Seeking for the Dharma Body: A Preliminary Study on the Notion of Dharmakāya Bodhisattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature and Its Commentary


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


My dissertation is a preliminary study on the notion of “dharmakāya bodhisattva” in prajñāpāramitā literature and its commentary, with specific emphasis on the Dazhidu Lun (T.1509), one of the most important treatises in Chinese Buddhist history. In the DZDL, the dharmakāya-bodhisattvas are distinguished from the buddhas, the pratyekabuddhas and the arhats, bearing an distinct identity. I will analyze the doctrine on the rebirth of the dharmakāya-bodhisattva and methods for the attainment of the dharmakāya by this group of bodhisattvas. Furthermore, I will study the correspondence between Huiyuan and Kumarajiva. My study will reveal how Chinese Buddhist society in the fifth century understood and interpreted the doctrine of dharmakāya in relation to the cultivation of bodhisattvas.