Transmission of the Lamp

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The Transmission of the Lamp

The Transmission of the Lamp (Full title, The Records of the Transmission of the Lamp; simplified Chinese: 景德传灯录; traditional Chinese: 景德傳燈錄; pinyin: Jǐngdé Chuándēnglù; Wade–Giles: Ching-te Ch'uan teng lu; Japanese: Keitoku Dentō-roku) is an important early source for the history of Chan (Zen; Chinese: ). It is a voluminous work consisting of biographies of the Zen patriarchs and other prominent Buddhist monks. It was produced in the Song dynasty by Shi Daoyuan (simplified Chinese: 释道原; traditional Chinese: 釋道原; pinyin: Shì Dàoyuán; Wade–Giles: Shih Tao-Yüen).[1]

The first two characters of the title are the Song dynasty reign name (景德), which dates the work to between 1004 and 1007 CE. The work was published in 30 volumes and is the primary source of information for the history of Chan buddhism in China. The lives of the Zen masters and disciples are systematically listed, beginning with the first seven buddhas (Gautama Buddha is seventh in this list). The "Lamp" in the title refers to "dharma" (teachings of the Buddha). A total of 1701 biographies are listed in the book. Volumes 1 to 3 are devoted to the history of Indian Buddhism, and the history of Buddhism in China starts in chapter 4 with Bodhidharma. Volume 29 is a collection of gathas, and volume 30 is a collection of songs and other devotional material.


  1. ^ "景德传灯录". 百度百科. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 

External links[edit]

The complete text (in simplified Chinese) of the Transmission of the Lamp is available from Beijing Guoxue (北京国学).