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Vinaya: from India to China

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Chapter Summary

Around the first century AD, Buddhist monks and lay followers started to enter China along the merchant land routes from India to China, and small Buddhist communities arose. The first vinaya texts entered China via the northern land routes. These texts all belong to the so-called northern tradition, in opposition to the southern, that is, the Pali Theravda tradition. The rst period of Chinese Buddhism saw an intensive search for disciplinary rules, parallel to the growth of the Buddhist community. This search reached its peak in the beginning of the fth century when, in a relatively short period, four complete vinayas were translated into Chinese. Once these vinayas were transmitted in China, the Buddhist community gradually became conscious of the advantages of using only one vinaya. This was to be the Dharmaguptakavinaya.

Keywords: Buddhist monks; China; Dharmaguptakavinaya; Pali Theravda tradition; Vinaya



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