The list of the masters of Dharma.
Sk. Sthiramati – c. 470-550
An Indian master of the Yogacara school (Yugagyoha); one of the ten great masters of the Consciousness-Only doctrine (judaironji). His doctrinal standpoint is called the ‘theory of Consciousness-Only that possesses no perceptive form’ (nirakara-vijnana-vadin, muso-yuishikiha 無相唯識派), which negates the existence of objects of perception and subjective perceptive aspect. His works include the Commentary on the Thirty Verses of Consciousness-Only (Yuishiki-sanjujushaku 唯識三十頌釈), the Commentary on the Discourse Distinguishing the Middle and the Extreme Views (Chuhen-funbetsuron-shakusho 中辺分別論釈疏) and the Commentary on the Adornment of Mahayana Sutras (Daiiji-shogonkyoronshaku 大乗荘厳経論釈).
Sk. Atisa – 980-1052
His Buddhist name was Dipamkara-sri-jnana (‘Auspicious Wisdom of Lamp-maker’). Born of a royal family in Bengal, he began to study esoteric Buddhism in his youth and later won people’s respect as a great master in Magadha. When Tibetan Buddhism was in danger of collapse owing to the persecution by Lan-daruma (Glan Darma), King Kor-re (Khor-re) of western Tibet invited Atisa to come to Tibet. He refused once, but after the king’s death he came to Tibet during the reign of King U-de (hod-lde). He renovated Buddhism by removing the degenerate esoteric tendency which was widely practiced at that time and introducing the orthodox teaching and practice of Indian Buddhism. Thus he established the Ka-dam-pa (Bkah gdams-pa) school.
Shokobo Bencho 聖光房弁長; 1162-1238
One of the leading disciples of Honen, and was later known as Chinzei Shonin 鎮西上人. He first went to Mt. Hiei in 1183 and studied Tendai under Kan’ei 観叡 and Shoshin 証真, but returned to his native place in Kyushu in 1190. Seven years later, he went to Kyoto and became Honen’s disciple. After having received the nembutsu teaching, he spread it in Shikoku for a while. From 1204 until death he actively propagated this teaching in Kyushu. Bencho’s school of the Jodo sect came to be known as Chinzei. Today Chion-in 知恩院 in Kyoto is its general head temple (sohonzan 総本山), and the famous Zojoji 増上寺 in Tokyo is one of the major head temples (daihonzan 大本山). After Honen’s death there was among his disciples a tendency to deviations from his teaching. Seeing this, Bencho emphasized repeated recitation of the nembutsu as the authentic practice of the Jodo school. On the other hand, with his Tendai background, Bencho considered the nembutsu and other practices as essentially the same because both originated from True Suchness (shinnyo). In his view, those who are better fit for other practices should be encouraged to follow them, because they are also eligible for birth in the Pure Land.
The first patriarch of Zen in China. Originally, a man from south India, said to be the third son of a king. After studying Buddhism under Prajnatara (Hannyatara 般若多羅) and receiving from him the transmission of Zen, he propagated Mahayana in India. Later in 520, according to tradition, he went to China. After his interview with Emperor Wu-ti 武帝 (Butei), he went to Shao-lin-ssu Temple 少林寺 (Shorinji) on Mt. Sung 嵩山 (Suzan), where he sat unmoving day and night. There he took as his disciple Hui-k’o 慧可 (Eka), who thus became the Second Patriarch. He died in 528 or, according to another tradition, in 536, and was posthumously given the title of Yuan-chueh Ta-shih 円覚大師 (Engaku Daishi, Master ‘Perfect Enlightenment’) by Emperor Tai-tsung 代宗 (Daiso) of the T’ang dynasty (618-907).
A great Buddhist master of about the 5th century; translated in Chinese as 仏音 Button (‘Buddha’s Voice’) and 覚音 Kakuon (‘Enlightened Voice’); originally a native of south India. While traveling in the country, he encountered a Buddhist monk named Revata, under whom he was ordained. Later he met Elders Buddhamitta and Jotipala of the Mahavihara school, which afforded him an opportunity to study Sinhalese Buddhism. In about the latter half of the 420’s, he crossed to Sri Lanka and visited the Mahavihara Temple. He then studied classical Sinhalese commentaries and the doctrine of this school. He undertook to translate those texts into Pali. But, several years later, when King Mahanama died and there arose social unrest caused by the invasion of the Tamils, Buddhaghosa left Sri Lanka. It is not known how he spent the rest of his life but a large amount of works, especially the commentaries of the Pali Tipitaka, known as atthakatha, have been ascribed to him. Seven works are reasonably attributed to his authorship, which include: 1) Visuddhi-magga (Path of Purity) and 2) Samantha-pasadika (Completely Serene), a commentary on the Vinaya Pitaka. His works have continued to represent the standard doctrines of the Theravada.
Sk. Buddhaguhya also, Buddhagupta the 8th to the 9th century
one of the three greatest masters of Indian esoteric Buddhism; well known as the commentator of the Mahavairocana Sutra and the first assembly of the Vajra Peak Sutra. When King Khri-sron-lde-btsan invited him to Tibet, the master was unable to accept the invitation because he was practicing the Way in Mt. Kailasa at that time. It is said that his teacher was Jnanapada who flourished in the latter half of the 8th century or Vimalamitra, in the early 9th century. His works include the following: 1) Vairocanabhisambodhi-tantra-pindartha (Compendium of the Tantra of Vairocana’s Enlightenment), 2) Vairocanabhisambodhi-vikurvitadhisthana-mahatantra-bhasya (Commentary on the Great Tantra of Transformed Empowerment of Vairocana’s Enlightenment), and 3) Tantrarthavatara (Entry into the Meaning of Tantra).
Ch. Fu T’u-ch’eng, Sk. Buddhacinga?; 235-348
A monk from Kucha. He entered the priesthood when young and studied Buddhism in Kashmir and elsewhere. He is said to have memorized a few million words from the sutras. He came to Lo-yang in 310 and engaged in spreading the Dharma. At first, he was not very successful but, after converting the first king of the Later Chao (後趙 Gocho) dynasty, Shih Le 石勒 (Sekiroku) (273-332), and becoming his advisor, Fu T’u-ch’eng’s missionary work became fruitful. Under the patronage of the third emperor, Shih Hu 石虎 (Sekiko) ( -349), he participated in the government administration. When spreading Buddhism, he is said to have displayed miraculous powers. In 38 years, he constructed 892 temples. Through his effort, native Chinese were allowed to become monks. He had several hundred disciples, including Tao-an 道安 (Doan), Chu Fa-t’ai 竺法汰 (Jiku Hota), Fa-he 法和 (Howa), and Fa-ch’ang 法常 (Hojo), who contributed a great deal to the development of Buddhism during the Eastern Tsin (東晋 Toshin) dynasty (317-420).
Ch. Chih-i (538-597)
Master of the T’ien-t’ai School. Born in Ching-chou 荊州 (Keishu) in Hunan Province (湖南省 Konansho, Hunansheng), he entered the priesthood at the age of eighteen. In 560, he went to Mt. Ta-su 大蘇山 (Daisozan) and met Hui-ssu 慧思 (Eji), under whose guidance he diligently practiced the Way and finally attained the ‘Dharma-Lotus Samadhi’ (Hokke-zanmai). Later he went to Mt. T’ien-t’ai in Chechiang Province (浙江省 Sekkosho, Zhejiangsheng), where he built a temple called Hsiu-ch’an 修禅 (Shuzen). By imperial order, he went to Chin-ling 金陵 (Kinryo) to give a series of lectures on the Lotus Sutra, the Benevolent King Prajnaparamita Sutra (Ninno-hannyakyo), the Perfection of Wisdom Discourse (Chidoron), etc. His lectures on the Lotus Sutra and his discourse on Mahayana meditation delivered at the Yu-ch’uan Temple 玉泉寺 (Gyokusenji) were later edited by his disciples, and became the fundamental texts of the T’ien-t’ai School. Chih-i systematized the T’ien-t’ai doctrine which centered on the Lotus Sutra. The following works are celebrated as the Three Great Works (sandaibu 三大部): Essentials of the Lotus Sutra (法華玄義 Hokkegengi), Commentary on the Lotus Sutra (法華文句 Hokkemongu), and Mahayana Practice of Cessation and Contemplation (摩訶止観 Makashikan). His critical classification of the Buddhist teachings, known as ‘Five periods, eight teachings’ (goji hakkyo 五時八教) had a great influence on the doctrinal formations of various other schools. As a practical method of salvation, Chih-i had deep devotion to Amida and practiced the ‘Constant Walking Samadhi’ (jogyo-zanmai) based on the Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra (Hanju-zanmaikyo). According to his biography, at his death he lay facing west, repeating the names of Amida, Prajnaparamita, and Kannon. Then he had a disciple recite the titles of the Lotus Sutra and the Larger Sutra. Having heard them, he composed a verse, urging his disciples to aspire for birth in the Pure Land, and said that his dead teachers and friends all came with Kannon to welcome him to the Pure Land.
Ch. Chih-yen (602-668)
The second patriarch of the Chinese Kegon school; popularly called Master Shih-hsiang 至相大師 (Shiso Daishi) and Yun-hua Tsu-che 雲華尊者 (Unke Sonja); he was born in Kan-su Province (甘粛省 Kanshukusho, Gansusheng). At the age of 12, he became Tu-shun’s 杜順 (Tojun) disciple, and also learned various Buddhist traditions under different teachers. He attained deep understanding of the Garland philosophy, especially the infinite, universal co-relatedness, and perfect fusion of all existence, and, at the age of 27, under the instruction of a divine sage, wrote a celebrated commentary on the Garland Sutra: Commentary Revealing the Essentials of the Garland Sutra (華厳経捜玄記 Kegongyo-sogenki). Dwelling at Shih-hsiang Temple 至相寺 (Shisoji) on Mt. Chung-nan 終南山 (Shunanzan) and Yun-hua Temple 雲華寺 (Unkeji) in Lo-yang 洛陽, he propagated the Garland teaching on which he wrote more than twenty works, including An Inquiry into the Garland Sutra (華厳孔目章 Kegon-kumokusho), which consolidated the foundation of the grand doctrinal system accomplished by the third patriarch, Fa-tsang 法蔵 (Hozo). At the time of death, he said to his disciples, “I will go to the Pure Land now, and later visit the Lotus-Store World. You should all follow me.”
Ch. Chih-li; Ssu-ming Chih-li 四明知礼 (Shimei Chirei); 960-1028
the seventeenth patriarch of the T’ien-t’ai school; the most distinguished T’ien-t’ai monk in the Sung dynasty, celebrated as the one who revived the T’ien-t’ai school. Born in Ssu-ming 四明 in Chechiang Province (浙江省 Sekkosho, Zhejiangsheng) and bereft of his mother at the age of seven, he became a monk. At twenty, he studied T’ien-t’ai under I-t’ung (義通 Gitsu) and became an intimate friend of Tsun-shih (遵式 Junshiki). In 991 he was given the Ch’ien-fu Temple 乾符寺 (Kenfuji), where he taught students of T’ien-t’ai. Later, he moved to the Yen-ch’ing Temple 延慶寺 (Enkeiji) and extensively propagated the teaching of the Mountain-family school (Sangeha). Before he died, he assembled his disciples and gave them his last sermon. After reciting the nembutsu a few hundred times, he passed away. He wrote many works, including a commentary on the Contemplation Sutra.
Ch. Tao An; 312-385
the central figure in the Buddhist movement during the Eastern Tsin (東晋Toshin) dynasty (317-420). Born in a Confucian family, he became a disciple of Fu T’u-ch’eng 仏図澄 (Buttocho). After moving about the country with the master and his fellow-disciples because of social disturbances, he disseminated the Dharma at Hsiang-yang 襄陽 (Joyo) in Hu-pei Province (湖北省Kohokusho, Hubeisheng) for fifteen years. He was invited to Ch’ang-an by Fu Chien 苻堅 (Fuken) (338-385) and became his advisor. It was through his recommendation to the king that Kumarajiva (Kumaraju) was invited to China from Kucha. His contribution to Buddhism was enormous. He compiled a valuable bibliography of Buddhist scriptures, entitled theSori-shukyo-mokuroku 綜理衆経目録 (Comprehensive Bibliography of Sutras); although this work had been lost, its content was edited and included in the Shutsusanzokishu 出三蔵記集 (Record Clarifying the Compilation of the Tripitaka) by Seng-yu 僧祐 (Soyu). He also encouraged translation work of Buddhist scriptures by writing prefaces and commentaries to twenty-two sutras. He devised the system of dividing the content of a sutra into three parts: the prefatory part (序分 jobun), the main part (正宗分 shoshubun) and the part for future transmission 流通分 (ruzubun). This system has been used throughout the history of Buddhist studies ever since. Furthermore, he established rituals in the sangha and regulated the behavior of the monks. He also introduced the custom of affixing a character 釈 (shaku) to one’s Buddhist name, which means ‘Sakya clan.’ The main field of his study wasPrajnaparamita sutras but he was equally well versed in the Agama sutras and Abhidharma doctrine.
The founder of the Japanese Soto school (1200-1253)
Son of a government minister (naidaijin 内大臣), Koga Michichika 久我道親; he lost his mother when young, and entered Mt. Hiei at the age of 13 to become a novice. Later, he went to see Eisai 栄西 at Kenninji 建仁寺 and became his disciple. After Eisai’s death, he went to China with Myozen 明全, Eisai’s successor, in 1223. He attained enlightenment under the guidance of Ju-ching 如浄 (Nyojo) of T’ien-t’ung-ssu 天童寺 (Tendoji). He returned to Japan in 1227, and lived in Kyoto for more than ten years, first in the Kenninji Temple and later in the Koshoji Temple 興聖寺. In order to avoid association with secular powers, which would hinder the practice of Zen, he retired into the deep mountains in Echizen Province (present-day Fukui Prefecture) and built a temple called Daibutsuji 大仏寺 (later changed to Eiheiji 永平寺), which became the center of Soto Zen practice. In 1247, he visited Kamakura at the request of Hojo Tokiyori 北條時頼, who offered to build a temple for him, but he declined the offer and returned to Echizen. His works include Shobogenzo 正法眼藏 (Treasury of Eye of the True Dharma) and Eihei-shingi 永平清規 (Monastic Regulations of Eihei). His Fukanzazengi 普勧坐禅儀 (Universally Recommending Zazen), written in Kyoto soon after his return from China, is a useful guide for beginners. In 1854, he was posthumously given the name and title of Bussho-dento Kokushi 仏性伝東国師 (the state master who transmitted the Buddha-nature to the east), and further, in 1879, that of Joyo Daishi 承陽大師. See Sotoshu.
Ch. T’an-luan (476-542)
The first of the five Pure Land masters (Jodo goso 浄土五祖) and the third of the seven patriarchs in the tradition of the Jodoshin school (shichikoso 七高僧). He was born in the present Shanhsi Province (山西省 Sanseisho, Shanxisheng) in north China, and entered the priestly life at the age of 15. He soon distinguished himself in the Madhyamika doctrine of the Four-discourse school (Shironshu 四論宗). Later, when he became interested in the Great Collection Sutra (Daishukyo) and wished to write a commentary on it, he became ill. He then turned to Taoism seeking health and longevity, and went to see T’ao Hung-ching 陶弘景 (To Kokei) (452-536), the greatest Taoist authority of that time. T’an-luan was given Taoist scriptures in 10 scrolls but, on his way home, he met with Bodhiruci (Bodairushi) from India at Lo-yang 洛陽, the capital of China. This Indian monk, who was a great Tripitaka master, admonished him that even if one gained longevity, he would still be bound to Samsara, and that the Buddha-Dharma was the true way to eternal life. So saying, he gave T’an-luan Pure Land scriptures, which were believed to be the Contemplation Sutra or Vasubandhu’s Discourse on the Pure Land (Jodoron) or both. According to tradition, T’an-luan put both the Buddhist and Taoist texts in the fire to see which would survive. Sure enough, the Buddhist text was not burnt, and so he took refuge in it. Later in 531, Bodhiruci produced a translation of the Discourse on the Pure Land, on which T’an-luan wrote an extensive commentary, Ojoronchu 往生論註, 2 fasc. This commentary is an important Pure Land classic providing a basis for the doctrinal systems of Tao-ch’o 道綽 (Doshaku), Shan-tao 善導 (Zendo), Shinran 親鸞 and others.
Ch. Tao-hsuan (596-667)
the founder of the Nanshan 南山 (Nanzan) sect of the Vinaya (Lu 律, Ritsu) school in China. He assisted Hsuan-tsang 玄弉 (Genjo) in translating volumes of precept texts and biographies of monks. As he lived in his earlier days at a temple on Mt. Chung-nan 終南 (Shunan), he was popularly called Precept Master Nan-shan 南山律師 (Nanzan Risshi) or Great Master Nan-shan 南山大師 (Nanzan Daishi).
Ch. Tao-ch’o (562-645)
The second of the five Chinese Pure Land masters (Jodo goso 浄土五祖) and the fourth of the seven patriarchs in the tradition of the Jodoshin school (shichikoso 七高僧). He entered the priesthood at the age of 14 and became well-versed in the Nirvana Sutra. At 40, when he visited Hsuan-chung-ss u 玄中寺 (Genchuji) and read an inscription in praise of T’an-luan 曇鸞 (Donran), he became a serious aspirant for the Pure Land. He stayed at the temple and practiced the nembutsu as many as 70,000 times a day. He lectured on the Contemplation Sutra more than 200 times, and propagated the Pure Land teaching extensively. He emphasized the difficulty of the Path of Sages which was based on one’s self-power and recommended the nembutsu practice to all beings. He followed T’an-luan in cautioning us against impure faiths which were not sincere, singleminded and continuous. On the contrary, the pure faith as given by Amida is characterized by sincerity, singlemindedness and continuity (sanshin). These three are mutually related. In Tao-ch’o’s time, it was argued that Buddhism had entered the fourth five-hundred-year period (see goko-gohyakunen). This meant that it was extremely difficult to practice the Way effectively with one’s own power and attain salvation. He wrote a 2-fasc. work, Anraku-shu 安楽集 (Collection of Passages Concerning Birth in the Land of Peace and Bliss), in which he fully discussed the practicability of various methods of practice and concluded that the nembutsu was the only way for those who were far removed from the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. In accordance with the Contemplation Sutra and other scriptures, he assured us that the nembutsu originating from Amida’s vow would bring us to birth in the Pure Land, however deep our karmic hindrances might be.
Eimin Enju 永明延寿
Ch. Yung-ming Yen-shou; 904-975 or 976
A Ch’an monk who flourished about the end of the Five Dynasties period (907-959); he advocated the joint practice of Ch’an meditation and nembutsu. He was a native of Hang-chou in Che-chiang Province (浙江省 Sekkosho, Zhejiangsheng); he became a monk at the age of 28 (or 30), and attained satori under Te-shao 徳韶 (Tokusho) (891-972). He thus became the third patriarch in the line of Fa-yen 法眼 (Hogen) (885-958). Later he received an inspiration while performing the Lotus samadhi (Hokke-zanmai) for annulling karmic evils. When undecided as to whether he should concentrate on Ch’an meditation only or follow the Pure Land way through chanting sutras and doing other meritorious deeds, he resorted to divination. He tried seven times, and in all his attempts the second choice was revealed as preferable. So he decided to take that path. First he lived on Mt. Hsueh-tou 雪竇 (Setcho), and later at Ling-yin Temple 霊隠寺 (Reiinji), and finally at Yung-ming Temple 永明寺 (Eiminji) on Mt. Nan-p’ing 南屏山 in Hang-chou. Yen-shou extensively propagated his Ch’an-Pure Land method while determined to fulfill the 108 vows. These vows include: 1) wherever possible, to construct Lotus Samadhi halls to glorify the Pure Land, 2) to perform the Lotus Samadhi six times a day for the sake of all sentient beings, 3) always to follow the Pure Land path, doing even minor good deeds for the sake of all sentient beings, and to transfer the merits thus acquired to the Pure Land in order to be born there, and 4) to practice sitting meditation from time to time, wishing to realize the illuminating essence of the Dharma-nature through wisdom. He also vowed to chant everyday the Lotus Sutra, the Heart Sutra, the Great Compassion Dharani, etc., and worship such Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as the Buddhas of the ten quarters, as well as Sakyamuni, Manjusri (Monju), Samantabhadra (Fugen), Maitreya (Miroku), Avalokitesvara (Kannon) and Mahasthamaprapta (Daiseishi). Aspiring eagerly to be born in the Pure Land, he recited Amida’s Name a hundred thousand times a day. At dusk he would go to another peak of the mountain to do more “walking” nembutsu practice, always followed by a few hundred devotees. The King of Wu-yueh 呉越王 (Goetsu O) revered him and built for him the Western Hall of Fragrant Glory; he also gave Yen-shou the title of Master Chih-chueh 智覚禅師 (Chikaku Zenji). Yen-shou was believed to be an incarnation of Maitreya. Tsung-hsiao 宗暁 (Shugyo) (1151-1214) and P’u-tu 普度 (Futaku) (d.1330) looked upon him as a great master of the Pure Land teachings, and later Yen-shou was counted among the patriarchs of the Lotus School. Yen-shou left over sixty works, including the Record of the Mirror of the Essential Teaching 宗鏡録 (Sugyoroku), 100 fasc., which he wrote at the request of the King of Wu-yueh. Impressed by this work, the King of Korea sent thirty-six monks to study under Yen-shou. The Fa-yen school declined during the Sung dynasty (960-1279), but in Korea this tradition of Ch’an-Pure Land Buddhism flourished and led to later developments in Korean Buddhism.
Also Yosai; the founder of the Japanese Zen school (1141-1215)
Ordained at 14, he studied and practiced the Tendai teaching. He went to Sung China in 1168 and brought back Tendai scriptures in the same year. In 1187, he traveled to China again, where he received the Rinzai Zen tradition from Hsu-an Huai-ch’ang 虚庵懐敞 (Koan Esho). After returning home in 1191, he built Shofukuji 聖福寺, the first Zen temple in Japan. In the face of bitter attacks from Tendai monks on this newly introduced school, Eisai approached the Kamakura Shogunate, the government of the time. In 1202, the government built Kenninji 建仁寺 in Kyoto, and appointed him the first chief abbot. In order to appease the monks of Mt. Hiei, the temple was made a center of Tendai and esoteric Buddhism as well as Zen. In 1215, he founded Jufukuji 寿福寺 in Kamakura, and died in the same year. He introduced the cultivation of tea into Japan, and wrote a book, entitled On Drinking Tea as a Way of Nourishing Spirit (Kissa-yojo-ki 喫茶養生記). His other works include the Discourse on the Propagation of Zen and Protection of the State (Kozen-gokoku-ron 興禅護国論), which is the first Zen work in Japan. He was given the posthumous title, Senko Kokushi 千光国師 (State Master a Thousand Rays of Light).
Ch. Hui-k’o (487-593)
The second patriarch of Zen in China. He first studied Confucianism; at 40, he visited Bodhidharma (Daruma) at the Shao-lin ssu Temple 少林寺 (Shorinji). Tradition has it that he stood in the snow for a long time, waiting for Bodhidharma’s permission to become his disciple. At last he cut off his left hand to prove his firm resolution to follow Bodhidharma. After six years’ hard practice, he attained satori and thus received the transmission of the Dharma from Bodhidharma.
Ch. Huai-kan (7th to 8th centuries)
One of the disciples of Shan-tao (Zendo) and the author of the Discourse Answering Questions (Gungi-ron 群疑論). At first he studied the Consciousness-Only teaching and, later, he practiced the nembutsu samadhi diligently under Shan-tao, until at last he attained it. At his death he is said to have witnessed Amida’s welcome and so, having joined his palms together and facing west, he died. At the time of Huai-kan, there were the following methods of Pure Land practice: 1) meditative and non-meditative nembutsu; 2) nembutsu with form and without form; and 3) nembutsu with the phenomenal aspect and the noumenal aspect. Although he recommended devotees to follow the method suitable to their capacities, he considered the nembutsu samadhi as the most essential, which he divided into two: one with form and the other without form. By practicing the ‘nembutsu samadhi without form,’ i.e., concentration on Amida’s Dharma-body, one can remove all spiritual hindrances and intuitively perceive his Dharma-body of True Suchness. Those of lower capacities can practice the ‘nembutsu samadhi with form,’ that is visualization of Amida’s glorious physical characteristics and his merits, accompanied by sincere and continuous recitation of his Name. The successful practitioners of this type of samadhi see the Recompensed or Transformed Body of Amida. The ‘non-meditative nembutsu’ is to call the Name without entering into samadhi, which can be practiced even by dying persons. As a warning to nembutsu practitioners, Huai-kan quotes from the Sutra on Bodhisattvas Who Dwell in the Embryonic State (Bosatsu-shotaikyo 菩薩処胎経) to show that those who practice without a determined mind will be born in the Land of Indolence and Pride (Kemangai). He emphasizes that the aspirants who follow other practices as well as the nembutsu lack the resolute mind and so, have not even one in a ten thousand chances of being born in the Pure Land. On the other hand, those devoted to the nembutsu will never fail, even one out of a thousand, to attain birth.
A monk who lived during the Northern and Southern dynasty (420-589). He especially studied the works of Nagarjuna (Ryuju) and attained enlightenment when he encountered the phrase, “realizing the three wisdoms within the One Mind” (三智一心中得 sanchi isshinchu toku), in the Great Wisdom Discourse (Daichidoron). It seems that he was an adept of meditation practice. His thought was transmitted to Hui-ssu 慧思 (Eshi), thereby opening up the way to the founding of the T’ien-t’ai (Tendai) school by the Master T’ien-t’ai (Tendai Daishi).
A Tendai monk; 814-891
The fifth zasu of the Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei; he received the Mahayana precepts on Mt. Hiei in 833 and stayed there for twelve years. After that, he went to another sacred mountain, Mt. Omine 大峰, where he received inspiration. Enchin went to China in 853, staying there for five years and received the traditions of esoteric Buddhism and T’ien-t’ai. When was appointed betto of the Onjoji Temple 園城寺, the name of the temple was changed to Mii-dera 三井寺. Being a great Tendai scholar, he left works in more than 100 fasc., including An Introduction to the Lotus Sutra (Hokke-kaidai 法華解題). [Tai.15]
Engo Kokugon 圜悟克勤
Ch. Yuan-wu K’o-ch’in (1063-1135)
A native of P’eng-chou 彭州 (Hoshu), he studied Zen under Wu-tsu Fa-yen 五祖法演 (Goso Hoen) and inherited the Dharma from him. He lectured on the hundred koan and poems collected and composed by Hsueh-tou Chung-hsien 雪竇重顯 (Setcho Juken), and compiled them into the Hekigan-roku 碧巌録 (Blue Cliff Record) with the addition of his introduction (suiji 垂示), capping phrases (jakugo 著語) and discussion (hyosho 評唱).
Ch. Hui-jih (680-748)
Born in Lai-chou 莱州 in Shan-tung Province (山東省 Santosho, Shangdongsheng). When young he saw I-ching 義浄 (Gijo) who had just returned home from India, and so he wished to go to India when grown up. In 702 he boarded a ship and after three years reached India. He stayed there for thirteen years, visiting sacred places, meeting Buddhist teachers and collecting Sanskrit texts. He wandered further about seeking the way of salvation; all the masters he met recommended birth in the Pure Land. Wishing to return home by land, he reached Gandhara and went to the mountain in the north-east of the town. While fasting, he earnestly prayed to Kannon, and finally received from him an inspiration which directed him to seek birth in the Pure Land. Having reached Ch’ang-an (Choan) in 719, Hui-jih presented a statue of the Buddha and Sanskrit manuscripts to the Emperor Hsuan-tsung 玄宗 (Genso). The Emperor was impressed and gave him the title ‘the Tripitaka Master Tz’u-min’ (慈愍三蔵 Jimin Sanzo). Later he lived at a temple in Lo-yang, and then while constantly practicing the nien-fo (nembutsu), went to Kuang-tung 廣東 and other places to spread the Pure Land teaching. He died in Lo-yang at the age of 69. Besides his main work, entitled Collection of Passages Concerning Pure Land Birth (往生浄土集 ojojodoshu) (only the first fascicle is extant), Hui-jih composed hymns in praise of Amida, which are quoted in Fa-chiao’s Rite of Nien-fo Practice with Five Movements (Goe-nembutsu-hojisan 五会念仏法事讃). Like Shan-tao, Hui-jih advocated continual recitation of the nien-fo and practice of the Pratyutpanna Samadhi for attaining birth in the Pure Land and subsequent realization of Buddhahood. In much the same way as Shan-tao praised the efficacy of the Pratyutpanna Samadhi in his hymns, Hui-jih composed hymns expressing his devotion to Amida and practicing the Pratyutpanna Samadhi. From what we read in the Collection of Passages Concerning Pure Land Birth, Hui-jih refuted the biased views of Ch’an masters, and proved that the Pure Land nien-fo is an authentic Buddhist teaching by quoting extensively from the scriptures. In those days Ch’an masters, attached to erroneous views of Emptiness, asserted that various Buddhist practices, including the Six Paramitas, were futile. Hui-jih corrected their views and asserted that one should abide by the prescribed disciplines. It is especially important to turn the merits of practices towards the Pure Land with a wish to be born there. If meditation is practiced in this way, it is the correct meditation in accord with the scriptures and is the one approved by the Buddha. Hui-jih’s theory laid the foundation for the joint practice of Ch’an and nien-fo which was later advocated by Yen-shou 延寿 (Enju) (904-975). Hui-jih also emphasized observance of the precepts, forbidding Pure Land aspirants to drink wine and eat meat and pungent food.
The third zasu of the Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei; 794-864
Born in the present-day Tochigi Prefecture, he became Saicho’s disciple at the age of 15. Since, in the past, Saicho stayed on Mt. Hiei for twelve years, he stipulated that serious students also must stay on Mt. Hiei for twelve years. Ennin followed Saicho’s instruction and stayed on Mt. Hiei for thirty years studying the Tendai teaching and practicing the prescribed meditation. Then, in 835, Ennin received an imperial order to go to China for study. After failing twice to set sail, he finally reached China in 838. There he learnt Sanskrit from Tsung-jui 宗叡 (Soei) and esoteric Buddhism from Ch’uan-ya 全雅 (Zenga).
In 839, Ennin boarded a ship to return to Japan but, because of an unfavorable wind, he had to remain in China. He then went to Mt. Wu-t’ai 五台山 (Godaisan) in Shan-tung Province (山東省 Santosho, Shangdongsheng), the mountain which was held sacred because Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha were believed to dwell there. There he received Tendai scriptures and presumably learnt Fa-chao’s (法照 Hossho) Nembutsu Liturgy in Five Movements (Goe-hojisan 五会法事讃). After that he went to Ch’ang-an and, during his stay there for six years, learnt more of esoteric Buddhism. He returned home in 848, and was appointed zasu in 854. With his introduction of esoteric Buddhism, the Tendai teaching assumed more of esoteric character. He also built Monjudo 文殊堂 (Manjusri Hall) on Mt. Hiei to continue his practice of the nembutsu.
Previously, Saicho assigned Ennin to the task of accomplishing the ‘Constant Sitting Samadhi’ (Joza zanmai), but Ennin found it difficult to perform. It is noted that the Constant Walking Samadhi, which Ennin began on Mt. Hiei, was not the same as that prescribed in the original T’ien-t’ai tradition. Ennin is thought to have modified it with Fa-chiao’s nembutsu chanting. The characteristic features of the new method of the Constant Walking Samadhi, which was called fudan nembutsu (constant nembutsu), can be listed as follows: 1) The length of the period of practice has been shortened from 90 days to 7 days, from the 11th to the 17th days of the eighth month during the autumn full moon; 2) Besides the nembutsu recitation, the Amida Sutra is chanted; 3) By this practice one hopes to expiate one’s evil karma. Although the newly instituted melodious nembutsu chanting is apparently different from the meditative nembutsu of the Constantly Walking Samadhi originated by Chih-i (Chigi), we should note two facts which explain the development of the nembutsu from Chih-i to Fa-chiao, and then to Ennin. One is that Chih-i’s T’ien-t’ai system of practice already contained the vocal nembutsu based on the Contemplation Sutra; this element became apparent in the teaching of the sixth patriarch of T’ien-t’ai, Chan-jan (Tannen) (711-82). The other fact is that Fa-chiao’s rhythmical nembutsu originated from a mystic experience during his practice of the Pratyutpanna Samadhi. The new type of nembutsu recitation began to be practiced annually at the Jogyozanmai-do 常行三昧堂 from 865, a year after Ennin’s death, and became popularly known as “Mountain Nembutsu” (yama no nembutsu). He practiced the nembutsu samadhi so much that he is said to have attained the visualization-samadhi. He wrote about a hundred works, including commentaries on the Vajra Peak Sutra (Kongochokyo 金剛頂経) and the Sutra on the Act of Perfection (Soshitsujikarakyo 蘇悉地羯羅経). The record of his travel to China, Record of Pilgrimage to T’ang China to Seek the Dharma (Nitto-guho-junrei-gyoki 入唐求法巡礼行記), is a useful source of information about T’ang China. He was posthumously given the name and title of Jikaku Daishi 慈覚大師 (Master of Compassion and Enlightenment). Cf. fudan nembutsu.
Ch. Hui-neng, 638-713; the sixth patriarch of the Chinese Zen school.
Born in a poor family, he supported his mother and himself by selling fire-wood. One day, when he heard the Diamond Sutra being chanted, he aspired to the Buddhist Way. At 24, he went to see Hung-jen 弘忍 (Konin), the fifth patriarch, and lived in his monastery for some time. After he received the transmission of the Dharma, he left the monastery. Later, his line of transmission, which was characterized by sudden enlightenment and thrived in south China, came to be known as the Southern School of Ch’an (Nanshuzen 南宗禅). This was in contrast to the teaching of gradual enlightenment which was initiated by another disciple of Hung-jen, Shen-hsiu 神秀 (Jinshu), and was called the Northern School of Ch’an (Hokushuzen 北宗禅). Hui-neng’s line of transmission enjoyed greater popularity and developed into five schools. His sayings were compiled into the Rokuso-dankyo 六祖檀経 (The Sixth Patriarch’s Platform Sutra). He was given posthumous titles, such as Ch’an Master Ta-chien 大鑑禅師 (Daikan Zenji, Zen Master Great Penetration).
Ch. Hui-ssu (515-577)
The second patriarch of the Chinese T’ien-t’ai (Tendai) school and the teacher of Chih-i (Chigi) who systematized the T’ien-t’ai teaching; also called the Great Master Nan-yueh 南嶽大師 (Nangaku Daishi) because he lived on Mt. Nan-yueh. A native of the Honan Province (河南省 Kanansho, Henansheng), he entered the priesthood when young; he studied the T’ien-t’ai Buddhism under Hui-wen 慧文 (Emon) and received its essence from him; he reputedly realized the Lotus Samadhi (Hokke zanmai). He was the first to hold an acute sense that the time was that of the last Dharma period – the period of Decadent Dharma (mappo), and so he is said to have faith in Amida and Maitreya (Miroku). While dwelling in Mr. Ta-su 大蘇山 (Daisozan), he received a visit from Chih-i (Chigi), to whom he transmitted the essentials of the T’ien-t’ai teaching. His works include the Rissei-ganmon 立誓願文 (Proclamation of Vows), the Hokekyo-anrakugyogi 法華経安楽行儀 (Rules of the Practice of Peace and Bliss of the Lotus Sutra) and the Shoho-mujo-zanmai 諸法無諍三昧 (Samadhi of No-dispute regarding All Existence).
Fu Daishi 傅大士
Ch. Fu Ta-shih (497-569); a Chinese layman, also known as Shan-hui Ta-shih (善慧大士 Zen’e Daishi).
After having married and become a father of two children, he retired to the mountains at the age of 24, where he built a temple and copied scriptures. He constructed an octagonal revolving sutra-repository for the sake of convenience for readers; for this reason, his statues came to be enshrined in sutra-repositories. [H.67; Rin.]
The popular name for Fukukongo 不空金剛; Sk. Amoghavajra; 705-774;the sixth patriarch of the Shingon tradition.
He was born in north India or, according to another tradition, Sri Lanka, and, at the age of 14, traveled to Java where he met Vajrabodhi (金剛智 Kongochi) and became his disciple. He went to China with his master in 720 and assisted him in the translation of esoteric texts while studying esoteric Buddhism under him. After the master’s death, he went to India to obtain Sanskrit texts. He returned to China in 746, and engaged in translating esoteric texts and spreading esoteric Buddhism. He was well received by the emperors and was given the title Kuang-chih San-tsang 広智三蔵 (Kochi Sanzo) by Emperor Tai-tsung 代宗 (Daiso) in 765. He translated a total of 110 works.
W o|nhyo; an eminent Kegon scholar in Silla (Shiragi 新羅), Korea; 617-686.
He went to China with I-hsiang* (義湘 Gisho) and received the teaching of Hosso from Hsuan-tsang (Genjo) and K’ui-chi (窺基 Kiki) and that of Kegon from Chih-yen (智儼 Chigon). While living at Huang-lung ssu* 皇龍寺 (Koryuji) in the capital of Silla, he lectured on Mahayana sutras. He preferred to live as a layman and taught the Pure Land teaching to townspeople. He wrote as many as fifty-seven works. Apart from commentaries on the Garland Sutra, the Lankavatara Sutra, the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana (Daijokishinron), etc., he wrote the celebrated Discourse on the Diamond Samadhi (金剛三昧論 Kongosanmairon) and important Pure Land discourses which were a great influence on the formation of the Japanese Pure Land tradition, including the Amidakyoso 阿弥陀経疏 (Commentary on the Amida Sutra), the Muryojukyo-shuyo 無量寿経宗要 (Essentials of the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life), etc. The Yushin-anrakudo 遊心安楽道 (Way of Securing Relaxation and Peace) is attributed to him but its authorship is doubted.
Ch. Chien-chen (687-763); the Chinese monk who founded the Japanese Ritsu school.
Ordained at the age of 14, he mainly studied T’ien-t’ai (Tendai) and Vinaya (Ritsu) teachings. At the request of a visiting Japanese monk, he attempted to go to Japan. After 11 years, during which he made five unsuccessful attempts and became blind, he finally reached Japan in 754. He lived in the Todaiji Temple and erected a precept-platform (kaidan) there. He gave the precepts to more than 400 people, including Emperor Shomu 聖武. Later he lived in the Toshodaiji Temple 唐招提寺, and was given the titles of daisojo 大僧正 (great abbot) and daikasho-i 大和尚位 (rank of great master).
Ch. Yuan-chao: 1048-1116
First studied Tendai and later became a master of Vinaya; when he became ill, he realized his powerlessness and took refuge in Amida. He wrote commentaries on the Contemplation Sutra 観無量寿経義疏 (Kanmuryojukyo-giso), 4 fasc., and Amida Sutra 阿弥陀経義疏 (Amidakyo-giso), 1 fasc. [KG.2,3]
A great master of the Hosso school; (d. 746); a native of Yamato Province (present-day Nara Prefecture)
He studied the Hosso teaching under Gien 義淵. On the emperor’s order, he went to China in 717 where he stayed for nearly twenty years studying the depth of the Hosso doctrine under Chih-chou 智周 (Chishu). He returned home in 735 bringing back the whole collection of Buddhist scriptures in more than 5,000 fascicles, which he deposited at the Kofukuji Temple. He lived in that temple and propagated the Hosso teaching extensively. His line of Hosso tradition is called the second transmission, or the Northern Temple transmission (hokujiden 北寺伝), in contrast to nanjiden 南寺伝, the ‘Southern Temple tradition’ which refers to the first and the second transmissions of the Hosso doctrine from China because it was taught and propagated at the Gangoji Temple 元興寺, a temple situated south of Nara. He was appointed sojo (abbot) and head of the imperial court for Buddhist practices. Because of his involvement in political affairs, he was banished to Dazaifu in Kyushu in 745.
Ch. Hsuan-tsang (600 or 602-664); popularly known as Sanzo Hosshi 三蔵法師 (Tripitaka Master).
Born in Honan Province (河南省 Kanansho, Henansheng) as the youngest of the four sons of Ch’en Hui 陳慧 (Chin E), he was exceptionally intelligent and an avid reader of classical literature. When he was eleven, he followed his brother Ch’ang-chieh 長捷 (Chosho) who was a Buddhist monk to the Ching-t’u Temple 浄土寺 (Jodoji) in Lo-yang to learn chanting and study sutras. In 614, when imperial permission for ordaining twenty-seven people was issued in Lo-yang, Hsuan-tsang, though still very young, impressed the examiner with his intelligence and so was able to receive ordination. He stayed at the Ching-t’u Temple and attended lectures on the Nirvana Sutra and the Mahayana-samgraha (Shodaijoron). On his brother’s advice, he left Lo-yang and went to Ch’ang-an where he stayed at the Chuang-yen Temple 荘厳寺 (Shogonji). During this time, the Sui dynasty was taken over by the T’ang dynasty. With his brother, he left the war-torn capital and went to Ch’eng-tu 成都 (Seito) in the state of Shu 蜀 (Shoku) where he received full ordination as a monk at the age of twenty. From that time on, he visited eminent masters at various places before returning to Ch’ang-an in 623. Staying at the Ta-chueh Temple 大覚寺 (Daikakuji), he studied the Abhidharma-kosa (Kusharon) under Tao-yueh 道岳 (Dogaku) and attended the lectures on the Mahayana-samgraha by two eminent masters, Fa-ch’ang 法常 (Hojo) and Seng-pien 僧弁 (Soben). Amazed at Hsuan-tsang’s deep understanding of the doctrine, the masters praised him as ‘the fleet horse in Buddhist studies capable of running a thousand li a day.’ Hsuan-tsang, however, had some unsolved questions about the text, so he determined to travel to India to obtain the Sanskrit text he wanted. As his repeated plea for permission to go to India was not accepted and none of his friends was willing to accompany him, Hsuan-tsang decided to travel on his own without official permission. He left Ch’ang-an in 627 (or 629, according to other tradition). After crossing the border at Yu-men Pass 玉門関 (Gyokumonkan), he reached Kao-ch’ang 高昌 (Kosho). The king of the country warmly received him. While staying there for about a month, Hsuan-tsang lectured on the Benevolent King Sutra (Ninnokyo) for the empress dowager and others. When he left the country, the king awarded him enough money and provisions for the travel and some man-power. After passing through a number of towns along the southern route of the T’ien-shan Mountains 天山山脈 (Tenzan sanmyaku) with great toil, he crossed the Hindu Kush Mountains and reached northern India and, from there, central India.
In 630, he reached the Nalanda Monastery in Magadha Kingdom, where he intensively studied the consciousness-only doctrine under Silabhadra (Kaigen 戒賢) for five years. Then he visited other Buddhist centers in India and returned to Nalanda. He futher studied the consciousness-only doctrine under other masters who lived nearby, especially under layman Jayasena (Shogun 勝軍) for two years, and obtained valuable discourses on this doctrine. Invited by King Kumara of Kamarupa Kingdom in east India, Hsuan-tsang stayed at his palace for a month. King Siladitya (Kainichio 戒日王) (606-647), having heard of Hsuan-tsang, invited him to his camp and then to the capital Kanyakubja, where he attended a large service and delivered a lecture on the Mahayana.
In 641 (or 643), he left India and made a homeward journey. He returned home to Ch’ang-an in 645 bringing back 657 Sanskrit texts in 520 bundles, Buddhist statues, the Buddha’s relics, etc. He was warmly welcomed by the Emperor T’ai-tsung 太宗 (Taiso). The emperor was curious to know about the countries Hsuan-tsang had visited and, after hearing about the customs and conditions of those countries, he requested Hsuan-tsang to write a book. The year after his return home, i.e., in 646, he completed the well-known travel acount entitled, Great T’ang Record of the Western Regions (Daito-saiikiki 大唐西域記). At the Hung-fu Temple 弘福寺 (Kofukuji) in Ch’ang-an, he began preparations for translation of Buddhist texts. In response to his plea, the emperor issued an order to convene scholarly monks to assist Hsuan-tsang in his translation work. His epoch-making work lasted nineteen years, during which he translated 75 scriptures in 1,330 fascicles, including the following: 1) the Prajnaparamita Sutra (Daihannya-kyo 大般若経), 600 fasc., 2) the Yogacara-bhumi (Yugashijiron 瑜伽師地論), 100 fasc., 3) the Abhidharma-mahavibhasa (Abidatsuma-daibibasharon 阿毘達磨大毘婆沙論), 200 fasc., 4) the Abhidharma-kosa-bhasya (Abidatsuma-kusharon 阿毘達磨倶舎論), 30 fasc., 5) the Discourse on the Theory of Consciousness-Only (Joyuishiki-ron 成唯識論), 10 fasc., and 6) the Mahayana-samgraha (Shodaijoron 摂大乗論), 8 fasc. His excellent work ushered in a new epoch in the history of translations of Buddhist texts; they were called ‘shin’yaku 新訳 (new translations)’ as contrasted to the previous translations which were called ‘kuyaku 旧訳 (old translations).’ Based on the translation of the Discourse on the Theory of Consciousness-Only, his chief disciple K’ui-chi (窺基 Kiki) became the first patriarch of the Fa-hsiang or Hosso (法相) school which thrived greatly. He is also looked upon as the founder of the Chu-she (Kusha 倶舎) school because he produced a new translation of the basic text, Abidatsuma-kusharon. After finishing the laborious work of translating the Prajnaparamita Sutra, Hsuan-tsang showed signs of physical decline and passed away in 664 at the age of 63.
A Tendai monk and a great exponent of Pure Land thought; 942-1017; popularly called Eshin Sozu 恵心僧都 because he lived in Eshin-in 恵心院 at Yokawa 横川 on Mt. Hiei.
He lost his father when young, and went up to Mt. Hiei to study Buddhism under Ryogen 良源. At the age of 15, he was appointed special lecturer on the Lotus Sutra (Hokke hako 法華八講); his intelligence and eloquence surprised all the audience. He could have enjoyed great reputation, but spent a secluded life in Yokawa, practicing the Pure Land way and writing discourses. His masterpiece, Collection of Essential Passages Concerning Birth (Ojoyoshu 往生要集), is a collection of the important passages pertaining to the matter of birth in the Pure Land. This is an encyclopedic work drawing from many sutras and commentaries from India and China. When he completed this work he sent a copy to China in 986; the monks there were very surprised, and praised him as the “little Sakyamuni of Japan.” This work laid the foundation for Japanese Pure Land teaching. He is thus looked upon as the sixth patriarch in the tradition of the Jodoshin school. He is also known as the founder of the Eshin school of Tendai, which is based on the “original state of enlightenment” (hongaku 本覚) teaching, meaning that everybody, even the most wicked person, is originally enlightened. This is an alternative view to what has been called “entering upon enlightenment for the first time,” (shikaku 始覚), in the sense of working one’s way up to enlightenment from the beginning.
In his late years, he was conferred with the title of shosozu 少僧都 (minor second grade) but remained in obscurity, dedicating himself to the exploration of Buddhist truth. He left more than thirty works, including A Discourse Determining the Essentials of the One-Vehicle Teaching (Ichijo-yoketsu 一乗要決), A Collection of Important Passages Briefly Discussing Contemplation of the Mind (Kanjin-ryakuyoshu 観心略要集), the Mahayana versus Abhidharmakosa (Daijo-tai-Kusha 大乗対倶舎), and the Invocation on the Twenty-five Samadhis (Nijugo-sanmai-kisho 二十五三昧起請).
Ch. I-ching (635-713).
After he entered the priesthood when young, he had a desire to go to India. In 671, he left China and set out for India by sea. Having reaching India, he stayed there for more than twenty years. He also visited more than thirty countries. He returned home in 695, bringing back the relics of the Buddha, sutras, etc. Empress Wu conferred on him the title of san-tsang 三蔵 (sanzo, Tripitaka master) and offered him a temple to live and translate the texts he had brought from India. He produced translations of 56 texts in 230 fascicles, including Konkomyo-saishookyo (Golden Splendor Sutra). The record of his journey, Nankai-kiki-den 南海寄帰伝 (Record of Visiting the South Sea), 4 fasc., is a useful source of information on India and its neighboring countries of his days. [S.Xb-1.]
Also Gyoki; a Hosso priest (668-749) and descendant of a Korean king.
He was born in Echigo or Izumi Province (the present-day Niigata or Osaka Prefecture). He studied Buddhism at the Yakushiji Temple 薬師寺 and elsewhere, especially the Hosso teaching under Gien 義淵, and traveled about the country building bridges and roads and constructing temples. He was respected by Emperor Shomu 聖武 who, in 741, commissioned him with the task of building the Todaiji Temple 東大寺. He was given the title of daisojo 大僧正 (great abbot). In 749, he gave the bodhisattva precepts (bosatsukai) to the emperor, empress and other members of the imperial family, and was then given the title of daibosatsu 大菩薩 (great bodhisattva). He was popularly regarded as an incarnation of Manjusri (Monju). According to his biography, Gyogi walked about in villages every night while reciting the nembutsu in a loud voice and, during the day time, he visited houses to teach the Pure Land Way to ordinary men and women and led them to birth in Amida’s land. The Biographies of Noble Monks in Japan states that Gyogi traveled in various provinces teaching meditation and the ‘Pure Act,’ i.e., the nembutsu. From these and other sources, it is established that Gyogi was the first eminent monk to spread the nembutsu recitation among ordinary people.
One of the greatest Rinzai Zen masters in Japan. His family name was Sugiyama 杉山, and his Buddhist name was Ekaku 慧鶴; Hakuin was his assumed name ; he also used another name Korin 鵠林. He entered the priesthood at the age of 15; at 24, he attained satori under Tekio 的翁 of Shoju-an 正受庵, popularly known as Shoju rojin 正受老人. In 1716, he became the resident master at Shoinji 松隠寺 in Shizuoka Prefecture and, in the next year, the head monk at Myoshinji 妙心寺 in Kyoto. He founded Ryutakuji 龍沢寺 in Shizuoka Prefecture. He was given a posthumous name, Shinkidokumyo Zenji 神機独妙禅師, and later another, Shoshu Kokushi 正宗国師. Having a strong personality, deep insight, and skill in guidance, he contributed greatly to the revival of Rinzai Zen in Tokugawa Japan. His works include Dokugo-shingyo 毒語心經 (Poisoned Comments on the Heart Sutra), Yasen-kanwa 夜船閑話 (Leisurely Talk on a Night Voyage), and Orategama 遠羅天釜 (Tea-pot Orategama). He was also renowned as a great painter.
Ch. Fei-hsi (8th century); a Zen master and a contemporary of Fa-chiao 法照
Fei-hsi first studied the Vinaya precepts and later practiced the T’ien-t’ai method of contemplating the Triple Truth in the One Mind. He often stayed at a temple on Mt. Chung-nan 終南山, and from 744 on, regularly practiced the Lotus samadhi at Ch’ang-an 長安 in spring and autumn every year. When Amoghavajra (Fuku) translated the Benevolent King Prajnaparamita Sutra in 765, he was chosen as one of the assistant translators. In his only extant work, entitled the Discourse on the Nembutsu Samadhi ― the King of Treasures (念仏三昧宝王論 Nembutsu-sanmai-hooron), he advocates a special nembutsu practice, emphasizing mindfulness of all Buddhas in the three times. Based on the episode of the Bodhisattva Sadaparibhuta (Jofugyo), he teaches that one should respectfully think of all sentient beings, even concubines and thieves, because they will, without exception, become Buddhas in the future. As for the mindfulness of the present Buddhas, Fei-hsi teaches concentration on Amida alone, for one can attain birth in the Pure Land with recitation of the nembutsu ten times or even once. He recommends that the nembutsu be practiced in a loud voice, because in this way one can easily concentrate one’s thought and attain the nembutsu samadhi, as when people move a heavy tree or stone by shouting ‘yo-ho’ together. This is in line with Huai-kan’s 懐感 (Ekan) method of nembutsu practice. Lastly, Fei-hsi urges us to remember the past Buddhas. Throughout this discourse, he emphasizes the supremacy of the nembutsu samadhi, which he called the ‘king of samadhis.’ He criticized as an attached view the ‘non-practice’ and ‘voidness’ held by many Zen followers of his time.
The founder of the Jodo school (1133-1212).
Born in Kume 久米, Mimasaka Province (present-day Okayama Prefecture), he was named Seishimaru 勢至丸. When he was nine, his father, a provincial official, was killed by the opposing faction. In accordance with the father’s dying wish, he entered the priesthood under Kankaku 観覚 of the Bodaiji. At 15, he went to Mt. Hiei, where he studied under Genko 源光 and Koen 皇円 and, later, from Eiku 叡空. From Eiku he received the name Honen-bo Genku 法然房源空. At 24, he left the mountain and visited distinguished scholars in Nara and Kyoto. He later went up Mt. Hiei again to seek the way to salvation. At 43, as he read the whole collection of scriptures over and over again in the Hoonzo 報恩蔵 Library, he came across the commentary on the Contemplation Sutra by Shan-tao 善導 (Zendo), in which it is taught that continuous recitation of the nembutsu is the way to salvation. He instantly realized Amida’s saving power and took refuge in him. He left the mountain to live in Kyoto and began to propagate the nembutsu teaching among people of all walks of life.
In 1198, at the request of the Lord Chancellor Fujiwara Kanezane 藤原兼実, he composed the Senjaku-hongan-nembutsu-shu 選択本願念仏集, which presents the essentials of the nembutsu teaching. Publication of this work means declaration of the independence of the nembutsu school. Soon, the popularity of his teaching invited the jealousy of monks of other sects. In 1204, monks of the Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei urged the zasu, Shoshin 性真, to take action to stop the nembutsu teaching. In 1206, when Honen’s two disciples were accused of seducing two court-ladies, the persecution of the nembutsu was enforced(Jogen no honan 承元の法難). The two disciples were executed, and Honen was exiled to Shikoku. Soon after he was pardoned and allowed to return to Kyoto in 1211, he became ill and died in the following year. While Honen was on Mt. Hiei, he received from Eiku the tradition of the Mahayana precepts. So, Honen is said to have given the Mahayana precepts to his disciples. His teaching is characterized by exclusive recitation of the nembutsu, Namu amida butsu, “Homage to Amida Buddha”; he discarded as futile all other methods of Buddhist practice, such as meditation and even Bodhi-mind, the aspiration for enlightenment. The reason for this is that the nembutsu originates from and is supported by Amida’s Primal vow.
Honen had many disciples. One of the leading disciples, Bencho 辨長 (1162-1238), later known as Chinzei Shonin 鎮西上人, founded the Chinzei school. A more important disciple of Honen was Shinran 親鸞 (1173-1262), the founder of Jodoshinshu. Posthumously Honen was given the names and titles of Eko Bosatsu 慧光菩薩 (Bodhisattva Wisdom-Light), Kacho Sonja 華頂尊者 (Venerable Flower-Summit), Enko Daishi 円光大師 (Master Perfect Light), etc. He is also popularly called Ganso Shonin 元祖上人 (Revered Founder), Yoshimizu Daishi 吉水大師 (Master Yoshimizu), Kurodani Shonin 黒谷上人 (Master Kurodani), etc. His works were compiled into the Illuminating Record of Kurodani Shonin (Kurodani-shonin-gotoroku 黒谷上人語燈録), 18 fasc., and more than ten biographies of him were written.
Chin. Fa-chao (8th century).
Renowned as an incarnation of Shan-tao (go-Zendo 後善導), Fa-chao made a great contribution to the development of the nembutsu teaching. He first went to Mt. Lu, where he practiced meditation. One day, while in samadhi, he went to the Pure Land and saw a Chinese monk sitting beside Amida. Fa-chao was told that the monk was Chao-yuan 承遠 (Shoon) of Mt. Nan-yueh 南嶽 (Nangaku), a noted Pure Land master dedicated to the Pratyutpanna Samadhi (Hanju-zanmai). He then went to see him and became his disciple. According to his Rite of Nien-fo Practice with Five Movements (Goe-nembutsu-hojisan 五会念仏法事讃), he began a resolute practice of the Pratyutpanna Samadhi on the 15th of the 4th month in 766 and, in the second week, visualized Amida. The Buddha personally taught him the nembutsu recitation in five movements. In 769, led by an inspiration, Fa-chao left Mt. Nan-yueh and went to Mt. Wu-t’ai 五台 where, in meditation, he received the nembutsu teaching from Manjusri and Samantabhadra. He built the Bamboo Forest Temple (竹林寺 Chikurinji) on Mt. Wu-t’ai to make it a center for the nembutsu samadhi. He widely disseminated the nembutsu with five movements, and was even invited to teach it at the imperial court. Fa-chao, like Hui-jih 慧日 (Enichi), tried to correct wrong views held by Ch’an followers and recommended the nembutsu samadhi as the supreme method of meditation. His nembutsu practice consisted of mindfulness of Amida and incessant recitation of his Name, by means of which one attains samadhi. Repeating the nembutsu with five movements is meant to induce this samadhi state. His nembutsu method was widely practiced and won him the title of Wu-hui Fa-shih 五会法師 (Goe Hosshi, Master Five Movements). The emperor gave him a posthumous title, Ta-wu He-shan 大悟和尚 (Daigo Kasho, Master Great Enlightenment).Cf. Goe-nembutsu. Fa-chao’s nembutsu chant was transmitted to Japan by Ennin 円仁.
Ch. Fa-tsang (643-712); popularly called Master Hsien-shou 賢首大師 (Genju Daishi); the third patriarch of the Garland school.
His ancesters were from Samarkand but he was born in Ch’ang-an 長安. He began his study of Buddhism at the age of 17, and later received the Garland teaching from Chih-yen (Chigon) at the Yun-hua Temple 雲華寺 (Unkeji). In 670, he received his ordination by the imperial order, and often lectured on the Garland Sutra. In 680, he assisted Divakara (日照 Nissho) and others in translating the missing part of the older version of the Garland Sutra. Fa-tsang also played an important role when, in 695, Siksananda (実叉難陀 Jisshananda) produced a new translation of this sutra in 80 fascicles. After that time, he lectured on the new version. He was respected by emperors, especially by the Empress Wu 則天武后 (Sokuten-buko), and left many works, including a voluminous commentary on the Garland Sutra, the Kegongyo-tangenki 華厳経探玄記 (Delving into the Essentials of the Garland Sutra), 20 fasc., and a discourse on the classification of the teachings into five divisions, entitled Kegon-gokyosho 華厳五教章 (Five-Teaching Division Based on the Garland Teaching); his lecture on the Garland teaching for the Empress Wu, using the golden lion at the court as an illustration, was later compiled into the Kegon-konjishisho 華厳金師子章 (Treatise on the Garland Golden Lion).
Ingen Ryuki 隠元隆洟
The founder of the obaku Zen school; 1592-1673.
Born in Fuchien Province (福建省 Fukkensho, Fujiansheng), he practiced Zen on Mt. Huang-po 黄檗 (Obaku), attained satori at the age of forty-seven and came to Nagasaki in 1654. Under the imperial patronage, he built a temple in Uji, south-east of Kyoto, and named it Manpukuji 万福寺; this temple became the head temple of the Obaku school 黄檗宗.
The founder of the Jishu or Ji school, 1239-89; popularly called Yugyo Shonin 遊行上人 ‘Wandering Saint.’
After he was ordained at 15, he studied chiefly the Tendai teaching. Later he studied the nembutsu doctrine from a follower of Honen, and changed his name to Chishin 智真. In 1275 he visited the Kumano Gongen 熊野権現, and spent a night at the Hongu 本宮 (Main Shrine). While praying to the deity there (who, in his original state, is Amida Buddha), he was given a verse of inspiration in which the term ‘ippen’ (one universality) was repeated three times. He then changed his name to Ippen, and resolved to spend his life as a wanderer to spread the nembutsu.
Issan Ichinei 一山一寧
Ch. I-shan I-ning; a Zen master; 1247-1317; the third abbot of the Nanzenji Temple 南禅寺; a native of T’ai-chou 台州.
He became a monk at an early age, and studied and practiced Buddhism under various masters. In 1299, by the order of Khubilai of Yuan dynasty, he came to Dazaifu in Kyushu. For some time he was suspected of espionage by the head of Kamakura government, Hojo Sadatoki 北条貞時; later, he was invited to live at the Kenchoji Temple 建長寺; in 1300, by the order of Ex-emperor Gouda 後宇多, he lived at the Nanzenji Temple 南禅寺. He was given the posthumous title, Ichinei Kosai Kokushi 一寧弘済国師; he left a collection of sayings, one fasc. With his disciples, he contributed to the development of the gosan Zen literary movement (gosan bungaku 五山文学). Muso Soseki 夢窓疎石 was one of his disciples. His line of Zen tradition is called Issan-ha 一山派, which is counted among the twenty-four schools of Zen in Japan. See Zenshu.
Jimin sanzo 慈愍三蔵
The Tripitaka master Tz’u-min (680-748); the title given to Hui-jih 慧日 (Enichi) by the Chinese Emperor Hsuan-tsung 玄宗 (Genso).
He went to India by sea, visiting various Buddhist sites and studying under eminent masters for thirteen years. On his return journey via Central Asia, he received Kannon’s inspiration in Gandhara, which strengthened his aspiration for the Pure Land. He returned home, bringing back Buddhist statues and Sanskrit manuscripts, which he presented to the emperor. He further practiced the Pure Land way and extensively spread the teaching. He is looked upon as the founder of one of the three Chinese Pure Land schools, the other two schools originating from Hui-yuan (Eon) of Mt. Lu (Rozan) and Shan-tao (Zendo). It is said that Tz’u-min’s teaching was characterized by a mixture of nembutsu and Zen.
Sk. Dignaga; c.400-480
Born of a Brahmin family in south India, he studied Buddhism and became well-versed in both Hinayana and Mahayana; he distinguished himself as a master of Yogacara doctrine, following especially Vasubandhu’s (Seshin) teaching; he is recognized as one of the commentators of Vasubandhu’s theory of Consciousness-only. He also developed Vasubandhu’s theory of logic (hetu-vidya, inmyo) and started a new school of Buddhist logic; his Pramana-samuccaya (Collection of Correct Means of Cognition) and commentary on it present the details of his new system; the Pramana-samuccaya was translated by Paramartha (Shindai) as Juryoron 集量論 but the translation has been lost.
Shen-hsiu ( -706)
A native of K’ai-feng 開封 (Kaifu), he first studied Confucianism; after becoming a monk, he visited various places to study Buddhism. At fifty, he became a disciple of Hung-jen 弘忍 (Konin), and six years later, the head of the assembly of 500 monks. After the master’s death, he continued his practice of Zen for more than 10 years, and then was appointed abbot of the Yu-ch’uan Temple 玉泉寺 (Gyokusenji) on Mt. Tang-yang 当陽山 (Toyozan) at Chiang-ling 江陵 (Koryo)in Hu-pei Province (湖北省 Kohokusho, Hubeisheng). About 700, he was invited to lecture at the palace by the Empress Wu (則天武后 Sokuten Buko). He died at the age of more than 100 and was posthumously given the title Ta-t’ung Ch’an-shih 大通禅師 (Daitsu Zenji, Meditation Master Great Penetration). He wrote the Kanjin-ron 観心論 (A Discourse on Meditation on the Mind). The circumstances under which his master Hung-jen transmitted the Dharma to his junior disciple, Hui-neng 慧能 (Eno), are related in the Platform Sutra (Rokuso-dankyo 六祖檀経). His line of Zen, which thrived in north China, came to be known as ‘the Northern School’ (Hokushu 北宗) as distinct from Hui-neng’s Zen, which was called ‘the Southern School’ (Nanshu 南宗).
Joyoji Eon 浄影寺慧遠
Chin. Hui-yuan of Ching-ying Temple; 523-592
Born in Tun-huang, he began his study of Buddhism at an early age, and at sixteen went to Yeh 屋, the capital of Eastern Wei (Togi), and four years later received his ordination as a monk from Fa-shang (Hojo). He continued his study under him, but fled to Honan Province (河南省 Kanansho, Henansheng) when Wu-ti (Butei) of Northern Chou (Hokushu) persecuted Buddhism. Following the establishment of the Sui 隋 dynasty, he was invited to Ch’ang-an (Choan), where the Emperor Wen 文帝 (Buntei) built a temple for him, which was named Ching-ying ssu 浄影寺 (Joyoji). Since Hui-yuan was engaged in study and literary activity while living in that temple, he was known as Master Ching-ying 浄影法師 (Joyo hosshi). Hui-yuan is assumed to have belonged to the Ti-lun (Jiron), dedicated to the study of Vasubandhu’s (Seshin) Commentary on the Ten Stages Sutra (Jujiron), and, like his teacher, Fa-shang, aspired for birth in the Tusita Heaven (Tosotsuten). But he contributed to the development of Pure Land thought by writing commentaries on the Larger Sutra and the Contemplation Sutra. His interpretations of those sutras became the standard theory, so that the later masters, like Chi-tsang (Kichizo) and Shan-tao (Zendo), could not ignore them, but either accepted or refuted his views.
Hui-yuan distinguished three kinds of pure lands: 1) Mundane lands of purity (jijodo 事浄土), 2) Supramundane lands of purity (sojodo 相浄土), 3) True land of purity (shinjodo 真浄土). Ordinary beings with pure karma produce and dwell in mundane lands of purity, which are decorated with various treasures. Hinayana sages and bodhisattvas who perform meritorious practices that are still defiled produce pure lands of glorious manifestation and dwell there. Bodhisattvas above the First Stage and Buddhas produce true lands of purity, which are conformable to True Suchness and are formless and eternally abiding. Thus, according to Hui-yuan, even ordinary beings can have their own pure lands by performing good karma. Hui-yuan further distinguished the True Lands of Purity of the Buddhas into two groups: (A) 1) true lands (shindo 真土) and 2) accommodated lands (odo 応土). (B) 1) lands of Dharma-nature (hosshodo 法性土), 2) lands of true recompense (jippodo 実報土), and 3) perfect accommodated lands (en’odo 円応土). Those in division (B) are identical with the Three Buddha-bodies. The true lands in (A) correspond to 1) and 2) of division (B). According to Hui-yuan’s classification, Amida is a Buddha of Accommodated Body, and his land is a Mundane Land of Purity, the reason being: 1) ordinary beings with defiled good karma can be born in his land and 2) the Sutra on Prediction to Avalokitesvara (Kannon-juki-kyo 観音授記経) mentions that after Amida’s passing into Nirvana, Avalokitesvara will become the next Buddha in the Pure Land. On the other hand, Hui-yuan admits that Amida has a superior Buddha-land but this aspect is not explained in the Contemplation Sutra.
Ch. Tsun-shih; a T’ien-t’ai master in Sung dynasty
He studied T’ien-t’ai under I-t’ung (義通 Gitsu) and became an intimate friend of Chih-li (知礼 Chirei). After I-t’ung’s death, he became his successor at the age of twenty-eight and lectured on the Golden Splendor Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra, etc. He successfully prayed for rain-fall in 1000. Two years later, he built a hermitage on the west side of Mt. T’ien-t’ai to practice the nembutsu samadhi. In 1032, at the age of 69, he died after he said that he would be born in the Pure Land of Tranquil Light (jakko jodo 寂光浄土). He wrote many works, including one on the Pure Land practice.
Popularly known as Mitsugon Sonja 密厳尊者 (Venerable Mystic Glorification); (1095-1143).
Born in Hizen Province (near the present Kagoshima City), on the 17th day of the 6th month, 1095, as the third of four sons, he was called Yachitose-maro 弥千歳麿. His father died when Kakuban was 10, and in 1107, at the age of 13, he went to Kyoto and became a disciple of Kanjo 寛助, the founder of the Joju-in Hall 成就院 and a well-known esoteric adept. In the following year, he went to Nara to study the Kusha and Hosso teachings under Keigyo 恵暁 at the Kofukuji Temple. In 1110, he returned to the Joju-in and received the ordination of a novice from Kanjo and was given the name Shogaku-bo Kakuban 正覚房覚鑁. After the ordination, Kanjo sent him to Nara again – this time to the Todaiji Temple to learn the Sanron and Kegon teachings. In 1114, at the age of 20, Kakuban received the full ordination of a monk at the Todaiji Temple, and then went to Mt. Koya, where he was greeted by a nembutsu sage, Shoren 青蓮 of the Ojo-in Hall, a devout aspirant for Amida’s Pure Land. Kakuban learned many ritual practices under Meijaku 明寂, who was also known as an aspirant for the Pure Land through the Shingon nembutsu. Under Meijaku’s guidance, Kakuban particularly practiced the ritual called ‘Kokuzo gumonjiho,’ dedicated to Kokuzo (Akasagarbha) Bodhisattva. During his stay on Mt. Koya, until he was 27 of age, he also received the Dharma-transmission abhiseka (Denbo kanjo) as many as eight times. When a large estate in Wakayama was donated to him, he invoked Shinto gods and built a shrine there to guard the Denbo-in Hall 伝法院 which was to be built on Mt. Koya. Later the Negoroji Temple 根来寺 was built on this site. In 1130, Kakuban received the patronage of the Ex-emperor Toba and his sanction to build the Denbo-in Hall on Mt. Koya. In 1131, he built the Daidenbo-in Hall 大伝法院. Thus he succeeded in establishing a center for the study and practice of Shingon.
Kakuban’s next effort was to revive the Shingon rituals. At that time, there were two traditions of rituals in the Tomitsu 東密: Ono 小野 and Hirosawa 広沢 schools, each divided into sub-schools. Besides those, another school, called ‘Chuin’ 中院, was founded by Meizan 明算 (1021-1106) on Mt. Koya. Kakuban sought to unify them all by establishing the Denbo-in school. In 1134, an imperial decree was issued to designate the Daidenbo-in and the Mitsugon-in 密厳院, the latter constructed as Kakuban’s residence, as temples for offering up prayers for the emperor, and Kakuban was nominated as the first zasu of the Daidenbo-in Hall. Monks of the Kongobuji Temple 金剛峰寺, the head temple of Mt. Koya, became angry and tried to expel Kakuban but the Ex-emperor’s decree ruled that those monks be punished. Later that year, Kakuban was additionally appointed zasu of the Kongobuji Temple. Until that time, the zasu of the Toji Temple 東寺 in Kyoto had also been the zasu of the Kongobuji, and so Mt. Koya had been effectively under the jurisdiction of the Toji Temple. Worried about further danger of incurring the wrath of those monks who had already sought his expulsion, Kakuban finally resigned as zasu of both temples and retired to the Mitsugon-in Hall. In 1139, the armed monks destroyed the Denbo-in Hall and its sub-temples, numbering more than eighty. Kakuban fled to Negoro in Wakayama, never to return to Mt. Koya again. He spent the rest of his life there teaching students and writing books.
In 1143, when he was 49 years of age, he became ill and later that year he passed away while sitting in the lotus posture, making the appropriate mudra, and facing towards Mahavairocana’s Pure Land. He was given the posthumous title Kogyo Daishi 興教大師 by Emperor Higashiyama in 1690. Later, Raiyu 頼瑜 (1226-1304) finally moved the Daidenbo-in and the Mitsugon-in Halls to Negoro in 1288 and declared the independence of the new school called Shingi Shingon 新義真言.
Kakuban’s lifework can be summarized under the following four headings: 1) Reviving the denbo-e lecture-meetings to promote the study of the Shingon teachings; 2) Founding the Denbo-in school to unify various traditions of Shingon ritualism; 3) Independence of the Kongobuji from the jurisdiction of the Toji; 4) Founding a new school of thought and practice uniting Shingon esotericism and the nembutsu, called ‘Shingon Nembutsu’ 真言念仏 or ‘Himitsu Nembutsu’ 秘密念仏. Kakuban’s literary works, amounting to more than 150, show the depth and scope of his scholarship which were grounded in his dedication to, and his mystic experience of Shingon esotericism. Above all, he made a great contribution to the transmission of Kukai’s teachings by elaborating his theories of attaining Buddhahood with one’s present body (sokushin jobutsu 即身成仏), the Dharmakaya’s exposition of the Dharma (hosshin seppo 法身説法), the ten stages of mind (jujushin 十住心), and so on. Based on his practice and personal experience, Kakuban also wrote a number of manuals of ritual performance, especially on the rite for increasing memory, dedicated to Akasagarbha (Kokuzo gumonjiho 虚空蔵求聞持法 – Ritual of Praying to Akasagarbha for Increasing Memory), contemplation of the Sanskrit syllable ‘A’ (ajikan 阿字観), and contemplation of the moon-disc (gachirinkan 月輪観). Kakuban’s theory of esoteric nembutsu appears in the following works: Gorin kuji hishaku 五輪九字秘釈 (Esoteric Exposition of the Five Cakras and the Nine Syllables), Ichigo taiyo himitsushaku 一期大要秘密釈 (Esoteric Exposition of the Most Important Matter in Life), and Amida hishaku 阿弥陀秘釈 (Esoteric Meaning of AMIDA).
Shinran’s great-grandson and the third chief abbot (monshu) of the Jodoshin school; 1270-1351
He was the eldest son of Kakue 覚恵 (1239-1307). He studied Buddhism under Chokai 澄海 and Gyokan 行寛, and later under Nyoshin 如信 (1235-1300), Shinran’s grandson and the second chief abbot of the Jodoshin school. Among his other teachers was Yuien 唯円 of Kawada in Hitachi Province (present-day Ibaragi Prefecture), the probable author of the Tannisho (Notes Deploring Deviations). After returning from his pilgrimage to the places associated with Shinran, Kakunyo composed Hoonkoshiki 報恩講式 (Liturgy of the Ceremony for Acknowledging the Founder’s Benevolence) in 1294 to commemorate the thirty-third year of Shinran’s passing. In the following year, he composed a biography of Shinran, known as Honganji Shonin Shinran Denne 本願寺聖人親鸞伝絵 (Illustrated Biography of Shinran, Honganji’s Shonin), Zenshin Shonin Shinran Denne 善信上人親鸞伝絵 (Illustrated Biography of Shinran, Zenshin Shonin) or, simply, as Shinran Denne 親鸞伝絵 (Illustrated Biography of Shinran); in this work, Kakunyo wrote the text and the illustrations were painted by Joga 浄賀. The text of the biography was later compiled separately as Godensho 御伝鈔 (Biographical Notes), which became popular among the followers of this school.
In 1301, Kakunyo wrote Honen’s biography with illustrations, entitled Shui kotokuden 拾遺古徳伝 (An Additional Biography of the Ancient Master of Virtue), in which Kakunyo clarified Shinran’s position in various Jodo schools which had developed after Honen’s death. In 1310, with the approval of the followers, Kakunyo assumed the post of rusushiki 留守職 (custodian or caretaker of Shinran’s Mausoleum at Otani) and, in 1321, changed the name of the Mausoleum to ‘Honganji’ 本願寺 and undertook to institutionalize this as a temple.
Among other works of Kakunyo there are the following: Shujisho 執持抄 (Steadfast Holding to the Name), Kudensho 口伝鈔 (Orally Transmitted Words), and Gaijasho 改邪鈔 (Correcting Wrong Views). Soon after his death, an illustrated biography depicting Kakunyo’s life, entitled Bokieshi 慕帰絵詞 (Illustrated Statement Pining for the Passing), was compiled by Jukaku 従覚, Kakunyo’s second son. A little later, 1352, Kakunyo’s disciple Josen 乗専 wrote a supplementary biography of Kakunyo, Saishu Kyoju Eshi 最須敬重絵詞 (Ilustrated Statement Showing Deepest Respect).
Ch. Chia-ts’ai; ca. 620-680; the author of the Pure Land Treatise 浄土論 (Jodoron)
Chia-ts’ai was a Pure Land master who flourished about the time of Shan-tao (Zendo). Little is known of his life, except that he lived in a temple in Ch’ang-an. It is thought that he either belonged to the Three Discourses School (Sanronshu) or the She-lun School (Shoronshu) but was later converted to Pure Land Buddhism. In the preface of the Pure Land Treatise, he mentions Tao-ch’o’s (Doshaku) Collection of Passages Concerning Birth in the Land of Peace and Bliss, saying that this text is disorderly and so he intends to present its contents in an orderly way. He quotes from many Mahayana scriptures and fully expounds the essentials of the Pure Land teaching. He also outlines the lives of twenty Pure Land monks, nuns and lay-followers, including T’an-luan (Donran) and Tao-ch’o, with stories of miraculous signs at death. Being himself an devotee to the nembutsu, he widely recommended it to others. This work had a great influence on the Pure Land masters of the later generations. In Japan, too, Chiko, Ryogen, and Genshin quoted Chia-ts’ai and adopted his views in their doctrinal systems. He accepted the theory of three Buddha-bodies, and each of them has its corresponding Buddha-land, as follows: 1) the Land of the Buddha of Dharma-body (hosshin jodo 法身浄土) – the land identical with True Suchness; 2) the Land of the Buddha of Recompensed Body (hojin jodo 報身浄土) – this land is of two kinds: a. the True Recompensed Land (jitsuhodo 実報土): the land which rewards the Buddha’s meritorious practices and whose essence is Emptiness; the Buddha’s physical characteristics are innumerable, but even the bodhisattvas of the highest stage cannot see them; b. the Functional Land (jiyudo 事用土): the land with limited dimensions, where bodhisattvas above the First Stage can see this Buddha’s physical glory. 3) the Land of the Buddha of Transformed Body (keshin jodo 化身) – this is divided into two kinds: a) the Everlastingly Manifested Land (jozuike 常随化): the land manifested at all times as the result of the Buddha’s meritorious practices for the sake of others; he manifests himself as an Accommodated Body with thirty-two physical marks of excellence and, after living in the world for a certain period of time, passes into nirvana; b) the Apparitional Land (muni kotsuu 無而忽有): this is a secondary manifestation from the Everlastingly Manifested Land; this can be perceived by bodhisattvas of the lower stages, Hinayana sages and ordinary beings. Chia-ts’ai considered Amida’s Pure Land as containing the three spheres corresponding to the three Buddha-bodies: 1) the Land of the Buddha of Dharma-body (hosshin jodo 法身浄土) – the sphere perceived by the intuitive wisdom of bodhisattvas above the First Stage; 2) the Land of the Buddha of Recompensed Body (hojin jodo 報身浄土) – the sphere perceived by their discriminative wisdom; 3) the Land of the Buddha of Transformed Body (keshin jodo 化身浄土) – the sphere perceived by bodhisattvas below the First Stage, Hinayana sages and ordinary beings. Bodhisattvas like Nagarjuna, upon birth in the Pure Land, can see all three spheres, but ordinary beings born there can see only the Land of the Buddha of Transformed Body.