aesthetics  →
being  →
complexity  →
database  →
enterprise  →
ethics  →
fiction  →
history  →
internet  →
knowledge  →
language  →
licensing  →
linux  →
logic  →
method  →
news  →
perception  →
philosophy  →
policy  →
purpose  →
religion  →
science  →
sociology  →
software  →
truth  →
unix  →
wiki  →
essay  →
feed  →
help  →
system  →
wiki  →
critical  →
discussion  →
forked  →
imported  →
original  →
[ temporary import ]
please note:
- the content below is remote from Wikipedia
- it has been imported raw for GetWiki
missing image!
- Central Asian Buddhist Monks.jpeg -
Central Asian Buddhist monk teaching a Chinese monk. Bezeklik Caves, 9th-10th century; although Albert von Le Coq (1913) assumed the blue-eyed, red-haired monk was a Tocharian,von Le Coq, Albert. (1913). Chotscho: Facsimile-Wiedergaben der Wichtigeren Funde der Ersten Königlich Preussischen Expedition nach Turfan in Ost-Turkistan. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen), im Auftrage der Gernalverwaltung der Königlichen Museen aus Mitteln des Baessler-Institutes, Tafel 19. (Accessed 3 September 2016). modern scholarship has identified similar Caucasoid figures of :File:BezeklikSogdianMerchants.jpg|the same cave temple
(No. 9) as ethnic Sogdians,Gasparini, Mariachiara. "A Mathematic Expression of Art: Sino-Iranian and Uighur Textile Interactions and the Turfan Textile Collection in Berlin," in Rudolf G. Wagner and Monica Juneja (eds), Transcultural Studies, Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, No 1 (2014), pp 134-163. {{ISSN|2191-6411}}. See also endnote #32. (Accessed 3 September 2016.) an Eastern Iranian people who inhabited Turfan as an ethnic minority community during the phases of Tang Chinese (7th-8th century) and (Kingdom of Qocho|Uyghur rule]] (9th-13th century).Hansen, Valerie (2012), The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford University Press, p. 98, {{ISBN|978-0-19-993921-3}}.){{EarlyBuddhism}}The Dharmaguptaka (Sanskrit; {{zh|c=法藏部|p=Fǎzàng bù}}) are one of the eighteen or twenty early Buddhist schools, depending on the source. They are said to have originated from another sect, the Mahīśāsakas. The Dharmaguptakas had a prominent role in early Central Asian and Chinese Buddhism, and their Prātimokṣa (monastic rules for bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs) are still in effect in East Asian countries to this day, including China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. They are one of three surviving Vinaya lineages, along with that of the Theravāda and the Mūlasarvāstivāda.


Guptaka means "preserver"Guptaka in the Sanskrit Dictionary and dharma "law, justice, morality", and, most likely, the set of laws of Northern Buddhism.Dharma in the Sanskrit Dictionary

Doctrinal development


The Dharmaguptakas regarded the path of a śrāvaka (śrāvakayāna) and the path of a bodhisattva (bodhisattvayāna) to be separate. A translation and commentary on the Samayabhedoparacanacakra reads:《異部宗輪論述記》:謂佛雖在僧中所攝,然別施佛果大,非僧(果大)。於窣堵波興供養業獲廣大果。佛與二乘解脫雖一,而聖道異。無諸外道能得五通。阿羅漢身皆是無漏。餘義多同大眾部執。According to the Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣā Śāstra, the Dharmaguptakas held that the Four Noble Truths are to be observed simultaneously.Vasubandhu states that the Dharmaguptakas held, in agreement with Theravada and against Sarvāstivāda, that realization of the four noble truths happens all at once (ekābhisamaya).Bhikkhu Sujato, Sects and Sectarianism, p. 131.The Dharmaguptaka are known to have rejected the authority of the Sarvāstivāda prātimokṣa rules on the grounds that the original teachings of the Buddha had been lost.Baruah, Bibhuti. Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism. 2008. p. 52

Twelve aá¹…gas

The Dharmaguptaka used a unique twelvefold division of the Buddhist teachings, which has been found in their Dīrgha Āgama, their Vinaya, and in some Mahāyāna sūtras.Williams, Paul. The Origins and Nature of Mahāyāna Buddhism. 2004. p. 184 These twelve divisions are: sūtra, geya, vyākaraṇa, gāthā, udāna, nidāna, jātaka, itivṛttaka, vaipulya, adbhūtadharma, avadāna, and upadeśa.

Appearance and language


Between 148 and 170 CE, the Parthian monk An Shigao came to China and translated a work which described the color of monastic robes (Skt. kāṣāya) utilized in five major Indian Buddhist sects, called Da Biqiu Sanqian Weiyi ({{zh|大比丘三千威儀}}).Hino, Shoun. Three Mountains and Seven Rivers. 2004. p. 55 Another text translated at a later date, the Śāriputraparipṛcchā, contains a very similar passage with nearly the same information. However, the colors for Dharmaguptaka and Sarvāstivāda are reversed. In the earlier source, the Sarvāstivāda are described as wearing deep red robes, while the Dharmaguptaka are described as wearing black robes.Hino, Shoun. Three Mountains and Seven Rivers. 2004. pp. 55-56 The corresponding passage found in the later Śāriputraparipṛcchā, in contrast, portrays the Sarvāstivāda as wearing black robes and the Dharmaguptaka as wearing deep red robes.During the Tang dynasty, Chinese Buddhist monastics typically wore grayish-black robes and were even colloquially referred to as Zīyī ({{zh|緇衣}}), "those of the black robes."Kieschnick, John. The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture. 2003. pp. 89-90 However, the Song dynasty monk Zanning (919–1001 CE) writes that during the earlier Han-Wei period, the Chinese monks typically wore red robes.Kieschnick, John. The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography. 1997. p. 29According to the Dharmaguptaka vinaya, the robes of monastics should be sewn out of no more than 18 pieces of cloth, and the cloth should be fairly heavy and coarse.Kieschnick, John. The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture. 2003. pp. 91-92


A consensus has grown in scholarship which sees the first wave of Buddhist missionary work as associated with the Gāndhārī language and the Kharoṣṭhī script and tentatively with the Dharmaguptaka sect.{{rp|97}} However, there is evidence that other sects and traditions of Buddhism also used Gāndhārī, and further evidence that the Dharmaguptaka sect also used Sanskrit at times:{{rp|99}} }}Starting in the first century of the Common Era, there was a large trend toward a type of Gāndhārī which was heavily Sanskritized.{{rp|99}}


In Northwest India

File:Aparanta.jpg|thumb|right|upright|The region of Aparānta, where the Dharmaguptakas are believed to have originated]]The Gandharan Buddhist texts, the earliest Buddhist texts ever discovered, are apparently dedicated to the teachers of the Dharmaguptaka school. They tend to confirm a flourishing of the Dharmaguptaka school in northwestern India around the 1st century CE, with Gāndhārī as the canonical language, and this would explain the subsequent influence of the Dharmaguptakas in Central Asia and then northeastern Asia. According to Buddhist scholar A. K. Warder, the Dharmaguptaka originated in Aparānta.Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 278According to one scholar, the evidence afforded by the Gandharan Buddhist texts "suggest[s] that the Dharmaguptaka sect achieved early success under their Indo-Scythian supporters in Gandhāra, but that the sect subsequently declined with the rise of the Kuṣāṇa Empire (ca. mid-first to third century A.D.), which gave its patronage to the Sarvāstivāda sect.""The Discovery of 'the Oldest Buddhist Manuscripts'" Review article by Enomoto Fumio. The Eastern Buddhist, Vol NS32 Issue I, 2000, pg 161

In Central Asia

Available evidence indicates that the first Buddhist missions to Khotan were carried out by the Dharmaguptaka sect:{{rp|98}}A number of scholars have identified three distinct major phases of missionary activities seen in the history of Buddhism in Central Asia, which are associated with the following sects, chronologically:Willemen, Charles. Dessein, Bart. Cox, Collett. Sarvastivada Buddhist Scholasticism. 1997. p. 126
  1. Dharmagupta
  2. Sarvāstivāda
  3. Mūlasarvāstivāda
In the 7th century CE, Xuanzang and Yijing both recorded that the Dharmaguptakas were located in Oḍḍiyāna and Central Asia, but not in the Indian subcontinent. Yijing grouped the Mahīśāsaka, Dharmaguptaka, and Kāśyapīya together as sub-sects of the Sarvāstivāda, and stated that these three were not prevalent in the "five parts of India," but were located in the some parts of Oḍḍiyāna, Khotan, and Kucha.Yijing. Li Rongxi (translator). Buddhist Monastic Traditions of Southern Asia. 2000. p. 19

In East Asia

File:Chinese Bhiksuni Taiwan Vesak Festival.jpeg|thumb|right|upright|Full bhiká¹£uṇī ordination is common in the Dharmaguptaka lineage. Vesak festival, TaiwanTaiwanThe Dharmaguptakas made more efforts than any other sect to spread Buddhism outside India, to areas such as Iran, Central Asia, and China, and they had great success in doing so. Therefore, most countries which adopted Buddhism from China, also adopted the Dharmaguptaka vinaya and ordination lineage for bhiká¹£us and bhiká¹£uṇīs. According to A. K. Warder, in some ways the Dharmaguptaka sect can be considered to have survived to the present in those East Asian countries.Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 489 Warder further writes:Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. pp. 280-281During the early period of Chinese Buddhism, the Indian Buddhist sects recognized as important, and whose texts were studied, were the Dharmaguptakas, Mahīśāsakas, KāśyapÄ«yas, Sarvāstivādins, and the Mahāsāṃghikas.Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 281Between 250 and 255 CE, the Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage was established in China when Indian monks were invited to help with ordination in China. No full Vinaya had been translated at this time, and only two texts were available: the Dharmaguptaka Karmavācanā for ordination, and the Mahāsāṃghika Prātimoká¹£a for regulating the life of monks. After the translation of full Vinayas, the Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage was followed by most monks, but temples often regulated monastic life with other Vinaya texts, such as those of the Mahāsāṃghika, the Mahīśāsaka, or the Sarvāstivāda.BOOK, Mohr, Thea, Tsedroen, Jampa, Dignity & discipline : reviving full ordination for Buddhist nuns, 2010, Wisdom Publications, Boston, 978-0861715886, , pp. 187-189In the 7th century, Yijing wrote that in eastern China, most people followed the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, while the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya was used in earlier times in Guanzhong (the region around Chang'an), and that the Sarvāstivāda Vinaya was prominent in the Yangtze area and further south. In the 7th century, the existence of multiple Vinaya lineages throughout China was criticized by prominent Vinaya masters such as Yijing and Dao An (654–717). In the early 8th century, Dao An gained the support of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang and an imperial edict was issued that the sangha in China should use only the Dharmaguptaka vinaya for ordination.pp. 194-195


Gandhāran Buddhist texts

The Gandhāran Buddhist texts (the oldest extant Buddhist manuscripts) are attributed to the Dharmaguptaka sect by Richard Salomon, the leading scholar in the field, and the British Library scrolls "represent a random but reasonably representative fraction of what was probably a much larger set of texts preserved in the library of a monastery of the Dharmaguptaka sect in Nagarāhāra.""The Discovery of 'the Oldest Buddhist Manuscripts'" Review article by Enomoto Fumio. The Eastern Buddhist, Vol NS32 Issue I, 2000, pg 160Richard Salomon. Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhāra: The British Library Kharosthī Fragments, with contributions by Raymond Allchin and Mark Barnard. Seattle: University of Washington Press; London: The British Library, 1999. pg 181Among the Dharmaguptaka Gandhāran Buddhist texts in the Schøyen Collection, is a fragment in the Kharoṣṭhī script referencing the Six Pāramitās, a central practice for bodhisattvas in Mahāyāna doctrine.EPISODE, Eurasia Episode III - Gandhara, the Renaissance of Buddhism, Eurasia, Presenters: Patrick Cabouat and Alain Moreau, France 5 / NHK / Point du Jour International, 2004, 3, 11:20,

Vinaya translation

In the early 5th century CE, Dharmaguptaka Vinaya was translated into Chinese by the Dharmaguptaka monk Buddhayaśas (佛陀耶舍) of Kashmir. For this translation, Buddhayaśas recited the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya entirely from memory, rather than reading it from a written manuscript.Scharfe, Harmut. Education in Ancient India. 2002. pp. 24-25 After its translation, the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya became the predominant vinaya in Chinese Buddhist monasticism. The Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, or monastic rules, are still followed today in China, Vietnam and Korea, and its lineage for the ordination of monks and nuns has survived uninterrupted to this day. The name of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya in the East Asian tradition is the "Vinaya in Four Parts" ({{zh | c=四分律| hp=Sìfēn Lǜ}}), and the equivalent Sanskrit title would be Caturvargika Vinaya.Williams, Jane, and Williams, Paul. Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, Volume 3. 2004. p. 209 Ordination under the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya only relates to monastic vows and lineage (Vinaya), and does not conflict with the actual Buddhist teachings that one follows (Dharma).

Ä€gama collections

The Dīrgha Āgama ("Long Discourses," 長阿含經 Cháng Āhán Jīng) (T. 1)Muller, Charles. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, entry on 阿含經{{Dead link|date=July 2019 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} corresponds to the Dīgha Nikāya of the Theravada school. A complete version of the Dīrgha Āgama of the Dharmaguptaka sect was translated by Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian (竺佛念) in the Later Qin dynasty, dated to 413 CE. It contains 30 sūtras in contrast to the 34 suttas of the Theravadin Dīgha Nikāya.The Ekottara Āgama ("Incremental Discourses," 增壹阿含經 Zēngyī Āhán Jīng) (T. 125) corresponds to the Anguttara Nikāya of the Theravāda school. It was translated into Chinese by Dharmanandi in 384 CE, and edited by Gautama Saṃghadeva in 398 CE. Some have proposed that the original text for this translation came from the Sarvāstivādins or the Mahāsāṃghikas.Sujato Bhikkhu. "About the EA". Retrieved on 2013-02-11. However, according to A.K. Warder, the Ekottara Āgama references 250 prātimokṣa rules for monks, which agrees only with the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya. He also views some of the doctrine as contradicting tenets of the Mahāsāṃghika school, and states that they agree with Dharmaguptaka views currently known. He therefore concludes that the extant Ekottara Āgama is that of the Dharmaguptakas.Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 6


The Śāriputra Abhidharma Śāstra (舍利弗阿毘曇論 Shèlìfú Āpítán Lùn) (T. 1548) is a complete abhidharma text that is thought to come from the Dharmaguptaka sect. The only complete edition of this text is that in Chinese. Sanskrit fragments from this text have been found in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, and are now part of the Schøyen Collection (MS 2375/08). The manuscripts at this find are thought to have been part of a monastery library of the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda sect.

Additional piá¹­akas

The Dharmaguptaka Tripiṭaka is said to have contained two extra sections that were not included by some other schools. These included a Bodhisattva Piṭaka and a Mantra Piṭaka ( Zhòu Zàng), also sometimes called a Dhāraṇī Piṭaka. According to the fifth-century Dharmaguptaka monk Buddhayaśas, the translator of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya into Chinese, the Dharmaguptaka school had assimilated the "Mahāyāna Tripiṭaka" ( Dàchéng Sānzàng).Walser, Joseph. Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture. 2005. pp. 52-53

Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sūtra

The Dharmaguptaka biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive of all classical biographies of the Buddha, and is entitled Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sūtra. Various Chinese translations of this text date from between the 3rd and 6th century CE.

Relationship to Mahāyāna

missing image!
- Chinese Buddhist Monks Ceremony Hangzhou.jpeg -
Bhiká¹£us performing a traditional Buddhist ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China

Kushan era

It is unknown when some members of the Dharmaguptaka school began to accept the Mahāyāna sūtras, but the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa records that Kaniṣka (127-151 CE) of the Kuṣāṇa Empire presided over the establishment of Prajñāpāramitā doctrines in the northwest of India.Ray, Reginald. Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations. 1999. p. 410 Tāranātha wrote that in this region, 500 bodhisattvas attended the council at Jālandhra monastery during the time of Kaniṣka, suggesting some institutional strength for Mahāyāna in the northwest during this period. Edward Conze goes further to say that Prajñāpāramitā had great success in the northwest during the Kuṣāṇa period, and may have been the "fortress and hearth" of early Mahāyāna, but not its origin, which he associates with the Mahāsāṃghika branch.Ray, Reginald. Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations. 1999. p. 426

Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra

Jan Nattier writes that available textual evidence suggests that the Mahāyāna Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra circulated in Dharmaguptaka communities during its early history, but a later translation shows evidence that the text later circulated amongst the Sarvāstivādins as well.Nattier, Jan. A Few Good Men: Based on the Ugraparipṛcchā, a Mahāyāna Sūtra. 2007. pp. 46-47 The Ugraparipṛcchā also mentions a fourfold division of the Buddhist canon which includes a Bodhisattva Piṭaka, and the Dharmaguptaka are known to have had such a collection in their canon.Nattier, Jan. A Few Good Men: Based on the Ugraparipṛcchā, a Mahāyāna Sūtra. 2007. pp. 46 Nattier further describes the type of community depicted in the Ugraparipṛcchā:Nattier, Jan. A Few Good Men: Based on the Ugrapariprccha, a Mahayana Sutra. 2007. pp. 46-47

Ratnarāśivyākaraṇa Sūtra

The Mahāyāna Ratnarāśivyākaraṇa Sūtra, which is part of the Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra, is believed by some scholars to have a Dharmaguptaka origin or background, due to its specific regulations regarding giving to the Buddha and giving to the Saṃgha.Silk, Jonathan. The Maharatnakuta Tradition: A Study of the Ratnarasi Sutra. Volume 1. 1994. pp. 253-254

Prajñāpāramitā sūtras

According to Joseph Walser, there is evidence that the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (25,000 lines) and the Śatasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (100,000 lines) have a connection with the Dharmaguptaka sect, while the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (8000 lines) does not.Williams, Paul. Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. 2008. p. 6 Instead, Guang Xing assesses the view of the Buddha given in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (8000 lines) as being that of the Mahāsāṃghikas.Guang Xing. The Concept of the Buddha: Its Evolution from Early Buddhism to the Trikaya Theory. 2004. p. 66


The translator Buddhayaśas was a Dharmaguptaka monk who was known to be a Mahāyānist, and he is recorded as having learned both Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna treatises. He translated the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, the Dīrgha Āgama, and Mahāyāna texts including the Ākāśagarbha Bodhisattva Sūtra (虛空藏菩薩經 Xūkōngzàng Púsà Jīng). The preface written by Buddhayaśas for his translation of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya states that the Dharmaguptakas had assimilated the Mahāyāna Tripiṭaka.

Buddhist canon

The Dharmaguptakas were said to have had two extra sections in their canon:
  1. Bodhisattva Piá¹­aka
  2. Mantra Piṭaka or Dhāraṇī Piṭaka
In the 4th century Mahāyāna abhidharma work Abhidharmasamuccaya, Asaṅga refers to the collection which contains the Āgamas as the Śrāvakapiṭaka, and associates it with the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Asanga. Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching. 2001. pp. 199-200 Asaṅga classifies the Mahāyāna sūtras as belonging to the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, which is designated as the collection of teachings for bodhisattvas.


Paramārtha, a 6th-century CE Indian monk from Ujjain, unequivocally associates the Dharmaguptaka school with the Mahāyāna, and portrays the Dharmaguptakas as being perhaps the closest to a straightforward Mahāyāna sect.Walser, Joseph. Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture. 2005. p. 52

See also




  • Foltz, Richard, Religions of the Silk Road, Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition, 2010 {{ISBN|978-0-230-62125-1}}
  • BOOK, Heirmann, Ann, Rules for Nuns According to the Dharmaguptakavinaya, Motilal Barnasidass, Delhi, 2002, 81-208-1800-8,
  • BOOK, Ven. Bhikshuni Wu Yin, Choosing Simplicity, Snow Lion Publications, 2001, 1-55939-155-3,
  • Heirman, Ann (2002). Can We Trace the Early Dharmaguptakas?, T'oung Pao, Second Series 88 (4/5), 396-429 {{Subscription required |via=JSTOR}}

External links

  • weblink" title="">The Gandharan texts and the Dharmaguptaka
{{Buddhism topics}}

- content above as imported from Wikipedia
- "Dharmaguptaka" does not exist on GetWiki (yet)
- time: 5:46am EDT - Tue, Aug 20 2019
[ this remote article is provided by Wikipedia ]
LATEST EDITS [ see all ]
Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott