An International Conference: From Xianghuan To Ceylon: The Life And Legacy Of The Chinese Buddhist Monk Faxian (337-422)

 

The Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian 法顯 (337-422) is renowned for his heroic pilgrimage to Central and South Asia, which brought him to a number of places of key importance for Buddhism, including Khotan, Udyāna, Gandhāra, Peshawar, Taxila, Tamralipti, and Ceylon. Faxian returned to China (Shandong) in 414, fifteen years after he had left in 399; he was already 62 when he left for the west. Although Faxian is now primarily remembered as a Buddhist pilgrim and translator (the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya  摩訶僧祇律 and Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra  大涅槃經 are two influential texts he translated), his extensive network extended far beyond Buddhist communities. Faxian’s impact upon East Asia requires attention from both Buddhist and non-Buddhist perspectives, within China and beyond.

 

This conference, exclusively devoted to the different aspects of the eventful life and far-reaching legacy of this complex monk and man, will be the first in a series of conferences on Buddhist cross-border and transcultural roles to be co-sponsored by the newly established Mount Wutai International Institute for Buddhism and East Asian Cultures 五臺山佛教與東方文化國際研究院 and UBC Buddhist Studies Forum, as a part of a multi-year, international and interdisciplinary partnership project on Buddhism and East Religions, recently funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (www.frogbear.org).

 

The conference organizers plan to hold the conference in Shanxi 山西, China (primarily Faxian’s hometown Xiangyuan 襄垣,  in Changzhi 長治), between March 25-27, 2017. For scholars whose schedule allows them to do so, we will also arrange, either before or after the conference,  tours to several famous sites in Shanxi (especially Jinci 晉祠).

 

Committed Panelists include:

  1. Prof. T. H. Barrett (SOAS, U. of London): “Faxian and the meaning of Bianwen變文: The Value of his biography to the study of China”

In 1989 Victor Mair published a monograph entitled T’ang Transformation Texts that has subsequently come to determine the translation used for the term bianwen in English as ‘transformation’.  In 1991 I published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society a comment on Mair’s monograph proposing that a passage in Faxian’s biography noticed by some earlier scholars but not discussed by Mair suggested that other ways of construing the term were possible, and I have subsequently expanded on these remarks in passing.  This year (2016) the erudite Karashima Seishi has also published in the Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced BuddhologySoka University a review of the early evidence for the meaning of bianwen that likewise draws on Faxian, though his explanation differs from and makes no reference to mine.  How does Faxian’s evidence now stand?

 

  1. Prof. Ester Bianchi (Universita degli Studi di Perugia): “Shi Faxian’s Legacy in Modern China: Remembering and Reshaping a Buddhist Hero”

The great pilgrim monks of the past today enjoy a renewed popularity in China and are taken as models for having been able to harness the unifying power of Buddhism in order to “build cultural bridges, favour friendly relations and promote a reciprocal understanding between civilizations” (Xuecheng, May 2015).

As a matter of fact, Faxian was already taken as an example during the 1930s, when Taixu 太虛 (1890-1947) went twice to South Asia (1939 and 1940), and “called for cooperation between Chinese and Sinhalese Buddhists” (Welch 1968). During the same years, other Chinese monks began to travel to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma, India and Indochina on pilgrimage or to study vinaya and Pāli language. All of them believed to follow in the footsteps of the pilgrim monks, Faxian first among them. In the letters and articles of these monks, Faxian is described with admiration for his concern for monastic discipline and for the renown he had gained abroad; not only did children in Sri Lanka learn of his travels from their textbooks, but European as well knew of his enterprises thanks to the first translations of his travelogue (Ritzinger 2016). Not surprisingly, one of the English translations of the Faxian Gaoseng zhuan is authored by one of the monks who studied in Sri Lanka (Li Rongxi). Later, in the early years of the Peoples Republic of China, the anniversary of Faxian made a good occasion for exchanging gifts and enhancing friendship relations between China and Sri Lanka (Welch 1972).

The present study focuses on the revival of the image of Faxian in modern and contemporary China, testifying of the fact that the twentieth century was not only a time for “resurrecting Xuanzang” (Brose 2016) but also for resurrecting Faxian.

 

  1. Prof. Chen Jinhua (UBC): “Faxian and Huiyuan: Some New Evidence and Consideration”

Not only were Faxian and Huiyuan both from Shanxi, but they were also contemporaries. But they appeared to be two quite distinctly different: while Faxian was one of the most extensively travelling monks in the history of East Asian Buddhism, Huiyuan was reported to have never left his homebase at Mount Lu 廬山 for over thirty years. The orbits of these two famed monks did cross each other though. This article discusses Huiyuan’s association with Faxian, especially in the context of their joint effort to reproduce the Cave of Buddha’s Images (Foying ku 佛影窟) at Mount Lu.

 

  1. Prof. Chen Ming  陳明(北京大學東方文學研究中心):  佛教故事·地域·圖像:來自法顯和玄奘的記載

法顯和玄奘是中國佛教史上最具代表性的求法高僧,他們分別撰寫的《佛國記》(《高僧法顯傳》)和《大唐西域記》,均為研究古代印度宗教、歷史和文化的重要典籍。兩部著作中還記載了不少的佛教故事與傳說,以及這些故事發生的相應地點。其中有些故事在印度、中亞、東南亞和中國流傳甚廣,並以多種圖像(壁畫、石刻、塑像等)的形式出現。本文擬從故事的空間傳播這一角度,對《佛國記》和《大唐西域記》中所記載故事的文本及其相關圖像進行比較分析,以揭示印度古代宗教文化與文學向外傳播的複雜情形。

 

  1. Dr. Chen Zhiyuan  陳志遠(中國社科院歷史所): 法顯、智猛與南朝知識界

法顯、智猛先後赴印度求法,行跡頗有重合之處。其所攜歸的信息,經由行記、翻譯經律給南朝知識界帶來深刻的影響。比對法顯、智猛西行前後的東晉南朝文獻可知,時人對部派的認識大為進展。同時,這種認知也把印度佛教的多樣性,內部的分歧展現在時人面前。將特定的戒律實踐與具體的時地相聯繫,在邏輯上促成了夷夏論的興起。文章的最後,希望對一部有爭議的疑偽經《舍利弗問經》與法顯、智猛西行文獻的關聯再做申述。

 

  1. Dr. Heawon Choi  崔惠源(University of British Columbia): “Faxian’s Translation of the Nirvana Sutra: Its Significance and Legacy”

This paper addresses the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian (337–422) and his translation of the Nirvana Sutra (Daban nihuan jing 大般泥洹經). Faxian’s Nirvana Sutra is one of the three major Chinese renditions of the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, along with Dharmakṣema’s Daban niepan jing 大般涅槃經 (also known as the “Northern Edition” of the Nirvana Sutra), which was produced under the Northern Liang dynasty. The third, and later, version is Huiyan and Huiguan’s Daban niepan jing 大般涅槃經 (or “Southern Edition”) that was composed under the Liu Song dynasty. Huiyan and Huiguan’s version is known as a “revision” of the previous renditions by Faxian and Dharmakṣema. This paper discusses Faxian’s translation by focusing on some of the main characteristics of his edition and the significant implications of his work in the history of Chinese Buddhism and Buddhist thought, particularly in relation to the development of the Buddha-nature doctrine and the Nirvana School in China. The paper is divided into three main parts. The first introduces the background and setting in which Faxian obtained an original text of the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra and translated it with his co-workers. The second section discusses the main structure and characteristics of Faxian’s edition as compared to the later versions by Dharmakṣema and Huiyan and Huiguan. Here special attention is paid to the continuity between Faxian’s version and the other editions, thereby suggesting the legacy of Faxian’s work. The final section addresses the impact of Faxian’s Nirvana Sutra on his fellow Chinese Buddhist thinkers, and Daosheng (360–434) in particular. After reading Faxian’s Nirvana Sutra, Daosheng famously proposed that everyone has a Buddha nature. The paper notes that Chinese Buddhists (such as Daosheng) interpreted Faxian’s work in close relation to the intellectual-cultural milieu of the time, which allowed and even encouraged liberal and creative interpretation of scriptures.

 

  1. Dr. Sally K. Church (Affiliated Researcher, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge): “Faxian and the Silk Road in a Buddhist Age”

Faxian was the first in a long series of Chinese Buddhist monks not only to make the journey from China to India but also to return to China again. On his outward journey he travelled what is today known as the Silk Road, stopping at such places as Dunhuang, Shanshan, Yanyi, Khotan, Zihe, Jiecha, Tuoli, and visiting such key centres as Udyana, Gandhara, Peshawar and Taxila before descending into the Buddhist heartland of India. At the time almost all his stops along the Silk Road were thriving Buddhist centres with monasteries populated by thousands of monks. Having travelled to India by land, he returned to China 14 years later by sea, on what we now call the Maritime Silk Road. This journey was fraught with the dangers of seafaring, but he remained strong, surviving to make important contributions to the transmission of Buddhism to China. This paper focuses on his journeys by land and sea and the state of Buddhism in the sites he visited.

 

  1. Prof. Max Deeg (Cardiff University, UK/Käte-Hamburger-Kolleg, Bochum University, Germany): “The Neglected Pilgrim: How Faxian’s Record is used in Buddhist Studies”

This paper will focus on the role of Faxian’s Foguo ji, “Record of the Buddhist Kingdoms” (aka Gaoseng Faxian zhuan) in the formation of Buddhist Studies as a discipline in the 19th and 20th century. It will contextualize the text in the emulating historicist approach of the time which, I would claim and hope to show, led to a certain marginalization of the “Record” due to the typical ideological parameters inherent in the positivist and historicist interpretation of sources such as the idea of authenticity and reliability through authorship and through the information given in the source. In this context Faxian’s “Record” had the disadvantage of being relatively short, restricted in terms of geographical range, and being linked to an author about whom not much was known. As a consequence Faxian’s “Record” was and is mostly used in a complementary way to either corroborate pieces of information from other sources – mainly from Xuanzang’s Datang Xiyu ji which had become the main authority,  thereby establishing as the earliest text of its “genre” a historical terminus ad quem, or it has to fill gaps of information in those other sources (e.g. Śrī Laṅkā).

 

  1. Prof. He Fangyao  何方耀 (華南師範大學): 從法顯西行求法途中之“夏坐”看漢地僧團之律制

法顯遠赴西天求法十五年,歸國後所撰之西行游記《法顯傳》(此傳本有眾多名稱,這裡僅取《法顯傳》稱之)經中外眾多學者研究,且傳譯為眾多外族語文,成為遐邇聞名之重要文獻。一百多年來,學者們從地理學、佛教傳播學、中外文化交流、民族學、民俗學、文字學等不同視角對之進行了全方位的研究,但仔細閱讀不足二萬字的行傳,發現有一個現像學者們似乎尚未予以足夠的重視和解讀,那就是《法顯傳》對自己求法途中“夏坐”之記載。從長安西去求法到回到山東青州,法顯在傳記中一共記載了自己旅途中八次夏坐的經歷:399年在乾歸國首度夏坐;400年在張掖第二次夏坐;401年在於摩國第三次夏坐;402年在烏萇國第四度夏坐;403年在南夷國第五度夏坐;404年在僧伽施國龍精舍第六次夏坐;412年在從耶婆提到廣州的商船上第七次夏坐;413年在青州第八次夏坐。法顯西行求法,前後15年,一共記載了八次夏坐,也就是說還有七年的夏坐他沒有記載或沒有在游記中交待,而這沒有記載夏坐的七年,一是他在摩竭陀國首都巴邊弗邑抄“學梵語、梵書、寫律”的三年(404-407):一是他在多摩梨帝國“寫經及畫像”的兩年(408-409);一是他在師子國抄寫經律的兩年(410-411)。即凡屬在印度及師子國寺廟居住下來,不再四處游走,他就不再記載夏坐之事,而當他處於旅行途中的時候他就會記載他夏坐的經歷。法顯這種筆法顯然不能解釋為毫無目的隨意之舉,一定有他背後的用意和目的。本文就試圖對法顯傳中記載或不記載夏坐的現像加以解讀,指出其目的、用意以及所反映的當時中土漢地戒律傳播、持守的情況。

 

  1. Prof. Feng Guodong 馮國棟(University of Zhejiang  浙江大學): 法顯「方等泥洹經」的神異與中土大小乘之爭

在《出三藏記集》與《高僧傳》中都有法顯的傳記,這篇傳記大致來源於其所撰《佛國記》。但在傳記末尾都提及法顯所譯《大泥洹經》遇火不焚的故事。這個看起來不真實的故事,背後到底隱藏著怎樣的思想史真實?本文認為,遇火不梵故事,其實是中土當時大、小乘之爭的曲折反映。朱士行、鳩摩羅什等人的傳記中,也有類似的故事。透過這個故事,我們可以反思佛教史傳中神異故事的功用及其思想史的意義。

 

  1. Prof. Hou Huiming  侯慧明(山西師範大學歷史與旅遊文化學院):  法顯在佛教中國化進程中的貢獻

法顯西行對中國佛教影響深遠,尤其是《佛國記》的廣泛流傳,其中記述之印度佛法盛況對中國佛教發展起到了示範作用,其翻譯之《大般泥洹經》為般若學與涅槃學的融通開啟機緣,其翻譯的律藏經典促進了中國佛教僧團建設,也促使佛教進一步中國化和民間化。

 

  1. Prof. Haiyan Hu-von Hinuber  胡海燕 (International Research Institute of Advanced Asian and Buddhist Studies, Freiburg/Germany):  “Some New Interpretations of FaxIan’s Record Foguoji” 法顯《佛國記》新詮

The aim of this paper is to suggest some new approaches to interpreting Faxian (approx. 342-423) by means of a couple of examples. It deals with certain difficult terms and passages in his travel record, which was written down by himself in Qingzhou (青州) immediately after his returning from South Asia in the year 414 and revised in Jiankang (建康) according to his oral additions two years later.

One of the instances to be discussed is e. g. whether the 700 bangtī (傍梯), which Faxian and his friars crossed in the Indus valley, could mean the Sanskrit term śaṅkupatha, which is attested in early Indian texts concerning the Sanskrit grammar and what´s more depicted in a relief from Bhārhut (2nd century B.C.).

The next topic to be pointed out applies to two opposite words used by Faxian. The fact that Faxian called Central India zhōngguo中國 (“mid-land” or “country in the <world> centre”) and China biāndi邊地 (“border-land”) is well-known. The question, however, of why he did so, had been not answered by scholars until 2011. The paper will provide evidence that the learned Buddhist monk Faxian, who traveled to India in order to search texts containing the monastic rules, based himself in this regard just on the authority of the Vinaya-Piṭaka (律藏).

Faxian decided to venture home by ship in the year 410 and he completed his journey in four stages. During the third and fourth stages in between Ceylon, Sumātra and China, the merchant ship he had boarded found itself in difficulty. During the moment of distress, Faxian prayed twice to the Buddhist divinity Guanshiyin 觀世音 (Avalokiteśvara) asking for protection and blessing. The last example of the paper attempts to analyze that the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra translated by Dharmarakṣa (竺法護: approx. 231-308) in the year 286, namely the so-called 《正法華經》 could provide the foundation or the influence for Faxian’s worship on Guanyin as patron for seafaring.

本文舉例闡述作者近年來研究法顯的一些新方法及結果。所涉及的問題是《佛國記》中幾個晦澀的術語和段落。這本重要的著作是法顯返回中國後不久在青州親筆寫成的,兩年後由他人在建康通過法顯的口述進行了補充。

第一個例子探討法顯在險渡印度河時,說河邊的懸崖峭壁上有700個“榜梯”,需要一一度過。通過考證巴利利梵文語法的注疏以及巴爾胡特佛塔的一個浮雕(公元前2世紀),本人提出“榜梯”很可能就是印度古代深山裡經常使用的“楔子路”(梵文是: śaṅkhupatha ),《漢書》稱為“懸度”。

第二個例子涉及法顯使用的一對反義詞:法顯稱中天竺為“中國”,而稱中國為“邊地”是眾所周知的事實。但他為什麼如此稱謂印度和中國的原因直到2011年未被學術界給予解答。本文將為此提供答案,說明西行尋求戒律而又博學的法顯大師在“中國”與“邊地”這組詞上恰恰是引用了佛教早期的律藏。

作為完整走完“一帶一路”的唯一求法高僧,法顯410年決定乘船回歸漢土。他的水路歸途是分成四段完成的。從獅子國經蘇門答臘至青州的第三段和第四段航海路途中,法顯搭乘的“商人大舶”兩次遭遇海難,而法顯則每次一心祈禱觀音的庇護與救難。這是中國史料最早記載觀音作為航海保護神的記錄。本文的第三個例子試圖證明,286年由竺法護翻譯的 《正法華經》顯然為法顯時代的觀音崇拜奠定了基礎並產生了深刻的影響。

 

  1. Dr. Ji Yun  紀贇(Buddhist Academy of Singapore 新加坡佛學院): 法顯: 東亞他域游方朝聖僧典範的確立

本文將首先討論世界宗教背景之中各派宗教信徒在前往聖地朝聖之時的模式,及其淨化心靈、錘煉意志、求取感應、瞻仰聖地的元初宗教訴求。以此參照來考察漢傳佛教朝聖習俗的傳入、興起淵源以及發展過程。在此之中,法顯作為漢傳佛教中第一位留下詳細傳記記載的印度朝聖者,其對後世所具有的典範性意義是顯而易見的。尤其是他前往印度的主要目的值得關注,即為了求取律藏典籍,而非為其自身救度等抽像宗教情懷的滿足。在法顯之後,玄奘、義淨以及在後者所記錄的《大唐西域求法高僧傳》中的諸多僧人,再到日僧圓仁的《入唐求法巡禮行記》之中所載,無論真實內容如何,“求法”都成為了至少在口頭聲稱上壓倒性的主要訴求,這就將之與其他宗教乃至藏傳佛教的很多朝聖活動區別了開來。那麼,這是否即說明漢傳佛教以及深受其影響的東亞其他佛教傳統(朝鮮、日本佛教)的朝聖主流即為求法而非其他呢?是否存在精英佛教與世俗佛教朝聖模式的分野?無論這種假設是否成立,本文都將探討這種以法顯游記所載的朝聖模式所產生的影響及其反映的若干宗教性特色。

 

  1. 14. George A. Keyworth (University of Saskatchewan): “The Other Great Chinese Trepiṭaka in Japan: Faxian as Translator and Exemplary Pilgrim in Medieval Japanese Manuscript Canons”

In what we may call the standard Sino-Japanese Buddhist canons of the medieval period in East Asia, two distinct biographies of eminent Chinese trepiṭakas and pilgrims to India, Xuanzang 玄奘 (Genjō, c. 602-664) and Faxian 法顯 (337-ca. 422), figure prominently. Xuanzang has enjoyed considerable repute in Japan since the establishment of Kōfukuji 興福寺 in Nara, by the powerful Fujiwara 藤原 family in the late seventh-century. Little attention has been paid, however, to the notoriety of Faxian in Japan, where curious twelfth-century copies of eighth-century versions of his biography, Faxian zhuan/Hokkenden (Z. 1194, T. 2085), have been preserved within only three of the eight, extant manuscript canons (Shōgozō 聖語藏, Nanatsu-dera 七寺一切經, Matsuo shrine  松尾社一切經). In this paper I investigate the provenance of these quite early and reliable manuscript editions of the Faxian zhuan, and reveal some of the textual differences between printed, received editions of this account of Faxian’s life and travels and these Japanese texts. Through analysis of colophons to Faxian’s translations of the MahāyānaMahāparinirvāṇā-sūtra (Daban nihuan jing 大般泥洹經, Z. 137, T. 376) and the so-called non-Mahāyāna version (Daban niepan jing 大般涅槃經, Z. 774, T. 7), which were widely—and explicitly—circulated in medieval Japan among Nara 南都六宗, Shingonshū 真言宗, and Tendai 天台宗 Buddhists, it is evident that the legacy of Faxian as an archetypal pilgrim, translator, and teacher may rival apparent admiration for Xuanzang in medieval Japan.

 

  1. Prof. Kim Haewon  金惠瑗(Department of Asia, the National Museum of Korea): “Monasteries and Images in Faxian’s Record on Anuradhapura”

This paper examines Faxian’s accounts on Sri Lanka focusing on important images and monasteries in Anuradhapura, the political and religious center of the island kingdom during his two-year stay in early fifth century. Of particular interest are the records on the Bodhi Tree shrine, the installation of Buddha’s Tooth Relic, and the blue jade image in Abhayagiri vihara. These subjects will be discussed in relation to historical records, archaeological sites, and surviving Buddhist images in an effort to demonstrate the significance of Faxian’s accounts and pilgrimage.

 

  1. Prof. Kim Minku  金玟求(The Chinese University of Hong Kong): “Images of the Buddha ‘Walking’ (jingxing 經行) in the Record of Faxian”

On his pilgrimage in India, Faxian takes note of the specific sites where the Historical Buddha and other sacred figures once “walked.” Glossed curiously as jingxing 經行, the term resurfaces in record of Xuanzang too, whose pilgrimage was taken two centuries later. Perhaps these Chinese travelers were triggered by certain information on-site to make such peculiar distinction about the historical nature of where they visited. In fact, James Legge (1815-97) suggested peripatetic or perambulatory promenades known as caṃkramaṇa existed in those sites. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that a few inscriptions of Kuṣān date are specifically associated with the places of “walking” (caṃkame). More prominently, the receptacles of these epigraphic records are nothing but the famous colossal kapardin-type standing statues of Mathūran production associated with the determined monk Bala and company. This paper explores various issues at this juncture of archaeological evidence and the Chinese pilgrim’s witness.

 

  1. Prof. Lim Sang-hee  林祥姬(Dongguk University): 法顯傳의 文獻學的 研究 [“Faxian Zhuan: Several Issues in Textual Criticism” (Korean)]

The text, Faxian zhuan is a record of Faxian, who made pilgrimage to India in the early fifth century, and was in circulation under varied titles and forms. In the scriptural catalogues (jinglu 經錄) complied between the Sui and the Tang found are such titles as Foyou Tianzhu ji 佛遊天竺記, Liyou Tianzhu ji zhuan 歷遊天竺記傳, and Faxian zhuan; and in secular histories and collectanea Faxian zhuan and Foguo ji 佛國記. With the text getting incorporated into the woodblock canons carved since the Song period, the circulation of Faxian zhuan was significantly boosted and widely diffused into East Asia.

Among fifteen canons under discussion dated from the Song to the modern times, a total of thirteen redactions of Faxian zhuan is found, which can be grouped by textual criticism under three stemmata. First, the Zhaocheng 趙城 Canon tradition includes one redaction of the text titled Xi daoren Faxian cong Chang’an xingxi zhi Tianzhu zhuan 昔道人法顯從長安行西至天竺傳. Second, the Chongning 崇寧 Canon tradition includes eight redactions under the title of Faxian zhuan. Third, the Second Koryŏ 高麗 Canon tradition includes four redactions under the title of Gaoseng Faxian zhuan 高僧法顯傳.

The Chongning tradition predominated the circulation of printed editions in China, while both Zhaocheng and Second Koryŏ traditions remained obscure until the modern times. But both are of great import, as the Zhaocheng Canon is based on the Kaibao 開寶 Canon, that is, the first woodblock canon, thus presumably more akin to an ur-textual tradition, and the Second Koryŏ Canon was a result of collating various then-accessible pre-existing traditions.

 

  1. Prof. Liu Xuejun  劉學軍(江蘇第二師範學院文學院): 《法顯遊記與中古紀行文學之關係》

從紀行文學的角度來考察法顯遊記的書寫特征,是一種由“寫什麼”到“怎麼寫”的視角轉換,可以捕捉別樣的信息。本文擬在解析法顯遊記書寫諸特征(比如神異書寫、“冷筆”與“熱筆”等)的基礎上,進一步揭示這種書寫模式與中古紀行文學(紀行賦等)之間的異同,以及背後的影響因素。

 

  1. Prof. Liu Yuan-ju  劉苑如(台灣中央研究院): 法顯與劉裕集團

法顯(338?-423?)法師有感於當時所傳的律藏殘闕,於東晉隆安 (399) 離開長安,前往天竺求法,歷經十三年回到青州時,正值劉裕(363-422)在晉朝末期收復北方的青、兗、司三州,積極造宋稱帝的時期。法顯上岸後即受到劉裕之弟劉(兗)青州(道憐,368-422)的邀請,在京口一冬一夏,建立了龍華寺;稍後在義熙十二年至十四年間,由劉氏集團中的孟顗、褚叔度(378-424)為檀越,於建業道場寺與佛馱跋陀羅(buddhabhadra, 359-429)共同翻譯經、律;最後法顯赴荊州辛寺終老。在法顯回國後的經歷中,隱隱可見國家與佛教兩種權力的交鋒,本文的目的有三:第一,釐析劉裕集團的佛國建構;第二,重溯晉宋之際佛教內部的交際網絡與佛學背景;第三,探討其在中國佛教發展史的意義。

 

  1. Prof. Qu Jinliang  曲金良(中國海洋大學): 法顯“浮海東還”的歷史與當代意義

本文擬主要討論四個方面的問題:

  1. 法顯浮海東還傳記的歷史文獻價值。這是中外歷史上以親身航海經歷描述記錄東海—印度洋海上絲綢之路實際狀況的世界第一人。
  2. 法顯浮海東還的歷史作用。一是親自帶來了佛經佛像等佛教原典,二是反映了佛教在南海-印度洋海路上的歷史原貌;三是記錄了南海-印度洋的海上航路;四是記錄了南海-印度洋的海上商貿狀況。
  3. 法顯浮海東還的歷史影響。一是引發了後世佛僧的大量海路求法;二是促進了佛教在中土的廣泛傳播;三是奠基了佛經翻譯、佛教東傳的中國化道路;四是開啟了宗教傳播成為“海上絲綢之路”重要內涵的歷史;五是留下了大量相關“海歸”文化遺產,如青島法顯登岸處、平度與青州佛教造像、徐州華龍寺等,以及法顯東歸的精神意義。
  4. 法顯浮海東還的當代意義。

 

  1. Prof. Michael Radich (Victoria University of Wellington): “Was the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra大般涅槃經 T7 translated by Faxian 法顯?”

In the Taishō canon, the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra  大般涅槃經 T7 is attributed to Faxian. However, on the basis of an examination of reports in the catalogues about various Chinese versions of the Mainstream Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, Iwamatsu Asao  岩松淺夫once questioned whether Faxian ever translated any such text. Iwamatsu argued further, on the basis of unspecified features of translation terminology and phraseology, that T7 should be reascribed to Guṇabhadra 求那跋陀羅. This paper will examine the problem of the attribution of T7 on the basis of a detailed examination of its language.

 

  1. Dr. Nicolas Revire (Thammasat University, Bangkok): “‘Please Be Seated’: The Account of Faxian and Related Legends on the First Buddha Image”

In this paper, I compare and examine several legendary traditions relating to the appearance of the “first” icon of the living Buddha. The legend is well known across Buddhist Asia and was particularly influential in first-millennium China. Faxian 法顯 (337– ca  422), one of the first Chinese pilgrims to travel to India in the early 400s CE, left a fairly detailed report on this “first image” of the Buddha. The account given in his important travelogue, A Record of Buddhist Kingdoms (or Foguo ji 佛國記), states that King Prasenajit of Śrāvastī ordered the statue to be executed in sandalwood during the Buddha’s lifetime, when the Lord departed on a preaching journey. Many related legends from China, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and even mainland Southeast Asia exist. But, according to this copious literary evidence, what exactly did the “sandalwood” model look like? While these narratives may enjoy numerous variations and additions, all versions — starting with Faxian’s ― agree that the sandalwood image was originally intended to be seated on a throne, despite common and later assertions that it was a standing statue. This paper thus proposes a different interpretation for the appearance of the first “enthroned” Buddha image.

 

  1. Dr. Shao Tiansong  邵天松(三江學院文學與新聞傳播學院): 日本石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本研究

《法顯傳》(又名《佛國記》《歷游天竺記傳》等),東晉法顯撰。法顯於東晉隆安三年(公元399年)從長安出發,西行求法,義熙八年(公元412年)歸抵嶗山登陸。該書作爲佛教傳入中國後第一本記錄至印度取經歷程的行記,記載了一千五六百年以前中亞、南亞和東南亞的歷史、地理、宗教、風俗等情況,因此《法顯傳》一書具有極高的史料價值,歷代藏經均有著錄。章巽先生1985年曾以北京圖書館(今國家圖書館)所藏南宋刊印的《思溪圓覺藏》本《法顯傳》爲底本,同時以《崇寧藏》本、《毗盧藏》本、《資福藏》本、《磧砂藏》本、《趙城金藏》本、《大正藏》本 (章巽先生校注中雲,參考的是《高麗藏》本。但據其說明,此《高麗藏》乃是據《大正藏》的排印本。我們認爲雖然《大正藏》的主體部分是以《高麗藏》爲底本,但二者畢竟不同,所以根據實際情況,還是以表述成《大正藏》本為宜。) 、《津逮秘書》本、《學津討原》本、《支那內學院》本以及《水經注》中引《法顯傳》的文字部分進行參校。尤其值得注意的是章巽先生還用用了三種日本古寫本進行了參校,這三種古寫本分別是日本長寬二年(1164年)石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本、日本鐮倉初期《法顯傳》寫本殘本、日本應永七年南禪寺藏《法顯傳》寫本。章巽先生特別指出:“石本(筆者按,即石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本)雖較刻本難認,且較多錯別字,但細細探尋,佳處實多。”

本文即以日本長寬二年(1164年)石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本爲研究對像,將其與傳世刻本兩大系統之代表《高麗藏》本和《磧砂藏》本進行對勘,全面探討其中的俗字、異文及其背後所反映的一些語言現像。通過我們初步的觀察,石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本保留了非常多的俗字、異體字,故而是漢字研究的寶貴資料。而且由於該抄本爲當時日本人所抄,亦可由此考察日本中世漢字的使用實態,幷藉以探討漢字在域外的流傳與發展情況。同時,石山寺藏《法顯傳》寫本中所保留的與其他版本《法顯傳》不同的異文也具有重要的語文學及文獻學價值,如有助於正確釋讀俗字;有助於校正訛誤,疏通文義;有助於總結古籍文字相通、相混體例;有助於理解古今文字的發展演變;有助於理解古人避諱體例,等等。

 

  1. Dr. Jue-wei Shi  釋覺瑋(Nan Tien Institute, Wollongong, Australia): Living Faxian’s Legacy in Modern Times: Connecting Past and Present, East and West

Faxian’s legacy is far-reaching.  Not only has he inspired many Chinese pilgrims to traverse the Silk Roads in search of “original” Buddhist texts, Faxian’s Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms has served as an important travelogue for international relations.  Almost 1,600 years later, it is still a source of inspiration, but to an American artist volunteering in a Chinese Buddhist temple.

In 2014, artist Dr. Nancy Cowardin from southern California was inspired to paint 25 chapters of the text derived from James Legge’s translation and annotation of Faxian’s Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms.  This endeavor was Part 2 of a series of art projects that a multi-disciplinary team of volunteers created for the Buddha’s Birthday Education Project that I initiated two years earlier.  In this Project, we made accessible Buddha’s Birthday celebrations documented in Chinese literary texts using various art and animation forms.  It was inevitable that the research led artists to the Spread of Buddhism along the Silk Roads and the pilgrims’ travelogues of Buddha’s Birthday celebrations in these kingdoms.  Faxian’s Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms contained some of the earliest descriptions.

After completing a well-researched painting of a Northern Wei Buddha’s Birthday celebration documented in the Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Luoyang and a Silk Road scroll in 2012, Cowardin was motivated to work on the Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms in 2013.  The paintings were later hand-bound into an exquisite coffee-table book.  Together with the paintings were extracts from the Record as well as carefully-researched maps of his journey.  Since she began on this piece of work about the same age when Faxian undertook his treacherous trip to the west, Cowardin felt that she had personally undertaken the pilgrimage together with Faxian.  This book has been exhibited at the Buddha’s Birthday Education Project worldwide tour as a part of its mission to educate the public on the journey of Buddha’s birthday celebrations from its hometown to the world over.

This presentation will examine how east meets west and past meets present in modern day through an inter-disciplinary project involving history, Buddhism, and art.  It extends the definition of ‘pilgrimage’ beyond a physical journey.  Cowardin’s experience may offer insight into a pilgrimage undertaken by a Buddhist today who wishes to partake in a sacred journey.  Issues that surfaced include encounters with ambiguous information, cultural differences between the artist and the sponsoring temple, as well as presentation methods (e.g. whether to preserve quality with one coffee table book or reduce quality but use internet technology to improve accessibility).  The extent to which skillful means may be employed will also be explored.

Faxian’s legacy has lived beyond China and the medieval period.  He remains an inspiration to many, even to this day.  This presentation will showcase the original exquisite coffee-table book, the spiritual journey of its artist, and the issues faced in multicultural societies when east meets west and past meets present.

 

  1. Prof. Sheng Kai 聖凱(清華大學): 敦煌遺書《毗尼心》與莫高窟196窟“戒壇窟”

本文通過分析敦煌遺書《毗尼心》所引述的各部律論、律宗撰述及其歷史文化背景,推測其撰述年代應在道世與義淨之間,是敦煌本土最高僧官在南山律傳承之上創建的獨立律學體系,為敦煌僧人學習律學的綱領性撰述,在敦煌具備著權威性的領導地位,開啟了吐蕃時期律抄盛行的風氣,並被多部律抄效仿和轉引。同時,《毗尼心》的內容出現在莫高窟196窟,根據該窟的題記、空間布局和壁畫內容,可以確認該窟為“戒壇窟”,是僧團傳授比丘戒等的石窟。

 

  1. Prof. Sobhitha Thero (Department of History, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka): “Monk Faxian and Sri Lanka”

After China received Buddhism in the first century AD some Chinese monks were interested in going to India in order to worship Buddhist religious places, learn Buddhism and collect Buddhist canons. Monk Faxian was one of the monks who well accomplished this task in the fifth century AD. He started his journey from Chang’an in 399 AD and after visiting Mid Asian countries and India, came to Sri Lanka in 410 AD. He stayed in Sri Lanka for two years. Having returned to China he wrote his famous autobiography, “A Record of Buddhist Countries”. Chapters 37, 38 and 39 of this work contain invaluable information with regard to the history of Sri Lanka in general and the history of Buddhist monasteries of Sri Lanka in particular. One of the purposes of this article is to examine the significance of this work as a primary source in the study of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

A marked development of the relationship between Sri Lanka and China could be observed within a few decades after monk Faxian’s arrival in Sri Lanka. It could be surmised that this was due to his arrival in Sri Lanka. Therefore, examining the contribution made by Faxian in the development of Sino Sri Lankan relationship is also another objective of this research. A further aim of this research is to examine the studies already done on Faxian and his book by some Sri Lankan scholars.

Literary as well as archaeological sources would be used in this research. Attention would be paid to literary sources along with Chinese, English and Sinhala secondary sources. Also a comparison between Faxian’s record and evidence of archaeological sources of Abhayagirivihara in Anuradhapura will be undertaken.

 

  1. Prof. Sun Yinggang 孫英剛(浙江大學歷史系): 法顯所見雀離浮圖在中土的影響

布路沙不邏成為貴霜王朝的首都,這裡也被打造成為佛教中心。除了將佛缽從佛陀故地運到這裡安置之外,迦膩色伽還建造了可能是當時最為高大恢宏的紀念碑性建築——迦膩色伽大塔(Cakra Stupa)。這座位於布路沙不邏的佛教建築,對遙遠的中國本土也產生了影響,它頻繁地以“雀離浮屠”、“雀離浮圖”、“雀離佛圖”等名字出現在漢文典籍中。布路沙不邏的這座偉大佛塔,在數百年間應該是世界上最高的建築。當來自東土西行求法或者巡禮的中國僧人如法顯從阿富汗的高山上下到犍陀羅平原時,首先看到的,就是這座令人震驚的宏偉高塔。漢文史料中,都明確把這座雀離浮圖和迦膩色伽連在一起。這座塔,正是建造在罽尼吒城(布路沙不邏)的。城和塔,都以君主迦膩色伽的名字命名。而“雀離浮圖”,是“輪王塔”的意思,顯指迦膩色伽的佛教法王身份。關於這座偉大佛塔的記載,基本都出自漢文史料。因為這座佛塔太過偉大和有名,所以沿著絲綢之路東來的路上,很多佛塔也用雀離的名字命名。

 

  1. Prof. Wang Bangwei 王邦維(北京大學東方文學研究中心): 關於《法顯傳》中的竭叉國

後秦弘始元年,也就是東晉的隆安三年(399),法顯從長安出發,到印度求法。法顯的第一段經歷中,先後經過乾歸、褥檀、張掖、敦煌、鄯鄯、烏夷、於闐、子合及於麾等地區或國家。後秦弘始三年或者說東晉隆安三年(411),法顯到達竭叉國。《法顯傳》中對竭叉國的記載比較詳細。根據這些記載,當時的竭叉國,佛教很盛,佛教的勝跡也不少,但竭叉國究竟在今天的什麼地方,過去的學者雖然做過一些討論,但意見不一。論文將就這一問題再做討論,希望對此能有更多的認識。

 

  1. Prof. Wang Xuemei 王雪梅(西華師範大學歷史文化學院): 描摹與改造: 法顯所傳彌勒信仰考述

法顯是中國歷史上第一位到印度求法取經的高僧,其唯一的著作《法顯傳》是研究5世紀初印度社會佛教信仰最真實的記載。從法顯的記載看,他一次也沒有提到阿彌陀佛,而提到彌勒的內容卻十分豐富。法顯不僅帶回印度彌勒信仰廣泛流布的訊息,而且還提及他從未接觸過的彌勒經在印度民間口傳甚廣,更為重要的是他還從印度帶回了與彌勒信仰關系密切的龍華圖。法顯帶回的對漢地產生影響的彌勒信仰卻與之記錄的印度彌勒信仰頗有差別。

 

  1. Dr. Wu Weilin 吳蔚琳(深圳大學): 法顯譯《摩訶僧祇律》研究述評以及幾點再思考

法顯譯《摩訶僧祇律》是一部大眾部的律典。國內外學界這部律典有不少研究,出版發表了Buddhist Monastic Discipline: The Sanskrit Pratimoksa Sutras of the Mahasanghikas and MulasarvastivadinsMonastic Discipline for the Buddhist NunsDie Abhisamācārikā Dharmāḥ: Verhaltensregeln fur buddhistische Mönche der Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravādins, 《僧祇律在華的譯出、弘揚與潛在影響》、《〈摩訶僧祇律〉情態動詞研究》、《〈摩訶僧祇律〉の構造》、《〈摩訶僧祇律〉記述之文學故事概觀》等研究論著。通過整理歸納,筆者發現,前輩學人的研究成果大致可分成梵漢文本對勘研究、詞類研究、戒律學研究三大類。本文擬對這三大類研究成果進行綜合述評,並通過對《摩訶僧祇律》中“三杖”用法的再考察、“園民”的考釋等例證對《摩訶僧祇律》的文本研究提出幾點思考。

 

  1. Prof. Xue Keqiao  薛克翹(中國社會學院亞太所): 從法顯“五天竺”到玄奘“五印度”

印度古人將南亞次大陸劃分為東南西北中五個部分。中國古人對此表示認同,並按漢語漢字的表達習慣提出“五天竺”的概念。法顯游學印度首次考察了“五天竺”的部分地區並寫出記錄。玄奘周游印度後將“五天竺”改為“五印度”,並詳細記錄了五印度的劃分情況。

 

  1. Prof. Yan Yaozhong  嚴耀中(復旦大學文史研究院): 法顯與玄奘所見外道之比較

法顯與玄奘同樣作為到印度取經之高僧,有著共同的觀察角度,並留下相當豐富的記錄,故可藉此對印度約二個世紀之間的宗教形態之變化做個比較,尤其是對佛教之外的所謂“外道”。這可分三方面來進行:一是外道的組成及內涵之變化;二是與佛教的彼此消長;三是對造成如此狀況之原因做一些解析。作為“餘言”,還可探討一下,法顯和玄奘關於外道的觀察與敘述對中國佛教和中國文化帶來何種影響。

  1. Yang Weizhong 杨维中(University of Nanking 南京大學): 从《佛国记》若干细节论法显“其人恭順,言輒依實”的品格

《佛國記》不僅具有很高的學術價值,而且在中國文學史上也佔有一席之地。作為中國古代遊記文學的奇葩,《佛國記》所具有的“言必依實”的真實性與樸實無華但卻言簡意賅的精練風格,大得歷代文人的喜愛與稱贊。法顯的文風正如同時代的道場寺僧人所撰之“跋”文所說:“其人恭順,言輒依實”,因此《佛國記》強烈的“寫實性”與真實性是其首要的特徵,而簡潔的風格更是其特色所在。

法顯在《佛國記》中真實地記載了公元五世紀初年印度、西域佛教的基本情況。這種記述,不僅可以與後來玄奘、義淨的相關記載互相銜接、對照,而且也可以從中發現印度佛教從五世紀到七世紀之間演變發展的情形。特別是,法顯對於此前佛教史上的重大問題所作的程度不同的追溯,成為現今人們解決這些問題的重要線索。這可以從佛教儀軌制度、提婆達多問題以及佛教與外道的鬥爭幾方面去說明。

而其簡潔質樸的文風是《佛國記》的突出特色,而法顯這種簡潔風格甚至達到了惜墨如金的地步。也正因為如此,《佛國記》後所附“跋”文的作者纔忍不住對“由是先所略者勸令詳載”。儘管現今所傳的文本可能就是經過法顯補充過的“詳本”,但與其言簡意賅的簡練性仍然未曾改變。

法顯西行,在當時的條件之下,是一件風險極大的偉業。他西行之時的心情,正如“跋”文所記錄的法顯之自我表白:

顧尋所經,不覺心動汗流。所以乘危履嶮,不惜此形者,蓋是志有所存。專其愚直,故投命於不必全之地,以達萬一之冀。

儘管湧動在法顯血管裡的是一腔弘傳佛法的大慈大悲精神,而在信仰層面自然而然所具有的“三寶”佑助心理會為法顯提供足夠的信心,但是西行路途的艱險仍然會在其心中投下很深的“不必全”之陰影。因此,彌漫在《佛國記》之中的濃重的抒情性,使这部作品帶有很強烈的感染力,其文學欣賞價值因而大為增強。在整本《佛國記》中,法顯三次寫到自己流淚。

法顯在王舍城曾經在王舍舊城二比丘相送下登上了耆闍崛山。尤其重要的是,送法顯上山的二位天竺比丘竟然臨陣脫逃,這是很不尋常的情節。這樣一個重要的情節,法顯在《佛國記》之中為何隻字不提呢?是為尊者諱呢?還是根本就沒有逃跑這回事?問題的关键便是:“二舊比丘”究竟是何時離開法顯下山的呢?我們認為應該是第二日。也就是“還向新城”一句是指“二舊比丘”,而絕非一般人所認為的法顯。在下文,法顯又繼續敘述舊城周圍的聖迹,而法顯不大可能回到新城又至舊城。而這段不見於《佛國記》的內容是傳記的編寫者採擇傳聞而來的。我以為,將傳記所記與法顯本人的這段文字相對照,事實真相應該是“二舊比丘”與法顯一起留在山中一夜。第二日,“二舊比丘”下山回到王舍新城。

 

  1. Prof. Zhang Jian 張箭(四川大學歷史文化學院): 剖析法顯航渡美洲說 (An Analysis of the So-called Theory of Buddhist Monk Faxian’s Sailing to America in the 5th Century)

法顯《佛國記》所記的從斯裡蘭卡到耶婆提的航行日期應該斷句和理解為九天或十天,而非九十多天。任何人在這麼短的或一個月的時間內是不可能駕乘木帆船橫渡太平洋到達美洲的。法顯所記的到達耶婆提之前的航向是一直向東,而非東—東南—東北—北—東。法顯說的從耶婆提回中國廣州的航向前期百余日是東北向,後期十二日是西北向。結果最後到達中國青島。這既是基本航行計劃,也是實際航線。走這樣的航向航線,是不可能從墨西哥到中國的。《羅摩衍那》稱爪哇為雅哇德維帕,托勒密稱爪哇為雅巴迪歐,它們後來演變為爪哇德維帕 (Javadvipa),最後簡稱為爪哇(Java)。它們與墨西哥的阿卡普爾科沒有絲毫關系。而且阿卡普爾科是16世紀才興起的一座城鎮。這個地名的形成晚了爪哇1700多年。因此,古代的阿卡普爾科和它的所謂前身耶卡婆爾只是一個烏有之鄉。所以,所謂法顯航渡美洲說不過是個天方夜譚。The voyage time from Ceylon to Yepoti recorded by Faxian’s The Record of Buddhist Kingdoms should be punctuated and comprehended as 9 or 10 days instead of more than 90 days. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to cross the Pacific by a junk in such short period or within a month. The only orientation of navigation before reaching Yepoti recorded by Faxian is eastward straight instead of eastward→ southeastward→northeastward→northward→eastward. Faxian tells us clearly that the orientation of navigation from Yepoti back to the Chinese Guangzhou is northeastward in earlier more than 100 days, then northwestward in later 12 days. In the end they reached the Chinese Qingdao. This was their basic plan of voyage and their actual course of voyage also. Via such orientation and course it is impossible to reach China from Mexico. The Ramayana calls Java Yav(w)adv(w)ipa and Ptolemy names it Iabadia, which were changed to Jav(w)adv(w)ipa afterwards, and simplifies as Java at last. They have nothing to do with the Mexican Acapulco. Furthermore, Acapulco was a town that emerged only in 16th century. The formation of this place name is later than Java for more than 1,700 years. The so-called ancient Acapulco and its predecessor Yecapole is just a Utopia. Therefore, the doctrine of Buddhist Monk Faxian’s Sailing to America is like an Arabian Nights.

 

  1. Prof. Zhang Xuesong 張雪松(中國人民大學): 從法顯生平管窺晉宋之際中國佛教戒律的實踐與流傳

法顯幼年受沙彌戒,但受戒後並不住廟,家人讓法顯受沙彌戒的目的只是為了防止其夭折,而非意令其出家,東晉這一宗教習俗值得我們關注。(2)法顯成年受具足戒後,感嘆戒律殘缺,是否得戒恐系法顯西行求法、廣搜戒律的重要原因之一;如此,法顯應該是受具足戒後不久壯年開始籌措西行,而不可能是等到六十余歲的晚年同一批年紀相仿的同學一同西行。現今判定法顯是晚年西行的依據,主要是根據其卒年和世壽逆推;但法顯的世壽及何時卒於荊州辛寺似有討論的余地。(3)法顯在沒有將其攜回的經典全部翻譯完成的情況下,就急於離開首都建康前往荊州辛寺,應與當時辛寺有一批北方持鳩摩羅什新譯《十誦律》的僧人南下住錫該寺有直接關系,而法顯前往荊州辛寺又將其在建康新譯《摩訶僧祇律》帶去荊州。荊州是南北彙通之地,法顯晚年定居辛寺,對於南北戒律交流,北朝中前期流行《摩訶僧祇律》,南朝流行《十誦律》,都有重要的奠基性意義。

 

  1. Prof. Zhang Yong   張勇 (四川大學文學與新聞學院): 眾食”、“客僧”暨“四方僧房”考——法顯所見的西域僧侶客居風習

本文根據法顯所述《佛國記》的記載,參照其他有關文獻,以“眾食”、“客僧”和“四方僧房”為契入點,從若干側面考查了東晉時期於闐地區的飲食習俗、佛教設施和款待外來暫住僧人的方式,有助於理解中古時期印度、西域和漢地的佛教戒律暨佛教傳播情況。

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