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Dharmaraksha

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Dharmaraksha (धर्मरक्ष) was a Buddhist Bhikshu who went to China from India for spreading Buddhism. He was an early translator of Mahayana sutras into Chinese, several of which had profound effects on East Asian Buddhism. He is described in scriptural catalogues as Yuezhi in origin.

Variants

Life

His family lived at Dunhuang, where he was born around 233 CE.[1] At the age of eight, he became a novice and took the Indian monk named Zhu Gaozuo (Chinese: 竺高座) as his teacher.[2]

As a young boy, Dhamaraksa was said to be extremely intelligent, and journeyed with his teacher to many countries in the Western Regions, where he learned Central Asian languages and scripts. He then traveled back to China with a quantity of Buddhist texts and translated them with the aid of numerous assistants and associates, both Chinese and foreign, from Parthians to Khotanese.[3] One of his more prominent assistants was a Chinese upāsaka, Nie Chengyuan (Chinese: 聶承遠), who served as a scribe and editor.[4]

Dharmaraksa first began his translation career in Chang'an (present day Xi'an) in 266 CE, and later moved to Luoyang, the capital of the newly formed Jin Dynasty.[5] He was active in Dunhuang for some time as well, and alternated between the three locations. It was in Chang'an that he made the first known translation of the Lotus Sutra and the Ten Stages Sutra, two texts that later became definitive for Chinese Buddhism, in 286 and 302, respectively.[6] He died at the age of seventy-eight after a period of illness; the exact location of his death is still disputed.[7]

Works

Altogether, Dharmaraksa translated around 154 sūtras. Many of his works were greatly successful, widely circulating around northern China in the third century and becoming the subject of exegetical studies and scrutiny by Chinese monastics in the fourth century.[8] His efforts in both translation and lecturing on sūtras are said to have converted many in China to Buddhism, and contributed to the development of Chang'an into a major center of Buddhism at the time.[9]

Some of his main works are:

  • The Saddharmapundarika Sūtra (Chinese: 正法華經; pinyin: Zhèng Fǎhuá Jīng)
  • The Panca Vimsati Sāhasrikā prajnā pāramita Sūtra (Chinese: 光贊般若波羅密經; pinyin: Guāngzàn Bōrě Bōluómì jīng)
  • The Dasabhūmika-sūtra (Chinese: 漸備一切智德經; pinyin: Jiànbèi Yīqiè Zhìdé Jīng)
  • The Lalitavistara (Chinese: 普曜經; pinyin: Pǔyào Jīng)

In Mahavansa

Mahavansa/Chapter 12 tells: Moggaliputta after the third Buddhist council for founding of the religion in adjacent countries, sent forth theras....He sent to Aparantaka the Yona named Dhammarakkhita. The thera Dhammarakkhita the Yona, being gone to Aparantaka' and having preached in the midst of the people the Aggikkhandhopama-sutta gave to drink of the nectar of truth to thirty-seven thousand living beings who had come together there, he who perfectly understood truth and untruth. A thousand men and yet more women went forth from noble families and received the pabbajja. ....The wise Maharakkhita who went to the country of the Yona delivered in the midst of the people the Kalakarama suttanta. A hundred and seventy thousand living beings attained, to the reward of the path (of salvation); ten thousand received the pabbajja.

चीन में बौद्ध धर्म का प्रचार

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[10] ने लेख किया है ...चीन में बौद्ध धर्म का प्रचार चीन के हान वंश के सम्राट मिगंती के समय में (65 ई.) हुआ था। उसने स्वप्न में सुवर्ण पुरुष बुद्ध को देखा और तदुपरांत अपने दूतों को भारत से बौद्ध सूत्रग्रन्थों और भिक्षुओं को लाने के लिए भेजा। परिणामस्वरूप, भारत से 'धर्मरक्ष' और 'काश्यपमातंग' अनेक धर्मग्रन्थों तथा मूर्तियों को साथ लेकर चीन पहुंचे और वहां उन्होंने बौद्ध धर्म की स्थापना की। धर्मग्रन्थ श्वेत अश्व पर रख कर चीन ले जाए गए थे, इसलिए चीन के प्रथम बौद्ध विहार को श्वेताश्वविहार की संज्ञा दी गई। भारत-चीन के सांस्कृतिक संबंधों की जो परंपरा इस समय स्थापित की गई थी, उसका पूर्ण विकास आगे चल कर फ़ाह्यान (चौथी शती ई.) और युवानच्वांग (सातवीं शती ई.) के समय में हुआ, जब चीन के बौद्धों की सबसे बड़ी आकांक्षा यहां रहती थी कि किसी प्रकार भारत जाकर वहां के बौद्ध तीर्थों का दर्शन करें और भारत के प्राचीन ज्ञान और दर्शन का अध्ययन कर अपना जीवन समुन्नत बनाएं। उस काल में चीन के बौद्ध, भारत को अपनी पुण्यभूमि और संसार का महानतम सांस्कृतिक केंद्र मानते थे।

जाट वीरों का इतिहास

दलीप सिंह अहलावत[11] लिखते हैं: 4. चीन में धर्मप्रचार का कार्य करने वाले युइशि (ऋषिक) वंशज भिक्षुओं में धर्मरक्ष का विशेष महत्त्व है। इसका जन्म तीसरी शताब्दी के मध्य में एक ऋषिक परिवार में हुआ था जो कि तुङ्-ह्रांग में बसा हुआ था। उसने अपने भारतीय गुरु से शिक्षा ली तथा उसके साथ मध्य एशिया के अनेक बौद्ध विहारों की यात्रा की। इस प्रकार भ्रमण करते हुए धर्मरक्ष ने 36 भाषायें सीख लीं और बौद्धधर्म का गम्भीर ज्ञान प्राप्त कर लिया। सन् 284 से 313 ईस्वी तक वह चीन में रहा। वहां उसने 200 से भी अधिक संस्कृत ग्रन्थों का चीनी भाषा में अनुवाद किया, जिनमें से 90 अब तक भी उपलब्ध हैं। उसने चीन में अनुवादकों के एक संघ को भी गठित किया, जिसमें भारतीय, ऋषिक, चीनी आदि विद्वान् व भिक्षु एक साथ मिलकर कार्य करते थे। लोकक्षेम, चेकियन तथा धर्मरक्ष के समान ऋषिकवंशज अनेक भिक्षु चीन में बौद्ध धर्म के प्रचार के लिये गए थे। कुषाणवंशी राजा भी ऋषिकवंशज थे और भारत के सम्पर्क में आकर पूर्णतया भारतीय बन गये थे. [12]

External links

References

  1. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 4.
  2. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 24.
  3. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. pp. 39–40.
  4. Wood, Francis (2002). The Silk Road: Two THousand Years in the Heart of Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 96.
  5. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 34.
  6. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. pp. 32–33.
  7. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 28.
  8. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 5.
  9. Boucher, Daniel (1996). Buddhist Translation Procedures in Third-Century China: A Study of Dharmaraksa and His Translation Idiom. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform. p. 27.
  10. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.339
  11. जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठ.330-331
  12. "मध्य एशिया तथा चीन में भारतीय संस्कृति” , लेखक सत्यकेतु विद्यालंकार, पृ० 163-164)