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Wuxing 無行

Wuxing 無行


A seventh century Chinese monk who travelled to India and died there in the north (b. 630). He was from Jiangling 江陵 Jingzhou 荊州. He had the title of Chan Master禪師. A contemporary account of him and his journey in India is provided by Yijing 義淨 (635–713) in his Datang xiyu qiufa gaoseng zhuan 大唐西域求法高僧傳 (T 2066). Yijing met him in India and travelled together with him to Gṛdhrakūṭa-parvata 鷲嶺. Fasc. 2 includes some biographical details. His Sanskrit name was Prajñādeva 般若提婆 (慧天). He studied under Huiying 慧英 of Dafutiansi 大福田寺, who was an eminent disciple of Jizang 吉藏. He later travelled around China before studying under Daoxuan 道宣 (596–667). He took to sea with Zhihong 智弘 and arrived in Śrībhuja 室利佛逝國 before eventually reaching eastern India. At Nālandā 那爛陀寺 he studied the full scope of Buddhist learning including Yogâcāra 瑜伽, Madhyamaka 中觀, Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya 俱舍 and the Vinaya 律典. Later he went to the nearby monastery of *Tilaśākya 羝羅荼寺 where he studied logic, in particular the works of Dignāga 陳那 and Dharmakīrti 法稱. He translated an account excerpted from the Sarvāstivāda Vinaya 一切有部律 of the Tathāgata’s nirvāṇa 涅槃 in three fascicles which was forwarded to China. In year 1 of Chuigong 垂拱元年 (685) Yijing was returning home and parted from Wuxing. Wuxing at the time was fifty-six years old. At the time of writing the biographies in 691, Yijing was unaware of Wuxing’s whereabouts. However, Yamamoto (2012: 88) gives a death date of 674. Yijing also reports that Wuxing planned to return home through northern India. Zhisheng 智昇 (669–740) in fasc. 9 of the Kaiyuan shijiao lu 開元釋教錄  (T 2154) reports that Wuxing was en route home when he died in northern India. The Sanskrit manuscripts he was carrying were ordered to be retrieved and later were deposited at Huayansi 華嚴寺 in Chang’an. Later Śubhakarasiṃha 善無畏 (637–735) and Yixing 一行 (683–727) retrieved a copy of the Sanskrit Mahāvairocana-sūtra 大日經 (T 848) from the collection and translated it. This is one key factor in determining the composition date of the Mahāvairocana-sūtra. A later account from 834 (fasc. 2 of the Liangbu dafa xiangcheng shizi fufa ji 兩部大法相承師資付法記; T 2081) however states Śubhakarasiṃha in 719 brought a Sanskrit copy of the text (大毘盧遮梵夾經) to China. The catalog of texts brought back to Japan by Ennin 圓仁 (794–864) includes Wuxing’s letter to China from India 南荊州沙門無行在天竺國致於唐國書一卷 (see T 2167). An important line from this letter is preserved in the Shingon shūkyō jigi 眞言宗教時義 by Annen 安然 (841–915?), reporting that recently in India the new Mantra teachings had become highly revered (近者新有眞言教法擧國崇仰). In light of Xuanzang’s 玄奘 lack of mention of Mantrayāna in India, this witness account from India in the latter half of the seventh century is important in dating the emergence of early Tantra (Yoritomi 1999: 37).


Yamamoto Shōichirō 山本 匠一郎. “Dainichikyō no shiryō to kenkyūshi gaikan” 『大日經』の資料と研究史概觀. Gendai mikkyō 現代密教 23 (2012): 73–102.


Yoritomi Motohiro 頼富本宏. “Mikkyō no kakuritsu” 密教の確立. In Indo mikkyō インド密教, ed. Tachikawa Musashi 立川武蔵 and Yoritomi Motohiro, 32–56. Tōkyō: Shunjūsha 春秋社, 1999.