Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Tales of Conjured Temples
Susan Andrews, Columbia University
JIATS, no. 6 (December 2011), THL #T5710, pp. 134-162
Notes

Notes

[1] The Qianlong emperor (1736-1796), for example, not only sponsored the production of the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan but also supervised its compilation and authored its preface. Wen-shing Chou, “Ineffable Paths: Mapping Wutaishan in Qing Dynasty China,” The Art Bulletin 89, no.1 (2007): 120.
[2] In 1661 the imperial palace sponsored the publication of Zhencheng’s (1546-1617) Gazetteer of Qingliang shan edited and prefaced by Awang Laozang (1601-1687). In 1701 it produced the New Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, a revised version of Zhencheng’s work edited and prefaced by Laozang Danba (1632-1684). Finally, in 1785 the palace commissioned the compilation of the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan. The text was eventually published in 1811. In his work on Qing patronage of Wutai Buddhism, Tuttle points out that both Awang Laozang and Laozang Danba were important practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism chosen to be leaders of Wutai shan by the throne. Tuttle reads their appointments as one piece of evidence that in patronizing Wutai shan the Qing rulers bestowed particular favor on Tibetan Buddhism. See Tuttle’s article in this volume, “Tibetan Buddhism at Wutai Shan in the Qing: The Chinese-language Register,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011), http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5721.
[3] Chou notes that while there are four extant pre-Qing Wutai texts produced over a nearly one thousand year period, in the space of 150 years the imperial court sponsored the publication of three new Wutai monographs, as well as the reprinting of Zhencheng’s sixteenth-century gazetteer, edited and prefaced by Awang Laozang. For Chou, this sponsorship is evidence of the special relationship the Shunzhi (1638-1661), Kangxi (1654-1722), and Qianlong emperors cultivated with Wutai shan. Gray Tuttle interprets the abundance of the Chinese language sources for Qing patronage of Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, to be evidence that “the Qing emperors went to some length to establish their patronage of Buddhism at Wutai shan as a public event, and not just a spectacle for the consumption of Mongolian Tibetan Buddhists.” “The emperors,” he continues, “communicated their support in person, through visits to the site, and in writing, especially through the publication of gazetteers but also through the distribution of stelae and placards.” Tuttle uses the fact that the bulk of these materials were issued in Chinese, rather than Mongolian or Tibetan, as evidence to refute Farquhar’s claim that the target audience of the Qing leader’s patronage was their Mongolian subjects. See, again, Tuttle’s article “Tibetan Buddhism at Wutai Shan.” Chou, “Ineffable Paths,” 120. David M. Farquhar, “Emperor as Bodhisattva in the Governance of the Ch’ing Empire,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 38, no. 1 (1978): 5-34.
[4] Huixiang’s Ancient Record of Qingliang shan, Yanyi’s Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, and Zhang Shangying’s Further Record of Qingliang shan are a well-known group of Wutai mountain monographs. Zhang Shangying’s Further Record of Qingliang shan is a firsthand account of his 1087 pilgrimage to Wutai shan. The Ancient Record of Qingliang shan and the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, in contrast, are catalogues of a wide range of material related to Wutai shan that, in addition to information about religious practice at the mountain, include descriptions of, for example, its natural environment. As early as 1164 the Ancient Record of Qingliang shan and the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan together with Further Record of Qingliang shan circulated together in a Jin edition with a preface by Yao Xiaoxi. See Robert Gimello, “Chang Shang-ying on Wu-t’ai Shan,” in Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China, ed. Susan Naquin and Chun-fang Yu (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 126.
[5] The Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song is the latest of three extant collections of clerical biographies compiled between the early sixth and late tenth centuries. The earliest is the scholar-monk Huijiao’s (497-554) Biographies of Eminent Monks (Gaoseng zhuan). Daoxuan (596-667) compiled the second collection, the Xu gaoseng zhuan (Xu gaoseng zhuan). Zanning’s is the third text. It was commissioned by imperial order in 982 and completed in 988. The Song collection includes the biographies of 532 monks who lived between 667 and 987.

The Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song and the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan contain records of at least four conjured temples that were subsequently constructed at Wutai shan. The mountain monograph groups them together and titles them thus: “the record of the preceptor Shenying’s (eighth century) entry into the conjured Fahua Cloister” (Yanyi, Guang Qingliang zhuan [Expanded Record of Qingliang shan], in Taishō shinshū Daizōkyō, ed. Takakusu Junjirō and Watanabe Kaigyoku Henshū [Tōkyō: Taishō Issaikyō Kankōkai, 1924-32], 1112c.17-13a.14; Zanning, Song gaoseng zhuan [Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song], in Taishō shinshū Daizōkyō, ed. Takakusu Junjirō and Watanabe Kaigyoku Henshū [Tōkyō: Taishō Issaikyō Kankōkai, 1924-32], 843a.07-43b.04), “the record of the preceptor Wuzhuo’s entry into the conjured Prajñā Temple (Bore si)” (Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1111b.24-12c.16; Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 836c.01-37b.14), “the record of the monk Daoyi’s (eighth century) entry into the conjured Jinge Temple” (Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1113a.15-14a.5; Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 843c.21-44a.07), “the record of the preceptor Fazhao’s (eighth century) entry into the conjured Zhulin Temple” (Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1114a.06-16a.22; Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 844a.08-45b.08). Furthermore, the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song and the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan preserve accounts of the Tang monk Wuran’s (eighth-ninth century) entry into the conjured Fusheng Temple (Fusheng si; Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 855c.08; Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1116a.24). I know of no reference to this temple being constructed at Wutai shan.

Daniel Stevenson and Raoul Birnbaum have studied some of these figures in isolation. Stevenson has translated the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan account of Fazhao’s entry into the conjured Zhulin Temple. Birnbaum, the expert on Tang period Wutai shan, has written extensively on the Daoyi and Shenying material. In a recent article, “Light in the Wutai Mountains,” Birnbaum quotes from Yanyi’s entry on Wuzhuo.

Daniel Stevenson, “Visions of Mañjuśrī on Mount Wutai,” in Religions of China in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 203-222; Raoul, Birnbaum, “Light in the Wutai Mountains,” in The Presence of Light: Divine Radiance and Religious Experience, ed. Matthew T. Kapstein (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 195-226; Raoul, Birnbaum, Studies on the Mysteries of Maňjuśrī: A Group of East Asian Maņdalas and Their Traditional Symbolism (Boulder: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, 1983); Raoul Birnbaum, “The Manifestations of a Monastery: Shen-ying’s Experiences on Mount Wu-t’ai in T’ang Context,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 106, no.1 (1986): 110-37.
[6] For example, Xuanben’s (mid-ninth – eleventh century?) “Wutai shan sheng jian zan,” one of a number of poems Mary Anne Cartelli has studied dealing with Wutai shan that were found among the documents at Dunhuang, makes reference to one of the conjured temples mentioned in the Qing dynasty gazetteers. Versions of the poem are found in three manuscripts: P.4617, P.4641, and P.4504. References to conjured temples also appear in art. A cartouche on the Dunhuang Panorama, Gimello explains, identifies the “place where a magical golden bridge appeared.” This is a possible allusion to the bridge Daoyi observed as he entered the conjured Jinge Temple. On this subject see: Mary Anne Cartelli, “The Poetry of Mount Wutai: Chinese Buddhist Verse from Dunhuang” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2002); Dorothy C. Wong, “A Reassessment of the Representation of Mt. Wutai from Dunhuang Cave 61,” Archives of Asian Art 46 (1993): 27-52; Robert Gimello, “Chang Shang-ying on Wu-t’ai Shan,” in Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China, ed. Susan Naquin and Chun-fang Yu (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 132.
[7] The Blue Cliff Record is a collection of one hundred public cases (gongan) originally compiled by the monk Xuedou Zhongxian. The commentary of the eleventh-century monk Yuanwu Keqin was later appended to this work. The connection between public cases and Wutai lore and legend, including records of the monk-pilgrim Wuzhuo, is examined by Steven Heine in his Opening a Mountain. Charles Muller, ed., Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, http://buddhism-dict.net/ddb/index.html, accessed May 2nd, 2007; Steven Heine, Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters (Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2002).
[8] In his study and translation of the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan record of Fazhao’s career and pilgrimage, Daniel Stevenson, for example, describes the monk-pilgrim’s entry into the conjured Zhulin Temple as a “journey-in-spirit to the magical Bamboo Grove Monastery.” His frequent references to the visionary nature of this temple and other conjured temples underscore their extraordinary quality. In his article on the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan record of Shenying’s Wutai career, Raoul Birnbaum chooses “manifested cloister” to translate the closely related term conjured cloister (huayuan). At Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1113a.06-13a.07 he has the monk declare, for example: “I will build a monastery like the manifested cloister and live in it for the remainder of my years.” The choice connects conjured temples with other examples of Wutai legend and lore that recount the appearance of extraordinary figures and structures at the mountain, as well as non-Wutai traditions of revelation, epiphanies of divine presence and power. Stevenson, “Visions of Mañjuśrī,” 208 (emphasis added). Birnbaum, “Manifestations of a Monastery,” 129 (emphasis added).
[9] Yanyi comments that at Wutai: “[o]ne frequently experiences a conjured temple, and from time to time the sound of a bell. Long ago, Senming encountered a strange man in the guise of a great official. In the midst of speaking he leaped up and soared away into the distance.” Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1106b.14-06b.16; in Cartelli, 106.
[10] Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 836c.11.
[11] Another example appears in Xuanben’s “Eulogy on the Holy Regions.” In contrast to the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song and Expanded Record of Qingliang shan that state Fazhao and Wuran entered conjured temples at Wutai shan, Xuanben employs the term conjured temple (huasi) when referring to the temple Wuran visited at Wutai but states that Fazhao entered a transcendent monastery.
[12] In the Record of the Dharma Jewel through the Generations, the Baotang master Wuzhu (714-774) is highly critical of pilgrimage practice, sacred place, and Wutai in particular. According to the text: “…some masters and monks of Jiannan wanted to go to (Wu)tai shan to pay obeisance, and they took their leave of the Venerable. The Venerable asked, “Worthies, where are you going?” The monks replied, “To pay respects to Mañjuśrī.” The Venerable said, “Worthies, the Buddha is in body and mind, Mañjuśrī is not far. When deluded thoughts are not produced, this is none other than ‘seeing the Buddha.’ Why take the trouble to go so far?” The masters and monks wanted to leave. The Venerable expounded a poetic verse (gāthā) for them: “Lost children restlessly dashing like waves, circling the mountain and paying obeisance to a pile of earth. Mañjuśrī is right here, you are climbing the Buddha’s back to search for Amitabha.

In deconstructing the notion that Wutai or any site for that matter could be a sacred center Wuzhu was not, as Wendi Adamek points out in her Mystique of Transmission, alone. A similar critique appears in the The Record of Linji where master Linji (d. 866-7) decries: “There are some types of students who go off to Mt. Wu-t’ai looking for Manjushri. They’re wrong from the very start! Manjushri isn’t on Mt. Wu-t’ai. Would you like to get to Manjushri? You here in front of my eyes, carrying out your activities, from first to last never changing, wherever you go never doubting – this is the living Manjushri!

The thrust of this argument, Adamek explains “is that it is delusory to locate the Buddha and Dharma outside one’s true nature, the Buddha-body of emptiness.” Significantly, she notes, “Wuzhu mocks those who make pilgrimage to Mt. Wutai, at a time when Bukong (amoghavajra, 705-774) was involving the state in massive expenditure at this site in order to glorify China as the domain of the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī.” One of the building projects Bukong promoted was the construction of the Jinge Temple, a replica of the conjured temple into which the Tang monk Daoyi entered. Wendi Leigh Adamek, The Mystique of Transmission: On An Early Chan History and Its Contexts (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 274, 275, 119.

[13] In Xuanben’s “The Holy Regions of the Vajra Grotto” this link is explicit. The author refers to Wutai, and the Jingang ku more specifically, as the conjured city. Cartelli translates the ninth section of Xuanben’s eleven-part poem cycle as follows:

In Wenshu’s burning house, the strange is always numinous,

The subtle and profound region cannot be named.

At Vajra Grotto, one always hears the sounds of Sanskrit,

Towers and terraces manifest everywhere shining.

Fazhao of Nanliang roamed in the immortal temple,

The eminent monk of the Western land entered the conjured city.

Limitless sages and worthies all dwell in this place,

Wandering beyond the clouds, good at moral cultivation.

Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 237. Cartelli’s article “The Gold-Colored World: ‘Eulogy on the Holy Regions of Mount Wutai’” is built around a translation and analysis of the Wutai shan sheng jing zan. Mary Anne Cartelli, “The Gold-Colored World: ‘Eulogy on the Holy Regions of Mount Wutai,’” T’ang Studies 23-24 (2005-2006): 1-45.

[14] This paper focuses on the closely related accounts of conjured temples in the New Gazetteer of Qingliang shan and Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan because these are Qing productions that differ markedly from earlier gazetteers including the Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, a Ming (1368-1644) text reprinted by the palace publishing house during the Qing dynasty.
[15] The focus of Raffaello Orlando’s dissertation is the public life of the Tantric master Bukong as it is depicted in the Collected Documents Pertaining to Bukong. This text is a collection of documents pertaining to Bukong compiled by his disciple during the late eighth century reign of Dezong. The Record of Ennin’s Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law is the well-known record of the ninth-century Japanese monk Ennin’s (794-864) travel in Tang China. Both works make reference to earthly replicas of the conjured temples extant at Wutai shan. Raffaello Orlando, “A Study of Chinese Documents Concerning the Life of the Tantric Buddhist Patriarch Amoghavajra (A.D. 705-774)” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1981). Edwin O. Reischauer, Ennin’s Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law (New York: Ronald Press, 1955).
[16] Natalie Köhle’s study of the seventeenth-century record of Kangxi’s Wutai pilgrimage, the Daily Record of Following in the Retinue of Kangxi’s Western Tour cites a section of the text dated the twenty-first day of the second month Gao Shiqi’s mentions the Jinge Temple. Köhle translates a 1714 stele inscription that also mentions the Vajra Cave/Prajñā Temple. It reads: “Every new and full moon the Qingxiu chanshi (Ding-ceng-jian-cuo Bstan ’dzin rgya mtsho) leads the ge-long and ban-di (ban de, Tibetan Buddhist monks) and all Tibetan and Chinese monks to ascend to (Jingan)ku (Banruo si) in unison, to reverently offer mystic incantations and make solemn prostrations (fengyan mizhang qiao chi (qin) wu ti)…” Natalie Köhle, “Why Did the Kangxi Emperor Go to Wutai Shan? Patronage, Pilgrimage, and the Place of Tibetan Buddhism at the Early Qing Court,” Late Imperial China 29.1 (2008): 88.
[17] Qing dynasty gazetteers use at least two names to refer to the monk known only as Wuzhuo in Tang and Song sources. The Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, the New Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, and the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan use two versions of Wuzhuo and Wuzhuo Wenxi interchangeably. The earthly version of the conjured temple he entered, as the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan notes, was originally called the Prajñā Temple but later came to be known by the name of the site most famous at Wutai in the Tang and Song: the Jingang ku.
[18] Comparing temple records in the Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, the New Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, and the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan, Chou makes the following observation: “[w]ith each new edition, the history of each temple was increasingly replaced by a description of the temple’s relative position and size; details, for example, such as the number of columns in each hall within the temple compound, the number of resident monks, or the shape of a grotto were documented with ever greater thoroughness.” Chou, “Ineffable Paths,” 120.
[19] The term spiritual response (linggan) is also rendered lingying. In the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, Zanning classifies the same four biographies together under the related heading penetration of sensitivity (gantong).
[20] As Raoul Birnbaum has shown, according to the Record of Ennin’s Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law, the monk Ennin (794-864) visited the Fahua Cloister on the grounds of the Huayan Temple (Huayan si). Regarding the monk, Ennin (794-864) states: “Throughout his lifetime, this Venerable One [Shenying] relied on the T’ien-t’ai Rite of Practice of the Dharma Blossom Samādhi for his cultivation practices. He constantly recited the Dharma Blossom Scripture (i.e., the Lotus Sūtra). For forty-three years, he never went out from the cloister. In response (to these practices), he attained purification of his six sense-faculties.” Birnbaum asserts this passage confirms Shenying was affiliated with the Tiantai School. The Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan identifies the monk as a Chan master. Birnbaum, “Manifestations of a Monastery,” 126, 127.
[21] The New Gazetteer of Qingliang shan record of Wuzhuo’s life and pilgrimage is nearly identical to the Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan version summarized here.
[22] In his “Visions, Divisions, Revisions: The Encounter between Iconoclasm and Supernaturalism in Koan Cases about Mount Wu-t'ai,” Steven Heine includes a chart comparing, in his words, “Differences between the Kuang Ch’ing-liang chaun (KCLC) and Sung kao-seng chuan (SKSC) Accounts of Two Pilgrims Named Wu-cho.” The chart deals exclusively with the events of Wuzhuo’s life set at Wutai shan as they are preserved in two Song period sources. Heine’s table nicely illustrates the variation between the Yanyi and Zanning materials. The chart included here draws on his work. Steven Heine, “Visions, Divisions, Revisions: The Encounter between Iconoclasm and Supernaturalism in Koan Cases about Mount Wu-t'ai,” in The Koan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism, ed. Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 154.
[23] Muller, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism.
[24] Zhang Shangying’s 1087 pilgrimage to Wutai shan is the subject of the third mountain monograph, the Further Record of Qingliang shan.
[25] Gimello, “Chang Shang-ying,” 127.
[26] Birnbaum, “Light in the Wutai Mountains,” 217.
[27] This episode is entirely absent from Song records of the monk Daoyi preserved in the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song and Expanded Record of Qingliang shan.
[28] Two prominent features of the earlier Fazhao records not mentioned in these Qing sources are references to the period of dharmic dissolution and statements that the bodhisattva Puxian (samantabhadra) accompanied Wenshu in the conjured Zhulin Temple. According to Zanning and Yanyi, Fazhao had a long discussion with Puxian and Wenshu during the course of which he asked what form of practice was best suited to the modai in which time he believed himself to be living.

References to the current era being that of the dharma’s decline appear throughout the vision-literature of Wutai and the Song period stories of the conjured temples in particular. In the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan version of the monk Wuzhuo’s entry into the manifested Prajñā Temple, for example, Wenshu, disguised as the abbot of the Qingliang Temple, asks about the state of the Buddha-dharma in the monk’s home region. Wuzhuo replies that the morality (śīla) and precepts (vinaya) are divided because it is the second of three periods of the Buddha’s teaching is drawing to a close. The period to which Wuzhuo makes reference here is the xiangji, the end of the period of the semblance dharma (xiangfa; Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1111c.11-11c.12). In Yanyi’s account of Daoyi Wenshu, disguised as old monk in the Jinge Temple, asks about the state of the Buddha-Dharma in Daoyi’s region. According to the text, the monk tells to the mysterious stranger that because it is the final age of the dharma (mofa) and morality and precepts are not respected (Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1113c.10). Interestingly, in both cases these references to dharmic dissolution appear in the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan version of Daoyi’s biography but not theBiographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song.

Scriptural precedent or parallel for the view that Wutai is the dwelling place of Wenshu in the era of the dharma’s decline are found in the Dhāraṇī of the Storehouse of the Dharma Treasure of Mañjuśrī (Mañjuśrī Dharma Ratnagarbha Dhāranī Sūtra, Wenshu shili fabaozang tuoluoni jing). The text claims Wenshu dwells at a five-peaked mountain in Great China (mahā cīna) in the era of the dharma’s dissolution. Sen translates the relevant passage: “O Lord, you often have said these words to me in the past – ‘After my final passing away, when a woesome age has fallen upon the Rose Apple Continent (Jambudvīpa), Mañjuśrī with broad abilities will benefit limitless sentient beings, and he will do the Buddha’s work.’ My sole wish, O Lord, is that you clearly and extensively describe to me in what place he shall dwell and further in what region he shall practice these beneficial acts. Due to your compassionate sympathy and upholding protection for all sentient beings, I wish that you will speak of it.

Then the Buddha told the bodhisattva Lord of the Vajra’s Secret Traces: “After my final passing, in this Rose Apple Continent (Jambudvīpa) in the northeast sector, there is a country named Great China. In its center there is a mountain named Five Peaks. The youth Mañjuśrī shall roam about and dwell there, preaching the Dharma in its center for the sake of all sentient beings.”

The Buddha states that Wenshu will appear at Mahā Cīna in the northeast on a five-peaked mountain. Proponents of the bodhisattva cult at Wutai interpreted this to be a reference to the northern mountain, the name of which means five-terraces. The scripture links Wenshu’s appearance with a woesome age, the era of decline. Song and Ming period biographies of Fazhao, as well as those of Wuzhuo and Daoyi, echo this claim. In contrast, the Qing accounts of conjured temples do not associate Wutai and the period of dharmic decline. References to the period are absent from the Ancient Record of Qingliang shan. Tansen Sen, Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (Honolulu: Association for Asian Studies and University of Hawai’i Press, 2003), 82.

[29] Daniel Stevenson, “Visions of Mañjuśrī on Mount Wutai,” in Religions of China in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 211.
[30] Though it was not until the Tang dynasty that Wutai shan became the center of the Wenshu devotion, as early as the second and third centuries a number of sūtras mentioning the bodhisattva had been translated into Chinese. As Mary Anne Cartelli explains in “Gold-Colored World,” in addition to the Lotus Sūtra, Wenshu played an important role in scriptures such as the Vimalakīrti Sūtra (Weimo jing) and the Flower Ornament Sutra (Avataṃsaka Sūtra, Huayan jing). In the fifth and sixth century, the period in which the Buddhist presence at Wutai shan was increasing, Raoul Birnbaum (“Manifestations of a Monastery”) and Étienne Lamotte (“Mañjuśrī,” T’oung Pao 48 [1960]: 1-96) among others have shown, proponents of the mountain cult asserted a group of three scriptures in particular linked Wenshu to the holy mountain. These texts were Buddhabhadra’s (fifth-century) translation of the Flower Ornament Sūtra (Dafangguang fo huayan jing), the Mañjuśrī Parinirvāna Sūtra attributed to Nie Daozhen, and the Dhāraṇī of the Storehouse of the Dharma Treasure of Mañjuśrī translated into Chinese by Bodhiruci (672-727). David Quinter’s “Visualizing the Mañjuśrī Parinirvaņa Sutra: The Wenshushili banniepan jing as Contemplation Sutra” is a careful study of the Mañjuśrī Parinirvāna Sūtra in which he demonstrates that the text is not, as the Taishō canon states and Lamotte repeated, the third-century work of Nie Daozhen but is, rather, a later, likely sixth-century, production wrongly attributed to him. David Quinter, “Visualizing the Mañjuśrī Parinirvāņa Sutra: The Wenshushili banniepan jing as Contemplation Sutra.” Asia Major 23, no. 2 (2010). Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 33. Cartelli, “Gold-Colored World,” 2.
[31] A translation of the Mañjuśrī Parinirvāna Sūtra appears in Cartelli’s dissertation. Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 40, 41.
[32] Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 42.
[33] Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 44.
[34] The Imperially Commissioned Gazetteer of Qingliang shan record of Shenying’s journey to the conjured Fahua Cloister mentions an image of Wenshu which does not appear in earlier versions. It claims: “inside [the temple] there was a holy image of Wenshu set up. His eyes and hair were very dark purple. His body was violet and gold color.” This vision of the bodhisattva is unique within the accounts of conjured temples that often contrast Wenshu’s manifestation as an old man with what is simply termed his true form (zhenrong). This reference to a gold and violet-bodied Wenshu seems closer to the following description of the bodhisattva in the Dhāraṇī of the Storehouse of the Dharma Treasure of Mañjuśrī: “[a]t the time of [Wenshu’s] birth, his room transformed into a lotus flower, and he issued from the right flank of his mother. His body was the color of purple gold…” This translation of the Dhāraṇī of the Storehouse of the Dharma Treasure of Mañjuśrī is Cartelli’s. Cartelli, “Poetry of Mount Wutai,” 42.
[35] Muller, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism.
[36] Fazhao’s biography in the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song preserves a reference to Wutai shan as the golden-hued realm (jinse shijie). In this account the term appears within a description of an encounter with an aged stranger that precipitated his Wutai pilgrimage. According to Zanning, Fazhao was practicing alone when a mysterious old man materialized and addressed him as follows: “you previously made a vow to go to the golden-hued realm to make venerative offerings to the great sage. Why have you now not gone?” (Zanning, Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song, 844.a27-44a.28). This passage explicitly identifies Wutai shan as the bodhisattva’s golden pure land.
[37] Muller, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism.
[38] John R. McRae, Seeing through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 78.
[39] McRae, Seeing through Zen, 78.
[40] The expansion of Wuzhuo’s biography continues in this Chan tradition with the following statement that is appended to the public cases:

Some time after the dialogue, Wu-cho decided to stay on Mount Wu-t'ai and was serving as cook in a monastery. Every day Manjusri appeared above his cauldron of rice, and each time Wu-cho struck him a blow with the bamboo stick used for churning the porridge. But that is like drawing the bow after the thief has already fled. At the right time, when asked “How is the Buddha Dharma being upheld in the South?” he should have hit Manjusri on the spine – that would have accomplished something! (Heine, Opening a Mountain, 67.)

[41] Heine, Opening a Mountain, 38.
[42] The Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song states that Wuzhuo, for example, studied under Chenguan who was later identified as a patriarch of the Huayan tradition. The text claims that, in his early life, Shenying studied with the Chan Master Shenhui (668-760) at the Southern Marchmount (Nanyue). Yet, in the account of his experiences at Wutai, the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song closely affiliates him with Tiantai practice. Writing in reference to the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan statement that Shenying learned from the southern Chan Patriarch Shenhui, Birnbaum comments: “[w]hile Buddhist practitioners were bound by numerous lineage traditions that were both religious…and familial…this did not prevent them from studying a wide range of teachings, nor did it prevent them from recognizing the non-restrictive special authority of genuine masters of different lineage traditions.” Birnbaum asserts that Shenying was affiliated with the Tiantai School. He bases this claim on the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan record of Shenying’s entry into the conjured Fahua Cloister, which makes a number of references to Tiantai doctrine and practice. For instance, it mentions Shenying’s mastery of the five matters considered fundamental in many texts of Tiantai lineage masters and contains many references to the Lotus Sūtra which is the school’s central scripture. Birnbaum, “Manifestations of a Monastery,” 126, 127.
[43] Raoul Birnbaum, “Secret Halls of the Mountain Lords: The Caves of Wu-t’ai Shan,” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 5 (1989-90): 122.
[44] Birnbaum, “Mountain Lords,” 122. Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1095a.11.
[45] According to this well-known tradition, the disguised bodhisattva instructed the foreign monk-pilgrim Futuoboli to retrieve a copy of the Dhāraṇī of the Jubilant Corona (Buddhoṣṇīṣa-​vijaya-​dharaņī Sūtra) from India. The Record of Ennin’s Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law records that when Futuoboli returned with the sūtra in 683: “Monju [Wenshu] led him and entered with him into this grotto. When (Buddha)pala [Futuoboli] entered, the entrance of the grotto closed of itself, and it has not opened to this day.” Records of the monk Fotuoboli’s life and pilgrimage appear in the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song (717c.15-18b.07) and the Expanded Record of Qingliang shan (Yanyi, Expanded Record of Qingliang shan, 1111a.19-11b.23). Reischauer, Ennin’s Diary, 246, 247.
[46] This notion of “stimulus-response,” Yü explains, is founded on a view which predates Buddhism’s arrival in China that human communication with the universe is made possible by “the Chinese belief in the correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm: a person is a small universe replicating the greater universe without.” Yü, Kuan-yin, 153, 155.
[47] Examining the Biographies of Eminent Monks Compiled under the Song classification assigned to the monk Shenying, Birnbaum notes, reveals much about the way that Wutai monk-pilgrims were viewed in their own time. Writing in reference to Shenying’s biography he contends, the “placement of Shen-ying’s biography in the Sung kao-seng chuan provides a view of at least one traditional perception of the nature of Shen-ying’s importance.” With this in mind, Birnbaum gives a thorough account of the usages of penetration of sensitivity (gantong) in Buddhist and non-Buddhist sources, noting that in Zanning’s text the word is often applied to biographies of monks who have had visionary experiences. The translation of gantong Birnbaum offers is “spiritual resonance.” He describes it as follows: “...as a result of spiritual attunement, the sage [here Shenying] or the sculpture or the mountain vibrates in sympathy with divine beings or with divine realms. As a resonator in a musical instrument properly tuned yet otherwise entirely passive “picks up” vibrations sounded elsewhere and spontaneously amplifies them enabling them to be heard more widely, so too it is possible for the message of various spirits to be known more widely through the medium of these extraordinary persons, objects, or places.” According to Birnbaum this group of monks was “valued in medieval China not only as saintly persons, but also as living confirmations of the vibrant reality for which the various scriptures have been born.” Birnbaum, “Manifestations of a Monastery,” 134, 137.

Note Citation for Page

Susan Andrews, “Tales of Conjured Temples (huasi) in Qing Period Mountain Gazetteers,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): , http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5710 (accessed ).

Note Citation for Whole Article

Susan Andrews, “Tales of Conjured Temples (huasi) in Qing Period Mountain Gazetteers,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): 134-162, http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5710 (accessed ).

Bibliography Citation

Andrews, Susan. “Tales of Conjured Temples (huasi) in Qing Period Mountain Gazetteers.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): 134-162. http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5710 (accessed ).