Text: T0796; 佛說見正經; Shengsi bianhua jing 生死變化經, Shengsi bainshi jing 生死變識經, Jianzheng biqiu jing 見正比丘經


Identifier T0796 [T]
Title 佛說見正經 [T]
Date W. Jin 西晋 [Hayashiya 1941]
Unspecified Anonymous (China), 失譯, 闕譯, 未詳撰者, 未詳作者, 不載譯人 [Hayashiya 1941]
Translator 譯 Tanwulan 竺曇無蘭 (*Dharmaratna?) [T]

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



[Bagchi 1927]  Bagchi, Prabodh Chandra. Le canon bouddhique en Chine: Les traducteurs et les traductions. Sino-Indica: Publications de l’Université de Calcutta, Tome 1er. Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1927. — 322-334

Bagchi notes that CSZJJ only listed two works under the name of Zhu Tanwulan 竺曇無蘭 [the two works in question are: 三十七品經; 賢劫千佛名經; see T2145:55.10b17-20 [note, however, that CSZJJ also preserves a preface to a third text, entitled 大比丘二百六十戒三部合異, by Tanwulan himself]. Bagchi suggests that this circumstance is not odd, because Sengyou was working in the South, and this meant that his information was always incomplete. This makes it all the more striking, however, that LDSBJ and catalogues following attributed a huge number of works to Tanwulan, e.g. 110 in LDSBJ. Zhisheng (KYL) only speaks of 61 works, of which he stated that 48 of those works were either "fake" or extracts from longer works. In Bagchi's individualised list of texts, those regarded as suspect by Zhisheng are placed in square brackets.

Zhisheng's suspicions extended to one of the works listed by Sengyou, the Sanshiqi pin jing 三十七品經, which he took to be an extract from a Vinaya. The [Da biqiu] erbailiushi jie san bu he yi [大比丘]二百六十戒三部合異 was lost by the time of Zhisheng (Bagchi 323). Zhisheng also remarked of the 賢劫千佛名經 that it appeared to be the work of someone other than Tanwulan (Bagchi 324).

[Note that this means, in fact, that none of the works ascribed to Tanwulan by Sengyou was extant in Zhisheng's time, and regarded by him as beyond suspicion---which might make us question the benchmark against which Zhisheng arrived at judgements about the authenticity of the other works he did admit as genuine, as noted below. In addition, none of these three works is now extant. This means that Sengyou is silent on ALL extant texts ascribed to Tanwulan, which in and of itself, and regardless of other mitigating factors, warrants caution in accepting all of those ascriptions---MR]

The extant texts NOT regarded as suspect by Zhisheng [which would perhaps, on these grounds, be prima facae among the most potentially reliable ascriptions---MR] are: Śrāmaṇyaphala 寂志果經 T22; 鐵城泥犁經 T42; 阿耨風經 T58; Pravāraṇa-sūtra 新歳經 T62; 梵志頞波羅延問種尊經 T71; 泥犁經 T86; 水沫所漂經 T106; 戒德香經 T116; 四泥犁經 T139; 玉耶經 T143; 國王不梨先泥十夢經 T148; 大魚事經 T216; 迦葉赴佛般涅槃經 T393; 阿難七夢經 T494; 比丘聽施經 T504; 採花違王上佛授決號妙花經 T510; 呵鵰阿那鋡經T538; 五苦章句經 T741; 自愛經 T742; 忠心經 T743; 見正經 T796; 陀鄰尼鉢經 T1352; 檀特羅麻油述經 T1391; 摩尼羅亶經 T1393.

The following work is not mentioned in KYL, even though it is extant (Bagchi 333): 元師颰所說神咒經 T1378a. The following works are mentioned as lost in KYL, even though they are extant (Bagchi 333): 咒時氣病經 T1326 [a very short text, which carries no ascription in the Taishō]; 咒齒經 T1327; 咒目經 T1328 [a very short text, which carries no ascription in the Taishō]; and 咒小兒經 T1329 [a very short text, which carries no ascription in the Taishō].

[Note: With the exception of T1326, T1328 and T1329, which carry no ascription in the Taishō, the above list coincides perfectly with the Taishō ascriptions to Tanwulan, showing that the Taishō version of Tanwulan's corpus is entirely due to Zhisheng---MR.]

Entry author: Michael Radich



[Hayashiya 1941]  Hayashiya Tomojirō 林屋友次郎. Kyōroku kenkyū 経録研究. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1941. — 669-672

Hayashiya's summary of the content of the catalogues on this and related titles is as follows:

Sengyou's recompilation of Dao'an's catalogue of anonymous scriptures 新集安公失譯經録 lists a Shengsi bianhua jing 生死變化經, with the alternate titles Shengsi bainshi jing 生死變識經, Jianzheng biqiu jing 見正比丘經, and Jianzheng jing 見正經.

Fajing’s Zhongjing mulu includes a Jianzheng jing with the alternate title Shengsi bianshi jing in its Hīnayāna sūtrapiṭaka catalogue 小乗修多羅藏錄. Yancong (仁壽録) records the same title in its category of single Hīnayāna texts 小乗經單本. Hayashiya points out that the text must have been extant at least until the time of Yancong, viz., the Sui, as Yancong’s work is a catalogue of the extant canon 現藏錄. Jingtai 靜泰錄 recorded the same Jianzheng jing 見正經 with a length of seven sheets 紙.

Unlike those catalogues, LDSBJ ascribes the Jianzheng jing 見正經 to Zhu Tanwulan 曇無蘭 of the E. Jin 東晋, while listing a Shengsi bianhua jing 生死變化經ascribed to Juqu Jingsheng 沮渠京聲 separately.

Influenced by LDSBJ, KYL 開元錄 lists a Jianzheng jing, ascribed to Zhu Tanwulan, with the alternate title Shengsi bianshi jing, in the category of extant single Hīnayāna texts 有譯有本小乗經單譯, and also includes a Shengsi bianshi jing ascribed to Juqu Jingsheng in the category of lost single Hīnayāna texts 有譯無本小乗經單譯. Hayashiya points out that, since Shengsi bianshi jing is, together with Jianzheng jing, an alternate title of the Shengsi bianhua jing, if it is to be listed separately from the Jianzheng jing, the titles Shengsi bianshi jing and Jianzheng jing should be shown as alternate translations for the same base text. Hayashiya infers that the reason that Zhisheng 智昇 presents the two titles as different single texts is that Zhisheng is worried about the possibility that the Shengsi bianhua jing ascribed to Jingsheng is a repeat listing 重複記載 of the Jianzheng jing, and to be excised accordingly. In the note on the Shengsi bianshi jing ascribed to Jingsheng, Zhisheng explicitly states his suspicion that the title may be just an alternate title of the Jianzheng jing 見正經 (今疑是藏中見正經異名).

Hayashiya argues that there only ever was one Shengsi bianhua jing, because Sengyou gives Jianzheng jing and Shengsi bianshi jing only as alternate titles of that text, and there are no other alternate translations of the text listed in Dao'an's catalogue of assorted anonymous scriptures 失譯雑經錄 of CSZJJ. Moreover, LDSBJ, the source of KYL’s entries on the Jianzheng jing and Shengsi bianshi jing, does not show any reliable grounds for the ascriptions it gives to either. Hayashiya maintains that, although LDSBJ claims that the two ascriptions are based on the “separate catalogue” 別錄, that catalogue could not have given such ascriptions (he discusses the unreliability of LDSBJ’s ascriptions to Tanwulan at 660-668, those to Jingsheng at 707-714). He also points out the fact that LDSBJ sometimes make up new entries just to offer different groundless ascriptions when it fails to give a reliable ascription to a certain text, which typically is the case when it gives an ascription to Tanwulan and to Jingsheng for related titles. Thus, Hayashiya maintains that ascriptions given to Jianzheng jing and Shengsi bianshi jing in LDSBJ and KYL are unreliable.

A Jianzheng jing, ascribed wrongly to Tanwulan, was extant at the time of KYL. The catalogue records its length as eight sheets, one sheet longer than the length shown in Jingtai. Hayashiya explains that this difference in length is due to the difference in the format: lengths in KYL are based on the format specified at the time of DZKZM 大周刊定衆經目錄, which was approximately 20% smaller than the format used by Jingtai. Hayashiya infers that the length of the text is hence slightly shorter than seven sheets in Jingtai’s format. Therefore, since the Jianzheng jing T796 has just about that length, he asserts that that text in the Taishō is the Jianzheng jing that has been listed in the catalogues since the Sui period.

As for the style of language of T796, Hayashiya holds that it is clearly the style of the W. Jin 西晋 or some time close to that. Nonetheless, the ascription to Tanwulan should be rejected, because it is based on the groundless ascription in LDSBJ. Thus, Hayashiya concludes that T796 should be classified as an anonymous scripture of the W. Jin period.

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki



[Hayashiya 1941]  Hayashiya Tomojirō 林屋友次郎. Kyōroku kenkyū 経録研究. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1941. — 660-668

Hayashiya discusses the validity of LDSBJ’s ascriptions of titles found in Dao'an's list of anonymous scriptures 安公失譯經録 to Zhu Tanwulan 竺曇無蘭. He focuses on ten out of fourteen such ascriptions, since the other four are discussed elsewhere (where Hayashiya argues that they are incorrect). The titles of the ten texts in LDSBJ are as follows (Taishō title, if it differs, is noted separately; followed by Dao’an’s title; alternate titles and notes omitted for simplicity):

Ananduohuan luoyun mu jing 阿難多洹羅云母經 [Luoyun mu jing 羅云母經]
Zhengjian jing 見正經 (T796) [Shengsi bianhua jing 生死變化經)]
Guowang Bulixianni shi meng jing 國王不梨先泥十夢經 (T148) [Shi meng jing 十夢經]
Zi’ai jing 自愛經 (T742) [Zi’ai buzi’ai jing 自愛不自愛經]
Yuye jing 玉耶經 (T143) [Qi fu jing 七婦經]
Xin sui jing 新歳經 (T62) [Xin sui jing 新歳經]
Qi meng jing 七夢經 (Anan qi meng jing 阿難七夢經 T494) [Anan ba meng jing 阿難八夢經]
Wu ku jing 五苦經 T741 [Wu ku zhangju jing 五苦章句經]
Hediao anahan jing 荷鵰阿那含經 (Hediao anahan jing 呵雕阿那鋡經 T538) [Hediao anahan jing 呵調阿那含經]
Jie de jing 戒徳經 (Jie de xiang jing 戒徳香經 T116) [Jie de xiang jing 戒徳香經]

The other four titles discussed by Hayashiya elsewhere in the same work (Kyōroku kenkyū) are: Sanshiqi pin jing 三十七品經, Shi shan shi e jing 十善十惡經, Anan nian Mile jing 阿難念彌勒經, and Pinsha wang wu yuan jing 蓱沙王五願經. Among these four, Hayashiya points out that the Sanshiqi pin jing (one of four texts referred to by the same title ) was composed 撰述 by Tanwulan, not translated by him (821-828). The other three are “ghost scriptures,” fabricated by Fei Changfang 費長房 to add to existing entries with the same or similar titles. Hayashiya states that those four cases give us a reason to suspect the validity of LDSBJ’s record of the other ten titles.

Hayashiya point out that, first, since Dao’an’s catalogue generally collects translated scriptures of or before the W. Jin 西晋 period, any texts included in the catalogue should not be works of Tanwulan, who flourished during the E. Jin 東晋. Still, he claims that there may be some exceptional cases, so it is better to examine each case separately, firstly by investigating the grounds for those ascriptions, and secondly by evaluating the writing style of language of those scriptures.

Hayashiya also asserts that Fei Changfang does not show any convincing grounds for those ascriptions to Tanwulan. Hayashiya makes this point by rejecting two sources that Fei mentions in LDSBJ. First, LDSBJ cites the “old catalogue” 舊錄 as the source of the ascription of four of the ten titles, namely Guowang Bulixianni shi meng jing, Zi’ai jing, Qi meng jing, and Hediao anahan jing. However, Hayashiya points out that the “old catalogue” focuses on showing the titles of scriptures and the sources of their alternative titles, so it should not have anything to do with ascriptions to Tanwulan. Second, according to Hayashiya, Fei suggests that most of the ascriptions to Tanwulan are based on the "separate catalogue" 別錄, viz., the “separate catalogue of Song scriptures” 宋時衆經別錄. Hayashiya maintains that this claim of Fei's is untrue for the following three reasons: 1) Like the old catalogue, the “separate catalogue” does not aim to provide ascriptions; 2) Since the “separate catalogue” was extant down to the Sui period and one of the important sources for Fajing, if the catalogue really had ascribed more than one hundred texts to Tanwulan, at least some of them should have been reflected in Fajing; and 3) Although Sengyou must have seen the “separate catalogue”, he regarded only two titles, viz., the Sanshiqi pin jing and the Xianjie qian Fo jing 賢劫千佛經, as the work of Tanwulan. Thus, Hayashiya asserts that all the ascriptions to Tanwulan shown in LDSBJ are not based on reliable sources, except for the Sanshiqi pin jing 三十七品經 and the Xianjie qian Fo jing 賢劫千佛經.

Hayashiya next moves on to the evaluation of the writing style of these scriptures. Luckily, nine out of the ten scriptures ascribed to Tanwulan by LDSBJ are extant (as listed above). The Taishō ascribes all of those nine texts to Tanwulan, since it follows KYL in principle, which in turn relies very often on LDSBJ. Hayashiya maintains that the nine texts in the Taishō are the same as those listed in Dao’an’s catalogue and in LDSBJ.

Hayashiya admits that, judging from their style, all of these nine texts must have been produced at or before the time of Kumārajīva 羅什, so that in terms of period, it is not impossible that they are the work of Tanwulan. However, Hayashiya argues that there is no uniform style among the nine texts. He also points out that, among other extant texts ascribed to Tanwulan by LDSBJ, there are diverse styles, such as that of the Latter Han 後漢 period, or that later than the Song and Qi 宋齋 periods, and hence there is no text among them that can be reliably ascribed to Tanwulan (he refers to his own “Dommuran yakkyō no kenkyū 竺無蘭譯經の研究” for detailed discussions about each title). Hayashiya conjectures that some of the double ascriptions that Changfang gives to some of those titles ascribed to Tanwulan may be part of his efforts to make less noticeable the inconsistency among the styles of the texts. Furthermore, Hayashiya claims that the only texts that are established as Tanwulan’s work, viz., the Sanshiqi pin jing and the Xianjie qian Fo jing, are not extant (the extant Sanshiqi pin jing is actually the Chan xing sanshiqi pin jing 禪行三十七品經 ascribed to An Shigao 安世高, and the extant Xianjie qian Fo jing is much newer than it should be, as it is included in the Liang catalogue 梁錄 of the Taishō ). Thus, Hayashiya asserts that there is no way to determine which texts are the work of Tanwulan based on style and language, and hence it is not certain if any genuine Tanwulan work is extant.

Thus, Hayashiya summarises his reasons for rejecting LDSBJ’s ascriptions to Tanwulan as follows:

1. Tanwulan’s works could not have been included in Dao’an’s catalogue;
2. The sources that Fei mentions could not have contained the information that he says he saw;
3. There is no extant work by Tanwulan upon the basis of which we could determine which texts should be ascribed to him;
4. There are titles ascribed to Tanwulan that are established as incorrect for simple reasons, such as the titles being “ghost scriptures.”

Hayashiya adds that he does not deal with the Ananduohuan luoyun mu jing, the only lost text among the ten titles, because these general considerations already give us good reasons to safely reject the ascription.

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki



[CSZJJ]  Sengyou 僧祐. Chu sanzang ji ji (CSZJJ) 出三藏記集 T2145.
[Dao'an catalogue]  Dao'an 道安. Zongli zhongjing mulu 綜理衆經目錄.
[Hayashiya 1945]  Hayashiya Tomojirō 林屋友次郎, Iyaku kyōrui no kenkyū‚ 異譯經類の研究, Tokyo: Tōyō bunko, 1945. — 460

Hayashiya examines Dao’an’s list of anonymous scriptures, as “recompiled” by Sengyou under the title 新集安公失譯經錄 at CSZJJ T2145 (LV) 16c7-18c2. The Shengsi bianhua jing 生死變化經 is included in the section of the Dao'an/CSZJJ list for texts listed as extant 有; Sengyou adds an interlinear note: 或云生死變識經一名見正比丘經或云見正經; 17a16. Hayashiya gives, in tabulated form, information about the treatment of the same texts in Fajing T2146, LDSBJ T2034, the KYL T2154, and his own opinion about whether or not the text is extant in T, and if so, where (by vol. and page no.). The above text is identified by Hayashiya with the Jian zheng jing 見正經 T796, attributed in the present canon (T) to Zhu Tanwulan 竺曇無蘭.

Entry author: Merijn ter Haar