Dated Chinese Manuscripts in the Stein Collection Author(s): Lionel Giles Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies

, University of London, Vol. 7, No. 4 (1935), pp. 809-836 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: Accessed: 18/11/2009 23:55
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Dated Chinese Manuscripts in the Stein Collection

F the 7,000 manuscripts (including fragments) which were taken by Sir Aurel Stein, almost at random, from the great hoard in Tunhuang, some 380 bear dates, ranging from A.D. 406 to 995. Six are of the fifth century, and forty-four of the sixth. A few of the undated MSS. may be even earlier than 406, while it is highly probable that others are later than 995, seeing that the date 1035 is found in the similar collection at Paris. But in any case the period covered does not greatly exceed 600 years. Most of these dates record not merely the year but the month and the day, and in the earliest instance of all, even the hour. Many of them occur in notes or colophons which set forth, often at some length, the pious intention of monks or laymen who have caused copies to be made of certain sfitras, and who wish to apply the " merit " thus gained to the benefit and relief of dead relatives in their future incarnations. Such colophons are of no little interest to students of Buddhism, but few have as yet been translated. Among the rolls of the fifth and sixth centuries the scarcity of Of the Buddhist sitras, the secular documents is noticeable. Parinirvana is on the whole the favourite, especially towards the end of the period, while the proportion of commentaries is remarkably large; in later times these very seldom occur with colophons or dates. Most of the rolls lack some of the earlier sheets, which, of course, would be most exposed to wear and tear.l A marked change in the general style of handwriting becomes apparent in the latter part of the sixth century, corresponding no doubt to some increase of flexibility in the brush-pen. In the more archaic manuscripts the characters are less eleganftlyshaped than they began to be about the beginning of the Sui dynasty, and look as if they had been made with a somewhat stubby instrument. The paper and ink are of wonderfully good quality from the very first, though
1 An asterisk at the beginning of a transliterated title indicates that the first part of the text under consideration is missing, while one at the end of the title means that the last portion is incomplete. "N." stands for Bunyiu Nanjio's Catalogue, and " K." for the Ky6to edition of the Chinese Buddhist Tripitaka.
VOL. VII. PART 4. 53



considerable improvement is shown in the texture of the paper as time goes on, and also in the use of the beautiful yellow dye which is characteristic of the Sui and early T'ang period. In this connection I would call attention to a recently published book entitled Paper: An Historical Account (Shakespeare Head Press, Oxford), in which the author, Mr. R. H. Clapperton, gives a most interesting analysis of some of the Stein papers, based on photomicrographs.
A.D. 406 (W. LIANG).

S. 797. Recto: A Vinaya text, *Pratimoksa of the Sarvastivadin, which does not exactly agree with any in the present Canon. There is an interesting colophon (see Plate VII): - ;? f 4 A a Zf e += X i A Bs0k ? E a )?fi

rfnB ^






m %R*lLatl *A{T_I

"At the hsii hour of the 5th day of the 12th moon of the i-ssu year, the first of the regnal period Chien-ch'u [i.e. between 7 and 9 p.m. on 10th January, 406], the bhikshu Te-yu, who received the full disciplinary vows from the monk (upadhydya) Fa-hsing, the master of discipline Pao-hui, and the master of doctrine Hui-ying, south of the city of Tunhuang, and subsequently went into retreat during the summer with his companions in the ceremony, Tao-fu, Hui-yii, and others, twelve in all, has written out the commandments for recitation as far as 'the completion of destiny', merely copying the characters. The clumsiness of his hand causes him shame, and he adds this note in the hope that readers may only meditate on the sense and forbear to laugh at the handwriting." In 406 Tunhuang formed part of the short-lived Western Liang State under Li Kao, of which until the previous year it had been the j 31 or formula capital. The colophon proper is preceded by a to be recited at the ceremony of "receiving the commandments ", and followed by directions as to the division of the text for purposes of recitation. The exact meaning of 3 ,j ;_ jft i is not clear to me. Verso: A text, also imperfect at the beginning, which consists of discourses by Buddha showing how such and such precepts of the Vinaya came to be made. It resembles [I 4- e e Ssi fen ii tsang (N. 1117), which was translated in 405. A note at the end shows that the copy was made by the same scribe, Te-yu.



The roll is 23 feet long by 25 cm. wide, and consists of twenty-one unequal sheets of paper in a good state of preservation, of which Mr. Clapperton says: " It is of a soiled brownish buff colour, short and hard in the tear, and with a tendency to split. The thickness is *008-.009 inch. The surface and sizing are good ... The paper was made on a laid mould with the laid lines about ten to the inch, and is very strong and tough in one direction. Composition: Paper mulberry." The ink is fresh and black, and the handwriting, though not elegant, is perfectly clear and legible.
416 (W. LIANG).

S. 113. Recto: A slightly mutilated fragment of an official census of ft Ai 95 t A Vt f ~ P _ Kao-ch'ang Li in a E i g Hsi-tang Hsiang, Tun-huang Hsien, Tun-huang Chiin. There are entries for ten separate families, and each entry is dated in the 1st moon of the 12th year of Chien-ch'u (February-March, 416). The writing is clear and distinct. This MS. was published with translation and notes in T'oung Pao, vol. xvi, pp. 468-488. *M j Verso: Part of a commentary on K it *Miao fa lien hua ching* (Saddharma-pundarika-suitra), 1 and 2. That it p'in is later in date than the Census is proved by the fact that four sheets of the latter, all of which are incomplete, have been used to make a continuous roll for the commentary. The handwriting is smaller and somewhat more cursive. Dimensions of the roll, 2 ft. 11 in. by 24 cm. 420 (N. LIANG). S. 6251. A fragmentary list of articles which were apparently ? enclosed in a tomb, bearing the date & $ t-,f "1st day of the 11th moon of the 9th year of Hsiian-shih " [21st December, 420]. The regnal period is that of Chi-ch'ii Meng-hsiin, second ruler of the Northern Liang dynasty. These fragments of paper, which are in a crumbling condition, were found on and below the body. The largest piece is 11 x 51 in. 455 (N. WEI). IJ S. 2925. Recto: B *Mo ho pl J ft [ l] jH pan jo po lo mi, or Maha-prajnaparamita-sutra,p'in 4. One would expect this to be Kumarajiva's translation (N. 3), which was completed ca. A.D. 400, but it does not agree with the text in our present Tripitaka. At the end are the characters e f a " iStra [owned by]



Chao Ch'ing-hsin" (the upasaka Chao). This is a fine MS. of archaic type which may confidently be assigned to the early fifth century. Verso: {^ - 0 t : * :: E F , *Fo shuo pien i chang che tzil so wen ching (N. 769), in a much inferior hand. About a third of the sftra has been torn away at the beginning. 2 iE fl + A H v Colophon: * # ~tiAA e, E[ ~I 4 " Copying t? E 3 ~ W i completed on the 19th day of the 1st moon of Keng-yin, the 1st year of T'ai-an [21st February, 455], by the bhikshu Shen-tsung of the Southern Shrine at I-wu [Hami], a clumsy man with the pen. It was hard to obtain paper and ink." [This may be an excuse for writing on the back of the roll.] The first thing to notice about this colophon is that the cyclical date Keng-yin does not fall within the T'ai-an period, but might represent 450 or 510. The next is that a is written minus its final stroke, presumably for reasons of taboo, though the character does not form part of the personal name of any Toba emperor. The sitra is stated by Nanjio (p. 426) and Takakusu (No. 544) to have been translated by it J; Fa-ch'ang in the period 500-515. The text, however, agrees with K. xv. i. bbb, where it is said to have been translated by j ; Fa-i, also of the Later Wei. Neither of these men appears in Hackmann's index to the Kao seng chuan. The K'ai yiian lu, ch. 6, f. 188 v?, says that the sftra was translated by Fa-ch'ang, but points out that a sfitra of this name was already in circulation under the Eastern Chin dynasty. Unless J in the Kyoto text is a misprint, it may be that the real translator was one Fa-i who lived in the fifth century but was afterwards confused with Fa-ch'ang. The roll is about 10 feet long, and composed of the usual dull buff paper.
479 (N. WEI).

*Tsa a p'i t'an hsin ching, ch. 6, S. 996. X MiJBgtA 8 t N. 1287, K. xxv. 4. g (which has ;f instead of g), corresponding to ch. 3. This is a commentary on the Abhidharma-hridaya-sastra, in + i very good handwriting. At the end is a note: j i a "15 sheets of paper used. Revised throughout." Of these sheets only the last five now remain, making the roll rather more than 7 feet long. There is also a lengthy and difficult colophon, in which it is said that the text was delivered orally by the mahasattva Fa-sheng (~~ X;c?X * F)t -S). In our Tripitaka the author is given as a Fa-chiu (Dharmatrata). The present copy was made to the i








order of Q | | Feng Chin-kuo, Governor of Lo-chou [Loyang] and Prince of Ch'ang-li [in Ho-pei] (:r ,j M P_ fi ~ E)), who was also General Superintendent of Military Affairs ($% ' ~ !~) under the Northern Wei. The colophon contains a prayer for the Emperor and Empress, and concludes with a eulogy of the work in verse (t) and the date: e * aA f; i fll =. + e X W A fi H M 0A it; 3&. fl Ww i " Copying completed at Lo-chou on the 28th day, ping-shen, of the 10th moon, chi-ssu, of the 3rd year, chi-wei, of T'ai-ho in the Great Tai dynasty " [27th November, 479]. Tai was the name of the district in Shansi held by the Toba Tartars, who founded the Northern Wei dynasty. It is interesting to find it used as a dynastic title instead of 3 Wei.
500 (N. WEI).

S. 2106. Ai ~ g, *Wei mo i chi, a commentary on the , Vimalakirtti-nirdesa-siitra, Kumarajiva's translation, from chapter 3 to the end (chapter 14). Written in a slightly cursive hand on thin but compact paper, stained yellow. This is the first appearance of an extraneous dye, an important landmark in the development of paper for writing purposes. The roll is about 26 feet long, and at the very end the original whitish colour is visible. t Af * Colophon: ! ) Jt_ _ l -[ 7-- H ^ ^ ~} p- "Copying completed by the bhikshu T'an,1 IS hsing at the Feng-lo Monastery in Ting-chou on the 22nd day of the 2nd moon of the 1st year of Ching-ming " [6th April, 500]. Ting-chou is in the province of Hopei. Note j * instead of the usual C; -s. In 496, only four years before the date of this MS., the Wei emperor had changed the family name Toba into the Chinese form xj Yuan; but there is no reason to suppose that the word therefore became taboo; indeed, it appears in our very next colophon. The title at the end is followed by a fairly long note on the sutra. Professor Yabuki compared this text with numerous other commentaries on the Vimalakirtti, but none was found to agree with it. It stands next in date to the oldest commentary by Seng-chao of the Later Ch'in (384-417).
504 (N. WEI).

S. 2660. S X ~ i, *Sheng man i chi, in 1 chiian. This is the oldest extant commentary on the Srimala-devi-simhanada-sitra (N. 59), which was first translated by Gunabhadra between 435 and



443. At the end of the text are the words ."Collected by ". Hui-chang m + -X ; - -C3 -t Colophon: iE fj A ;7 T " Copyingcompleted on the 14th VIt , f : A i? of the 2nd moon of the 1st year of Cheng-shih [15th March, 504]. Eleven sheets of paper used. [One only is missing.] Revised jointly by the shang-jen (monks) Pao-hsien and Hsiian-chi." The handwriting is good but rather small. The paper, originally whitish and of the same kind as S. 2106, above, has been stained a deep yellow, except at the end. The roll is nearly 17j feet long.
506 (LIANG).

S. 81. ji fj $S J *Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 11, p'in 6 and 7. This is N. 113: Maha-parinirvana-sftra, translated by Dharmaraksha in 423. -1 f H ^ TL if a a -1{ Colophon (see Plate VII): :X

"< the 25th day of the 7th On 4 *ft 3ta moon of the 5th year of T'ien-chien [29th August, 506] the Buddhist disciple Ch'iao Liang-yung reverently caused a section of the Ta pan nieh p'an ching to be copied at the Chu-lin (Bamboo Grove) Monastery in Ching-chou [Hupeh] on behalf of his deceased father, praying that all sentient beings of seven previous incarnations might speedily ascend to the Dharmaraja's realm of fearlessness (abhaya). Prepared for him by the bhikshu Seng-lun and Kung Hung-liang." -. , " disciple of pure faith," indicates f4 ^ .-, like p P a lay member of the Buddhist Church. _ in these colophons never means " copied ", but always " had a copy made " by a scribe, for payment. The actual copyists in this case are named at the end; one of them was a layman. -I- -ft is a phrase constantly occurring in combination with J -1 : "parents of seven previous incarnations." " seventh It is not to be translated "seven generations" or generation " as is done by Dr. Stefan Balazs in " Die Inschriften der Sammlung Baron Eduard von der Heydt " (OstasiatischeZeitschrift, Jahrg. xx), pp. 11 and 13. This is a fine manuscript, about 221 feet in length. The paper is one of those examined by Mr. Clapperton, and I will quote his description of it: "A very thin and tough ' bank-like' paper of a pale buff colour with a good smooth surface on both sides. Thickness

?ff Mt -- 4

e -e -

A aA R

x A % e stf itbE

1 A ,


?002-.0025 inch, crisp and transparent, with very close laid lines, about 24 or 26 to the inch, very regular and smooth. These lines seem to have been made by fine grasses or very fine strips of bamboo. The chain lines are about half an inch apart and very fine and straight . . . Composition: Ramie." 508 (N. WEI). S. 2733. No title remains to this MS., but it is a commentary on the f i f X ,f Miao fa lien hua ching or Saddharma-pundarikasitra (N. 134), p'in 6-11, 13. The beginning is mutilated, and there are holes along the bottom of the roll, which is 141 feet long. The paper is thin and dyed yellow, and the handwriting is unusually good for a commentary, though rather small. The colophon is in two different hands. The older portion reads: i ;% X : "Property (?) of the bhikshu Hui-yeh"; and t in another column: g ~ , Jj ^ "Compiled by Shih Taochou." Above and below these words, so as to form part of the same El . ?. . 3f ,+ column, was written later: iE L 4t p "Copying completed at the Kuang-te 4' J I -I Monastery in the Middle Capital [Loyang] on the 10th day of the 5th moon of the 5th year of Cheng-shih " [23rd June, 508]. Loyang is called 4 J in two other Stein MSS., one dated 762, and also * , and t H "eastern Capital " (once each). 511 (N. WEI). S. 1427. ji f I *Ch'engshih lun, or Satyasiddhi-sastra (N. 1274), ch. 14, p'in 136-140. The text agrees with K. xxiv. 9, except that these chapters are now contained in ch. 10 and 11. It is a well-written manuscript on a roll of rather stiff light yellow paper about 28 feet long. I Colophon: t , -U- 5 E 7 a e

UP JR W A t O E] 7 R 9 #M fi A X ,X "Written out by the copyist Ts'ao Fa-shou. 25 sheets of paper used. On the 25th day of the 7th moon of hsin-mao, the 4th year of Yung-p'ing [3rd September, 511], the sastra copied by Ts'ao Fa-shou, official scribe in Tun-huang Chen, was completed. Teacher of scriptural texts, Ling-hu Ch'ung-che. Reviser of scriptures and Tao-jen, Hui-hsien." Ling-hu Ch'ung-cheis also described as f^ : Xfi in the colophons of the next four rolls. Exactly what this title implies is not easy to



determine, especially as he was a layman, not a monk. seems to be more than a general name for a Buddhist.

J , too,

512 (N. WEI). -+ S. 1547. The title is given at the end as : $A ] shih lun [chiian] ching, ch. 14, but it is really part of the *Ch'eng same text as the preceding roll, corresponding to ch. 11 (last part) and ch. 12 (first part), and containing p'in 147-154. The handwriting is similar but somewhat neater, and the paper is whiter and less crisp. The roll is 153 feet long. AEF ' ^ Colophon::J A E. ; $:

A If "28 sheets of paper used. [Only Ra X J , a6 thirteen of these remain.] On the 5th day of the 8th moon of the jench'en year, the 1st of Yen-ch'ang [1st September, 512], the sastra copied by Liu Kuang-chou, official scribe in Tun-huang Chen, was completed. Teacher of scriptural texts, Ling-hu Ch'ung-che. Reviser of scriptures and Tao-jen, Hung-chiin."
513 (N. WEI). S. 341. Chiian 7 of an unidentified sftra, containing the end of X p"f . The title p'in 11 and the whole of p'in 12, which is entitled at the end is torn off. This is another neat MS. on crisp buff-coloured paper forming a roll 121 ft. long, 26 cm. wide.

E^ Colophon:





i B


, t; a ] day of the 6th moon )\31A "On the [ of the kuei-ssui year, the 2nd of Yen-ch'ang [July-August, 513], the sfitra copied by Ch'ien Hsien-ch'ang, scribe in Tun-huang Chen, was completed. 20 [sheets of] paper used. [Only 11 of these remain.] Teacher of scriptural texts, Ling-hu Ch'ung-che. Reviser of scriptures and Tao-jen." A number in double figures is missing before E3. In this and the next two colophons, no name is given for the reviser. There is a sealimpression over the colophon which so far I have been unable to decipher.
513 (N. WEI).

S. 2067. J : S *Hua yen ching (Avatamsaka-sutra), ch. 16, to the second half of ch. 15 and the beginning of ch. 16 corresponding



in the modern recension. This is a good bold MS. on light buff-coloured paper. The roll is about 27 feet long. Q ~ | - r A Colophon: E 8 _ eC , -U )+ + ftL B ; 5 tt * 4E I3L(?) ;h X ; ,z 4 At A 4 *a U 1 6 fi n " On the 19th day of the 7th a a A A a SW t moon of shui-ssu, the 2nd year of Yen-ch'ang [4th September, 513], Ling-hu [Li ?]-t'ai, scribe in Tun-huang Chen, finished copying out this sftra. 24 sheets of paper used. [22 of these remain.] Reviser of scriptures and Tao-jen. Teacher of scriptural texts, Ling-hu Ch'ung-che." is a curious variant of e,; 4C "water " being the element *,C to the ninth and tenth celestial stems, X and A. that corresponds Over the colophon is an impression of the same seal as in S. 341, but upside down.
514 (N. WEI).

S. 6727. :C )j X X J JB g *Ta fang tng t'o lo ni ching. Though bearing the same title as N. 421, the present sftra does not agree with it in any particular. There is a note at the end in a different hand: [= ij] , "One revision completed "; after which comes the colophon proper, in the same hand as the text of the suitra:

M E td Rb

e yh1 f- tmf

A*w AMta

;?t'" On the 12th day of the 4th moon of chia-wu, the 3rd year of Yen-ch'ang [21st May, 514], the copy made by Chang A-sheng, scribe in Tun-huang Chen, was completed. 21 sheets of paper used. [Only eleven and a fragment remain.] Reviser of scriptures and Tao-jen. Teacher of scriptural texts, Ling-hu Ch'ung-che." The roll is of crisp lemon-yellow paper, and about 141 feet long.
515 (N. WEI).

S. 524. This is a very important roll, for it contains hitherto unknown sfitra-commentaries on both sides. Recto, is a *commentary on B X Bi - g i y ~ Nr PA , gShengman shih S ]ji tzu hou i sheng tafang pien fang kuang ching (N. 59), in a rather small neat hand on thin yellow paper. The roll is 40 feet long. It is not the same text as Sheng man i chi (S. 2660, above). Mf a fi %i 8 gf Colophon: --- ,> I in SE

-tf-_4 U

f ~ r I 1 "One revision completed. Commentary ) Master of the Law [of Huang-yu ?]. A copy of the by Chao,



X 0 X

6k _ AMf i A91 Z




Sheng man su was made in the Ch'eng-mingMonasteryat the capital [Loyang] on the 23rd day of the 5th moon of the 4th year of Yen-ch'ang [20th June, 515], and offered as an act of worship by the Tao-jen Te-shou, a visitor from Kao-ch'ang." is written in large characters, and appears again after the t first ij, but has been blotted out. Its meaning is obscure. For 1 as a final particle, cf. supra, year 508, S. 2733. Verso: X,. ,W IB i id Wu liang shou kuan ching i chi,* a commentary on the Amitayurbuddha-dhyana-sftra (N. 198) in 1 chiian, apparently incomplete. The handwriting is larger than on the other side of the roll, and the text covers only about 8? feet of its length. Its date may be late sixth or early seventh century.
521 (N. WEI).

S. 1524. :4 }t ~ R 0. t i I *Ta fang teng t'o lo ni ching ch. 1. Though containing several (Mahavaipulya-dharani-sfitra), variants, this text agrees roughly with N. 421, K. xi. 7. 1, ch. 1 and the beginning of 2. A short piece at the end, concluding with a gatha, is not found in the present Canon. ? J_[i ? t ~ & "Copying comColophon: IE :; pleted in the first decade of the 10th moon of the 2nd year of Chengkuang" [15th-24th November, 521]. This is a good clear MS. on whitish paper (showing wire line). The roll is 30 feet long.
521 (N. WEI).

S. 4823. + t 1 JJ ?t X { *Shih ti lun ch'u huan hsi ti, ch. 1 (last portion only). It agrees with N. 1194, K. xxi. 9. a. M E ~ 4:; . t '~g Colophon: ]iE ~ the scribe Po Tao-ch'e in the 2nd year of Cheng-kuang "Copied by [521]. 27 sheets of paper used." [Only 31 of these remain.] This is a good MS. on a roll of thin, fibrous, whitish-yellow paper, about 41 feet long, 27 cm. wide. Though of the same date, this paper is of entirely different quality from S. 1524.
522 (N. WEI).

S. 2724. *Hua yen ching, ch. 3 (beginning mutilated). It corresponds to N. 87, K. vii. 3, ch. 4, p'in 2 (3). There is an elaborate colophon, of which I can only offer a

tentative translation: Akt ,[



t& R fi

.M A


us * ^e X *

<> 9

t: a -f

9 ffm S I X










X; u t f3 * t atX }rJ i Al




- f^WBS

_ & =^1fi: A 1 <>> gi^^^




t t




q S BA F 'J fa

f %*



mm .

-p fi e o

~ J : i bm" . A " The wonderful -* g < > ~ decree [of Buddha] is not to be expressed in words, hence we must receive empirical teaching in order to reach the underlying principle. The perfect body has no form, so we must avail ourselves of [ ] in order to manifest the truth. That is why my late brother, the sramana and karmadana Hui-ch'ao, realizing that this fleeting existence is not to be depended upon, and knowing that the Three Holy Ones may readily be trusted, [gave up] his property and sacrificed all his wealth, regarding the merit [of good deeds] as alone of importance; he painted the figure of the Golden Guest on the walls of the monastery, and copied the scriptures on bamboo and paper; but before he had completed his task he passed suddenly into another life. And now his younger brother the bhikshu Fa-ting, beholding with reverence the work he left behind, and feeling a great longing to carry it to completion, has therefore painted the temple with lustrous decoration, and has made extensive copies from a number of sftrasthe Hua yen, Nieh p'an, Fa hua, Wei mo, Chin kang pan jo, Chin kuang ming, and Sheng man-and offers the resultant stock of happiness to his beloved brother, that his soul may mount to the realm of the absolute and his body travel to the Pure Land, that he may thoroughly comprehend the principle of No-birth and soon [be delivered from] the ocean of suffering; and that likewise all sentient beings may share in this merit and attain to perfect intelligence." The rhythm of the sentences shows that single words must have been omitted by mistake after ], jf, and _. The last is probably W. "Karmadana" is the second-in-command or sub-director of a monastery. The Three Holy Ones are usually understood to be Vairocana, Maijusri, and Samantabhadra. " The Golden Guest" is a name for Buddha, and the principle of No-birth is of course Nirvana. Before the colophon is the note )j -tJ- i (marked for deletion by a dot at the side) .t: "27 sheets of paper used " [only ten remain]; and at the end is the date: JC g jE y) f " ~E -l ]R n A on the 8th day At ,H In 3 Copy completed of the 4th moon of jen-yin, the 3rd year of Cheng-kuang of the Great Wei dynasty " [18th May, 522]. This is the first time that we find the



Wei dynasty mentioned by name. This is a good MS. on a roll of rather thin yellow paper, over 13 feet long.
531 (N. WEI).

S. 4528. No general title remains, and the headings of the p'in t5 Pan jo po lo mi. But it is really *Fo simply read f&t: shuo jen wang pan jo po lo mi ching (N. 17, K. v. 6. j), p'in 5 (end only) -8. g a + i H ^ Colophon: * ft e P'

3 A 4

- T^

S Bffi A

/" a Sft &i 4 a

l AE A t


- ? i 31 ffi An I; " On the 15th of the 4th moon of the 2nd year of Chien-ming of the Great Tai [i.e. Wei] dynasty [16th May, 531], the Buddhist lay disciple Yuan Jung, since he lives in Mo-chieh in danger of his life, has long been parted from his home and has a constant longing to return, therefore in his own person and that of his wife and children, his male and female servants, and his domestic animals, makes on behalf of the Celestial King Vaisravana a donation to the Triratna of the sum of a thousand silver cash; and as ransom money, a thousand cash to ransom himself and his wife and children, a thousand cash to ransom his servants, and a thousand cash to ransom his animals. The money thus paid to the Church is to be used for copying sutras, with the prayer that the Celestial King may become a Buddha, and that the disciple's family, servants, and livestock may be richly endowed with the blessing of long life, may attain enlightenment, and may all be permitted to return to the capital. This is his prayer." For 4 {it, see S. 996 (A.D. 479). The period Chien-ming came to an end in the 2nd moon of its 2nd year, but evidently the news had not reached the writer two months later. Mo-chieh is probably not ), but some remote Magadha, which is generally written jE X kingdom of Central Asia. Vaisravana, guardian of the North, is frequently invoked for protection. Here Yuan Jung, who is "in danger of his life ", seeks his aid in a curiously roundabout fashion. He gives a total of 4,000 cash for copying sftras, a quarter of the resultant "merit" to be so applied that Vaisravana may attain Buddhahood. The remainder is intended to " ransom " himself and


his household, and bring about their return to China. The inclusion of animals as on a virtual level with human beings is due to the Buddhist belief in universal reincarnation. M, originally a look-out tower, then the gate of a palace, seems to be used by synecdoche for the Imperial city, in this case Loyang. Another good MS. The roll is made of yellow paper, and is nearly 15 feet long. 533 (N. WEI). *M iaofa lien hua ching, ch. 10 (from S. 2105. 1,4;J X l title at end), p'in 27 (from title at beginning). The modern text, however, comprises only 7 chiian, and this MS. corresponds to ch. 7, p'in 28 (complete). The end of the colophon is unfortunately torn away. The first M : -3 m r: ~ : portion runs: 7C ^ _ g lsZ Ma ff i -t ff t "On n cc the i-ch'ou day, the 25th of the ? X j i6 i ~~ e 3rd moon, the first day of which was hsin-ch'ou, in the kuei-ch'ouyear, the 2nd of Yung-hsing [4th May, 533], the gila disciple Ch'en Yen-tui pays homage to the Triratna ever abiding throughout the three periods ! The disciple, having himself been guilty of insincere conduct in a former existence, and similar sentient beings endowed with vile bodies of wind-borne dust, doubly blind . . . The Yung-hsing period of 533 was extremely short, lasting less than a month in January and February; and there might seem to be some ground for preferring the earlier Yung-hsing (also of the Wei dynasty), which covered the years 409-414. But (1) the cyclical designation of 410 is keng-hsii, not kuei-ch'ou; (2) both paper and handwriting point unmistakably to the later date; (3) Kumarajiva died in 415, and it is unlikely that his translation was available so early as 410. The " three periods " are past, present, and future. In T'ang times, AJ was pronounced kai, as it is in the Cantonese dialect to-day. Hence we have aq replacing it here as a homophone. This is a fine MS. on yellow paper. The roll is about 51 feet long, 26.5 cm. wide. 533 (N. WEI). S. 4415. Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 31. This agrees with N. 113, K. viii. 6, but the chiian ends about three pages sooner than in the modern text.



The sitra is written in a fine bold hand, but the colophon which follows (see Plate VII) is rather crabbed : * ^ -- 7C fe* g

I s

1. E

' ; Xk

[?] a

M -: 1





X , [?] o A 1 i -: m ^ 7T 0 S am R, vZ3 , ' X Ai 7 ;a " On the 15th day of the 7th moon of the 2nd - E year of Yung-hsi of the Great Tai and Great Wei dynasty [20th August, 533], the layman of pure faith (upasaka) Yuan T'ai-kuo, shih-ch'ihchieh, san-ch'i-ch'ang-shih, k'ai-fu with the same insignia of rank as the three chief ministers, General Superintendent of Military Affairs in Ling-hsi, Commander-in-chief of the Cavalry on active service, Prefect of Kua-chou and Prince of Tung-yang, has reverently caused sections to be copied of the Nieh p'an, Fa hua, Ta yiin, Sui yii, Kuan fo san mei, Tsu ch'ih, Chin kuang ming, Wei mo, and Yao shih, totalling one hundred rolls, in honour of the Celestial King Vaisravana, praying that this disciple [i.e. the donor] may gain permanent relief from his sickness and that his whole body may find repose. Such is his prayer." Here the same dynasty is denominated both Tai and Wei: cf. supra, S. 996 (A.D. 479), in which MS. we also find the title "General Superintendent of Military Affairs ". Ling-hsi may denote the country west of the Nan Shan; I have not met this term elsewhere. Kua-chou is the modern An-hsi, but the location of Tung-yang is doubtful. 4JC must refer to a lost translation of the Mahamegha-sutra, for the three translations in the present Canon (N. 186-8) are all of later date than 533. [ LE|and 3 - are texts that I cannot identify in this abbreviated form, but Yao shih is doubtless the 12th sutra of N. 167. f is not a recognized character, but it may stand simply for [for :] j "One /:C. In a larger hand at the end are the words revision completed." This is a good bold MS. on thin buff paper, forming a roll 152 feet long.

539 (W. WEI). S. 2732. Recto: ,| i , ~ i& *Wei mo ching i chi, ch. 4. This is the last chapter of a commentary on the Vimalakirtti-sutra which is not included in the present Canon or in the Kyoto Supplement. A. xxvii. 4 of the latter is a commentary of the same name in 8 chiian







by % x Hui-yiian of the Sui, that is, half a century later. Professor Pelliot thinks it possible that the name and attribution are false, and that there is only one genuine Wei mo ching i chi, in 4 chiian, by another Hui-yiian of the fourth century, of which our MS. has preserved the concluding portion. The colophon consists of four notes in two distinct hands: (1)

Jc s


+ a -'

t E B HE g ?e M r -i

"Copied for circulation by the bhikshu Hui-lung on the 12th day of the 4th moon of the 5th year of Ta-t'ung " [15th May, 539]. (2) h[ -- _ " [Text] jointly revised and determined by 1 j t Ai t two scholars of Lung-hua." (3) j i T 7 i_ "Again revised word for word throughout." (4) X ~ _ $ 4? )! 3 -] h _ l T S, [mistake for ~] ~ ~ & X ~ ~' < S "Private notes taken during the jen-wu J m -- X 0 t year, the 2nd of Pao-ting [562, N. Chou dynasty], when the ta-te (bhadanta) Seng-ya lectured on the whole of the Wei mo ching in the ]irh-mien-kung Pavilion or under an elm tree." These notes appear in the order 2, 3, 1, 4. (1) and (2) are in the same bold hand as the MS. itself, whereas (3) and (4) are written in much inferior style. Although different religions have never been so sharply opposed in China as in Europe, it is unlikely that fll in this place has its narrower meaning of " Confucianist ". There are several towns called Lung-hua; but the name here probably refers to the "dragon-flower tree " (naga-puspa) under which Maitreya is to hold his three assemblies. -T ! Verso: * M Ta sheng po fa 1J mo -g'ming men lun k'ai tsung i chiieh*, by the monk f ^ T'an-k'uang. This is a lost commentary on the Mahayana-satadharma-vidyadvarasastra (N. 1213), of which several copies were found at Tunhuang. * There is a short but very important preface, dated ): * J i _3 J -tJ-_ j "the 23rd of the 3rd moon of L $ A the [chia-]yin year, the 9th of Ta-li in the Great T'ang dynasty" In this [8th May, 774]. Observe I, an unusual substitute for -. tells how he composed the E Chin kang W1IJ] preface T'an-k'uang chih tsan in the Northern Regions (0JJ h'); then the ~ P N' J 32 Ch'i hsin hsiao wen at Liang-ch'eng; and finally the A. X A HJ t Ju tao tz'u ti k'ai chiieh and the present Po fa lun k'ai tsung i chi at Tunhuang. The handwriting is clear and good, hardly lapsing at all into the cursive. The date of copying is probably not much later than that of



the preface; but in any case it is remarkable that there should be so long a gap as 250 years or so between the MSS. recto and verso. The roll is of light buff-coloured paper, and nearly 44 feet long.
541 (W. WEI).

S. 2216. *Ta pan nieh p'an ching (N. 113), ch. 21, agreeing with the modern recension, except that the chiian ends sooner. / f t H A ft J at Colophon: ;tg J ; "Reverently copied and offered as an act of worship by Nieh Seng-nu on the 28th of the 6th moon of the 7th year of Ta-t'ung" [5th August, 541]. This is a fine MS. on a roll 26 feet long. But the chief feature to be noted is the thin crisp paper, stained a beautiful golden-yellow, which is so characteristic of the next hundred years.
543 (W. WEI).

S. 736. Sk ft; ? I ^? j *Ta pi ch'iu ni chieh mo. Mahabhikshuni-karman, or rules of Buddhist discipline for nuns. This Vinaya text is in one chiian only, and not the same as N. 1116. The major portion of the roll, which is over 21 feet long, consists of a wellmade light yellow paper, but towards the end six sheets of a thinner, crisper texture have been inserted. The handwriting throughout is very clear and neat. * H Jt i L f Colophon: t*

k k

J4 A E Ii * -6E- N i AEtk& -Xu

+^^ X


* e X


4 #EA liW Au - &Bt


Xi A 4 ftln

e { An A

A t 4

* * X

JS )]fJ " Copying completed on the 6th day of the 7th moon, the first day of which was chi-ch'ou, of the 9th year of Ta-t'ung [21st August, 543], and offered as an act of worship by the bhikshuni Hsien-yii. With pious intent, the bhikshuni Hsien-yii has caused a copy to be made of the Chieh mo ching in one chiian, praying that the merit thereby gained may reach the worlds in all the ten directions of space, and all living beings in the six states of existence, opening their hearts and expanding their minds, that they may turn their thoughts to the Mahayana. She offers this her bodily life, that wheresoever she is born she may constantly act as leader and guide to all beings of the ten regions and the six states of existence, even as the Buddhas and the




FOUR COLOPHONS, DATEDA.D. 406 (S. 797), 506 (S. 81), 533 (S. 4415),

568 (S. 616). From left to right.
[To face p. 824.


Bodhisattvas of the three periods (past, present, and future) work for the salvation of all beings, equally and without any distinction. And if any are able to read, recite and practice these precepts, may the same merit accrue to them likewise. May the Great Holy One (Buddha), possessor of the profound mind, grant that this prayer may be fulfilled, that the fruits of Buddhahood may be attained, and that all beings in the three unhappy states of existence may in due course obtain deliverance." The chief difficulty in the above is the character *, which is not recognized by the dictionary, and appears in contexts that seem to require two different meanings. 545 (W. WEI). S. 4494. A collection of prayers, charms, and other religious documents. One of these, a list of days suitable for the remission of sin, is said to have been compiled in the 11th year of Hsiian-shih [422], but the cyclical date given, C U[, does not agree. ZL - a H g L Colophon: I+--4 on the 29th of g "Copying completed [for p;] : * i the 5th moon of the i-ch'ou year, the 11th of Ta-t'ung [24th June, 545]. Property of Tao-yang of the P'ing-nan monastery." The roll, made of thin whitish buff paper, is about 73 feet long, and the handwriting is fairly good-much better than that usually found in similar compilations. 550 (W. WEI). *Ta i chang, ch. 5. This treatise, literally S. 6492. * _X on the Great Meaning ", consists of questions and answers "Chapters on Buddhist doctrine. Chiian 5 contains eight chapters, the titles of which are enumerated at the end of the roll; each has a preface and is subdivided into several sections. The chapters are: (1) pfi * (missing) "Cutting the knot ", or severing the bonds of passion, etc.; (2) _i i9 E (sections 4, end, to 6) "The four immeasurables ", or Buddha-states of mind, i.e. boundless kindness, pity and joy, and limitless indifference (rising above these emotions); (3) / WW JP; Eight stages of mental concentration leading to deliverance; (4) A J 5t Eight victorious stages or degrees in meditation for over"Aids to contemplation "; (6) Eq ; coming desire; (5) F j The six super"The four methods of non-obstruction "; (7) * natural powers acquired by a Buddha; (8) +- ? The ten forms of understanding.
VOL. VII. PART 4. 54




At the end of the text is a note, ft "Property of Seng-pao ", and colophon:: -A ~t $1 * f---f iz * ' i A1 " Copied by the bhikshu Seng-pao in El .tl the Ch'eng-men [City gate] monastery on the 21st day of the 2nd moon of keng-wu, the 16th year of Ta-t'ung " [24th March, 550]. ;jj seems to be required before j. The handwriting is clear and neat. The paper is dyed a sulphuryellow, and the roll is about 401 feet long, 28 cm. wide.
550 (W. WEI).

S. 4366. *Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 12. At the end is a note, , " Revised word for word throughout ", and a rather Ik 4 -g long colophon: ?f iB 3 ;t b 5 fi !i


0 ' JV 9 E 1 t

2a A n X
A a



*t + M^ ? Ant -Y. AX

e J-

X LeA 3X

-r * F a i1 $Au 3f a A T; tt a WWV a ^ E It J -tL- El " Happiness is not fallacious in its response: pray for it, and the influence will be felt. Results do not come of themselves: concentrate on the causes, and successful attainment will follow. Thus, the Buddhist disciple and bhikshuni Tao-jung, because her conduct in a previous life was not correct, has been reborn in the vile estate which is that of a woman; and if she does not obey and honour the wonderful decree [of Buddha], how shall she find response in the effects which are to come ? Therefore, having cut down her expenses in the articles of food and clothing, she has reverently caused a section of the Nieh p'an ching to be copied, praying that those who read it through may be exalted in mind to supreme [wisdom], and that those who promote its circulation may cause others to be influenced to their enlightenment. She also prays that in her present life she may abide in meditation, without further sickness or suffering; that her parents in seven other incarnations who have died in the past or will die in the future, and her family and kinsfolk now living, may enjoy surpassing bliss in the four realms [of earth, water, fire, and air], and that what they seek may fall out according to their desire; also, that all disciples [of Buddha] naturally endowed with perception may be embraced in the scope of this prayer. Dated the 29th day of the 4th moon of the 16th year of Ta-t'ung " [30th May, 550]. 8 T

e tZtE *

t N ,A

X ffi








' is an unexpected variant of the usual _. (appearing in Hsi as Si) is an archaic form of 4. This is a fine MS. on a roll K'ang of remarkably good lemon-coloured paper, 22 feet long. The colophon is in a different hand. 561 (N. CHOU). S. 2664. Part of a *commentary on a Vinaya text, without title. f t ' A T * 4A * e X] B k Colophon: $ S " Notes extracted by Hsiian-chiieh on the 8th of the ~ 3rd moon, the first day of which was ting-wei, of hsin-ssui, the 1st year of Pao-ting " [8th April, 561]. This is a fairly good MS. on unstained whitish paper, making a roll about 24 feet long by 27 cm. wide. A few columns of the same text have been written on the back. 561 (N. CHOU). S. 2082. Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 18 (beginning mutilated). t t ; 1L X + -t F f3 g l Colophon: ; ,/ -- J ~- - a 4 m A "Reverently 1 ~ J , copied for circulation on the 17th of the 9th moon of the 1st year of Pao-ting [llth October, 561] by the Buddhist disciple Chang Pensheng on behalf of the members of his family, large and small, and all living beings." This is a fine bold MS. on a roll about 29 feet long. The colophon has been added in an inferior hand. This is what Mr. Clapperton has
to say about the paper: " Thin golden yellow paper . . . Thickness

?002--0025inch. A really beautiful, thin paper, very well made. The fibres have been well beaten and the sheet is well closed. Very even laid and chain lines, all square and rigid-looking, no sagging; 16 to the inch and chain lines two inches apart. The paper is tough, transparent and strong, and very evenly made. As good a paper as could be made at the present time. Close, smooth surface, excellent handle and rattle. Very hard-sized: takes and holds ink as well as a good modern, tub-sized paper. Composition: Paper mulberry and Ramie." 564 (N. CHOU). S. 1317. *Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 1. -E Colophon: X a > q A F iJ

< E> ?

11l m



: ~ a]
M ;; [for

[l m [r

m ~M J

% #

-' -

m M [for g]



)aB V


d t

* [for 9E]


* ^ ffi ig

f i
X t

? ^ 'M E


A p



x x

"On the jen-tzu day, the 25th of the 6th moon, the first day of which was mou-tzu,in the 4th year of Pao-ting [19th July, 564], the bhikshu Tao-chi reverently caused one section of the Nieh p'an ching to be copied out, by cutting down expenditure on clothes and sparing what he could out of alms received. The stock of happiness thus acquired he offers to his cherished parents in seven previous states of existence and those connected with him by relationship, that they may be removed for ever from the sources of sufferingand ascend to the fruition of paradise. May his present life be tranquil and prosperous, all his woes be dispersed like clouds, and every kind of happiness alight upon him. And when he casts off this vile body, may he straightway be reborn in the Tushita heaven and behold the merciful countenance [of the Buddha], feast on the teaching of the Law, individually awaken to the truth of Nirvana, and enter into the state of purity. Next, he prays that the troubles of the State may soon be allayed, that all the people may dwell in peace and joy, that wind and rain may come in their due season, that crops and fruit may be produced in rich abundance, and that the sentient beings of the universe, ascending together to the Temple of the Law, may all in due course attain Buddhahood." f ~ may indicate the realm of dharma, or Nirvana. This is a fine MS. on a roll of yellow paper about 27- feet long and nearly 25-5 cm. wide. 565 (N. CHOU). S. 1945. *Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 11, p'in 6, 7. I: i A 3 L Colophon: J X Z i T


% 't. X I 39_f 1
s F- 3E

^ 1= ] -m S V * 4m- N , _
Ih J - ,

-f A AS -$

a it * N - -a


Mi f 3 [for1]

1 t - )i4 <j)> f "On the 1st day of the i-yu year, the 5th of Pao-ting in the Chou dynasty [16th February, 565], the bhikshu Hung-chen, whose foolish heart is filled with deep sorrow and regret that in a previous existence he was obstructed [by his passions]


and hindered from entering the correct path, and looking up with adoration to the Great Holy One, has for the edification of monks and laymen caused copies to be made of the 1,500 Buddha's names in 100 rolls, of the charms of the seven Buddhas and the eight Bodhisattvas in 100 rolls, and of 3,000 miscellaneous charms, and has furthermore had copies made of a section of the Nieh p'an ching, a section of the Fa hua ching, two sections of the Fang kuang ching, one section of the Jen wang ching with commentary, one section of the Yao shih ching, one section of the Yao wang yao shang p'u sa ching, and a Vinaya text in one roll with commentary, to the end that this stock of merit may be used on behalf of all the sentient beings of the universe, that they may ascend to the first assembly of Maitreya and in due course attain Buddhahood." j hsien has much the same sense as ,i. In the middle of the last column of this colophon is the note, " 18 sheets of paper used "; of these, eleven now remain, forming a roll about 141 feet long, 26 cm. wide. This is another fine MS. on very thin dark yellow paper. 568 (N. CHOU). m S. 616. _ )] , *Chin kuang ming ching (Survarna-prabhasasutra, ch. 4, p'in 14 (end only) -16, translated by Dharmaraksha (N. 127). This is the earliest specimen of a sfutrawhich was afterwards to become extremely popular at Tunhuang in j] F I-ching's translation. Colophon (in a different hand from the text of the sutra; see Plate VII): A t .X 7 ; fgH 7 % m ~ ~ - g m t A EE Pi _ p s J 3 _ X _

?ffi AS m 7 7I
Xa t5 Af

X m

& 9 ,p k .& * A S A



t ;


<a ,>


"On behalf of the deceased bhikshu Yung-pao, Keeper of the Lung-ch'iian cave-temples, copies have been reverently made of sections of the Chin kuang ming, the Sheng man, and the Fang kuang sftras, with a prayer that the deceased may be reborn in the land of Buddha and behold his merciful countenance, forever escaping from the three [unhappy] paths of existence, and ever divorced from suffering. Whatever rebirths he may undergo, may he meet with good friends and acquire true enlightenment. And may [this stock of merit] reach all living beings, so that they may speedily attain Buddhahood. Dated the 21st of the 5th moon of mou-tzu, the 3rd year of T'ien-ho " [1st July, 568]. q -& ffj A -~ -



We do not know the whereabouts of the Lung-ch'iian caves; but a district (JO) of the same name is mentioned in S. 6014. The Fang ), {l | a $,, usually 1 kuang sftra is the Avatamsaka, jl - seems called the Hua yen, as above, A.D. 522 (S. 2724). ] ; _ to be a mistake for;-C i - t. This is another fine MS. in very black ink on yellow paper of good quality. The handwriting is less archaic in appearance than that of previous rolls, and marks the transition stage between the clumsier style of the Six Dynasties and the graceful strokes of the T'ang. The roll is just over 11 feet long. 569 (N. CHOU). S. 2935. *Ta pi ch'iu ni chieh mo ching, in 1 ch. The same text as S. 736 (A.D. 543). * A ES I , a ng Colophon: ll !t "Copying X E Ft t ^N7tCX 4 EI { completed on the 8th of the 6th moon of chi-ch'ou, the 4th year of T'ien-ho [7th July, 569]. Received as her property and offered as an act of worship by Chih-pao, a nun in the Yung-yiin Convent. Extracts completed by the bhikshu Ch'ing-hsien." This text, then, would seem to consist of extracts from a longer treatise. Whether Ch'ing-hsien was the actual copyist is doubtful. The handwriting is good. The roll, 29 feet long, is of crisp lemon-yellow paper.
583 (Sui KINGDOM).

*Ta fang teng ta chi ching i ; *f A , (Mahavaipulya-mahasannipata-sftra), ch. 18, p'in 4, 5. The text corresponds to ch. 20 of N. 61, K. vi. 6. 1q e A 3 ~ l Colophon: M a _ $ m v M ~i i E $ ' *X for l) e a fi a * t t gij (? S. 3935.

k ,


r -%

% a 3- Ns !i t

Wi0 mt

9 9

Is * A 0 XM

~a F f D

i6 7X m

A - m /i

, "On the 28th of the 5th moon of q] ffi t ) aJ J At the kuei-maoyear, the 3rd of K'ai-huang [23rd June, 583], the Wu-houshuai and MilitarySuperintendent Sung Shao, having met with domestic affliction, has made a vow on behalf of his deceased father and mother to read a section of each of the following sutras: Ta chi ching, Nieh p'an ching, Fa hua ching, Jen wang ching, Chin kuang ming ching, Sheng man ching, and Yao shih ching. He prays that the spirits of


the deceased may travel to the Pure Land, eternally exempt from the three unhappy states of existence and the eight calamities, and constantly hear the Law of Buddha. He also prays that happiness may attend the members of his family, both great and small, to their hearts' content, that blessings of all kinds may daily descend upon them, and that all evils may be dispersed like clouds; that the King's highway may be free and open, and that robbers and thieves may be driven away; that pestilence may not prevail, and that wind and rain may come in their due season; and that all suffering beings may speedily obtain deliverance. May these prayers be granted !" There is a companion roll to this, S. 582, containing Ta chi ching, ch. 25, with an undated colophon in the same hand referring to this vow: f ^ -T 5 X X J5 H 1i t~ j " The Buddhist X disciple, Sung Shao, has read seven sections in order that his prayer might be granted." The King of Sui had deposed the Chou emperor in 581 and taken the year-title of K'ai-huang, which he retained after he had become emperor of a united China in 589. j { Rp appears to have been a kind of military police officer. The " eight calamities " are states of existence in which one is shut off from the sight of Buddha or the hearing of his Law; they include the jE :i and the _- . Here, however, in view of the fact that the three unhappy paths have already been mentioned, the eight calamities may be those of a more popular series: (1) Hunger; (2) Thirst; (3) Cold; (4) Heat; (5) Flood; (6) Fire; (7) the Knife, i.e. a private vendetta; (8) War. ff is a rare character with the same meaning as g " to ward off"; but here it seems to be used for f in the sense of j,. A good MS. on whitish paper, making a roll about 29 feet long, 26 cm. wide. The colophon, however, is written in a very careless hand with much-diluted ink.
588 (Sui KINGDOM).

S. 4020. ,Fg : A *Ssu i ching (N. 190), ch. 4, p'in 15-18. ~ A HA ~ , El Colophon: * g

itt N, fi

$ f M-a




" On the 8th day of the 4th moon of mou-shen,the 8th year P? , a of K'ai-huang of the Great Sui dynasty [8th May, 588], the Lady Ts'ui, consort of the Prince of Ch'in, on behalf of all the living beings of the universe, reverently caused copies to be made of the Tsa a han and other sitras, amounting to 500 rolls, for universal circulation, offering



them as an act of worship. Superintended by Wu Kuo-hua, yiian-wai san-ch'i ch'ang-shih. Revised by the monk Hui-k'uang of Cheng-ting in Hsiang-chou." Note that the Sui kingdom had already assumed the style of an imperial dynasty, although the ] Ch'en still ruled in the south. Hsiang-chou is X X Hsiang-yang in Hupeh, but the location of Cheng-ting is doubtful. A fine MS., nearly 241 feet long, on thin crisp golden-yellow paper.
588 (Sui KINGDOM).

S. 3518. *Nieh p'an ching, ch. 4 (correspondingto ch. 4 and part of 5 in the modern recension). Colophon (in the same hand, though smaller than the text of A JR - H the sftra): W _a A ( / A f~ A ) -6

V* s J 3t a -


aBf S

Jit X .te

a *

J V 1f f m m E 3E ,* " On the 3rd of the 8th moon of the 8th year of K'ai-huang [29th August, 588] the Buddhist disciple Chao Sheng, fu-kuo chiang-chiin and chung-san tu-tu, deeply regretting that in a previous existence he did not meet Sakyamuni when he went through the eight phases of his life and attained Buddhahood; and as regards the future, not yet having received [instruction from] the three assemblies of Maitreya : has therefore, in the illusory conditions of this present state, assuming the mind of bodhi [i.e. the awakened or intelligent mind that believes in moral consequences], reverently caused a section of the Ta pan nieh p'an ching to be copied, so as beneficially to affect both himself and the members of his family, great and small; above him, the Dragon King, the ruler of the State, and universally, all living beings endowed with perception, that they may together rise to perfect enlightenment." The eight phases of Buddha's life, as given in the Ch'i hsin lun, are: (1) Descent into and abode in the Tushita heaven; (2) Conception; (3) Abode in the womb; (4) Birth; (5) Leaving home; (6) Attaining enlightenment; (7) Turning the Wheel of the Law, or preaching; (8) Entrance into Nirvana. " This present state " is the second of the " three periods " of Buddhism: the real, the formal, and the final; they last 500, 1,000, and 3,000 years respectively, after which Maitreya comes to restore all things. He will sit under a


"dragon-flower" tree and preach the Law to three successive assemblies. A fine MS., about 27 feet long, on thin golden-yellow paper. 589 (Sui). S. 2154. There are two separate texts in this roll. The first has no ' RI ft general heading, but I have been able to identify it as -1 Ffg j gi mf ~ *Samantabhadra-bodhisattva-sfutra(N. 1104), p'in 2-5. The last p'in is wrongly numbered 6. Curiously enough, Nanjio also gives the sfitra six chapters, though K. xvii. 2. q only has five. The second text is { & X * 4 I , Fo shuo shen X: shen ta hui hsiang ching (N. 471), complete. " On the 8th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of K'ai-huang of the Great Sui dynasty [27th May, 589] the Empress reverently caused copies of all the sutras to be made and circulated as an act of worship, on behalf of the living beings of the universe." This roll, then, formed part of a complete manuscript copy of the Sitra-pitaka. It is beautifully written on thin golden-yellow paper, over 141 feet long. The empress in question was the consort of Yang Chien. 593 (SvI). S. 227, 5130, 457, 4967, 4954. k P Pt Ta chih lun (N. 1169), ch. 41, p'in 7, 8; ch. 42, p'in 9 (1); ch. 44, p'in 11, 12; ch. 47, p'in 17 (2); ch. 50, p'in 19, 20. The above, together with several other MSS., form a series by the same copyist. S. 5130 (28 feet long, 26 cm. wide) is complete, the others are slightly imperfect at the beginning. The numbers of the p'in do not agree in every case with the modern recension. All five bear +the same colophon, written in a careless hand:

LA q Colophon: :*C9i- f &- h _~ f4 - -IJ XS e _

. H g JR A i*- S

Reverently copied and offered as an act of worship by the disciple Li Ssui-hsien on the 8th day of the 4th moon of the kuei-ch'ou year, the 13th of K'ai-huang " [13th May, 593]. All these are fine MSS. on thin golden-yellow paper. S. 227 is describedby Mr. Clappertonas follows : " Thickness -0025--00325inch. Strong and tough with very long fibres, well brushed out and put together. Very clean and free from blemishes. Fairly well sized, 16 laid lines to the inch. The mould on which the sheet was made was




a good one, all lines being evenly spaced and parallel. The surface is covered with fine, long, silky fibroushairs, but quite smooth to write on. The papers feel like a thin strong modern ' bank'. Very even texture in 'look-through'; free from pin-holes. Composition: Paper mulberry." 596 (SvI). S. 635. f . *Fo shuo fo ming ching, ch. 5 (end ; {j ~ This is an uncanonical version of the Buddhanama-suitra. only). $ t a, A H +P tf; EM l W Colophon: "Offered as an act of worship by the bhikshini Ming-hui on the 8th of the 5th moon of the 16th year of K'ai-huang" [9th June, 596]. This is a good MS., in a hand which seems to belong to an earlier period, say, the first half of the sixth century. The colophon is in a decidedly later hand; and it will be noticed that the sfitra is not said to have been copied, but only offeredin 596. Roll of bright yellow paper, about 21 feet long. 597 (SvI). S. 2527, 6650, 4520, 1529, 5762. *Hua yen ching, ch. 9, p'in 14-17 [now in ch. 10 and 11]; ch. 30 [now ch. 35, p'in 32 (3)-ch. 36, p'in 32 (4)]; ch. 47 [now ch. 55-6]; ch. 49 [now ch. 59]. This is another fine series of rolls by the same copyist, and all bearing the same colophon (with a few slight variants). S. 5762 contains the colophon only, which runs as follows:

[for ]
B [for j1]

n ;t
J rS

1 t 7Jp m- a -*sb 1
[ [S. 1529 i] i

+ ^ m^si

[S. 1529 I]

s f 7ic mf X R 9 X [s. 1529 --t XX X mi t W m SEX@ @ W a[S. 4520XIJ] M M m 5 ^i ItS UA X _vr,I X MSX



"On the 1st of the 4th moon of the 17th year of K'ai-huang [22nd April, 597] the upasika of pure faith [i.e. a female lay member of the Church]Yian Ching-tzii, having scrupulously cut down her personal expenses, has reverently caused a section of this sftra to be copied as an ever-enduring act of worship, praying that from now onward calamitous obstructions may be swept away and blessings showered down; that the State may be ever prosperousand the people happy and contented; and she prays that the spirits of her ancestors of seven previous incarnations may all be released from suffering and obtain peace, travelling in spirit to the Pure Land; that their sins








may be wiped out and happiness accrue to them, free from all trammels [of passion]; and that all those in the three regions and six paths of existence, friends and enemies alike, including all living beings whatsoever, may together ascend to the land of Buddha." _[ " obstruction " is a term applied to all delusions that hinder enlightenment. " The three regions" (trailokya) are (1) the region of sensuous desire (kimadhdtu); (2) the region of form (rupadhdtu); t E (3) the region of formlessness or pure spirit (arapadhdtu). -is omitted in S. 6650, and the passage from .a to j1| 4_ in S. 1529. All these MSS. are on thin golden-yellow paper, and (with the exception of S. 5762) vary in length from about 211 to nearly 30 feet. 598 (SuI). S. 2791. *Ta pan nieh p'an ching, ch. 38, p'in 12-13. JR A a t -k At Colophon: * Ip g + A

4q i

* 7E
S E )

j)im % 4^^% t A a Y6 i tl
P -?t

ra ^ m PR ^ JL

iNig tIL i 1t :

1 Q [for E]

MP A iE - " On the 8th day of the 4th moon of the 18th year of K'ai-huang of the Great Sui dynasty [18th May, 598] the Princess [Imperial Concubine of the 2nd Grade] Fan, a female lay member of the Church, realizing that the body is like unto froth and bubble, and that human life is as insubstantial as wind or light; having understanding of the four negatives and cherishing Triratna in her heart, has accordingly diminished her outlay on food and clothes so as to have a copy made of a section of the Nieh p'an ching on behalf of her deceased husband. In consequence of this meritorious act, she prays that her late husband's spirit may travel to the Pure Land, and that her parents of seven previous incarnations, and her family in the present world, wherever they are born, may haply meet Buddha and hear his Law; and that in the topmost reaches of heaven or in the extremities of the boundless earth all things of the universe possessing form may together ascend to a state of pure enlightenment." Je or Ye Fan, though a rare surname in China as a whole, was one of the commoner ones in the Tunhuang region. The writer was apparently the concubine of a local chieftain. I have not been able to discover what " the four negatives " denote. This is a fine MS. on thin golden-yellow paper, about 181 feet long. The colophon is written in a much more crabbed hand.

4 2 XMi ^a n t X a a A

it W XEA 'it

4 t



599 (SuI). S. 2502. This is part of a commentary on Jen wang hu kuo pan jo po lo mi ching (N. 17). It is not N. 1566, but cousists merely of an explanatory note on - f in the sftra, followed by commentary on certain extracts. The beginning is imperfect, and there is no title at the end. + g + ) Lt ; Colophon: "Copying of extracts completed on the 2nd day of the 6th moon of the 19th year of K'ai-huang " [30th June, 599]. This is a fairly good MS. on rather coarse whitish paper. The last sheet is thinner than the rest. The roll is about 51 feet long and 28-5 cm. wide.
(To be continued.)

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