The Origins of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China

The Origins of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Chanyuan qinggui

Copyright Date: 2002
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  • Book Info
    The Origins of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China
    Book Description:

    The Origins of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China contains the first complete translation of China’s earliest and most influential monastic code. The twelfth-century text Chanyuan qinggui (Rules of Purity for the Chan Monastery) provides a wealth of detail on all aspects of life in public Buddhist monasteries during the Sung (960–1279). Part One consists of Yifa’s overview of the development of monastic regulations in Chinese Buddhist history, a biography of the text’s author, and an analysis of the social and cultural context of premodern Chinese Buddhist monasticism. Of particular importance are the interconnections made between Chan traditions and the dual heritages of Chinese culture and Indian Buddhist Vinaya. Although much of the text’s source material is traced directly to the Vinayas and the works of the Vinaya advocate Daoan (312–385) and the Lü master Daoxuan (596–667), the Chanyuan qinggui includes elements foreign to the original Vinaya texts—elements incorporated from Chinese governmental policies and traditional Chinese etiquette. Following the translator’s overview is a complete translation of the text, extensively annotated.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6380-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Conventions
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xix-xxiv)

    Compiled in 1103 by the Chan Buddhist monk Changlu Zongze (?–1107?),Chanyuan qinggui(Rules of Purity for the Chan Monastery) is regarded as the earliest Chan monastic code in existence. This text is a comprehensive set of rules, written to regulate virtually every aspect of life in the large public monasteries of the era. BeforeChanyuan qinggui, monastic codes were limited and scattered; they did not attempt to establish a definitive code for Chan Buddhism. Any extensive codes that may have existed prior toChanyuan qinggui, including one allegedly compiled by Baizhang (749–814), have been lost.

    In laying...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. xxv-xxx)
  8. Part One: Context
    • 1. Evolution of Monastic Regulations in China
      (pp. 3-52)

      With the introduction of Buddhism into China around the first century C.E., men and women began leaving their familial households (chujia) and taking the tonsure. According to the earliest recorded reference to a monastic, the feudal prince Liu Jun and a woman named Apan, both took the tonsure during the reign of Emperor Ming of the Han dynasty (58–75 C.E.).¹ However, it is believed that the Vinayas²—the Indian Buddhist scriptures containing the formal precepts necessary for ordination—were not available in China at the time. Thus Chinese monks and nuns of this era could not have been formally...

    • 2. Genesis of Chanyuan qinggui: Continuity and Adaptation
      (pp. 53-98)

      Chinese Chan historiographers view the establishment ofqinggui(monastic codes) as a decisive moment in the history of the Chan tradition and the codes themselves as declarations of independence from other Buddhist schools, especially the Lü school. Traditionally, Baizhang Huaihai (749–814) was thought to have initiated this watershed movement by drawing up a set of innovative monastic rules for his own community. Baizhang’s creation of a new monastic code resulted in his being celebrated as a revolutionary and as one of the great patriarchs of Chan, along with Bodhidharma and Huineng. However, modern scholars have recently challenged this portrait,...

  9. Part Two: Text
    • 3. The Author and His Work
      (pp. 101-111)

      Chanyuan qingguiwas compiled during the Northern Song (960–1127) by the Chan monk Changlu Zongze (?–1107?),¹ about whom very little is known for certain. The earliest biography of Zongze is found inJianzhong Jingguo xudeng lu, which, although written during his lifetime, yields few biographical details. All later Chan texts that mention Zongze rely on this first text and offer no new information. Pure Land texts portray Zongze in quite a different light, but they too offer little biographical information. Following the same pattern used in the Chan works, the earliest of the Pure Land texts to mention...

    • 4. Chanyuan qinggui in Translation
      (pp. 112-220)

      Compiled by Zongze, Master Chuanfa Cijue, and Abbot of the Hongji Public Chan Monastery in the Zhending Prefecture.¹

      [3] The following is in regard to Chan monastic precedents. Although in principle two different sets of Vinaya should not exist, there is a particular tradition² in the school of Chan³ that stands apart from the general, common regulations. This tradition holds that for those individuals who enjoy the fruits of Dharma on the way to enlightenment, who are extraordinarily pure and exalted, the general precepts need not apply. But for those monks who have not attained such lofty qualities, neglecting the...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 221-308)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 309-318)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 319-336)
  13. Index
    (pp. 337-346)
  14. Finding List
    (pp. 347-352)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 353-354)