Text: T0159; 大乘本生心地觀經


Identifier T0159 [T]
Title 大乘本生心地觀經 [T]
Date [None]
Revised *Prajña, 般若 [Ōno 1954]
Compiler 編集 *Prajña, 般若 [Tsukinowa 1954]
Translator 譯 *Prajña, 般若 [T]
Author *Prajña, 般若 [Tsukinowa 1954]

There may be translations for this text listed in the Bibliography of Translations from the Chinese Buddhist Canon into Western Languages. If translations are listed, this link will take you directly to them. However, if no translations are listed, the link will lead only to the head of the page.

There are resources for the study of this text in the SAT Daizōkyō Text Dabatase (Saṃgaṇikīkṛtaṃ Taiśotripiṭakaṃ).


Preferred? Source Pertains to Argument Details


[T]  T = CBETA [Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association]. Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 大正新脩大藏經. Edited by Takakusu Junjirō 高楠順次郎 and Watanabe Kaigyoku 渡邊海旭. Tokyo: Taishō shinshū daizōkyō kankōkai/Daizō shuppan, 1924-1932. CBReader v 5.0, 2014.

Entry author: Michael Radich


  • Title: 大乘本生心地觀經
  • People: *Prajña, 般若 (translator 譯)
  • Identifier: T0159


[Muller DDB]  Muller, Charles. DDB s.v. 大乘本生心地觀經 — Accessed April 2014.

"Translation attributed to Prajña, ed. 般若: 6th year of Zhenyuan (貞元), Tang dynasty (唐), 1 but it was more likely done by someone else at a later date. Nanjō 955; Ono. 7:346c."

Entry author: Michael Radich



[Tsukinowa 1954]  Tsukinowa Kenryū 月輪 賢隆. “Hannya sanzō no hon’yaku ni taisuru higi 般若三蔵の翻經に対する批議.” IBK 4, no.2 (1954): 434-443. — 434, 443

According to Tsukinowa, it is recorded that Trepiṭaka Prajña/Prajñā 般若三藏 translated nine titles in seventy-five juan scriptures, and also composed a Banre sanzang gu jin fanyi tu ji 般若三藏古今翻譯圖紀 in two juan. However, Tsukinowa states, probably the Gu jin fanyi tu ji 古今翻譯圖紀 was written by somebody else, and Prajña’s true translation work most likely only comprises the version of the “Heart” Sūtra 般若心經 in one juan T253, co-translated with Liyan 利言 and others. Tsukinowa believes that almost all other titles ascribed to Prajñā were his own compositions, because 1) no original texts of his works have been found; 2) no alternate translation have been found in Chinese nor in Tibetan; 3) none of those works are cited in Indian texts; and 4) the contents and style of those works of his are too peculiar to be proper translation (一二七/434). This entry lists all of the extant texts affected by Tsukinowa’s assertion, that is, all texts ascribed to Prajña except T253. See also separate CBC entries for notes on Tsukinowa’s more detailed analysis of some of the individual scriptures on this list.

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki



[Tsukinowa 1954]  Tsukinowa Kenryū 月輪 賢隆. “Hannya sanzō no hon’yaku ni taisuru higi 般若三蔵の翻經に対する批議.” IBK 4, no.2 (1954): 434-443. — 438-440

The Dasheng bensheng xin di guan jing 大乘本生心地觀經 (T159 ) is presented in the tradition as if the text came from India, but Tsukinowa maintains that its contents shows that it is a so-called “mixed Tantric” 雜密 scripture, compiled from various other scriptures.

He lists examples showing the composite character of T159 from its introduction chapter 序品:

- The assembly 列衆 in the introduction 序品 includes Vimālakīrti 維摩詰 and Tuoluonizizaiwaing pusa 陀羅尼自在王菩薩;

- A list of eight great jeweled stūpas 八大寶塔 include the Jeweled Stūpa of the Layman Vimalakīrti Making a Display of Illness 維摩居士現疾寶塔 and the sthāna/stūpa 塔 at Gṛdhrakūṭa 耆闍崛山 where the Buddha taught the Greater Prajñapāramitā 大般若, the Lotus 法華, and the Yisheng xin di jing 一乘心地經;

- The story of “Xueshan tongzi” 雪山童子 is taken from the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra 涅槃經 [note: the source material referred to here appears only in portions of the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra unique to *Dharmakṣema’s T374 and versions of the text derivative from it, viz., T374 and the Tibetan translation from Chinese --- MR]; and

- The story of Liushui zhangzhe, the great king of doctors 流水長者大醫王, is taken from the Suvarṇabhāsottama-sūtra 金光明經 (438-439).

Many other texts also serve as sources for T159, Tsukinowa adds, including the*Buddhāvataṃsaka 華嚴, the Lotus Sūtra 法華, the jātakas 本生, and the Śrīmāladevīsiṃhanāda 勝鬘. He also claims that the vocabulary of T159 indicates that it is not a genuine translation work. He conjectures that the text might have been intended to be a general summary of Buddhist scriptures.

Tsukinowa states that the second chapter, on repaying debts of kindness 報恩品, expounds the four debts of kindness 四恩 in detail. This concept is probably unique to this scripture. However, Tsukinowa points out that Prajñā uses this rubric of “four types of en” 四恩 in his letter of appreciation 陳謝の上表文 that he wrote upon the completion of the translation of the “Sūtra on the Six Perfections” 六波羅密經 (Dasheng liqu liu boluomiduo jing 大乘理趣六波羅蜜多經 T261). In addition, in Prajña’s own Zhu Fo jingjie she zhenshi jing 諸佛境界攝眞實經 there is a passage listing the same four types of kindness: 依此功德。第一國王第二父母第三施主第四法界一切眾生。悉皆速證無上菩提 (T868 [XVIII] 284b18-20) [Tsukinowa adds that the Three Jewels 三寶 are missing from the list of the four types of en in the above (the dānapati 施主 is included instead) because here the benefit of 三寶 is what is directed to all of the four].

Tsukinowa lists other elements of T159 that also indicate relations between T159 and other scriptures or Buddhist doctrines, including:

- The explanation of the Dharma Jewel 法寶 in T159 is based on Yogācāra doctrine;

- The ten meanings of “jewel” 寶 in the category of the “Three Jewels” 三寶 is an extension of the six meanings 六義 in the Ratnagotravibhāga 寶性論.

- Parts of the explanation of the saṃbhogakāya 受用身 are related to other Chinese compositions such as the “Sūtra on Humane Kings” 仁王, the “Brahma Net Sūtra” 梵網, and the Yingluo benye jing 瓔珞本業經.

- Some other details such as those in受戒 are taken from the “Samantabhadra Contemplation Sūtra” 普賢觀經 T277.
Tsukinowa infers that an alternate name for Maitreya 彌勒, namely, Longzhongjingzhizunwang fo 龍種淨智尊王佛, came from the Buddha name 佛名 given for Maitreya, Longzhongshang fo 龍種上佛, in the Sūraṃgamasamādhi-sūtra 首楞嚴經

- According to Tsukinowa, on the basis of the fact that the third chapter, “Yanshe pin” 厭捨品, is influenced by Yogācāra ideas, Genshin 源信, in his Ichijō yōketsu 一乘要決, charged that Ryōsen 靈仙 introduced these materials into the text, because he was a scholar at Kōfuku-ji 興福寺 temple. However, Tsukinowa argues that the elements in question were directly taken from Yogācāra sources.

- There are also passages that comes from the *Madhyamaka-śāstra 中論 as well, such as 不生不滅無來去,不一不異非常斷 (T159 [III] 305a28).

- The passage 願以此善迴施一切,我與眾生當成佛道 (T159 [III] 311c14-15) is based on a verse in the Lotus 法華.

- The “discussion of jātakas” 本生談 of De’an bhikṣu 得岸比丘 is taken from the “Sūtra of the Wise and the Foolish” 賢愚經.

- The “actions of the child” 嬰兒行is from the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra 涅槃 [one more, probably portions of the text unique to *Dharmakṣema’s T374 and derived versions, which contain an eponymous chapter --- MR].

- The “Gongdezhuangyan wang pin” 功德荘嚴王品 is based on the Kāśyapaparivarta 普明菩薩會 T310(43), Acintyabuddhaviśaya-nirdeśa 善德天子會 T310(35), etc. of the Ratnakūṭa 寶積經.

- The “Guan xin pin” 觀心品 incorporates the notion that the “three realms are mind only” 三界唯心 of the *Buddhāvataṃsaka 華嚴, the “eight negations” 八不 of the *Madhyamaka-śāstra 中論, and the dhāraṇī 真言 from the Wu xiang cheng shen guan 五相成身觀 of the Vajraśekhara-sūtra 金剛頂經.

- The chapter on engendering the aspiration for ultimate awakening (bodhicitta) 發菩提心品 is related to the Kāśyapaparivarta T310(43) and the Vajraśekhara.

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki



[Ōno 1954]  Ōno Hōdō 大野法道. Daijō kai kyō no kenkyū 大乗戒経の研究. Tokyo: Risōsha 理想社, 1954. — 286-287

Referring to Mochizuki (Bukkyō daijiten) and Tokiwa (Bussho kaisetsu daijiten), Ōno claim that the contents of the Dasheng bensheng xin di guan jing 大乘本生心地觀經 T159 are related to the Bensheng jing 本生經, the Vimalakīrti-nirdeśa 維摩經, the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra 涅槃經; commentaries on Yogācāra/Vijñaptimātra; Chinese commentaries 章疏; T1484; and the Zhu Fo jingjie she zhenshi jing 諸佛境界攝真實經 T868.

T159 consistently uses the term 世尊 for bhagavan up to the seventh juan, but in the eighth juan uses 薄伽梵 following T868. At the same time, T159 contains terms not used in T868, such as 平等性智. Ōno claims that those inconsistencies are the sign of revision in China 中國改修 (286).

A colophon to the first juan of the Ishiyama-dera 石山寺 copy of T159 (T vol. IX 331 n. 8) records that the translation was done in Yuanhe 元和 5-6 (810-811 CE; Prajña translated the text, and Ryōsen 靈仙, a monk from Japan, worked as amanuensis 筆受. The Yuan edition also records the text was translated in the Yuanhe era, and the preface 經序 states that the translation was done in the 194th year of the Tang, which is 811. The Monastic Controller Eshin 慧心僧都 (Eshin Sōzu, viz. Genshin 源信), in his Ichijō yōketsu 一乗要決, states that the Yogācāra terms in T159 were probably added by Ryōsen 靈仙 of the Faxiang/Hossō 法相 school (286-287).

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki