Text: T2916 ; Quan shan jing 勸善經


Identifier T2916 [Fang 2010]
Title Quan shan jing 勸善經 [Fang 2010]
Date [None]


Preferred? Source Pertains to Argument Details


[Fang 2010]  Fang Ling 方玲. “Sûtras apocryphes et maladie.” In Médecine, religion et société dans la chine médiévale: étude de manuscrits chinois de Dunhuang et de Turfan, Tome II, sous la direction de Catherine Despeux, 1001-1093. Paris: Collège de France, Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises, 2010. — 1007-1010

Fang discusses the Quan shan jing 勸善經 T2916 as one of a group of four Dunhuang apocrypha that furnish evidence of Chinese Buddhist attitudes to and ideas about illness. This short text of approx. 162 characters is represented by thirty witnesses in the Pelliot, Stein, China National Library, Beijing University, Gansu Museum and other collections. The Taishō text is edited upon the basis of S.417. In a lengthy appendix, Fang describes each individual manuscript in detail. Jia Dan 價耽 (730-805), who was also associated with the Xin pusa jing 新菩薩經 T2917, is said in the text to have been supposed to promulgate the text on imperial order. The text predicts that in the year following its appearance, various illnesses will slaughter large numbers of people. Various manuscript copies bear dates, which cluster around the year 803 (some seem to be dated in error a decade earlier, in 793). This was a jiashen 甲申 year, which was a juncture in the sexagenary cycle often regarded as inauspicious, and fits the gloomy prophecies of the text. On this and other grounds, Fang dates the text to 803-805 (she discusses details of Jia's official biography in the dynastic histories which are difficult to reconcile with the date in 803). Jia Dan was an eminent minister of state who led an illustrious career, and whose biography reports that he had strong scholarly interests in dialectology, geography and ethnography. Fang discusses Jia's biography (1013-1015), and notes that the figure of Jia eventually took on supernatural and miraculous dimensions, which might account for the choice of Jia as the promulgator of the text.

Fang remarks of all four texts in this group that they frequently attribute illness to pathological influences which are typically Chinese, such as "winds, miasmas, and demonic possession" (the Zhoumei jing 呪魅經, for instance, although it is presented as an Indian scripture, reveals a series of practices associated with Chinese sorcery); some passages are resonant with Daoist apocalyptic texts; and the texts feature "a throng of bodhisattvas associated with the stars, and the powers of the earth and vegetation, which are the invention of popular Chinese religion"; moreover, almost all the illnesses featuring in the Jiu ji jing are also included in the Jin jing 禁經 (which Fang translates "The Book of Exorcisms"), compiled under the Tang by Sun Simiao (1036-1037). The texts frequently prescribe the copying of sūtras as a cure, and Fang remarks that we see here an assimilation of the copying of sūtras to Chinese talismans that are pasted on doorways. Fang estimates that all the texts in the group date before the Tang.

Entry author: Michael Radich


  • Title: Quan shan jing 勸善經
  • Identifier: T2916


[Saitō 2013 ]  Saitō Takanobu 齊藤隆信. Kango butten ni okeru ge no kenkyū 漢語仏典における偈の研究. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2013. — p.536

Saitō points out that 救諸衆生一切苦難經 T2915 (apocryphal) has some connection with 新菩薩經 T2917 [it is not specified whether the text referred to is T2917A or T2917B or both --- AI] and 勸善經 T2916 since the three use similar vocabulary and are often transcribed on the same fascicle.

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki