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Enlightenment in DisputeThe Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-Century China$

Jiang Wu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333572

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333572.001.0001

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(p.311) Appendix 3: Survey of Evidence Concerning the Issue of Two Daowus

(p.311) Appendix 3: Survey of Evidence Concerning the Issue of Two Daowus

Enlightenment in Dispute
Oxford University Press

In the following, I glean evidence from various polemical works about the issue of the two Daowus and present them in chronological order. The textual records are listed as evidence according to the polemicists' standards. From the perspective of modern historians, however, some pieces of “evidence” are obviously legends or myths.

A. Evidence Supporting the Two-Daowu Theory

Evidence from the Tang Period

Although there was no dispute about the two Daowus in the Tang dynasty, all later debates pointed to some early sources of Tang origin. This section lists some of the most important pieces of evidence, both extant and missing, that were frequently cited by the polemicists.

The Prophecy about Mazu Daoyi and His Lineage

The acceptance of Tianwang Daowu implies that Mazu's line is more prominent than Qingyuan's because if Longtan Chongxin were Tianwang Daowu's heir, his entire lineage would have belonged to the line of Nanyue Huairang and Mazu Daoyi. Thus, the transmissions derived from Mazu would outnumber those from Qingyuan.

One reason in particular led Feiyin and his followers to believe firmly in the existence of Tianwang Daowu. That is, a prophecy had (p.312) been made by the mythical Indian Chan patriarch Prajñātāra before Bodhidharma's trip to China. Feiyin Tongrong interpreted this prophecy as suggesting the superiority of Nanyue Huairang's line.

From the perspective of modern historians, these prophecies contained in Chan histories, deliberately concocted for ideological purposes, can hardly be seen as evidence. For Chan followers in the seventeenth century, however, the predictions proclaimed by an Indian patriarch and recorded in many Chan historiographies were beyond reasonable doubt. These prophecies had appeared as early as the ninth century in proto-Chan genealogical works such as the Baolin zhuan (Baolin records), compiled in 801. Two such prophecies are relevant to the debate. The first was about Bodhidharma. Before his departure for China, when he asked the venerable Prajñātāra, the twenty-seventh patriarch, about his future in China, Prajñātāra predicted that there would be two “tender branches” in China, symbolizing both Mazu's and Shitou's lineages, and Mazu would assume the leadership. His verse continues as follows:

  • Traveling on land and crossing waters, [you] will meet a goat.
  • Alone, [you] will cross the [Yangzi] river sadly and secretly.
  • Under the sun, there is a pitiful pair of elephant and horse.
  • Two tender branches will flourish forever.1

The first line of this prediction indicates Bodhidharma's arrival at Guangzhou, “the city of the goat.” The second line suggests that Bodhidharma, after his unpleasant meeting with the Wu emperor of the Liang state, would leave for north China and eventually settle at Mount Song. The meaning of the last two lines is much more obscure and consequently subject to different interpretations. In the third line, “elephant” and “horse” may refer to Huineng and Shenxiu. For Feiyin Tongrong, however, the “two tender branches” clearly represent the lineages of Linji and Caodong, and the word ma in the third line refers to Mazu Daoyi, thus establishing the superiority of Mazu's line.2

The second prediction articulated by the sixth patriarch, Huineng, had been recorded in both Deyi and Zongbao editions of the Platform Sūtra.3 Citing the prophecy of Prajñātāra in India, Huineng predicted that, under Nanyue Huairang's lineage, a pony would come out and sweep the world. “The pony” serves as a pun here: It refers to Mazu Daoyi, whose name contains the character ma.4 As Huineng said to Nanyue Huairang, “A pony will come from beneath your feet, and will stamp to death people in the world.” Because the earliest extant Dunhuang edition does not contain this phrase, modern historians recognize this saying as a later interpolation.5

(p.313) Zongmi's “Chan Chart”

One of the earliest pieces of evidence to which the polemicists appealed is Zongmi's Zhonghua chuanxindi Chanmen shizi chengxitu (Chart of the master-disciple succession of the Chan gate that transmits the mind ground in China), often abbreviated as the “Chan Chart.”6 In the current edition of this text, preserved in the Japanese supplementary canon, a Daowu was indeed listed as Mazu's heir. Because Zongmi's documentation of early Chan history is highly reliable, it is certain that Mazu had a disciple who resided in Jiangling and had the name Daowu. Feiyin Tongrong and his followers regarded this as the most compelling evidence supporting the existence of Tianwang Daowu. Curiously, however, a note was added to Zongmi's record of Daowu, stating that he was also an heir of the national preceptor Faqin (714–792) in Jingshan.7 This note contradicts Tianwang Daowu's biography, which says nothing about his study with Faqin. As some Caodong masters pointed out, it does fit in Tianhuang Daowu's biography, which states that he studied with Faqin in his youth.

Guideng's Inscription of Nanyue Huairang

Guideng, a Tang official active during the Zhenyuan reign (708–805),8 wrote the inscription of Chan master Nanyue Huairang. The complete text of this inscription is not extant. In the Song gaoseng zhuan, Zanning (919–1001) wrote a biography for Nanyue Huairang based on Guideng's inscription but without any reference to Huairang's disciples.9 According to Zanning's account, Guideng unquestionably wrote an epitaph for Nanyue Huairang during the Yuanhe reign (806–820). However, Juefan Huihong, who apparently had seen the original inscription, indicated that this inscription actually listed several dharma grandsons after him, among whom was Daowu. Daowu, therefore, belonged to Nanyue's lineage.

Quan Deyu's Epitaph of Mazu Daoyi

Quan Deyu (759–818) was a famous official of the Tang who was befriended by Mazu Daoyi. He composed Mazu's inscription in 791.10 This inscription listed Daowu as Mazu's disciple.11 Modern scholars of Mazu Daoyi have hypothesized that this Daowu must have been Tianhuang Daowu, who may have studied with Mazu during his stay in Kaiyuan monastery from about 770 to 778. For the polemicists in the seventeenth century, however, this reference was additional evidence for a second Daowu because they believed this Daowu must be Tianwang Daowu.

(p.314) Huang Zongxi's Discovery of Qiu Yuansu's Identity

Qiu Yuansu was the Tang official who allegedly wrote Tianwang Daowu's epitaph. According to this epitaph, which has not been determined as a genuine text created in the Tang, he had been the military governor of Jingnan (Jingnan jiedushi). However, many polemicists diligently searched Tang history but failed to discover his name and title. Thus, some Caodong monks concluded that Qiu Yuansu was nonexistent, and, accordingly, Tianwang Daowu's inscription must be a forgery.

Nonetheless, Huang Zongxi, a famous historian in the early Qing, believed in the authenticity of Tianwang Daowu's inscription because he discovered the identity of Qiu Yuansu from inscriptional sources.

Huang Zongxi's opinion is worth mentioning because of his prominent status in Chinese intellectual history. He discovered the name Qiu Yuansu in Ouyang Xiu's collection of inscriptions. In his postscript to the Jigu lu (Records of collecting antiquity), Ouyang Xiu made the following entry:


On the right are the poems on the Shennü Shrine, written by Li Jifu, Qiu Yuansu, Li Yisun and Jing Qian. When I was appointed as magistrate of Yiling, I took a boat [ride] along the Yellow Cow Gorge (Huangniu xia) to visit this shrine and drink water from the foggy Fu River. I watched the river and mountain standing out steep and alone but only regretted that I could not see the exotic beauty of Mount Wu. Every time I read the poems written by these people, I loved their diction and style and thus made a record.12

The record of Qiu Yuansu's poem can be also seen in Chen Si's collection of inscriptions. Chen Si added that Qiu Yuansu was the military commissioner of Kuizhou (today, Sichuan).13 Although Ouyang Xiu and Chen Si compiled their works during the Song, the inscriptions they recorded were all written in previous dynasties. Both claimed to have seen many of these inscriptions in person. Based on these Song records, Huang Zongxi concluded that Qiu Yuansu was indeed a contemporary of Daowu and had served as a military officer in the Sichuan area.

Evidence from the Song

Apparently, the evidence just cited did not arouse any controversies in the Tang because the division of the five Chan lineages had not yet emerged. (p.315) During the Song, however, the dispute about the two Daowus began to surface as a critical response to the officially sanctioned Jingde chuandeng lu.

Daguan Tanying's Wujia zongpai

The first person who posited the existence of Tianwang Daowu was Daguan Tanying (989–1060), a Linji Chan master active in the Northern Song. He allegedly wrote the no-longer extant Wujia zongpai (The lineages of five Chan houses). Many later sources pointed to his work as the first that contains information about the two Daowus, especially about Tianwang Daowu. As the following record provided by Juefan Huihong indicates, the two inscriptions were first in Daguan Tanying's possession.14

Juefan Huihong's Accounts of the Two Daowus

One of the most important sources to which Feiyin Tongrong could refer regarding the existence of the monk Tianwang Daowu was a short note in Juefan Huihong's miscellaneous collection Linjian lu, which raised the possibility of the existence of two monks named Daowu. I translate this note as follows:

The Jingde chuandeng lu records the following information about Chan master Daowu in Tianhuang monastery in Jingzhou:

Daowu received the dharma from Shitou Xiqian. The temple he resided in was called Tianhuang. He was from Dongyang in Wuzhou with the surname “Zhang.” At the age of fourteen, he left his household and was tonsured by an eminent monk in Mingzhou (Ningbo). At the age of twenty-five, he received the complete ordination in Zhulin monastery in Hangzhou. He first visited Master Guoyi (Faqin) at Mount Jingshan and served him diligently for five years. During the Dali reign (766–780), he arrived in Zhongling to visit Master Mazu. After two summers, he finally visited Shitou Xiqian. He died in the fourth month of the Dinghai year of the Yuanhe reign [807] at the age of sixty and had joined the saṅgha for thirty-five years.

I have read Chan master Daguan Tanying's collection Wujia zongpai, which says that Daowu is an heir of Mazu. [This source] quotes Qiu Yuansu's inscription of Daowu, which amounts to several thousand words. Abbreviated as below, it says: The master's name is Daowu, a Zhugong (Jiangling) person with the surname of Cui, and he is Ziyu's descendant. At fifteen, he left the household after receiving tonsure from Master Tanzhu. At twenty-three, he visited the Vinaya master at Mount Song and was ordained. He also visited Shitou Xiqian and studied with him for two years but had no perfect (p.316) awakening. He then went to Chang'an to visit the national preceptor, Huizhong. At thirty-four, returning to the south with the attendant Yingzhen, he visited Master Mazu and achieved the great enlightenment upon hearing [Mazu's teaching]. [Mazu] prayed [for him]: “In the future, do not leave your original place.” Thus, he returned to Zhugong (Jiangling). In the beginning of the fourth month of the thirteenth year of the Yuanhe reign (818), he became ill and died on the thirteenth day at the age of eighty-two and had been a monk for sixty-three years.

After examining these two biographies, [I found] that they look like exactly two different people. But Qiu Yuansu recorded that he (Tianwang Daowu) had one dharma heir named Chongxin, who lived in Longtan monastery in Fengzhou. “The Inscription of Chan Master Nanyue Huairang” written by the famous gentleman Guideng of the Tang listed several dharma grandsons after him, among whom there was Daowu's name. The Da Pei xiangguo zongqu zhuang (Reply to Prime Minister Pei Xiu on Chan teaching) written by Zongmi lists six dharma heirs of Mazu and the first name is Daowu of Jiangling. The note under the name says: “[He is] also Jingshan's (Guoyi's) heir.” Nowadays, one can laugh at those who erroneously took the Yunmen and Linji schools as rivals.15

Juefan Huihong's record was the first written source to quote Tianwang Daowu's inscription. Here, Huihong never stated that his account was an exact replica of the inscription. Rather, according to Huihong, the actual inscription, which was in Daguan Tanying's possession, was several thousand words long. This detail certainly contrasts with the short inscription of Tianwang Daowu popular in later Chan histories, which is less than two hundred words. Juefan Huihong suggested that, in the Northern Song, the Yunmen school and the Linji school seemed to be in competition. However, he believed that if there were indeed two Daowus and Longtan Chongxin did belong to Tianwang Daowu's lineage, both the Yunmen school and the Linji school would belong to Mazu's line. Thus, for Huihong, the rivalry between Yunmen and Linji was laughable. In addition to providing a biographical sketch of the two Daowus, Huihong listed the early sources from the Tang that contained evidence favorable to the new Tianwang Daowu. (I have already examined some of these early sources.)

Zhang Shangying's Involvement

Daguan Tanying's Wujia zongpai is no longer extant. However, Juemengtang's preface to this work provides more (p.317) information about the relation between the “sudden” appearance of Tianwang Daowu's biography and Zhang Shangying (1043–1121), Daguan Tanying, and Juefan Huihong.16 Written for a recollated version of the Wujia zongpai, this preface first targets the delineation of dharma transmissions in the Jingde chuandeng lu and argues for the existence of Tianwang Daowu. The author suggests that the two schools derived from Longtan Chongxin should be changed to Mazu's line. He points to the fact that Daoyuan, the compiler of the Jingde chuandeng lu, could not consult the existing epigraphic sources personally, and the authenticity of his collection was thus suspicous. The author of this preface also provided some new information about the relation between this dispute and Zhang Shangying:

Nowadays, all people in the world are taking the Jingde chuandeng lu as evidence. Even those who hold positions in big monasteries and lineages are not able to discern clearly. Only two virtuous men, Prime Minister layman Wujin (Zhang Shangying) and Lü Xiaqing,17 often discussed affairs in the Chan lineage whenever they met. They said: “Shitou had Yaoshan (Weiyan) and Yaoshan developed the Caodong school. His teaching, principle, practice, and accomplishment were demonstrated in a delicate and tactful way. And also from Tianhuang Daowu came a vajra Zhou (Zhou jingang, referring to Deshan Xuanjian). He chastised [people] like the wind and cursed like the rain. Even Buddhas and patriarchs did not dare to test his sharpness. It may be wrong that he derived from Tianhuang.” The venerable Master Jiyin (Juefan Huihong) also doubted it and remarked: “It seems that there were two people named Daowu.” Later Wujin (Zhang Shangying) obtained the epitaph of Tianhuang Daowu written by Fu Zai of the Tang from Daguan Tanying and again received the epitaph of Tianwang Daowu written by Qiu Xuansu. [Zhang Shangying] carried them and showed them to all people, saying: “I have doubted if Deshan Xuanjian and Dongshan Liangjia were all derived from Shitou: Why were their approaches fundamentally different? Now I have proved it with Qiu's and Fu's records, and it is crystal clear. I thus realize that I was not mistaken in selecting [Chan] methods and testing people.”18

According to this record, Zhang Shangying proved the theory of two Daowus. He first doubted that Deshan Xuanjian belonged to Tianhuang Daowu's transmission line. Then, he borrowed Tianwang Daowu's inscription from Daguan Tanying and compared it with the existing inscription of Tianhuang Daowu. Zhang Shangying was thrilled because Tianwang Daowu's (p.318) inscription listed Longtan Chongxin, from whom Deshan Xuanjian was derived, as Tianwang Daowu's heir, and thus his transmissions belonged to Nanyue Huairang's line.

Xuedou Chongxian's Lineage Affiliation

Records of later Chan masters' lineage affiliations also provided some clues to the identities of the two Daowus. By tracing their family trees as they were claimed, Longtan Chongxin's teacher can be ascertained. One such record comes from Weibai's Jingzhong jianguo xu denglu (Supplementary lamp records of the Jingzhong jianguo reign), compiled in 1101. This book is a genealogical work written after the Jingde chuandeng lu by a monk of the Yunmen lineage. It records the biographies of the Śākyamuni Buddha and thirty-three patriarchs in Chan history.

The seventeenth-century polemicists regarded the so-called evidence from this work not as direct support for the two-Daowu theory but rather as an inference based on the attribution of Xuedou Chongxian's (980–1052) lineage affiliation and generation number. According to Weibai, Xuedou Chongxian was Mazu's ninth-generation dharma heir.19 However, this record contradicts that in the Jingde chuandeng lu, which states that Xuedou Chongxian, as a patriarch of the Yunmen school, should be Shitou Xiqian's descendant. Because it was indisputable that Xuedou Chongxian was derived from Longtan Chongxin, Xuedou Chongxin's affiliation to Tianhuang Daowu or Tianwang Daowu became crucial. If Xuedou Chongxian's lineage affiliation could be traced back to Longtan Chongxin and then to Tianhuang Daowu, it meant that Xuedou Chongxian belonged to Shitou's line as the Jingde chuandeng lu indicated. However, if he was indeed a descendant of Mazu's line, then Longtan Chongxin could not be Tianhuang Daowu's heir. The only possibility, according to later polemicists, was that Longtan Chongxin was Tianwang Daowu's heir and thus could be traced back to Mazu.

Because Weibai was also a monk in the Yunmen lineage, his own account of his patriarch's lineage affiliation carried a certain weight. Such evidence can be also found in the Song Chan master Gongchen's Zuyuan tongyao (Outlines and essentials of the origins of patriarchs) in thirty fascicles. Gongchen was a dharma heir of Daguan Tanying and resided in Xiyu monastery. Because of his relationship with Daguan Tanying, it was natural for him to adopt the two-Daowu theory.20

Polemicists found further evidence about Xuedou Chongxian's lineage affiliation from his epitaph written by the Song official Lü Xiaqing, which clearly states that Xuedou was one of Mazu's ninth-generation dharma heirs.21 As mentioned earlier, in Juemengtang's preface to the Wujia zongpai, Lü Xiaqing, together with Zhang Shangying, supported the two-Daowu theory strongly. (p.319) Thus, it is not surprising to find his account of lineage affiliation consistent with the two-Daowu theory.

Evidence from the Yuan Dynasty

The theory of the two Daowus gained momentum in the Yuan, when the epitaphs of both Tianhuang Daowu and Tianwang Daowu were officially incorporated into Chan historiographies. Some Chan historiographers even publicly sanctioned such a theory and altered the transmission lines delineated in the Jingde chuandeng lu. The following sources attempted to establish the existence of Tianwang Daowu and to perpetuate the two-Daowu theory.

Two Inscriptions in the Wudeng huiyuan and Fozu lidai tongzai

The complete records of the two inscriptions appeared only in the Yuan dynasty. In the Yuan edition of the Wudeng huiyuan, printed in the fourth year of the Zhiyuan reign (1267) when the Southern Song still controlled south China, a long annotation included the full text of the two inscriptions for the first time, and they appeared under the entry for Tianhuang Daowu.22 The Yuan edition of the Jingde chuandeng lu added a note about the two Daowus without changing its main text and official lineage affiliations. In the Yuan work Fozu lidai tongzai (Records of successive generations of Buddha), the two inscriptions became the main text, annotated with Juefan Huihong's records (translated earlier in this appendix).23All of these works were included in the imperial canon in the Ming, reinforcing Feiyin Tongrong's argument.

A comparison of the two inscriptions illustrates their parallel structure and the similar accounts of the two monks. Fu Zai, the chief musician of the Court of Imperial Sacrifice (Xielülang), wrote Tianhuang Daowu's inscription. Tianwang Daowu's inscription was written by Qiu Yuansu, the military governor of Jingnan (Jingzhou). I translate both biographies as follows.24 First, here is Tianhuang Daowu's inscription by Fu Zai:

Daowu, surnamed Zhang, was a man from Dongyang county in Wuzhou prefecture. At fourteen, he renounced the household life and became a disciple of an eminent master in Mingzhou prefecture (Ningbo). At twenty-five, he received full precepts at Zhulin monastery in Hangzhou. He first studied with Master Guoyi (Faqin) and served him for five years. In the eleventh year of the Dali period (776) he lived as a recluse at Mount Damei. In the first year of the Jianzhong period (780), he visited Mazu in Jiangxi. In the second (p.320) year (781), he studied with Shitou and thus achieved the great awakening. Thereupon, he lived as a recluse in Mount Ziling in Dangyang and later went to Jingnan (Jingzhou). There was a monastery called Tianhuang in the east part of the city. Because it was destroyed in a recent fire, the monk Lingjiang intended to restore it. He said. “If we can invite Chan master Daowu as the fund-raiser, he will certainly bless us.” At that time, Mr. Pei, prefect of Jiangling and vice director of the right, humbly inquired [Master Daowu] about the [Buddhist] teaching. He was welcomed [into the monastery] with the utmost politeness. Because the master never [went out] to welcome or send off his guests regardless of their social status, he sat there and bowed to all of them. Mr. Pei therefore revered him even more. Because of this, the Way of Shitou Xiqian became prominent.

The master suffered from backpain. When he was about to die, the assembly came to visit him. The master suddenly summoned the cook to his nearby. He asked: “Do you understand?” [The cook] replied: “I don't understand.” After picking a pillow and threw it on the ground, the master died. He lived for sixty years and had been a monk for thirty-five years. He had three generations of dharma heirs, who were Huizhen, Youxian, and Wenfen. [Daowu died] on the thirteenth day of the fourth month of the second year of the Yuanhe reign (807).

Here is Tianwang Daowu's inscription by Qiu Yuansu:

Daowu, a man from Zhugong (Jiangling) and surnamed Cui, was a descendant of Ziyu. At the age of fifteen, he renounced the household life under the Vinaya master Tanzhu of Changsha monastery (later Tianhuang monastery). At twenty-three he received full precepts at Mount Song. At thirty-three he went to study with Shitou. Although he received Shitou's instructions and suggestions frequently, he did not have a single moment of satisfaction. Then, he visited the national preceptor Huizhong (?–775). At thirty-four, together with Yingzhen, an attendant of Huizhong, he returned to the south to visit Mazu. Mazu said, “[You must] realize that your own mind is originally the Buddha. Without relying on the gradual sequence and cultivation, your own original substance is itself the Absolute Reality with myriad perfect virtues.” The master immediately attained the great awakening upon hearing these words. Mazu told the master: “If you are to head a monastery, return to the place you come from.” Following this instruction, Daowu returned to (p.321) Jingzhou, where he built a grass hut not far away from the city. Later, because the military commissioner asked his attendants about this monk and he was told stories about him, the commissioner came to visit Daowu in person to inquire about the Way. He saw the road [leading to the grass hut] was so narrow that horses and carriages had difficulty in getting through. As far as the eyes could see there was only wild forest that was not trimed and cleared up. Seeing this, the commissioner became so angry that he had the master arrested and thrown into a river. When his entourage with banners and canopies just returned to office, they saw that the entire office compound was on fire. Both inside and outside were flames and intense heat; and no one could get close to it. Only a voice was heard in the sky: “I am the god of the Heavenly King! I am the god of the Heavenly King.!” The commissioner repented and paid homage to the god. Then, the fire and smoke were all gone, and everything was just as it was before. He then went to the riverbank and saw that the master was still in the water and his cloth was not even wet. Expressing his repentance again, the commissioner invited the master to come to live in the government compound. The commissioner built a temple in the western part of the city [of Jingzhou] and named it officially “King of Heaven” (Tianwang).

The master often said, “Happy! Happy!” When he was about to die, he shouted “Painful! Painful!” He also said, “King Yama is coming to grab me.” The abbot asked, “When you were caught by the commissioner and thrown into the water, you were so calm. Why do you behave like this right now?” The master raised the pillow and said, “Can you tell me whether I was right at that time or I am right now?” The abbot could not even reply. Thereupon, the master entered nirvāna. It was on the thirteenth day of the tenth month of the third year of the Yuanhe reign (808). He was eighty-two years old and had spent sixty-three summer retreats. He has one dharma heir, whose name was Chongxin, the master of Longtan.25

These two biographies show surprisingly similar structures and information. Having the same name, both monks lived in Jiangling, but one was in the Monastery of the Emperor of Heaven (Tianhuang) in the eastern part of the city and the other was in the Monastery of the King of Heaven (Tianwang) in the western part of the city. They both had studied with Mazu Daoyi and with Shitou Xiqian although they claimed to have received different transmissions: Tianhuang Daowu received transmission from Shitou Xiqian and (p.322) Tianwang Daowu from Mazu Daoyi. Each master had connections with a local official who played a decisive role in the monk's career. The significant difference between the two biographies is that, among the three disciples listed in Tianhuang Daowu's inscription, there is no mention of Longtan Chongxin. However, Tianwang Daowu's biography records Longtan Chongxin as his only dharma heir. Such an astonishing similarity and such a glaring difference in their dharma transmissions suggest strongly that the authenticity of at least one biography is questionable. Equally important, these two inscriptions, though frequently mentioned in Song sources, never appeared until the Yuan. No account is provided, either, about how these two inscriptions were handed down to monks in the Yuan. The authenticity of these inscriptions was consequently an issue in later debates.

Benjue's Buddhist History

The monk Benjue compiled Shishi tongjian (Compendium of Buddhist history) in twelve fascicles in 1270. Imitating the Confucian historical work Zizhi tongjian (Compendium of history) by Sima Guang (1019–1086), Benjue's work chronicled events from 970 B.C. to 960 A.D. Based on various historical records, it provides a clear account of Buddhist history and has very high scholarly value. However, in this historical work, he supported the authenticity of Tianwang Daowu's identity. In the entry of the third year of the Yuanhe reign of the Tang (808), he recorded: “On the thirteenth day of the tenth month, the Chan master Daowu of Tianwang monastery in the west of Jingnan city entered nirvāna, aged eighty-two, [having] sixty-three summer retreats. He was Mazu's heir and his heir was Longtan Chongxin.”26 In this entry, Benjue added a note about Juemengtang's preface to the recollated edition of Daguan Tanying's Wujia zongpai, upon which Benjue apparently relied. Benjue's position on the issue shows that the existence of Tianwang Daowu had been acknowledged by some Buddhist scholars, and the legend of Tianwang Daowu was even incorporated into newly compiled historical works.

Yunhe Rui's Chan Genealogy

At the end of the Southern Song and the beginning of the Yuan dynasty, Chan Buddhism remained active, and some Chan masters, accepting the two-Daowu theory, started to compile new supplementary histories of lamp transmission based on the altered lineage affiliations. Many later polemicists pointed to Yunhe Rui's Xindeng lu (Records of the lamp of mind) as the first attempt to completely revise the conventional dharma transmission lines. This work, according to some sources, was finished between 1341 and 1368, though a later source pinpointed it to the year (p.323) 1277, which was still during the Southern Song.27 Regardless of its origins, this book was lost, and even during the seventeenth century, polemicists had no chance to read it. All references to this book come from a preface to the Yuan edition of the Wudeng huiyuan written by the monk Tingjun (?-1368) in 1364.28 In this preface, Tingjun praised the compilation of the Wudeng huiyuan and specifically mentioned the writing of the Xindeng lu. He singled out the Xindeng lu because he believed that this work was the most comprehensive among all genealogical works. However, Tingjun regretted that such a work did not circulate widely because it had adopted the inscription of Tianwang Daowu and thus changed the conventional transmission lines. Although this book was no longer extant, this reference was enough for later polemicists to cite it as a precedent for their alteration of Chan genealogy.

Jue'an's Buddhist History

Another Buddhist history that publicly adopted the theory about Tianwang Daowu was the Shishi jigu lue (Outlined investigation of Buddhist history). Compiled by Jue'an (1286–?) in 1354, this work in four fascicles was a comprehensive record of important events in Buddhist history. Modeled on Benjue's Shishi tongjian, it arranged various records according to the chronology of the succession of dynasties and emperors. By juxtaposing political events and Buddhist history, this work detailed the relationship between the Chinese empire and the development of Buddhism. Broadly consulting various kinds of historical sources, it was especially rich in data about translations, monastic construction, and numbers of ordained monks. However, as Chen Shiqiang points out, it had numerous historical errors.29

Fascicle 3 contained information about Tang Buddhism. In the entry for 807, Jue'an recorded Tianhuang Daowu's biography based on Fu Zai's inscription. In the entry for 808, he recorded Tianwang Daowu's biographical information based on the reprinted Wudeng huiyuan. Explicitly referring to Qiu Yuansu's inscription, whose authenticity he seemed to have completely accepted, he recorded Longtan Chongxin as Tianwang Daowu's only dharma heir.30 As he noted, he had consulted the Wudeng huiyuan. Obviously, his source about Tianwang Daowu was based on the inscription appended in the Wudeng huiyuan reprinted in the Yuan dynasty. However, paradoxically, under the entry for 827, he entered Longtan Chongxin as Tianhuang Daowu's heir.31 This is obviously contradictory to his early record about Tianwang Daowu. As he noted, this time, he based his information on the Jingde chuandeng lu. From these contradictory entries, we can see again the confusion about the identities of the two Daowus in the Yuan dynasty.

(p.324) B. Evidence against the Two-Daowu Theory

Seventeenth-century supporters of the two-Daowu theory based their argument primarily on the sources listed above. It seems that the thesis of the existence of the two Daowus had been firmly established. However, the Caodong monks' counterarguments pointed directly to the spuriousness of Tianwang Daowu's inscription written by Qiu Yuansu. In the following sections, I introduce the evidence deemed to be important by the Caodong monks.

Evidence from Major Chan Historical Writings

Although evidence supporting the two-Daowu theory shed new light on Chan history, opponents gained a clear upper hand by citing numerous Chan historiographies that mentioned only Tianhuang Daowu. Among them, Zanning's Song gaoseng zhuan was the most important and detailed account about Tianhuang Daowu and Longtan Chongxin.

Zanning's Biographies of Tianhuang Daowu and Longtan Chongxin

The strongest evidence against the two-Daowu theory was the biographies of Tianhuang Daowu and Longtan Chongxin included in Zanning's Song gaoseng zhuan. This work, which was not a Chan historiography, divided monks into ten traditional categories. An eminent monk could be included in the biographies if he had made considerable contributions to the Buddhist religion as a translator, exegete, thaumaturge, practitioner of meditation, elucidator of Vinaya, aspirant to the next life, sūtra chanter, benefactor, hymnodist, or proselytizer.32 Zanning, in his Song gaoseng zhuan, grouped many Chan patriarchs, such as Bodhidharma, under the category of “practitioner of meditation” despite some Chan monks' protest.33

In fascicle 10, Zanning provided a detailed account of Tianhuang Daowu's life. According to Zanning, Daowu was determined to leave his family at fourteen and was ordained in Mingzhou. At twenty-five, he received the full ordination in Zhulin monastery in Hangzhou. Later, he went to study with the Chan teacher Guoyi at Jingshan. After serving for five years, he received his certification (yinke). Then, in 776, he went to Mount Damei at Yuyao and lived as a recluse for three or four years. In the early years of the Jianzhong reign (780), he visited Mazu at Zhongling. In 781, he visited Shitou. Here, Zanning did not mention from which Master Daowu eventually received dharma transmission. Instead, he praised Daowu for studying with all three Chan masters. According to this biography, Daowu first lived in Fengyang (p.325) and then in Jingkou. Eventually, he settled in Mount Chaizi at Dangyang, which was close to the regional metropolis of Jingzhou. Earlier, however, because the famous Tianhuang monastery had recently burned down, the abbot of Chongye monastery, Lingjian, invited Daowu to live there. Thus, a dispute about the master's final residence erupted. At that time, the magistrate of Jingling and vice director of the right (Jiangling yin youpuye), a man surnamed Pei, was attracted by Daowu and completely devoted himself to him. Zanning's account shows that, in 807, Daowu suffered back pain and, in the last day of the fourth month, he died at the age of sixty after a total of thirty-five summer retreats. On the fifth day of the eighth month, he was buried on the east side of the city.34

Zanning's chronology of Daowu provided much detailed information, even mentioning the master's height and physical features. Besides documenting Daowu's life, Zanning provided a glimpse of his Chan thought. According to him, Daowu's practice was based on the scripture of Pusa yingluo benye jing, and he relied on the Avataṃsaka Sūtra for inspiration. His teaching was sharp and powerful. Zanning quoted one passage from him: “Defilements and Purity exist together, and water and wave share the same substance. Contact with objects causes attachment and delusion; and one completely forgets to return to the root. The three worlds are equal and originally pure. If a single instant of thought does not arise, one will see the Buddha mind immediately.” Judging from this short verse, Daowu's thought was consistent with the rhetoric of the Southern school. At the end of this biography, Zanning mentioned that his disciples were prominent and collectively known as “the style of Tianhuang's lineage” (Tianhuang menfeng).35 Zanning listed his two disciples, Huizhen and Wenfen.36 Zanning also mentioned that Fu Zai had written essays (not an inscription) to praise Daowu. (Although Zanning did not speak about the source of his account, I suspect that he may have based his information on Fu Zai's essays.)

Zanning did not mention Longtan Chongxin among Daowu's disciples. However, immediately after rewriting Daowu's biography, he provided a brief account of Chongxin and his relationship with Daowu. According to him, Longtan Chongxin was the son of a baker of Central-Asian style pastry in Zhugong (Jiangling). His house happened to be in the alley where Tianhuang monastery was located. Every day, Chongxin would bring pastries to Daowu. But after Daowu ate, he always returned one piece to Chongxin and said, “I bequeath it to you to benefit your descendants.” Longtan Chongxin was greatly puzzled because this piece was from the cakes he had brought to the master. When he questioned the master, Daowu replied, “It is you who brought them to me. Then, what is wrong with you?” Thus, Daowu encouraged Chongxin to (p.326) join the Buddhist order and named him Chongxin. Later, Chongxin went to live at Longtan monastery in Fengyang. Because of Prime Minister Li Ao's (772–836) promotion, he became famous, and his disciple Deshan Xuanjian made Longtan Chongxin's Chan teaching prominent.37

Obviously, although Zanning did not mention explicitly that Chongxin was Daowu's dharma heir, the juxtaposition of both biographies in one section suggests the relationship of master and disciple. Because Zanning's work was compiled in 988, earlier than all other accounts of Tianhuang Daowu, it may have provided an archetype for abbreviated accounts of Daowu's life, including his inscription, which appeared much later.38

Tianhuang Daowu's Record in the Jingde chuandeng lu

The Caodong masters also cited Daoyuan's Jingde chuandeng lu because it contained no information about Tianwang Daowu.39 In fascicle 14, only Tianhuang Daowu was recorded clearly as Shitou Xiqian's dharma heir. Unlike Zanning's record, Daoyuan added an encounter dialogue between Shitou and Tianhuang and clearly stated that Tianhuang reached enlightenment because of it. Furthermore, Daoyuan said that, after Tianhuang was invited to Jingzhou, Shitou's dharma flourished there. In addition, Longtan Chongxin was listed as Tianhuang's dharma heir. The majority of lamp histories, such as Qisong's Chuanfa zhengzong ji and even Huihong's Chanlin sengbao zhuan, followed the Jingde chuandeng lu, rejecting the hypothetical existence of Tianwang Daowu.

Interpolations in the Records about the Two Daowus

With regard to the emergence of Tianwang Daowu in some lamp histories, opponents of the two-Daowu theory found that these references were later interpolations. Although Huihong mentioned the anecdotes about Tianwang Daowu, information about the two Daowus was added only to the Yuan edition of the Jingde chuandeng lu and the Wudeng huiyuan.40 For example, as the Caodong master Weizhi Zhikai pointed out, in the twenty-fourth year of the Zhizheng reign (1364), when the Wudeng huiyuan was reprinted by Yehai Ziqing of Kaiyuan monastery in Yuezhou, the two inscriptions were incorporated as notes, following Yunhe Rui's Xindeng lu.41

Fabrication by Zhang Shangying

Juemengtang's preface to Daguan Tanying's Wujia zongpai was an important piece of evidence, providing the most detailed account of the involvement of (p.327) literati figures, such as Zhang Shangying. However, the Caodong monks, after reading this preface carefully and checking its contents against historical facts, claimed that this preface or the information provided in this preface must be false because there was an apparent anachronism. As this preface stated, Zhang Shangying requested the inscriptions from Daguan Tanying. However, the Caodong masters argued, Zhang Shangying and Daguan Tanying never met in their life time. Daguan Tanying died sixty-three (actually sixty-one according to our calculation) years earlier than Zhang Shangying did and when he died, Zhang Shangying was still a student taking civil service exams. Moreover, the current biography of Zhang Shangying indicated that in his early years, he was a radically anti-Buddhist Confucian scholar and even intended to compose an essay titled Wufolun (Discourse on the nonexistence of the Buddha). If so, their encounter could not have occurred as recorded in Juemengtang's preface.42

The Dubious Existence of Qiu Yuansu and Tianwang Monastery

The authenticity of Tianwang Daowu's inscription was one of the foci of the debate. If this inscription were proved to be false, the two-Daowu theory would naturally collapse. Opponents asserted that the author of this inscription was a fake, and Tianwang monastery never existed at all. According to some Caodong masters, in existing Tang sources and dynastic histories, there was no such official named Qiu Yuansu. The Caodong monk Xiaofeng Daran (Ni Jiaqing) authored an essay called Xixie bian, which examined the institutional history of the Tang. He proved that Qiu Yuansu was not one of the military commissioners in Jingzhou.43 (As I indicated earlier, Xiaofeng Daran's claim was wrong, based on Ouyang Xiu's and Chen Si's inscriptional records.) In addition, in the preface of Weizhong Jingfu's Famen chugui, Xiaofeng Daran's dharma brother Shichao Daning added that, even in the local gazetteers of Hubei province, there was only Tianhuang monastery and no trace of Tianwang monastery.44

Plagiarized Contents of Tianwang Daowu's Inscription

The strongest internal evidence cited by the Caodong masters is the fact that the encounter story recorded in Tianwang Daowu's inscription was plagiarized from the chapter on Baima Tanzhao in the Jingde chuandeng lu. Baima Tanzhao was Nanquan Puyuan's disciple and lived in White Horse monastery (Baima si) in Jingnan, the same city where the two Daowus had lived.

(p.328) Baima Tanzhao's biography contains the same story as Tianwang Daowu's biography does: He was thrown into the river in Jingzhou by a military commissioner. The following passage in Baima Tanzhao's biography is almost identical to Tianwang Daowu's inscription:

The Chan master Baima Tanzhao in the south of Jingzhou often said “Happy! Happy!” But when he was about to die, he started to shout painfully. He also said that King Yama was going to grab him. The abbot asked: “When you were thrown into the river by the military commissioner, why did your complexion not change? Why are you behaving like this now?” [Baima Tanzhao,] holding the pillow, replied: “Can you tell whether I was right at that time or whether I am right now?” The abbot had no reply.45

Because of this similarity, the Caodong masters concluded that the inscription of Tianwang Daowu had been produced by someone who intended to flatter Zhang Shangying, the most prominent Buddhist patron at that time.

Internal Contradictions in the Two Inscriptions Discovered by Weizhi Zhikai and Huang Zongxi

In addition to finding external sources to invalidate Tianwang Daowu's inscription, the Caodong monks discovered some internal discrepancies within the texts of Tianwang Daowu's inscription. For example, the Caodong monk Weizhi Zhikai pointed out that, although most accounts of Tianwang Daowu say that he first visited Shitou Xiqian at age thirty, the Fozu lidai tongzai recorded that he was thirty-three when he met Shitou Xiqian.46 For his death year, the Wudeng huiyuan and the Zhiyue lu had “the third year of the Yuanhe reign” while the Linjian lu and the Fozu lidai tongzai recorded “the thirteenth year of the Yuanhe reign.” Weizhi Zhikai also spotted an anachronism that occurred when Song place names were used for Tang places. For example, he noted that Qiu Yuansu, the author of Tianwang Daowu's inscription, was recorded as the military commissioner of “Jingnan,” a Song place name for a city that had been called “Jiangling” in the Tang. These discrepancies were regarded as strong internal evidence for the spurious nature of Tianwang Daowu's inscription.47

Internal evidence in Tianhuang Daowu's inscription also conflicted with Zanning's biography of eminent monks. Huang Zongxi represented this view based on his close reading of Zanning's Song gaoseng zhuan. The inscription of Tianhuang Daowu that appeared later did not add to the information that Zanning provided, except for a small discrepancy caught by Huang Zongxi. (p.329) Regarding Tianhuang Daowu's disciples, Zanning made the following record: “Monks Huizhen, and Wenfen are all serene and gentle in nature (chanzi youxian) and have entered [Daowu]'s chamber to receive the awakening.”48 The received inscription of Tianhuang Daowu, however, listed the disciples as follows: “His teaching has been transmitted through three generations by Huizhen, Youxian, and Wenfen.” Here, the word youxian, meaning “being serene and gentle,” was taken as a monk's name. Huang Zongxi saw this as an indication that Tianhuang Daowu's inscription was also forged:

The so-called Chanzi youxian refers to Huizhen and Wenfen, meaning that their character is serene and gentle. The appended note [of Wudeng huiyuan] changes it to “there were three dharma heirs, namely Huizhen, Wenfen, and Youxian.” Since the euphemism youxian was distorted to be a person's name, those who made this note did not understand the [Chinese] grammar.49

Huang Zongxi, therefore, doubted strongly the authenticity of Tianhuang Daowu's inscription because the author read Zanning's record incorrectly and took an epithet to be a person's name. This internal evidence pointed to the possibility that Fu Zai's inscription may have been forged on the basis of Tianhuang Daowu's biography written by Zanning.

The Discovery of Deshan Xuanjian's Inscription in the Late Ming and Xuefeng Yicun's Testimony

In this debate, the lineage affiliation of Longtan Chongxin was crucial to later generations. One effective strategy for demonstrating that Longtan Chongxin was Tianhuang's heir rather than Tianwang's was to look at how Longtan Chongxin's descendants viewed their own origins: If the dharma heirs close to his era claimed that they belonged to the lineage of Qingyuan Xingsi rather than to that of Nanyue Huairang, this proved that Longtan Chongxin was Tianhuang Daowu's heir. The Caodong monks indeed found many such testimonies from historical sources. For example, Deshan Xuanjian's inscription explicitly stated that his lineage could be traced back to Tianhuang Daowu in Jingzhou.50 However, this inscription was only discovered in 1615 at the ancient site of Mount Deshan, and its origins may not be reliable. An abbreviated inscription from the Zhengming lu, written by the monk Wenxue, is translated as follows:

From Caoxi (Huineng) to Master [Xing]si of Jizhou, Shitou of Nanyue, Tianhuang of Jingzhou, and Longtan of Fengzhou, my (p.330) former master [Deshan] Xuanjian [received the dharma]. He heard that Master Longtan was in Fengzhou and he was the second generation of Shitou's [lineage]. He packed his clothes and went [to Longtan.] When he saw Longtan, he exclaimed, “Exhausting all mystical arguments is equal to a tiny piece of hair in the vast space.”51

This new piece of evidence was discovered in Wuling in the spring of 1615 by a local man named Yang He (?–1635) and his son. They visited the ancient site of the monastery and found a discarded stele in the bushes. Although most of the characters were corrupted, they were able to read the passage translated above. The remaining part clearly stated that Longtan Chongxin was Tianhuang Daowu's heir.

In addition to this new evidence, Xuefeng Yicun (822–908), another descendant of Deshan Xuanjian, claimed that he belonged to Qingyuan's line. An episode in Xuefeng Yicun's extensive records documented a conversation between Xuefeng and the king of the Min state in which he admitted that Deshan Xuanjian belonged to Shitou's lineage. Thus, Deshan's teacher, Longtan Chongxin, must belong to Tianhuang Daowu.52 Such evidence, meticulously recorded in the Zhengming lu, is plentiful in Chan records composed during the Song.53

C. Modern Scholarship on the Two-Daowu Theory

In modern scholarship on Chan history, the dispute about the two Daowus in the seventeenth century has caught the attention of Chinese and Japanese scholars, who have apparently reached a consensus that the inscription of Tianwang Daowu should be dismissed as spurious.54 For example, Nukariya Kaiten marshals as many sources as possible to prove the falsity of Tianwang Daowu's inscription. Most of his sources were mentioned in the seventeenth-century debate. As a Sōtō priest, he readily accepts the Chinese Caodong masters' arguments, especially those posited by Weizhong Jingfu. For him, all disputes originated from Daguan Tanying, who was ignorant about Buddhist history, biased regarding sectarian differences, and “shameless” in making false claims. For those Linji monks, such as Miyun Yuanwu and his followers, who supported the two-Daowu theory, Nukariya's remarks and reprimands are harsh and derogatory, revealing once again the sectarian nature of the debate even after three centuries.55

Ui Hakuju also examined this issue briefly and his view has influenced other Japanese Sōtō scholars, such as Abe Chōichi, Suzuki Tetsuo, and Ishii (p.331) Shūdō.56 Ui identifies several problems with Tianwang Daowu's inscription. First, although Huihong mentioned Tianwang Daowu in the Linjian lu, he did not accept the account as true history. In his Chanlin sengbao zhuan (The biographies of Chan monks), published later, Juefan Huihong still insisted on the original version of the genealogy in the Jingde chuandeng lu. Second, although both Guideng and Zongmi mentioned Daowu as Mazu's leading disciple, this does not mean that this Daowu refers to Tianwang Daowu. Rather, it only shows that Tianhuang Daowu had studied with both Mazu and Shitou. Third, there was a textual discrepancy between Juefan Huihong's account and Tianwang Daowu's inscription: Huihong reported that Tianwang Daowu died in the thirteenth year of the Yuanhe reign, while the inscription stated that he died in the third year of the Yuanhe reign.57 This shows, according to Ui, that Tianwang Daowu's inscription must be false. Finally, Ui notices that Zanning's biographies of Tianhuang Daowu and Longtan Chongxin appeared earlier than Daguan Tanying's work Wujia zongpai and Juefan Huihong's Linjian lu. This means that the fabrication of Tianwang Daowu may have been a reaction to Zanning's Song gaoseng zhuan. Similar to Nukariya, Ui relies on Weizhong Jingfu's Famen chugui, which I introduced in chapter 9.

Ishii Shūdō also investigates this issue briefly. Largely based on Nukariya's and Ui's research, Ishii rejects the authenticity of Tianwang Daowu's inscription and criticizes Kokan Shiren, who supported the two-Daowu theory. Based on the fieldwork of the Sixth China Tour of Komazawa University on September 7, 1984, Ishii confirms that Tianhuang Daowu formerly lived in Mount Ziling in the Mount Caizi region of Dangyang county.58

Chen Yuan also examines this controversy, and his conclusion has influenced most Chinese historians. As he points out, the central piece of evidence, the inscription of Tianwang Daowu, was baseless, and Juefan Huihong's account of Tianwang Daowu should be read as an anecdote that reflected the struggle between the Linji school and the Yunmen school rather than as a serious account of history. He suspects that even Huihong did not believe in the existence of Qiu Yuansu's inscription because in his preface for his Chan genealogy, Chanlin sengbao zhuan, published later than the Linjian lu, Huihong still insisted on the original version of the genealogy in the Jingde chuandeng lu. According to Chen Yuan, Feiyin's error was that he relied too much on the dubious Fozu lidai tongzai compiled in the Yuan, which contained so much incorrect information.59

Qiu Yuansu's identity is crucial to this debate. However, modern historians have done no better job than Ouyang Xiu and Huang Zongxi. No historians have found any firm evidence that Qiu was indeed the military commissioner of Jingzhou. Whether or not he was the commissioner in Kuizhou, as (p.332) Ouyang Xiu and Chen Si found, is still under investigation.60 In addition, some scholars suspect that the official Pei mentioned in Tianhuang Daowu's inscription may be Pei Zhou (?–803), who served as military commissioner of Jingnan from 792 to 803.61 In mainland China, a new archaeological discovery has confirmed only the identity of Tianhuang Daowu. In the 1950s, Tianhuang Daowu's memorial pagoda built in the Tang was discovered in the suburb of Shashi in Hubei province. According to a short archaeological report, Tianhuang Daowu's name was carved on the pagoda, but no inscription or epitaph was discovered.62 Based on these pieces of evidence, it is safe for modern scholars to accept Tianhuang Daowu's identity.

The most telling textual evidence may come from the earliest Chan anthology, Zutang ji (Patriarch hall collections), compiled in 952. This early collection of biographies contained no records about Tianwang Daowu, but Tianhuang Daowu was clearly recorded as a dharma heir of Shitou Xiqian. The record stated that he lived in Jingnan and his name was Daowu. Other than recording his encounter dialogues with Shitou, his record provided no further information. More important, his biographers stated clearly that they had not yet read his epitaph or official biography.63 Although the Zutang ji did not record Longtan Chongxin's biography immediately after Tianhuang's, as Zanning did, he was recorded as Tianhuang Daowu's heir in fascicle 5. According to this record, Longtan Chongxin lived in Fenglang (a misprint for Fengzhou) prefecture. Before he entered the Buddhist order, he lived in the Tianhuang alley and baked pastries as his profession. At that time, Tianhuang Daowu practiced seated meditation in the monastery, and no one could approach him except Chongxin, who always brought ten pastries to serve Daowu. Each time, Daowu left one piece for Chongxin to bless his descendants. Later, Chongxin was converted by Daowu and reached great awakening. Despite some textual variations, these detailed accounts are similar to those in Zanning's record.64


(1.)   Baolin zhuan, T 51: 217a.

(2.)  In the earliest Chan anthology, Zutang ji, this verse was interpreted differently. For example, the character yang 陽 in the first line was taken as “Luoyang”; the phrase rixia from the third line was interpreted as the capital; the “pair of elephant and horse” (shuangxiangma), also from the third line, was understood as referring to Baozhi and Layman Fu. The “two tender branches” in the fourth line was rendered as “Shaolin temple” because “tender” means “young” (shao 少) and “two woods” means “forest” (lin 林). See Jing and Jun, Zutang ji, fasc. 2, p. 32b.

(3.)  This passage was completely absent from the early edition. Even some versions of the Zongbao edition do not have this passage. See Enō kenkyū, p. 359.

(4.)  Feiyin Tongrong, Wudeng yantong jiehuo pian, Z no. 1569, 86: 324c–25a.

(5.)  Zongbao (ed.), Liuzu dashi fabao tanjing, T 48: 357b. Obviously, this episode was interpolated by others.

(6.)  Z 63: 31a–36a. A new version containing about 200 more characters was discovered in Japan. For details, see Gregory, Tsung-mi and the Sinification of Buddhism, p. 318; and Ishii, “Shinpuku-ji bunko shozō no Hai Shū shūi mon no honkoku.” In the Song dynasty, Juefan Huihong referred to this text as Da Pei xiangguo zongqu zhuang.

(7.)  For an account of Faqin's life, see McRae, “The Ox-head School of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism,” pp. 191–95.

(8.)  He served as the minister of works. For his biography, see Jiu Tang shu, 12, fasc. 149, p. 4019.

(9.)  See Zanning, Song gaoseng zhuan, T 50: 761a12.

(10.)  For a short account of Quan's biography, see Poceski, Ordinary Mind as the Way, pp. 91–92.

(11.)  For this inscription, see Quan Tang wen, p. 2262a. For an English translation of this text, see Poceski, “The Hongzhou School,” pp. 512–15.

(12.)  See Ouyang Xiu's postscripts in his Jigu lu, fasc. 8, in Shike shiliao xinbian, 24: 17903.

(13.)  Chen Si, Baoke congbian, fasc. 19, in Shike shiliao xinbian, 24: 18353.

(14.)  For a brief discussion of Daguan Tanying and his work, see Schlütter, “Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China,” pp. 38–40.

(15.)  Juefan Huihong, Linjian lu, in Siku quanshu, 1052: 799a–b and Z no. 1624, 87: 248b–c. See also Ishii's Japanese translation in his Chūgoku Zenshū shiwa, pp. 448–49.

(16.)  The meaning of this name (Juemengtang) cannot be determined at this moment. It could refer to a person's name. Chen Shiqiang thought this was Juefan Huihong's name but Wu Limin rejected this hypothesis. See Chen Shiqiang, Fodian jingjie, p. 660; and Wu Limin et al., Chanzong zongpai yuanliu, p. 288. Ui Hakuju suspects that this name may refer to a Yuan monk, Mengtang Tan'e (1285–1373). However, I have not yet found any evidence other than the similarity between the two names. See Ui, Daini Zenshūshi kenkyū, p. 458.

(17.)  Lü was an influential official during the reign of the Yingzong emperor (1064–1067).

(18.)  This preface has been preserved in Zhizhao (ed.), Rentian yanmu, fasc. 5. See Z 64: 758.

(19.)  The current Taishō edition lists Xuedou Chongxian in the tenth generation after the sixth patriarch. See T no. 2007, 51: 475a. The confusion about Xuedou Chongxian's affiliation may derive from the fact that although he was an heir of Qingyuan's line, he (or his disciples) consciously claimed that he was the representative of Mazu's teaching. According to Albert Welter, such claims can be found in the Zutang ji. See Welter, “Lineage and Context in the Patriarch's Hall Collection.” See also a revised version of this article in his book Monks, Rulers, and Literati, pp. 59–114.

(20.)  For a short biography of Gongchen and his work, see Jingzhong jianguo xu denglu, T 51: 521c. The Wudeng huiyuan also contains a reference to the Zuyuan tongyao. Later polemicists may have adopted this reference without actually seeing the book. See Dachuan (ed.), Wudeng huiyuan, Z no. 1565, 80: 141b.

(21.)  See Xuedou Chongxian, Mingjue chanshi yulu, T no. 1996, 47: 712a.

(22.)  Dachuan (ed.), Wudeng huiyuan, fasc. 7, Z 80: 141–42.

(23.)   Fozu lidai tongzai, fas. 15, T no. 2036, 49: 615.

(24.)  I have consulted Koichi Shinohara's translation of these two biographies in his “Passages and Transmission in Tianhuang Daowu's Biographies,” pp. 134–35. The authenticity of the two inscriptions was not Shinohara's primary concern. For the examination of the two sources, Shinohara largely based his study on Nukariya Kaiten's research on the subject in his Chan history. Nukariya's study drew on the sources used in the seventeenth-century debates in China.

(25.)   Fozu lidai tongzai, fas. 15, T no. 2036, 49: 615a. In a later version of Fozu lidai tongzai, these two inscriptions appear in Z no. 1518, 76: 404b–405b.

(26.)  Benjue, Shishi tongjian, XZJ 131: 954c.

(27.)  See Jiyin, Zongtong biannian, Z 86: 257c. According to his source, the Xindeng lu did not circulate widely because of its audacious alteration of Chan lineage affiliations. This book might still have existed in the late Ming because its title appears in the catalog of a private library, Qianqingtang. See Huang Yuji, Qianqing tang shumu, p. 1208.

(28.)  For this preface, see Z no. 1564, 80: 1. For Tingjun's biography, see Weizhong Jingfu, Zudeng datong, fasc. 82, vol. 4, pp. 141–2.

(29.)  See Chen Shiqiang, Fodian jingjie, pp. 237–44.

(30.)  See Jue'an, Shishi jigu lue, fasc. 3, T no. 2037, 49: 831c.

(31.)  See ibid., 836b.

(32.)  For a detailed study of the categories of the biographies of eminent monks, see Kieschnick, The Eminent Monk. He suggests that these categories may have reflected the “monastic imagination” rather than the actual situation in the monastic world.

(33.)  For example, Juefan Huihong pointed out that the inclusion of Bodhidharma in the category “meditation practitioner” was totally unacceptable because Bodhidharma's practice of gazing toward a wall was not a way of meditating. He revealed an (p.401) important distinction between Chan as understood by Chan Buddhists themselves and dhyāna as a meditative technique. See Ishii, Sōdai Zenshūshi no kenkyū, p. 12.

(34.)  His tomb was discovered in the 1950s in Shashi. See Cheng Xinren, “Shashi shijiao faxian Tangdai muta.”

(35.)  See T no. 2061, 50: 769.

(36.)  Later Chan historiographies listed three disciples. However, Huang Zongxi pointed out that a phrase in Zanning's biography had been misread as a person's name. See my account of Huang's argument below.

(37.)  Timothy Barrett believes that their relationship was impossible and the conversations between them, which were preserved in Daoyuan's Jingde chuandeng lu, must have been produced in the second half of the tenth century. See Barrett, Li Ao, p. 49.

(38.)  The Zutang ji is the earliest existing anthology. However, it was lost in China, and Chan masters in the seventeenth century could not use it.

(39.)  The current Taishō version of the Jingde chuandeng lu is a Ming edition that includes an appendix immediately after Tianhuang Daowu's biography. As the compilers of the Taishō note, this addition amounts to 1,028 Chinese characters and was appended to the Ming edition. See T no. 2067, 51: 309c–10b. In the earlier editions, however, there was no such appendix. See Yanagida (ed.), Sōhan Kōaihon Keitoku dentōroku.

(40.)  The entry “Tianhuang Daowu” in the current Taishō edition of the Jingde chuandeng lu includes a note about the issue of Tianwang Daowu that quotes Juefan Huihong's and Juemengtang's accounts. See the Jingde chuandeng lu, T 51: 309–10.

(41.)  Weizhi Zhikai, Zhengming lu, p. 11. The author of the polemical work Zhengming lu argued that the now-lost Chan genealogy Xindeng lu, composed by the monk Yunhe Rui, appeared too late to be considered seriously. Weizhong Jingfu indicated that Yehai Ziqing added this note in 1284. Yehai Ziqing received Huiji Yuanxi's (1238–1319) dharma transmission and was abbot in Tianyi monastery in Yuezhou. See his biography in Wenxiu, Zengji xu chuandeng lu, fasc. 14, in XZJ 142: 818b–19a.

(42.)  Weizhong Jingfu, Famen chugui, Z 86: 486–95. For studies on Zhang Shangying, see Gimello, “Chang Shang-ying on Wu-t'ai Shan,” pp. 91–97; Schmidt-Glintzer, “Zhang Shang-ying (1043–1122).”

(43.)  Weizhi Zhikai, Zhengming lu, p. 13.

(44.)  See Shichao Daning's preface to the Famen chugui, Z 86: 489a. Shichao Daning (?–1720) was Juelang Daosheng's dharma heir.

(45.)  Daoyuan (ed.), Jingde chuandeng lu, T 51: 276a–b.

(46.)  Weizhi Zhikai, Zhengming lu, p. 12.

(47.)  Ibid., pp. 12–13.

(48.)  Zanning, Song gaoseng zhuan, fasc. 10, T 50: 770.

(49.)  See Huang Zongxi's letter to Wang Weimei (“Da Wang Weimei wen Ji Dong liangzong zhengduan shu”) in his Nanlei Wenyue, in Lizhou yizhu huikan, p. 43. Wang Weimei was a Buddhist hermit. For a short biography, see ZFR, p. 315.

(50.)  See Weizhi Zhikai, Zhengming lu, pp. 17–18.

(51.)  See ibid., p. 17.

(52.)  Xuefeng Yicun, Xuefeng Yicun chanshi yulu (or Zhenjue chanshi yulu), Z no. 1333, 69: 79b.

(53.)  See Weizhi Zhikai, Zhengming lu, pp. 17–21.

(54.)  Recently, some Chan scholars in the English world have discussed this issue as well. They tend to believe that Tianwang Daowu was a faked figure. See Welter, Monks, Rulers, and Literati, pp. 86–88; and Jia, The Hongzhou School of Chan Buddhism, pp. 22–26.

(55.)  See Nukariya Kaiten's discussion about the debate in his Zengaku shisōshi, pp. 497–526.

(56.)  The following works mention this issue briefly: Abe, Zōtei Chūgoku Zenshūshi no kenkyū, p. 38n1; Suzuki, To Gōdai Zenshū shi, pp. 430–31; Ishii, Sōdai Zenshūshi no kenkyū, p. 49.

(57.)  Ui, Daini Zenshūshi kenkyū, pp. 458–60.

(58.)  Ishii, Chūgoku Zenshū shiwa, pp. 447–52.

(59.)  Chen Yuan, Shishi yinian lu, p. 123. See also Hou Yanqing's preface to Juefan Huihong's Chanlin sengbao zhuan, Z 78: 490c–91a. Chinese scholars such as Tang Yongton, Zhou Shujia, and Lü Cheng largely follow his argument. For some recent discussions, see Wu et al., Chanzong zongpai yuanliu, pp. 286–88; Ma, Zhongguo Chanzong sixiang fazhan shi, pp. 151–56. However, Ge Zhaoguang insists that the evidence against the inscription of Tianwang Daowu is not conclusive and calls for a reevaluation of the case. See his Zhongguo Chan sixiang shi, pp. 295–302.

(60.)  See Yu Xianhao, Tang cishi kao, vol. 5, p. 2403.

(61.)  Ibid., p. 2354.

(62.)  See Cheng Xinren, “Shashi shijiao faxian Tangdai muta.”

(63.)  Jing and Jun, Zutang ji, p. 78b.

(64.)  Ibid., pp. 95–96. Albert Welter has also noticed the brevity of Tianhuang's biography in the Zutang ji regardless of his importance in Chan history. See Welter, Monks, Rulers, and Literati, pp. 86–88.