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Chinese Literature
Ming gaosengzhuan 明高僧傳 "Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled during the Ming Period"

The Ming gaosengzhuan 明高僧傳 "Biographies of eminent monks compiled during the Ming period", original title Da-Ming gaoseng zhuan 大明高僧傳, is a collection of biographies of Buddhist monks from the Northern Song 北宋 (960-1126) to the early Ming period 明 (1368-1644) compiled by the Ming period monk Ruxing 如惺. The 8 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1617. Compared to the earlier Gaoseng biographies like the Gaosengzhuan 高僧傳 by the Liang period 梁 (502-557) monk Huijiao 慧皎, it is only quite short and includes only three categories of monks, namely translators (Yijing 譯經), commentators (Yijie 義解) and Chan monks (Xichan 習禪). The main text includes 112 biographies, and the appendix that of 68 further persons. The three chapters are not finished by a discussion, as in the older Gaoseng collections, probably because the compilation was not really finished when it was published. The Ming gaosengzhuan is nevertheless a valuable source for the study of Song and Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) Buddhism, an age in which the differences between the various Buddhist schools became less clearly visible.
The book was first printed during the Wanli reign 萬曆 (1573-1619) by Lengyan's 楞嚴 Banruo Studio 般若堂 in Jiaxing 嘉興, Jiangsu. It is included in the Buddhist Canon Taishō Tripitaka 大正新脩大藏經 (T 2062).

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2257. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

March 17, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail