The discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch has provided new source materials for Chan studies. Discussions regarding these manuscripts have also played an important role in recent Chan studies. Looking at the discovery and developments of the five Dunhuang versions provides a reflection of important developments within Chan studies over the past one hundred years. Using approaches of modern research, this study provides a look at the influence of Chan on Dunhuang studies, also providing a look at the historical intersection of these two disciplines.
This article hopes to examine the impact created by the series of five discoveries of Dunhuang manuscripts of the Platform Sutra, and also to reconsider the issue of revision based on the new versions. This is done by a comparison of digital versions of all five manuscripts, in which emendations are considered in conjunction with implications for Huineng’s thought. Relevant modern scholarship will be consulted for a critical analysis and construction of principles of emendation. The establishment of a viable method in this manner involves not only a critical analysis of words, but also the creation of a new interpretation in the digital medium. In this manner it is hoped that the full value of the Dunhuang versions of the Platform Sutra may be realized.
Dunhuang manuscripts; Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch; textual emendation; Dunhuang studies; Huineng