Text: Dharmarakṣa catalogue 竺法護錄


Identifier [None]
Title Dharmarakṣa catalogue 竺法護錄 [Hayashiya 1941]
Date [None]


Preferred? Source Pertains to Argument Details


[Hayashiya 1941]  Hayashiya Tomojirō 林屋友次郎. Kyōroku kenkyū 経録研究. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1941. — 282-304

Entry author: Michael Radich


  • Title: Dharmarakṣa catalogue 竺法護錄


[Sakaino 1935]  Sakaino Kōyō 境野黄洋. Shina Bukkyō seishi 支那佛教精史. Tokyo: Sakaino Kōyō Hakushi Ikō Kankōkai, 1935. — 329-331

Sakaino argues that the so-called Nie Daozhen catalogue 聶道眞錄 reported by Fei Changfang was actually a catalogue of the works of Dharmarakṣa 竺法護錄 compiled by Nie Daozhen. Fei Changfang mistakenly understood that a “Nie Daozhen catalogue” separate from the “Dharmarakṣa catalogue” existed, and then fabricated fifty-four entries for which he cited the authority of this supposed “Nie Daozhen catalogue”, assuming that Nie Daozhen must have translated scriptures if there was a catalogue of his works. However, Sakaino claims that in fact, Nie probably did not translate any scriptures at all, as neither Dao’an or Sengyou recorded any of his works.

Perversely enough, further, the source that Fei actually cites as the source for these fifty-four fabricated entries is the Bie lu 別錄, not the supposed “Nie Daozhen catalogue”, a fact which Sakaino claims shows that neither the Nie Daozhen catalogue n or the Bie lu as cited by Fei are at all reliable. Sakaino states that the “Dharmarakṣa catalogue” was probably, in fact, a simple list made by Nie Daozhen to record the works of his master Dharmarakṣa.

[This suggestion might affect our view of the reliability not only of LDSBJ itself, and these various catalogues upon which it in these cases claims to base its ascriptions, but also the reliability of all ascriptions to Nie Daozhen still carried in T, viz., T188, T282, T463, T483 and T1502, and this record therefore lists all of those texts --- MR.]

Entry author: Atsushi Iseki



[Hayashiya 1941]  Hayashiya Tomojirō 林屋友次郎. Kyōroku kenkyū 経録研究. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1941. — 282-304

In his Kyōroku kenkyū, Hayashiya examines the characteristics of the Dharmarakṣa catalogue 竺法護錄 and the Nie Daozhen catalogue 聶道眞錄. His overall claim is that the two are probably one and the same catalogue, which records the translation works of Dharmarakṣa in a simple manner. His discussion of the two titles can be summarized as follows:

The two catalogues (282-284)

According to Hayashiya, it was common to make catalogues of individual translators’ works from early times, especially of translators who translated a large number of scriptures. Those catalogues were most commonly compiled by the translator himself or an amanuensis 筆受, in order to keep good records of the translator’s works, and to praise the translator for those works. Such catalogues were called the Catalogues of Tripiṭaka Translations 三蔵翻譯目錄, and were regarded as the most reliable sources in compiling catalogues in later times.

There are two titles recorded in the literature as catalogues of Dharmarakṣa’s translation works: the “Dharmarakṣa catalogue” 竺法護錄 and “Nie Daozhen’s catalogue” 聶道眞錄. If they were indeed different catalogues, the Dharmarakṣa catalogue is most likely to have been compiled by Dharmarakṣa himself, as the record of his own works, and Nie Daozhen’s catalogue to have been compiled by Daozhen, who worked as amanuensis in Dharmarakṣa’s translation team, in order to record Dharmarakṣa’s works for later generations to acknowledge his contribution to the tradition. (Hayashiya adds that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was, by contrast, not a catalogue of Nie Daozhen’s own translation works, the existence of which is a matter of debate, since even LDSBJ, a catalogue that lists scriptures ascribed to Nie Daozhen and his father Nie Chengyuan 聶承遠, does not once cite Nie Daozhen’s catalogue 聶道眞錄 as a source for those works.)

Subsequently, Hayashiya points out that the Dharmarakṣa catalogue is never cited in any catalogue, although some catalogues include a description of it. In contrast, Nie Daozhen’s catalogue is cited many times in LDSBJ and other catalogues after it. Moreover, Dao’an’s catalogue also appears to rely on Nie Daozhen’s catalogue, and not the Dharmarakṣa catalogue, as will be explained below.

Hayashiya offers three possible explanations for this absence of the Dharmarakṣa catalogue as a source of ascriptions: 1) the Dharmarakṣa catalogue had already gone missing as early as the time of Dao’an; 2) the Dharmarakṣa catalogue was a simple record made by Dharmarakṣa, and as such, it contained much less information than Nie Daozhen’s catalogue ; and 3) the Dharmarakṣa catalogue and Nie Daozhen’s catalogue are actually one and the same catalogue. (Hayashiya himself favours (3).)

Hayashiya aims to show that the Dharmarakṣa catalogue and Nie Daozhen’s catalogue are one and the same, by examining the way they are used in LDSBJ and other catalogues

The Dharmarakṣa catalogue (284-285)

The full title of the Dharmarakṣa catalogue 1 juan (missing 缺) is Xi Jin shamen Zhu Fahu zhongjing mulu 西晋沙門竺法護衆經目錄 (“Catalogue of the scriptures [by] the śramaṇera Dharmarakṣa ‘the Indian’ of the Western Jin”). LDSBJ lists this title at the end of the list of scriptures ascribed to Dharmarakṣa, calling it Zhongjing mulu 衆經錄目, while using the title Dharmarakṣa catalogue elsewhere. Datang neidian lu 内典録 states of the same title that Dharmarakṣa was “a śramaṇera of the Great Temple outside Qingmen [gate] in Chang’an under Wudi of the Jin who translated a great wealth of scriptures, and therefore, a catalogue of his [works] was issued” 晋武帝長安青門外大寺沙門也、翻經極廣、因出其録. Zhisheng and 圓照 use this description in their catalogues as well.

Hayashiya points out that on the basis of these records, it is uncertain whether such catalogue actually existed, because it had already long been missing, and no catalogue cites it as the source of any ascriptions. (Hayashiya admits that it is a possibility that Dharmarakṣa wanted to have a catalogue of his own work and compiled one, since, as recorded in CSZJJ, Dharmarakṣa translated over a hundred scriptures, and it would not have been easy for him to remember them all. )

Nie Daozhen’s catalogue (285-304)

Nie Daozhen’s catalogue as recorded in catalogues (285-296)
The full title of the Dharmarakṣa catalogue 1 juan (missing 缺) is Xi Jin qingxinshi Nie Daozhen zhongjing lu 西晋清信士聶道眞衆經録 (“Catalogue of scriptures [of] the pious layman Nie Daozhen of the W. Jin”). LDSBJ lists it in the section of scriptures ascribed to Nie Daozhen, calling it Zhongjing mulu 衆經錄目, while using the title Nie Daozhen lu (聶道眞錄一巻晋時) elsewhere. Datang neidian lu states of Nie Daozhen that he was “a scribe who took down [translations] from the noble Dharmarakṣa during the Yongjia era of Huidi of the Jin, and subsequently translated scriptures himself, for which reason a catalogue was issued” 晋惠帝永嘉中、禀受護公之筆匠也、後自翻經、因出録云. Zhisheng and Yuanzhao 圓照 used this description in their catalogues as well.

Hayashiya points out that the above description in DTNDL is unreliable, because Nie Daozhen’s catalogue had already gone missing at the time of Daoxuan 道宣, and because the description seems to be based only on a passage in LDSBJ (285-286).

Furthermore, the Gao seng zhuan 高僧傳 does not mention any translation work by Daozhen. Thus, Hayashiya next asks if Daozhen in fact translated any scriptures. According to him, quite a few modern scholars, such as Sakaino, maintain that Daozhen did not translate any scriptures. However, Hayashiya argues that by far the most popular evidence for this view, viz., the fact that CSZJJ does not ascribe any scriptures to Daozhen, is actually indecisive. First, Sengyou tends not to add much to the sections Dao’an has already worked on; second, Dao’an’s catalogue does not include scriptures translated in and after the E. Jin period, so scriptures translated by Daozhen would not have been included in Dao’an’s catalogue even if they existed (287).

Hayashiya adds that one point indirectly supports the existence of translation works by Daozhen: since Nie Chengyuan 承遠, Daozhen’s father, modified some of the scriptures translated by Dharmarakṣa, it can reasonably be hypothesized that Daozhen also worked further on Dharmarakṣa’s translations.

LDSBJ lists three scriptures ascribed to Nie Chengyuan: the Chaoriming sanmei jing 超日明三昧經 T638, the Jiaye jie Anan jing 迦葉詰阿難經 1 juan (lost), and the Yuenan jing 越難經 T537. Among these, T638 is included in CSZJJ; Sengyou records that Dharmarakṣa translated a version of this text, but it was difficult to read, so Nie Chengyuan reworked it. The Jiaye jie Anan jing and T537 are classified as anonymous in CSZJJ, and ascribed to Nie Chengyuan by LDSBJ.

Hayashiya maintains that Nie Daozhen might have also worked on some of Dharmarakṣa’s translations like his father did, and suggests that titles ascribed to Nie Daozhen by Fei could be modifications of Dharmarakṣa’s works. For example:

諸佛要集經 2 juan: Dharmarakṣa諸佛要集經 2 juan
觀世音授記經 1 juan: Dharmarakṣa光世音大勢至受決經 1 juan
菩薩受齋經 1 juan: Dharmarakṣa菩薩齋法經 1 juan
溥首童眞經 1 juan: Dharmarakṣa普首童經 1 juan
菩薩縁身五十事經 1 juan: Dharmarakṣa五十縁身行經 1 juan
文殊師利淨律經 1 juan: Dharmarakṣa 文殊師利淨律經 1 juan (288).

Hayashiya claims further that, judging from records of Nie Daozhen’s activities, it is not unreasonable to think that he translated even more scriptures. Although there were some amanuenses 筆受 who did not know Sanskrit very well, they appeared only in and after the time of Kumārajīva, and Nie Daozhen probably had a good knowledge of Sanskrit, as he worked with Dharmarakṣa for a long time. Furthermore, Dharmarakṣa engaged in translating for as long as 42 years, and must have left translations only partially finished, or had plans for more translations when he passed away (289).

Hayashiya emphasizes that it is quite different to maintain that Nie Daozhen might have had his own translation works, and to accept the ascriptions to him in LDSBJ. In defending the possibility that Nie Daozhen did indeed produce translations, Hayashiya only means that the vehement denial by some modern scholars that Nie Daozhen translated any scriptures is not well-founded, and not that we have any way of determining that extant texts are in fact such translations (289-290).

Hayashiya adds that even if translation works by Nie Daozhen did exist, that would also not necessarily mean, as DTNDL claims, that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was a catalogue listing his own works. Titles for which Nie Daozhen’s catalogue is cited in LDSBJ (listed 290-294) do not include any ascribed to Nie Daozhen himself. However, neither does this prove that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue did not include any titles ascribed to Nie Daozhen, as Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was missing by the time of LDSBJ, and Fei must have obtained information about it via some other source. Still, Hayashiya claims, it is highly likely that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was actually a catalogue of Dharmarakṣa’s works compiled by Nie Daozhen (290-295).

Hayashiya also points out that among the titles for which Nie Daozhen’s catalogue is cited in LDSBJ, three are not ascribed to Dharmarakṣa: two are ascribed to Lokakṣema, and one to Zhi Qian. Hayashiya maintains that those cases do not contradict his view that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue is a catalogue of Dharmarakṣa’s works, since a small number of such odd entries could have been made by the people who used the catalogue, rather than by Nie Daozhen himself (295).

Content of Nie Daozhen’s catalogue (296-302)
Next, Hayashiya asks if Nie Daozhen’s catalogue had the content presented in LDSBJ (296).

Among titles for which LDSBJ cites Nie Daozhen’s catalogue, 56 are ascribed to Dharmarakṣa. 55 (excepting the 師子月佛本生經 T176) are already ascribed to Dharmarakṣa in CSZJJ. Hayashiya discusses three issues that might affect the credibility of Nie Daozhen’s catalogue:

1. Why are the Achamo jing 阿差末經 and Wujinyi jing 無盡意經 (both referring to the Akṣayamati-nirdeśa) listed separately?
Sengyou lists the Achamo jing 阿差末經 and the Wujinyi jing 無盡意經 as different texts, but as Zhisheng points out in KYL, this is an error, and the two titles refer to one and the same text. This error derives presumably from the fact that the Akṣayamati-nirdeśa 阿差末經 ascribed to Dharmarakṣa says 晋言云無盡意. These two titles are also listed separately in LDSBJ, citing Nie Daozhen’s catalogue .

Hayashiya admits that such an error could make us doubt whether Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was really compiled by Nie Daozhen, since it is highly unlikely that Dharmarakṣa’s amanuensis would make such a mistake. However, Hayashiya argues that this error can be explained as follows: Since Nie Daozhen’s catalogue had gone missing by the time of Fei, he must have referred to different catalogues separately containing information from Nie Daozhen’s catalogue, one listing 阿差末經 and another listing 無盡意經 and not have known that there was only one text (297-298).

2. Why is Nie Daozhen’s catalogue cited for three scriptures not ascribed to Dharmarakṣa?
LDSBJ cites Nie Daozhen’s catalogue for three titles not ascribed to Dharmarakṣa: the Pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukkhāvasthitasamādhi 般舟三昧經 T418 and *Ratnakūṭa 寶積經 ascribed to Lokakṣema, and the Śūraṃgamasamādhi 首楞嚴經 ascribed to Zhi Qian. Hayashiya argues that the inclusion of these titles can be explained as follows: For the Śūraṃgamasamādhi, Dharmarakṣa translated the same material as well, and Nie Daozhen’s catalogue might therefore have mentioned Zhi Qian’s version in relation to Dharmarakṣa’s. Regarding The Lokakṣema translations are both listed in Dao’an, and it is therefore reasonable that the two titles were mentioned in Nie Daozhen’s catalogue for some reasons (299).

3. Why does LDSBJ ascribe T176 to Dharmarakṣa, citing Nie Daozhen’s catalogue?
Hayashiya claims that T176 is clearly not Dharmarakṣa’s work (the ascription is rejected by Zhisheng), and that the inclusion of this ascription would cast doubt on the reliability of Nie Daozhen’s catalogue (299).

However, Hayashiya maintains that this information can be explained as follows: It is implausible that Fei fabricated the description of the Nie Daozhen catalogue, and citations from it, for just one text, namely T176, which is not an important scripture. It is more plausible that the incorrect ascription was added during in the transmission process: for example, somebody might have written the title 師子月佛本生經 down in the margin of a copy of Nie Daozhen’s catalogue ,and it was later mistaken as part of the catalogue itself; or Fei might have simply cited incorrectly. We can reasonably assume that the ascription of T176 to Dharmarakṣa was not in Nie Daozhen’s catalogue (299-300).

Hayashiya asserts that it is safe to say that the other 54 titles were indeed recorded in Nie Daozhen’s catalogue. Since records from Nie Daozhen’s catalogue in LDSBJ were merely collected by Fei from other catalogues available in his time, it is probable that another 100-odd scriptures were originally listed in Nie Daozhen’s catalogue (300).

Hayashiya maintains that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue probably did not provide the dates of translation. LDSBJ often provides the translation date in the entries citing Nie Daozhen’s catalogue, which gives the impression that Nie Daozhen’s catalogue is the source of those dates, but Hayashiya claims this is wrong, referring to his own “Jiku Hōgo yakukyō no kenkyū 竺法護譯經の研究”. Dao’an provides a date for only twenty scriptures ascribed to Dharmarakṣa (nine of which are probably based on colophons). If the source of these dates was Nie Daozhen, there should have been more, because as amanuensis 筆受, Nie Daozhen would have recorded the translation date of most of the scriptures listed (300-301).

Relation between Nie Daozhen’s catalogue and Dao’an’s catalogue (302-304)
Hayashiya claims that Dao’an must have referred to Nie Daozhen’s catalogue or the Dharmarakṣa catalogue, because his catalogue includes over 150 texts ascribed to Dharmarakṣa (302-303).

If Nie Daozhen’s catalogue and the Dharmarakṣa catalogue were two different catalogues, Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was more likely to be the one referred to by Dao’an, for two reasons: 1. Nie Daozhen’s catalogue was probably cited frequently in catalogues prior to LDSBJ, as Fei cited it for as many as 59 titles, while the Dharmarakṣa catalogue was probably not cited in any of those catalogues, since Fei does not mention it. 2. All 54 scriptures correctly ascribed to Dharmarakṣa in LDSBJ, citing Nie Daozhen, are included in Dao’an. This is more than one third of the scriptures Dao’an ascribes to Dharmarakṣa (303).

However, it is more reasonable to regard Nie Daozhen’s catalogue and the Dharmarakṣa catalogue as one and the same. It is too peculiar to suppose that there were two catalogues with the very similar contents (303-304).

Entry author: Michael Radich