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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 ).
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 ).