Outline of our research project:


Research on the Concept of the "dharmadhatu" (fajie): Focusing on an Analysis of the Early Mahayana Sutras and Their Older Chinese Translations

Outline of Research at the Start of the Project:

"What is truth?" This is a universal question for human beings, and therefore one that should be tackled sincerely by those involvedin the Humanities. In this study, we will examine the concept of"Dharmadhatu," an important Buddhist term for "truth," with referenceto Sanskrit and ancient Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures.The reason behind this isthat in recent years, basic studies on ancient Chinese translationsof Buddhist scriptures have progressed and Sanskrit Buddhist text data has been made available, making comparative study easier than before.Through philological methods, the research will be carried out ininternational collaboration to investigate the hypothesis.

Principal Investigator:

Jun Fujii (Professor, Komazawa Univ. (Tokyo)) researchmap

Co-Investigators (Kenkyū-buntansha):
  • Kosei Ishii (Emeritus Professor, Komazawa Univ.) researchmap

  • Robert F. Rhodes (General Editor, Eastern Buddhist Society) researchmap

  • Fumio Shoji (Associate Professor, Rissho Univ. (Tokyo)) researchmap

  • Daigo Sasaki (Associate Professor, Ryukoku Univ. (Kyoto)) researchmap

  • Hisamitsu Ikuma (Researcher, Institute for Comprehensive Studies of Buddhism, Taisho Univ. (Tokyo)) researchmap

  • Michael Conway (Associate Professor, Otani Univ. (Kyoto)) researchmap

  • Tensho Miyazaki (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Buddhist Culture, Tsurumi Univ. (Yokohama)) researchmap

Research Collaborators (Kenkyū-kyoryokusha):
  • Christopher Jones (University of Cambridge, UK)

  • Jakub Zamorski (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

  • Ernest Brewster (Iona College, USA)

  • Muyou Fan (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)

  • Zijie Li (Northwest University, Xi'an, China)

Key words of our research:

dharmadhātu, Mahāyāna buddhism, Daśabhūmika, Tathāgataguhya, early Mahāyāna sutras

URL in the Database of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKEN)

About this website

Collated Versions of the Mahāyāna sutras

This site will share the collated versions of the Mahāyāna sutras prepared by our project.

In attempting to understand the Mahayana scriptures from a philological perspective, the comparison of existing versions of the texts is a fundamental part of the research process. By comparing and contrasting the various versions of the texts that have been preserved in different languages, such as Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese, we can clarify the differences between them and explore the changes in the texts and thought based on them.
While Sanskrit versions have an incomparable value in conveying the original language of the texts, many of the existing Sanskrit manuscripts were copied long after the texts were compiled.
On the other hand, many of the Chinese and Tibetan translations have roughly known dates of translation, and since they often date back further than the existing Sanskrit manuscripts, they are valuable texts in giving us an idea of a more ancient version of the scriptures. In particular, when there are several versions of Chinese translations from different time periods available, it is usually possible to read in detail how the contents of the source texts have changed over time.

Untill now, the collated texts of the Mahayana sutras have been mainly available in the form of printed publications, but this site attempts to present them on the Web on a searchable plateform. By making the materials available in this way, we hope to overcome the limitations of earlier, paper based collations and make it possible for a broad range of researchers to find innovative ways to use the data for philological research on the Mahāyāna sutras.

Backgroud of this website:

The framework of this website was created mainly by Prof Miyazaki, a co-investigator, and was constructed as an attempt by a researcher specializing in Buddhist studies.
We used Django, a web application framework based on Python, and Bootstrap, a front-end web library. PostgreSQL is used for the backend database, and nginx and Gunicorn are used for the web server system. In constructing this site, we have used various modules and information obtained from the web.

At the same time, this site would not have been possible without the cooperation of those who have helped with data entry and verification, as described below. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of them.

Contributors: data entry and verification

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following people for their cooperation in entering and checking the data available on this site.

  • Daśabhūmika(Assigned investigator: Prof. Miyazaki)
    • Suguru Ishimura
    • Yukihiko Matsumura
    • Ryō Watanabe
    • Lin Chiawei (Providing data for the Dharmarakṣa's version; Supervisor Prof. Michael Radich, Heidelberg Univ.)
  • Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha(Assigned investigator: Prof. Sasaki)
    • Jin Yamana
    • Mayu Yasukawa
    • Mika FUkuma
  • Saddharmapuṇḍarīka(Assigned investigator: Dr. Ikuma)
    • Suguru Ishimura
    • Yukihiko Matsumura
    • Ryō Watanabe
  • English proofread by Prof. Michael Conway
Future prospects:

This site is currently being established and maintained as the website for the KAKEN-HI project. Now, its main purpose is to announce the information and share the achievements of the current KAKEN-HI project. We would also like to create and publish a wider range of content for after the completion of the project. We intend to announce our future prospect through this website.

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggetions regarding our project and this website via the bellow e-mail.

(It may take some time for us to reply.)

mahayana.scriptures gmail.com