Nirvana Sutra (Ch. Niepan jing); one of the major texts of East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism.
This Sūtra, which is supposed to be the account of the Buddha's final sermon prior to his passing away, stresses the fact that all sentient beings possess the buddha-nature , and that all beings, even icchantikas (incorrigibles), will become buddhas. The original sutra had probably been expanded gradually by the time Dharmakṣema translated it, since the text that Faxian had first brought home from India was only a small work of six fascicles, while Dharmakṣema's later translation grew to forty fascicles. Still later, Huiguan , Huiyan , Xie Lingyun et.al. of the Liu Song dynasty integrated and amended the translations of Faxian and Dharmakṣema, a single edition of thirty-six fascicles. That version is called the "southern text" of the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, while Dharmakṣema's work is called the "northern text." There are three Chinese translations:
- The Da banniepan jing. T 374.12.365c-603c (Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra) 40 fasc, tr. in the northern Liang by Dharmakṣema in 416-423; also called the Northern Edition of the Nirvana Sūtra.
- Same title, 36 fasc. trans. in the Song by Jñānabhadra and Huining, T 375.12.605-852.
- 6 fasc. translated in the Eastern Qin by Buddhabhadra and Faxian in 416-418, T 376.12.853-899.
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