Prajna (Buddhist monk)

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Chinese name
Chinese 般若三藏
Also known as:
Chinese 般若
Sanskrit name
Sanskrit प्रज्ञा

Prajñā (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञा; Chinese: 般若三藏 or 般若; pinyin: Bōrě Sāncáng or Bō Rě), was an important 9th century Buddhist monk from Gandhara, born in the area of modern Kabul, Afghanistan.

He visited China during the Tang dynasty, and contributed several important (re-)translations of Sanskrit sutras into Chinese. Some of his main works are:

  • The Avatamsaka Sutra or The Flower Adornment Sutra (Chinese: 華嚴經)
  • The Heart Sutra (Chinese: 大乘理趣六波羅密多經 Dà chéng lǐ qù liù bō luó mì duō jīng)
  • The Mahayana Sutra of Mind Meditation from the Jataka (Chinese: 大乘本生心地觀經 Dà chéng běn shēng xīn dì guān jīng )

Prajñā reportedly befriended the Japanese monk Kūkai, future founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, during his pilgrimage to China. He is said to have helped Kūkai learn and understand Sanskrit source texts.

See also[edit]


  • Keown, Damian (2003). Dictionary of Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860560-9