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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The “Revolving-wheel-sutras” in the Buddhist Monastery in Sun g China - A Re-Examination

Vol. 26 No. 2   6/1996  


The “Revolving-wheel-sutras” in the Buddhist Monastery in Sung China - A Re-Examination


Min-chih Huang









Key words

Chuan-lun-tsang, monastery, Sung


      The so-called “chuan-lun-tsang”轉輪藏, literally “revolving-wheel-sutras”, refers to a mechanical device which consists mainly of two parts: revolvable wheels and Buddhist sutras. The sutras are arranged layer upon layer. The volumes of Buddhist sutras are put on each layer. You turn the wheels and the wheels spin round. You will be, however, regarded as a good man or a believing woman who had just in a few minutes recited or copied all the scriptures on the book stack like wheels, an absolutely symbolical deed. Many a monastery in Sung time had such a device erected inside a splendid building built exclusively for this purpose. Questions arise. What for was such a pavilion built by a monastery? How was it constructed? When and where did it first appear in Chinese history? How many monasteries possessed such pavilions? Where were they? Which sect(s) did these monasteries belong to? How economically and financially important was such a pavilion to a monastery? How did such an institution developer after Sung period? And so on.



Author: Min-chih Huang
Genre: Article
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