|Xuanzong was the abbot of for 12 years. He was known as Master Tripitaka. The Tripikata refers to the complete canon or teachings of a Buddhist sect. The canon is divided into three or more Pitaka or divisions. When someone is given the title Master Tripikata it means that he has mastered the entire canon. In Chinese, the term Sanzang 三藏 (Sānzàng), meaning Tripikata, refers to Xuanzang.
Xuanzang had an army of translators and scribes working on the translations of the sutras. He had brought back three copies of the Tripikata so they could be cross-referenced and any differences debated. His assistants suggested a shortened version of the canon, but Xuanzang decided on a full unabridged version. His dream was to express it in plain understandable Chinese so that it could be understood without a scholars dedication to interpretation. During his remaining years he translated 1, 335 volumes of Buddhist scriptures. He died in 664 AD at the age of 61 or 62.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010