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Li, Zijie (2020) 'The Transformation of the Theory of Zhongxing 種姓 (Skt. Gotra) before Xuanzang’s Translations: With a Focus on the Pusa Yingluo Benye Jing 菩薩瓔珞本業経.' In: From Chang’an to Nālandā: The Life and Legacy of the Chinese Buddhist Monk Xuanzang (602?–664). Singapore: World Scholastic, pp. 137-158.

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Abstract

Although the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra [Ch. Lengqie jing 楞 伽經; Sūtra of Lanka] and the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Sūtra [Ch. Da boniepan jing 大般涅槃經; Nirvana Sūtra] are perhaps the most wellknown texts when discussing the theory of gotra (Ch. Zhongxing 種 姓; caste), the first classical Chinese translation manuscript which introduced and classified the theory of zhongxing is the Pusa dichi jing 菩薩地持經 [Sūtra of Stages of Bodhisattvas]. In this article, I will investigate the history of the comprehension regarding zhongxing theory, from the translation of the Pusa dichi jing to Xuanzang 玄奘’s (600?–664) translations. I argue that although the Pusa yingluo benye jing 瓔珞本業經 [Sūtra of the Diadem of the Primary Activities of the Bodhisattvas] utilized the theory of zhongxing in the Pusa dichi jing, the Pusa yingluo benye jing changed the explanation concerning the zhongxing. The reason is that the Pusa yingluo benye jing combined the xing zhongxing 種性 (principle gotra) and the xi zhongxing 習性種 (habit gotra) with the stages of a bodhisattva and minimized the importance of the xing zhongxing in order to deny the existence of the beings who cannot achieve enlightenment. Importantly, although there was some criticism regarding the theory of zhongxing in the Pusa yingluo benye jing from the fifth century, it is very likely that this kind of theory was mainstream in Chinese Buddhism before Xuanzang’s translations

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BQ Buddhism
ISBN: 9789811461859
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 15:11
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/35289
Funders: Other

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