The Dharma Collection

A translation of this important collection of Dharma terms and lists, from after the rise of the Mahāyāna.

translated by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
January, 2017



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Html Table of Contents

Translator’s Preface

Editor’s Preface

Dharmas 1-20

Dharmas 21-40

Dharmas 41-60

Dharmas 61-80

Dharmas 81-100

Dharmas 101-120

Dharmas 121-140


Translator’s Preface

What follows is essentially a translation of Kasawara’s edition of the text as published in 1885. For notes on the text itself, please see the Text and Translation edition elsewhere on this website.

The text has never been translated before, and, unlike the Arthaviniścaya, See: which I recently translated, there is no explanation of the factors listed. The items in the lists given are not always paralleled in other texts, which makes it difficult to check either the form or the translation. Edgerton’s dictionary, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, Volume II: Dictionary, New Haven, 1953. though useful at times, sometimes makes no effort at translation, and just reproduces the list found here.

The seven things on the side of Awakening (43-50) are grouped together, and just after the opening (3-13) there are lists of beings of one sort or another, but apart from that it is hard to see any organising principle at work anywhere. Because of the lack of any sort of organisation it must have been easy to both insert new factors, and remove – or lose – others.

To divide the text up and make it more manageable I have divided it into 7 sections, having twenty items in each. This division is not part of the original, but is my addition. A complete rearrangement of the text would in many ways be desirable, but would also obscure the disarrangement of the original.

The text has never been translated before, and the text as it stands was collected or at least finalised sometime after the rise of the Mahāyāna texts, as, for instance, the three vehicles, including the Mahāyāna, Bodhisattvas from that tradition, and the five dhyāni Buddhas are listed, and important Mahāyāna categories like śūnyatā are emphasised. Many of the lists, however, are common to the early tradition.

The text is attributed to Nāgārjuna at the conclusion, and although this attribution seems unlikely, the text does seem to have been influenced by Nāgārjuna’s thought, and the attribution may be taken as indicating the school to which it belongs.

I am very grateful to Mike Cross, who went over the whole translation a number of times and helped greatly with corrections and suggestions, many of which I have managed to incorporate here. Any mistakes remaining, of course, are entirely my own fault.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
January, 2017


Editor’s Preface
(unsigned but written by F Max Müller)

[i] This edition of the text of the Dharma-Saṅgraha, In this transcription I have converted the old and now unused transliteration schema to unicode. with notes and indices, I have omitted the variant readings, the notes and the indices in this edition. will, I hope, serve as a lasting monument of a most conscientious, laborious, and amiable Buddhist priest, Kenjiu Kasawara, who arrived in England in 1876, became my pupil in Sanskrit from 1879-82, and died shortly after his return to his native country, in 1883.

I have given an account of him and his fellow-student, Bunyiu Nanjio, in my ‘Biographical Essays’ (Longmans, 1884), and I shall here quote a few lines only, in order to enable Sanskrit scholars, who may not have read these Essays, to form some idea of what this promising young student was.

Kasawara’s life at Oxford was very monotonous. He allowed himself no pleasures of any kind, and took little exercise. He did not smoke, or drink, or read novels or newspapers. He worked on day after day, often for weeks seeing no one and talking to no one but to me and his fellow-worker, Bunyiu Nanjio. He spoke and wrote English correctly, he learnt some Latin, also a little French, and studied some of the classical English books on history and philosophy. He might have become a most useful man after his return to Japan, for he was not only able to appreciate all that was good in European civilisation, but retained a certain national pride, and would never have become a mere imitator of the West. His manners were perfect – they were the natural manners of an unselfish man. As to his character, all I can say is that, though I watched him for a long time, I never found any guile in him, and I doubt whether, during the last four years, Oxford possessed a purer and nobler soul among her students than this poor Buddhist priest. Buddhism may indeed be proud of such a man.

During the last year of his stay at Oxford I observed signs of depression in him, though he never complained. I persuaded him to see a doctor, and the doctor at once declared that my young friend was in an advanced stage of consumption, and advised him to go home. He never flinched, and I still hear the quiet tone in which [ii] he said, “Yes, many of my countrymen die of consumption.” However, he was well enough to travel and to spend some time in Ceylon, seeing some of the learned Buddhist priests there, and discussing with them the differences which so widely separate Southern from Northern Buddhism. But after his return to Japan his illness made rapid strides. He sent me several dear letters, complaining of nothing but his inability to work. His control over his feelings was remarkable. When he took leave of me, his sallow face remained as calm as ever, and I could hardly read what passed within. But I know that after he had left, he paced for a long time up and down the road, looking again and again at my house, where, as he told me, he had passed the happiest hours of his life. Yet we had done so little for him. Once only, in his last letter, he complained of his loneliness in his own country. “To a sick man,” he wrote, “very few remain as friends.” Soon after writing this he died, and the funeral ceremonies were performed at Tokio on the 18th of July, 1883.

He has left some manuscripts behind, which I hope I shall be able to prepare for publication, particularly the “Dharma-Saṅgraha,” a glossary of Buddhist technical terms, ascribed to Nāgārguna, But it is hard to think of the years of work which are to bear no fruit; still harder to feel how much good that one good and enlightened Buddhist priest might have done among the thirty-two millions of Buddhists in Japan. Have, pia anima! I well remember how last year we watched together a glorious sunset from the Malvern Hills, and how, when the Western sky was, like a golden curtain, covering we knew not what, he said to me, “That is what we call the Eastern gate of our Sukhāvatī, the Land of Bliss.” He looked forward to it, and he trusted he should meet there all who had loved him, and whom he had loved, and that he should gaze on the Buddha Amitābha, i. e. Infinite Light.

It has taken more time than I expected to prepare the text and notes of the Dharma-Saṅgraha, as left by Kasawara, for Press, and I have gratefully to acknowledge the assistance which I received from Dr. H. Wenzel in this sometimes very troublesome work. While preparing my lectures for my Japanese pupils, I had myself to study that peculiar kind of Sanskrit which their sacred books are written, and in collecting new materials, chiefly from MSS., I came across the MS. of the Dharma-Saṅgraha at the India Office. As it contained long lists of technical [iii] terms, which form one of the greatest difficulties to the students of Buddhism, I copied nearly the whole of it, and made frequent use of it in my lectures.

After a time Kenjiu Kasawara expressed a wish to copy the text for himself, and I then encouraged him to prepare a critical edition of it. Though a critical edition was, perhaps, hardly called for in the case of a text like the Dharma-Saṅgraha, Kasawara copied the MS. of the India Office very carefully, and afterwards collated it with a MS. and with a fragment of another MS. at Cambridge. The MS. of the India Office, No. 2932, one of those presented by Mr. B. H. Hodgson, is most carelessly written, and in some parts quite illegible. The MSS. at Cambridge are better, but of little assistance in really difficult passages. If I say that a critical edition was, perhaps, hardly called for, I do not mean to undervalue the collation which we owe to Mr. Kasawara; all I mean is that in most cases we found that the correctness or incorrectness of the technical terms had to be settled by independent evidence rather than by the various readings of our MSS.

The collation having once been made, it was thought best to print it. Though neither I nor Dr. Wenzel can be responsible for its accuracy, I may say that whenever I was led to test it by reference to the India Office MS., which was lent to me through the kindness of Dr. Rost, the learned librarian of the India Office, I found Kasawara quite as dependable as most European editors. The collation becomes important whenever a question arises as to certain words or classes of words being included or excluded from our text. Thus our text knows of nine Aṅgas only, like the Hīnayāna, not of twelve, like the Mahāyāna. The four Devīs, the five Rakshās, the ten Krodhas, and the six Yoginis are unsupported by the Cambridge MS. and by the Chinese Version. Here the comparative list of the chapters contained in the Sanskrit MSS., and in the Chinese Version, will prove very instructive.

Mere blunders, which could be of no interest, have mostly been corrected without special remarks. Thus, though all the MSS. in sect. VII read catur-loka-pālāḥ, we have printed catvāro loka-pālāḥ, not because catur-loka-pālāḥ is impossible (it might be, the guardians of the four worlds), but because it is against the character of the Dharma-Saṅgraha, where the principal object throughout is to give the number of terms [iv] in each paragraph. Where a passage was completely unintelligible to us, we have said so in the Notes.

While reading this and other Sanskrit texts with me, Kasawara had prepared a large number of notes, consisting chiefly of references to books which he had been studying at Oxford. Dr. Wenzel has had the kindness to revise and arrange these notes, and he has himself added new references to the works of Köppen, Kern, Cunningham, Oldenberg, Wassiljew, and to Tibetan authorities. He wishes, however, to have it clearly understood that he is not responsible for the accuracy of quotations from the Mahāvyutpatti, the Abhidharmakośa, and other works, chiefly Chinese, which Kasawara had made from MSS., not accessible to Dr. Wenzel.

The order of the quotations is generally the following. The Pāli words are given immediately after the Sanskrit words. Then follow: 1) The Buddhist Sanskrit works and their Tibetan translations; (2) the Pāli sources, i. e. Childers and whatever has appeared after him; and, finally, (3) the European authors who have discussed the subject. Of these last the principal works only have been cited, and only their more important passages. Sometimes, at the end, some other Sanskrit works have been added which may happen to mention the same subject. The translations have mostly been given after Childers, but with constant regard to later authorities.

As to the arrangement of the Dharma-Saṅgraha itself, no certain plan is discernible in the disposition of its matter. Sometimes kindred subjects follow each other, but they are also scattered here and there through the whole work. So, for instance, we find the cosmological terms enumerated in sections 3-13, 86-91, 120-129; other groups are the Bodhipakṣika-dharmas (sects. 43-50), the four divisions of each of the four Noble Truths (sects. 97-100), the three classes of each of the ten Pāramitās (sects. 105-114); the divisions of Śabda, Rasa, Gandha, Sparṣa (sects. 35-38), etc.

Most of the Dharmāloka-mukhas of the fourth chapter of the Lalitavistara are found in our collection, viz.: Sect. 15, cp. Dharmāloka-mukhas 83 and 84; 16, cp. 14-17; 17, cp. 87-92; 19, cp. 94; 21, cp. 48-51; 44-50, cp. 52-82; 54, cp. 8-13; 55, cp. 18-21; 64, cp. 108 and 109; 107, cp. 51, 105, and 106; 117, cp. 97-100.