Theravada works translated by An Shigao?

I read somewhere he translated the earliest buddhist text in china. What if he has early Theravada texts? Many such Chinese translations has no English translation. Know which one is considered early buddhist text? Or theravada. I noticed he mix with Chinese philosophy in one of his scrolls but mention nice buddhist philosophy also.

But I thought what if we search his translations. You never know

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He translated a version of the Anapanasati sutta, known as the anban shouyi jing.

There are different versions of the text in different places though, some of them have a lot of commentary added to it.

I do not believe there is an english translation available though.


Oh thanks. There is alot by him. But I think he had a short samyutta translations also. Probably from ‘Sarvāstivāda orthodoxy and there later philosophy. I wonder sometimes why these Chinese never found a pre-sect like thiryas work on India. It seems to A+B=C Mahasanghika + Theriyas = ‘Sarvāstivāda

Meaning the division caused the majority of Theriyas become ‘Sarvāstivāda.

No the Samyutta is probably done by someone different. But these are nice translations

This is about some of his works.

Still interesting :+1:


Chinese had a lot of varied translations from many different sects, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika, Dharmaguptaka, Mahasamghika…


Yeah. That is true. But I mean non-sectarian. But you know. The above samyutta I shared sometimes feels early Buddhism. It’s nice. After a few pages. There is the translation. It would be great to add to page. One sutta has the monk named Thera. I think there is pali parallel. But what if from him comes Theravada :joy: I know it means elders. But imagine :joy:

Most of the Agamas except the Ekottarika is pretty non sectarian. About as much as the four Pali Nikayas are anyways.


I found a pdf describing his works but I can’t provide the link it directly let me download the pdf

He is a screenshot of one his work comparable to a theravada burmese canonical texts

image image

Its from


We have to translate this one.


maybe @cdpatton could have a look?

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I have to share this from the same study book


It’s nice

Before I once find this also

I’m not an expert on An Shigao beyond what can be found in references about him. He was recorded to have been a Parthian monk, meaning he probably came from Gandhara or somewhere further west of Gandhara in Persia. It was during the later Han Dynasty, during the 2nd century CE. It could well be that his texts came from a common lineage with the present day Theravada. Chinese sources were rarely conscious of the different canonical lineages and sectarian differences among the “sravakas.” They were more interested in the different strains of Mahayana thought.

That said, there is a section of texts in the Taisho from T603 to T620 that are basically meditation instruction texts. They go back to An Shigao and forwards to Kumarajiva. There’s lots of gold in the Taisho mine.


Now I remember. A sri lankan monk did translate this Chinese meditation manual but it was for school I think. I once got excited that I thought I found it but it was just the front page of his translations. And clicking to download it was not available anymore I think or it got removed because it was just a university thesis translation he did. I will search it again. We have to contact that monk. :joy:

I don’t if he was a monk. Maybe not. But he translated I think the oldest buddhist meditation manual chinese has

From sri lankan university

The Chinese historical records say that he was a sramana from Parthia (T2145.6b4).


Sorry I did a reply mistake. I meant the one of sri lanka that translated the work I linked.

I found another good translations of other later Chinese meditation manuals

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Oh! Sorry. Well, I looked it up to make sure, so now I know it isn’t just my memory. For modern translations, it’s mainly the language skills that are needed. In ancient times, I think it was monks mainly who were translators because the texts only existed in their memories.


No problem. Yeah he was a monk. The Chinese that translated works was mostly a monk of certain chine sect. I’m reading the last link I shared. Nice reading.