The Life of Aśvaghoṣa Bodhisattva
The Life of Aśvaghoṣa Bodhisattva is a biography of Aśvaghoṣa (ca. A.D. 100-160). Biographical references to Aśvaghoṣa are to be found in a number of other works too, but there are discrepancies in contents, dates and place-names. This text remains valuable as an important biography of the famous poet-scholar.
Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva as Maming pusa zhuan (馬鳴菩薩傳). 1 fascicle.
The Life of Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva
The Life of Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva is a biography of Nāgārjuna (ca. A.D. 150-250), who is revered by all Buddhist schools in Japan as the “Founder of the Eight Schools.”
Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva as Longshu pusa zhuan (龍樹菩薩傳). 1 fascicle.
Biography of Dharma Master Vasubandhu
This Biography of Dharma Master Vasubandhu catalogs the achievements of this scholar-monk, regarded as having laid the foundations of the Yogācāra School of Mahāyāna Buddhism. While Vasubandhu is celebrated in many works, this is the only independent biography.
Translated into the Chinese by Paramārtha as Posoupandou fashi zhuan (婆藪槃豆法師傳).
Biographies of Buddhist Nuns
This text contains the biographies of 65 Chinese Buddhist nuns (Skt. bhikuṇī, Ch: biqiuni) who lived during the approximately 160-year period between the Eastern Chin and Liang Dynasties. According to the introduction, in former times many virtuous nuns were to be met with, but at the time of the Liang Dynasty when this work was compiled there were few nuns to be found rigorously observing the monastic precepts. Accordingly the author brought together various inscriptions, the recollections of elderly people and other relevant records into this single volume in order to provide examples for future nuns.
Ch. Biqiuni zhuan (比丘尼傳), composed by Bao-chang. 4 fascicles.
The Journey of the Eminent Monk Faxian
The Journey of the Eminent Monk Faxian is a record by Faxian himself of his travels in India, and is also known as the Record of Buddhist Kingdoms and the Account of Travels in India Faxian set out on his journey in search of the Dharma in C.E. 399, and passing through Central Asia via the Southern Route, reached Northwest India, and moved on to Central India, visiting temples and shrines on the way. He then made pilgrimages to various sites associated with Śākyamuni, studied Buddhist scriptures and the monastic code, and made copies of numerous texts. From India he crossed over to Ceylon and then returned to China by sea, arriving in 412. This work is an account of his observations and experiences during this journey. It is a valuable source of information on Buddhism and Buddhist culture in India and Central Asia at the start of the fifth century, and is the oldest extant account by a Buddhist monk of his travels in India.
Ch. Gaoseng Faxian zhuan (高僧法顯傳), recorded by Faxian. 1 fascicle.