History of the Buddha's Successors
History of the Buddha's Successors, A
付法蔵因縁伝 (Chin Fu-fa-tsang-yin-yüan-chuan; Jpn Fuhozo-innen-)
Also known as the Buddha's Successors Sutra. A record of the twenty-three monks in India said to have successively inherited Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings and propagated them. Kinkara (Chin Chi-ch'ieh-yeh) and T'an-yao produced the Chinese translation of this work in 472. The Sanskrit text is not extant. According to this account, the Buddha first transferred his teachings to Mahakashyapa, who in turn entrusted them to Ananda.
Ananda transferred the Buddha's teachings to Shanavasa, who in turn transferred them to Upagupta. In this way, the teachings were passed down to Aryasimha, the twenty-third and last successor. Aryasimha was beheaded by King Mirakutsu (Jpn; Sanskrit unknown) and the line of succession ceased.
According to A History of the Buddha's Successors, Ananda transferred the Buddha's teachings to not only Shanavasa but Madhyantika as well, who propagated them in Kashmir and Gandhara.
Because Shanavasa transmitted the Buddha's teachings inherited from Ananda to the fourth successor, Upagupta, he is regarded as the third successor.
Based on this explanation, Chang-an (561-632), T'ient'ai's disciple and successor, listed the twenty-three successors (not including Madhyantika) in his preface to T'ient'ai's Great Concentration and Insight.
He added that because Madhyantika and Shanavasa had both inherited the Buddha's teachings from Ananda, if Madhyantika is included among the Buddha's succes-sors, they number twenty-four.
Thereafter the T'ient'ai school (and its Japanese counterpart, the Tendai school) came to refer both to the twenty-three and the twenty-four successors.