Guṇabhadra

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Guṇabhadra(394 - 468) 

Indian scholiast and major translator of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese during the Liu Song period (420–479). Born in central India to a brāhmaṇa family, he is said to have studied in his youth the five traditional Indian sciences, as well as astronomy, calligraphy, mathematics, medicine, and magic. He was converted to Buddhism and began systematically to study Buddhist texts, starting with the Abhidharma and proceeding through the most influential Mahāyāna texts, such as the Mahāprajñāpāramitāsūtra and Avataṃsakasūtra. Around 435, he departed from Sri Lanka for China, arriving in Guangzhou by sea. In China, he devoted himself to teaching and translating Buddhist scriptures, carrying out most of his translations of Mahāyāna and mainstream Buddhist texts while residing in Qiyuansi in Jiankang and Xinsi in Jingzhou. He translated a total of fifty-two scriptures in 134 rolls, including the Saṃyuktāgama and the Prakaranapāda [śāstra], both associated with the Sarvāstivāda school, such seminal Mahāyāna texts as the Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra and the Laṅkāvatārasūtra. In the Lengqie shizi ji, a Chan genealogical history associated with the Northern school (Bei zong) of the early Chan tradition, Guṇabhadra is placed before Bodhidharma in the Chan patriarchal lineage, perhaps because of his role in translating the Laṅkāvatārasūtra, an important scriptural influence in the early Chan school. (Source: "Guṇabhadra." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 336. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n41q.27)

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