Reading Buddhist Texts in Classical Chinese Course

This course is designed for Buddhists in Hong Kong who may know every Chinese character in a text yet find it difficult to comprehend because of its classical grammar and terminology and have to resort to an English translation of the Chinese Buddhist canon. The course aims to teach Buddhist Chinese syntax, grammar, terms and the corresponding Sanskrit expressions so that students can gain a better understanding of Buddhist canonical texts in Classical Chinese.

Programme Details

Date:               8 September - 24 November 2016 (Every Thursday)
Time:               7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Venue:             The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong
Enquiry:            2673 0081 or
Fees:               HK$3,000 (12 classes)
                        (By cheque payable to The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong Limited)

Classes will be conducted in English.

Course Description

The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong (BDCHK) and Aloka Vihara Foundation (AVF) have decided to offer the course Reading Buddhist Texts in Classical Chinese with special focus on the Diamond Sutra. This 12 x 2-hour programme is particularly designed to guide those who are interested in reading the Diamond Sutra in Chinese and comprehending its proper meaning.

The Diamond Sutra, ever since its first translation by Kumārajīva, has been translated 6 times into Chinese and enjoying great popularity among East Asian Buddhists. As its Sanskrit original text has been discovered and the Tibetan version is also available, comparative studies can be done to fathom the true meaning of the Sutra. In view of this, we are going to read in a comparative manner both Kumārajīva’s popular version and Xuanzang’s ‘standard’ translation of the Diamond Sutra, as well as refer to the corresponding Sanskrit original where necessary. In-class discussion and analysis will be led where textual variations are found among the different versions. Meanwhile, relevant important doctrines seen in Abhidharma-mahāvibhāṣā-śāstra, Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣyam and *Nyāyānusāra-śāstra etc.Therefore, the course develops the skills not only in reading Buddhist texts in Chinese but also in doing comparative textual studies.

Finally, please kindly note that this course provided by the BDCHK and AVF is not affiliated to the MA programme.


Those interested in enrolment should complete the Application Form for Special Courses and return it to The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong Limited together with a cheque covering the fee of HK$3,000 payable to The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong Limited.


Application Form for Special Courses