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Can We Trace the Early Dharmaguptakas?

Author(s): Ann Heirman


Source: T'oung Pao, Second Series, Vol. 88, Fasc. 4/5 (2002), pp. 396-429
Published by: Brill
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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS?

BY

ANN HEIRMAN*
Ghent University

To the disadvantage of other vinaya traditions, it is the vinaya of


the Dharmaguptakas that has been used in the ordination ceremony
of Buddhist monks and nuns in China from the T'ang Dynasty until
the present day. The vinaya of the Dharmaguptakas seems to have
occupied a prominent position in Central Asia as well. In India, on
the other hand, the Dharmaguptaka School lost most of its influ-
ence very soon after the expansion of Indian Buddhism. The present
article attempts to trace the early Dharmaguptaka School from its
beginnings to the T'ang Dynasty in China, so as to determine why
eventually their vinaya became the only one used in the Chinese
ordination ceremony.

A. The Indian Dharmaguptaka School

A. 1. Name and Texts

The Indian Dharmaguptaka' School is commonly seen as a deri-


vation of the MahiLssaka School, a split which must probably be situ-
ated in the second half of the third century BC.2 According to tradition,
the Dharmaguptaka School is named after its founder Dharmagupta,
a fervent follower of Sakyamuni's famous disciple Maudgalyayana.
However, modern scholars, such as E. Lamotte (1958: 575), con-
sider Dharmagupta to be a legendary person. The Dharmaguptaka

* I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Dr. Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer


for helping me to find my way through the recent secondary literature concerning
the first centuries of Chinese Buddhism.
I On the name Dharmaguptaka, see Salomon (1999: 169, 176); Silk (1999: 373,
note 34).
2 See Bareau (1955: 15-30, 34); Lamotte (1958: 571-606); Heirman (2002: 11-
12).

Brill, Leiden, 2002 T'oung Pao LXXXVIII


Also available online - www.brill.nl

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 397

School is particularly known for its vinaya texts. These texts, which
are almost exclusively preserved in their Chinese versions,3 are as
follows:

T. 1428, Szu-fen Lu4 (Dharmaguptakavinaya), translated by Buddhayasas and Chu


Fo-nien between AD 410 and 412;
T. 1429, Szu-fen Lu Pi-ch'iu Chieh-pen, a bhiksuprdtimoksa compiled by Huai-su
(AD 634-707) on the basis of T.1428;
T. 1430, Szu-fen Seng Chieh-pen, a bhiksuprdtimoksa translated by Buddhayasas at
the beginning of the fifth century AD;
T. 1431, Szu-fen Pi-ch'iu-ni Chieh-pen, a bhiksun,pratimoksa compiled by Huai-su
on the basis of T.1428;
T. 1432, T'an-wu-te Lu-pu Tsa Chieh-mo, a karmavdcand for bhiksus;
T. 1433, Chieh-mo, a karmavdcand for bhiksus;
T. 1434, Szu-fen Pi-ch'iu-ni Chieh-mo-fa, a karmavacand for bhiksunzs, compiled and
annotated on the basis of T. 1433, Chieh-mo;
T. 1808, Szu-fen Lu Shan-pu Sui-chi Chieh-mo, a karmavacana for bhiksus compiled
and commented upon on the basis of T. 1428 by Tao-hsuan (AD 596-667);
T. 1809, Seng Chieh-mo, a karrnavacand for bhiksus compiled and commented upon
on the basis of T. 1428 by Huai-su;
T. 1810, NVi Chieh-mo, a karmavdcana for bhiksun-s compiled and commented upon
on the basis of T. 1428 by Huai-su.

In addition, two works that most probably belong to the canon of


the Dharmaguptaka School have been passed down. One is in Gan-
dhari,5 and the other is a Chinese translation: the Gandhari (Khotan)
Dharmapada,6 and the Chinese Ch'ang A-han Ching (T. 1, Dzrghdgama),

3 Only a few fragments of the Indian texts have been passed down. For an
overview, see Heirman (2002: 27-35). Chinese characters for these titles and their
authors are given in the Bibliography at the end of this article.
On the name Szu-fen (E 3d), see Heirman (2002: 54-55 note 93).
The term 'Gandharl,' introduced by H.W. Bailey ("Gandharil", Bulletin of the
School of Oriental and African Studies 1 1, No. 4, 1946: 764) and in general use by now,
refers to the language of the Kharosthi inscriptions of Northwestern India and of
the Kharo5thT documents of Central Asia. Fussman (1989: 439) points to the fact
that, although Gandhari texts are all written in Kharosthl, there is no necessary
connection between Gandharl and Kharosthi. There are a few texts in a nearly
correct Sanskrit, written in Kharoqhl, and there is no objection to writing Gandhari
in a script other than Kharoqthl. Fussman (1989: 439-440) further gives an over-
view of the regions where Gandhari has been attested, and distinguishes three groups:
Gandhari of the documents found in Niya; Gandhari used as a literary (and possibly
dead) language in Central Asia; and Gandharl spoken and written in Northwestern
India.
6 The Gandhari Dharmapada has been found in the region of Khotan. The text
has been published and commented upon byJ. Brough, The Gandh&rt Dharmapada,
London, 1962. It dates at the earliest from the end of the first century and at the
latest from the middle of the third century AD: see Fussman (1989: 438).

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398 ANN HEIRMAN

translated by Buddhayasas and Chu Fo-nien at the beginning of the


fifth century AD.7 In addition, there is one abhidharma text, She-li-fu
A-p'i-t'an Lun (?Sdriputrdbhidharmas'astra, T. 1548), that probably also
belongs to the Dharmaguptaka School.8 This text was translated at
the beginning of the fifth century by Dharmagupta and Dharmayasas.9

A.2. Origin and Development

It is not clear what caused the split between the Dharmaguptakas


and the Mahisasakas. According to A. Bareau (1955: 34, 190-200),
the reason has to be sought in theoretical differences. However, the
rise of early Buddhist schools was more likely the consequence of
differences regarding matters of discipline.'0 As Buddhism spread over
the Indian subcontinent, different Buddhist communities encountered
practical difficulties related to the different geographical regions in
which they were located: the environment, language, climate and
contacts with lay people gave rise to distinct habits." When these
habits became integrated into the rules of the communities, it gave
them distinct identities and rules of discipline. As a natural conse-
quence, these different communities split up.12
The spread of Buddhism in Northwest India was fundamental for
the Buddhist expansion into China. Many archeological findings, such
as the inscriptions in Kharosthi- script made in the third century BC
on king Asoka's'3 order at Shahbazgarhi and Mansehrd (both in Gan-
dhara), as well as numerous pagodas built by the Mauryas,'4 demon-

Bareau (1955: 191); Lamotte (1958: 629-630).


8 Bareau (1950: 69-95), (1955: 191); Hirakawa (1990: 132).
9 Demieville, Durt and Seidel (1978: 131).
10 Nattier and Prebish (1977: 266-270); Prebish (1979: 298-299); Gombrich (1993
[1984]: 82). Bechert (1985: 44): "In der Geschichte des alten Buddhismus stellt die
Herausbildung von unterschiedlichen Lehrmeinungen eine jungere, gegenuber den
Vinaya-Kontroversen sekundare Differenzieringsschicht dar, die sich jedoch als
auBerordentlich wichtig fur die weitere Entwicklung der buddhistischen Religion
erwiesen hat."
" Pachow (1955: 28); Lamotte (1958: 573-574); Gombrich (1993 [1984]: 82);
Hirakawa (1991: 280).
12 Different disciplinary rules lead to different prdtimoksas (lists of precepts) and,
consequently, to different posadha ceremonies (during which the precepts of the
prdtimoksa are recited). In practice, a different posadha ceremony leads to a split.
13 King Asoka ruled over the Maurya empire between 272 (consecrated in 268)
and 236 BC: Lamotte (1958: 236-237).
14 Lamotte (1958: 364-369).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 399

strate that since the Maurya empire Buddhism held a prominent


position in the northwest. It is from the northwest that the first Bud-
dhist missions reached China, through Bactria. The expansion into
China was stimulated by the establishment of the Kusan.a empire,'5
which had its peak during the reign of king Kaniska (2nd century
AD).
Several schools gained importance in the northwest: during and
after king Asoka's reign they were mainly the Dharmaguptakas and
the Sarvastivadins; later, mainly the Mtilasarvastivadins.'6 The spread
of the Dharmaguptaka School in the northwestern region extended
as far as the area of present-day Afghanistan and the border with
Iran. 7 This is confirmed by the use of Gandhdri by the Indian Dhar-
maguptakas. Outside this region the Dharmaguptaka School occu-
pied only a marginal position.'8 While early Buddhist inscriptions
(100 BC-AD 300) refer to this school only sparsely,'9 many Indian
and even more Chinese texts from the fourth century AD list the
Dharmaguptaka School among the five most important Buddhist
schools, the other four being the Sarvastivadins, the Mahisasakas,
the Ki'yapIyas, and the Mahasamghikas.20 Seng-yu (AD 445-518)
refers to this tradition when, in the classification of Buddhist schools
in his Ch'u San-tsang Chi-chi,2' he considers these five schools to be
the basic ones. By the seventh century, however, the Indian Dharma-
guptaka School had lost most of its significance. About AD 630 Hsuan-
tsang, in his Ta T'ang Hsi-yii Chi,22 mentions only a small number of

15 See also Hirakawa (1990: 231-236).


16 Frauwallner (1956: 19-21); Hirakawa (1991: 266-276); Willemen, Dessein and
Cox (1998: 125); Heirman (1999: 849-856).
17 See Salomon (1997: 354): "Although this sect has hitherto been only very
sparsely attested in the northwest, this [i.e. the recent discovery of an inscription
that-most probably-attributes some Gandhari fragments in Kharosthl script to
the Dharmaguptakas] and several other recent discoveries, including several that
have not yet been published, of KharosthT inscriptions recording donations to the
Dharmaguptakas indicate that they were a major sect in that region, particularly
in Afghanistan." These new discoveries of Dharmaguptaka inscriptions confirm
their concentration in 'the Greater Gandhara region' (Salomon [1999: 2]). Their
principal center was possibly thejalalabad Plain (in Afghanistan), the ancient Naga-
rahara (Salomon [1999: 175-178]).
18 Lamotte (1958: 595).
19 Lamotte (1958: 578-584). Until recently (see note 17) very few inscriptions
referring to the Dharmaguptakas were found. These inscriptions place them ex-
clusively in Bactria, Gandhara and Mathura: see Salomon (1999:168-169).
20 For further details, see Lamotte (1958: 593-594).
21 T.2145: 2ba4-121.
22 T.2087: 882blO-23.

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400 ANN HEIRMAN

Dharmaguptaka monks in Uddiyana, a region where Buddhist mo-


nastic life had considerably decreased.23 For no other place in India
does he mention Dharmaguptaka followers. In his Nan-hai Chi-kuei
Nei-fa Chuan, 1-ching (ca. AD 671) records only a few Dharmaguptaka
monks in Uddiyana, in Kuca and in Khotan.24 Later classifications
of Buddhist schools no longer include the Dharmaguptaka School
among the basic schools.25

B. The Chinese Dharmaguptaka School

While the significance of the Dharmaguptaka School diminished


quickly in India, the school, and particularly its vinaya, played a major
role in China. From the Sui and early T'ang Dynasties until the present
day, Chinese monasteries have continuously used the Dharmagupta-
kavinaya. Many commentators ascribe the rise of the Dharmaguptaka
School to an early presence of the Dharmaguptakas in China. In
the following, I examine to what extent we can trace these early
Dharmaguptakas, and determine why their vinaya has become the
most important one.

B. 1. Th e Language of the Earliest Indian Texts in China

The first translations of Indian texts into Chinese were made in


the second century AD, mostly by Sogdians and Parthians, such as
An Shih-kao. Linguistic research shows that at that time Gandhdri
was the most important Indian language in China.26 As monks who

23 See also Beal (1969 [1884], Vol. I: 119-121, and particularly note 1); Watters
(1904, Vol. I: 226). Other schools mentioned in Ud.diyana include the Mahliasakas,
the KasyapTyas, the Sarvastivadins and the Mahasamghikas.
24 T.2125: 206c1-3. See also Takakusu (1896: 20). 1-ching adds that only in
these three places the Dharmaguptakas as well as the MahTsasakas and the K5syapiyas
have some followers. In North and Central India, the (Muila)sarvastivada School
prevails (T.2125: 205b4-6).
25 For further details, see Lamotte (1958: 602-603).
26 Brough (1961; on a mutilated inscription in Kharosthi script, probably from
the area of Lo-yang and dating from the late Eastern Han or the period immedi-
ately after, see 526), (1965: 586-589, 607-611); Bernhard (1970: 57); von Hinuber
(1983: 27), (1993 [1984]: 103). According to Pulleyblank (1983: 84-87), a study of
phonetic renderings of Buddhist terms dating from the last period of the Eastern
Han proves that they are most probably renderings of a Gandhari original. Fussman
(1989: 442), however, points to the fact that Sanskrit inscriptions dating from the
first century AD have been found in Northwest India. Consequently, Sanskrit might

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 401

used Gandhari often belonged to the Dharmaguptaka School,27


Dharmaguptaka monks have been considered to be among the first
monks in China. However, at least the Mahasamghikas and the
Sarvastivadins, who were both equally active in the Gandhara re-
gion,28 once used Gandhari as well.29
The reliance of the Dharmaguptakas on Gandhardi is proved on
the basis of Indian fragments that belong to the Dharmaguptaka
School.30 E. Waldschmidt (1980: 168-169) as well asJ. Chung and
K. Wille (1997: 52-53) conclude that the Dharmaguptakas originally
used Northwest Prakrit (i.e. Gandhari), gradually turned to Buddhist
Sanskrit at a later stage, and eventually used normal Sanskrit.3" The
use of Gandhari is further confirmed by the recent discovery of a
few Gandhari fragments in KharosthT script, written on birchbark.
According to R. Salomon, the texts are in all likelihood discarded
documents from the library or scriptorium of a Dharmaguptaka
monastery in Gandhara. According to an inscription found on one
of the jars in which the manuscripts were contained, 'it' was part of
the possessions of the Dharmaguptakas. At least one of the fragments
(a fragment of the Sangftisatra) also provides textual evidence of a
Dharmaguptaka connection. The fragments presumably come from
the region of the Jalalabad Plain, the ancient Nagarahara, and very
likely were composed in the early first century AD.32
According to 0. von Hinuber (1983: 27, 34; 1989: 354), the tran-
sition from the Gandhari to the Sanskrit tradition must be situated
mainly in the fifth century AD.33 E.G. Pulleyblank (1983: 87-88) is

also have been used during the early expansion of Buddhism from Central Asia to
China.
27 Bernhard (1970: 59-61); von Hinuber (1993 [1984]: 103-104).
28 Epigraphically attested in the Gandhara region are the Kasyaplya, the
Dharmaguptaka, the Sarvastivada and the Mahasamghika Schools. See Fussman
(1994: 20-21).
29 von Hinuber (1983: 33), (1985: 75), (1989: 348, 353-354); Fussman (1989:
441-442); von Simson (1997: 601); Salomon (1999: 171).
30 See Heirman (2002: 27-35).
31 Nishimura (1997: 260-265) has a slightly different opinion. He points out
that Waldschmidt's attribution of a Sanskrit fragment of the Mahdparinirvdnasiutra
to the Dharmaguptakas is certainly not final. If one does not count this fragment
among the Dharmaguptaka texts, only two linguistic phases can be discerned in
the Dharmaguptaka tradition: 1) Gandharli; 2) Buddhist Sanskrit.
32 Sadakata (1996: 311-312); Salomon (1997: 353-357), (1999: 20-22, 68, 141-
155, 171-175).
33 In (1993 [1984]:103), however, 0. von Hinuber points to the fact that docu-

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402 ANN HEIRMAN

of the opinion that this evolution was completed in the sixth cen-
tury. It is therefore not impossible that the Indian Dharnaguptakavinaya,
translated into Chinese by Buddhayasas and Chu Fo-nien at the
beginning of the fifth century AD, is related to the Gandhari tradi-
tion.34

B.2. Earliest Vinaya Texts in China

The date of the translation of the first vinaya texts is also used as
an argument to prove that the Dharmaguptakas were among the
earliest monks in China. According to Hui-chiao's Kao-seng Chuan,
compiled ca. AD 530,35 the earliest text translated into Chinese is a
text called Seng-ch'i-chieh-hsin f1 gr f 'U.36 This translation was done
by Dharmakala, a native of Central India, who arrived in Lo-yang
around AD 250. Dharmakala is recorded to have been able to re-
cite all the vinayas, to have translated the first vinaya text in China
and, further, to have started the ordination ritual.37 The title of his
translation, Seng-ch'i-chieh-hsin, probably refers to a prdtimoksa of the
Mahasamghika School.38 Since the text is no longer extant, and since
the text of the ordination ritual is not named, we cannot determine
which ordination ceremony or which school Dharmakala introduced.
It is not even certain that he ever translated a vinaya text, since the
Seng-ch'i-chieh-hsin is not mentioned in the earliest extant catalogue,
Seng-yu's Ch'u San-tsang Chi-chi (T.2145), compiled between 510 and
518 3. Later catalogues, however, do mention the Seng-ch'i-chieh-hsin.
They are:

ments found in Niya and in the region of Kuca prove that even until the seventh
century Gandhari was being used along the northern branch of the Silk Road.
34 A further indication is a reference to the Arapacana syllabary in the
Dharmaguptakavinaya, T. 1428: 639a1 4. In all probability, this "syllabary was origi-
nally formulated in a Gandhari-speaking environment and written in the Kharoqhi
script": see Salomon (1990: 271). E. Waldschmidt (1932: 229-234) has further shown
that the phonetic renderings in the Chinese Ch'ang A-han Ching (T. 1, Dfrgh&gama),
attributed to the Dharmaguptakas and translated by Buddhayasas and Chu Fo-
nien at the beginning of the fifth century AD, probably render Gandharl. See also
Boucher (1998: 471-475).
35 Wright (1954: 400).
36 T.2059: 325al-5.
37 E. Zurcher, following H. Maspero, presumes that already before that time a
monastic code concerning, among other things, the ordination ceremony must have
existed and was probably orally passed down. See Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol.1:
55); Maspero (1910: 225-232).
38 Shih (1968: 19, note 68); Hirakawa (1970: 202).
39 For the dates of compilation of the catalogues, see Mizuno (1982: 187-206).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 403

Fa-ching et al., T.2146 (AD 594), p. 140b7-9: Seng-ch'i-chieh-pen ef fiji Thtl 4;4O
Tao-hsuan, T.2149 (AD 664), p. 226c12-26; Ching-mai, T.2151 (AD 627-
649), p. 351a21-bl; Chih-sheng, T.2154 (AD 730), p. 486c3-24, p. 648b22-
23: the text is reported as lost; Yuan-chao, T.2157 (AD 800), pp. 783c20-784a13:
the text is lost.

In addition, Hui-chiao (Kao-seng Chuan, T.2059: 325a8-9) states that


the monk T'an-ti (?Dharmasatya41) translated the Dharmaguptaka
karmav&and text T'an-wu-te Chieh-mo42 * )EE in Lo-yang during
the Cheng-yuan period (AD 254-256). He also mentions (T.2059:
325a6-8) that the monk K'ang Seng-k'ai (Samghavarman) translated
four works at the end of the Chia-p'ing period (AD 249-254). As
Hui-chiao gives the name of only one work, we do not know whether
a karmavdcand of the Dharmaguptakas was among the four works
translated by K'ang Seng-k'ai, as is stated by later Chinese catalogues.

M ,^B E ) T'an-wu-te Lui-pu Tsa Chieh-mo, translated in AD


According to these catalogues, two Dharmaguptaka karmavdcand texts
are among the first vinaya texts translated into Chinese: T. 1432, e

252 by the Sogdian K'ang Seng-k'ai, and T.1433, ) Chieh-mo,


translated in AD 254 by the Parthian T'an-ti. However, as in the
case of the above-mentioned text translated by Dharmakala, it is
remarkable that Seng-yu's catalogue does not mention the kannavacand
texts. They are only recorded in later catalogues, namely:
On the T.1432:
Chih-sheng, T.2154 (AD 730), pp. 486c29-487a7: V3I9 5}1g Szu-fen Tsa
Chieh-mo, translated by the Indian (Yin-tu ffl g)) K'ang Seng-k'ai in the fourth
year of the Chia-p'ing period (AD 252); p. 619b7-8: translated by the Indian
(Tien-chu - -) K'ang Seng-k'ai; p. 668a23-24, p. 719b21-22: translated by
K'ang Seng-k'ai. Yuan-chao, T.2157 (AD 800), p. 784al7-24, p.952bl5-16,
p.1007c19-20, p.1042c15: same information as in Chih-sheng, T.2154.
On the T.1433:
Fa-ching et al., T.2146 (AD 594), p. 140b 13: t M T'an-wu-te Chieh-
mo, translated in Lo-yang by the Parthian (An-hsi 9 ,ft) T'an-ti in the first
year of the Cheng-yuan period (AD 254). We find the same information in
Yen-ts'ung et al., T.2147 (AD 602), p. 155b18; Ching-t'ai et al., T.2148 (AD
664), p. 188al7-18; Tao-hsuan, T.2149 (AD 664), p. 227a5-11 (the transla-
tion took place in the second year of the Cheng-yuan period), p. 300b 15-16,
p. 324b9-10; Ching-mai, T.2151 (AD 627-649), p. 351b5-7; Ming-shuan et

40 T.2146: 140b7-9 also mentions a Seng-ch'i-chieh-pen translated by Fa-hsien and


Buddhabhadra (= T. 1427, translated in 405): both versions are said to be differ-
ent translations of the same Indian text.
41 Lamotte (1958: 595).
42 {,* [t'an-wu-te] (Puieyblank [1991: 300; 325; 74]: (Early Middle Chinese)
[dam/dam-mu5-tak]): a phonetic rendering of a Prakrit term related to the Sanskrit
dharnaguptaka: see Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol. 2: 338, note 168).

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404 ANN HEIRNLkN

al., T.2153 (AD 695), p. 432b20-22; Chih-sheng, T.2154 (AD 730), p. 487a8-
13, p. 619b9-10, p. 719b23-24; Yuan-chao, T.2157 (AD 800), p. 784 a25-bl,
p. 952bl7-18, p. 1042c16-17.

Since the earliest catalogue does not record the above-mentioned


Dharmaguptaka karmavdcand texts, there is some doubt on their ac-
tual existence. Moreover, A. Hirakawa (1970: 202-218, 252-253) pro-
vides extensive evidence that the two texts should be considered as
a later redaction based on the Dharmaguptakavinaya, T. 1428. He proves
that many passages of T. 1432 and T. 1433 correspond almost liter-
ally to T. 1428, a text which undoubtedly is a translation. Moreover,
since in T. 1428 there is no sign of any borrowing from another text,
T. 1428 is probably the basis of the later T. 1432 and T. 1433. In T. 1432
and T. 1433 the elements borrowed from T. 1428 are carefully ar-
ranged and an annotation has been added. Missing elements (in
T. 1428) are supplemented using segments of the Mahdsdmghika- and
Sarvaistivadavinayas.
Some caution has to be observed regarding Hirakawa's theory, as
certain important differences between the karmavacana texts and T. 1428
point to the fact that the karmavdcand texts cannot be seen as collec-
tions of procedures merely borrowed from T. 1428. This is clear, for
instance, from the first two chapters of T. 1432 and T. 1433. These
chapters contain the formal acts on the samd43 and on the ordina-
tion, two items that are essential to the functioning of the samgha. A
comparison of these acts as they are described in T. 1432 and T. 1433
with those of T. 1428 reveals that, while the acts of T. 1433 are for-
mulated in a way that is very similar to T. 1428, those of T. 1432
present quite a number of dissimilarities.
As can be seen in the following scheme, the order of the formal
acts concerning the samd in T. 1432 deviates fairly strongly from the
order in T. 1428. Moreover, some formal acts, such as those on the
merger of two communities mentioned in T. 1428, do not appear in
T. 1432. Further, the formal acts on the removal of the large and the
small sfmds are formulated in a more explicit way in T. 1432 than in
T. 1428. In T. 1433, the order of the formal acts is much closer to
T. 1428. The list further contains the acts on the merger of two com-
munities and, just as in T. 1428, it has only one formula for the re-
moval of the large and the small samds.44

4 This is an area in which the formal acts are carried out by a harmonious (i.e.
entire) order in a legally valid way.
4 See also Chung and Kieffer-Pulz (1997).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 405

T.1432 T.1433 T.1428


1. The determination of a small simd45 1 2 246
2. The determination of a large sfmd 2 1 1
3. The determination of a sfmd of 'the
not-being-separated from the three robes'47
- without exception - 48 4
- with the exception of a village
and its surrounding areas 3 449 5
4. The removal of a sfmd of 'the
not-being-separated from the three robes' 4 5 -
5. The removal of a large srma 5 350 (smaj) 3 (sfmd)
6. The removal of a small sTmd 6 3 (s m a) 3 (sfmd)
7. The determination of a small sFmd
- for the posadha ceremony 751 6 9
- for the pravdrand ceremony 7 8 837b23ff.52
- for the ordination ceremony - - 811 a24ff.53
in case monks are in a deserted place
(no village around and no simd)
8. The removal of a small sfm&
- for the posadha ceremony 851* 7 10
- for the pravdrana ceremony 8 - 837c5ff.52*
- for the ordination ceremony - - 81 lb3ff.53*
in case monks are in a deserted place
9. merger of two communities
- that determine a simd for a common posadha,
and for common grounds and revenues54 - 9 6
- that determine a sim& for a common posadha,
but have separate grounds and revenues - 10 7
- that hold the posadha separately, but
determine a sim& for common grounds
and revenues - 11 8

45 A small simd within the area of a large sfm& enabling the carrying out of formal
acts without the presence of all the members belonging to the large sfmd (Kieffer-
Pulz [1992: 242-259]).
46 The numbers refer to the order of appearance of the formal acts in the chapter
on the posadha ceremony (T.1428: 816c5-830a23).
47 'The not-being-separated from the three robes': this procedure lays down
that, within a determined simd, a bhiksu is permitted to wear less than the three
obligatory robes (Kieffer-Pulz [1992: 72-82]).
48 See following note.
49 With a commentary saying that the exception is not necessary in case there
is no village.
50 With a commentary saying that the formula on the removal of a large sim& is
equally valid for the removal of a small sAmd.
51 Valid for the posadha and the pravdrand.
52 In the chapter on the pravdrand.
53 In the chapter on the ordination.
54 See Kieffer-Pulz (1992: 232).

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406 ANN HEIRMAN

A second series of formal acts essential to the good functioning of


a community is the series on the ordination. Although, on these for-
mal acts, both T. 1432 and T. 1433 show many similarities with T. 1428,
T. 1433 is closer to it than T. 1432. This is particularly clear in the
series of questions put to the candidate before ordination. The ques-
tions asked in T. 1428 and T. 1433 are exactly the same, except that
in T. 1428 they are split into two series (p. 814c 12-17 and pp. 814c23-
815a2). In T. 1432, however, two questions are not mentioned, namely
'have you ever committed a pdrdjika offense?',55 and 'have you ever
harmed the Buddha?' In addition, the first question given by T. 1432
is not mentioned in the two other texts. In T. 1432 the candidate is
asked whether or not he has ever been a monk. If this is the case, he
is then asked whether, during his monkshood, he has been pure, i.e.
without an offense, and whether he has left the Buddhist order in
accordance with the rules. This kind of questions is also asked in the
Mahasdmghikavinaya (T. 1425: 413b25-29) and in the Sarvdstivddavinaya
(T. 1435: 156a1 1- 12), two vinayas frequently used in China.
On a few occasions, both T. 1432 and T. 1433 contain a proce-
dure that is not mentioned in T. 1428. According to the karmavacand
texts, after a novice has received the ten precepts to be followed by
novices he has to pay homage to the Buddha, the dharma and the
samgha, and he has to promise to practice meditation diligently, to
recite the Buddhist texts, and to assist the Buddhist community. T. 1428
only mentions the ten precepts. In T. 1432 and T. 1433, but not T. 1428,
after the beginning of the full ordination ceremony the candidate
further invites a monk to be his upidhya4ya. Thereafter the monks are
asked whether one of them feels capable to be the instructor who
will ask a list of questions to the candidate in order to make sure
that there are no hindrances to the ordination. Then the instructor
is officially appointed. Of the latter three procedures, T.1428 only
contains the appointment of the instructor. In T. 1432 and T. 1433 it
is prescribed how the three obligatory robes and the alms bowl are
officially handed over to the new monk at the end of the ordination
ceremony. This is not mentioned in T. 1428. Finally, T. 1432 and
T. 1433 conclude the chapter on the ordination with a request by
the newcomer for support by a teacher (aicdya). T. 1428 does not cite
this request as part of the ordination ceremony, but mentions it ear-

5 An offense leading to a definitive exclusion from the Buddhist order.

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 407

lier in the text, i.e., as a possibility for young monks who lose their
upddhydya (p. 803b7-9). The above procedures most probably have
to be considered as additions in T. 1432 and T. 1433, since it seems
very unlikely that a vinaya text would have reduced the length of a
ceremony as important as the ordination ceremony. This implies that
the longer Dharmaguptaka karmavdcand texts are, most probably, more
recent than the complete, but shorter Dharmaguptakavinaya. More-
over, the similarity of the Chinese terminology used by all three texts
indicates that the karmavacand texts probably have been compiled after
the Dharmaguptakavinaya was translated into Chinese in the early fifth
century. Yet, given the differences between T. 1428 and T. 1433 on
the one hand, and T. 1432 on the other, it is also clear that the two
karmavdcand texts have not been compiled in the same way. The
question still remains why T. 1432 presents so many dissimilarities.
Is it an inaccurate compilation?
Despite the fact that the two extant kannavdcand texts are more recent
than the Chinese Dharmaguptakavinaya, it remains remarkable that early
Chinese catalogues and, as we will show, early Chinese commenta-
tors all say to be aware of an early presence of the Dharmaguptakas
in China.

B. 3. Buddhist Biographies

The oldest extant compilation of biographies of Buddhist monks


is the Biographies of Eminent Monks (A M iW Kao-seng Chuan) by Hui-
chiao M a (497-554), compiled around AD 530. The work is based
on earlier compilations,56 on historical works, on epigraphy, and on
personal interviews,57 and it is modeled after Chinese secular bio-
graphies. A second major compilation was composed by Tao-hsuan
X ' (596-667): Further Biographies of Eminent Monks ( ff {4 Hsu
Kao-seng Chuan). The final version of this work was probably com-
piled by Tao-hsuan's disciples shortly after his death.58 It contains
biographies up to the early T'ang. In 983, Tsan-ning R * (919-
1001) was ordered by the emperor to compile a new collection, Sung
Kao-seng Chuan X { {, covering the period between Tao-hsuan's
death and the early Sung.59 In all three compilations there is one

56 It is largely indebted to the Ming-seng Chuan R) X {f, completed by Pao-ch'ang


in 519, which is no longer extant (Wright [1954: 408-412]).
57 On Hui-chiao's sources, see Wright (1954: 387-390, 408-429); Kieschnick
(1997: 10-11).
58 Shinohara (1988: 195, note 6); Wagner (1995: 78-79).
59 On this imperial order, see Dalia (1987: 168).

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408 ANN HEIRMAN

category dealing with monks qualified as vinaya masters. It is to this


category that I have directed my attention to find out what vinaya
tradition the masters were mainly interested in. In addition to the
monks' biographies, I have also checked the only collection of biog-
raphies of Buddhist nuns: Pi-ch'iu-ni Chuan t E , {k,6 compiled
by Pao-ch'ang W Ug between AD 516 and 519.61 It covers the pe-
riod between the fourth and early sixth centuries. Since the collec-
tion is older than the collections on monks, I will discuss it it first.

B.3.1. Pi-ch'iu-ni Chuan

The Pi-ch'iu-ni Chuan (T.2063) contains the lives of sixty-five nuns.


Quite often it fails to mention which vinaya the nun follows. How-
ever, the indications that we do find clearly show that it was mostly
the Sarvdstivddavinaya. Only a few biographies mention another vinaya.62
When the first Chinese nun, Ching-chien a f*, was ordained in
Lo-yang in AD 357, the Mahdsdmghikavinaya is said to have been used.63
Of one nun, Hui-mu M A, who lived in the Huai river valley,64 it is
said that she possessed a copy of the Dharmaguptakavinaya. The nun
Ling-yu X X, finally, is recorded to have studied all the vinaya texts.

B.3.2. Kao-seng Chuan

Thirteen vinaya masters are enumerated in the Kao-seng Chuan


(T.2059).65 They all lived and worked in the fifth century.66 Except
for Kumarajiva and his translation work, Hui-chiao draws his at-
tention mostly to the vinaya masters of the southern part of China.67

60 Translated by Tsai, 1994.


61 Tsai (1994: 108).
62 Five nuns (Pao-hsien W , Ching-hsiu r 3, Seng-shu fX L, Miao-wei t4/
9 and Fa-hsuan iA .) are said to have studied the Sarvdstivadavinaya. All five lived
and worked in the fifth and early sixth centuries, under the southern dynasties. Of
Seng-shu it is said that she also knew the other traditions, but made a particular
study of the Sarvastivddavinaya (T.2063: 947b9-1 0).
63 According to Z. Tsukamoto (1985, Vol. 1: 424) there is, however, no evidence
of the spread of this Mahasamghika work. See also Heirman (2002: 19-20).
64 T.2063: 938c17; Tsai (1994: 45).
65 T.2059: 400c14-403c17.
66 For an overview, see Chung-kuo Fo-chiao Hsieh-hui (1991 [1989], Vol.4:
154).
67 The whole Kao-seng Chuan particularly emphasizes the area corresponding to
present-day Kiangsu, Chekiang and Kiangsi (Wright [1954: 394]). In his introduction

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 409

Seven monks are said to have concentrated on the Sarvdstivddavinaya.68


In addition, Hui-chiao mentions the monk Hui-hsun M XJ, who stud-
ied with Kumarajiva in Ch'ang-an. Hui-hsun was an expert in the
Sarvdstivdda- and Mahdsaqmghikavinayas, and is said to have written a
commentary on the Sarvdstivddavinaya. His disciple Tao-ying a N is
mentioned as a Mahdsdmghikavinaya expert. Hui-chiao also mentions
two monks who studied all four vinayas (Mahis'asaka-, Mahdsamghika-,
Dharmaguptaka- and Sarvdstivddavinayas): Tao-yen a fN, the author of
a commentary, and Fa-lin i; f#, who, although knowing all the vinayas,
was mainly interested in the Sarvdstivddavinaya. Finally, two masters
are mentioned about whom Hui-chiao does not specify the vinaya
they promoted: Tao-fang L ,1X and Chih-tao t.
Eight secondary biographies are added to the main biographies.
Five of those eight monks are mentioned with the vinaya(s) they stud-
ied: two studied the Sarvdstivddavinaya, one the Sarvastivdda- and Dhanma-
guptakavinayas, one the Mahasamghikavinaya, and one was an expert in
all vinayas.
From the above, it is clear that in the fifth century the Sarvdstivd-
davinaya was widely spread and studied. According to Hui-chiao's
account following his chapter on the vinaya masters, this was the result
of the propagation of the text in Southern China by Vimalaksa and
of the efforts of his successors.69

to the Hsu Kao-seng Chuan (T.2060: 425a27), Tao-hsuan criticizes the emphasis Hui-
chiao put on southern monks to the disadvantage of those from the north. In Tao-
hsuan's own compilation this is no longer the case (Wright [1954: 395, note 1]).
68 The first of these was Hui-yu M W. He was instructed in Chiang-ling fI W
(present-day Hupei) by Vimalaksa, an Indian monk of KasmTra who arrived in
Ch'ang-an in 406. There he met Kumarajiva. Vimalaksa then revised the Sarvdstiva-
davinaya translated by Kumarajiva and spread the text to Southern China (T.2059:
333b20-c14; Shih [1968: 84-85]). Later, Hui-yu wrote a commentary on this text.
The second monk mentioned is Seng-yeh ft -. Instructed by Kumarajiva in Ch'ang-
an, he studied the Sarvastivadavinaya and from then on followed this tradition. Five
other monks are said to have specialized in the same tradition: Seng-ch'u ff fs, a
disciple of Seng-yeh and author of a commentary; Seng-yin XR P; Fa-ying i; V,
compilator of a Sarvastivada (bhiksunF)prdtimoksa (i.e. T. 1437), also said to have com-
piled a karnavdcand text; Chih-ch'eng " f, author of a commentary; and the famous
compilator Seng-yu Xf *, who was instructed in vinaya by Fa-ying. For a detailed
biography of Seng-yu, see Schmidt-Glintzer (1976: 14-20). See also Ts'ao (1964:
475) for an overview of the commentaries written by the vinaya masters mentioned
in the Kao-seng Chuan.
69 T.2059: 403b21-23.

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410 ANN HEIRMAN

B.3.3. Hsii Kao-seng Chuan

The chapter on the vinaya masters in the Hsu Kao-seng Chuan (T.2060)70
can be divided into three parts: one dealing with monks who lived
prior to the reunification of China under the Sui Dynasty, one on
monks who worked mainly during the Sui, and a last one on monks
who worked in the early T'ang.
The first part contains six biographies. Four monks are situated in
the south, two in the north. The southern monks Fa-ch'ao jA ,
Tao-ch'an Xi $f, T'an-yuan e F and Chih-wen ~ Z all applied
themselves to the Sarvdstivddavinaya. The biography of the northern
monk Hui-kuang , ) 6 throws some light on the situation in the north.
Hui-kuang was born in Ting-chou, in present-day North Korea. He
followed his father to Lo-yang as a child. While he was studying in
preparation of his ordination, the Dharmaguptakavinaya was not very
well known yet, event though the vinaya master Tao-fu iO j propa-
gated this vinaya and commented on it.7" As Tao-fu's commentary
did not reach a large audience, however, Hui-kuang had to rely on
its oral transmission. He obtained his ordination in his native region,
where he also gave some lectures on the Mahdsdmghikavinaya. Later
he returned to the west, more precisely to Yeh,72 the capital of the
Ch'i Dynasty (550-577). He then applied himself to the Dharmagupta-
kavinaya and commented on it. This commentary was considered the
correct line of conduct by the following generations. In addition he
wrote other, often recited works on vinaya. The second northern monk
mentioned by Tao-hsuan is T'an-yin e [,, of whom we know that
he was a disciple of Tao-fu and Hui-kuang.
The second part contains six biographies of monks who lived and
worked under the Sui Dynasty. Different vinayas were studied dur-
ing this period. The first monk, Fa-yuan , j|g, is mentioned as a
commentator on the vinayas of the four schools.73 Of his works, only
the commentary on the Dharmaguptakavinaya is said to have been
preserved. We know of the second monk, Ling-ts'ang g R, that he
learned about the Mahdsdmghikavinaya. The third monk, T'ung-yu X
[, is mentioned without a specialization. The fourth, Tao-ch'eng
X Ft-, a disciple of Chih-wen, applied himself to the Sarvdstivddavinaya.

70 T.2060: 606c20-622c5. The latter part of the text (613c20-622c5) is based


upon the Yuan and Sung editions. The deviating parts of the Ming edition are
added in an additional chapter (622c12-624b9).
71 T.2060: 607c4-5.
72 In present-day Honan.
73 I.e. MahZsasaka, Mahdsdmghika, Dharmaguptaka and Sarvdstivdda schools.

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 411

On the fifth monk, Hung-tsun tj: X, we have some more detailed


information. He is said to have learned about the Dharmaguptakavinaya
from a monk called Hui .74 Tao-hsuan (p. 61 lc2ff.) further men-
tions that in the north of China the Mahdsdmghikavinaya was gener-
ally followed. When the Dharmaguptakavinaya was expounded for the
first time, only a few people came to listen, but it was praised and
considered to be very important in Tung-ch'uan I I [1, the eastern
part of present-day Szechwan. Stimulated by Hung-tsun, the Dharmna-
guptakavinaya continuously gained importance in China, until the point,
corresponding to the moment Tao-hsuan wrote his compilation, where
the Mahdsiamghikavinaya was no longer followed. For his part the sixth
monk, Chueh-lang PAU, is mentioned as a specialist of the Dharnagup-
takavinaya.
The last part of the chapter discusses twelve monks from the early
T'ang Dynasty. Three are cited without mentioning any particular
vinaya.75 Only two are said to have studied the Sarvdstivddavinaya. The
first of these is Fa-li A f, who began by studying the Dharmagupta-
kavinaya, on which he wrote an influential commentary; in South China
he also learned about the Sarvastivddavinaya. The second is Hui-min
M , author of a commentary. The other biographies only men-
tion the Dharmaguptakavinaya. Hui-chu M AV studied and propagated
it in Ch'ang-an. Chih-shou w t wrote a commentary, and his bi-
ography provides us with some more information. Since vinaya texts
from different schools were being translated and commented upon
in China, it is said, there was much confusion and discussion on dif-
ferences and similarities. Therefore Chih-shou decided to write a com-
parative study of the different vinayas. These vinayas continued to
circulate side by side. In the north (in Kuan-chung rw rp, present-
day Shensi) people continued to follow the Mahdsa.mghikavinaya. It was
Hung-tsun who propagated the Dharmaguptakavinaya. Hstian-wan's A
3i biography then tells us that he followed the Dharmaguptakavinaya
under Hung-tsun's stimulation. The next monk mentioned, Hui-su
M #, was experienced in different schools but eventually concen-
trated on the Dharmaguptakavinaya. Finally Hui-man M A, the au-
thor of a commentary, as well as Hui-chin M X and Tao-liang m
1, all applied themselves to the Dharmaguptakavinaya.

7 Probably an abbreviation of Tao-hui (L UW) (cf. T.206 1: 804c 1O).


75 Chih-pao (t {g), Chih-shen (t =), and Hui-chin (M }X), who often attended
lectures by Hung-tsun and Chih-shou (see below).

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412 ANN HEIRMAN

The Hsii Kao-seng Chuan thus tells us that before the Sui Dynasty
the Sarvdstivddavinaya was generally followed in the south. In the north
some followed the Dharmaguptakavinaya, but it was not yet well known.
Its use was only stimulated by Tao-fu and, later, by Hui-kuang. During
the Sui the south continued to follow the Sarvdstivddavinaya, while in
the north two vinayas had followers, the Mahdsdmghikavinaya and the
Dharmaguptakavinaya. The latter gradually gained importance as it was
propagated by Hung-tsun. Finally, in the T'ang Dynasty the Dharma-
guptakavinaya became the most important vinaya.
In his commentary on the vinaya masters Tao-hsiian adds the fol-
lowing account. When the vinayas were spread into China, the Sar-
vdstivddavinaya was at first the most popular one. In the south, it was
propagated by Vimalaksa76 at the beginning of the fifth century and
Hui-yuan encouraged its use on Mount Lu in present-day Kiangsi.77
It was further spread by several famous vinaya masters, among them
Seng-ch'ti, Fa-ying, Seng-yu and T'an-ytian (see above). Thus, only
one vinaya was followed in the region of the Yangtze and Huai riv-
ers. Although it was a positive thing that there was no confusion,
Tao-hsuan still expresses his regret that one followed the Sarvastivada
School despite the fact that the first ordinations (in China) had been
based on the Dharmaguptaka School (p. 620b6). The former vinaya
had been translated during the Yao Ch'in (384-417), but it was spread
mainly during the (second half of the) Northern Wei (386-534). It
had been recited by Buddhayasas,78 but after the latter had returned
to the west the vinaya did not become popular. Later it was studied
again under the stimulation of Fa-ts'ung and Tao-fu. Tao-hsiian
supports this development since, according to him, it would be a good
thing that the receiving and the following (of the precepts) tally with
each other (p. 620c 1-2). Thus, when one investigates the basis of the
ordination in China one sees that it rested on the Dharmaguptaka
tradition (p. 620c2-3).79 And yet this fact was neglected by teachers
and disciples alike, creating an unhealthy situation and a deficiency

76 T.2060: 620b3-4: W H, "dark blue eyes", a surname of the Indian monk


Vimalaksa (cf. T.2059: 333c14: ' R).
77 T.2059: 360a8-14; see also Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol.l: 248).
78 T.2060: 620b8: , *E, "red moustache", a surname of the Indian monk
Buddhayasas (cf. T.2059: 334b 11-13).
79 See also Tao-hsiian, T. 1804: 51c7-9. This implies that at least five properly
ordained monks had to be present at this first ordination ceremony, thus starting
a legally valid Chinese ordination line (cf. T. 1428: 846a4- 10; see also Kieffer-Pilz
[2000: 376]).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 413

in teaching. Therefore, the situation had to be changed. Tao-hsuan


adds that, according to an oral tradition, the change started with
Fa-ts'ung during the reign of Hsiao-wen (fl. 471-500) of the Wei
Dynasty (p. 620c9-10). His work was continued by his disciple Tao-
fu, who wrote a commentary, but this commentary was not widely
spread. The propagation was then continued by Hui-kuang around
the beginning of the Ch'i Dynasty (550-577). He had numerous fol-
lowers and was widely known. After him, many other teachers spread
the vinaya. Among them was Hung-tsun, who introduced it in Kuan-
chung, where the Mahdsdmghikavinaya was generally followed at that
moment. But thanks to Hung-tsun's stimulation the Dhannaguptakavinaya
found its way there as well.

B.3.4. Sung Kao-seng Chuan

The gradual rise of the Dharnaguptakavinaya continued during and


after Tao-hsuan's life, as is made clear in the chapter on vinaya masters
in Tsan-ning's Sung Kao-seng Chuan (T.2061).80 The chapter covers
the period from the seventh century, in the T'ang, to the Later Chou
Dynasty (951-960). The first biographies are particularly interesting.
The first master mentioned is Tao-hsuan himself, who received the
ordination as a disciple of Chih-shou. He lived near Ch'ang-an, where
he propagated Buddhism, including at the imperial court.8' Tao-hsuan
wrote many famous vinaya commentaries and founded the Nan-shan
Vinaya School.82 This school teaches a strict adherence to the mo-
nastic rules and is based on the Dharnaguptakavinaya. The second master
mentioned is Tao-ch'eng X ),1 of whom a commentary added by
Tsan-ning says that he should not be confused with a monk by the
same name who lived in the Sui Dynasty and was an expert in the
Sarvdstivddavinaya. The T'ang-dynasty Tao-ch'eng, on the other hand,
was an expert in the Dhannaguptakavinaya. He gave many lectures.
Among his listeners were Wen-wang SZ M1 and Huai-su f1 X, the
third and fourth monks mentioned. The latter is known for his bhiksu-
and bhiksunfkarmavdcands83 and his bhiksu- and bhiksuniprdtimoksas.84 He
is also said to have started a new kind of commentary, as opposed to

80 T.2061: 790b6-812bl.
81 Wagner (1995: 61-69); Kieschnick (1997: 7).
82Nan-shan Lu-tsung (j Li T$ ), named after the mountain where Tao-hsuan
lived in a monastery (Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 301).
83 T.1809 and T.1810.
84 Most probably T.1429 and T.1431 (Hirakawa [1970: 239-242]).

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414 ANN HEIRMAN

the old commentary by Fa-li & AiN (see above). Of particular inter-
est is the biography of the fifth monk, Tao-an ' jg (654-717) (p.
793a 1-c27). At that time, the biography says, the Sarvastivddavinaya
was largely followed south of the Yangtze, while the monks of the
south neglected the Dharmaguptakavinaya. Tao-an then requested the
emperor to impose in person by imperial order that one should fol-
low the Nan-shan Vinaya School (and thus the Dharmaguptakavinaya).
Since there were frequent contacts between Tao-an and emperor
Hsiao-ho,85 we can assume that it was to him that he addressed his
request.86 Thereafter the Dharmaguptakavinaya was followed also in the
south.
The next biographies give less information about which vinaya was
followed by the monks. Still, when a vinaya text is mentioned it is
almost always the Dharmaguptakavinaya, or a commentary to it. An
exception is the biography of Ai-t'ung V [MJ (p. 796a22-b4), who is
said to have given lectures on the Mah/fs7asakavinaya and compiled a
karmavdcand87 and a commentary.
Still, a few biographies provide some more information. The bi-
ography of T'an-yi * -Z (pp. 798a21-799a 14) states that the Dharma-
guptakavinaya had been recited by Buddhayasas and translated with
the help of Kumarajiva (a detail that may have been added to stress
the importance of the translation). Later the monks Fa-ts'ung, Tao-
fu and Hui-kuang are reported to have propagated it. From the Sui
Dynasty it was commented on by several masters. The most influ-
ential of these was Tao-hsuan in the early T'ang. He wrote in detail
on the similarities and differences between the vinayas. The biogra-
phy of Yuan-chao i , (pp. 804b 1 7-805c5) also gives us the story
of the Dharmaguptakavinaya proceeding from the translators to the
commentators. One particularity appears in this story: the biogra-

85 Posthumous title of the emperor Chung-tsung, the third son of Kao-tsung.


He ascended the throne in the 12th month of 683. From the first day he was com-
pletely under the domination of his wife, empress Wei, and of his mother, empress
dowager Wu. Six weeks after he had ascended the throne he was replaced by his
younger brother Jui-tsung. Actual power, however, was in the hands of empress
Wu. In 690 she founded the Chou Dynasty, which would last until 705. In that
year, Chung-tsung resumed the throne. As a devout Buddhist he stimulated Bud-
dhism throughout the empire. He also ordered that candidates who wished to be
ordained should pass an examination on the Buddhist scripture. He died in 710,
probably poisoned. For more details see Twitchett (1979: 321-326); Weinstein (1987:
47-49).
86 See also T'ang (1996 [1938], Vol.2: 828-829).
87 T. 1424, compiled between 705 and 706 (cf. Yuyama [1979: 37]).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 415

phy states that the Dharmnaguptakavinaya had been introduced into China
twice: first the text had been recited by Buddhayasas; about six years
later the monk Chih Fa-ling 7 ip found an Indian text in the
west and brought it to Ch'ang-an. His version was subsequently used
to revise Buddhayasas' translation.88 Concerning the commentaries
on the Dharmaguptakavinaya, we read just as in the biography ofJu-
ching 4lJ 0 (p. 801 a t 6-b2) that the commentary made by Huai-su
(634-707) is considered to be the start of a new view on vinaya. It
took into account texts of the Malasarvastivadins that were popular
from the seventh century onwards.89 The old and the new views,
represented respectively by the commentary of Fa-li90 written in 626
and that of Huai-su completed in 682, were opposed to each other.
In the thirteenth year of the Ta-li period (778), emperor Tai-tsung
ordered that eminent monks discuss the matter and compile a de-
finitive commentary. Approximately three years later, it was decided
that both views contained valuable elements and a new synthetic
commentary was presented to emperor Te-tsung.9'
We find also the story of the vinaya in a commentary added by
Tsan-ning (p. 81 lb29ff.).92 This commentary likewise refers to the
two versions of the Dharnaguptakavinaya translated in the beginning

88 This story also appears in Ta-T'ang Chen-yuan Hsu K'ai-yian Shih-chiao Lu, a
catalogue compiled in 794 by Yuan-chao (T.2 156: 760a23-25). The story that Chih
Fa-ling actually brought a text from the west is apparently based on hearsay, as
mentioned in I'ai-yiian Shih-chiao Lu, a catalogue compiled by Chih-sheng in 730
(T.2154: 517b4-5) and in Chen-yuan Hsin-ting Shih-chiao Mu-lu, another catalogue
compiled by Yuan-chao in 800 (T.2157: 814a1 3). Chih Fa-ling is also mentioned
in the introduction to the Dharmaguptakavinaya (T. 1428: 567b3-4): based on the
translation of his disciple Hui-pien M * a revision is made of the first text. It is,
however, not said that Chih Fa-ling found an Indian version in the west. In the
Kao-seng Chuan (T.2059: 335c3-5) Chih Fa-ling is said to have found an Indian version
of the Avatamsakasultra in Khotan. This is one of the western regions where the
Dharmaguptaka monks exerted some influence (see note 6, and 1-ching's travel
account).
89 Cf. Willemen, Dessein and Cox (1998: 125).
90 The commentaries written by Tao-hsuan were also considered to belong to
the 'old commentaries' (cf. Sung Kao-seng Chuan, T.2061: 801 a25).
9' On this discussion, see also Ta-T'ang Chen-yuan Hsu K'ai-yiian Shih-chiao Lu,
T.2156: 760b4-762c17; Risshii-koyo, T.2348: 16b6ff. (translated by Pruden [1995:
115ff.]); Weinstein (1987: 86-88 and 97).
92 A. Dalia (1987: 148) notices that 'Tsan-ning recognized the weakened posi-
tion of Buddhism and its urgent need to stop internal and external squabbling.' A
unified harmonious Buddhism was the best garanty for the benevolence of the
emperor.

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416 ANN HEIRMAN

of the fifth century, without stating, however, that Chih Fa-ling found
a text in the west. Tsan-ning also mentions the fact that, already
before the Northern Wei, ordinations were based on the Dharmagupta-
kavinaya tradition (p. 81 1 c 19-20).
The biographies thus give us the following picture. In the fifth
century, at least in the south, one usually followed the Sarvdstivddavinaya.
Translated by the famous monk Kumarajiva, it was promoted by
such monks as Vimalaksa and Hui-yuan. The south continued to
rely on this vinaya until the early T'ang. In the north, more than one
vinaya were followed. Initially it was mainly the Mahdsdmghikavinaya.
The Dharmaguptakavinaya came next, and gradually gained importance
until it became the most influential vinaya by the time the northern
monk Tao-hsuan (596-667) wrote his commentaries. The rise of this
vinaya seems to have been the result of the efforts of eminent monks,
such as Hung-tsun and Tao-hsuan. The latter explicitly states that
since the first Chinese ordinations were based on the Dharmaguptaka
tradition, it is the vinaya of that school that should be followed. The
south switched to the Dharmaguptakavinaya only later. Interesting in
this respect is the biography of Tao-an, which informs us that the
Dharmaguptakavinaya was firmly established in the south only after the
emperor was requested to impose it personally in the beginning of
the eighth century. Consequently, only one vinaya remained in the
T'ang Dynasty. It was the basis of the Nan-shan Vinaya School
founded by Tao-hsuan. His texts as well as texts by other commen-
tators such as Fa-li and Huai-su were later opposed to each other.
In the second half of the eighth century this even led to a debate
organized on imperial order.

B.4. Historical Works and Travel Accounts

As shown in the biographical works, in the fifth and sixth centuries


more than one vinaya was used in China: in the north the Mahdsamghika-
and the Dharmaguptakavinayas, in the south mostly the Sarvdstivadavinaya.
From the Sui and early T'ang onwards, the Dharnaguptakavinaya gained
importance. Do we find the same picture in the historical works or
in travel accounts? At least the later Buddhist histories, which were
most probably based on the catalogues and biographies, confirm the
above outline.
The Japanese monk Gyonen (AD 1240-1321) gives an overview
of the Chinese vinaya tradition in his Risshii-kjyo 'f 1- M (T.2348,

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 417

pp. 15c7-17b I 1).93 He stresses the role of the prominent monk Tao-
hsuan in the spread of the Dharmaguptakavinaya. According to Gyonen,
two vinaya works were translated in Lo-yang during the Chia-p'ing
period (AD 249-254): the pratimoksa of the Mahasamghikas, by
Dharmakala, and the karmavacana of the Dharmaguptakas, by T'an-
ti. This explains why the Buddhist community originally applied the
ceremonial procedures of the Dharmaguptakas (like the ordination
rules), while adhering at the same time to the disciplinary rules of
the Mahasamghikas (p. 15c24-29). Only at the beginning of the fifth
century were complete vinayas translated, namely, the vinayas of the
Sarvastivadins, of the Dharmaguptakas, of the Mahasamghikas, and
of the MahTsasakas. At that time the most popular among them was
the Sarvdstivddavinaya, and the Dharmaguptakavinaya came next. But it
was the Dharmaguptakavinaya which eventually outranked all the others
(p. 16a16-18). According to Gyonen this is particularly clear from
an oral tradition that tells how, during the reign of Emperor Hsiao-
wen of the Northern Wei (fl. AD 471-499), the vinaya master Fa-ts'ung,
who had first studied the Mahasdmghikavinaya, changed later to the
Dharmaguptakavinaya because the procedures of the Dharmaguptaka
School had been the model for the first ordinations in China. After
Fa-ts'ung, his disciple Tao-fu wrote influential commentaries on the
Dharmaguptakavinaya.94 With the support of the monk Tao-hsuan, the
Dharmaguptakavinaya eventually became the only vinaya to be applied
in China (p. 16c13-14).
Approximately the same information, though in a much briefer
form, is given by the monk Nien-ch'ang t (d. AD 1341) in his
Fo-tsu Li-tai T'ung-tsai PK fi )_ M8RX (T.2036: 604al9-28): originally,
a karmavdcand of the Dharmaguptakas was translated and ordinations
took place following this text; then the complete Dharmaguptakavinaya
was translated in the eleventh year of the Hung-shih period (AD 409).
At that time, the Mahdsdamghikavinaya was followed by the monks ac-
tive in the Kuan-chung region and the Sarvdstivadavinaya by those in
South China (iI )f. The situation remained the same until Fa-ts'ung,
later followed by his disciple Tao-fu, promoted the Dharmaguptaka

9 A history of the vinaya tradition, written in AD 1276; translated by Pruden,


"The vinaya tradition in China" (1995: 11 1-12 1).
94 The monk Chih-p'an (thirteenth century AD) also says in Fo-tsu T'ung-chi
(T.2035: 355a25-26 and 467bl-2) that Fa-ts'ung, originating from a monastery on
the Wu-t'ai-shan, promoted the Dharmaguptakavinaya during the Northern Wei, and
that his disciple Tao-fu wrote commentaries on this vinaya; this, according to him,
explains why the significance of the Dharmaguptakavinaya gradually increased.

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418 ANN HEIRMAN

School under the Yuan Wei (or Northern Wei, AD 386-532). In this
way a genealogy of vinaya masters promoting the Dharmaguptakavinaya
arose, one of whom was Tao-hsuan.
Can this picture be confirmed by secular historical works? There
we are seriously hindered by the insufficient information that these
works offer. Official histories do not speak very often of the activi-
ties of foreigners in China, and certainly not when they are not re-
lated to the government. Since initially Buddhism spread among
foreigners, references to it are very few.95 Only when the Chinese
also became interested in the Buddhist community do we find more
information. As a result, it is in Buddhist literature that historians
have looked in search of historical evidence concerning early Chi-
nese Buddhism archeological findings also being of help in this
respect.96
The first monks in China were foreigners: Parthians like An Shih-
kao, who arrived in the country around AD 148, Scythians, Sogdians,
or Indians, the last mostly from Gandhara and Kasmira.97 Some of
them became monks only after their arrival in China, or were born
there as sons of immigrant families.98 They were sometimes assisted
by Chinese lay adherents. One finds only scarce references to Chi-
nese monks of the Eastern Han Dynasty. According to E. Zurcher,
K. Ch'en and Z. Tsukamoto, the first known Chinese monk was Yen
Fo-t'iao N fI gal (var. Fu-t'iao 4 / 4f N), a collaborator of An Shih-
kao.99 A. Forte, however, sees him as a layman.'00 According to the
Sui Shu,101 the first Chinese monk had been ordained in the Huang-
ch'u period (220-226) of the Wei kingdom. Of interest for a discus-
sion of the first Chinese monks is a memorial mentioned in the
biography of the monk Fo-t'u-teng f4 K M.102 The memorial had

95 For more information see Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol. 1: 18-19), Zurcher (1990:
158-162).
96 Zurcher (1990: 164-166, 172-176).
97 Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 43-44); Zurcher (1990: 163).
98 Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol. 1: 23-24).
99 See Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol. 1: 34; Vol. 2: 331), Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 45-
46), and Tsukamoto (1985, Vol. 1: 64-65, 79, 92-93), respectively. Tsukamoto points
out two references essentially: (1) in the Kao-seng Chuan, T.2059: 324c2, Yen Fo-
t'iao is qualified as a sramana; (2) in the preface to a work compiled by Yen Fo-
t'iao himself (Sha-mi Shih-hui Chang-chu ? - + 9 'bJ, Tenfold Wisdom of the Sramanera)
he is said to be an dcGya (teacher) (cf. Ch'u San-tsang Chi-chi, T.2145: 69c20).
100 Forte (1995: 66).
101 Sui Shu 35 (Vol. 4: 1097).
lo' Kao-seng Chuan, T.2059: 383b15-387a29, translated by Wright, 1948.

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 419

been presented in 335 by Wang Tu to Shih Hu, the ruler of the


Later Chao kingdom in Northern China between 334 and 349. Wang
tried to persuade the king to permit only foreigners to become monks,
as had been the practice before. But Shih Hu rejected the proposal
and explicitly allowed whoever wanted to adhere to the Buddhist
community to do so.'03 The anecdote does not necessarily imply
that there were no Chinese monks before 335: Yen Fo-t'iao is an
example. 104
After the fall of the (Western) Chin Dynasty in 316 the Buddhist
communities in the north and south developed in different ways. In
the north, monks like Fo-t'u-teng were often involved in state poli-
tics. At the same time the northern rulers controlled the community
and its ordinations: such was the case, mostly, with the Later Chao
(319-351), the Former Ch'in (351-394), the Later Ch'in (384-417),
the Northern Liang (397-439), the Northern Wei (386-534),105 and
the ensuing short dynasties up to 589. 106 In the south, by contrast,
Buddhism was much less involved in the government of the state
even though it was supported by the gentry and the imperial court.
Buddhist communities led a relatively independent life, at least until
the fifth century.'07

B.5. 7he Dhannaguptaka School in China

The survival and growth of a community largely depends on the


ordinations it carries out. An ordination is a formal ceremony based
on carefully described procedures. At first, these procedures were

103 Although in principle everyone could be ordained as a result, it is not at all


sure which ordination tradition or traditions were followed, or which set or sets of
rules and procedures were known. Still, one remark in Fo-t'u-teng's biography points
to the fact that at least some prescriptions of the Dharmaguptaka tradition had
been spread somehow, perhaps not at the time of Fo-t'u-teng but certainly when
the Kao-seng Chuan was compiled. T.2059, p. 384c15-16, says that no one dared to
clear his nose, spit, or relieve himself in the direction of Fo-t'u-teng. As A.F. Wright
(1948: 348, note 48) has noticed, this remark reminds us of a set of s'aiksa rules
only found in the Dharmaguptaka tradition: one may not do such things in the
direction of a stupa (T. 1428: 1021 c 15-18, c23-25 [saiksa rules 74-76 and 81-83]).
104 On this subject A.F. Wright (1948: 355-356, note 70) notes that much con-
fusion is due to the difficulty of interpreting terms like 'monk' and 'ordination'.
105 See Tsukamoto (1957: 370-375); for the dates, Gernet (1990 [1972]: 165).
106 Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 77-93 and 145-183).
107 The community became less independent in the sixth century (Schmidt-Glintzer
[1972: 272-279]).

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420 ANN HEIRMAN

probably transmitted orally. 108 The first written texts are said to have
been translations made in the middle of the third century: a prdtimoksa
of the Mahasamghikas and two karnavacands of the Dharmaguptakas.
It is, however, far from certain that these texts were actually trans-
lated at that time (see above), or that they were available at all, at
least in a Chinese version. During the course of the fourth century,
when the community attracted many new followers in the south as
well as in the north, the insufficiency of vinaya texts became a growing
problem.'09 In the second half of the fourth century the monk Tao-
an X (312-385), who was staying in Hsiang-yang (present-day
Hupei), and who was aware of this insufficiency, made some rules of
his own to govern the Buddhist community; he also tried to encour-
age the translation of vinaya texts. Tao-an is sometimes said to have
translated a Pi-nai-yeh 3 ffi ! that was based on the Sarvdstivddavinaya.
He further suggested to invite KumarajTva to China,0lo but Kumarajiva
arrived in Ch'ang-an only sixteen years after Tao-an's death.
The insufficiency of the rules was also the reason why the monk
Fa-hsien left China in 399 in search of complete vinaya texts. In In-
dia he found copies of the Mahasda mghika- and Sarvastivddavinayas, and
a copy of the MaIa/s'asakavinaya in Sri Lanka. Back in China, Fa-hsien
translated the AIlzahdsdmghikavinaya with Buddhabhadra between 416
and 418. The Mahas'asakavinaya was later translated by Buddhajiva

108 Zurcher (1972 [1959], Vol.1: 32); Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 45). Still, some texts
written in a foreign language might also have been available: see Zurcher (1972
[1959], Vol. 1: 24). Transmitting texts orally was a common practice in India,
even as late as the beginning of the fifth century when Fa-hsien (Kao-seng Fa-hsien
Chuan, T.2085: 864b 1 7- 18) noted that in Northern India the vinaya texts were handed
down orally from master to master, which is why he could not obtain a copy of a
written text. He therefore had to go further south in order to find a written ver-
sion.

109 According to E. Zurcher (1990: 169-182), the many years that were neces-
sary before a Chinese monastic organization could finally be established are ex-
plained by the way Buddhism was spread during the first centuries AD: it was not
spread by "contact expansion", but was the result of "long-distance transmission".
It passed through present-day Sinkiang, but during the Eastern Han this area was
only a transit zone with no stable establishments. Consequently, the monks in eastern
centres like Lo-yang lost their feed-back and transmission was easily compromised.
110 Hui-chiao, T.2059: 353b23-27 (rules), 354al-3 (Kumarajiva); Seng-yu, T.2145:
80bl-2 (insufficiency of the rules); Tao-hsuan, T.2149: 300b3-4, 324al7-18 (Pi-
nai-yeh translated together with Chu Fo-nien; probably referring to the text trans-
lated in 383 by the latter, with a preface by Tao-an = T. 1464). See also T'ang
(1996 [1938], Vol.l: 212-216); Ch'en (1973 [1964]: 99-100); Tsukamoto (1985,
Vol. 2: 699-702).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 421

between 423 and 424. During Fa-hsien's travel, the Sarvastivddavinaya


had already been translated by Pun.yatara, Kumarajiva and Dharma-
ruci (between 404 and 409), while the Dharmaguptakavinaya had been
translated by Buddhayasas and Chu Fo-nien (between 410 and 412).
Almost immediately after the Sarvastivddavinaya was translated it was
promoted in the south by the influential monk Hui-yuan (344-416),
who advocated a life of strict adherence to monastic rules."'1 The
situation is more complex in the north. From the Buddhist commen-
tators and historians, we know that two vinayas were generally fol-
lowed: the Mahdsdmghikavinaya, particularly in the Kuan-chung
region,"12 and, to a lesser extent, the Dharmaguptakavinaya.
The Sui Dynasty imperial court continued the northern rulers'
practice of controlling the Buddhist community. They supported
Buddhism as a reunification ideology after a long period of disunion.
Thus the first emperor, Wen-ti, was bidding for the favor of the
Buddhist community in his struggle to unify the country, while at
the same time carefully controlling it."3 State control of Buddhism
implied above all controlling the activities of the Buddhist monks,
and thus, logically, control over the ordination of newcomers. The
Buddhist texts tell us that in the north two vinayas continued to be
followed, but that the Dharmaguptakavinaya started to gain importance;
in the south, the Sarvdstivddavinaya prevailed. This situation was prob-
ably not satisfactory to the Sui rulers, who were striving hard for the
political and cultural unification of the country." 4
The rulers of the early T'ang continued the policy of control over
the Buddhist community and its ordinations."15 At the same time,

III See T'ang (1996 [1938], Vol.2: 824-827); Tsukamoto (1985, Vol.2: 889-892).
Also, Fa-hsien (T.2085: 864b24) noted in the early fifth century that the
Sarvdstivddavinaya was being used by Chinese monks.
112 See also Wei Shou, the author of the Dynastic History of the Wei, who in
his essay on Buddhism and Taoism noted that the monks "of his time" (i.e., half-
way the sixth century) were observing the Mahasa nghikavinaya (Wei Shu 114 [Vol.
8: 3031]).
'13 Wright (1957: 93-95).

114 On the control of Buddhist monks and the search for unification, see Wright
(1957: 93-104); Weinstein (1973: 283). On the one hand, monks were required to
obtain official ordination certificates, and on the other hand the disciplinary rules
were promoted. See Wright (1959: 68): "It was no accident that the Sui founder
chose a Vinaya master as official head of the Buddhist communities of the realm.
... [his words] expressed his wish that this specialist in the monastic rules should
take full responsibility for controlling and disciplining the clergy of the whole realm."
115 Weinstein (1973), (1987).

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422 ANN HEIRMAN

the T'ang emperors, who were less favorable to Buddhism than the
Sui, gradually tried to reduce its power. It is not surprising that in
that climate a unification of the ordination procedures should have
been seen with favor by the court."16 In the early T'ang we can see
that the Dharmaguptakavinaya gradually became the only vinaya, fol-
lowed both in the north and in the south. At the end of the seventh
century, the Chinese monk 1-ching (AD 635-713) records in his Nan-
hai Chi-kueiJNei-fa Chuan (T.2125: 205b26-c6) that the Dharmaguptaka
rules were generally applied in the east of China (I* _). In some
places, like the Kuan-chung region, both the Dharmaguptaka and
Mahasamghika rules had followers. 1-ching further mentions that
before, in the south, the Sarvdstivddavinaya was followed. He adds that
for a Buddhist community it is important strictly to observe only one
vinaya.17
Finally, the priority gained by the Dharmaguptakavinaya is also re-
corded in the accounts dealing with contacts between Chinese and
Korean orJapanese monks. Around 640, during the Silla Dynasty,
the Korean monk Chajang studied the vinaya at Tao-hsuan's Nan-
shan center. In 643, at a time when the Silla Dynasty was reunifying
Korea, he returned to Silla and emphasized the Dharmaguptakavinaya.1 18
In 733 theJapanese court at Nara dispatched the monks Fusho and
Eiei to China to invite Chinese Dharmaguptakavinaya masters to Ja-
pan in order to perform orthodox ordinations. Some Chinese monks
indeed accepted the invitation. Among them was the vinaya master
Chien-chen XK _. Injapan he advocated the commentaries of Tao-
hsuian's Nan-shan School. From Chien-chen's time on, theJapanese
Nara monks were ordained on the basis of the Dharmaguptakavinaya."19
Later on, Japanese monks like Saicha, who traveled in China be-
tween 804 and 805, noted that Chinese monks performed the ordi-
nation ceremony using the Dharmaguptaka precepts.'20 In 839 and in
840 theJapanese monk Ennin MI fi noted in the diary he kept during

116 The unification of vinayas was equally advocated by the vinaya master Tao-
hsuan in his Szu-fen Lu Shan-fan Pu-ch'ueh Hsing-shih Ch'ao, T. 1804: 2b 19-20: one
vinaya (the Dharmaguptakavinaya) is the basis, but other vinayas can be consulted if
needed.
117 See also Bareau (1992: 38).
118 Ahn (1 989: 19-20); Kim (1995: 43-46).
119 The Nara court (710-784) thus successfully established an orthodox ordina-
tion line based on the Dharmaguptaka precepts "as part of the court's program to
control and improve the educational system for candidates for the Buddhist order"
(Groner [1984: 9]).
120 Groner (1984: 49-50).

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CAN WE TRACE THE EARLY DHARMAGUPTAKAS? 423

his travels in China (838-847) that the Dharnaguptakavinaya as well as


Tao-hsuan's commentaries were studied (i.e., by T'ien-t'ai monks).'2'

C. Conclusion

The first Buddhist communities in China were organized by for-


eigners. Since a correct ordination procedure is essential for the good
functionment of a community, these communities are likely to have
referred to at least an oral tradition of a kannavdcand text that laid
down the ordination procedure. This may very well have been a
Dharmaguptaka tradition, given the importance of the Dharmaguptaka
monasteries on the land route to China, and given the predominance
of the GandharI language used mostly by Dharmaguptaka monks.
However, the other traditions may have been followed as well. When
in the third century, and even more in the fourth, Chinese followers
were also admitted into the community, the need for a Chinese trans-
lation of the vinaya texts became urgent. Although the first texts, among
which two Dharmaguptaka karmavdcand texts, are said to have been
translated in the third century, modern scholars, especially Akira
Hirakawa, have shown that the texts designated as third-century
translations are in fact compilations of a much later date. Still, the
Chinese monks must have used some kind of procedure. That the
rules of monastic life were, nevertheless, totally insufficient is clear
from the biographies of monks like Tao-an and Fa-hsien. Only when
complete vinayas were translated in the beginning of the fifth century
did the situation improve. Promoted by Hui-yuan, the Sarvdstivdda-
vinaya was introduced in the south almost immediately after its trans-
lation. In the north, two vinayas were followed, predominantly the
Mahdsdamghikavinaya, and later also the Dharmaguptakavinaya. The par-
ticularity of the north was that the rulers tried to control Buddhism
and its ordinations.
The Dharmaguptakavinaya gradually gained importance during the
Sui Dynasty and in the early T'ang, especially when Tao-hsuan, who
was working near the capital Ch'ang-an (originally a Mahdsdmghika
area), wrote his commentaries and further promoted it. He empha-
sized that he chose this vinaya because the earliest Chinese ordina-
tions relied on it. The Sui and T'ang emperors continued the policy
of controlling the Buddhist community. During the early T'ang, the

121 Reischauer (1955: 77 and 236).

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424 ANN HEIRMAN

Dharmaguptakavinaya was introduced in the whole empire, but not


without the intervention of the court: emperor Chung-tsung (r. 683
and 705-710) was asked to impose the vinaya in the south, and in
778 emperor Tai-tsung ordered eminent monks to discuss which
commentaries on the Dharmaguptakavinaya should be venerated. This
shows how the emperors were in favor of only one distinct vinaya
tradition.
Two major factors thus determined the rise of the Chinese
Dharmaguptakavinaya: on the one hand, the influence of such eminent
monks as Tao-hsuan, who worked near the capital and based his
commentaries on the firm belief that the Dharmaguptaka ordina-
tion procedure had been the model for the first Chinese ordinations;
and, on the other hand, the Sui and T'ang emperors' striving for a
unified ordination procedure.

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