Dao'an (Chinese: 道安; pinyin: Dào'ān; Wade–Giles: Tao-an; 312–385) was a Buddhist monk, author and bibliographer, during the Eastern Jin dynasty. He was from what is now Hebei.[1] His main importance was that of overseer of translation of Buddhist texts into Chinese, organizer of the Chinese sangha, author of exegetical works and compiler of the most important early catalogue of Chinese Buddhist translation in 374. Although this catalogue is itself lost, Sengyou reproduces much of it in his catalogue (T2145) completed in 515.

Died385 (aged 72–73)
Dharma namesDao'an
TempleWhite Horse Temple
Tanxi Temple
Wuchong Temple (379–385)
Senior posting
TeacherFotucheng (佛圖澄)

Dao'an is thought of as the founder of the cult of Maitreya in China.[2]


According to his traditional biography, after the loss of his parents he was raised by an elder cousin. Dao'an left home to join the monastic order at twelve. Ca. 335 CE he visited Linzhang and became a disciple of the famous Kuchean monk and missionary Fotudeng (232-348).[3][4] One of his disciples was the monk Huiyuan, whose teachings inspired Pure Land Buddhism.[5] He was active in Xiangyang until the Former Qin ruler Fu Jian captured the city in 379 and brought Dao'an to Chang'an. He spent the last years of life translating and interpreting scripture as well as compiling a catalogue of scriptures. He also advocated that all monks and nuns take Shi as a surname, from the first character of Gautama Buddha's title in Chinese, Shìjiāmóuní (Chinese: 釋迦牟尼 "Śākyamuni").


  • Zheng, Changji (972). "The Tale of Master Yuan of Mount Lu". In Mair, Victor H.; Steinhardt, Nancy S.; Goldin, Paul R. (eds.). Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture. Translated by Sen, Tansen; Mair, Victor H. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press (published 2005). pp. 304–339. ISBN 0824827856.
  1. ^ Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). "Dao'an", in Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 213. ISBN 9780691157863.
  2. ^ Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. http://www.buddhism-dict.net/cgi-bin/xpr-ddb.pl?q=道安
  3. ^ Martha Cheung Pui Yiu; Lin Wusun (2014). An Anthology of Chinese Discourse on Translation (Version 1): From Earliest Times to the Buddhist Project. Routledge. pp. 69–71. ISBN 978-1-317-63928-2.
  4. ^ Knechtges, David R. (ed.) (2013). Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol. 2): A Reference Guide, Part Two. BRILL. pp. 888–889. ISBN 978-90-04-20164-4. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ Zheng 972, p. 304.

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