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postgraduate thesis: An English translation of the Dharmatrāta-Dhyāna Sūtra

TitleAn English translation of the Dharmatrāta-Dhyāna Sūtra
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, Y. [陳耀榮]. (2013). An English translation of the Dharmatrāta-Dhyāna Sūtra : with annotation and a critical introduction = Damo duo luo chan jing T15, no. 618. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5043413
Abstract One of the early texts translated from Sanskrit into ancient Chinese in around 411C.E. is called the Dharmatrāta-dhyāna-sūtra(T15, no.618) which was a detailed account of the meditational methods of Buddhasena and Dharmatrāta who were the two most renowned dhyāna teachers in Kaśmīra around 400C.E. They may be regarded as belonging to the tradition of the Sarvāstivāda Dārṣṭāntika masters who were characterized by their active interest in meditation and popular preaching in which theyexcelled in communicating through poems and allegories. The Dharmatrāta-dhyāna-sūtra exemplifies these features. It is preaching on meditation, written in verses and abounding in similes. Buddhabhadra (359-429), the translator, was also a prominent meditational instructor. This sūtra, despite its unprecedented impact on the development of dhyāna practice and the later proliferation of Ch’an Buddhism in China, has long been under-estimated. It has never been translated from ancient Chinese into modern English for the benefit of the English-speaking world. Hence, the purpose of my thesis is to address this issue, giving appropriate weight to this sūtra with annotation and a critical introduction to clarify the somewhat chaotic background surrounding the compilation of this sūtra. By doing so, I have made painstaking effort in establishing the unshakable claim that the sūtra is a Sarvāstivāda text (Part VII, Introduction). I also compare the methods of meditation expounded in this sūtra with those of the AKB, arriving at the conclusion that they are almost identical (Part XI, Introduction). In addition, the meditation system commonly shared by the Hīnayāna and the Mahāyāna is analysed with a view to demonstrating the fact that whilst the techniques are virtually the same, the interpretation, on the other hand, could be different. In the course of my research, I have also compiled a Chinese-Sanskrit-English glossary, juxtaposing the ancient Chinese terms with Sanskrit and modern English for the benefit of furture researchers. This sūtra essentially preserves the ancient Sarvāstivādin meditation teachniques. But it importantly incorporates Mahāyānistic-Tantric elements, such as the maṇḍala and visualization. This is another important aspect of my text discussed in the introduction of my thesis. As a result, it came to exert a great impact on the subsequent teaching and practice of Chinese Buddhism, particularly those of Buddhist meditation.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectZen Buddhism.
Dept/ProgramBuddhist Studies

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Yiu-wing.-
dc.contributor.author陳耀榮.-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationChan, Y. [陳耀榮]. (2013). An English translation of the Dharmatrāta-Dhyāna Sūtra : with annotation and a critical introduction = Damo duo luo chan jing T15, no. 618. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5043413-
dc.description.abstract One of the early texts translated from Sanskrit into ancient Chinese in around 411C.E. is called the Dharmatrāta-dhyāna-sūtra(T15, no.618) which was a detailed account of the meditational methods of Buddhasena and Dharmatrāta who were the two most renowned dhyāna teachers in Kaśmīra around 400C.E. They may be regarded as belonging to the tradition of the Sarvāstivāda Dārṣṭāntika masters who were characterized by their active interest in meditation and popular preaching in which theyexcelled in communicating through poems and allegories. The Dharmatrāta-dhyāna-sūtra exemplifies these features. It is preaching on meditation, written in verses and abounding in similes. Buddhabhadra (359-429), the translator, was also a prominent meditational instructor. This sūtra, despite its unprecedented impact on the development of dhyāna practice and the later proliferation of Ch’an Buddhism in China, has long been under-estimated. It has never been translated from ancient Chinese into modern English for the benefit of the English-speaking world. Hence, the purpose of my thesis is to address this issue, giving appropriate weight to this sūtra with annotation and a critical introduction to clarify the somewhat chaotic background surrounding the compilation of this sūtra. By doing so, I have made painstaking effort in establishing the unshakable claim that the sūtra is a Sarvāstivāda text (Part VII, Introduction). I also compare the methods of meditation expounded in this sūtra with those of the AKB, arriving at the conclusion that they are almost identical (Part XI, Introduction). In addition, the meditation system commonly shared by the Hīnayāna and the Mahāyāna is analysed with a view to demonstrating the fact that whilst the techniques are virtually the same, the interpretation, on the other hand, could be different. In the course of my research, I have also compiled a Chinese-Sanskrit-English glossary, juxtaposing the ancient Chinese terms with Sanskrit and modern English for the benefit of furture researchers. This sūtra essentially preserves the ancient Sarvāstivādin meditation teachniques. But it importantly incorporates Mahāyānistic-Tantric elements, such as the maṇḍala and visualization. This is another important aspect of my text discussed in the introduction of my thesis. As a result, it came to exert a great impact on the subsequent teaching and practice of Chinese Buddhism, particularly those of Buddhist meditation.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50434135-
dc.subject.lcshZen Buddhism.-
dc.titleAn English translation of the Dharmatrāta-Dhyāna Sūtra-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5043413-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBuddhist Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5043413-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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