Based on the study of the “Stanza of Praise to the Buddha” as well as the sequence and content of various parallels, this article explores the issue of the similarities and differences between the Za ahan jing (T99), the Bieyi za ahan jing (T100) and the Pali Saṃyutta Nikāya (SN).
At the end of some sutras of the Za ahan jing (T99) one finds a pericope named the “Stanza of Praise to the Buddha” (久見婆羅門，逮得般涅槃，一切怖已過，永超世恩愛). As shown by Master Yinshun, these sutras are located in the “Devata saṃyutta.” Three among these have parallels elsewhere which do not include this “Stanza of Praise to the Buddha.”
Only the Za ahan jing (T99) and the Bieyi za ahan jing (T100) carry parallels with and without the “Stanza of Praise to the Buddha”. The Pali Saṃyutta Nikāya does not.
In this research I have made use of recent comparative studies of the Chinese Za ahan jing and the Pali Saṃyutta Nikāya, comparative catalogs of the Āgamas and Nikāyas, as well as the catalog available on the Sutta Correspondence Project website (the Suttacentral Project: http://www.suttacentral.net/ ) based on Anesakiā’s “The Four Chinese Āgamas,” Akanuma’s “Comparative Catalogue of Chinese Agamas & Pali Nikayas,” and Fo-guang’s “Foguang ahan zang” comparative catalogs. Based on the sequence of the contents of these parallels, one finds far greater similarities between T99 and T100, as compared to the SN parallel.
Be that as it may, we should not jump to the conclusion that this is the case for parallels of every single sutta. It takes a detailed comparison to ascertain the similarities and differences between parallels of any given sutta found in T99, T100 and SN.
Stanza of Praise to the Buddha; Za ahan jing; Bieyi Za ahan jing; textual criticism of Chinese canonical texts; Guongyi yiqie jing