Another Look at Tang Zhongzong's (r.684, 705-710) Preface to Yijing's (635-713) Translations : With a Special Reference to Its Date Another Look at Tang Zhongzong's (r. 684, 705-710) Preface to Yijing's (635-713) Translations: With a Special Reference to Its Date
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The Tang emperor Zhangzong (r.684, 705-710) wrote a preface for some translations made by the prestigious Buddhist translator Yijing 義淨(635-713). The great Buddhist cataloguer Zhishen) 智昇 (before 700 - after 786) dates this preface to 705 (or early 706) in his catalogue, the Kaiyuan shijiao lu 開元釋教録. However, according to the list of Yijing's translations that the same Zhisheng provides in the Kaiyuan shijiao, Yijing had only completed barely one hundred fascicles of translations by 705 (or early 706), squarely contrary to what Zhongzong tells us in the preface - that is, that by the time this preface was written Yijing had finished translating over two hundred fascicles. Scholars have unanimously accepted the date that Zhisgeng gives for Zhongzong's preface and never noticed this puzzling contradiction implied between the composition date and Yijing's translation list, both derived from the same Yijing. This article suggests a solution to this apparent contradiction. In addition, it has also culled from the preface some important information which sheds light on some aspects of the careers of Yijing's three contemporary co-religionists Fuli 復禮 (fl. 681-703), Huibiao 惠表 (?- +703) and the renowned Avatamsak master Fazang 法藏(643-712).
- Studies in Indian philosophy and Buddhism, Tokyo University
Studies in Indian philosophy and Buddhism, Tokyo University (11), 3-27, 2004-03