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Buddhism and Taoism Face to FaceScripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China$
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Christine Mollier

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831691

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831691.001.0001

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Augmenting the Life Account

Augmenting the Life Account

Chapter:
(p.100) Chapter 3 Augmenting the Life Account
Source:
Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face
Author(s):

Christine Mollier

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831691.003.0003

This chapter examines the talismans found in the Sūtra to Increase the Account (Yisuan jing), which has been labeled an apocryphal, or “suspect” sūtra in Buddhist catalogues since the end of the seventh century. It has continued to be classified as such by specialists down to the present day. One of two Taoist Yisuan jing printed in the Ming Taoist Canon evidently served as the model for the Buddhist sūt tra, which replicates it almost to perfection. More than a classic apocryphon, therefore, the Sūtra to Increase the Account may be rightly described as an appropriation, even an outright copy of a Taoist work. The Taoist Yisuan jing and its Buddhist “clone” consist in essence of an invocation of the Generals of the Six jia, a list of the stars and planets, a litany for personal protection, and fifteen talismans. The aim of all of this is to assure the health and welfare of the faithful so that they may surely reach, without adversity, the full term of existence, whose optimal span is estimated at 120 years.

Keywords:   talismans, Sūtra to Increase the Account, sutras, Buddhism, Taoism, medieval China, Yisuan jing

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