The Revival of Buddhist Monasticism in Medieval China

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    APRIL, 2005

  • UMI Number: 3156036



    Copyright 2005 by

    Chen, Huaiyu

    UMI Microform

    CopyrightAll rights reserved. This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code.

    ProQuest Information and Learning Company 300 North Zeeb Road

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    by ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

  • Copyright by Huaiyu Chen, 2005. All rights reserved.



    Having recovered from political persecution and resolved problems within the sangha,

    Buddhism reached a summit in its development during Sui and Early Tang China (581-

    755). Daoxuan (596-667) played an unparalleled role in shaping the direction of

    Buddhist history during the medieval period through both his rich writings and his

    innovations of monastic rituals and regulations. This dissertation focuses on several key

    issues in his work, including the veneration of Buddha-relics and its relationship to the

    reconstruction and renovation of Buddhist monasteries as authoritative structures and as

    ground for the monastic community, the recreation of the ordination platform and

    ordination ritual, and the way in which the Buddhist community reclassified and dealt

    with monastic property. First, it discusses the historical background of Chinese Buddhism

    from the fifth to the seventh centuries. This study then argues that, in reinterpreting the

    image of southern Buddhism as a cultural tradition, Daoxuan sought a new model for the

    Chinese Buddhist tradition as a whole. More specifically, this study argues that the ritual

    of venerating relics as a commemorative ceremony functioned to expand the religious

    power of Buddhism in Chinese society and enhance the bonds within the monastic

    community. This study also interprets the creation of the ordination platform as a crucial

    element in the restoration of the Chinese monastic order. In addition, this study suggests

    that Daoxuan developed his new rules to create an innovative model for the Buddhist

    community as a ground for individual monks spiritual progress. He did this in part by

    reclassifying monastic property as communal and individual property. In sum, Daoxuan

    created a new tradition of Chinese Buddhist monasticism.


  • Table of Contents Acknowledgements Introduction

    1. A Case Study in the Revival of Monastic Discipline ----------------------------------1 2. Theorizing Buddhist Monasticism -------------------------------------------------------7 3. Structural Overview ----------------------------------------------------------------------12

    Chapter I: Buddhism in South China as a Cultural Imaginaire 1. Introduction --------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 2. Contextualizing Culture in the North and South China-------------------------------21 3. South China as the Kingdom of Culture -----------------------------------------------27 4. From the Kingdom of Culture to the Kingdom of Buddhism -----------------------34 5. Tradition and Training -------------------------------------------------------------------47 6. The Diaspora of Southern Culture ------------------------------------------------------53 7. A Son of a Southern Father and a Disciple of a Southern Master ------------------64 8. Concluding Remarks: Buddhism and Society -----------------------------------------69

    Chapter II: Relics and Monasteries in Buddhist Monasticism

    1. Introduction --------------------------------------------------------------------------------72 2. An Overview of the Relics in Asian History ------------------------------------------77 3. Authentication and Authority: Relics in China ---------------------------------------82 4. The Practice of Venerating Relics ------------------------------------------------------87 5. Rituals of Releasing life and Self-Destruction ----------------------------------------92 6. The Dead and the Living -----------------------------------------------------------------98 7. Manifestation of Incarnation -----------------------------------------------------------101 8. Multiple Buddhas ------------------------------------------------------------------------105 9. Concluding Remarks: The Past Becomes the Present ------------------------------110

    Chapter III: Ordination Platform and Ordination Ritual

    1. Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------------------114 2. Hybridizing the Ordination Tradition: From South China to Central Asia ------121 3. The Origin of Ordination Platform ----------------------------------------------------126 4. Mahyna Interpretation on Ordination Platform -----------------------------------136 5. The Scripture of Bequeathed Teaching and Ordination Ritual --------------------144 6. The Roles in the Ordination Ritual ----------------------------------------------------150 7. Ordination Ritual as an Initiation Rite ------------------------------------------------154 8. Concluding Remarks: Dimensions of Power and Knowledge ---------------------158

    Chapter IV: Property in Buddhist Monasticism

    1. Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------------------163 2. Contextualizing the Text ---------------------------------------------------------------169 3. Ownership: Private Property and Communal Property -----------------------------173 4. Classifications of Monastic Property -------------------------------------------------180 5. Laborers, Slaves and Servants ---------------------------------------------------------188


  • 6. Animals -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------191 7. Plants --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------197 8. Books --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------201 9. Jewels and Money -----------------------------------------------------------------------206 10. Medicines and Medical Works --------------------------------------------------------209 11. Clothing -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------215 12. Concluding Remarks: Differentiating Individuals and Community---------------219

    Conclusions: The Revival of Buddhist Monasticism

    1. From Margin to Center -----------------------------------------------------------------224 2. Discipline and Liberation -------------------------------------------------------------- 228 3. Textual Community and Scholasticism ---------------------------------------------- 230 4. Monastic and Secular Spheres -------------------------------------------------------- 232


    The Procedure of Ordination Ritual in Chinese Buddhism ---------------------------- 234 Bibliography Primary Sources

    1. Works by Daoxuan -----------------------------------------------------------------------244 2. Works in Collection ---------------------------------------------------------------------245 Secondary Sources 1. Sources in Western Languages ---------------------------------------------------------246 2. Sources in Chinese and Japanese Languages -----------------------------------------268


  • Acknowledgements My journey to the West comes to an end. As a report of this long journey, this dissertation marks one of the last steps in the rite of passage of my academic life. It documents my transformation from a novice of Buddhist studies to a monkish scholar. It would never be in the current form without the supports of many great virtues (Skt. bhadanta, Ch. dade) at Princeton and beyond. First and foremost, I am extremely grateful to my advisor Stephen (Buzzy) F. Teiser. Buzzys supervision has profoundly reshaped the ways I read, write and think about intellectual issues. Buzzy has guided me through the treacherous water of graduate school onto the correct path with his infinite wisdom, benevolence, and patience. Professor Willard J. Peterson remains particularly inspiring and insightful, with whom I was fortunate to read both Chinese intellectual history and the tradition of Sinology in the West. I am also grateful to Professor Jacqueline (Jackie) Stone for introducing me to the field of Japanese Religions. In addition to the transfer of knowledge, she also assisted my research in Japan by kindly introducing me to many Japanese scholars in the field. I am also indebted to Professor Jeffrey Stout for giving me the first taste of studying religions at Princeton and in the West, and for his continuous support. My appreciation also goes to Professor Yang Lu for his tireless encouragement and support. As a great teacher and role model, Master Lu (Lu Daren) has not only provided many intellectual nourishments, he has also been uncommonly generous with his time and advice on matters both academic and personal. Lastly, I also would like to offer my appreciation to professors Martin Collcutt, Susan Naquin, and Robert Wuthnow for their various supports. I have also been on the receiving end of Professors Yu Ying-shihs and Zhang Guangdas invaluable guidance and encouragement. During their three years at Princeton, Professor Zhang Guangda and his wife, Professor Xu Tingyun, warmly invited me to their home many times treated me to delicious home cooking, and most importantly shared with me their experience as Chinese intellectuals and historians. I owe a great deal to many scholars outside of Princeton as well. First of all, Professor Rong Xinjiang at PKU has continuously supported my study and research since I first became his masters student in 1994. It was he who first introduced me to Buzzy and Professor Zhang Guangda, and to the academic world. Professors Wang Bangwei and Lin Meicun at PKU also showed me great generosity. Professors Cai Hongsheng, Jiang Boqin, and Lin Wushu kindly invited me to Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and shared with me their insights of Tang history. In Hong Kong, Professor Jao Tsung-i put some time aside from his busy schedule to discuss with me Buddhist historiography. In Taiwan, Professor Cheng A-tsai and his wife, Professor Chu Feng-yu, offered me numerous materials on Dunhuang studies. Professors Chikusa Masaaki, Funayama Toru, Sueki Fumihiko, and Takata Tokio helped my research in Japan. In Europe, I am indebted to the supports of Professors Kuo Li-ying, Jens-Uwe Hartman, and Haiyan Hu-von Hinber. I am especially grateful to Dr. Joseph McDermott for inviting me to present a chapter of my dissertation at Cambridge University, where I was fortunate to have received comments from Professor Richard F. Gombrich, which have saved me from many errors. Dr. Henrietta Harrison, teaching in Leeds, also helped me in the early stage of my dissertation project during her stay at Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Yung Sai-hsing also extended to me his helping hands during his stay at Princeton. In the US, many


  • scholars have helped me in various stages of this project. Professor Victor H. Mair has kindly answered many of my questions through emails and conversations since we first met in 1997. Professor Yu Chun-fang has devoted hours of her valuable time to discuss with me my dissertation project, most importantly, she offered me an opportunity to teach at Rutgers University. Professors Shinohara Koichi and Eric Reinders and Dr. Tan Zhihui both offered suggestions on my study of Daoxuan during its earliest stage. I am equally indebted to many friends I came to know at Princeton. Ji Xiao-bin (Ji Daren), as a traditional Confucian gentleman, has patiently shared with me his research and teaching experience. Without his helps, my life and study would without doubt be much harder. I am also grateful to Wei Yang Teiser and Lucy Lo for their supports. My life and study at Princeton have also been greatly enriched by a circle of good friends (Skt. kalynamitra, Ch. shanyou). I would like to especially highlight the significance of Caitlin J. Anderson, Jessey J.C Choo, and Alexei K. Ditter for their companionship. Caitlin, Alexei, and I have been on a same boat for a seemingly endless journey of pursuing our degrees. I thank them for the sharing of sadness and happiness in the past seven years and Jessey for kindly brought me lunch and dinner while I was writing general examinations. I am also grateful to Jennifer Eichman and Lori Meeks for their support in the early stage of my graduate school life. In addition, many have helped me through various stages: Micah Auerbach, Ian Chapman, Paul Copp, Chunmei Du, Haiyan Gu, Zhigang Hu, Xiaojuan Huang, Ryan B. Joo, Kevin Osterloh, Mark Rowe, Asuka Sango, Lianying Shan, Fabien Simonis, Yinggang Sun, Tat-kee Tan, Eric Thomas, Hui-min Tzeng, Haicheng Wang, Chuck Wooldridge, Xiaojin Wu, Lanjun Xu, Stuart Young, Hui-chun Yu, Jimmy Yu, Ya Zuo. In addition, Courtney Palmbush offers great help with final proofreading. I am also grateful to many friends who kindly hosted me during my academic trips with in the US, as well as those to Asia and Europe: Chen Ming, Steve Covell, Dang Baohai, Egawa Shikibu, Lei Wen, Lin Peiying, Liu Guanglin, Liu Houbin, Meng Xianshi, Wang Chengwen, Wang Xianhua, Wong Yung, Ye Wei, Yu Xin, Zhang Lun, Zhang Mingxin, Zhang Tao, and Zhou Guanghui. My thanks also go to all institutions that funded my study and research in the past several years: Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, Center for the Study of Religion, Council on Regional Studies, East Asian Studies Department and Program, Graduate School, Religion Department, Princeton; Japanese School, Middlebury College; China Times Cultural Foundation. I would also like to thank the following people for their assistance: Patricia A. Bogdziewicz, Richard Chafey, Lorraine Fuhrmann, Anita Klein, Kerry Smith, and Hue Kim Su. I am also grateful to Martin Heijdra and Yasuko Makino and East Asian Library at Princeton for their bibliographical support. Last but not the least, I am grateful to my family for their indispensable support: my parents, my younger sisters, my wife, my parents-in-law, and all relatives who are now struggling for better life in Jiangxi, Fujian, Hebei and Tianjin. For twenty years I have been away from home and relatives to pursue my study. It has been hard for my parents. Without their understanding and support, I would never be able to concentrate on my study. I also would not complete my dissertation without hearing my wifes voice across


  • the distance: Little Tiger! Hurry up and complete your dissertation. Come home! May Buddhas and Bodhisattvas bless them!


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