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Fǎchéng 法成

9th century CE, 'Gos Chos-grub (active in the 820s through 840s)


A bilingual Chinese scholar, the leading translator and scholar of Buddhism in Dunhuang in this period.

He is the translator of that Tibetan version of the Laṅkâvatāra-sūtra thought to have been translated from the Chinese of Guṇabhadra, taking into consideration a lost commentary by Wenhui. Also the translator of the Tibetan version of the Yulanpen jing, so far known from just three of the manuscript versions of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, where it is entitled 'Phags pa yongs su skyobs pa'i snod ces bya ba'i mdo (Stog Palace Kanjur no. 266, Ulan Bator 314 and Tokyo 266); it is not found in the printed editions. The translation corresponds very closely with the published Chinese version of the Yulanpen jing 盂蘭盆經, T 685. In the Stein collection of Tibetan documents from Dunhuang in London, we find a short verse text composed by 'Gos Chos-grub devoted to the story of Maudgalyāyana (La Vallée-Poussin 1962, no. 686, IOL Tib J 686). Chos 'grub may have also translated some texts into Chinese, though there is some doubt as to whether or not this is the same Facheng. Among Dunhuang manuscripts related to him are Pelliot 2038 and 2128 which contain Fachengʼs lectures on the Yogâcārabhūmi. Victor Mair catalogues them thus: “Classified Notes on the Yogācāryabhūmi-śāstra” 瑜伽師地論分門記 as related by the bhadanta and Tripiṭaka Dharma Master, Fa-ch'eng 大德三藏法師法成. Written in a very hurried hand. Owned by the sramaṇas Tanxun 談迅 and Fuhui 福慧. After their names, which appear at the head of each chapter, comes the remark 'heard'   or 'while listening along'  隨聽 or 'note made while listening along'  隨聽記. Reference: International Dunhuang Project, Mair 1981 Catalogue ( [Michael Radich, Dan Lusthaus]

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