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The Twentieth-Century Lotus Society : the ideology and practice of the Jingzong Xuehui, the Pure Land… Ngai, Mary May Ying 2003

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THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY LOTUS SOCIETY: THE IDEOLOGY AND PRACTICE OF THE JINGZONG XUEHUI, THE PURE LAND LEARNING CENTER, LED BY BUDDHIST MASTER JTNGKONG by MARY MAY YING NGAI B. A., The National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1990 M. A , The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A., 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ASIAN STUDIES We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 2003 © Mary May Ying Ngai, 2003  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or  by  his or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  / U ' ^ C>fW.l£  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  ABSTRACT  It is because of the popularity of Lianshe  3c jjrf, the Lotus Society,  that Pure Land  Buddhism became the most prevalent and influential Buddhist school among ordinary Chinese people.  However, since the downfall of the Qing Empire in 1911, the Chinese  society has experienced drastic social and cultural changes.  To carry on this tradition into  the age of globalization and computerization, a modernized international Lotus Society, the Jingzong xuehui {ching-tsung-hsueh-hui)  0 ^  ® H", the Pure Land Learning Center,  :  emerged to teach people integrated Pure Land teachings and the nianfo ^ the help of updated information technology.  practice with  In order to better understand the underlying  reasons behind the success of these transformations, this pilot study intends to focus on the historical link, Dharma lineage, teaching, scriptural base, and ways of practice of the Learning Center and its leader, Jingkong (1927- ; Ching-k'ung), a Buddhist master who has been teaching Buddhism for more than forty years.  In other words, this thesis interprets the  Learning Center's ideas in terms of the Master's teachings, complemented by the comparison of his teachings with 1) beliefs and ritual traditions of selected Pure Land predecessors and 2) doctrines and principles mentioned in some Mahayana Sutras.  Discussions include histories  of the Lotus Society, the Pure Land Learning Center, and the Buddhist education of Master Jingkong, the connection between the Master's and his predecessors' teachings, and the purpose and significance of three types of recitation methods.  Methodologically speaking,  apart from analyzing literature and contextual materials, this thesis also involves the study of audio and video materials distributed by the Pure Land Learning Center. ii  In conclusion, this  research provides substantial evidence showing how a traditional heritage reforms to cope with the needs of contemporary people, and argue that, by focusing on Master Jingkong as the pivotal figure in this contemporary development, the Master's efforts are similar to those predecessors who enlivened and sustained the traditions of their own times, and that the present teachings and practices are essentially inherited from those of the past, revealing the Learning Center's historical position as a modernized 20 century Lotus Society. th  in  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Diagrams and Tables  vii  List of Figures  viii  Acknowledgements  x  CHAPTER ONE  Introduction  1  CHAPTER TWO  The Origin and Development, and Important Figures of Jingzong xuehui, the Pure Land Learning Center 9  ...  The Lotus Society Mr. L i Bingnan and the Taizhong Buddhist Lotus Society  9 18  ...  Mr. Xia Lianju and the newly compiled Infinite Life Sutra  29  Master Jingkong and the Pure Land Learning Center  36  1. Master Jingkong and Mr. Huang Nianzu  36  2. A Sketch of the Life of Master Jingkong  39  3. Master Jingkong's History of Buddhist Education  46  4. Master Jingkong as a Trainer of Buddhist Lecturers  56  ...  Conclusion  CHAPTER THREE  59 The Relation between the Pure Land Teachings Advocated by Master Jingkong and Other Pure Land Patriarchs 63  . . . Some Basic Knowledge of the Pure Land Teachings . . . The Four Divisions: Faith, Comprehension, Practice and Realization  63 ....  73  . . . Faith  76  . . . Comprehension  87  . . . Practice  101  1. Nianfo  101  2. Other Practices  107  . . . Realization  123  . . . Conclusion  127  iv  C H A P T E R FOUR  T h e Roles o f S o m e M a j o r P u r e L a n d a n d M a h a y a n a Sutras i n F o r m u l a t i n g the D o c t r i n a l S t r u c t u r e o f the P u r e L a n d Teachings  131 ...  Questions Arise about Jingkong's Advocacy  131  ...  The Interrelationships between the Three-Pure Land Sutras  131  . . . The Role of the Amitabha Sutra  :  148  ...  The Role of the Infinite Life Sutra  154  ...  The Role of the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra  171  ...  The Role of the Diamond Sutra  184  . . . The Role of the Chapter on the Perfect Complete Realization of Mahasthama through Buddha Name Recitation ...  187  The Role of the Chapter on the Conduct and Vows of Samantabhadra  ...  191  . . . Answers to Questions about Jingkong's Advocacy C H A P T E R FIVE  194  A Variety o f R e c i t a t i o n M e t h o d s R e c o m m e n d e d by the Pure L a n d Learning Center  for  Its  followers to  Put T h e o r i e s into Practice  204  . . . The Flexibility of the Recitation Method  204  . . . The Daily or Regular Recitation: the Ten Recitation Method  209  1. Jingkong's Essential Ten Recitation Method  209  2. Zunshi's Ten Recitation Method  216  3. Yinguang's Ten Recitation Method  222  4. Wang Rixiu's Ten Recitation Methods  225  . . . The Collective Recitation: the Seven-day Recitation of Buddha's Name  ..  230  1. The Seven-day Time Limit  231  2. Jiacai and the Seven-day Recitation of Amitabha's Name  233  3. The Seven-day Dharma Gathering for the Recitation of the Buddha's Name  236  . . . The Practice in the Hall of Buddha's Name Recitation  277  . . . Conclusion  281  C H A P T E R SIX  Conclusion  Appendix One  288  A Passage about the Six Faiths  Quoted from Z h i x u ' s  Essential  A n n o t a t i o n of the A m i t a b h a S u t r a i n the B u d d h i s t C a n o n  Appendix Two  Appendix Three  ..  C h e c k l i s t for O n e H u n d r e d Faults  296  M a s t e r J i n g k o n g ' s T a l k s on V a r i o u s Topics A c c o r d i n g to a n Internet S o u r c e  Appendix Four  295  300  T h e F o r t y - e i g h t Vows of A m i t a b h a in the Infinite L i f e S u t r a V  (Sanghavarman's Version) and the Two English Translations by Hisao Inagaki and Luis O. Gomez Appendix Five  A Part of the Details on Sanfeng's Chase and Follow Recitation of Buddha's [Name] Method  Appendix Six  312  324  The Six Periods of the Day and Night Recitation of Buddha's 325  [Name] Method Appendix Seven  The Method of Worship  Appendix Eight  The Beginning and Ending Rite for the Recitation of Buddha's [Name] 328  Appendix Nine  326  An Example of Rite for General Practice of Recitation Suggested 332  by Master Yinguang Figures 1-19  335  Bibliography  355  Works in Chinese  355  Works in English  364  Audio-tapes  367  Websites  368  VI  LIST OF DIAGRAMS AND TABLES Diagram  J.  Concepts of and Inter-relationships among the Six Sense, the Six Objective Fields of Sense, and the Six Gunas, Inherent Qualities 69  Table 1.  The Relationship between the Levels of Nianfo Sanmei, the Statuses of Attainment, and the Western Four Land 71  Diagram 2.  The Notion of Triple Mind in the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra and the Dacheng qixin lun (Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra) 105  Table 2.  The Timetable of the Seven-day Dharma Gathering for the Recitation of the Buddha's Name Practiced by the Dallas Buddhist Association, Texas, USA 271-272  Table 3.  The Detailed Timetable of the Seven-day Dharma Gathering for the Recitation of the Buddha's Name Practiced by the Dallas Buddhist Association, Texas, USA 274-276  vu  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.  The entrance of the Donglin Monastery  335  Figure 2.  The Buddhist Materials Distribution Center of the Donglin Monastery 335  Figure 3.  Master Yinguang  336  Figure 4.  Mr. Li Bingnan  337  Figure 5.  Mr. Xia Lianju  338  Figure 6.  Mr. Huang Nianzu  339  Figure 7.  Master Jingkong  340  Figure S.  The banquet on January the 1 , 2001, in which all representatives of ST  nine main religions joined together to pray for the peace of the world 341 Figure 9.  Glimpses at the banquet on January the l , 2001, in which all s l  representatives of nine main religions joined together to pray for the peace of the world 342 Figure 10.  The front door of the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge 343  Figure 11.  The front door of the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge and the Pagoda in honor of the lecturing of the Flower Adornment Sutra 343  Figure 12.  The statue of Amitabha Buddha in the front yard of the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge 344  Figure 13.  The statue of Avalo kites vara with four faces and one thousand hands and eyes on a platform on the third floor of the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge 345  vm  Figure 14 a-b.  One of the two couplets on two of the four pillars of the pavilion where the statue of Avalokitesvara is placed; the couplet indicates the principles advocated by Master Jingkong and the Pure Land Learning Center  a.  The first line of the couplet reads as follows:  a  i I # ¥ f £ f I i i i f a ^g f  The true sincerity, purity, equality, proper understanding, and compassion - all Buddhas teach us to cultivate [our] minds as such 346 b.  The second line of the couplet reads as follows:  mmmT  @ r± m m & m ^  m m. % m  ^m  See through, let go, be carefree, accord with conditions, and be mindful of [Amitabha] Buddha - Bodhisattvas manifest to demonstrate them 347  Figure 15.  Ms. Han Ying  348  Figure 16.  Students of the lecturer training class used computers to help learning 349  Figure 11.  Mr. Li Muyuan (Lee Bock-Guan)  350  Figure 18.  Practice Disciplines for Students of the Pure [Landl School: the booklet for followers of the Pure Land Learning Center 351  Figure 19.  A modem version of the Ledger of Merits and Demerits designed by one of the Learning Centers in Taiwan to provide additional information about the School's encouragement of Confucian values as the basic requirements for those who want both to be respected citizens in society and true Buddhists 352  Figure 20.  Three editions of the liturgical schedule of the Seven-day Dharma Gathering for the Recitation of the Buddha's Name: the Chanting and Reciting Liturgy of the Specialized Pure Land Arena of the Lingyanshan Monastery, the Buddhist Essential Recitation Manual, and the Pure Land Collective Practices Textbook 353  Figure 21.  A joint prayer meeting held by nine main religions in Singapore 354 ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would like to express my grateful thanks to Dr. Daniel L. Overmyer, my supervisor, for his guidance and encouragement in completing this thesis, particularly for his fruitful suggestions and corrections of my translation that lead to many improvements of this work. I am also very grateful to Drs. Donald L. Baker and Nam-lin Hur, my committee members, for their help and suggestions.  I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Master Jingkong whose teachings were the main source of my aspiration for conducting this research.  1 am also very grateful to Dr. Hsing-li  Emily Tsai for her help with outlining the proposal of this thesis and Sheng-yao Chan for his suggestion about the crucial points of the ideology of Master Jingkong.  I am also very grateful to my parents and siblings, Mei Lin, Hung, Bonny, March, Iris, and Sun, for all their long-distance support.  Their support has been great.  I must extend my  deepest gratitude to my husband Yuet Chow for his continual support, patience, understanding, and everything that he has done for me.  X  CHAPTER ONE Introduction  Thanks to the popularity of commonly known as  Bailianhua she, ^ H i l p f t , the White Lotus Society,  Lianshe 3 | f t , the Lotus Society, Pure Land Buddhism, or the Pure Land  School, became the most prevalent and influential Buddhist school among ordinary Chinese people.  1  Since 402, led by the Buddhist master Huiyuan j | | j j | (334-416) on Mount L u JS [_L[  in the province of Jiangxi £T_ f § , for the purpose of obtaining salvation to the Western Pure Land by faith in its presiding Buddha, Amitabha, the gathering of the Lotus Society has long 2  1  The names Lianshe and Bailian she Ezj H§ jjij: (the white Lotus Society) are the shortened forms of the Bailianhua  she, which was named after (1) the white lotus pond in the Donglin Monastery $ #  (see figure 1-2) on Mount  Lu, where lived the first Patriarch of the Pure Land School, Huiyuan | § j a (334-416AD); and, (2) according to the Pure Land scriptures, the lotus flowers into which the Pure Land practitioners are said to be reborn. As for Pure land Buddhism, or the Pure Land School, it is one of the Buddhist schools in China based on the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, the Great Vehicle of Buddhism, "whose followers vow to attain enlightenment for the sake of delivering all other sentient beings from suffering. The spiritual hero of the Mahayana is the Bodhisattva, in whom the virtues of wisdom and compassion are stressed and balanced (Ganna C.C. Chang (Chang, Chen-chi), ed., A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras: Selections from the Maharatnakuta Sutra (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983) 478.)." 2  According to the major scriptures of the Pure Land School, Amitabha, the Buddha of infinite meritorious  qualities, was a monk called Dharmakara (Fazangfifeil). Buddha (Shijianzizaiwangfo lit  |=| £t 3: fl),  After learning the teachings from Lokesvararaja  Dharmakara, who at the time was still a king, decided to become  a monk and carry out practices of Bodhisattva as well as resolved to attain Buddhahood for the salvation of all sentient beings. In front of Lokesvararaja Buddha, he made the solemn vow to create a wonderful world, where reincarnate sentient beings could enjoy happiness and attain Buddhahood effortlessly. In order to fulfill Dharmakara's vow, Lokesvararaja Buddha taught and manifested the magnificence and meritorious virtues of all Buddlias' worlds for lum so that he could model his world on the very best he had seen in the manifestation of 1  been recognized as a model for the Pure Land practitioners of later generations. Even today, the organization, principles and ritual traditions of the Lotus Society can still be found in some modern Asian countries with Chinese inhabitants like Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. These traditions, however, were established at the time of an agrarian society, fitting in with the needs of that way of life. After being influenced by the process of industrialization, and recently by 3  digitalization and globalization, this agrarian culture has been experiencing a series of social changes. In the face of these changes, could these customs remain unchanged? Could there be alternative Buddhist groups for the new generation? Ironically, these are not easy questions for "today's" experts since most scholarly research on Pure Land Buddhism has focused on historical documents and literature, making the school's recent development an untouched area in the field. Because of this tendency, the primary goal of this thesis is to be a starting point for such an exploration of the situation of Pure Land Buddhism today.  other Buddlias' world. After making the decision on the design of his world, Dharmakara then characterized the features of his world by generalizing them in the form of forty-eight specific vows. After thousands years of selfcultivation and bringing salvation to others, Dhannakara was completely enlightened and became Buddha Amitabha; the corresponding resultant Pure Land of his accumulated meritorious virtues was established as a world free of every cause of suffering and prepared with surroundings necessary for the salvation of its residents. Amitabha still presides over it, assisted by Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, the two Bodhisattvas representing the natures of compassion and wisdom respectively. For details, see the three major Pure Land scriptures: the four translations of the Infinite Life Sutra (the Wuliangshou jing  fifs  @; the Larger Sukhavatl-  vyiilia-siitra) in the Taisho shinshii daizokyo -fc TJ£ $f flf? j \ H ill (The Buddhist Canon Published in the Taisho Era; hereafter abbreviated as TT), ed. Takakusu Junjiro and Watanabe Kaikyoku, vol. 12, no. 360: 265c-279a; no. 361: 279b-299c; no. 362: 300a-317c; and no. 363: 318a-326c; the Amitabha Sutra (the Foshuo Amituo jing  fft  M It P£ ;if; the Smaller Sukliavatl-vyfiha-sutra), TT 12, no. 366: 346b-348b; and the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra (the Foshuo guan Wuliangshoufo jing \% Wt H M m. U #1 M\ the Amitayur-dliyana-sutra), TT 12, no. 365: 340c-346b. 3  Erik Zurcher, The Buddhist Conquest of China (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1959) 219. 2  In fact, after the Nationalist government of the Republic of China was driven from mainland China to Taiwan in 1949, the traditions of Chinese Buddhism did not entirely die out 4  4  After 1949, many Buddhist groups transferred their lineage to Taiwan from the Mainland China and, since then,  the development of Chinese Buddhism has taken place mainly in Taiwan. This is a special historical phenomenon and needs a brief explanation here: [the following history is an abstract of information found in the following two books: Chen Lingrong |Sjfl £p H , Rijushicii shendaotongzhixia de taivvan zongjiao zhengce 0 fit Bff Sfj T ffr • Mm %i Wi W. (Taipei: Zili wanbao g i l #6 Ershishiji de zhongrifojiao ~  + tS 15 fJtl  £g |£ S!l  1992) 71-100, 117-131; and Lan Jifu W. a S,  4 B f l ffcfTaipei: Xinwenfeng ff 3t H, 1991) 59-63.] s  Before the Japanese occupation (1895-1945), the result owing to the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki at the end of the 1894 Sino-Japanese War, Buddhist ritual traditions in Taiwan were mainly inherited from the lineage of Yongquan Monaster)' /H ^ =^ on Mount Gu gj£ |_Lj of Fujian M i | for its geographical advantage as the closest province to Taiwan. Such traditions were brought over to Taiwan by the retreat of Zheng Chenggong f | 5 0, It] (1624-1662) during the late Ming era. As for the theory of practice, the Caodong | f /|Wj and Linji |£g $| Sects of Chan School and the Pure Land School were the mainstreams; in other words, most Buddhist groups emphasized the dual practice of Chan and Pure Land. For most ordinary people, the core of their beliefs was the worship of Guanyin fj|J If (Avalokitesvara). However, less than ten of several thousands of monks comprehended the meaning of the sutras they recited daily; the rest of them joined the monkhood simply for food and shelter. During the early period of the Japanese occupation, Japanese Buddhism had almost no influence on Chinese Buddhism and other religions; they served mainly for Japanese who lived in Taiwan. As time went on, Japanese authority gradually announced a series of decrees to either restrict or prohibit many indigenous religious activities. For example, a decree was enforced to confiscate monasteries that were instituted without permission from local administrative authorities. In order to survive, many religious organizations, including Chinese Buddhist groups, asked for the protection from or simply joined Japanese Buddhist groups. At that, time, most Chinese Buddhists joined Japanese Caodong or Linji schools while followers of other religions like Zhaijiao, or Vegetarian Sect Hf ffc, joined the Japanese True Sect, or Shin Sect J l  and Jodo Sect.  On the other hand, after 1926, Shinto ?tf) j j f (the Way of the Gods), the native religion of Japan known for its worship of agrarian and ancestral gods, was promoted alongside with military expansion by Japanese imperialists. In 1934, the Japanese aimounced that each community should establish at least one Shinto temple as an educational center for its community. For this political reason, the influence of Japanese Buddhism on Chinese Buddhism and other religions was far behind than that of Shinto in Taiwan after 1926.  but was forced to migrate to another geographical area across the straits — Taiwan, where, for decades, the Chinese Pure Land School has managed to carry out self-reform to cope with its changing environment; growing out from the base of the long standing Lotus Society, the resulting "new" organization is called Jingzong xuehui (Ching-tsitng-hsueh-hui) 0 T K ip H", ;  the Pure Land Learning Center. It was founded under the guidance of the Buddhist master Jingkong 0 3? (1927- ; Ching-k'ung), who has been teaching Mahayana Buddhism and Pure :  Land doctrines for more than forty years. His years of ceaseless effort in publicizing the teachings of the Pure Land as well as the establishment of the Learning Center has drawn enough attention from Chinese Buddhists all over the world; by their effort, a number of Learning Centers have been successively set up and the number is going up as well. Besides, Jingkong is also noted for his pioneer employment of multi-media and cyber technology in Buddhist teachings as well as his leading of the worldwide free distribution of over three million texts and tapes regarding Pure Land Buddhism. Recently, the Master has focused on  In general, Japanese Buddhism carried out similar religious activities as other Chinese religions did such as preaching, blessing, funerary' services, and public charity (set up hospitals, schools, orphanage, etc.). The sources of their income were financial support from their "original mountains (head monasteries; bcnshan  $ |J_|)"  in Japan,  followers' donations, and salaries from their own assets and ritual ceremonies. However, subsidies from "head monasteries" were cancelled because of Japanese involvement in the Second World War. Chinese Buddhist traditions finally regained their influences on Buddhist groups in Taiwan around 1949 after the Chinese Communist Party defeated the National People's Party in the civil war fighting for the dominion over mainland China. Thus, since 1949, many Buddhist groups of different Schools went to Taiwan along with the retreat of the Nationalist government of the Republic of China. Almost all.these Buddhist groups took over existing Buddhist monasteries in Taiwan, and reestablished and reformed their administrative system and ritual ceremony. By so doing, Buddhist traditions from the Southeast Buddliist lineage as well as traces of influence of Japanese Buddhism were both uprooted and taken over by Chinese Buddhist groups from the lineage of North China.  the training of Buddhist lecturers; most of his students are from China, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States. Theoretically, the aim of setting up the Pure Land Learning Center was more or less the same as the traditional Lotus Society, which was to teach people integrated Pure Land teachings and the riianfo  {«$ practice. However, questions come up at once: could the  application of current technologies and the worldwide expansion tackle the problem entirely? What would be the real force behind these rapidly developed Learning Centers among Chinese communities all over the world? How does this new generation of Pure Land practitioners interpret Buddhist culture? What is the role played by Master Jingkong behind the "reforms"? How shall we evaluate the Pure Land Learning Center historically? Certainly, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth study of the principles and ideologies advocated by the Pure Land Learning Center in order to explore these questions and attempt to provide satisfactory explanations. At this point, since Master Jingkong is the controlling figure of the Learning Centers, the main objective of this research will be a more complete and systematic study of his advocacy. The structures and the patterns of administration of these organizations will also be discussed to some extent. Other concerns, like the historical position of the Pure Land Learning Center, and its connection to the Lotus Society, as well as the seven-day collective practice of Foqi fahui {<$ -b' Sc 'H" (the Seven [Days] Nianfo Dharma Gathering), will also be discussed to help illustrate a clearer picture of the society and its beliefs. Therefore, as a whole, this thesis will interpret the Learning Center's ideas in terms of the Master's teachings, complemented by the comparison of his teachings with 1) beliefs and ritual traditions of selected Pure Land patriarchs of the past and 2) doctrines and principles mentioned in several major Mahayana Sutras. Methodologically speaking, apart from  analyzing literature and contextual materials, this thesis also involves the study of audio and video materials distributed by the Pure Land Learning Center. In the following chapter, 1 will first present a summary of the founding and development of the Lotus Society and the Pure Land Learning Center, then, a brief history of the Buddhist education of Master Jingkong, with an emphasis on his relationships with some distinguished contemporary Buddhist figures such as Professor Fang Dongmei ~Jj j|C =1< (18991977), Master Zhangjia IpC Hf (1891 -1957; Ye-ses rdo-rje or Sans-rgyas-skyabs Lean Lcan-skya  in Tibetan), Mr. Li Bingnan ^  ;  J^j \%  in Mongolian;  (1888-1986) and Mr. Huang Nianzu ] l r  ^ ilfi (1913-1992). This discussion will provide a basis for understanding the lineage of the Pure Land traditions and teachings behind the Pure Land Learning Center and Master Jingkong.  5  The third chapter will adopt a historical approach and intends to examine the connection between the notions and rituals advocated by Master Jingkong and those of pervious Pure Land patriarchs and advocates. Five of them have been selected for the discussion; they are Shandao | f 2J| (613-681) and Chengguan @ | g (738-839; zi Daxiu hao Qingliang / f ffi) of the Tang (618-907), Zhuhong |fc y£ (1535-1615, zi Fohui ffi H , hao Lianchi M '/t!i) and Zhixu ^ j § (1599-1655, zi Ouyi M j&, hao Lingfeng M lift) of the Ming (1368-1644), and Shengliang §? ft (1860-1940, zi Yinguang £P 7^, hao Changcankuiseng % Iff 'Kl fa) of the Qing (1644-191 1). This chapter will propose that the present teachings and  ^ Parts of the content in this chapter about the founding and development of the Lotus Society and the Pure Land Learning Center as well as the biography of Li Bingnan are based on the author's article published in Illumine. See May Ying Mary Ngai, "The Origins of the Jingzong xuehui #  ^ ®  or the Pure Land Learning Center,"  Illumine: The Journal of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society Graduate Student Association vol. 1, no. 1 (2001-02) 12-25. 6  practices are essentially inherited from those of the past, revealing the Learning Center's historical position as a modernized 2 0 century form of the Lotus Society. th  Having discussed the proposed historical lineage, the fourth chapter will explore the Learning Center's integrated Pure Land doctrines by studying the Master's lectures on Pure Land Sutras and a variety of Mahayana Sutras on which other Chinese Buddhist schools were founded. Major discussions will focus on the Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing  ift 7^ 51 ffi m W H± M fit 7f ^ ^ ft S (The Buddha Speaks  of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School; the compiled version of Wuliangshou jing ffi Ji #| sOtra, or the Infinite Life Sutra), the Foshuo amituo jing {<$  the Larger Sukhavaff-vyuhaM M Pt3 $2 (the Smaller  SukhavatT-vyuha-sutra; the Amitabha Sutra), the Foshuo guan wuliangshoufo jing {5$ 5$; fH ffi H  |$ j&_ (the Amitayur-dhyana-sutra; the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra),  the Puxianpusa xingyuanpin If R II Pi ?T US nn (the Chapter on Conduct and Vows of Samantabhadra; a chapter of the Avatamsaka-sutra), and the Dashizhipusa nianfo yuantongzhang ^  -g U PM it-. \% 111 M m- (the Chapter on the Perfect Complete  Realization of Mahasthama through Buddha Name Recitation; a chapter of the SurangamasOtra X B TI ill 5fc  H (If It 7 m If ^ PI M fT M $ 5 M ® , for they have been studied  and recited by Pure Land practitioners for centuries. Other Mahayana sutras, like the Dafangguang fo huayan jing j\ ~Jj  JJif \% lp ft  (the Avatamsaka-sOtra; the Flower  Adornment Sutra), the Miaofa lianhua jingtypj J i f  (the Saddharmapundarika-sutra; the  Lotus Sutra), and the Jingang bore boluomi jing ^ |SjlJ jig 3g yj£ H H; $g (the Vajracchedikaprajfiaparamita-sutra; the Diamond Sutra), will be quoted to clarify and elaborate some significance of the discussions and the intimate connections between these Sutras and Pure  Land teachings. In addition, the roles played by these Sutras in determining the types and styles of Pure Land practices will also be discussed. On the basis of the study on the teachings of the Learning Center, the fifth chapter will describe three types of recitation methods it advocated and investigate their purpose, significance, and meaning for the organization and its members. This chapter will show how the ideas and principles are implemented through the practice of the rituals. ln the concluding chapter, according to the outcomes of previous chapters, I will place the Pure Land Learning Center in the socio-historical context of the development of Pure Land Buddhism, and point out that, in terms of Pure Land traditions, the Center indeed plays an important role in inheriting the past and ushering in the future. Besides, by focusing on the life and teachings of Master Jingkong as the pivotal figure in this contemporary development, this chapter will argue that, the efforts that have been made by the Master are similar to those earlier patriarchs who either enlivened or sustained the traditions of their own times. Thus, this research will provide substantial evidence showing how a traditional heritage reforms to cope with the needs of contemporary people.  8  CHAPTER TWO The Origin and Development, and Important Figures of Jingzong xuehui, the Pure Land Learning Center  The Lotus Society The term Lianshe, or the Lotus Society, has long been recognized by Chinese Buddhists as an alternative name for Pure Land Buddhism. Originally, this term referred to a group of one hundred and twenty-three nitwfo ^ i% practitioners, both monks and lay Buddhists, led b  by the Buddhist master Huiyuan (334-416) on Mount Lu. The group is known for their gathering in 402 in the Donglin Monastery Mffi^f  where they practiced and observed  teachings of Pure Land Buddhism and made a vow in front of an image of Amitabha Buddha in the hopes of being reborn in the Western Pure Land. Members of this fellowship were all believed to have successfully attained the rebirth, which has become the most ideal or symbolic achievement for successors of later generations who resolve to organize activities and associations of this kind. Huiyuan has been reputed as the first patriarch of the Pure Land School for his role in organizing the society as well as specifying the nianfo practice.  7  Nianfo is a term of wide comprehension in terms of Buddhist practice. For the Pure Land School, in general, the term nianfo  is a complex expression of four different types of Buddhist practices. Since the recitation of  Amitabha's name became the most common Pure Land practice among ordinary people by the effort of the Lotus Society, the term nianfo  was mistakenly simplified to specifically refer to the recitation method. Thus, to avoid  any inappropriate generalization or misinterpretation of the term, this thesis uses the pinyin  form, a system of  romanizing Chinese ideograms, all along. Chapterfiveof this thesis has a more detailed discussion of it. 7  A) Regarding the earliest record of the founding of a school for the Pure Land Buddhism, there are two views.  One claim that a Pure Land School did exist during the early period of Ihe Tang dynasty (618-907) is supported by 9  a source written by a Korean named Wonhyo (617-686) while the other one deems that a Pure Land school was not formed until the Song dynasty (960-1280). The former view is still used by David Chappell in his article in The Pure Land Tradition (David W. Chappell, "The Formation of the Pure Land Movement in China: Tao-Ch'o and Shan-Tao," pp. 139-171, The Pure Land Tradition: History and Development, ed. James Foard, Michael Solomom and Richard K. Payne (Berkeley, California: Regents of the University of California, 1996) 140, 167.). The proof he used to support liis claim is a Chinese plirase yizong — ^ (a school). However, Tang Yongtong quotes lots of evidence from historical documents to expound the changing of the meaning of tins plirase corresponding to the historical changes and development of Buddhist activities at the time. According to his penetrating analysis on the issue of the forming of Chinese Buddhist schools, tang points out that, before the Song, the Chinese character zong ^ has at least two meanings in terms of Buddhist terminology, which are "discourse" and "'school." He explains that, before the sixth century, a person's argument on a theory or an exegesis of a Sutra can also be called zong. Thus, at the time when Wonhyo used the phrase yizong,  he could mean either "a  discourse," or "a school." To further verify Wonhyo's meaning, Tang turns to the history of the forming of Chinese Buddhist schools. According to him, only after the early Sui dynasty (581-618) did the character include the meaning of a school or sect. Before the Sui, Buddhist teachers were called jingshi of sutras) or  lunshi  zong  | 1 grfj (the teacher  | ^ gfp (the teacher of Buddhist treatises). They usually interpreted Sutras and Buddhism  according to their own understandings. Those who wanted to learn the theories or teachings developed by these teachers could, traveling from place to place, freely attend their lectures; there was no record of any existence of a teacher-student organization (a school) exists yel. Until the beginning of the Sui, an official position called zhongzhu  ^  j £ (the leader of the mass), deemed as the precursor of the forming of a school, was founded by the  Emperor Wen with the purpose to operate a better-organized system for the teaching of Buddhism. Later, organizations named jiao  or sect like Sanjiejiao  (Three Stages Sect) arose, each of them advocating its  Ei.  own theories or exegeses on Sutras, so that, probably, before long, the word meaning ofjiao.  zong  started to be equated with the  Accordingly, the plirase used by Wonhyo most likely just referred to the meaning of "discourse;"  that is, the discourse or teachings on the Pure Land(s). This conclusion can also be supported by the fact that teachings on different Pure Lands aside from that of Amitabha were very popular at Wonhyo's time in China. Hence, the argument about the meaning of the phrase as "a school" seems to be too weak to predate the existence of the Pure Land School. Therefore, this thesis adopts Tang's view on the founding period of the Pure Land School, not only for its higher degree of reliability but also for its being widely accepted by scholars of the field. For details, see Tang Yongtong, "Lun zhongguo fojiao wu shizong [On the Issue that There Is No So-called Ten  10  However, neither Huiyuan's writings nor those of his contemporaries made reference to the name of the Lotus Society. The earliest record of an associated theme, shiba gaoxian - f - A iHj  Schools in Chinese Buddhism]," Zhongguo fojiao de tezhi yu zongpai, ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenlnia chubanshe, 1978) 221-226. B) It is said that, before the publication of Lebang wenlei ^ £[? 5t St (Various Writings on the Land of Bliss) by a Tiantai monk, Zongxiao ^ BH (1151-1214), of the Song dynasty in 1200, there was no record of a patriarchal tradition for the Pure Land School. Zongxiao named Huiyuan as the first patriarch of the school and five other masters as successive patriarchs, they were Shandao # 2^ (613-681), Fazhao £fe SS (d. 772), Shaokang 'i> Ijf (d. 805), Shengchang i i ?S (959-1020, zi Zaowei 3a W), and Zongze  M (A- 1086). More new patriarchs were  added to the lineage by Zhipan ^> H (1220-1275) of the Song in his Fozu tongji \% M Lineage of the Buddhas and Patriarchs, 1269), Daiyou  fjfcft£(Record of the  (1334-1407) of the Yuan-Ming era in his Zhiguiji fg  If Jg (Collected Writing of Pointing the Way to Return), and Wukai fg- III (d. 1830) of the Qing in his Lianzong zhengzlnian M m IE fil (Orthodox Biograplues of the Lotus Sect, 1821-1830). By the late Qing, eleven patriarchs were on the list: Huiyuan, Shandao, Chengyuan y^. 3a (712-802), Fazhao, Shaokang, Yanshou (904-975, zi Chongyuan 1615, zi Fohui #$  TC [or Chongxuan fcb  H, hao Lianchi M  Ift IsL, and Mengdong #  ;  hao Yongming jic. ®M), Shengchang, Zhuhong $c  Zliixu  H g (1686-1734, zi Siqi ,f, Jf, hao Shengan | | ) . Later. Xingce  w& (1535-  j@ (1599-1655, zi Ouyi M SE, hao Lingfeng H lilt), Shixian  HE), and Jixing |gg H (1741-1810, zi Chewu ffi fg, hao Natang  fr  (1628-1682,  zi Jieliu Hfetffc)was inserted into the list as the 10  patriarch by Shengliang | g J | (1860-1940, zi Yinguang ffl jft,.hao Changcankuiseng % % \% f§), who himself was elected as the 13 ' patriarch shortly after his death in 1940. See Taixu, "Zhongguo jingtuzong zhi yanbian," |J  Jingttizong shihm, ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1979) 157-8. Y u Chun-fang, The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981) 36-37. Liang Yongkang, "Lianzong shisanzu chongxing jiayanlu," pp. 351-367, Jingtuzong shihm, ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1979) 365-366. Gao Yongxiao, "Jingtuzong," pp. 361-382, Zhongguo fojiao de tezhi vu zongpai. ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1978) 364. David W. Chappell, "The Formation of the Pure Land Movement in China: Tao-ch'o and Shan-Tao," pp. 139-171, The Pure Land Tradition: History and Development, ed. James Foard, Michael Solomom and Richard K. Payne (Berkeley, California: Regents of the University of California, 1996) 141-142. 11  l  U (the Eighteen Sages), only appeared at the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907), as seen in the poems by the well-known Buddhist poet Bo Juyi Erj JH - H (772-846).  9  Nevertheless, some documents suggest that the association of organizations of she  jjff  and hui H" with Buddhist activities was already formed long before Tang in the sixth century. The argument is supported by the quotation from the Jieshe faji wen  # p jjtL  Forming a Society to Gather Dharma) by the Song monk Zanning j f  US  3t (Essay on  (919-1001).  According to this essay, during the reign of Emperor Wenxuan jvC W EE (r. 550-559) of the Northern Qi dynasty (550-577), the Emperor had called at least once for a gathering of both monks and laymen to carry out Buddhist practices together; yet this event appears to be merely an occasional incident at the time.  10  In fact, based on existing primary sources and recent  researches, it is only in the Song dynasty (960-1279) that, by the effort of master Shengchang, the organization of she or hui came into vogue and the activity ofjieshe riianfo  f i ^ \%  (forming a society to practice [methods of] riianfo) became popular outside monasteries among lay Buddhists of different classes." However, back in the Tang dynasty, most organizations which concentrated on the practice of riianfo and advocated the teachings of Pure Land  The Eighteen Sages refers to the eighteen most prominent members out of the total of one hundred and twenty-  8  tluee gathered on Motuit Lu. See Tang Yongtong, Han wei liangjin nanbeichao fojiao shi (Taipei: Luotuo chubanshe, 1987) 366-67, and Tsai  9  Hsing-li, Chen Hung-shou's Elegant Gathering: A Late-Ming Pictorial Manifesto of Pure Land Buddhism, Ph.D., diss. (Kansas: The University of Kansas, 1997) 109-110. On master Huiyuan, see Chen Shunyu, Lushan ji, TT 51: 1025-1051, and Erik Zurcher, The Buddhist Conquest of China (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1959). 10  * 1  The primary text is written as  ^ H  ° 3 ft ® fx W ft fife ° ft Wfi  tt ill • ---MiX iii  » Jfc WL ft # m & # *± -tfcL • " Details see TT 47: 177b.  ' L i Xiaoben, "Zhongguo jingluzong shi." Jingtuzong sliilun, ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua  chubanshe, 1979) 108. 12  Buddhism were either monasteries or monastically operated; they were more frequently called Daochang jjf J|g, Arenas of the Way.  12  As noted in the Jingtu shengxian lu ^ dl  M ^ (Record of Sages and Worthies of  the Pure Land), a huge, detailed chronicle of the biographies of those who were believed to be successfully reborn into the Pure Land of Amitabha, under the guidance of Shengchang ^ ^ (959-1020, zi Zaowei  $&), the seventh patriarch of the Pure Land School, a Jingxingshe 0 ;  fj f i (the Pure Behavior Society), modeled after the Lotus Society, was founded in Zhejiang 13  This fact can be reflected in the Jingtu shengxian hi. According to tins source, most titles of those monasteries  i :  associated with Pure Land Buddhism or Nianfodaochang &  jj|  nianfo  practice are called Daochang j'|f ±§. For examples, the  (the Nianfo Arena of the Way) under the entry of Qihan ^ IjsfJ (p. 97), the  Wuhuinianfodaochang 3£ % ^ \% j'ji  (the Five Assemblies of Nianfo Arena of the Way) under the entry of  Fazhao ffi BS (p. 100), and the Xifangdaochang gg ~fj jW ij| (the Western Direction Arena of the Way) under the entry of Wei Wenjin l|S 3t # (P- 261). Regarding the title of she, nXifangshe fj§ ~fj jfrj; (tlie Western Direction Society) can be found under the entry of Shenhao ffl H§ (p.71). See Peng Jiqing, ed., Jingtu shengxian lu (Taizhong: Taizhong lianshe, reprint 1992) 71, 97, 100, and 261. The tendency of the use of the term daochang was most likely related to Emperor Yang fM ^ (r. 604-618) of the Sui dynasty (581-618), who once issued a decree to rename the term fosi  to daochang, a term that was recognized at that time as one of the ten tenns  referring to Buddhist monasteries. For details, see Tang Yongtong, Sui Tang fojiao shi gao pff JU $f>  5£ Wi [A  Draft of the History of Buddhism in the Sui and Tang] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982) 6 and 59. And according to Daniel B. Stevenson's article, daochang "is a Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word bodhimanda, which specifically means the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment.' By extension, it has also come to refer to any site where the Buddha (or the enlightenment that is the Buddha's essence) is ritually invoked, sought, or found." See Daniel Stevenson, "Pure Land Buddhist. Worship and Meditation in China," pp. 359-379, Buddhism in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (New Jersey: Princeton University, 1995) 363-364. ' Originally, the term Lotus Society specifically means the organization founded in 402 on Mount Lu; however, 3  as the teachings and practices of the Pure Land were widely spread, it was conceptualized to refer to the activities of forming a society to practice the method of nianfo as a means to obtain salvation. Thus, societies bear different titles but carry out the above mentioned activities can be generally called the Lotus Societies.  #/f tL~ during the Chunhua  era (990-994).  14  In order to honor Huiyuan and his fellowship  as well as to indicate their goal of attaining the rebirth together, a total of one hundred and twenty-three aristocrats and prominent government officials vowed to concentrate on the Pure Land practice.  15  14  This event was so successful that a thousand monks also joined the society.  Peng Jiqing, ed., Jingtu shengxian lu (Taizhong: Taizhong lianshe, 1783, reprint 1992) 115. Other examples of  similar activities in the Song dynasty can be found in the same book and the issue ofjieshe nianfo is briefly discussed in L i Xiaoben's article, in which L i mentions that: in 996, a society of monks and lay Buddhists was organized by Zunshi M yK (963-1032) of Siming 123 B£j; in 1015, a Nianfoshijiehui  & f$ Jfg $c # (the Nianfo and  Precept Giving Society) was started by Zhili £[| jjjfl (960-1028) of Siming; in 1017, a Bai lianshe g M jf± (the White Lotus Society) on Mount Dongye H Jf§ |J_J was founded by Benm $ $0 (981-1050), the prime minister, and other Buddhists; after the Yuanfeng ft W era (1078-1088), a Jingyeshe ffi | g f± (the Pure Kanna society) was established by Lingzhao S P§, who led the seven-day nianfo practice of twenty thousands practitioners every spring; a Jingtuhui yf? ± #" (the Pure Land Society) of hundred thousands monks and lay Buddhists was set up by Jingyan /f | f (1639-1702) and the prime minister Wen Yanbo St & tf (1006-1097); and in 1089, a Lianhuashenghui  M Tt  # (the Lotus Magnificent Society) by Zongze ^ [if (fl. 1086AD). A l l of these  activities look place in the vicinity of Jiangzhe area and some of such gatherings even involved tens of thousand people. See L i Xiaoben, "Zhongguo jingtuzong shi," Jingtuzong shihm. ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1979) 108-9. 15  There is another version referring to the number of lay member who joined the Society. In Y u Chun-fang's The  Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), on page 44, she mentioned that under Shengchang's leadership, "a Pure Land association called the Pure Behavior Society (Ching-hsing she) was organized. Il had eighty lay believers, among them literati, members of the Hanlin Academy, and high government officials. Its membership also included a thousand monks." This saying is based on an article Lianshe jizu wudai fashi zhuan Ijg jf± H8 |S 5  BijJ fH Records of the Five  Great Dharma Teachers as Successive Patriarchs of the Lotus Society) collected by Zongxiao in the third volume of the Lebang wenlei ^ £|5 St  x  (TT 47:193bc), and the sentences in question are written as "E3 H" % grp # °  nit + • mfim m m HSm t% °MB Wm • m w ft tt • SEst JE & a m a w •... ± *  £ • i f ffi m ft fli± -T- ° /|i± £ A + tb fx - T A & • M ill II z> • fF m ft M15 # M ft W" 7  ~M.(friends of  According to this original text, il is very clear that Yu Chun-fang inislook the number of sheyou ft 14  Undoubtedly, it was such a grand-scale congregation that people took delight in talking about it. the Society), for shifu ± ^(literati), whose title was, instead,  calledjingxingshe diziffiff ft ^ ^(students, or  disciples, of the Pure Behavior Society). This can be further supported by the inscription regarding master Shengchang and the Revered Yuan mentioned in the same passage  lianshe on a tablet by the  (M ill Ml i> ° ff SffJ f? H 15 7^ M ft W)- The full title of this  inscription is Oiantang bailianshezhu bei H Jf| E=3 M /ft i  W- (Tablet of the White Lotus Master of Qiantang),  which is also collected in the same volume of the Lebang wenlei (TT 47:183c). The full name of the author die Revered Yuan H : £ is Zhiyuan § H (976-1022) of Mount Gu M. ill- He was contemporary with Shengchang. According to his own account, he was invited to write the inscription in the winter of the same year that Shengchang had passed away in the spring. The beginning of the inscription is written as " H 5f? ^ /fjf EH £f  - °mm+ m  21 ^ mm  •...  n  % nAZ ±m  .«eiii11•J-Umw • •  B# «  s  ma m  •£ M  m&m#ma«t*  mm •*  •s  •s  M  • nt ^  °mmmm £ • t i e m z is # • J I - w  K I & z m r n v t z  " m % m mmm - = - i - g* ^ . m m $ z fe m '^M&mfflZ®£ffite&lli% >M Wi l l ^  M *p M  — + = A • JC- it f&  nm  §  • " From the massage  here, it is very clear that the number of literati who joined the Society was one hundred and twenty-three (Ji E=J 31 ZitOi^i ° FL — Hf — ~\~ EL A ) instead of eighty. Since Zhiyuan was contemporary with Shengchang, and the inscription was written only months after the death of the Master, his information is certainly more reliable. Therefore, imdoubtedly, the number of eighty is actually referred to the group of "friends of the Society," whose identifications are definitely neither "literati" nor "members of the Hanlin Academy" or "high government officials," but simply are unknown. The reason why the number of "one hundred and twenty-three" needs to be confirmed here is that this number bears a symbolic meaning to every Pure Land practitioner. The successful practice of  nianfo among the group led  by master Huiyuan on Mount Lu has become a symbol of being successfully reborn into the Pure Land under the leadership of the Lotus Society. Such idea can also be supported by the above inscription. The last sentences quoted above reveal thai master Shengchang's Pure Behavior Society and the gathering of the group of one hundred and twenty-three literati were compared with the Lotus Society on Mount Lu by his contemporaries. Similarly, nowadays, master Jingkong of the Pure Land Learning Center adopts the same idea to the common practice of nianfo that the number of people allowed to join the practice is limited to hundred and twenty-three. He has repeatedly mentioned the importance of this symbolic meaning for those who want to follow the tradition and lineage of the group on Mount Lu. This will be further discussed in Chapter Five. 15  The immediate result was the widespread of the movement of jieshe nianfo among society (shenjin minjian  ^  '/J?  [Uj),  1 6  which was particularly welcomed by the elite and largely  popularized in the Jiangsu / X Wft and Zhejiang provinces as well as their surrounding areas in the southern China.  17  Certainly, the gathering of the Pure Behavior Society gives a general  picture of the trend of such activity at the time. Like most advocates of Pure Land Buddhism, Shengchang's motivation behind the forming of the society was mainly out of "the admiration of the custom of Mount Lu (mu Lushan zhi feng ^ JU |_L|  ill)"'  8  This fact indicates that the advocacy of the nianfo practice  and the assembly on Mount Lu were significant enough to uphold the traditions of the society and pass them down to the later generations. Huiyuan and the customs of Mount Lu have undoubtedly become symbolic elements of the leadership of the School. Hence, all succeeding patriarchs and advocates never hesitated about carrying on such advocacy and traditions and regarded the society as an effective tool in promoting Buddhist teachings among people, notwithstanding that they had made their respective contributions to the ritual, principle, and nianfo practice of Pure Land Buddhism in their period, like the revival of the trend of releasing living creatures by Zhuhong during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  19  Such  persistence is even more perceptible in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). For instances, the tenth and eleventh Pure Land patriarchs, Xingce fy ^ (1628-1682, zi Jieliu H£ #f[) and Shixian JST H (1686-1734, zi Siqi Jg 0, hao Shengan ^ jfjj), in 1670 and 1729 respectively, began the 7  16  L i Xiaoben, "Zhongguo jingtuzong shi," Jingtuzong shilun. ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua  chubanshe, 1979) 108. 17  L i Xiaoben, "Zhongguo jingtuzong shi," Jingtuzong shilun, ed. Zhang Mantao (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua  chubanshe. 1979) 108. 18  Peng Jiqing, ed.. Jingtu shengxian lu (Taizhong: Taizhong lianshe, reprint 1992) 93.  19  Shoucheng, ed., Lidai jingtu gaoseng xuanji (Taipei: Fotuo jiaoyu jijinhui, 1992) 20. 16  advocacy of the Lotus Society among people after years of wars and disorders between the downfall of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and the establishment of the Qing.  20  Besides, since  1800, under the influence of Jixing |!g H (1741-1810, zi Chewu ft fn, hao Natang fft  and  Mengdong ^ j^l), the twelfth patriarch, the Zifu Monastery Hf ^§ # on Mount Hongluo ffC $M LL| in Beijing became the biggest daochang specialized in Pure Land practice in China, where 21  Shengliang I g H (1860-1940, zi Yinguang EP ^t, hao Changcankuiseng % '|fjf \% ftf; see figure 3), the later thirteenth patriarch, had spent five years practicing austerities and nianfo  22  Likewise, under the guidance of Yinguang, the Lingyanshan Monastery ft JJET LL[ T F of Suzhou $^ 'Jf| in the province of Jiangsu became another famous daochang specialized in nianfo practice after 1937, and because of his great influence the Lotus Society soon prospered throughout China.  23  Yinguang's advocacy and teachings had been observed and developed by his disciples. Among them, the most influential one for the contemporary development of Pure Land Buddhism is Li Bingnan 2^.  jff (1888-1986; see figure 4), who fled with the army and  officials of the Nationalist government of the Republic of China to Taiwan in 1949, where he established the first Lotus Society in the Taizhong  2  (Taichung) area in 1951. His effort 24  " Shoucheng, ed., Lidai jingtu gaoseng xuanji (Taipei: Fotuo jiaoyu jijinhui, 1992) 24, 26.  21  Yanxing ?ff t £ and Xinzhong $f M, ed., Lianzong shisanzu zluianlue (Taiwan: Sanbao dizi, 1997) 93.  2 2  Yanxing and Xinzhong, ed., Lianzong shisanzu zluianlue (Taiwan: Sanbao dizi, 1997) 98.  2 3  Yuanche HI Wi, "Lianzong sliisanzu zhuan zhongyin liutong xu 36 ^ -(- EL ipS fH S £P  3® Ff- (Preface on  the Reprint and Spread of the Biographies of the Thirteen Patriarchs of the Pure Land School)," pp. 1-4, Lianzong shisanzu zluianlue, ed. Yanxing and Xinzhong (Taiwan: Sanbao dizi, 1997) 3. 2 4  Li Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fqjiao lianshe, 1996) 17 and 411. 17  and ability in preaching and organizing allowed him to carry on Yinguang's tradition. It is on this foundation that the advocate of the modernized Pure Land Learning Center was fostered.  Mr. Li Bingnan and the Taizhong Buddhist Lotus Society Li Bingnan was an important lay figure in his succession to the Pure Land teachings popularized by Yinguang in China as well as in his diligent promotion of Pure Land Buddhism in Taiwan,  where he was noted for spreading the Pure Land doctrines and ways of practice.  Even after his death in 1986, his thirty-eight years of ceaseless teaching and writing still have  2 5  Most information concerning Mr. Li Bingnan is based on the Chinese source Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji § H[ ^§  A i f i ^  M (Selected Works of the Old Xuelu on the Pure Land), with a few references quoted from Charles  Brewer Jones's Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State. 1660-1990 (1999). However, some of their records are not consistent, a few facts recorded in Buddhism in Taiwan are different from the others. Since Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji was written two months within the death of L i , I choose to follow it wherever a contradiction occurs. Examples of differences can be seen in Jones' book: on p. 122, he writes that before L i undertook a strict vegetarian diet, he "had been a revolutionary famous for his seemingly endless capacity for alcohol and meat;" however, no such description of "seemingly endless capacity for alcohol and meat" is found in his Chinese biography and autobiographical articles. In addition, Jones mentions that L i "began corresponding with the master, and within a year he journeyed to Shanghai to take the Tliree Refuges under lum." Here, according to the Chinese source, L i took the Tliree Refuges under Yinguang through correspondence by the recommendation of a disciple of the Master; L i began corresponding with Yinguang only after, not before, the Tliree Refuges rite. On the same page. Jones writes thai: " His reputation spread, and in 1931 he received an invitation to go to Nanjing to assume the directorship of the 'Agency for Making Offering to the Past Masters Who Achieved Sagehood of the Republic of China'...," while, according to the Chinese source, L i received the invitation not simply because of his reputation but of his previous performance in the editorial task as well as the recommendation by the editor-inchief. Besides, L i was not the director of the Office. On p. 123, Jones includes the "Lingshan Temple" as one of the Buddhist "enterprises" founded by L i , but, according to a Chinese source (Xingfan, Wangsheng jingtu zhuan jiyou (Gaoxiong: Gaoxiong wenshu jiangtang, 1997) 280-281), it was established by a local Buddhist nun Deqin |fi t£ (1888-1971) in 1938, eleven years before L i ' s arrival in Taizhong. 18  considerable influences on contemporary elite and people of different social classes.  Above  all, in terms of Buddhist practice, his efforts sustained the tradition ofjieshe nianfo, through which the tradition of the Lotus Society was popularized to the rest of the island from the Taizhong area and the practice of reciting Amitabha's name has became the major form of 27  practice in Taiwan to this day.  Under the guidance of L i , Jingkong successfully built up the  solid foundation and capabilities for his future achievements in both teaching and leadership; in order to thoroughly understand Jingkong as a successor to the Dharma lineage from Yinguang through Li and as a reformer who emphasizes on the modernization of the ancient form Lotus Society, a study on Li's philosophy and accomplishment is of the utmost importance. L i Bingnan was a native of Jinan #lf j % Shandong LL! M. of China, the home province of Confucius. His parents named him as L i Yen H (zi ^ Bingnan, hao § ^ Xuelu If Dharma name Deming  ^  iH,  ®M) but he is best known as L i Bingnan. Like many children  of educated families, he studied Confucian classics in a traditional Chinese education system. At the young age of twenty-three (1912), he was elected as the first president of an educational institution organized by various academic groups in Jinan; his diligence in popularizing education was soon recognized and publicly praised by the Shandong provincial government. From 1920 onwards, he worked for the Judiciary until 1934. From 1934 to 1937, his literary competence earned him a respectful government position as one of the editors engaging in recomposing and reediting the county annuals of Jinan. Upon finishing the editorial work, in 1937, by the recommendation of the editor in chief, he was immediately appointed to work for  2 b  Charles Brewer Jones, Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State. 1660-1990 (Honolulu, Hawaii: University  of Hawaii Press, 1999) 124. 2 7  Charles Brewer Jones, Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State. 1660-1990 (Honolulu, Hawaii: University  of Hawaii Press, 1999) 115. 19  the Dacheng zhisheng xianshi fengji guanfu j\  bj£  3£  H  gfj] Ifs jjE HT jflt (The Office of  Sacrifices to the Greatly Accomplished Supreme Prior Teacher), a government office in charge of offerings to Confucius and other related matters. He was soon promoted to the position of Secretary in Chief of the Office. In 1949, in his 60's, along with the Office and the government, he left China for Taiwan, where he continued to hold the same post until his resignation.  28  He married twice; after the death of his first wife Zhang Defu "jS Zhao Defang j £ § {% ^. However, his wife, his son Junlong  fj|, he married  f| and two granddaughters  were not able to leave for Taiwan in time and remained in China all along. He remained single in Taiwan and lived in a small house alone in an austere way. He retained his health and vigor •  29  well into old age and refused being taken care of by his students until he was ninety-five. Li has been recognized as an energetic man of versatile talents. Other than his knowledge of Confucianism and poem writing, he also mastered Chinese medicine and sword playing. When he was in Taizhong, people noticed that he worked in The Office of Sacrifices by day and taught Confucianism and Buddhism in various daochang at night. Other than these tasks, he also lectured on the Lunyu IRJJ a§ (Analects) and Sutras in the Medicine College of China cf H H II H &c as well as on Chinese poetry, the Lijj ill |S (Record of Rites), and 3  Buddhism in Chung Hsing  2 S  PI and Tung Hai ^  Universities in Taizhong.  30  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingli! xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 14-16. 2 9  L i Bingnan. Xuelulaoren  jiUKhi  xuanji. ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 20. 3 0  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 19. 20  This characteristic of versatility is reflected in his study of Buddhism as well. From around 1920 to 1928, he studied Buddhist teachings of the Weishi D§ H School (the H (b. 1879) in a  Consciousness-only School) for eight years from Mr. Mei Guangxi $g 31  Foxveshe  ifl f i (Buddhism Learning Society) near Lake Darning  B^j ~/£J, Jinan. Then,  from about 1928 to 1936, for another eight years, he studied Buddhist teachings of the Chan School under the guidance of master Keguan ^ fU of the Jingju Monastery 0 :  and master Zhenkong J i  Jinan,  who was invited from Beijing by the Jingju Monastery; and, from  1937 to 1945, he studied Tantric teachings for, again, eight years from Gongge Hutuktu of the White Sect |ff|.  32  fitSI  H MflM  and Nuona Hutuktu of the Red Sect  &I  M ffl ~$L  All of Li's teachers were famous for their expertise in their own fields of Buddhist study  and were respected by their contemporaries. Li's versatile talents broadened and deepened his understanding in Buddhism in different aspect, which only enriched his religious experience and prepared him for his future career in teaching. Surprisingly, after his diligent studies of Weishi, Chan and Tantric Buddhism, Li did not encourage his students to follow in his steps. Instead, he concluded that, because of its flexibility in meeting people's needs and living conditions, Pure Land Buddhism was the school of doctrine and practice best suited to Buddhists of his time.  33  According to his own account, Li became a Pure Land practitioner in about 1930, shortly after he came across several freely distributed booklets regarding the teachings of  31  The ideology of die Weishi School bases on the idea of weishi l% M (vijfiana-matra; Consciousness-only),  which is a kind of Buddhist doctrine thai nolliing exist aside from consciousness. 3 2  Hutuktu, or Grand Lama of Urga, is the modem term Ulan Bator in Mongol. See Jolm Snelling, The Buddhist  Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching, Practice. History and Schools (London: Century, 1987) 214. 3 3  Li Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fqjiao lianshe, 1996) 20, 416-418. 21  Buddhism and the Pure Land School." mailed on request by the  Those books were printed, distributed freely and  Honghuashe ^ •fc ;|f (Grand Influence Society), a society organized  by Yinguang in Suzhou | ^ Jf| mainly for printing and distributing Sutras and related materials. ;  After some time, by correspondence, L i took the rite of Three Refuges under, and received his Dharma name from, the Master.  From then on, he kept in touch with Yinguang: on the one  hand he continued his studies by reading Sutras, and published letters and writings by the Master; on the other hand he frequently inquired and learned from his teacher through correspondence until the death of the Master in 1940.  In about 1934, a business trip finally  gave him the chance to visit Yinguang, who at that time was in sealed confinement  3 4  35  in the  L i Bingnan, "Yinguang dashi yuanji shizhounian jinian luiiyilu," Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren  jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412. 35  Biguan  p?f] i f , translated as sealed confinement, literally means closed barrier. This kind of practice was  initiated by Chan practitioners who isolate themselves for Buddhist practices. The place for a biguan practitioner to carry out the practice is called the guanfang | | ^§ (the confined room). Those who are in sealed confinement can either read and study sutras from the Buddhist Canon or concentrate on "one" type of Buddhist practice such as nianfo and meditation. The time limit and goal for biguan vary with one's own needs. When one is in sealed confinement, one is not allowed to leave the confined room; therefore, it is necessary to have someone else to take care of the food, medications, and miscellaneous matters for the practitioner. This kind of butler-like individuals is called the huguan fig §§ (the barrier protector). Besides, according lo the entry of Nianshao biguan  '}? pfl | | (In Sealed Confinement in the days of Youth)  from the book Zhuchuang sanbi Yi (if H Ijt (The Third Jottings Under a Bamboo Window, 1615) by Zhuhong $c (1535-1615), several features about  biguan are revealed. The short passage is written as "Hfl MZ%% " rS" 5fc  mm -^tft^wz • m\>x«ii •  ttmmm•...#mm^mm&m&m  •«mmm -  cTJ o " (The complete passage see Lianchi, Zhuchuang suibi (Taipei: Fotuo jiaoyu jijinliui, reprint 1995) 168169.) This passage tells that: 1)  the beginning of the practice of biguan was not clear even to the people in the 17 century; lh  22  Baoguo Monastery  i§  of Suzhou. Li spent a day talking to the Master, which was  deemed as a rare occasion since the Master seldom chatted with visitors more than twenty minutes. By Li's own account, although this was the only time he could learn from the Master in person, the experience was splendid and invaluable.  36  In his article in memory of master Yinguang, Li summarizes the content of the first letter he received from the Master, in which the Master answered his seeking of the Three  2)  such practice was supposed to "cultivate the Way,' not to "produce the Way;" in other words, a biguan practitioner needed to be an enlightened one;  3)  from the anecdote of the Chan master Yuanmiao jjpi HP (1238-1295, hao Gaofeng jKj W) of the Linji Sect, it is clear that biguan had been put into practice, at least, by the 13 century, during the Southern Song dynasty; th  4)  during that time, some Buddhists misunderstood the purpose of biguan as a means of comfort.  For the second feature, master Jingkong also mentions that, according to L i Bingnan, those who are in sealed confinement should be enlightened. The purpose for such practice is to cultivate and maintain the "enlightened condition," which is called wuhou qixiu  '[••§ ^  flfi,  to start the real cultivation after attaining the enlightenment.  Besides, this kind of enlightened Buddhists were also visited by other Buddhists and travelling monks. During the imperial era, when a travelling monk arrived at a new place, he would inquire of local people about the whereabouts of biguan practitioners. If there were one, the monk would visit and leani from that person. Details see Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing qinwenji (Taipei: Sanbao dizi, 1999). These statements can be supported by the experiences of two famous contemporary Buddhist masters, Xuyun Jjft §  (1840-1959) and Guangqin J j | | £ (1892-1985). It is said that when Xuyun practiced biguan at 30, he had not  yet attained the enlightenment and spent a lots of time on meditation without knowing the true meaning of the teachings. A year later, he was fortunately reminded by a travelling monk, who thought that Xuyun was an enlightened teacher. After knowing that he himself misunderstood the practice and Buddhist teachings, Xuyun left to look for an enlightened teacher himself As for Guangqin, he was known to start to practice biguan on a mountain after attaining enlightenment through the practice of nianfo. Details see Xuyun laoheshang nianpu (Taipei, Huazang fojiao shiting tushuguan, reprint 1979) 7-8; and, Yidai gaoseng guangqinshangren chuanqi shilue kaishilu ji xingchi vulu (Gaoxiong: Nenjing xuehui, 1997) 40-42. 3 6  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412-415. 23  Refuges by giving him the Dharma name Deming, setting forth the principles of Pure Land Buddhism, and pointing out some key points for the nianfo practice. This summary gives a glimpse of the practicality of Yinguang's thought:  37  Bfiitm  ° • itm^ °  i f i i - / f ® "XXB^-O  M ^f#M& • L  -^'ttMBmn  °mi®^mmm °  l£&BBi^m °...  ... The gist of the teachings that was bestowed on me by the Old Man is: One who studies to be a Buddha should: set forward harmonious human relations and fulfill one's duty; avoid evil thoughts and preserve sincerity; not to do any misdeeds, but pursue all good deeds; carry [these] out by oneself and transform others so as to practice Pure Karma together. For the method of nianfo, [one] should insist on 38  sustaining [the recitation of] the name [of Amitabha Buddha]; [if one's] mouth recites clearly and ears listen to [the recitation] clearly, for a long, long time, [the stage] of one-mindedness will be attained naturally. There is no need to practice visualization concurrently for [if one] does not comprehend the teachings and theories [for  3 7  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996)412. 3 8  "Pure Karma" refers to the Pure Land practice here. 24  visualization], [when] the phenomena [to be visualized] are subtle but the mind is inattentive, contrary [to one's intentions] disadvantages will arise. For [the issues of] sustaining a vegetarian diet and of prohibiting killing, [he] was only too pleased to exhort repeatedly...  39  As stated in his biography, Li placed this letter in front of an image of Buddha and kowtowed one hundred times to show his reverence for the teachings. Li obviously had observed them seriously throughout the rest of his life, in particular the exhortation that "carry [these] out by oneself and transform others so as to practice Pure Karma together." This can be exemplified in his devotion to teaching and the establishment of the multi-functional Taizhong Buddhist Lotus Society. Li's teaching career started in around 193 1, at which he started to teach Buddhism locally in Jinan soon after he learned about the profound ideology of the Pure Land School through reading the booklets he had obtained. In 1937, Mei Guangxi recommended to master Taixu J£ lat (1889-1947) that Li served as a lecturer on Buddhism to prisoners in jails. The outcome was so remarkable that he was complimented in an inscription by Taixu. Later, he set up a Lianshe in Mount Gele Ijft ^ |±| of Yu City tfj itJ where he taught Sutras and practiced nianfo for a long time. After that, because of the chaotic political, situation as a result of the Sino-Japanese War (193 1-1945) and the following Chinese Civil War (1945-1949) between the Chinese Communist Party and the National People's Party, Li, as an officer of The Office of Sacrifices, had to frequently move along with the government he served; despite the difficulties  - L i Bingnan, "Yinguang dashi yuan j i shizhoiinian jinian huiyilu," Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren J  jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412. 25  he faced, he managed to teach Buddhism wherever he relocated. Taizhong, he was invited by a Buddhist nun Deqin Monastery II |_L|  Shortly after he arrived in  $X (1888-1971) of the Lingshan  to give lectures on the teachings of Pure Land Buddhism.  41  Since his in-  depth interpretation of Buddhist scriptures was rarely seen in Taiwan at that time, his 42  reputation soon spread and the number of his followers increased. In just two years, he founded the Taizhong fojiao lianshe  c[> \$, f£ 3| | f (the Taizhong Buddhist Lotus Society;  commonly known as the Taizong lianshe  :  dp  Hf If, or the Taizhong Lotus Society), from  which the doctrines of Pure Land Buddhism and the practice of nianfo have spread to the whole island. In addition to Pure Land Buddhism, he also gave lectures on other Mahayana Sutras and on Confucian classics, which include the Surangama Sutra, Flower Adornment SOtra, Lotus Sutra, Dizang jing ffb ^ ^ (Earth Treasure Sutra), Yuanjue jing HI ft $g (Complete Enlightenment Sutra), Diamond Sutra, Analects, Record of Rites, etc.  43  It is known that at the  peak of Li's teaching career, in Taizhong alone, where approximately two hundred thousand  4 0  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji. ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 19%) 16-17. and 418. 41  Xingfan, Wangsheng jingtu zhuan jiyou (Gaoxiong: Gaoxiong wenshu jiangtang, 1997) 280.  4 2  As explained in footnote no. 4, before the arrival of the Nationalists from the Mainland China, most monks in  Taiwan joined the sangha simply for living, they were not trained to teach but to perform ceremonies that were irrelevant to their studies and practices. Therefore, after the arrival of the Nationalists, partly because of the influence of this new government and partly because of the efforts of a number of elite Buddhists, both monks and laymen, from China, most monasteries in Taiwan were taken over and reformed by the new comers. However, among these elite Buddhists, L i Bingnan was the only one who mastered both the self-practice for salvation and the leaching of Pure Land Buddhism and a wide variety of scriptures of Mahayana Buddlusm. 4 3  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 20. 26  Pure Land practitioners were following his teachings. His career continued until the last days of his life when he passed away at ninety-seven. Symbolically, the establishment of the Taizhong Buddhist Lotus Society can be viewed as a substantiation of Yinguang's teachings. Like those preceding Lotus Societies in the imperial China before 1911, this Society gives first priority to propagating the teachings of the Pure Land School. However, aside from transmitting Pure Land Buddhism to Taiwan from China, the immediate influence of this Society over Taiwan's Buddhist development is that it introduces the collective practice of Foqi \% -fc and the rite of Receiving the Precepts. Both 44  rites are modeled on those that had been observing in China long before 1949. In the case of Foqi ceremony, the liturgy observed by the Society is recorded in the Fomen bibei kesongben \T% PJ >\l>  Wk Ifl ^ (the Buddhist Essential Recitation Manual), in which there is a statement  that the rules and the schedule of the Foqi ceremony are copied from the one used in the Lingyanshan Monastery fi Jg fl| # of Suzhou.  45  Fortunately, this liturgy survives and is  titled as the Lingyanshansi zhuanxiu jingtudaochang niansongyigui ijj ^ Ifl fit  M^LU^^f^^dlM  (the Chanting and Reciting Liturgy of the Specialized Pure Land Arena of the  Lingyanshan Monastery). The postscript of this Lingyanshansi liturgy reveals that it was established by a Buddhist master Miaozhen ~%y M of the Lingyanshan Monastery in 1938 under  4 4  Li Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji. ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 418. 4 5  The statement reads as follows:  Caizi Lingyanshansi keben g 8 IS l-U # IS ^ (Adopt from the  Lingyanshan Monastery textbook); see Fomen bibei kesongben. (Taizhong: Ruicheng shuju, reprint 1982) 104. According to the date menlioned on the title page of tins manual, this is a re-edition of the 1954 version. 27  the guidance of Yinguang.  This confirms that the Pure Land teachings promoted by the  Taizhong Lotus Society are a direct heritage from the traditional Pure Land School in China.  47  Nevertheless, the Taizhong Lotus Society was not organized merely for the collective practice of nianfo and daily or weekly gatherings; structurally speaking, it is a more complicated organization. Many affiliates have been set up one by one for various purposes; for instance, the Compassion Light Library (Ciguang tushuguan 7fc HI It fl) was established in 1958 to meet readers' needs. Within decades, a succession of further 48  institutions was founded, namely, the Compassion Light Childcare Association (Ciguang yuyouyuan ^ jfc |f i)] 1%) in 1959, the Bodhi Salvation Association (Puti jiuji hui U $|  §if  Hf; later renamed as the Home of Benevolence and Love, Renai zhi jia \Z. ft ^ 1 ^ ) in 1963, the Bodhi Hospital (Puti yiyuan ^ $| § 1%) in 1963, the Ethics Demonstration Society (Minglun she H£j f^f /ft; a publishing house) in 1970, and many Doctrine Promotion Places (Bujiao suo -ffti  pjf) from 1957 to 1984. Each of these affiliated organizations, including 49  the Taizhong Lotus Society itself, is further subdivided into groups for specific purposes. For example, the subgroups of the Taizhong Lotus Society include the Salvation Society (Jiuji hui HTX the Society for Releasing Living Beings (Fangsheng hui Jjj ^E. H ), the Chinese -  Tutorial Classes (Guowen huxihan H ~$C M H? HE), the Society for Printing Sutra (Shoutuo yinjing hui  Jfc EP IS H"), the Grand Influence Group (Honghua luan %, ft HS), the  Miaozhen ed., Lingyanshansi zluianxiu jingtudaochang niansongyigui (Taipei: Shipusi dabeifahui, reprint 1957) 200. 4 1  A brief discussion on the adoption of Lingyanshansi liturgies can be found in Charles Jones' Buddhism in  Taiwan, pp. 119-122. 1S  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jinglu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 18. 4 9  L i Bingnan, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 1996) 18. 28  Heavenly Music Class (Tianyue ban ^ ^ Jj/f), the Prosperous Nianfo Assisting Group (Rongfu chunian tuan §jk i l &j] ^ H), the Society for the Annotation and Translation of Sutra (Fojing zhushu yuji hui f$j |§>  ©it la I? H"), the Study Class on Inner Classics (Neidian yanjiu ban  p*cj ifiL ffi ?fc g r ^ the Class on How to Instruct the Analects LLunyu jiangxi ban lm Ha i t l a HE),  the Initiation Class on National Literature (Guoxue qimeng ban M ^ ^ W. HE), and the Study Class on Social Education (Shejiao yanxi ban iff, ^ j^f z  HE)-  50  The unusual, highly  diversified functions of these subgroups reflect that efforts had been made to carry out Yinguang's exhortation: "set forward harmonious human relations and fulfill one's duty; avoid evil thoughts and preserve sincerity; not to do any misdeed but pursue all good deeds."  51  Influenced by Li Bingnan, it is apparent that Pure Land practitioners in Taiwan had tried their best attempting to integrate Yinguang's teachings with the daily needs of the public. As many of these affiliates are still working properly to this day, the success of their endeavor is undeniable; as a result, the Tai-chung Lotus Society has successfully transformed the Lianshe into a huge social, cultural, and educational network. After the death of Li Bingnan, the mission of "carrying on the traditions to cope with the change of the society" passed on to master Jingkong  3?, one of Li's students who had  been training for ten years to teach Buddhism. This transmission was carried out by a symbolic * 52  act of passing a copy of the newly compiled Infinite Life Sutra on to the new Master by Li.  Mr. Xia Lianju and the newly compiled Infinite Life Sutra  Li Bingnan, Xuelulaoren  iiiiRtii  xuanji. ed. Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi  fojiao lianshe, 19%) 18. 51  L i Bingnan, "Yinguang dashi yuanji shizhounian jinian huiyilu," pp. 412-415, Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed.  Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Tai-chung, Taiwan: Taizhongshi fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412. 5 :  Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng sliizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 6. 29  The compilation of this Sutra was done by a lay Buddhist, Xia Lianju JC H j g f (18821965; see figure 5), who was also the one who first proposed the establishment of the Pure Land Learning Center after the Second World War. From 1932 to 1935, Xia spent three years 53  compiling the sutra Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing  X W: M  m  m  Sfc JSt tf W ¥ H= K $ 2 ,  of the Wuliangshoujing 4S jj|  54  1$;  which is a compilation of five different translations  (the Infinite Life Sutra). According to the prefaces 55  written by Mei Guangxi and Huang Chaozi w | S EP as well as the postscript by Huang Nianzu M  ^  ffl,  5 6  the release of the draft of this compiled Sutra quickly attracted the attention of  > 3  Jingkong, Renshi fojiao: xinfu meiman de jiaoyn (Taipei: Huazang fojiao tushugnan, 1997) 211.  5 4  X i a Lianju, ed, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing (Taipei: Huazang  jingzongxuehui, 1935, reprint 1992)6. 5 5  See Xia Lianju, ed, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing (Taipei: Huazang  jingzongxuehui, 1935, reprint 1992) 1. The five different translations are: 1) . Wuliang qingjing pingdeng jue jing M m. tS ffl ¥ H ji. IS (147-186) of the Latter Han dynasty (25-220) translated by Lokakseina 7& H  ,(&: TT. 12, 279b-299c.  2) . Foshuo zhufo aniituo sanvesanfosailoufolangtiodurendao jing  fl; 1ft If  |EJ  •p jfl [?£ H JTf5 H fIM 1$ i%>fflJI§  It A J I IM (223-228) of the Wu dynasty (222-280) translated by Zhiqian ^ H ; TT. 12, 300a-317c. 3) . Wuliangshou jing MmW  IS (252) of the Wei dynasty (222-265) translated by Sanghavarman g? ff fg\ TT.  12, 265c-279a. 4) . Wuliangshounilai hui WiVt^TT.  M H #0 3fc # (706-713) of the Tang dynasty (618-907) translated by Bodhinici #  11.91c-101c.  5) . Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan jing f|51ft A ffe M It HH± It IS (980) of the Liu-Song dynasty (960-1279) translated by Faxian ffi |g; TT. 12, 318a-326c. 5  " Huang Nianzu, born in 1913, had several Dlianna names and bynames as Longzim | | H, Xinslu /[> 7 5 ,  Lesheng ^ ^f£, Laonian fg  and Butuiweng T" i l l i l (see figure 6). He came to know Buddhism when he was  only a little child; from his mother Madam Mei's devotion to Buddhism, he had chances to attend different Buddhist lectures with her. Besides, he also learned Buddhism under the guidance of his Uncle, Mei Guangxi, who was a well-known Chan practitioner at the time. 30  various Buddhist groups; it was sent to the press immediately by a Buddhist General Zhang Xianchen 511  E and was reprinted several times.  best-compiled version of the Infinite Life Sutra.  57  Above all, it was soon reputed as the  58  Huang read the Diamond Sutra for the first time at the age of 20, when he was studying in the College of Engineering in Beijing .it M X H shengxin  P5n- He was very much amazed by the Sutra's wonderful meaning of  "wuzhu  MQ-Qi 'L\" using the mind [to interact with phenomena] yet not to attach to [them]. At 23, he was  considered to attain the initial enlightenment  (chu kaiwu  $)  pf] '|ff). During his early life, he had taken refuges and  learned under the famous Patriarch Xuyun ift it of the Chan Sect, Gongge Hutuktu of the White Sect [=3 |& Jf -IS A? H  BI of Tantric Buddhism, and Lotus Sambodhi Wang Hutuktu M lb IE % 3 1 H  of Nuona Hutuktu of the Red Sect ftl ffc |g M  i£ ffl, the successor  HJ ji£ H. At 32, tlirough the introduction of his Uncle Mei, he  became the disciple of the famed Chan and Piue Land practitioner Xia Lianju. At 40, he became a professor of Tianjin University A ^ A~  wliile teacliing, he still practiced and recited sutras assiduously. During diat time,  he was considered to attain enlightenment, which was confirmed by both Xia and Wang Hutuktu. In 1959, he succeeded Wang Hutuktu as Vajra Acarya  |S|IJ P«J ^ 2^, or Diamond Instnictor, of the Lotus Monastery.  In 1979, he started to annotate Xia's compiled Sutra, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing: the first draft was finished in 1981, the second draft in 1982, and the final draft in 1984. In 1987, this annotation began to be published and circulated outside China. During these years of writing, he also taught Pure Land Buddhism at the College of Chinese Buddhism 4 HI 1  Guanghua Monastery fl! ft,  Prc, die Lay Buddhist Grove jg? ± # , and the  He died in 1992. Since two months before his death, he recited daily the name of  Amitabha one hundred and sixty thousand times; he smiled at his last moment. His publications include the Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie \% 1ft A US M H m £t ft fit /§ ¥ H %t Ifffl(The Annotation of the Infinite Life Sutra), the Jingtu ziliang ffl ± if 11 (Provisions and Funds for the Pure Land), the Guxiang ji  # JU (Collected Works of Echoes of a Valley), the  Huayan nianfo sanmei lun jiangji Ijl ft ift #1 31B£ Ira M IS (Lecture Notes of the Discussion of the Samadhi on Nianfo in the Avatamsaka-sutra), the Xinsheng lu annotation in the vernacular writing {baihua  jie  £3  5 f £1" (Record on the Sound of the Mind), and an incomplete ffl)  of the compiled Sutra.  Details see Huang Nianzu, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie (Taipei: Wufeng sanbaohuchihui, 1993) 1-4. 57  Details see Xia Lianju, ed, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing (Taipei:  Huazang jingzongxuehui, 1935, reprint 1992) 1-8, 133-135. 31  However, since this Sutra is a relatively new version, it was not heard of in Taiwan before 1949; the one who brought the first and the only copy to Taiwan was Huang Luchu ilf SH ffl (1886-1960),  59  a Lieutenant General.  60  He gave this copy to L i Bingnan, who later  bestowed it on Jingkong and urged him to propagate it to the whole world.  The uniqueness of  this copy is even enhanced by Li's personal marks, specifically, his manuscript of exegesis.  ' Xia Lianju, ed, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui. 1935. reprint 1992) 1.4-5. This is the fourth compiled Infinite Life Sutra. The first attempt was made by a Song jinshi jiH rb Wang Rixiu 3E B f/fc (d. 1173) and his work is the Da amituo jing A M ffl PS IS (Large Infinite Life Sutra). The second one is die Wuliangshou jing M i t H IS (Infinite Life Sutra) by Peng Jiqing (1740-1796) and the third one is the Mohe amituo jing 0 |nf |SJ ffl |SS 11 (Great Infinite Life Sutra) by Wei Yuan WL M (1794-1857). A brief comparison of these four compiled versions can be found in Huang Nianzu, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie (Taizhong: Wufeng sanbao huchihui, 1993) 70-75. Huang took the Tliree Refuges in 1937 and decided to specialize in the practice of Pure Land. In 1945, due to job transfer, he moved from Xian O 3? to Beiping ;jt W- (Beijing), where he got to know many important Buddhist figures, of whom Master Cizhou M. TTT and Xia Lianju were closest to him and told lum that the study of the Infinite Life Sutra were essential to Pure Land practices. In 1948, he fled to Taiwan from Beiping, with a mission urged by the two teachers to promote the Infinite Life Sutra, for which he had the compiled Sutra reprinted twice in Taiwan. He became a monk in 1949 and was given a Buddhist name Zongjing  '0  ffi  (zi Liihang  hao Xina jZ§ #])• In order to concentrate on the nianfo practice, he took the 100-day sealed confinement  twice. Later in 1956, he became the abbot of Cishan Monastery £g |f. 4} in Taizhong. Details see Xingfan, Wangsheng jingtu zhuan jiyou (Gaoxiong: Gaoxiong wenshu jiangtang, 1997) 263-264; and Liihang, "Wuliangshou jing yu jingtu famen guanxi zhongyao lun 4ffi i t If IS I ! ffi ± 1  H II % JI H liffl [On tlie  Importance of the Relationship between the Infinite Life Sutra and the Pure Land Dliarma Method]," ed. Zhang Mantao ? ! § m, Jingtu dianji yanjiu ffi ±. i& |f ffi % [Studies on Pure Land Texts) (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1979) 241-248. 6 0  "Zaocan kaishi f . H HU Tf. (The Teaching at Breakfast)," 6 Mar. 2000 <http://www.amtb-dba.org/Aiidio/Live/  live.html>. 32  By now, it is quite clear that the roles played by Li Bingnan and the Taizhong Lotus Society were a link between masters Yinguang and Jingkong as well as between the traditional Lotus Society and the contemporary Pure Land Learning Center. This transitional stage allows the Lotus Society to gradually adjust to social changes in a relatively stable environment in Taiwan after 1949 so that the Learning Center can be well-prepared for the process of internationalization and digitalization. The passing on of the compiled Sutra represents that, through Li, Jingkong was given a mission to complete Xia's plan in reviving the Infinite Life Sutra and renewing the Lotus Society, for which Jingkong resolved and succeeded in promoting the compiled Sutra and establishing the Learning Center. In addition, since the 61  founding of the first Learning Center the compiled SOtra has been using as the guide for the Learning Center in preaching and practice, and therefore this Sutra could be viewed as the tangible heritage left to the Learning Center by Xia. In other words, Li Bingnan and Xia Lianju are important in the establishment of the Learning Center because they provided Jingkong's reform a solid foundation and explicit directions. Surprisingly, although Xia is such a prominent person in the development of the Learning Center, his life is not known to most contemporary Pure Land practitioners. His sinking into obscurity may largely be due to the unusual political situation of the time because, under the rule of Communism, China had experienced a series of radical changes, in which most traditions were discarded and no religion was allowed to be practiced. However, his name and his effort in compiling the Infinite Life Sutra are now being made known to people  61  As discussed, Li had learned Weishi Buddhism from Mei Guangxi, who was the best friend of X i a Lianju.  Hence, from Mei's close relations with Xia and from L i ' s keeping and transferring of the compiled Sutra, L i ' s attitude towards Xia can be revealed even though there is no textual evidence that can tell if L i was an acquaintance of Xia.  within and without China again by the endeavor of two people, the master Jingkong and Huang Nianzu, a direct disciple of Xia. The following is a reconstruction of the biography of Xia, which is based mainly on the Chinese source Jindai wangsheng suiwenlu jiff  ^£ |§i Hfl | §  (1998) and fragmented accounts found in the prefaces and postscript of the compiled Sutra and other related materials. Xia was born in Yun City  Shandong, and was named Xia Jiquan J | $S JPc (zi  Puzhai vlf Hf) but was best known as Xia Lianju J f 31 JU. He had held different government positions in the provinces of Shandong, Henan p$ j^j and Hebei fqf  until his resignation in  1922. Then, he accepted a position as the principal of the Donglu School M Hr H f3£ but resigned in 1927.  His last position was associated with the Dongyao wenhua xiehui J^L _H ~$C  ft WJ ik (the Dongyao Cultural Association).  62  During his youth, he studied Confucianism, read extensively in a variety of classics and literature, and was good at various arts and skills. At middle age, he turned to Buddhism; he did not limit himself to any single school and studied extensively the teachings of different schools, including Chan and Tantric Buddhism. Likewise, it is said that after he fully understood the principles of Buddhism, he decided to concentrate on Pure Land practice.  63  In 1925, the warlord Zhang Zongchang ?J| T K H , who at that time held power over Shandong province, made a false charge against Xia, confiscated his assets and ordered his arrest. Xia escaped to Japan; when everything was over, he went back to China and started a period of sealed confinement in Jinmen pji f% where he practiced nianfo for ten years. During this time, his room displayed only an image of Amitabha Buddha so as to express his  6 2  See Minguo renwii dacidian (Shijiazhuangshi: Hebei remiiin chubanshe, 1991) 664; and Hashikawa Tokio,  Chugoku bunkakai jinbulsu sokan (Tokyo: Meicho fukyukai, 1982) 361. b 3  Kuaiilu, Jindai wangsheng suiwenlu (Taipei: Fotou jiaoyu jijinhui, 1998)64. 34  determination toward Pure Land practice. In 193 1, a war broke out in Shandong; by the consecutive invitations of monks and lay Buddhists, he moved to Beijing.  64  The following year he started to compile the Infinite Life Sutra. It is said that he took this work so seriously that he did not leave his room on the second floor for three years to avoid distraction. He finally finished the first draft in 1935 and revised it nine more times in 65  the following seven years. Meanwhile, after 1935 until his death, he gave himself to the teaching of Buddhism; he was frequently invited to give lectures on Mahayana Buddhism and Pure Land practice, and is known to have received a large number of daily visitors and learners to discuss Buddhist teachings and practices.  66  Such achievements were recognized in  contemporary Buddhist circles and earned him a complimentary title, "nan Mei bei Xia j^g $g  i t JE" (the South Mei and the North Xia), juxtaposing him with his friend, Mei Guangxi #(b.l879).  67  ^fj  They had been friends and colleagues for thirty years and both were regarded as  the most important lay Buddhist figures of the time. Xia passed away in 1965 at the age of eighty-three. It is said that, though he was in a good health, he started to mention his own coming death ten days ahead of time. During these days, other than his usual lecturing on the essential points of Buddhist teachings, he talked about some personal spiritual experiences. On the night he passed away, Xia, surround by his  6 4  Kuaiiiu, Jindai wangsheng suiwenlu (Taipei: Fotou jiaoyu jijinluii, 1998) 64.  6 5  The compilation of chapter six, which is the core of the Infinite Life Sutra, was done by the joint effort of  Mr.Xia, Mr. Mei and the famed master Huiming | § B$. They together spent one month to finish this chapter. Details see Xia Lianju, ed, Foshno dacheng wuliangshon zhuangyan qiiigjing pingdeng iue jing (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, 1935, reprint 1992) 4. 6 6  Kuanlu, Jindai waugsheng suiwenlu (Taipei: Fotou jiaoyu jijinluii, 1998) 64.  6 7  Huang Nianzu, Foshuo dacheng vvuliangshou zhuangyan qiiigjing pingdeng iue jing jie (Taizhong: Wufeng  sanbao huchihui, 1993) 807.  family, had been reciting the name of Amitabha ceaselessly. Suddenly, the family heard him sing the name aloud and found him passed away at that very moment.  68  He left tens of writings  and poems, of which the compiled Sutra is considered his most influential work for the later development of the Pure Land School.  Master Jingkong and the Pure Land Learning Center 1. Master Jingkong and Mr. Huang Nianzu Master Jingkong is an advocate of the establishment of the contemporary Jingzong xuehui 0 7K :  'H" (the Pure Land Learning Center). However, another important figure 69  regarding the founding of this organization should not be omitted here, and the whole story can be traced back to the year of 1985. In this year, the Master was invited to Washington D.C. to give lectures. After he finished the lectures, his students asked for his permission to invite a famed lay Buddhist from China to give talks. When the Master learned that that person was Huang Nianzu, he was overjoyed because he was so happy to know that Huang was still alive. In fact, at that time, the Master did not know Huang in person; he had only heard his name from Li when he was in Taizhong. He knew that Huang was Mei Guangxi's nephew and Xia Lianju's direct disciple. In his youth, Huang had been known for his expertise of both Chan and Tantric Buddhism; his enlightenment was affirmed by Chan masters and he was chosen to succeed his teacher as a master of Tantric Buddhism. Nevertheless, despite his  Kuanlu. Jindai wangsheng suiwenlu (Taipei: Fotou jiaoyu jijinluii, 1998) 65.  b  " The original English translations of Jingzongxuehui are the "Amitabha Buddhist Society" and the "Amitabha 9  Society;" they have been widely used in the United States before the 1997 gathering in Singapore. The new English translation is the "Pure Land Learning Center." However, for legal reasons and convenience, both types of name are accepted by all Learning Centers. 36  accomplishments in these Buddhist practices, Huang deemed that the nianfo practice was the best.  70  Huang finally went to Washington D. C. in response to the invitation, but the Master had left. During his stay in the United States, Huang mailed the Master a draft of his important work, the commentary on Xia's compiled Infinite Life SOtra. This was another surprise to the Master; he was delighted to know that there were someone in China who, like him, also promoted Pure Land practice and, particularly, the compiled SOtra. The draft finally went to the press in Taiwan, titled the Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jingjiem m -x m M * m »± is m tf ¥ m K m  m  7]  At last, they met in 1988; it was the first time for the Master to go back to China after 1949. For him, paying a visit to Huang was the main purpose of this trip.  72  During their  meeting, Huang told the Master about Xia's unfulfilled wish of the setting up of the Pure Land Learning Center, and hoped that the Master could found the Learning Center in Taiwan, overseas, and also in China. Furthermore, he mentioned that Xia had even suggested that, for continuous improvement, there should be a gathering held every year in turn by representative Centers to exchange experience teaching Pure Land Buddhism and nianfo practice. Accordingly, from the very beginning of this proposal, Xia aimed to establish this organization internationally, not merely regionally. After this meeting, the Master started to advocate the idea of the Pure Land Learning Center while he was travelling around the world to give 73  lectures. In response to the Master's appeal, his audiences acted without hesitation.  7  " "Xinjiapo jingzong xuehui chengli kaishi §f lJUty£W m  # f& AL (Ifl 7 5 (1) (The Teaching Given at the  Opening Ceremony of the Singapore Pure Land Learning Center)," 5 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/pure/esgpl.htm>. 71  "Xinjiapo jingzong xuehui chengli kaishi (2)," 5 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/pure/e-spg2.htm>.  7 2  "Xinjiapo jingzong xuehui chengli kaishi (1)," 5 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amlb.org.tw/pure/e-sgpl.htm>.  7 3  "Xinjiapo jingzong xuehui chengli kaishi (1)," 5 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/pure/e-sgpl.htm>. 37  There are now more than fifty such organizations set up by local adepts around the world (Taiwan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Korig, Japan, Spain, etc)  74  They all run independently, for the Master does not encourage establishing one  general leading committee to control all personnel administration and financial policies of different ethnic communities. Instead, they are expected to develop a kind of brotherly relations to help and cooperate with each other. Members are urged to focus more on practice and to serve as a good role model for all. Doing so, according to the Master, is a practical way to propagate the Buddha's teachings and to introduce Pure Land practice to people around the world.  75  This intention of globalization is amply reflected in the Master's remark that one of  the main goals in founding the Pure Land Learning Center is to "introduce traditional Chinese culture to Westerners and to help them practice Buddhism." The following are the 76  management guidelines for all Learning Centers:  7 7  1. All Learning Centers will organize activities according to local and state laws and policies. 2. All Learning Centers will sincerely follow Buddha's guidelines and teachings. 3. All Learning Centers are independent, having no affiliation with any international organizations.  7 4  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kimg: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education." chapter 2, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/society.HTM>. 7 5  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," chapter 4, 9 Dec. 1999 <http://mvw.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/system.htin>. 7  " Jingkong, "To Understand Buddha's Teaching," 15, 9 Dec. 1999 <http://Ywvw.amtb-dba.org/buddedu2.doc>.  7 7  See " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Clung Kung: Propagating die Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," chapter 4, 9 Dec. 1999 <http://\v\vw.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/system.htm>.  4. All the boards and directors of the Pure Land Learning Centers are elected democratically by their own members. Additionally, local citizens are to hold these positions. All procedures are to follow local customs. 5. Generally, Master Jingkong is invited to be a permanent advisor to the Pure Land Learning Centers. The first four are very general guidelines emphasizing the legality, independence, and localization of the Centers while the last one reveals that master Jingkong is the spiritual guide for these organizations, ln order to have a more precise and thorough study of the Master's beliefs, teachings and influences on the Centers, it is necessary to study his background and Buddhist education first.  2. A Sketch of the Life of Master Jingkong Master Jingkong (Ching-k'ung; see figure 7), who was born Xu Yehong ^ |jt $t on February 15, 1927, is a native of Lujiang County JU /I f&, Anhui in Jianou H  Fujian  fif of China. He grew up  H, and, during the Second World War, attended the Third National  Guizhou Junior High School, and later, after the War, the First Nanjing Municipal High School. In 1949, he went to Taiwan and soon worked in the Shijian Institution Jf i§| H ft.  In 1959, he  received preliminary ordination at the Linji Monastery E^j $if 4f of Yuanshan [Ml LL[, Taipei, and he was given the Dharma name Juejing ft ffi, zi Jingkong. After receiving the full ordination, he began to teach in Taiwan and, later, overseas.  78  After his ordination the Master has held a variety of positions, which give a glimpse of his competence in teaching and in other Buddhist-education-related matters. For instance, in  78  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <hltp://\v\v\v.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 39  Taiwan alone he was the clerk of Linji Monastery and an instructor at the Tripitaka Institute H It H $JG at Shipu Monastery - ( - IfNanputuo p§ i=p |?£  (1960); an instructor of the Buddhist institute of  P 1?^; a committee member of the Propagating Teachings Committee  (1961) and the Planning Committee of the Buddhist Association of Taiwan dp i§ j% f£ ^jf g§; =f g| J i 25. !iA tic HI j l (1965); a professor and dean of academic affairs at the Oriental Buddhist College M ~3l {% P PJT: at Mount Foguang  jfe |_L|; a lecturer of the Seminars of  Buddhism for the University Students at Songshan Monastery Jffc LL|  j\ HE  P l i J§E; the  head instructor at the Seminars of Buddhism for University Students at the Chinese Buddhist Association of Taiwan dp SI i% tfc # ^ M 1% \T% P I i JU (1972); a Buddhist research fellow at the Chinese Academia Institute dp P ?$J ^ {7$ H W 95 J l ; a professor and editor of the Association of Buddhist Sutras, Commentaries and Translations of Taiwan  flf  la I? # f£ W. & II I? SI It (1973); a professor in the Philosophy Department at the Chinese Culture University; a professor of the Spiritual Living Course for East Asian Catholics ^ i t Wi M  ffi  fa  tS W f? i^ff at Fu Ren University (1975); the president of the Chinese  Inner Learning College ^ I f ^ f f ^ K S (1977); and the president of the Chinese Pure Land Practice Research Institute cfn i l tf ± TK It Sii W f£ [£E (1979).  79  Recently, "he has lectured at numerous universities, including the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, and the University of Hawaii in the U.S.; Melbourne University, Bond University, Curtin Technology University, and Monash University in Australia; Fu Ren  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect; The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's Teachings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://www.anitb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 40  Catholic University, the Chinese Culture University, Cheng Gong University, and Chong Shan University in Taiwan, and other institutions of higher learning."  80  All of these positions reflect the Master's long time association with Buddhist education both in Taiwan and abroad. This list also reveals that master Jingkong's teaching skills and knowledge of Buddhism were initially recognized only by Buddhist groups, but later by others as well. In addition to his teaching skill, the Master is also known for his ability to lead. His achievements can be traced from as early as in 1962 when he founded the Huazang Dharma Giving Association lp jH  Sfg H" (Hwa Dzan Dharma Giving Association). Moreover, he  was the abbot of Huazang Monastery lp" IS fit it? (Hwa Dzan Monastery) and has been the founder, teacher and advisor of Huazang Buddhist Audio-Visual Library lp JJH  |^ /fl Hi H  Hr fl (Hwa Dzan Buddhist Audio-Visual Library), the Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation \% fffc li W S # W i i 1985, the Board at Huazang Pure Land Learning Center ap" $j| 0 ^ if§ ||- (Hwa Dzan Pure Land Learning Center), Washington D. C. :  Buddhist Association, Dallas Buddhist Association, the Amitabha Buddhist Society of Singapore, and various Pure Land Learning Centers throughout the world. However, as 81  mentioned in the guidelines, he has insisted that he is merely a leader in name, and urges that each organization should be operated autonomously so that the needs of people of different places can be properly met.  m  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://w\v\v.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 81  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://w\v\v.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 41  In 1985, Master Jingkong immigrated to the United States.  This act only made his  teaching tours in the United States and other oversea cities more convenient. He keeps giving talks and lectures in various cities and universities within and without the United States. During this time, he became aware of the impact of cultural diversity. Having noticed such phenomenon of diverse races, cultures, and religions, he has then advocated the importance of harmonious interaction among different groups. He deems that "true sincerity" and "equality of mind" are the starting points for such interaction. This suggestion is based on the belief that a truly enlightened person will give rise to "the unconditional compassion and kindness" because he/she understands that "all beings are oneself, that the whole universe is one's hometown, that the universe and oneself [are] a perfect entity."  83  He practices what he preaches, and his effort finally caught attentions of various authorities. For example, in 1995, his remarkable achievements in race relations, and morality and peace promotion won him awards from both the city of Dallas and the state of Texas as an 84  Honorary Citizen.  Other examples are that he was granted Doctor Honoris Causa degree by  Griffith University, Australia in August, 2002 and that he was invited to address the 85  conference of the MultiFaith Forum held by the Multicultural Affairs in Queensland, Australia, where leaders from different racial groups, religions and academia meet monthly to exchange  8 2  "A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://ww\v.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 8 3  "A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://wwvv.anitb.org.tw/e-bud/promote.HTM>. 8 4  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Clung Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings through Education," preface, 4 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/profile.HTM>. 8 5  "Collected Talks of Ven. Master Chin Kung," 20 Oct. 2002 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/rybs.htm>. 42  ideas on creating a better society. After discussions, possible solutions are recommended to the government.  86  More examples can be seen in Singapore after the Master moved there for the training of lecturers in 1997. Since then, he has led members of Buddhist groups in actively paying visits to other social and religious organizations and helping them whenever they meet with difficulties. The outcomes can be highlighted by the eye-catching banquets organized jointly by the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge and the Singapore Pure Land Learning Center on January the l in 2000 and 2001, in which all representatives of nine main religions joined s l  together to pray for the peace of the world (see figure 8-9). In addition to this symbolic gathering, with the Master in the lead, these religious groups have frequently held joint 87  activities and even invite the Master and his students to give their followers lectures. His sensitivity to his surroundings also lets him realize the capability of the modern technology. Having realized that the world, not to mention Chinese societies, has been rapidly changed due to the speedy development of technologies, the Master points out that in order to cope with the changes and revive Buddhist learning for the new generation, the equipment for transmission should be correspondingly modernized. This pioneer insight has led to the use of radio and TV broadcasting, satellites, the Internet (web-sites and live broadcast of talks) and other forms of multi-media in Buddhist teaching. Other activities like the worldwide free  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's Teachings through Education;' chapter 5. 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/promote.HTM>. * "Qianxinian wenxiu wanyan xianci 7  ^ /JS IP Bft 5{ I£ jf? (Congratulatory Message at the Warm  Millennium Banquet)," 6 Dec. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.lw/zhiciyqianxi.htm>. 43  distribution of over three million books, audio-tapes, video-tapes, CD, VCD and DVD regarding the practice of Pure Land Buddhism are also noticeable.  88  Accordingly, Master Jingkong maintains that any newly established Pure Land Learning Center should use the free distribution of Buddhist materials as its primary tool for illuminating people that Buddhism is an educational philosophy and a way of life, and not to be mistaken for a polytheistic religion. To show the practicability of his notions, he takes the lead in sponsoring the printing and free worldwide distribution of the Dazangjing X He IS (the Great Buddhist Canon), Sishu H9 Hf (the Four Books), and Wujing 2£ $g (the Five Classics [of Confucianism]) as well as books and tapes on Buddhism, morality and ethics, and Chinese culture. In 1998 alone, there were more than twenty-eight thousand cartons of over one million seven hundred thousand books distributed to more than two hundred groups throughout the world.  89  Furthermore, out of his belief that Buddhism is an education with a high level of artistry, he also sponsors the free distribution of over a million reproductions of visual art material, such as Chinese calligraphy done by prominent Buddhist teachers, and prints of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. He clarifies that every Buddha's and Bodhisattva's image as well as every ceremony and offering are perfect expressions of various Buddhist teachings. All Buddhas', Bodhisattvas', Arhats' and Heavenly Guardians' names and characteristics are full of symbolic meanings, which actually represent infinite and profound qualities of Buddha's nature or selfnature. For instance, when entering a conventional Buddhist monastery, in the center of the  s S  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings through Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://wvvvv.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/propagate.HTM>. s 9  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings through Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/propagate.HTM>. 44  Hall of Heavenly Guardians, one will first see the statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva, who is marked by his big smile and huge belly. As explained by the Master, the implicit meaning of this image being put in the entrance is that those who want to learn and practice Buddhism should first learn to be cheerful and broadminded as shown from the big smile, and to be tolerant, considerate and impartial to other people as shown from the huge belly.  90  The same kind of symbolic meanings can be applied to the images seen in other halls such as the Four Heavenly Guardians and eighteen Arhats, as well as those items found on the offering table like water, incense, lamps, flowers and fruits. Each of them provides additional teachings to remind Buddhists of the right path and attitude of practice. Therefore, the Master emphasizes that those who burn incense, worship and prostrate themselves before the images merely hoping for wealth or a promotion are superstitious; they do not understand the principles and the goal of Buddhism.  91  Recently, the Master has been living in Singapore, where he has focused on the training of lecturers in the Xinjiapo jushitin %f\ jjp ij£ Jg| dr ^ (the Singapore Kulapati [Buddhist] Lodge; see figure 10-14b); most of his students are from China, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States. Undoubtedly, the founding of the Pure Land Learning Center, the application 92  of technology and the approach of global and multi-cultural development imply that a new generation has gradually grown up from the soil that has been enriched by the Taizhong Lotus  9 0  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.anitb.org.tw/e-bud/propagate.HTM>. 91  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings through Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/propagate.HTM>. 9 2  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/successor.HTM>. 45  Society. In short, the Taizhong Lotus Society is the link between the Pure Land lianshe traditions of the past and the Pure Land Learning Center of today. Nevertheless, among all his accomplishments, master Jingkong is best known for his teaching about Buddhism. As mentioned, the Master received preliminary ordination in 1959 and since then, for over forty years, he has continuously given talks on the Jingtu wujing ffi -_h TL 11 (Five Pure Land Sutras), Flower Adornment SOtra. Lotus SOtra, SOrangama Sutra. Complete Enlightenment Sutra. Diamond Sutra. Earth Treasure Sutra. Fanwang jing ^ (Brahma Net Sutra), Qixin lun $E fS Ira (Awakening of Faith Sastra), Liuzu tan jing / \ niS. £ S $1 (Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch [of the Chan School]), and many more. Such ceaseless teaching has been deemed extraordinary among present-day Buddhist groups. However, the Master gives his teachers credit for his successful teaching career. In his lectures, the Master has repeatedly emphasized that he could manage to lay a solid foundation for comprehending Buddhism only because of approximately thirteen years' learning from Professor Fang Dongmei 7j M H , the Tibetan Buddhist master Zhangjia Ipf Hr, and Mr. Li Bingnan.  3. Master Jingkong's History of Buddhist Education The following information is re-organized on the basis of information found on the Internet and master Jingkong's own writing in memory of Mr. Li in 1996. Although it is impossible to investigate systematically all the topics that the Master had learned from all these individuals, the core of their teachings can still be traced through the Master's recollections, in which he highlights what he deems to be most influential and beneficial to his own study and practice.  First of all, from the Master's own account, we know that when he was in China in his youth, he was neither a Buddhist nor from a Buddhist family; on the contrary, he disliked Buddhism very much at that time:  When I was a young student in Nanjing, I did not believe in any religion. I went to church with some classmates to learn about Christianity. Although 1 tried to understand it, I could notfinda way to accept it. My favorite religion at that time was Islam [,] because its emphasis was on moral principles and ethics, and I thought that this was rare among religions. When I encountered Buddhism back then, the monks were not very convincing. Therefore, I could not accept Buddhism either [,] and it was the one I resisted the most. I was too young at that time and had not met a true practitioner.  In fact, to a certain extent, his interest in Buddhism was simply fortuitous. It was all because of his longing for learning; he had never expected that such desire of knowledge would lead him to the field that he "resisted the most." In 1953, he began his study of philosophy under the guidance of Fang Dongmei, a prominent professor who lectured at National Taiwan University at that time.  9 3  9 4  94  By the  Jingkong, "To Understand Buddha's Teaching," 4-5, 9 Dec. 1999 <http://vvwvv.aintb-dba.org/buddedu2.doc>. Fang Xun 75 IfU, zi Dongmei, a native of Tongcheng p] iffc County, Aiihui  Tfe I5H University of Nanjin j^J  |f&, was graduated at the Jinling  He soon went to the United States to further his study at University of  Wisconsin and received his Ph.D. degree when his was 26. Then, he started his teaching career as a professor and visiting professor in many different universities, including Taiwan National University M Catholic Fu Jun University f§ iZ J\  a M A  Michigan State University, University of Missouri, and University of  South Dakota. For many years, he spared no effort in the study of Mahayana Buddhism, particularly the philosophy of the Flower Adornment Sutra 1(1 H | f (Avatamsaka-sutra), on which he held original views. His 47  Master's own account, before learning from the Professor, he had considered Buddhism superstitious and never perceived it philosophically:  After I arrived in Taiwan, I heard of Professor Dong-Mei Fang [Dongmei Fang], who was then a famous philosopher and a professor at the National Taiwan University. Having become an admirer of his, I wrote him a letter asking about taking a class from him at the university. Professor Fang was only in his forties at that time. He invited me to his house and told me, "Nowadays in school, professors do not act like professors, and students do not act like students either. If you come to the university and expect to learn something, you will be sorely disappointed." When I heard this, 1 was pretty upset since he had basically poured cold water [on] my plans. Finally, he told me: "Well, why don't you come to my house every Sunday, and I will give you personal instruction for two hours." I could not believe that he was so compassionate towards me.' I learned about philosophies at Professor Fang's small table in his little living room, one on one. This was extremely precious to me. He introduced the philosophies of the West, China, India and finally Buddhism. He taught me that Buddhism is the pinnacle of the world's philosophies] and that it provides the greatest enjoyment for humanity. What he told me was fascinating [,] and soon I realized that Buddhism contained something magnificent. I started to visit the temples in Taipei. However, the monks I met in those temples just could not clearly explain Buddhism to an intellectual skeptic  students collected and compiled all his publications as a series of Dongmei quanji ^ H  H (Complete Works  of Dongmei), which includes The Chinese View of Life, and Chinese Philosophy: Its Development. Details see Fang Dongmei, Fangdongmei ji, ed. Huang Kejian, Zhong Xiaolin, (Beijing: Qimyan chupanshe, 1993) 9-10, 4145; and Foguang dacidian (Gaoxiong: Foguang wenhua shiye youxian gongsi,1988) 1435. 48  like me. However, the monks are much better in teaching Buddhism today. Then I set my first sight on [the] Shan-Dao-Si [Shandao Monastery], which was a large temple in Taipei with a vast collection of sutras. During that period of time, the wide publication and circulation of Buddhist books was very rare. The monks at [the] Shan-Dao-Si were extremely kind to me as they allowed me to borrow many of the precious and rare sutras. This was a great help to me.  95  Obviously, it is Professor Fang who first let him know that the philosophy of Buddhism was at the peak of the world's philosophies, and that to learn and practice Buddhist teachings was the greatest enjoyment of the life. Having been moved by these remarks, master Jingkong's interest in learning Buddhism was at once initiated. These remarks also drop a hint that the Master's emphasis on assimilating Buddhist practice with present daily life is connected with the greatest-enjoyment-of-the-life attitude. Furthermore, it is very possible that Professor Fang's disappointment in the educational system sowed the seeds of reviving the traditional teaching method in the mind of the young Master. Moreover, we also know that, from this time on, the Master frequently visited monasteries looking for available Sutras. The one he found holding lots of Sutras was the Shandao Monastery | f tjf  in Taipei, which was the biggest Buddhist monastery at the time.  Before long, the Master made himself known to the monks of the monastery and thus borrowing Sutras became more convenient for him. As the Master recalls, at this early stage of Buddhist learning, reading Sutras helped him a lot.  Jingkong, "To Understand Buddha's Teaclung," 4-5, 9 Dec. 1999 <http://vv\vvv.amtb-dba.org/buddedu2.doc>. 49  ln the same year, almost within the same month, by the recommendation of his neighbor Min Mengjing f§£ j£. fe a Mongolian aristocrat during the late Qing, master Jingkong was introduced to his second teacher, master Zhangjia, a well-accomplished practitioner of Tantric Buddhism.  96  Likewise, they met two hours every week in a one-to-one tutorial session  for three years until the death of master Zhangjia. According to master Jingkong, right at their first meeting, master Zhangjia had seriously mentioned that, in order to learn and practice Buddhism efficiently, one had to first learn how to kanpo  jjjj (see through) and fangxia jfjft  T" (let go), which should begin by practicing bit shi ^f|J M (giving). Moreover, he deemed that, for every Buddhist, chijie ffi j$l (observing precepts) was significant to cultivating a pure mind, while chanhui f|| | § (repentance) was the best way to cleanse karma. Accordingly, it is clear that master Zhangjia placed special stress on xing f j (practice), through which idle talk could be avoided and written teachings substantiated. In fact, the same kind of practicability can be discerned in master Jingkong's teachings. To take his explanation of repentance as an example, he claims that verbal and ritual repentances are not true repentances; a true one is that one can discover one's wrongdoings and will never commit them again. At this point, aside from the  '"' Master Zhangjia, or Zhangjia Hutuktu | ? | § Iff H 3£ H, one of the Four Great Hutuktu, was the chief Living Buddha of the Yellow Sect f i ft of the Tibetan Buddhism in the Inner Mongolian Region. Zhangjia is the Chinese transliteration of Tibetan name Lean Lcan-skya, which is a name of a place in Tibet. Hutuktu, Xutuqtu in Mongolian, means a holy person |g  Therefore, the title of Zhangjia Hutuktu means a holy person from die  place Zhangjia. He was usually called Lcan-skya gegen jjf: ^ | § ffi or gegen | § ffi (this Mongolian word gegen means an illuminated person  t f ) and considered as the metamorphic body of MaiijusrT 3t ffi it $r- This  position had long been respected by the Qing royal family as well as the government of the Republic of China. He had successively held the posts as a committee member of The Committee of Mongolia and Tibet H? §i §1 M H', the envoy of propaganda and transformation of Mongolian and Banners H IM M. it IS, the Director of The Committee of Chinese Buddhism 4 HI i%> ft. # l i HI M, and a consultant of the Presidential Palace ,f§ ,$£ Jfr m 1  D$. See Foguang dacidian (Gaoxiong: Foguang wenhua shiye youxian gongsi, 1988) 4837.  characteristic of practicability, a strong sense of ordinariness emerges, which suggests that, in a way, an assimilation of Buddhist practice with daily life is achieved in the Master's teachings.  97  As a whole, this early stage of his Buddhist education is characterized by master Jingkong as a period of seedtime and germination while the following ten years as an important, preparatory period for both his teaching career and personal seeking of spiritual sublimation in the future. In 1957, through Mr. Zhu Jingzhou M la B& (1889-1985), the founder of Taiwan SQtras Publications  }§f £[] 0 J|8, master Jingkong was introduced to Li Bingnan. According to the  Master, by then he had been studying Buddhism for quite a while, he understood that Buddhism was "the truth of the Universe and life" and decided to specialize in Buddhism.  In  order to concentrate on this study, he resigned from his job in Taipei and went to Taizhong to learn from Li. Shortly after he arrived there, he was assigned as the librarian in the newly established Compassion Light Library.  99  At the time, Li gave public lectures on SOtras every Wednesday in the library and taught a Sutra Learning Class every Friday in the Taizhong Lotus Society. This Sutra Learning Class was, in fact, a special class of less than thirty students, which was operated strictly for training lecturers on various Sutras. A session of learning was to learn to lecture on a complete sutra. One of the features of this Sutra Learning Class is that the teaching method employed by Li was xiaozuo fuj icing /JN Jj|5 $| iff (to repeat a lecture in a small forum), a traditional Chinese Buddhist teaching method used in Buddhist lecturers' training. As the term literally suggests, this kind of class should be a small one, after the teacher goes through a sutra once, students are requested, one by one, to imitate the teacher's pedagogy and teaching approach, by which,  9 7  Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 2.  9 S  Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 2.  9 9  Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 2-3. 51  under the supervision of the teacher, students can practice how to lecture on the same sOtra in front of the whole class. Therefore, if there are twenty students in the class, after the teacher finishes a sutra, there will be totally twenty times of repeated lectures on the same sutra. However, this is not all. Students are then requested to lecture on the whole sutra once in public, which is supposed to be the only way to prove that they can teach a sutra. Such public teaching is ca\\ed jiarigdazuo lf| J\. HJ5 (to lecture in a big forum). Only those who have lectured in public can be considered to have completed the whole session of training on "that" sutra and only these students can start a new cycle of training to learn another sutra.  100  Beyond master Jingkong's expectation, instead of being merely one of Li's audience attending public lectures, he was convinced by Li to go to the lecturer training class. After that he maintained this close tie with the teacher for ten years, which means that he spent ten years to learn a variety of sutras. He started his teaching career soon after he received preliminary ordination in 1959 while he still managed to attend all the teacher's lectures, not to mention the Sutra Learning Class. Moreover, during the ten years of close ties with the teacher, the Master had already established his teaching career outside the Taizhong area. It is also during this time that the Master was given a copy of the compiled Infinite Life Sutra by Li. Surprisingly, Li only lectured on it once in 1950 at the Fahua Monastery £fe W T F , Taizhong. Later in 1971, several years after the ten-year training, master Jingkong wanted to give a series of lectures on the compiled sutra at the request of Ms. Han Ying f j | jfe.^ (19221997; see figure 15), who had frequently attended the Master's lectures in Taipei and later became the most important and influential patron for the development of the Master's teaching career. However, when the Master asked for Li's advice, Li told him that the time for lecturing on this sutra had not yet arrived, and urged him to wait patiently for the coming of that moment.  '"" Jingkong, "Xueluenslii wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 3-4. 52  Li then told the Master that he had been anticipating the propagation of Pure Land teachings and the popularization of the compiled sutra throughout the world.  101  Together with the  presenting of the personal copy of the sutra to the Master, Li's remark undeniably signified a typical transmission of lineage and expectation. The right time finally came in 1980's by the requests of audiences in Taiwan and overseas. In the following decade, the Master gave ten series of lectures on that sutra, which made a notable impact on the transmission of Mahayana, and marked a milestone in the development of Pure Land Buddhism. Actually, in the case of Li Bingnan's teaching method, the Sutra Learning Class is only part of it; there are other interesting methods and characteristics, which are highlighted by the Master as follows:  1) For the lecturer-trainees' convenience, master Jingkong reduces Li's pedagogy into four basic principles: a) Simple and not complicated fit} fffj difficult UJ fffj  It; c) plain and not profound £g ffn  vague H/§ ffn ^ H^:.  102  5^; b) easy and not  $1; and d) clear and not  In short, for beginners, to clearly convey Buddhist teachings  to audiences is the essential factor in success. This is also one of the reasons that the Master's teachings can be understood by a wide range of people, from illiterates to intellectuals. 2) The Master points out that there was one occasion that Li gathered all students of the lecturer training class and discussed with them their strengths and weakness in teaching in a carefree, relaxed manner. Corresponding to each person's personality  "" Jingkong, "Xueluenshi vvangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 6-7. 1 0 2  Jingkong, "Xueluenshi vvangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 3.  and comportment, Li advised different techniques to each of them. This incident reflects that the teacher's abilities of observation and discernment correspond to the Buddhist ideas of qieji $ 2 £H (meeting [one's] capability) and qieli  SJ! (meeting  [Buddhist] truth).  103  3) The Master discloses the methods he learned from Li, which are totally different from those of his classmates: a)  Zhicheriggantorig  jji, literally means that practicing utmost sincerity  leads to response. For being an outstanding lecturer on Buddhism, one has to be knowledgeable in both Buddhist and non-Buddhist fields, but it is impossible for a person to learn all of these simply by reading and doing research. The only way is to invite the response from Buddha and Boddhisavtta by cultivating one's ultimate 104  sincerity. b)  Master Jingkong was the only one in the training class not allowed to write notes while listening to the teacher's lectures on sutras. Li's explanation is that jotting notes would distract attention and, thus, one could not fully concentrate on listening to the lectures. Li further pointed out that for those who know how to "listen," they listen to the jiaoli  5J|, the truth of the teachings; once the truth is  fully understood, then all sutras can be comprehended simultaneously because the teachings are from one single source, the self-nature, or the Buddha's nature. But for those who are not able to do so, they at least should know from listening to the jiaoyi %[% ft, the meanings of the teachings, which is different from simply memorizing the meanings of terms. The reason behind this theory is that Buddhist Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 4. Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng sluzhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 4.  lecturers need to put Buddha's teachings into practice; their level of "enlightenment" will directly affect the content and the profundity of their lectures. The higher the level of enlightenment a lecturer obtains, the more profound and comprehensive the lecture will be. Hence, writing notes becomes unnecessary.  105  c)  Yimenshenm —• f j $1 A , which means, literally, specializing in one method. In terms of pedagogy, both Mr. Li and the Master consider that to learn from "one" teacher is a very important step for beginners. At this point, the Master recalls that, when he first met Li in Taizhong, Li brought forward three requests. The first one is that once he decided to learn from him, the Master was not allowed to attend or listen to any lectures on sutras by others. The second one is that the Master could only read those written materials, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist, that had been approved by Li. The last one is that all the teachings the Master learned before were all considered invalid by Li, which means that the Master should deem himself as a mere beginner. Out of admiration for Li, the Master agreed to observe these precepts for five years even though the requirements seem to be too harsh. However, before long, the Master found out that these precepts were beneficial to his study and practice, so he prolonged the period of observation for another five years. The Master believed that by following these rules, his mind could avoid being disturbed and distracted by confused and unsystematic self-learning and reading so that the mind has become purer and clearer. A pure mind is the prerequisite of gaining wisdom.  11,5  Ul  106  Jingkong, ''Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 5.  " Jingkong, "Xueluenshi wangsheng shizhoulian jinian," brochure (1996) 5-6.  Furthermore, appreciated by the Master, all of these teaching and learning strategies actually functioned as precepts for him that were advantageous to the foundation of his ding JE. (concentration) and hui | § (wisdom). Besides, from Li's special treatment of the Master, it is not difficult to understand that why the Master has been revered as one of the most competent Buddhist lecturers. Above all, recently, his reputation is not only limited to "a competent lecturer," but also as "a competent trainer" after the establishment of the Buddhist Educational College in Singapore.  4. Master Jingkong as a Trainer of Buddhist Lecturers As for Master Jingkong's teaching history in Singapore, he was first invited by Mr. Li Muyuan ifE 7fv M (Lee Bock-Guan) to give talks there in 1987. His talks were so remarkable :  that since then several Buddhist organizations have successively invited him to give lectures every year. In May of 1995, aside from the regular invitation for Buddhist talks, the Singapore Kulapati (Buddhist) Lodge and the Amitabha Buddhist Society came up with a new idea: they wanted to invite the Master to hold classes to train future lecturers. Shortly after the Master consented to the plan, students were recruited. There were nine student-monks from China in the first class. After the completion of the class, all of them returned to China where they started to teach in modern Buddhist training schools and to give talks by invitation. All students were proved to be competent and quite successful in their teaching. Thus, word of the success of this training class diffused and much interest was generated among Buddhist communities in China.  107  " " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's Teacliings through Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/successor.HTM>. 56  Consequently, when the second class was announced in the following year, the number of applicants was far beyond the number of available spaces. Finally, spaces were increased to thirty and applicants were accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. The second class was opened in 1996 and, again, the student-monks were from different cities and provinces throughout China. The third and the fourth classes were begun in September of 1997 and March of 1998 respectively and students were both monks and lay Buddhists from China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, the United States and the Philippines.  108  The immediate impact of the popularity of the training class is that it led to the establishment of the Buddhist Educational College in Singapore, which is the first Buddhist school founded in the peninsula. Its mission is "to learn to be a good teacher and a role model for all (Ifl M A BffJ, ?T M "lit $E)," which is a conventional Chinese ideology for literati.  109  As  for the immediate impact of the establishment of this College is that it led to the cooperation with the Buddhist Association of China dp | | ft | £ fjg, Hf, P.R.O.C., in working out "The Class for the Training of Qualified Buddhist Lecturers on Sutras and Dharma Transmission (ft Wi 1%  A ^' i p 1)11 SE)." "° A Protocol or an agreement (yixiangshu MfaW)  was  signed in Singapore on April the 26 of 2000 by representatives of both parties. The two sides th  have agreed to run this one-year training class once a year. Every year, a recruiting  m  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings tlirough Education." chapter 5. 3 Jan. 2000 <hltp://\vw\v.aintb.org.l\v/e-bud/successor.HTM>. The fifth and the sixth classes were begun in January and November of 2001 respectively but were not taught by Master Jingkong, who is now in a five-year sealed confinement started in December of 2001. "Fotuo jiaoyu [Buddhist Education]," 11 Dec. 2001 <http://www.amtb.org.sg/inain/index.htm#>. W J  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teachings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/successor.HTM>. " " Amitabha Newsletter (f g= # f}{ (May 2000), 1, 6 Dec. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.sg/liuixiui5/pagel.htiii>. :  examination is held to choose thirty students, who are supposedly to study in Singapore for six months and return to China for another six months as practical training. After the agreement was signed, an examination was soon held in August and the first class began in December of 2000.  111  However, since the course principles, content and teaching methods are quite different  from other regular Buddhist colleges found in the present day, this college can be considered as the first of its kind in the modern era. ln terms of pedagogy, the school aims to combine the characteristics of Chinese traditional teaching method with the contemporary educational structure. Three levels of courses are offered, with the first year as preparatory classes, the next three years as degree classes, and the final three years as post-graduate classes. Similar to the Sutra Learning Class operated by Li Bingnan, students attending this college will study only one sutra, unit by unit. Students can choose their primary sutra, but the sutra cannot be changed once it is selected. After completing one course unit, with the teacher's approval, students can proceed to the next course unit. This method allows students to engage in in-depth research study solely on their chosen sutra. Unlike other usual classes, teachers do not explain everything, whereas students are expected to study the course materials, write drafts, give talks, listen to comments from classmates and revise the drafts by themselves, ln the beginning, students only give talks to their classmates who study the same sutra but they are allowed to audit classes on other sutras. Once they finish the revision of the drafts with comments from classmates, they are required to present the formal talks to the public, which is the final section of a course unit. Upon  111  Amitabha Newsletter ^ ^ # p , (May 2000), 1, 6 Dec. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.sg/luiixim5/pagel.htm>. 58  finishing the public talks, the teacher gives marks to determine if they are ready for the next course unit.  112  Undoubtedly, this is the traditional Chinese method of teaching inherited by Li from China which has been adapted by the Master for the contemporary Buddhist school. According to the Master, the purpose of setting up this Buddhist Educational College is to train a new generation of lecturers and act as a role model for other Buddhist colleges.  113  To  accomplish these goals, other than the application of the traditional pedagogy, the Master urges students to study other cultures and languages and master the application of modern technology. This is why students are spending their spare time to study English and to learn to use computers (see figure 16). Again, the goal is hope that the education of Buddhism can be brought to people around the world.  114  Conclusion To conclude, the Pure Land Learning Center is a contemporary organization that succeeds to the conventional Pure Land traditions and lineage. Ln addition to the transmission of Buddha's teachings, it also functions as a charity group like most Buddhist organizations: donating food, money, clothing, etc. to those in need and awarding scholarships to poor students, particularly to those in China. However, what makes it different from the old traditions is that the Learning Center's modernization of methods for transmission of teachings  1 1 2  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <hnp://www.aintb.org.tw/e-bud/successor.HTM>. 1 1 3  " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Ching Kung: Propagating the Buddha's  Teacliings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.t\v/e-bud/successor.HTM>. " A Life of Sincerity and Respect: The Life of Venerable Master Clung Kimg: Propagating the Buddha's Teacliings tlirough Education," chapter 5, 3 Jan. 2000 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/successor.HTM>.  and its practicability of doctrines and ways of practice. These features successfully help the Center break new paths. Such timely changes are due to the leadership of master Jingkong. As a whole, the Master's development in learning and teaching Buddhism can be divided into three main stages, those of the student, the teacher and the trainer: 1) The Stage of Education (1953-1966). This learning period has been discussed above for comprehending the Master's Buddhist background, he considers that those key points he specializes in are essential to the growth of his Buddhist knowledge and cultivation. He refers to the learning period under the guidance of Professor Fang and master Zhangjia as the period of seedtime and germination while the ten years of learning from Li successfully helped him grow into a "small tree."  115  2) The Stage of Teaching (1967-1997). Although the Master had started teaching soon after he became a monk, the time for him to be a full-time Buddhist lecturer was in 1967, after he graduated from Taizhong. As mentioned by the Master, the most important person regarding his teaching career is Ms. Han Ying. After the Master moved to live with her family, she, other than simply providing financial support, started to look for places for him to give lectures, and invited audiences to attend these talks. Thus, the Master could practice his teaching skills everyday, which is very important to a young, inexperienced lecturer. Besides, he also remarks that when later he was invited by audiences in the United States, it was Ms. Han Ying who finally found a government-recognized organization to back him up for applying for a passport to leave the country. At that time, due to political reasons, to leave the country was not as easy as nowadays in Taiwan. Particularly for 1 1 5  Jingkong, "Guanzhang wangsheng de cishi," audio-tape, 1997: v. 1. 60  religious purpose like this, the Master needed to apply for a passport with some documents from the Chinese Buddhist Association of Taiwan; however, the Master's plan to teach abroad was not supported by this association. Therefore, as appreciated by the Master, he emphasizes that, without Ms. Han Ying, he even might not be a monk today, not to mention having a career in teaching Buddhism. With her aid, the Master has grown into a "tall, strong tree.""  6  3) The Stage of Training Lecturers (1996-present). Parts of the credit for the development of this recent stage should give to Li Muyuan (Lee Bock-Guan; see figure 17), who is the leading figure of the Singapore Kulapati (Buddhist) Lodge and the Amitabha Buddhist Society. With Li Muyuan's assistance, the Master's individual effort in propagating Pure Land Buddhism has been transformed into a powerful network of transmission. Such powerful network can be reflected by the example that, during the Master's recent five-year sealed confinement (started in December of 2001), he lectures four hours each day in a studio in Australia for audio and video recording, and live internet transmission.  117  According to the  strong response from Buddhist communities of countries like China, Malaysia, etc. to the development of the Buddhist Educational College, its impact on Buddhist development in these places in the near future is worth notice. Hence, borrowing the Master's parable, I think, this stage can be called the period of florescence and fruit bearing. However, the Master's present success is not totally free of obstacles and adversities. When he had finished his study in Taizhong, he moved back to Taipei but was unsure where to  " " Jingkong, "Guanzhang wangsheng de cislii," audio-tape, 1997: v. 1. 1 1 7  ''Collected Talks of Ven. Master Chin Kung," 20 Oct. 2002 <http://vvvvvv.anitb.org.tw/jkfs/lif.htm>. 61  go because no monastery wanted a mere lecturer, since they preferred to keep those who could conduct religious rites, which was a good source of income. However, he "firmly believed that the basic responsibility of monks and nuns is to pass on the proper teachings of the Buddha, and not just to conduct religious rites and ceremonies." Obviously, his "notion" was viewed offensive by some "established" monasteries at the time and he was thus misunderstood and slandered.  118  According to him, he was in such a dilemma that he had only two alternatives: he could either give up the status of monk or conduct religious rites. If he chose to uphold his goal as a lecturer to exert himself to propagate Buddhism, he would not be accepted in any monastery at that time, which means that he could hardly continue his monkhood and would need to return to the lay life. If he wanted to maintain his status and to live in a monastery, he had to force himself to conduct religious rites to which he had long been opposed. It was at this crucial moment that he was invited by Ms. Han Ying and her husband to live in their house. To make sure this move met with Buddhist precepts, master Jingkong deliberately asked Mr. Li for approval. With Li's approval and the Master's own enthusiasm for propagating Buddhism, he finally accepted the offer and lived with that family for seventeen years until the establishment of the Huazang Buddhist Library. As expected, this decision resulted in gossip and censure from the majority of Buddhist groups. Nonetheless, Ms. Han Ying's thirty-year patronage and the Master's diligence and endurance have helped him survive these difficult situations.  119  To further comprehend his influence on the Learning Center, this thesis will continue to explore his Buddhist beliefs and advocacy in the next two chapters.  "* "Honglnizhengfa/xufohuiining," Amida Society Journal 37 (summer, 1997) 9. 1 1 9  "Honglnizhengfa/xufohuiining," Amida Society Journal 37 (summer, 1997) 9-10. 62  CHAPTER THREE The Relation between the Pure Land Teachings Advocated by Master Jingkong and Other Pure Land Patriarchs  Some Basic Knowledge of the Pure Land Teachings Before focusing on the topic, it is necessary to make clear the general belief of the Pure Land School first in this opening section. For the convenience of such clarification, a brief introduction of the teaching and practice of Pure Land Buddhism is given below by quoting a passage from Holmes Welch's The Practice of Chinese Buddhism 1900-1950:  According to the fundamental sutra of the Pure Land school, the SukhfdJvatfiJ-vyfuJha, there was once a monk, Dharmakara, who resolved that he would only become a [BJuddha on the condition that his [BJuddha realm had the following characteristics. It would be full of sweet smells, clouds of music, showers of jewels, and every other beauty and joy. All who were reborn there would be able to stay indefinitely and to attain their nirvana. Most important of all, anyone could be reborn there who called upon his name ten times, or even once only. After making this resolve, Dharmakara went on to become the [BJuddha Amit[ajbha (O-mi-t'o-fo [Emituofo]). The realm that he had made a precondition of [BJuddhahood was thereby created. It lay in the West and so was called the Western Paradise. Since it was without pain or sin, it was also called the Pure Land. Amit[a]bha still presides over it, assisted by two [BJodhisattvas known in Chinese as Kuan-yin [Guanyin] and Ta-shih-chih [DashizhiJ (Avalokite[s]vara and Mah[a]sth[a]mapr[a]pta). 63  Since we are living in the age of the decay of the dharma, it is difficult, as mentioned in the last chapter, to reach nirvana here through our own efforts. Therefore most Buddhists in China prefer to get the help of Amit[a]bha by reciting his name {nien-fo [riianfo]).  That is, they repeat the words "homage to the [BJuddha Amit[a]bha"  (na-mo O-mi-t 'o-fo [namo Emituofo])  in the belief that if they do so wholeheartedly  they will be reborn in the Western Paradise. "Wholeheartedly" means making their minds "whole and still" (i-hsin pu-hian \yixiri buhiari]), so that nothing is there but Amit[a]bha. He is in their mouths (as they recite his name), in their ears (as they listen to the recitation), and in their minds (as they visualize him). This is called "perfect concentration in reciting [BJuddha's name" 'nien-fo san-mei [nianfo sanmei]). It corresponds to a degree of enlightenment achieved in the meditation hall. Achieving it does not necessarily mean that one goes to the Western Paradise when he dies, unless he dies at once. Otherwise it is possible to slide backwards. Entry into the Western Paradise requires no enlightenment at all. ... There are nine grades (chiu-p 'in [jiupiri]). ... Residents of the Western Paradise who are approaching [BJuddhahood may choose to return to the world of men. They do not have to, since they have been permanently released from the cycle of birth and death, but they may decide to be reborn here in order to follow the [BJodhisattva ideal of compassionate help to all sentient beings.  1 2 0  120  Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism 1900-1950 (Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1967)  89-90. 64  According to Welch, "[e]xcept for the first paragraph, the picture given above is based entirely on conversations with Chinese Buddhists of different sects."  121  In other words, his interviews  provide information about the general understanding among Chinese Buddhists of the notion and the practice of the Pure Land School during the first half of twentieth century. From his summary, several accounts are worth elaboration here:  1.  In addition to the Wuliangshou jing  J l tip IS (the Larger SukhavatT-vyuha-sutra; the  Infinite Life Sutra) mentioned above, the teachings of the Pure Land School were also developed on the basis of two other sutras, titled in Chinese as the Foshuo Amituo jing ft Wl M  P'B IS (the Smaller SukhavatT-vyuha-sutra; the Amitabha Sutra) and Foshuo  guan Wuliangshoufo jing  ft  MMm.W  f  ft  IS (the Amitayur-dhyana-sOtra; the  Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra). They are known as Jingtu sanjing  W zh  EL  | S (the Three Pure Land Sutras) whereas another similar term Sanjingyilun  EL  IS — Ifl (the Three Sutras and One Treatise) refers to the combination of these three sutras and the Wangsheng lun t £ ^E. lit (the Rebirth Treatise), an important upadesa, or dogmatic treatise, on the Larger SukhavatT-vyuha-sutra, on which the practice of  wunian men LK  IEI  f j (the five devotional ways) of the Pure Land School is based.  122  121  Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, p. 90.  1 2 2  The full title of this Treatise is Ihe Wuliangshoujing voupotishe yuansheng ji M S W IS fjf II1/1 "ir Sl £ f^t  (the Gatha of Resolving to be Reborn [in Praise of] the Upadesa of the Larger Sukhavatl-vyuha-sutra; Sukhavativyuhopadesa), and the five devotional ways are.  (1) libai men ifst f% P^j (vandana: ihe way of worship): lo worship Anutabha with one's body so as to remind one to resolve to be reborn in the Western Pure Land;  However, with the promotion of the Puxianpusa xingyuanpin |f }f ^ jH fj jjp pp (a chapter of the Avatamsaka-sutra; the Chapter on the Conduct and Vows of the Universal Worthy Bodhisattva [Samantabhadra]), and the Dashizhipusa nianfo yuantongzhang j\  jg H jH ^  HI M ^ (a chapter of the Surangama-sutra ^  JI #P 35 ^ H B I t 7 « l i # Bl H ?T I t 6§ I I IS; the Chapter on the Perfect Complete Realization of Great Strength Bodhisattva [Mahasthama] through Buddha Name Recitation) by the famous Qing scholar-official Wei Yuan |!& $K (1794-1857, zi Moshen | £ ffi) and the School's thirteenth Patriarch, Shengliang (Yinguang), respectively, the number of sutras for the School has changed and renamed as Jingtu wujing ffi j i £ >W (the Five Pure Land Sutras) and Wujingyihm 7a | ^ —• m (the Five Sutras and One Treatise).  123  (2)  Theoretically speaking, studies and commentaries of these  zantan men §ff Iffc f"=j (stotra; the way of praise): to chant the name of Amitabha and praise die Buddha's accomplishments with one's mouth in the hope that such practice corresponds to the Buddha Nature;  (3)  zuoyuan men f|H IjjiS f*\  (pranidhana.  the way of making vows): resolve to be reborn in the Piue Land with  one's whole mind in the hope that such practice corresponds to the attainment of samatha, or calmness of mind and absence of passion; (4)  guancha men fH f?| H (pravicaya; the way of contemplation): to discern the wonders and advantages of the Pure Land and the merits and virtues of Amitabha and residents of that land in the hope that such practice corresponds to the attainment of vipasyana, or contemplation;  (5) huixiang men j j | [oj PI (the way of dedicating merits): to dedicate one's merits like works of supererogation to the salvation of all sentient beings in order to aclueve mahakaruna, or die great pity mind.  See Wangshenglunzhu sanzhong hekan t i 4. lm l i H 8 a T'J [Combined Copy of Tliree Kinds of Commentary on the Rebirth Treatise) (Taipei: Huazang Fojiao tushuguan, 1980) 3, 5, 49-53. 1 2 3  Jingtu wujing duben ffl ±_ £ I f W. ^ [A Textbook of the Five Pure Land Sutras] (Taipei: Fotuo jiaoyu  jijinhui, 1989) 1-6. 415-418. 66  works are critical to the understanding of the School's teachings and practices. Probably for the same reason, every time when Master Jingkong gives a lecture, he frequently cites many quotations from these sutras and their commentaries to expound the School's teachings. Thus, to a large extent, such selected quotations reveal Jingkong's ideology and its connection with traditional teachings of the School, which are the focuses of this chapter and will be discussed in the following section. 2. In terms of Buddhist practice, there are two types of power, zili [=J fj (self-power) and tali ftji fj (other-power).  124  To attain salvation and Buddhahood, all other Chinese  Buddhist schools rely solely on self-power to eliminate afflictions (duan fannao gff 'Wk f|j), but with the practices of the Pure Land School one can attain salvation and Buddhahood easier by relying on both powers to overcome afflictions (fu farmao {X 'M 111). That is, all Pure Land practitioners not only rely on their own effort but also on the power of Amitabha, who is considered to have attained Buddhahood by fulfilling his forty-eight vows, with which he created the Western Pure Land for those who wished to transcend reincarnation within the Six Realms, and in which the perfection of the Pure Land lies. It is also believed that those who are reborn into the Pure Land will become Bodhisattvas at once, never regress in their practice until they become Buddhas, and learn all the ways to help other sentient beings to attain Buddhahood. Hence, the practices of the Pure Land School are known as jing/u  fe  (a shortcut) and yixing 125  II, Jingtu shivi lun /f ±. "h M Ira [On the Ten Doubts of the Pure Land], TT 47, no. 1961: 78c.  1 2 4  Zliiyi  1 2 5  A l l practices of nianfo are considered the shortcut to salvation, while chiming ^ ^ (to recite the name [of  Amitabha]), one of the nianfo methods, is praised lo be jingzhongjing f l dp f l (the shortcut within a shortcut; other similar terms are f l cp  f l , f l dp ^ f l and f l M 5L M ) . See Shandao # ^ "Quanliua jinglu xiuxing ?  67  3. The termsyixin hiiluan —• /[> ^ ffL (one mind undisturbed; i-hsiripu-luan) andyixiang zhuannian —• |"pJ I | ^ (to recite devotionally and consistently) are the principal guidelines for the Pure Land practices.  127  Amitabha Sutra  128  The former can only be found in the  while the latter in the Infinite Life Sutra.  129  4. The meaning of the term yixin buluan, or one mind undisturbed (or "wholeheartedly" in Welch's passage), is usually elucidated by comparing with a quotation meaning "to assimilate all the six sense-organs so that pure thought persists (dushe liugen. 130  song W) it fS  If ff 'M [Admonitory Eulogy of the Shortcut Practice]," Lebang vvenlei ^ f$ SC H [Various  Writings on the Land of Bliss], 1200. ed. Zongxiao f = BE TT 47. no. 1969A: 219b; Zhuhong W zS, Amitno jing shuchao R $jf §Z IS ifi # [Phrase-by-Phrase Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra], 1584, Xuzangjing, vol. 33: 170, 173 and 174; and Yuan Hongdao Hi T A i S , Xifang helun I § 3^ a lira [Combined Treatise on the Western (Pure Land)], 1599, T T 47, no. 1976: 393c. I2  " Nagarjuna f i  (Longshu), Shizliu posha lun -f- f i IS '& Ira [Dasabhumivibhasa sastra]. Trans. KinnarajTva  A l Ws. W. f+ (Jiiunoluoshi), fifth century, TT 26. no. 1521: 41a-43a. 1 2 7  See Zhixu % tfi, Amituojing vaojie R M |?t II H ft? [Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra], 1645, TT J  37, no. 1762: 365a and 371b; Daochuo j f |#, Anle ji 15a; and Jiacai ! 2 S  [Essays on Peace and Happiness], TT 47, no. 1958:  JingUi lun rf ± Ira [On the Pure Land], Tang dynasty, TT 47, no. 1963: 92b.  KinnarajTva | | I f f , trans., Foshuo Amituo jing  1ft |55f >$f p£ | f [The Amitabha Sutra], T T 12, no. 366:  347b. 1 2 9  See Sanghavarman Jj£ fjf l i (Kangsengkai), trans., Foshuo wuliangshou jing W IS •  1 SII  [Tlte Iivfmite  Life Sutra], TT 12, no. 360: 272b; and Xia Lianju JJ 'M H , ed., Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng iue jing  ffi,  A  M Hk M S\± H fit ff ¥ l£ ^ IS [The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of  Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 66-68.  dushe liugen (to assimilate the six sense organs), it is necessary to first explain several related concepts, liushi 7\ | ^ (the six sense), liujing A ifl (the six objective fields of sense), liuchen A 8 (the six gimas, inherent qualities), and their inter-relationships: 1 3 0  To properly explain the concept  68  jingriian xiangji ffi ft A'  0  W it*,ffiWk)"fromThe Chapter on the Perfect Complete  Realization of Great Strength Bodhisattva [Mahasthama] through Buddha Name Recitation.  131  One Mind  t  divert the interaction back to the One Mind by assimilating the six sense-oreans  D i a g r a m 1. C o n c e p t s o f a n d I n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s a m o n g t h e S i x S e n s e , t h e Six O b j e c t i v e Fields o f Sense, a n d t h e Six G u n a s , I n h e r e n t Q u a l i t i e s  The six sense organs are ran BH (eye), er If (ear), bi j | . (nose), she  (tongue), shen ^ (body), and>v ^ (mind).  From the six sense organs, there exist six corresponding senses, which are. jian ft, (see), wen If] (hear), xiu tU| (smell), wei ^ (taste), jue j!t (touch), and .sv S (think). When the six senses have contacted the six objective fields (.ve -fe, form; sheng 'If,  sound;  xiang  If,  scent: wei tffc, taste; chu j®, texture; and fa  ideas), the six  inherent qualities are developed because of the Three Afflictions discussed in footnote 132 (in general, they are also called fenbie jj- S'J (discriminatory thoughts), zhizhuo %k ?§• (attachment), and wangxiang ^ *g (erroneous thoughts)). These six qualities are described by the word chen JH (dust, or dirt) and are the cause of all impurity that pollutes the six sense organs. Since the origin of the six senses and the six inherent qualities is the six sense organs itself, the six sense organs is described by the word gen ffi (root). To assimilate the six sense organs is to prevent discriminatory thoughts and attachment so that the six inherent qualities are not developed during the interaction between the six senses and the six objective fields. By practicing nianfo, all focuses are diverted from the six objective fields back to the recitation so that pine tiiought persists. 131  Paramiti $§; $0  ^ (Bocimidi), trans., "Dashizhipusa nianfo yuantongzhang  ^f^^^il^fSHSjjI:  [The Chapter on the Perfect Complete Realization of Great Strength Bodhisattva (Mahasthama) tlirough Buddha Name Recitation|," Dafoding nilai niivin xiuzheng levi zhupusa wenhang shoulengyan jing X f i It 7 m li§ H i l M ft "gf m m m [The Surangama-Sutra], TT 19, no. 945: 128b. 69  IS P-U ^ & H  5. There are three levels of nianfo sanmei ^ f^fi —.  {nianfo samadhi; Welch calls it  "perfect concentration in reciting buddha's name;" that is, the mind fixed and undisturbed through reciting Buddha's name) in the Pure Land practices, from the elementary to the advanced levels, namely, gongfu chengpian 5tf have reached constant mindfulness), shi yixin buluan Ijl —•  f^C  (efforts that  ^ (HL (one mind  undisturbed in mindfulness), and li yixin buluan BI —• >\_? jfjL (one mind undisturbed in enlightenment).  132  The level of constant mindfulness, an attainable state for all  sentient beings, is described as the state in which one does not have discriminatory thoughts and attachments. Once this level is attained, it is believed that all afflictions are overcome and the rebirth to Fansheng tongju tu p\ H? |U]  JfEj  j i (the Land Where  Mortals and Sages Dwell Together) of the Pure Land is ensured. Those who attain the level of one mind undisturbed in mindfulness are said to have eliminated one of the three main types of afflictions.  133  into Fangbian youyu tu jj {f[ ^  Under such conditions, the practitioner can be reborn -t_ (the Land of Expediency and Remaining  [Afflictions]). However, it is the level of one mind undisturbed in enlightenment that is  1 3 2  Zliixu, Amituojing vaojie [Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra], 1645, TT 37, no. 1762: 371b.  133  San fannao EL. M li) (the Three Afflictions), also known nssanhuo EL gf£ (the Three Delusions), sanlov EL M :  (the Three Leakages), 1)  sangou EL i!s (the Three Dirtinesses), and sanjie EL  (the Three Bonds), are:  jian si fannao ML ® M IH (afflictions arise from things seen and thought) refers to illusions from faulty perception;  2)  chensha fannao JU fj? ip, '[ji (afflictions arising from [being unable to comprehend ways of saving sentient beings which are as numberless as| dust and sand) refers to the afflictions of Bodhisattvas, which are the illusions and temptations that arise when they face the vast amount of detail in knowledge and operation required for the immense variety of duties in saving sentient beings;  3)  wuming fannao |ffi B£j ;£jf '[J| (afflictions arising from [primal] ignorance) refers to the illusions and temptations arise from failing to realize the Reality, the tnith of the mean between realism and nihilism. 70  considered to be the equivalent level that "corresponds to a degree of enlightenment achieved in the meditation hall."'  34  It is believe that as a certain degree of  enlightenment is attained, the practitioner can be reborn into Shibao zhuangyan tu f£ $|j ftH  i  (the Magnificent Land of True Retribution) and partially experience Chang ji  guang lu % M.it  1 3 4  (the Land of Eternity, Tranquility, and Light [of Wisdom]).  135  In  For example, in Zhiihong's work Changuan cejin. on thetermyixin buluan, or one mind imdisturbed, he  comments that many people have overlooked the fact that the level of yixin buluan is equivalent to that of Chan ( R ith - <L> ^ SL H ~ , # m Z $ #  A # ft lit ?& Z).  See Zhuhong, Changuan cejin | f M W.  'M  [Encourage to Make Progress in the Sealed Confinement of Chan], 1600, T T 48, no. 2024: 1107a. 1 3 5  These four Lands are the four Buddha-ksetra, or realms. They are in reality four-in-one, existing in the Land of  Eternity, Tranquility, and Light (of Wisdom), and are only separated for the sake of convenience in teaching. For further details, see Ding Fubao T ^1 ffi, Foxue dacidian #f % j\ 3$  [Great Dictionary of Buddhist Teaching],  3  1920 (Taipei: Huazang Fojiao shiting tusluiguan Ig M i$  M MM  It i f , reprint 1989) 750-751.  The following table shows the relationship between the levels of nianfo sanmei, the statuses of attainment, and these four Lands: H WL an 1u (The Statuses of the  Ig fj 0  Concentration in Reciting  Attainment in Perfect  Lands)  Buddha's Name)  Teaching's Svstem)  (Perfect  Tfi  f& jn (Efforts that have  + (The Western Four  ft IS P ff ± (The Land Where Mortals and Sages Dwell  reached constant mindfulness)  Together) M M Wk (Arhal; Ihe highest  75  attaimnent in Hlnayana  Expediency and Remaining  Buddhism)  [Afflictions])  I f — ,j> ^ UL (One mind  m ii. m PI IX ± (The first of  % $S jffi I I ± (The Magnificent  undisturbed in enlightenment)  the Ten Stages, or ihe fortieth  Land of Tme Retribution)  section, in the fifty-two sections  % U ?t ± (The Land of  of the enlightenment attained by  Eternity, Tranquility, and Light  Bodhisattvas)  [of Wisdom])  ¥ — 'L/  SL (One mind  imdisturbed in mindfulness)  M & ± (The Land of  Table 1. The Relationship between the Levels of Nianfo Sanmei, the Statuses of Attainment, and the Western Four Lands  71  addition, the classification of the "nine grades" is in fact a further subdivision 136  according to the attained level of nianfo sanmei, or, in other words, to the amount of remaining karma. For such reason, rebirth is also termed as daiye wangsheng ^ ^ f i ^E. (reborn with [corresponding] karma).  137  6. It is said that a Pure Land practitioner can be reborn into the Pure Land on condition that the so-called son ziliang EL 'M fit (the Three Provisions), xin {ft (faith), yuan HI (vow), and xing fj (practice), have been prepared. That is, the practitioner must have faith in the teachings of Pure Land Buddhism, be willing to be reborn to Amitabha's Pure Land, and practice what has been taught. The first two are considered to be the prerequisite: the faith and vow determine whether one will be reborn in the Pure Land. Whereas the level of attainment determines into which land a practitioner will be reborn,  131  Jit/pin fi aa (nine grades) refers to the nine different levels of concentration or enlightenment attained by those  who can be reborn into the Pure Land, with shangshang _h J l (upper superior) as the highest type of incarnate resident, and  xiaxia f T (lower inferior) the lowest. According to William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous,  ed., A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms (Taipei: Xinwenfeng chuban gongsi, 1982) 16, "]e]ach grades may also be subdivide into nine, thus making a list of eighty-one grades, with similar further subdivision ad infinitum." 1 3 7  See Zhixu % j|B. Amiuiojing yaojie M %i |?£ ijf W M [Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra], 1645, TT n  37, no. 1762: 365a and 370c; and Shen Fu $< | § , "'Jingtu yuanliu yf ±_ M \fi [The Origin and Development of :  Pure Land (Buddhism)|," Jingtuzong shilun tf ± zp; -fe lira [On the History of the Pure Land School], ed. Zhang Mantao M ft tH (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua chubanshe, 1979) 11. The point o f ' being reborn with corresponding karma" is one of the three reasons why the Western Pure Land is claimed to be better than the others suggested by Jingkong; the other iwo reasons are "maintaining ihe stage of non-regression" and "becoming a Buddha in one life after being reborn there." The original passage reads as follows: "g§ fj  tS  .ff...  .Hf|  —  |fg j£B  S -fftl f j : ^- Z  ^•m-^w^a^'m-a^^ii'mHa^j^^'-^/sW'jtt^s^itr^m-^^ 2 JSL ° " See Liu Chengfu %ij 7fx; fJj, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing qinwenji [A Record of What I Have Heard about the Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Sanbao dizi, 1999) 201. 72  the classification of the lands is based on the amount of remaining karma. With heavier karma, one is said to be reborn into a lower level of land; with lighter karma, a higher level of land. Thus, it does not matter if the practitioner only recites ten times, or even once, the name of Amitabha Buddha as long as he/she has faith and vows, and has achieved a certain level of concentration or a certain degree of enlightenment.  138  7. Most of the rituals and practices, such as the five devotional ways, ten-recitation method and Seven [Days] Nianfo Dharma Gathering, were developed and have been observed according to various Pure Land sutras in order to achieve those goals described above.  The Four Divisions: Faith. Comprehension, Practice and Realization Although a vast amount of records of Master Jingkong's lectures on a variety of sutras, moral books and Buddhist works has conserved, this chapter does not attempt to reorganize and analyze Jingkong's teaching based on information collected from all these lectures. This study concentrates solely on lectures about the compiled version of the Infinite Life Sutra, or Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing \% jjft  fH  j |  g§ -/f| ffi  zp 3 | Jg | « (The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School; 1935), because this core sutra of the Pure Land Learning Center has been warmly advocated by Jingkong since 1987 when he gave his first lecture on it. To date Jingkong has lectured ten times on this sutra, but only three of them are used here as the sources of the discussions. The reason for this selection is that one of them is the  l 3 s  For further details, see Zhuhong, Amituo jing shuchao fPhrase-by-Phrase Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra],  1584, Xuzangjing, vol. 33: 218, 227, and 244. 73  most recent series of lectures on the sutra that began in 1998, while the other two are chosen for their convenience in the textual study because they have been transcribed, edited and published as two sets of books, titled as the Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji \% tft y\ ^ j& j | H %± ff ff 0 zp |jp ^ :  p |g (Lecture Notes  on the Infinite Life Sutra; 1996) and Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing qinwenji  1^ A  ^ m * E II rf  ¥ ^ K If  ffl  IS (A Record  of What 1 Have Heard about the Infinite Life Sutra; 1999). The transcriptions are based on the 1990 and 1992 series of lectures respectively; the 1990 lectures are particularly informative.  139  Moreover, information gathered from these oral and written materials is organized according to the categorization of four divisions which was first used to annotate the Flower Adornment Sutra by Chengguan /a H (738-839; zi Daxiu  hao Qingliang ~/ff #p), who is  well-known for his revelation of the Sutra's profound teachings and ways of practice by using this category. Thus, his four divisions, xin fg (faith), //t; fpf? (comprehension), xing fy (practice) and zherig fH (realization), are also known as hnayan sifen lp? H H9 jrf (the four divisions of the Flower Adornment Sutra).  140  The major reason for this arrangement is that Jingkong also  adopts this category in lecturing the Infinite Life Sutra.  141  However, this is not entirely his own  innovation but, on the contrary, is an adoption of a traditional idea that these two sutras have  1 3 9  Each session of the 1998 series lasts for two hours; the whole series has already had 132 sessions and still  continues. In other words, this series has been lectured for 264 hours. As for the 1990 and 1992 series, each of their sessions lasts for one and the half hours; the latter has 60 sessions and its published transcription lias 605 pages while the former has 107 sessions that produces a set of books containing four volumes and 2792 pages. M  " Yiru — #n, Sanzana fashu EL ijic  !& (Numerical Terminology of Dharma in the Buddhist Canon] (Taipei:  Ciyun shanzhuang/sanhui xuechu, reprint 1996) 133. 141  "Dacheng wuliangshou jing  X.3$kMM.M IS  (the Infinite Life Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism)," 16 Jan. 2002  <http://www.amtb.org.tw/word/2-34new.HTM>. 74  been considered as the "same" sutra in terms of their level of attainment, as shown at the end of the Flower Adornment Sutra that Samantabhadra, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, vows to be reborn into the Western Pure Land so that Buddhahood can be completed. Flower Adornment Sutra has also been called dahen huayan X. ^  142  Accordingly, the  W f t (the large edition of  the Flower Adornment Sutra) while the Infinite Life Sutra as zhongben huayan dp Jf. i j | J g (the medium edition of the Flower Adornment Sutra).  143  Likewise, since the Infinite Life Sutra  and the Amitabha SOtra has also been deemed as tonghu [1] p[i (the same area),  144  that is, the  "same" sutra, in terms of their content and doctrine, the Amitabha Sutra has been called xiaoben huayan /j\ 2(s; l p f f (the small edition of the Flower Adornment Sutra).  1 4 2  145  Such terms  This is usually staled as "the King of Ten Great Vows leads (practitioners) back to the Pure Land (-)-  2J¥ H§ |or  $1 3E,  fH T K ) . " For example, see Yuan Hongdao, Xifang helun g§ 73 n m [Combined Treatise on the  Western (Pure Land)|, 1599. TT 47. no. 1976: 408a. 1 4 3  Huang Nianzu M lit* iM, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie \%  M m. W H± ft tit ffl W-  j\  ^  IS ffl [Aiuiotation on the Infinite Life Sutra], (Taichimg: Wufeng sanbao huchiliui,  1993) 52. 1 4 4  See Zongxiao, ed., Lebang wenlei ^ £|3 5t Hi [Various Writings on the Land of Bliss], 1200, TT 47, no.  1969A: 150c. This is the reason why the Infinite Life Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra are also titled as the Larger Siikhavatl-vyuha-sutra and the Smaller Sukliavatl-vyuha-sulra respectively. I 4 i  Undoubtedly, for this reason Cizhou H  (1877-1957), one of the prominent Buddhist Masters in modem  China, also applies the four divisions to annotating the Amitabha Sutra, making him the counterpart of Jingkong and verifying that such application is simply a traditional means of interpretation. For details, see Cizhou, "Foshuo amituo jing 'buke yi shao shangen fude yinyuan de sheng bigno' de jianjie fj$ l £ p5J ffl p£ | g 'P # ffi t i t i H If ?#  nTJ^i,  6^ M ffl [Opinions on 'One Camiot Attain Birth in That Land with Few Roots  of Goodness, Virtuous Merits, and Primary Causes' in the Buddha Speaks of the Amitabha Sutra]," ed. Zhang Mantao  § '/#. Jingtu dianji yanjiu ffl ± !& | | ftf % [Studies on Pure Land Texts] (Taipei: Dacheng wenhua  chubanshe, 1979) 337-344. 75  demonstrate nothing but the close connection between the Flower Adornment Sutra and these two Pure Land sutras.  146  Therefore, because of the importance of the Infinite Life Sutra to the founding and development of the Learning Center as well as the way how Jingkong interprets it, the following sections completely rely on materials related to this Sutra, and are arranged according to the sequence of the four divisions, of which each section discusses Jingkong's ideas first and then compares them with similar arguments suggested by previous Pure Land advocates. However, since the purpose of this chapter is to reveal the Master's own understanding of Pure Land Buddhism, only those who have always been mentioned by him are selected. Among them, the most influential ones are Shandao Hr Ijf (613-681) and Chengguan @ |g (738-839) of the Tang, Zhuhong $j ^ (1535-1615) and Zhixu W M (15991655) of the Ming, and Shengliang H | | (1860-1940) of the Qing.  Faith  " Many Buddhists works were written to argue and explain such ideas. For example, in his essay "Huayan nianfo sanmei lun Ijf f | ^ fjJU EL [fcK m I On the Samadhi on Nianfo from the Flower Adornment Sutra]," Peng Jiqing | J fig /jf explains the close relationship between the attainment described in the Flower Adornment Sutra and the practice of nianfo. See Huang Nianzu jlf ^ i]i§., Huayan nianfo sanmeilun jiangji lj§ H if£, \% EL ^ m [Lecture Notess of the Discussion of the Samadhi on Nianfo from the Flower Adornment Sutra] (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, 1991) 5-31. Moreover, the idea of tongbu [o] gl3 is quite important to the study of commentaries on the Pure Land sutras since the Amitabha Sutra and the Infinite Life Sutra have been considered as "the same sutra," their commentaries have been used as cross reference; that is, commentaries on the former can be applied to similar idea in the latter and vice versa. Jingkong also adopts this tradition in teaching. See Jingkong ffl 3?, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji  1ft A ^ ^ m i f H± IS  flf  7  IP ft I I Wt 1£ [Lecture Notess of the Infinite Life Sutra) (California: Amitabha Buddhist Society of U S A , 1996) vol. 1: 600 and 667. 76  In Chinese Buddhism, xiri, or faith, is generally believed to be the source of the Way and the mother of meritorious virtue that brings forth all good deeds (fg j=| jjf jt  HI —  ty]  lit Hr SO-  147  M.  According to Jingkong, xiri, or faith, is the first requirement for those  who want to convert to Pure Land Buddhism, but, contradictorily, it is difficult for most of them to "truly" believe in, or interiorize what Sakyamuni Buddha taught about the means of salvation promoted by the Pure Land School.  148  He repeatedly mentions that faith is one of the  Three Provisions that determines if a practitioner can be reborn into the Pure Land, once one's faith is pure, one can experience Reality (fg /C7 fit 0, I'J  149  and that  H 'ffl) because pure  :  faith is the solvent of doubt that assists the practice of nianfo to attain enlightenment.  150  Thus, Jingkong categorizes the faith of Pure Land practitioners into three major types according to their degree of understanding of the Pure Land teachings. The first type refers to those who convert to Pure Land Buddhism without a clear concept of the School's teachings; such faith is said to be weak and unstable, and is called mixin ^ fg (superstition). The second type is zhengxin JJ£ fg (proper faith), which refers to those whose faith is built on thorough understanding of the School's teachings, while those who can put such understanding into practice in daily life are considered as zhenxin J|. fg (genuine faith).  151  147  Siksananda U ?L S| |?£, trans., Dafangguang foluiayan jing J\ ~Jj UK f<$ If! H I S [The Avatamsaka-sutra], 695,  TT 10, no. 279: 72b. I 4 S  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Siitra] (California: Amitabha Buddhist Society of USA, 1996) vol. 1: 525. 1 4 9  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qiiigjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 516. 1 5 0  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 515. 577. 151  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 512. 77  Accordingly, to become a practitioner with genuine faith, one has to learn and recognize in advance the content of the teachings that builds the proper faith; the outline of these contents are introduced and listed below;  1. Firstly, a novice has to truly believe that there is a Buddha called Amitabha who created the Western Pure Land aiming to save all sentient beings from the reincarnation of the Six Realms, as stated in all Pure Land sutras. Jingkong considers that once a practitioner has firm faith (shenxin $5 f g ) in the existence of Amitabha and his Pure Land, naturally, he/she will sincerely vow (qieyuan tJJ Wd to be reborn into that Land with no doubts, and that the possession of these two provisions is the "compass" that guides one to the correct way of practice (zhengxing JJ£ f y ; i.e. nianfo), which leads to the Pure Land.  152  2. Secondly, all practitioners are urged to firmly believe in the idea of cause and effect, especially that practicing nianfo is the cause and becoming a Buddha is the effect (nianfo shi yin, chengfo shi guo ^ ft H H , JTJC ft H I I ) -  153  In other words, becoming  a Buddha is a direct result or effect of nianfo practice. 3. Thirdly, they should also believe in shengfo brier ft ^ Z I (no difference between sentient beings and Buddhas); that is, all sentient beings are equal in their Buddha 154  Nature, no matter whether they are enlightened or unenlightened. The only difference between sentient beings and Buddhas is that the mind of sentient beings is polluted but  152  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra), vol. 1: 324. 153  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 474. 154  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1:513. 78  that of Buddhas is pure. Therefore, the pure mind is the Buddha's mind; to become a Buddha means to completely purify one's mind.  155  4. Lastly, they should believe that nianfo is the only method appropriate to all sentient beings regardless of their capacity and mentality (sangen pupei, lidun quanshou EL |ft 156  la W., ^'J $1! ^ $0 except those who do not believe in Pure Land teachings.  157  When comparing Jingkong's notions about faith with those of Pure Land Patriarchs and advocates, it is easy to notice that most of his notions arise from the idea of liuxin 7\ {ff (the six faiths) suggested by Zhixu  jig, (1599-1655, zi Ouyi $| S^, hao Lingfeng ft  the  ninth Pure Land Patriarch. According to Jingkong, Zhixu has been esteemed as a Bodhisattva of responsive manifestation, and his work Amituojing yaojie [55J <j!f [?£•  Hf fpf? (Essential  Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra; 1645) had been highly complimented and widely 158  promoted by Shengliang i i H (1860-1940, zi Yinguang Bf] Jfc), the thirteenth Pure Land  1 5 5  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra), vol. 1: 514. 156  Sangen ELffi means the three grades of good "roots," or capacities. The tliree grades are shang (superior),  zhong (medium), and xia (inferior) while gen refers to shangen (good root). See Ding Fubao, Foxue dacidian [Great Dictionary' of Buddhist Teaching], p. 324. In Pure Land Buddhism, tliis term is usually used to describe all beings' capacities of understanding Buddhist teachings, putting teachings into practice, and attaining enlightenment. See Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Infinite Life Sutra j, vol. 1: 50. 157  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 50. 1 5 8  The compliment reads as follows: "Jf ig & f& % gi ° f | g § & fft jtt | f \:f 5|5 % — I i ffl ° HP # fit $? °  JHSE  -T?  £ffitB tft ° fi I i itb IS <•tt~^ffcnitin±&° " Quoted from Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng  wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 606. 79  Patriarch.  159  Moreover, Jingkong himself also has respect for Zhixu; he mentions that the  Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra is one of the three best and most prominent commentaries on the Amitabha Sutra for those who want to deeply understand the profound teachings regarding Pure Land beliefs.  160  Above all, he considers that the Essential Annotation  of the Amitabha Sutra to be the nucleus ofZhixu's ideology  161  the suggestions of six faiths and genuine faith ( H $5 | | | 4E fy  and it is also in this work that ^ M {ff)  162  are found.  Cited below is the original passage regarding the six faiths; for convenience of comparison, it is divided into eight paragraphs and each of them is followed by its English translation:  ith  m m m n&°m  finz  mm  ° # ft ^ s  m m °} m^&mft<>  #  :  r  n %i&n°JF%. m m m ° m m m \t • m * & m #c JE M ± m • # m m. m  This SOtra takes the faith, vow, and [Buddha's] name recitation as the essential object of practice. Nothing other than the faith can arouse the vow [of being reborn into the  1 5 9  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on die  Infinite Life Sutra), vol. 1: 683-684. 16,1  The other two are the Amiluo jing shuchao M 'M PS $1fig$P (Phrase-by-Phrase Commentary on the Amitabha  Sutra; 1584) by Zhuhong  f£ (1535-1615; zi Fohui #|51§, hao Lianchi M tfe), and the Amituo jing yuan zhong  chao [!5f <Hf |?£ If Bg M H ^ # (Perfect Combined Middle-Way's Plirase-by-Plirase Commentary on the Brief Commentary of Amitabha Sutra) by Chuandeng fH j § (1554-1627; zi Wujin M |& hao Youxi  See  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 597. 161  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 64. Zhixu, Amiluojing yaojie [Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra], 1645, TT 37, no. 1762: 372a. 80  Pure Land], Nothing other than the vow can guide the practice [of recitation]. Nothing other than the wonderful practice of the recitation of [Buddha's] name can fulfill what [one] has sworn and realize what [one] believes in. The content of the Sutra first states the dependent environment and the resultant Self  163  [of the Western Pure Land resulting  from Amitabha's attaining of Buddhahood] to produce faith; then, [it] encourages [one] to make the vow that guides practice; and then, [it] shows the recitation of the [Buddha's] name as a short cut to reach the [stage of] non-regression.  m m m s ° ff m ° f i B » i f ^ » i f i i » f f i ° m  m ° n m #i & &m°-  'iv  mmmmm°fix*m  7a •  Faith refers to having faith in oneself, in the other, in the cause, in the effect, in phenomena, and in underlying principles. The vow refers to detesting and desiring to leave Saha [, or the world,] and [refers to] gladly seeking after [being reborn into] the  1 6 3  The wordsyi ffi and zheng IE here refer to two Buddhist terms yibao ffi $|? and zhengbao IE $H respectively.  They are "|t]he two forms of karma resulting from one's past; IE  being the resultant person, ffi $g being the  dependent condition or environment, eg. country, family, possessions, etc." See William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, ed.. Dictionary, p. 249. Blum explains the term in greater detail; it "generally refers to the two aspects of one's stature in any given lifetime as the karmic results (vipaka) from the previous lifetime. The first is die support or asraya, which usually designates the country where one is bom and the physical surroundings within which one lives. The second is the subject himself, that is, the mind and body of the person. Here it is used as an object of meditation in reference to these two aspects of the Buddha in his Pure Land. The term "surroundings" designates the buddhaksetra,  specifically the physical enviroiunent and bodhisattva attendants of  the Buddha in this particular realm known as Sukhavaff; the "subject" is of course the Buddha Amida himself." See Mark L. Blum, The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism: A Study and Translation of Gyonen's Fodo Homon Genrusho (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) 381n. 24. 81  Utmost Joy [, the Western Pure Land]. Practice refers to determinedly reciting the name of [Amitabha Buddha] to [the stage of] "one mind undisturbed."  ^ ° ©m#mmm  °  ^  —it 0 ^ ° #t ^ ?# 4 . ° g , 0 # n @ ^ ° M 3 «  i t ° s £ ft g ° Those who have faith in their own selves believe that the present single thought of the [True] Mind is originally not a flesh roll [, or the heart], nor [the false mind that] interacts with shadowy phenomena, but has no earliness nor lateness in the process [of time], and no boundary in the extent [of space]; all day according with [ever changing] circumstances, yet all day immutable. The countries that are as numerous as molecules in the space of the ten directions are originally substances manifested from the single thought of our [True] Mind. Although we are dull, deluded, upset, and confused, if [our] single thought can return to the [True] Mind, we certainly can be reborn into the Utmost Joy held fundamentally in our [True] Mind, yet without doubts and anxiety. This is called having faith in oneself  m m # • m n m m * • & m m m "m^wm^m^m'^ismmm  I f  ftfe •  Those who have faith in the other believe that Sakyamuni Tathagata definitely did not lie, the world-honored Amitabha definitely had no false vows, and the broad and long  82  tongues of all Buddhas of the six directions definitely say nothing else. [Those who 164  have faith in the other] accord with all Buddhas' true teachings, determine to seek after being reborn into [the Western Pure Land] and are without doubts and anxiety. This is called having faith in the other.  ±  - m & m m •  Those who have faith in causation deeply believe that even to absent-mindedly recite the name [of Amitabha] can be the seed [, or the cause,] of becoming a Buddha, let alone [those who have reached the stage of] one mind undisturbed. How could [they] not be reborn into the Pure Land? This is called having faith in causation.  m$km°mm  w ±  S ?# s> « n  &  • it m m #  &m  - m ®. ^  m • « & m m  -  i$ H B* ?# ^ rn  m m  °^  ° $n ft %  <t  /ii #  JU ° «  in •  Those who have faith in the effect [of causation] deeply believe that, through perfect concentration in reciting Buddha's name, all good [sentient beings] are reborn and gathered in the Pure Land. It is like [those who] plant melons and get melons, and sow beans and get beans; also, it is like the shadow that follows form and the echo responds to sound. [The cause and effect] are certainly not false. This is called having faith in the effect [of causation].  1 6 4  The broad and long tongue is one of the thirty-two characters of a Buddha. It is said to be big enough to cover  his own face, which symbolizes the characteristic of a Buddha that he never lie. See Ding Fubao, Foxue dacidian |Great Dictionary of Buddhist Teaching], p. 2560; and William Edward Soothill mid Lewis Hodous, ed., Dictionary, p. 432. 83  is *  # -  m ii R  H °K ^ @^ S  m ° £  m  M- ^ ^  H -  " m <o m m  H ft ± >A ° ® @ rf # iff H  ° ^  ftt t  °+  IRJ E  ^ £  ° ^  ^  H m• *  £ ff * • Those who have faith in phenomena deeply believe that merely this single thought [of the True Mind] is boundless. [Therefore,] all worlds of the ten directions manifested by the [True] Mind are boundless as well, and there actually is the Land of Utmost Joy located beyond the ten thousand billion  165  [Buddhas'] worlds, which is extremely pure  and majestic, different from the parable of Zhuangzi. This is called having faith in phenomena.  ft m # ° m ft -i- m m ± * » ^ tu n ^ m m °ftm- it -• it < w t i •m  m Jt- & k  » x  m ft" mftm m ±  #  •  o^°u^^m  ^ ^ m m - it, > o  51 f£° £ H IP i l - ^ ^ IP M ° ^ f i BP 14 » t t l f i P S « a ^ I K ' f f i LV ;  IIISI»I^ffl» 165  1 6 6  According to the contents of various sutras, it is said that ancient Indians had different numeric system and thus  the muneric unit of billion represented at least four different quantitative numbers: one hundred thousand as one billion, one million as one billion, ten million as one billion, and one hundred million as one billion. An example can be seen in the Flower Adornment Sutra, in which the number of billion refers to ten million. See Ding Fubao, Foxue dacidian [Great Dictionary of Buddhist Teaching], p. 2602. 1 6 6  Zhixu 1? M, Ouyidashi iiiiRtuji M  X  t f ± M [Writings on the Pure Land by Master Ouyi], ed.,  Huixing # '\± (Hong Kong: Fojingliulongchu \% | f till a l IS, 1991) 30-31. Tliis version is slightly different from the one in the Buddhist Canon Published in the Taisho Era (TT 37, no. 1762: 364b-364c), and is quoted here mainly because the Learning Center uses it as the standard copy and partly because the version in this Buddhist Canon has a few minor syntax errors. Aside from these errors, the two versions are basically identical. Appendix One is the version seen in the Buddhist Canon, in which the differences and errors are italic and underlined. 84  4> m  Those who have faith in underlying principles deeply believe that the ten thousand billion [Buddhas'] worlds in fact do not go beyond their own present single transient thought of the [True] Mind for the reason that the single thought of the [True] MindNature actually has no exterior. [They] also deeply believe that the dependent environment and the resultant Self [resulting from Amitabha's attaining of Buddhahood] as well as the principal [, or Amitabha,] and the dependents [, or the residents,] of the Western [Pure Land] are all shadowy [phenomena] manifested from their present single thought of the [True] Mind. The whole of phenomena are the underlying principle; the entire false mind is the True [Mind]; the complete practice is the [Buddha] Nature; and all others are the Self. Our [True] Mind is omnipresent, Buddhas' [True] Minds are also omnipresent, and all sentient beings' [True] Mind-Nature are omnipresent as well. These are like a thousand lamps in a room where light [of each lamp] mutually shines, and reciprocally assimilate radiance as the radiance [of the lamps] is not blocked. This is called having faith in underlying principles.  Obviously, both master's interpretations of faith have similarities, showing that Jingkong chooses to adopt those traditional teachings that have been recognized by the School for more than three hundred and fifty years instead of developing his own way of explanation. The latter half of Jingkong's first main point about faith and the first paragraph of Zhixu's passage are alike, as both of them consider the elements of faith, vow, and practice as the core of the Pure Land teachings. The influence of Zhixu to Jingkong concerning these Three Provisions is easily discerned, for Jingkong quotes Zhixu's idea to demonstrate the interrelationship between these Three Provisions and the rebirth: whether [one] can be reborn or not completely depends on whether [one] has the faith and vows, while the status of the 85  [nine] grades [in the Pure Land] completely depends on [the amount of] work [one] has put in to recite the name (?# £§).  167  ±m^°±&mmZ^M°ffntiL&T°±&ft&2.W.  Besides, the content of the first half of this first main point corresponds to Zhixu's  notions about having faith in the other and in phenomena. Both masters consider that all Pure Land practitioners should believe in what Sakyamuni Buddha said about the existence of Amitabha and his Pure Land. Again, the idea of Jingkong's second main point that becoming a Buddha is a direct result or effect of nianfo practice is similar to Zhixu's two paragraphs on having faith in cause and effect. The third point emphasizes on the power and importance of the purity of mind for attaining enlightenment, which is in fact a simplified version of the profound meaning of the intimate relationship between the "single thought of the True Mind" and the Reality demonstrated in the paragraphs of having faith in oneself and in underlying principles. According to these comparisons, Jingkong clearly agrees with Zhixu's concept that the content of the faith about Pure Land belief contains ideas that are more profound than they appear to be. Such profundities not only justify the feasibility of Pure Land practices but also provide the School a theoretical base similar to other Buddhist schools. Therefore, having a proper understanding of these profundities becomes important for all Pure Land practitioners because clarified teachings can lead them to the right path of practice. This is also the reason why the logic of these profundities is worth explanation in detail in the next section.  1 6 7  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 313-319. 86  Comprehension How influential is deepness of comprehension for Pure Land Buddhists in their practices for reaching their goal of rebirth? Jingkong quotes the concept of Chuandeng {J| (1554-1627; zi Wujinfi£| § , hao Youxi (0 | § ) to demonstrate his opinion that all perfect and immediate ways of Buddhist practices should begin with perfect comprehension before carrying out prefect practice, so that the Three Afflictions can be eliminated and perfect enlightenment can be attained so as to reach the stage of non-regression (HI 'HI m  9  t  r  %  m  m  °  M  K  B  m  n  °  ®  =  mMMMW:°M  m  ^ ii  1 6 8  • ).  169  F ! ° >$k 6  in other words,  perfect comprehension is essential to those who want to attain perfect enlightenment through perfect practice. In this case, since the teachings of both the Amitabha Sutra and the Infinite Life Sutra have been traditionally classified as yuan jiao U fj( (perfect teaching) and dun jiao £jl fJ£ (immediate teaching) by many Buddhist masters, the practice of nianfo has been 170  1  171  Generally there are tliree types of Butui, or non-regression. In this case, the tenn refers to an attained stage for  Bodhisattva. Il is said that, once one reached this stage, one would never retreat from the Bodhisattva-path. However, to reach tins stage, one has to attain at least the eighth of the ten grounds (shidi  —— [ ±TL)i of a Bodhisattva.  For details, see Ding Fubao, Foxue dacidian [Great Dictionary of Buddhist Teaching), p. 600. 1 5 9  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 597. 1 7 0  This is the classification of panjiao # = " f j  (Division of the Buddha's teaching). Two main types of panjiao in  Chinese Buddlusm are that of Tiantai -Ji a and that of Huayan ?(l H; the former divides Buddha's teaching into four teachings while the latter into five teachings: The four teachings of Tiantai: zangjiao stage of Mahayana), bie jiao  jjjc  (Pitaka teaching), tong jiao  il  (interrelated teaching; the first  f& (separate [Mahayana] teaching), and yuan jiao US $ft (perfect teaching).  The five teachings of Huayan: xiaocheng jiao / J \ ^ fft (HInayana teaching), dacheng shijiao X (primary Mahayana teaching), dacheng zhongjiao X (inunediate teaching), and yuan jiao H]  #p %\  n& f& (final Mahayana teaching), dun jiao i H  (perfect teaching). 87  considered as perfect practice, and, therefore, comprehension, in particular perfect comprehension, is important to Pure Land Buddhism. Obviously, Jingkong's emphasis on comprehension is influenced by such Buddhist tradition. Moreover, the importance of comprehension is enhanced by the belief that only a "true" practitioner is able to observe practices constantly and sincerely so as to develop genuine faith. As mentioned by Jingkong, whether a Pure Land practitioner is a true beginner with proper faith depends on the thoroughness of this person's understanding of the School's teachings. Hence, aside from helping a beginner to build up proper faith, true or perfect comprehension also seems to be a critical element that differentiates between a mere Buddhist philosopher and a sincere follower. Thus, this section aims to classify and disclose the content of those teachings that are considered essential to all Pure Land practitioners:  1. First of all, in 1997, all representatives of the Pure Land Learning Centers joined the first gathering (or conference) held in Singapore, at which a list of learning guidelines and principles was consolidated.  The resulting booklet is called the Jingzong tongxue  xiuxing shouze ffi ^ fWj Ifl % fj ^ I'J (Practice Disciplines for Students of the Pure [Land] School; see figure 18). Before the standardization of the disciplines, the Learning Centers did not have any regulations for their members to observe. Nevertheless, the principles in this booklet can be traced to the "front matter" posted on-line and printed on the very first page of some books published by the Centers. This "front matter" is actually six brief statements suggested by Jingkong declaring the Pure Land Learning Center's objective and ideology:  ' " For details, see Huang Nianzu. Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie [ Annotation on the Infinite Life Sutra] (Taichung: Wufeng sanbao hucliihui, 1993) 47-61. 88  m ° A ± WL m § s > ^ s  ist  JI  -a in £  ut ±1 •  c. £ • f i % \% ^ PI - 7 K £ j^L * •  a. mnmrnmnirrm^^  A ± m m w m m . mm. mm. mm'  <b&±°m$:m.<kmmmg:°  172  a. Buddhism is the most perfect and wholesome education directed by the Buddha towards all people. b. The content of Sakyamuni Buddha's forty-nine years of teaching describes the true nature of life and the universe. Life refers to oneself; universe refers to our environment. c. Those who are enlightened and possess wisdom are called Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. Those who are not enlightened are called worldly people. d. Cultivation is (a process) to rectify our erroneous ways of perception, thinking, talking, and doing toward the life and the universe. e. The guidelines for Buddhist cultivation are enlightenment, proper views, and purity. Enlightenment is without89delusion, proper views are without deviation, and purity is without pollution. This goal can be achieved by observing (the  practice of) precepts, or self-discipline, concentration, and wisdom, the Three Studies.  173  f.  The Three Felicities are the foundation of study and cultivation. When 174  interacting with people, accord with the Six Harmonies , and when dealing 175  with society, practice the Six Paramitas . Follow the anticipation of 176  Samantabhadra to dedicate (one's) mind to the Pure Land. These complete 177  the Buddha's [teachings about] education.  178  1 7 2  Jingtu ji ffl ±. H [Works on the Pure Land] (Taipei: Jinshan chansi, 1995) front matter.  1 7 3  The Studies of Self-discipline refers to "learning by the commandments, or prohibitions, so as to guard against  the evil consequences of error by mouth, body, or mind, i.e. word, deed, or thought"; the Studies of Concentration refers to learning "by dhyana, or quiestist meditation; and the Studies of Wisdom refers to learning "by philosophy, i.e. study of principles and solving of doubts." See William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, ed., Dictionary, p. 63. 1 7 4  The Three Felicities are the tliree sources of felicity. The term is quoted from the Visualization of the Buddha  of Infinite Life Sutra and also called sanzhong jingye EL @ ffl St (Three Kinds of Pure Kannas). 1 7 5  —  The tenn is cited from the Liudu ji jing A |jt; Jg | 1 (the Sutra of the Assembly of the Six Paramitas); see Yiru Sanzang fashu EL M Ui Wi [Numerical Tenninology of Dharma in the Buddhist Canon] (Taipei: Ciyun  shanzhuang/sanhui xuechu, reprint 1996): 275. 1 7 6  The tenn is quoted from the Fajie cidi chumen  W- ~-% W> •'&] H (Iniroductin to the Dharma Realms and the  Sequences [of Ways of Practice] by Zhiyi; see Yini, Sanzang fashu [Numerical Tenninology of Dharma in the Buddhist Canon] (Taipei: Ciyun shanzhuang/sanhui xuechu, reprint 1996): 268. 1 7 7  The anticipation of Samantabhadra refers to the ten vows of this Bodhisattva from the "Puxianpusa  xingyuanpin U | § |f ff ff $J[ pp (The Chapter on the Conduct and Vows of the Universal Worthy Bodhisattva [Samantabhadra])" in the Flower Adornment Sutra. 1 7 8  This is a modified translation based on the one found in one of the School's website. "What is Buddhism," 31,  Jan. 2002 <http://vnvYv.anub.org.tvv/e-bua7WHAT.HTM>. Although the last entry talks more about ways of  90  Except for the last entry, which focuses on the area of practice, the rest of these brief statements aim to clarify some basic terms and concepts in simple, contemporary vocabulary so that the meanings are clear, precise, and up-to-date. This way of interpretation of Jingkong allows his followers adapt teachings and practices to contemporary society, lifestyle, and ways of thinking. Above all, it assists them in comprehension. 2. All Pure Land practitioners are urged to thoroughly understand the meaning of the forty-eight vows, which are the core of the Infinite Life Sutra and the teachings of Amitabha; they provide all information about the details of the Buddha's realm and ideas and methods of how to become a Buddha.  179  3. All must comprehend that, in terms of the theory of cause and effect, the recitation of Amitabha's name is a method of effect  not that of cause (0  The name of  Amitabha is to be the symbol of his own achievement and the essence of his nirvana or perfect enlightenment; hence, to recite his name is described as a practice that begins from the effect as the cause of practice that combines the cause and effect, and that the effect is attained at the moment of practice (J^i, H M H ° H ^ d B# ° 1A£ H S flf °  IP f i IP J^).  180  This is why the practice of nianfo is said to be too difficult to  understand. For the same reason, the name of Amitabha is revered as wande hongming M  -^fS (the great name of myriad virtues).  181  practice than comprehension, il is still quoted here for the completeness of this guideline. It will be discussed in the section on practice. 1 7 9  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra|, vol. 1: 286. Is  " Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 59-61. 181  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on die  Infinite Life Sutra|, vol. 1: 48. 91  4. Pure Land practitioners are all urged to understand the meaning of "realizing the intellection of Buddhas by the mind that recites the name of Amitabha (HI it \% 'L\ A f% 7^0 ML)-" Jingkong elaborates this notion by saying that the Infinite Life Sutra is a commentary on the name of Amitabha, while the Flower Adornment SOtra is that of the Infinite Life SOtra, and the whole Buddhist Canon is that of the Flower Adornment SOtra; therefore, all teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha are meant to explain the significance of the name of Amitabha, and the content of the name of Amitabha covers the whole Buddhist Canon. Accordingly, the mind that recites the name (on the condition that nianfo is single-mindedly practiced) can realize the intellection of Buddhas.  182  5. All have to learn that only when one's mind is pure is one's living environment pure OLV ffi I'J i . ffi)- When one's mind is polluted, all one's Buddhist practices become merely the merits and felicities of this world; if it is pure, all daily activities can lead to the enlightenment. Above all, the best purifier for one's mind is the name of Amitabha.  183  6. Based on the above ideas, practitioners are told to learn that "this mind is a Buddha/ this mind becomes a Buddha ( H /[> H  / H 'if fF {$)•" "  T h i s m  m  d  is a Buddha" refers  to Buddha Nature and implies that, originally, every being's Buddha Nature is pure and perfect, which is described as xingde  (the virtue of Nature). Whereas, "this mind  becomes a Buddha" emphasizes on xiiide flf: ^ (the virtue of practice), that is, the  1 8 2  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. I: 143-144. 1 8 3  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life SutraJ, vol. 1: 114, and vol. 3: 55 and 241. 92  power of practice and the vow to attain enlightenment or become a Buddha.  184  This  concept is further explained by the idea that all things come from the One Mind and all transformations are the result of the perceptive mind;  185  accordingly, rebirth relies  mostly on the quality of mind, which can be divided into three main types, the good mind, the bad mind, and the pure mind. Those who have the good minds, depending on their degrees of goodness, will be respectively reborn into the three better realms of the Six Realms. Likewise, those whose minds are bad will be respectively reborn into the three bad realms of the Six Realms. As for those whose minds are pure, their rebirth statuses are that of Arhat, Bodhisattva and Buddha.  186  The logic of this is that the  practice of nianfo is the only way to become a Buddha or to attain perfect enlightenment  ft}  zY ft hjc ft)  187  To prove the credibility of this conclusion, based  on the contents of the Pure Land sutras, Sakyamuni Buddha is claimed to be the perfect model who also practiced nianfo.™* 7. Practitioners have to know that the name of Amitabha possesses three kinds of zhenshi % Jf (truth), stated in the combined version of Infinite Life Sutra. They are namely zhenshi zhi ji S f ^ . [S|| (the True Nature), the true nature of Buddhas, zhenshi zhi li M Jt Z\ ^'J (the true benefit), the kinds of benefit that can only be obtained through the vows of Amitabha, and zhenshi zhi hui JJL ft Z_ U (the true wisdom), the wisdom that  1 8 4  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 69-75. 1 8 5  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1:71 and 549. 1 8 6  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 73-74 and 549. 187  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 548-551. 1 8 8  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra|, vol. 1: 66. 93  originates from the True Nature.  189  The name of Amitabha itself is said to represent the  True Nature since this name is the direct result of Amitabha's achievement in attaining Buddhahood; reciting this name is believed to be a way to accomplish the same achievement as Amitabha, and, for that reason, this way is an expression of true wisdom. Thus, by reciting this name, one can achieve Buddhahood as Amitabha did, and be free from rebirth in the Six Realms. Such achievement is considered to be the true benefit. Because of these qualities and correlations, these truths are deemed equal to those of Niepan sande vM ftl =L  (the Three Virtues of Nirvana).  190  That is, the  True Nature equals the virtue of the dharmakaya, or the Buddha's eternal, spiritual body; the true wisdom equals the virtue of the Buddha's prajha, or wisdom, which knows all things in their reality; and the true benefit equals the virtue of the Buddha's freedom from all bonds, and his absolute liberty.  191  1 8 9  Hence, the nature and function of the name  The first one can be seen in chapter two, the second in chapter tliree, and the last in chapter eight of die  combined version. See Xia Lianju H g ,  ed., Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng jue  jing [The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 15, 18 and 41; also see Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 98-100. 19,1  Huang Nianzu, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jie [Annotation on the  Infinite Life Sutra] (Taiclnmg: Wufeng sanbao huchihui, 1993) 331. 191  According to the Niepan jing /M §H 11 (Mahapari-nirvana Sutra; first translated by Dhannaraksa in 423), the  Tliree Virtues of Nirvana arefashen de body), bore de  # '0 (the virtue of the dharmakaya, or the Buddha's eternal, spiritual  jiJx -Js '$h (it is traditionally pronounced as bore de instead of banruo de: the virtue of the Buddha's  prajiia, or wisdom), and jieluo de ffl M f i (the virtue of the Buddha's freedom from all bonds and his absolute liberty). They are called de, or virtue, because each of them has the four virtues, or qualities, of chang ^ (permanence, eternity), le | ^ (bliss, joy), wo $c (personality, tnie self), and jing ffl (purity). For further details, see Ding Fubao, Foxue dacidian (Great Dictionary of Buddhist Teaching], p. 355-356; and William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, ed., Dictionary, p. 328-329. 94  of Amitabha is believed to be so profound that only Buddhas can completely recognize it. As for mortal practitioners, the only way to comprehend such profundity is to prove it themselves by becoming a Buddha through sincere, constant practice. 8. All practitioners should realize that the recitation of the name of Amitabha is a way to reach the state of wuzhu shengxin  j i 5iL <W (the mind that gives rise to [proper  thoughts] and does not attach to [anything seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, and thought of]) emphasized in the Diamond Sutra (Jingang bore boluomi jing ^ %\\ ^ H la IS; Vajracchedika-prajnaparamita-sutra). The reason given by Jingkong is that, during the recitation, all afflictions, and erroneous and discriminatory thoughts will be diminished and the attention will be drawn to one single thought, the name of the Buddha; in other words, the condition that all thoughts and afflictions are diminished is considered close or even equal to the state of wuzhu, or non-attachment, while paying all attention to the recitation is no different from the state of shengxiri, or giving rise to proper thoughts. Hence, the enlightenment attained by nianfo is said to be equivalent to that of Chan School.  192  9. Likewise, practitioners need to understand that, simply by single-mindedly practicing nianfo, including the recitation of Buddha's name, they can attain Yi zhen fajie — J!L fr-  (One True Dharma Realm), or shixiang i|f ^@ (the Reality), the perfect nirvana  l  193  only experienced by Buddhas, of which the Flower Adornment Sutra gives a detailed  192  Jingkong, Dacheng wuliangshoujing zhigui j\ HI ffi S H | f  §§ [Guidance of the Infinite Life Sutra of  Mahayana Buddhism) 1996. tape no. 12. 1 9 3  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 262. 95  description.  194  The rationale is that the Western Pure Land has been considered to be a  One True Dharma Realm because the four Buddha's lands there are said to be perfectly integrated, and the appearance and enjoyment of all residents and Amitabha are identical.  After carefully examining these nine groups of teaching on comprehension, it is clear that Jingkong emphasizes more the relationships between mind and the attainment of enlightenment. The focuses of the fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth groups are actually closely related to each other; they merely reveal the relationships from different angles. To summarize the content of these groups, apparently there are three main lines of reasoning, 1) the condition of Pure Mind is equal to that of Buddhahood, or that of the Reality, or that of the One True Dharma Realm, or that of the Pure Land, 2) the quality of the Mind governs one's existence and living environment of this and next lives, and 3) only the practice of nianfo, especially the recitation of Amitabha's name, can effectively purify one's mind to lead to enlightenment, and finally become a Buddha who lives in the One True Dharma Realm. Again, traces of linkage traditions are discernible in these teachings. In addition to Zhixu, another patriarch who has influenced Jingkong is Zhuhong ft 3=1, hao Lianchi  25 (1535-1615, z/Fohui  the eighth Pure Land Patriarch. As one of the four prominent  Buddhist masters of the late Ming dynasty, he was known for his influence on the ideas about the practice of nianfo, lay Buddhism, and monastic reform.  195  1 9 4  The following are some parallel  The Flower Adornment Sutra is characterized by its philosophy of interpenetration, in which the Dharma  Realm is interpreted as a universe consists of infinite realms that mutually contain each other. '•'^ Yu Chim-fang, The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Lale Ming Synthesis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981) 223. 96  opinions quoted from Zhuhong's Amituo jing shuchao [K[ $f |?£ jf§.fifa$J> (Phrase-by-Phrase Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra; 1584):  196  If  ffiiii'  <i>  s P f » ^fflft^ ° - 'iv t i ^ - o j i i s m s ^ ' ^ ^ J S I  5S ° ntj M & if <[J ° >b rf if  °MV  °  Although Buddhahood is the ultimate [attainment], our [True] Mind is just it. Now, [we] hear about [Amitabha] Buddha's name and persistently recite [it] single-mindedly; so it may be said that [this method] is extremely simple and easy, and that the practice is not complicated. As myriads of phenomena come from the [True] Mind, when the Mind is pure, what can not be done?  ft w  m  • 4- fs ra ^  m.  %  m  °s  m  %  z  • &  m  PE SP  m  ±  m  <o «  -  Buddha has immeasurable virtues but, now, simply the four-character Buddha's name is [virtuous] enough to comprise these [virtues], for [the name of] Amitabha is the whole single-mind.  %L±mw° m  ith -  ft  w m a  n  m • 4- u  n  & -  & - s  tx it  z  - tx n  & w  m  °  When sentient beings study Buddhism, there are immeasurable methods of practice as well. However, now, simply the method of recitation of [Amitabha's] name is [complete] enough to comprise these [methods]. This is because to recite [Amitabha's] name is to maintain this single-mind.  19<:  ' Zhuhong, Amituo jing sluichao, 1584. Xuzangjiug. vol. 33: 167. 97  To concentrate on the name [of Amitabha] is to concentrate on the [True] Mind.  FvE # -  & ^ IL • t& %a M w  11 m" m m 3± m ° M. W & ^ •  As [the stage of] one mind undisturbed is attained, [one] begins to know that the lotuses, rows of trees, and all sorts of majestic [manifestations in the Western Pure Land] are not beyond [one's True] Mind.  To compare these opinions with those of Jingkong, it is not difficult to find out that these statements correspond to the first and third lines of reasoning mentioned above. The first passage clearly states that Buddhahood is no different from the Pure Mind and the practice of recitation is the simplest method to purify one's mind. The second, third, and fourth passages further equate the merit of the name of Amitabha to all virtues of the Buddha, and the method of recitation to all ways of practice, and conclude that the name is the True Mind and, thus, concentrating on the name is same as concentrating on the True Mind. Consequently, the last passage reveals that, as a logical result, when one's mind is finally purified and enlightenment is attained, all phenomena and manifestations are within the reach of the True Mind. In order to show more traditional links in Jingkong's interpretation of Pure Land teachings, the following passages are quoted from Zhixu's Amituojing yaojie [SJ |jgf $|TB Jtf (Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra; 1645) to see the similarities not only between Zhixu and Jingkong but also between Zhixu and Zhuhong:  II-di ° 98  [Only when we] believe in Buddha's power can [we] deeply believe in the meritorious virtue of the name [of Amitabha]. [Only when we] believe in the recitation of the name [of Amitabha] can [we] deeply believe in our Mind-Nature, which is originally inconceivable.  -  it  m  m  »  '  -  &  £  ° ^  &  m  m  ° ^  &  £  • w  m  m °^  m  - >LV  [When merely] a single thought corresponds to [the True Mind], [one can] be reborn [into the Pure Land] by [the effort of] this single thought. [When] every single thought corresponds to [the True Mind], [one can] be reborn [into the Pure Land] by [the effort of] every single thought. It is within this single-mind that the wonderful cause [brings about] this wonderful effect.  198  •fob R t a  The recitation of Amitabha is the method of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, or unexcelled complete enlightenment, obtained by the Original Teacher Sakyamuni in the evil world of five impurities. Now, this whole resultant enlightenment is given to sentient beings of the evil [world] of [five] impurities. This is the realm that all Buddhas experience; [thus,] only Buddhas can completely comprehend it.  1 9 7  199  Zhixu, Ouyidashi jingtuji M Sit ~/\ M ffl i . JR [Writings on the Pure Land by Master Ouyi], ed., Huixing #  ft (Hong Kong: Fojingliutongchu ffi | f gf£ j § ) t , 1991) 53. I 9 S  Zhixu, Ouyidashi jingtuji [Writings on the Pure Land by Master Ouyif ed., Huixing (Hong Kong:  Fojingliutongchu, 1991) 65. 1 9 9  Zhixu, Ouyidashi jingtuji [Writings on the Pure Land by Master Ouyi], ed., Huixing (Hong Kong:  Fojingliutongchu, 1991) 67. 99  Apparently, the concepts and teachings of these three masters are comparable. The first passage actually can be viewed as a summary of Zhuhong's second and third passages, which is equal to Jingkong's first and third lines of reasoning. They do not mind taking the trouble to explain the omnipotence and omnipresence of the True Mind, or the Single-mind and its equivalent terms like Buddhahood, enlightenment, and the name of Amitabha. As the achievability of nianfo in attaining enlightenment is based on this rationale, such idea seems to be the foundation of comprehension in Pure Land Buddhism. As for the second passage, since the term "wonderful effect" exactly refers to the phrase "all sorts of majestic manifestations in the Western Pure Land" mentioned in Zhuhong's last passage, principles of these two passages are undoubtedly equivalent. The principle is even rationalized by the statement stressing the cause and effect relationship between the purified single-mind and the rebirth in the first half of this second passage. Besides, since this passage emphasizes the purity of mind as the means of rebirth, it corresponds to Jingkong's second line of reasoning. The last passage here is in fact a clarification of Jingkong's third group of teachings on understanding that the recitation of Amitabha's name is a method of effect ( H  According  to this passage, after attaining Buddhahood, Sakyamuni Buddha learned that the practice of recitation was the method leading to perfect enlightenment; since then, such method has been considered as "a method of effect" that "only Buddha and Buddha can completely comprehend." One more feature needing to be pointed out here is that the second and seventh groups of Jingkong's teachings regarding comprehension are based on the contents of the Infinite Life Sutra, particularly the compiled version. This indicates the importance of this Sutra for the development of the Pure Land Learning Center, for it provides a self-contained foundation for 100  the theory of Pure Land teachings and practices (more details about the contents of this Sutra are discussed in the next chapter).  Practice 1. Nianfo Nianfo has been frequently mentioned by Jingkong as the best way for Pure Land practitioners to achieve the stage of ding 5E (Samadhi; composing the mind), or qingjingfif0 ;  (purity),  200  which is regarded as the primary objective of all Buddhist practices. The term  nianfo was initially subdivided into four different ways of practice by Zongmi (779-841), the successor of Chengguan ja Ul (738-839).  201  "The four kinds of nien-fo [nianfo'] are  enumerated in the following order: (1) ch 'eng-ming nien-fo [chengming nianfo  ^ it ft, or  chiming nianfo f# ^ it, ft], or calling upon the Amitabha's name in the manner prescribed in the A-mi-t 'o ching [Foshuo Amituo jing; the Amitabha Sutra] ; (2) kuan-hsiang nien-fo [guan xiang nianfo 1§ ftc it ft], or concentrating one's attention on a statue of Amitabha made of earth, wood, bronze, or gold; (3) kuan-hsiang nien-fo [gtianxiang nianfo | | 3f( it ft], or contemplating the miraculous features of Amitabha with one's mind's eye in the manner described in the Kuan-ching [Foshuo guan Wuliangshoufo jing; the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra]; (4) shih-hsiang nien-fo [shixiang nianfo j f t@ it ft], or contemplating Amitabha as no different from one's own self-nature, since both Amitabha and self-nature transcend birth and extinction (sheng-mieh [shengmie M]), existence and  0 0  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 70, 253. 2<  " Y u Chun-fang, The Renewal of Buddhism in China, 45 and note no. 43 on 277. 101  emptiness (y[o]u-k 'ting [you kong ^ 2 g , or kongyoii 3? suommv  2  0  ]), subject and object (rieng-so [neng  2  Among these four, Jingkong has recommended the first kind as many Pure Land advocates did,  203  to support which he has cited quotations of Shandao (613-681), Zhixu and  Yinguang. A two-sentence quotation of a popular poem by Shandao is one of Jingkong's favorites, in which Shandao emphasizes that the recitation of the Buddha's name is the only short cut to Buddhist practice ( O f ^ f fM j j £ % fx • {§. ^ |KJ <|f  #&).  204  Other examples are  citations from Zhixu and Yinguang, in which they explain why recitation is better than other methods; the first quotation cited below is from Zhixu and the second is from Yinguang:  M  m i?s m ' i s i  rft % • HX & s  IE fj ° T< # H ^ IS ?i #  m ° m m ^  .15 H fT -  m • &  M W ii • S E l l  HX m  m & m m  iti °  Amitabha is the great name of myriad virtues; using this name to call on virtues and no virtue is excluded. Thus, persistently maintaining the name is regarded as the proper practice, which is extremely simple, easy, direct, and fast, so it is not necessary to deal with practices like visualization and abstract meditation.  205  " " Y u Chun-fang, The Renewal of Buddhism in China, 45. l  2 0 3  Liu Chengfu §?ij 7p; ffi. Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing qinwenji [A  Record of What I Have Heard about the Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School) (Taipei: Sanbao dizi, 1999) 53. 90 and 202. 2 0 4  Zongxiao ^ HH, Lebang wenlei ^ #5  M [Various Writings on the Land of Bliss], TT 47, no. 1969A: 219b.  2 0 5  Zhixu, Ouyidashi jingtuji [Writings on the Pure Land by Master Ouyi| ed., Huixing (Hong Kong:  Fojingliutongchu, 1991) 54; Jingkong, Foshuo Amituo jing yaojie jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Essential Annotation of the Buddha Speaks of the Amitabha Sutra) ed., and transcript Liu Chengfu (Taipei: Fotuo jiaoyu jijinliui, 1997) 351. 102  ^  ft  z  & °  it f i i i  m n  % m • •  • a f^^ m  it  m $t - I F m m ^  - x  m - ±1 *EI ' L 4 f i ° £ i f D 4 ^  % g #  -  ^  ° ^  &  0  For the method of nianfo, [one] should insist on sustaining [the recitation of] the name [of Amitabha Buddha]; [if one's] mouth recites clearly and ears listen to [the recitation] clearly, for a long, long time, [the stage] of one-mindedness will be attained naturally. There is no need to practice visualization concurrently, for [if one] does not comprehend the teachings and theories [for visualization], [when] the phenomena [to be visualized] are subtle but the mind is inattentive, contrary [to one's intentions], disadvantages will arise  206  All these quotations clearly express that the recitation method is the fastest and easiest practice based on the virtuous nature of the Buddha's name. Such declaration can be said as the core of what Jingkong has been promoting during these years. In this case, he has also reminded his followers that giving rise to the Bodhi-mind (fgt H St 'LV) >d reciting devotedly and consistently (—• \aj Ipl ^ ) are two focal points for success ar  in this practice.  207  In fact, they are derived from the eighteenth and nineteenth vows of  Amitabha's forty-eight vows; the former is called the vow of being surely reborn by ten calls [of Amitabha's name] (-j- it when hearing the name (Hfl ^ f$|  2  IM), and the latter the vow of giving rise to the Bodhi-mind  li§|).  208  "" L i Bingnan, "Yinguang dashi ynanji shizhounian jinian huiyilu," Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren  jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412. 2(17  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra), vol. 1: 290. 2  " Details of these two vows can be found in chapter six of the Sutra. See Xia Lianju J f M fit, ed., Foshuo s  dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng iue jing [The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of 103  In order to explain the profundity of the Bodhi-mind, Jingkong adopted the notion of sanxin EL 'L  N  (triple mind) in the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra and the  Dacheng qixin lun 7v ^ S fo lit (Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra) as cross references.  209  triple mind in the former sutra is describd as zhicheng xiri  The  M 'LV (perfect sincerity), shenxin  ffi 'LV (the deep mind), and huixiang fayuan xiri M [R] 1st $K >\E (the mind that vows and dedicates merits) while in the latter as zhixin fS- >\E (the great compassionate mind).  210  i\E (the proper mind), shenxin, and dabei xin J\  According to Jingkong, the meanings of these two  sets of triple mind are parallel, in that perfect sincerity equals the proper mind, and the mind that vows and dedicates merits equals the great compassionate mind. He also has said that the triple mind is in fact One Mind (—  for the former is simply a more detailed explanation of  the latter: the proper mind or perfect sincerity refers to the quality of the noumenon of the One Mind, and the others are the descriptions of the two main functions of the One Mind—the term "deep mind" is used to illustrate the condition of self enjoyment (|=jj 3I' ffl), and the great compassionate mind or the mind that vows and dedicates merits is performed for the enjoyment of others (ffe't ffl). 211  Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 30-31. 2 0 9  Jingkong, Dacheng wuliangshouiing zhigui X^MmWMWiW  [Guidance of the Infinite Life Sutra of  Mahayana Buddhism I 1996, tape no. 10. 2 1 0  See Kalayasas f l J5I Jf|' #, trans., Foshuo guan wuliangshoufo jing [The Buddha Speaks of the Visualization  of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra], TT 12, no. 365: 344c: and Asvaghosa H Bj|, Dacheng qixin lun [Mahayanasraddhotpada-sastra I, trans. Siksananda *i;X X M PS, TT 32, no. 1667: 589a. 211  Jingkong, Dacheng wuliangshouiing zhigui X ?fg 42 | t Jd  Mahayana Buddhism I 1996, tape no. 10. 104  If [Guidance of the Infinite Life Sutra of  mm xmmmm  ffl  «ffl  g^ffl  Diagram 2. The Notion of Triple Mind in the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra and the I)achenti ciixin lun (Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra)  In addition to such clarification, Jingkong further claims that the key to achieve in "giving rise to the Bodhi-mind" were having a firm faith and taking the vow to be reborn into the Pure Land ($5 {§' i f M ) ' while the essentials of "reciting devotionally and consistently" 2  2  was to go deep into one single method (—  W A ) ' and to gradually practice over a long 2  3  " " Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the Infinite Life Sutraf vol. 1: 319-321. 2 1 3  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 44; Liu Chengfu, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing qinwenji [A Record of What I Have Heard about the Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Sanbao dizi, 1999) 333. 105  period of time (H E£f H f i ) .  214  The latter is further described as having "no doubts, no  distractions, and no discontinuity (/f '[fg M ° ^ 5*5 ffi ° ^ HH iff)-  215  As expected, there are traces of traditional links in these interpretations. For instance, the idea of the two focal points can be seen in the Chewuchanshi yulu fg( fH  Bffi |§ £^  (Quotations from the Chan Master Chewu) by Jixing |5« g | (1741-1810, z/ Chewu ff( -fg, hao Natang |ft Ij? and Mengdong | ^ jfi), the twelfth Pure Land Patriarch: for the sake of solving the problem of life and death, [one] should give rise to the Bodhi-mind and maintain the recitation of [Amitabha] Buddha's name with the firm faith and vows ( J | M  0  ^ HE  In addition, Jingkong's idea on the Bodhi-mind can be compared to what Zhixu says in his Essential Annotation of the Amitabha Sutra, in which he claims that having a firm faith and taking a vow to be reborn into the Pure Land equals giving rise to the Bodhi-mind ( ^ fg |gt W. °  IP f# Jl I? Sl)- ' Jingkong has complimented this opinion as an answer to the situation 2 7  that although some practitioners do not or cannot fully comprehend all the School's teachings, they still can succeed in their practices as long as they can give rise to the Bodhi-mind, or have firm faith and make the vow to be reborn into the Pure Land, because the goal of all Buddhist teachings is to encourage practitioners to give rise to the Bodhi-mind.  2 1 4  He Yun fnj -JX, "Jingkongfashi Beijing fangwen ji ffl 3g f£ gfp it-R  218  sB Pal sS [The Record of Dhanna Master  Jingkong's visit of Beijingl," 12 May 1999 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/fu/beijing.HTM>. 2 1 5  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 145. 2 I  " Quoted from Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture  Notes on the Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 309. 2 1 7  Zhixu, Ouyidashi jingluji | Writings on the Pure Land by Masler Ouyi], ed., Huixing (Hong Kong:  Fojingliutongchu, 1991) 53. 2 U  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra], vol. 1: 320-323. 106  Based on these notions, in addition to giving rise to the Bodhi-mind, nianfo has been undoubtedly the major traditional practice for Pure Land practitioners, but many other ways of practice and doctrines of conduct have also been suggested to followers of the Pure Land Learning Center. These doctrines are recommended on the basis of the key points and previously mentioned teachings on faith and comprehension, and meant to fit in with the needs and lifestyles of contemporary practitioners.  219  Since this thesis devotes the whole Chapter  Five to analyzing the practices of nianfo, the following discussions only focus on those practices and doctrines that are excluded from that chapter.  2. Other Practices As mentioned, the first gathering (or conference) of the Learning Centers held in Singapore in 1997, at which a booklet called the Disciplines of Practice for Students of the Pure Land School was established, and has been treated since as the standard of disciplines for its followers. However, before talking about this booklet, a glimpse at its predecessors on the one hand can help to know more about the development of its doctrines from simple accounts to detailed guidelines, and, on the other hand, can help to reveal its unchanged, fundamental disciplines regardless of time and space. According to the last two entries of the six statements in the "front matter" mentioned in the section of comprehension, there are five practice guidelines for Pure Land practitioners. They are Sanfu EL l i (Three Felicities), Liuhe f \ ^P (Six Harmonies; or Liuhejing f \ Six Reverent Harmonies), Sanxue EL Ifl (Three Studies), Liudu f\ Puxian shiyuan i=p  2 1 9  (Six Paramitas), and  -f- IM (Ten Great Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva).  He Yun {nf ff,, "Jingkongfashi Beijing fangwen ji /ff  grp _1h ST %fi PR] IB [The Record of Dharma Master  Jingkong's visit of Beijing]." 12 May 1999 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/ni/beijing.HTM>. 107  More detail of these guidelines can be found in a 1989 article titled "Jingzong xuehui yuanqi ffi ^ Ip H" ||c ® [The Founding of the Pure Land Learning Center]"  which was  220  written by Ms. Han Ying  (1922-1997), the most important patron of Jingkong and the  former president of the Huazang Fojiao tushuguan Ip? f|g \% f £ H U ffj (Hwa Dzan [Huazang] Buddhist Library), Huazang jingzong xuehui Ip? HI ffi ^ Ifl  (Hwa Dzan [Huazang] Pure  Land Learning Center), and other affiliated associations in Taipei and the U.S. The following are the excerpts from the original Chinese article and its English translation "The History and Reasons for Establishment of [the] Amitabha Society  "  printed in A Drop in Dharma Sea,  one of the Learning Centers' journals that was published in Dallas, Texas; for reading convenience, paragraphs of these two versions are rearranged so that the sequence of each Chinese paragraph and its English counterpart can be placed together:  - t  f  i  i  -  m  &  m  m  &  ±  n  m  -  ffi±xm  '  X  u  m  m  m  -in ' Members of the Amitabha Society [Pure Land Learning Center] must study and conform to the following doctrines: (1) Five Sutras of Pure-Land, (2) Ten Essencefs] of  Han Ying f#  "Jingzong xuehui yuanqi ffl ^ ^ # He & [The Founding of die Pure Land Learning  Center]," flyer, Febniary 1989. 221  The name ''Amitabha Society" is another English translation of Jingzongxuehui. It has been commonly used  by those Jingzongxuehui outside Taiwan before the 1997 gathering. Some Learning Centers maintain this English tide for convenience. 2 2 2  Han Ying, 'The History and Reasons for Establislunent of [the] Amitabha Society," A Drop in Dhamia Sea Jan.  1992: 1-4. 108  Pure-Land, (3) The Sutra of Infinite Life (the volume compiled by Venerable Mr. Shia [Mr. Xia]), in particular, (4) The True Essence of Amitabha Buddha, and (5) The Essence of Samantabhadra's Vows. If there is extra capacity [If one has extra energy], one also can study other Mahayana Sutras with similar objective[s] of Pure-Land. With [its] major emphases on understanding and practice, [the] Amitabha Society also concentrates on aligning the thought process, speech, and behavior.  m nHUftsi - m* m HX  ' i i i i H i ' A f f i - f f ' A i -  Therefore, members should commit themselves to practice and should make joint vows from now to eternity to conform to the (1) Three Felicities, (2) The Six Points of Reverent Harmony or Unity in a monastery, (3) Three Lessons [Three Studies], (4) The Six Paramitas [Paramitas], and (5) The Ten Great Vows.  H m M  "  Tv ^  it x m - # m m n - m ^ ^m. >Bi-mm™° - m ' ffl) i t ff # -  Corresponding to the three types of kannas caused by the body, mouth, and mind, the Ten Good Kannas are  subdivided into three main groups, physical, verbal, and mental. The physical good kannas aim to prohibit one from killing, stealing, and engaging in sexual misconduct; the verbal good kannas from lying, harsh speech, gossiping, and using enticing words; and the mental good kannas from greed, anger, and ignorance pFim  T M M, T S I , T - i P . ? S 7§. T m R. ^  T BI- T m). For details, see Siksananda *  i t [?£, trans., Shishanvedao jing -f- # H i f IS [The Ten Good Kannas Sutra], TT 15, no. 600: 157c-159b. 109  ^ X  The first of three felicities is to fulfill obligation of piety to our parents, to adore [honor and serve] our teachers, to have compassion and to commit no killing, as well as to cultivate the ten meritorious actions [the ten good karmas]. The second felicity is to take the three return-and-reliances [the three refuges], to accept all precepts, and not to violate the precepts. The third felicity is to induce the Bodhi-mind, to believe deeply in the law of causation, to read and recite Mahayana Sutras, and to encourage and promote [the] participation of others.  mm  ' £ # m m m n -  A m m m m n  •  The six points of reverent harmony are (1) harmonious opinions and perceptions by building a common understanding and interpretation of Dharma, (2) harmonious preservation of precepts by cooperatively] maintaining and practicing Buddha's teachings, (3) harmonious living by sharing friendliness and developing the spirit of teamwork, (4) harmonious communication by good verbal interaction with no arguments], (5) harmonious mind[s] by sharing happiness together, and (6) harmonious benefits by sharing all resources and good fortunes.  — Jp ^  '.  IP '  lp '  t§h  £p  o  The Three Lessons [Three Studies] are the lessons of discipline [precept], concentration, and wisdom.  2 2 4  Puti xin H £H I\J is "|t]he mind for or of bodhi; ihe awakened, or enlightened mind; the mind that perceives the  real behind the seeming, believes in moral consequences, and that all have the Buddha-nature, and aims at Buddhahood;" see William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, ed., Dictionary, p. 388. 110  y \ m m  :  « s  •n  m  >  s #  • mm  - mm  -mm  »  '  The six paramitas [paramitas] or the six things that ferry one beyond the sea of mortality to nirvana are (1) dana, charity, or giving, including the bestowing of the truth on others, (2) sTla, keeping the precepts or commandments, (3) ksanti, practice [patience?] under insult, (4) vTrya, zeal and progress, (5) dhyana, meditation or contemplation, and (6) prajfia, wisdom, the power to discern reality of truth.  ' £ # ^ n m i >jsmmm&$fa  mm m  '  A  m  i t HI &  ±  '  + #  m m m ^  >-kmmffi>&w >Amnmm  »  The ten great vows are (1) to revere all Buddhas, (2) to praise all Tathagatas, (3) to make extensive offerings, (4) to repent all evil deeds, (5) to rejoice [in] all conducts of virtue, (6) to request teachings from Buddhas, (7) to implore Buddhas [to reside] in the world, (8) to follow Buddhas' teachings consistently, (9) to accommodate all sentient beings' aspirations, and (10) to dedicate [one's] merits to all sentient beings.  M  ' ^ fa] | l f ' ^ 3^ i i °  Our daily exercise must conform to the book of "[D]irect path to Pure-Land practice" and "[Repentant method of the samadhi] of Amitabha."  225  One must immerse [oneself]  Both works are composed by Xia Lianju, the compiler of the present version of the Infinite Life Sutra. The Repentant Method of the Samadhi of Amitabha is a text designed for practicing together the recitation, sutra reading and private ritual of confession held at home. The Direct Path to Pure Land Practice (or the Shortcut to Pure Land Practice) is a kind of practice based on the principles of the five devotional ways advocated in the 111  deeply in reciting "Amitabha Buddha" without [a] single [additional] thought. One must believe in the Pure-Land practice with no suspicionfs], no discontinuity], and no distraction[s].  These five guidelines for practice begin with the twelve instructions of the Three Felicities, the three sources of felicity, declared in the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra. The first four instructions of the First Felicity are the kind of virtues said to prepare for being reborn into the realms of human and heavenly beings. The three instructions of the Second Felicity are considered a necessity for those who want to succeed in the studies of HTnayana, while the last four instructions of the Third Felicity are meant for those who want to become Bodhisattvas. The second and third of the five practice guidelines are the Six Harmonies and the Three Studies. The former are meant for practitioners, both monks and lay Buddhists, to get along well with family, colleagues, communities, the Sangha, and in all kinds of human relationship in society.  226  The three elements of the latter are said to be arranged in order for  Wuliangshouiing youpotishe yuansheng jj M M.W MiS  M  fH (the Gatha of Resolving to be Reborn  | in Praise of| the Upadesa of the Larger SukhavatT-vyuha-sutra. Sukhavatl-vyuhopadesa) by Vasubandhu, for which this book is also called Wunian jianke .75.f§j fM (Simple Course of the Five Devotions). The major content of this book consisls of thirty short passages of quotations cited from the Infinite Life Sutra, which involves worship, visualization, and the recitation of the Buddha's name and the quotations. 2 2 6  Sangha, or sengqie f # f/jO, is the third of the trinity of the Triratna. Formally speaking, it is a group of four or  more monks "imder a chairman, empowered to hear confession, grant absolution, and ordain." William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous. ed.. Dictionary, p. 420. When the short term seng fff is used, it means a monk, or monks in general. In the case of this School, Sangha means "a group of four or more who properly practice the teacliings." "Glossary," 31 Jan. 2002 <http://www.amIb-dba.org/Englisli/Text/Glossary.html>. 112  practice: "precepts keeping leads to deep concentration that gives rise to wisdom."  The  reason for such order is that keeping precepts settles one's mind, which, with the help of focusing on one single method of practice, develops deep concentration that, if the practice persists, eventually uncovers the innate wisdom.  228  Moreover, these three elements are also  said to be interrelated with the Three Felicities: the First Felicity embodies the Lesson of the Precepts, the Second Felicity embodies that of concentration, and the Third Felicity embodies 229  that of wisdom. The Six Paramitas and the Ten Great Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva are the fourth and fifth of the five guidelines for practice. Although these two guidelines have been traditionally considered the major standards of practice for Bodhisattvas, Jingkong encourages all followers to learn from and abide by the spirit of these standards so that they know how to remedy their major afflictions. Accordingly, the Six Paramitas, giving, keeping the precepts, patience, diligence, contemplation, and wisdom are the respective remedies for greed, wickedness, anger, sloth, a distracted mind, and ignorance, while the ten vows are ten categories of conduct, by which all practitioners learn to broaden their minds by vowing to and trying to benefit all sentient beings. Before the influential 1997 gathering, for nearly eight years since the publication of this article, it had been widely circulated among followers of the Learning Centers. After this meeting, the Pure Land Learning Center has experienced a new age of development as better organized structures were established and a set of more standardized disciplines was proclaimed. The content of the first half of the booklet is disciplines that were initially advised by the Master, and the second half is a total of forty-four sentences and short passages 2 2 7  22  '"Glossary," 31 Jan. 2002 <hllp://www.anitb-dba.org/Englisli/Te.xt/Glossary.lUml>.  * "Glossary." 31 Jan. 2002 <hllp://wvv\v.aintb-dba.org/Englisli/TextyGlossary.hlnil>.  2 2 9  "Glossary." 31 Jan. 2002  <http://\v\v\v.amtb-dba.org/Englisli/Text/Glossary.html>. 113  excerpted from two sutras. The following is the content of the first half; again, each division of the Chinese version is followed by the insertion of its English translation:  mmmrn  m n  n  : ±  m ®  ^ ~m  UJ m  &  T m H m ^  »  Disciplines of Practice for Students of the Pure [Land] School Understanding kindness and repaying kindness: repaying the four kinds of kindness  230  above and relieving the sufferings of those in the Three Paths [Realms] below. 231  232  Be a teacher of humans in learning, and a model for the world in performance.  The four kinds of kindness refers to those of one's parents, the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), the founders of the nation/enlightened temporal leaders, and all sentient beings. The last one is based on the idea diat "all men were my fathers, all women my mothers" in past lives. "'A Buddhist Glossary," 20 Jan. 2002 <http://www.amtb-m. org. my/eindex. htm>. 231  The Tliree Realms are the Realm of the Animals, of the Hungry Ghosts, and of the Hells. They are the three of  the Six Realms of reincarnation. 2 3 2  These two sentences come of the passage of Dedication of Merit printed on the last page of each work  published by the Learning Center. The original passage reads as follows: May the merit and virUies accnied from this work adoni the Buddha's Pure Land, repaying the four kinds of kindness above, and relieving the sufferings of those in the Tliree Paths below. May those who see and hear of this, all bring forth the heart of Understanding [or Bodhi-mind], and live the Teacliings for the rest of this life, then be born together in The Land of Ultimate Bliss  (§ux it m i H± 11 %ffl± i ± m m s m / T m =. m i?/ ^ M H mm/mm^m^/mit~ & I [5] ± @ ^ SI). See -Dedication of Merit," 19 Jan. 2002 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bua7COPYRl.HTM>. 114  ft m M Mrtmm&m  m  if if fy III op m m m # n  wmmmmmm  witA^£#  1. Teachings to be relied on: (1) Generally follow the Five Sutras and One Treatise of the Pure Land School; (2) Specifically follow the compiled version of the Infinite Life Sutra, the Essential Annotation of the Buddha Speaks of the Amitabha Sutra by Ouyi [Zhixu], and the Phrase-by-Phrase Commentary on the Chapter on the Conduct and Vows of the Universal Worthy Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) by Qingliang [Chengguan]; (3) Utterances of patriarchs of the Pure Land School and Collected Essays by Master Yinguang [Shengliang],  (Off^S»AII (2) + jj-ji-M  '%mmmww&m - mmm®.  •i s t n i t s  '%&^m °  233  'm^ffiM'mmmm'miiktiDit'  H ^ s  m' Mif r£ 14 ' i i & £ m »  234  (3) f i M  2 3 3  m m - M it m ^ * » $. m  > ®  j r . «£  *y >  i t & £ • HE ^  The last tliree sentences are quoted from the second chapter of the Infinite Life Sutra. Xia Lianju, ed., Foshuo  dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng iue jing [The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School] (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 16. 2 3 4  The last four sentences are quoted from the same sutra; the former two are from the eighth chapter and die  latter two sentences from the second chapler. Xia Lianju, ed., Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng iue jing (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 14 and 42.  2. Principles to rely on are: (1) [One's] faith [should be] based on the six forms of faith in the Essential Annotation [of the Buddha Speaks of the Amitabha Sutra]. [One should] accept and maintain the profound Dharma-store of Tathagata as well as preserve the seed and nature of Buddhahood so that they are constantly not allowed to become extinct; (2) The Ten [Dharma] Realms, the One True [Dharma Realm], ordinary truths, and ways of leaving the world [or enlightenment] are manifested by the Mind and changed in accordance with mental discernment. [Therefore, one should] visualize all these truths, methods, and phenomena as illusions, and constantly [maintain] the tranquility of perfect concentration so that [one] can thoroughly understand the Nature [noumenon] of all truths and recognize all phenomena related to sentient beings. (3) [One should] stay in [the realm] of the true wisdom so that [one can] teach and transform [sentient beings] by clearly directing [them] to the True Nature, [by which]  2 3 5  The first five sentences are quoted from the same sutra. The first tliree have been discussed in the section of  comprehension and the last two are cited from the second chapter. Xia Lianju, ed., Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng jue jing (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui. reprint 1992) 15, 16, 18 and 41. 2 3 6  The importance of this principle to the Learning Center can be reflected by the couplet seen in the Singapore  Buddhist Lodge; see figure 12a-b. 2 3 7  The first two sentences are from the twenty-fourth chapter. Xia Lianju, ed., Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou  zhuangyan qingjin pingdeng jue jing (Taipei: Huazang jingzongxuehui, reprint 1992) 66. 116  they can be favored with the true benefit. [One should] regard sentient beings as oneself so that every thought benefits all living beings and every [thought of the] Mind flows into the Ocean of Enlightenment. (4) [One should] destroy and eliminate all attachments and erroneous thoughts by the true sincerity, purity, equality, proper understanding, and compassion of [one's] mind and by the practice of seeing through, letting go, being carefree, according with conditions, and being mindful of Amitabha Buddha.  238  (5) [One should] gives rise to the Bodhi-mind, recite "Amitabha" devotionally and consistently, and decide to be reborn, to not regress, and become a Buddha in this life.  H *fx  &  (\)mm  =m—  %mnxB >mmm$k  'M^^m  >m-tmm  (2) -A ffl m—^L ffl m m • mfflm B • %fflm a > nfflmm m  '  »  >mfflm  m ffl m ^ -  (3) EL mm m-m o wnt'm  m = mm i f - ^ m m # (M)^m  m -  ~ The detailed meaning of these ten points can be seen in " A Patli lo Tnie Happiness," 20 Jan. 2002 <http://www. amtb.org.tw/ e-bud/PATH.HTM>. They are clarified as follows: Tnie Sincerity [towards other] / Purity Of Mind [within] / Equality [in everything we see) / Proper Understanding [of ourselves and our environment] / Compassion [helping others in a wise and unconditional way] / See Tlirough [to the tnith of impermanence] / Let Go [of all wandering thoughts and attachments) / Freedom [of mind and spirit] / Accord With Conditions [go along with the environment] / Be Mindful Of Amitabha Buddha [wishing to reach the Pure Land and follow in His Teachings]. 117  • m.it&± (5)  >&nm±njE2.m  -  n m -i- m—m & m % n m x ± z m - - m. m m ft - - m m m ^ > mmmmm ' E i i ^ g • A is $f & > - b i t ftf± is - A ft m • A IS mi =  m m & m > n  n  m  > fiith  AM -  , ^ ^ f g , ^ >  m^mrn'  t  i  l  it ' M W € M ° 3. Practices to rely on: (1) The Three Felicities of the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra—the first of three felicities is to be filial and to take care of parents, to respect teachers, to have compassion and to commit no killing, and to cultivate the ten good karmas; the second felicity is to take the three refuges, to accept all precepts, and not to violate the respect-inspiring deportment [of the precepts]; the third felicity is to give rise to the Bodhi-mind, to deeply believe in cause and effect, to read and recite Mahayana Sutras, and to encourage other practitioners to advance [in cultivation]. (2) Six Reverent Harmonies—opinions and perceptions [should be] harmonious by [building a] common understanding and interpretation [of Dharma]; observation of precepts [should be] harmonious by cooperative practicing; living [should be] harmonious by cooperative residence; communication [should be] harmonious by interacting with no arguments; [one's] mind [should be] harmonious by sharing happiness together; and benefits [should be] harmonious by sharing all benefits. (3) Three Studies of No Leaks [or Three Studies of Passionless]—[if] whenever one's  118  mind is moved and thoughts arise, [one can] stay away from the evil afflictions of Three Poisons [i.e. greed, anger, and ignorance], [one] definitely can be in accordance with purity (precept), equality (concentration or composing the mind), and proper understanding (wisdom). (4) The Six Paramitas of Bodhisattva—[one should] constantly teach, to convert sentient beings by giving, keeping the precepts, being patient under insults, zeal and progress, composing one's mind, and wisdom, and the practices of the Six Paramitas, [so that they will] stick to the true, unsurpassed Way. (5) The Ten Great Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva [Samantabhadra]—all should  observe and practice the virtues of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva together:  the first is to revere all Buddhas; the second is to praise all Tathagatas; the third is to make extensive offerings; the fourth is to repent all evil deeds; the fifth is to rejoice in all virtuous conduct; the sixth is to request the turn of the Law-wheel [teachings from Buddhas]; the seventh is to implore Buddhas to reside in the world; the eighth is to follow Buddhas' teachings consistently; the ninth is to accommodate [the aspirations of] all sentient beings; and the tenth is to dedicate all one's merits to all sentient beings. [One should] learn from the Bodhisattva to practice ceaselessly these Great Vows, to be mindful of them all the time with no discontinuity, and to [carry out them] unflaggingly with [one's karma of] deeds, words, and thought.  (1) » m f f  it > pr it 'U * m it m • n  ' * 1 $ G J I J 1  (2) & & m m a x  ftm*tik&A>f&ffi.&%>&ffi&  °  m £  • v  \^ ts m & a. *m 119  m *x  f F M t t m z. u m $G °  (5) ^ f t a m ' m m it \%• # ± ffi ±  -ft it ±  m  • in # n PS -  m m m •  4. Results sought are to: (1) Live up to the Four Goodness so as to cherish good intentions, say good words, do good things, and be a good person so that [one can] achieve them oneself because all conduct is dignified and all precepts are observed. (2) Model oneself on the fifty-three good friends in the Flower Adornment SOtra, pledging to be a fine example of sentient beings, families, [places of] working, and communities of the world. (3) Be in amity with all races, religions, and cultures so that, by reserving differences while seeking common ground, all can coexist and prosper. (4) Stabilize society, advocate virtuous [conduct], promote benevolence, and mutually aid and cooperate with each other so that all people are in perfect happiness and they [will] share wealth, cheer up and benefit each other, and encourage and urge on eternal peace on earth. (5) Believe deeply in cause and effect, recite the Buddha's name with faith and vows, and seek to be reborn into the Pure Land, where [one can] meet with all superior good [residents] together at Amitabha's Oceanic Vow of the One Vehicle.  A  mffi^wm  - T L j i t ^ T - f l 120  [I] sincerely dedicate the above four doctrines to All superior good people at the First Conference of the Pure Land School for reference and comment Sincerely yours, Jingkong Shi  December, 1997  The major portion of the above contents expresses opinions on the practices for followers of the Pure Land Learning Center, and the rest includes some information regarding areas of faith, comprehension, and realization. Nevertheless, based on these doctrines, some information is worth noticing here. First of all, from the commentaries he recommends for his followers in the first principle, Jingkong reveals the names of three Pure Land advocates, Zhixu, Chengguan, and Yinguang, whose influences on Jingkong have been previously demonstrated in this chapter. Moreover, the relationship between his ideas on faith and Zhixu's six faiths is even openly pointed out by him from the very beginning of the second principle. Thus, his recommendation not only provides this study a very good evidence to clarify the sources of his ideology but also supports the argument regarding his emphasis on the traditional lineage of Dharma teachings. More significance can be seen in the second principle that a large part of the content is excerpted from the compiled version of the Infinite Life SOtra, as indicated in corresponding footnotes. This further supports that the teachings and practices of the Learning Center rely heavily on this Sutra. Besides, as suggested by Jingkong to his followers as the standard of mentality, the five qualities of the mind (true sincerity, purity, equality, proper understanding, and compassion) in the fourth entry are the five main categories of the virtues of the True Mind, or Buddha Nature, of all sentient beings; to conform to these qualities in conduct, he advises 121  the five groups of corresponding attitudes and practices (seeing through, letting go, being carefree, according with conditions, and being mindful of Amitabha Buddha).  239  As for the principles of practice, it is not surprise to see that the content of the third principle is identical to those guidelines mentioned in the article by Ms. Han Ying. This indicates that, in addition to nianfo, the Three Felicities, Six Reverent Harmonies, Three Studies, Six Paramitas, and Ten Great Vows, the five guidelines of practice are the focus of the Mahayana practices for followers of the Learning Center. It is a surprise that in the fourth principle only the last of the five entries talks about the goal of rebirth while the majority concern individual ethics and behavior, as well as a variety of interrelationship between humans, families, races, and countries, ln fact, such advocacy can be traced back to Yinguang, who had insisted that those who learn Buddhism and want to become a Buddha should 1) promote harmonious human relations and fulfill one's duty; 2) avoid evil thoughts and preserve sincerity; 3) not to do any misdeeds but pursue all good deeds; and 4) not only carry out all these suggestions but also transform others so that every one can practice Pure Karma 0 ff  0  240  together (#5 \% £ A • & M He ft fS.ft« m M # M » tt M H  \=\ f7 it ft!i ° [5] fli W It).  241  »& #  Obviously, Jingkong agrees with Yinguang's belief that  such Confucian-style ethical rules are the foundation of Buddhist studies and the solution to contemporary social and national problems.  242  ln order to fulfill this mission, Jingkong  continues Yinguang's promotion of morality books by publishing and lecturing on this kind of books, particularly the famous Daoist text Taishang ganying pian A _h JlS M Hi (Treatise on  2 3 9  Jingkong, Dacheng wuliangshouiing zhigui 7v iH 4ffi M m - M ti If [Guidance of the Infinite Life Sutra of r  Mahayana Buddhism| 1996, tape no. 9. 2411  "Pure Karma" refers to the Pure Land practice here.  2 4 1  L i Bingnan, "Yinguang dashi yuanji shizhounian jinian huiyilu," Xuelulaoren jingtu xuanji, ed. Xuelulaoren  jingtu xuanji bianji weiyuanhui (Taizhong: Taizhongshi fojiao lianshe, 1996) 412. 2 4 2  "Treatise on Response and Retribution," 25 Jan. 2002 <http://mvw.amtb.org.tw/e-buo7treatl.HTM>.  122  Response and Retribution of the Most High, 1164) " and the Liaofan sixun T Ki H fl| (Liaofan's Four Admonitions) by Yuan Liaofan ^ 7 i l (1533-1606) of the Ming dynasty.  244  Although the second half of the Disciplines of Practice for Students of the Pure Land School contains many quotations selected by Jingkong as important guidelines for all Pure Land practices, this section is not discussed here, because its key points are similar to those discussed above. In addition to this booklet, a modern version of the Gongguo ge Jjh jjjh f £ (the Ledger of Merits and Demerits; see figure 19), an old type of morality book, designed by one of the Learning Centers in Taiwan, is also included in Appendix Two to provide additional information about the School's encouragement of Confucian values as the basic requirements for those who want both to be respected citizens in society and true Buddhists.  Realization Based on the theory of practicing nianfo as the cause and becoming a Buddha is the effect (riianfo shi yin, chengfo shi guo ^ ffi H H , fj£ ffi H H ) , Jingkong firmly believes that being reborn into the Western Pure Land to become a Buddha through perfect concentration in reciting Buddha's name (^ ffi EL B^) is the ultimate goal of Pure Land Buddhism.  245  Such an  achievement is also explained as attaining the corresponding condition of a Tathagata ( A #P  " " "Treatise on Response mid Retribution," 25 Jan. 2002 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/treatl.HTM>. 2 4 4  One source claims thai Yinguang published more than one million copies of Liaofan's Four Admonitions  during the early decades of the twentieth century, not to mention the quantity of the publications of other moral books and Buddliist sutras. "Gaizao mingyun, xinxiang shicheng 3£ H? pp j"Ji, 'fj M I f fi£ [To Change Your Fate and Everything Accomplished as One's Wish]," 25 Jan. 2002 <http://www.amtb.org.tw/zongjiao/4sluntl.htiii>. 2 4 5  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng jue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra), vol. 1:18, 353, 374-377, and 474.  M  o  r  perfectly realizing Reality (HI W K f §)•  m  other words, in order to reach this  ultimate goal of realizing one's Self-Nature, or Reality, or the True Mind, as every Buddha does, the immediate goal of realization is to attain an elementary level of perfect concentration in reciting Buddha's name in hope of being reborn. Hence, Jingkong tells his followers that they can ensure their rebirth and decide to be reborn at any time they like once they reach the elementary level of perfect concentration, so they do not need to wait until the moment of death to know whether or not they can be reborn.  247  He even said that one can realize changes and  differences in one's mind, body, and living environment in three to six months, and that one can attain the elementary level of perfect concentration in three to five years if one can follow all instructions recommended by the School discussed in this chapter.  248  As for why practitioners should choose the Western Pure Land, he provides three major reasons to explain why this Pure Land is better than all of the other Buddha Pure Lands: firstly, one can be reborn there with remaining karma; secondly, those who are reborn there can maintain the stage of non-regression; and thirdly, one can become a Buddha in one life after being reborn there  2 4 6  (If  ft ft  • M ~ tb ^ £8 g ftli W  ft £ J& % - J l ?f? H t£ ±, f£  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zluiangyan qingjing. pingdeng iue jing jiangji [Lecture Notes on the  Infinite Life Sutra|. vol. 1:18. 353. 374-377. and 474. 2 4 7  Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji, vol. 3: 568.  2 4 8  Liu Chengfu, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing qinwenji [A Record of What  I Have Heard about the Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sutra of Majesty, Purity, Equality and Enlightenment of the Mahayana School) (Taipei: Sanbao dizi, 1999) 33 and 183; Jingkong, Foshuo dacheng wuliangshou zhuangyan qingjing pingdeng iue jing jiangji