
aseriesoftablesanalyzing
the
results.TheChineserecordsarecareful
to
distinguish.betweennorth,south,westandcentralIndia,Nepal,Kashmir,andSriLankawhenidentifyingnationalorigins.They
also
drawlinguisticdistinctionsbetween"centralIndian"
(67%
oftexts),"centralIndianinSri
Lankan
script,""centralIndianinKuch.ascript,""westIndian,"and"northIndian."It
is
ofinterestthat
I...
ofthe
13
textsin"Kuehascript"wereHinayanaworks.
S
CharlesWillemen,trans.,
The
Chi-TlJ!seHeuairatansra,
OrientaliaGandensia8(Rijksuniver-sitcit
te
Gent,
1983),p.29.SeeCharlesD.Orzech,"SeeingChen-YenBuddhism:TraditionalScholarshipandtheVajrayanainChina,"
Hi.rtory
of
&ligioru
Zg.2(lg8g),
pp.
87-
114.'"SuzanneE.Cahill,"TaoismattheSungCourt:TheHeavenlyTextAffairof
1008,"
8uUet>n
ofSung-YuanStudies
16(lg80),
pp.
23-44.
Thisaffairwastakenseriouslyenough
to
causeachangeofera-name.

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