Dharmarakṣa

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Dharmarakṣa(233 - 310) 
竺法護

Dharmarakṣa. (C. Zhu Fahu; J. Jiku Hōgo; K. Ch’uk Pǒpho 竺法護) (c. 233-310). One of the most prolific translators in early Chinese Buddhism, who played an important role in transmitting the Indian scriptural tradition to China. Presumed to be of Yuezhi heritage, Dharmarakṣa was born in the Chinese outpost of Dunhuang and grew up speaking multiple languages. He became a monk at the age of eight and in his thirties traveled extensively throughout the oasis kingdoms of Central Asia, collecting manuscripts of Mahāyāna scriptures in a multitude of Indic and Middle Indic languages, which he eventually brought back with him to China. Because of his multilingual ability, Dharmarakṣa was able to supervise a large team in rendering these texts into Chinese; the team included scholars of Indian and Central Asian origin, as well as such Chinese laymen as the father-and-son team Nie Chengyuan and Nie Daozhen. Some 150 translations in over three hundred rolls are attributed to Dharmarakṣa, including the first translation of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, the Lalitavistara, the Bhadrakalpikasūtra, and some of the prajñāpāramitā literature. Although many of Dharmarakṣa's pioneering renderings were later superseded by the fourth-century retranslations of Kumārajīva, Dharmarakṣa is generally considered the most important translator of the early Chinese Buddhist saṃgha. (Source: "Dharmarakṣa." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 251. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n41q.27.)

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