The Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King (A Life of Buddha)

by Samuel Beal | 1883 | 108,941 words

This book is called “A Life of Buddha” by Asvaghosha Bodhisattva, in Chinese known as the “Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King”. It was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese by Dharmaraksha (or Dharmakshara) A.D. 420. The most reliable of the lives of Buddha known in China is that translated in the present volume, the Buddhacarita-kavya. It was no doubt written...

Lives of Buddha (5): Cung-pen-k’i-king

We now come to the consideration of the life of Buddha known as the Cung-pen-k’i-king.

This translation was made by the Śramaṇa Dharmaphala in conjunction with Kong-mang-tsiang, about the year 208 A.D. It was brought by Dharmaphala from Kapilavastu, and it is said to be extracted from the Dīrghāgama (the long Āgama), which is undoubtedly a primitive and, as we should say, a canonical work. This translation is in two parts, divided into 15 vargas.

Varga 1. Turning the wheel of the law. This section begins with Buddha's interview with Upaka, after he had attained enlightenment, and gives an account of the conversion of the five men.

Varga 2. Indicating changes. Contains the history of Yasa, and the conversion of his four friends (Fu-nai, Puṇya-jit; Vimala; Kiu-yen-pih, Gavāmpati; Su-to, Subāhu).

Varga 3. The conversion of Kāśyapa.

Varga 4. Converts Bimbisāra rāja.

Varga 5. Conversion of Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana.

Varga 6. returns to his own country.

Varga 7. The history of Su-ta (i.e. Sudatta or Anāthapiṇḍada).

Varga 8. The history of the queen of Udyāna, king of Kauśāmbī. She would not comply with the king's wishes, because it was a fast day.

Varga 9. Gautamī becomes a Bhikṣuṇī.

Varga 10. Inconstancy. Contains the history of Prasenajit's interview with Buddha, and of the minister who had lost his child.

Varga 11. Self love. Contains the history of an interview with Prasenajit, and a sermon preached by Buddha on self-love.

Varga 12. Conversion of Mahākāśyapa (Agnidatta).

Varga 13. Conversion of Ambapālī. Varga 14. Discussion with the Nirgranthas.

Varga 15. Buddha eats the food fit for horses[1].

It will be seen from the above summary, that so early at least as the end of the second century A D. a life of Buddha, with the details above named, was in circulation in Kapilavastu.

Footnotes and references:


See Abstract of Four Lectures, p. 52.

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