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Ch'eng-kuan on the Hua-yen Trinity


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Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 第 9 期 (p341-411): (民國 85 年),臺北:

中華佛學研究所,http://www.chibs.edu.tw Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal, No. 09, (1996)

Taipei: The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies ISSN: 1071-7132

Ch'eng-kuan on the Hua-yen Trinity

Robert M. Gimello The University of Arizona

p. 309


One of the interpretive devices that Ch'eng-kuan (澄觀) is famous for having employed to distill the essence of the vast Mahāvaipulya

Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (Ta-fang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching 《大方廣佛華嚴 經》 was a series of variations on the contemplative theme (kuan-men 觀門) of the complete interfusion (yüan-jung 圓融) of the scripture's three chief protagonists (san-sheng 三聖) ── the Buddha Vairocana (Pi-lu-che-na 毘 盧遮那) and the bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī (Wen-shu-shih-li 文殊師利) and Samantabhadra (P'u-hsien 普賢). By aligning these three powerful sacred persons with a number of philosophical categories that he believed to be central to the sūtra ── categories like "cause" (yin 因), "fruition" (kuo 果),

"faith" (hsin 信), "understanding" (chieh 解), "insight" (chih 智),

"practice" (hsing 行), "principle" (li 理), etc. ── he provided a focal point


at which the rich and vivid meditative and liturgical lives of Hua-yen devotees could be made to converge with their philosophical reflections.

Although Ch'eng-kuan invoked this device in several of his writings, his most concerted development of it is a short essay entitled San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men, which appears to have been written relatively late in his long career.

Like many important Hua-yen texts, this essay seems to have been lost in China not long after its author's death. However, it was preserved in Korea and Japan and from the latter country was reintroduced to China in the last years of nineteenth century. Neither in China nor in the West has it yet been adequately studied.

The core of the present article is a critical edition of the Chinese text of the essay based on a careful comparison of all available versions and presented p. 342

together with a copiously annotated English translation. The edition

translation are preceded by a brief interpretive introduction and followed by an appendix in which are given: a detailed discussion of the work's textual history, detailed accounts of its various editions, and descriptions of its several surviving paraphrases and commentaries.

關鍵詞:1.Ch'eng-kuan 2.Vairocana 3.Samantabhadra 4.Hua-yen 5.Mañjuśrī

p. 343

At the turn of the ninth century the eminent Buddhist cleric Ch'eng-kuan 澄 觀 (738-839, a.k.a. Ch'ing-liang kuo-shih 清涼國師) was at the height of his career and was recognized throughout China as one of the most saintly and learned Buddhist monks of the day. While residing in major monasteries located in or near the T'ang capital of Ch'ang-an or in the subsidiary capital of Taiyuan he was often sought out by clerics and laymen who came

requesting the benefit of his teaching. At some point in this period he was


approached by certain high-ranking lay disciples ── court officials, in all likelihood ── who asked him to explain a curious and presumably

significant feature of a particular scripture on which he was held to be the highest living authority. The scripture was the Mahāvaipulya

Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (Ta fang-kuang fo hua-yen ching 大方廣佛華嚴經)

── The Great Expansive Scripture of the Buddha's Flower Garland── and the puzzling feature on which he was consulted was the fact that in this sūtra, unlike all others, the Buddha remains absolutely and always silent while the actual discourse is conducted by various members of his cosmic assembly, particularly by the two great bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī (Wen-shu shih-li 文殊 師利) and Samantabhadra (P'u-hsien 普賢). Sūtras, it must be recalled, are by definition buddhavacana (fo-shuo 佛說), the ipsissima verba of the Buddha. Strange sūtra, then, in which the Buddha never speaks! And that this resounding silence should be sustained throughout what was actually one of the longest of all Mahāyāna scriptures made it all the more intriguing.

What was its significance?

That such a question was put to Ch'eng-kuan was not only a tribute to his illustrious stature but also an acknowledgment of the fact that he had devoted most of his long life to the exhaustive study of this particular text.

Indeed, it was not long after his death that he was acclaimed as the "fourth patriarch" of the "school" or lineage of Buddhism that the text had spawned, the Hua-yen tsung 華嚴宗. Although he had studied other traditions as well

── most notably Ch'an 禪 (especially the Ho-tse 荷澤 and Niu-t'ou 牛頭 varieties), Tien-t'ai 天台, and Chinese Mādhyamika

p. 344

(San-lun 三論) ── it was the Hua-yen ching that had claimed his greatest attention. It had drawn him, for example, to the Five Terraced Mountains (Wu-t'ai shan 五台山, the rugged peaks in northern Shansi, believed to be the terrestrial home of Manjuśrī). Over the course of ten or eleven years (776-787) spent there in ascetic study and reflection, years crowned by visions of the resident bodhisattva, he composed an immense commentary on the sūtra. Not satisfied with that, after leaving Wu-t'ai and taking up residence in the capital, he went on to compile an even lengthier

subcommentary, a tome that serves not only as the definitive exposition of the Hua-yen ching but also as a virtual encyclopedia of Mahāyāna


Buddhism as it was then known in China. These two monuments of sacred erudition ──the Hua-yen ching shu 華嚴經疏 (T 1735:35.503-962) and the Hua-yen ching sui-shu yen-i ch'ao 華嚴經隨疏演義鈔 (T

1736:36.1-701) ── together fill some 1,161 densely printed pages in the standard modern (Taishō) edition of the Sino-Japanese Buddhist canon, and in addition to them Ch'eng-kuan is known to have written at least

thirty-three other works!

A scripture as long as the Hua-yen ching, which by Ch'eng-kuan's time had already inspired commentaries and truly daunting length, clearly stood in need of some kind of précis. Particularly if it was to speak to a wider and chiefly lay audience, some finite set of principles or hermeneutical devices had to be devised by which it could be made accessible. To this end

Ch'eng-kuan had long considered the possibility of using the sūtra's three chief protagonists ── the mute ur-Buddha, Vairocana, and the eloquently voluble bodhisattvas, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra ── as keys to the sūtra and as quintessential expressions of its fundamental themes. In the character of each figure as he is presented in the sūtra, in the narrative of their

relationships with each other and with other characters (most notably the pilgrim-bodhisattva Sudhana, who is the chief focus of the sūtra's final and longest chapter), and especially in the sūtra's clearly anagogic use of all three personages as embodiments of universal truths, Ch'eng-kuan found what he considered to be a method for distilling from the enormous scripture its essential message. This stratagem had perhaps first been suggested to him by the writings of his Hua-yen predecessor, the enigmatic lay scholar, mystic, and wonder-worker Li T'ung-hsüan 李通玄 (635?-730?) who, at the beginning of the eighth century, had made some such use of the three figures in his writings.[1] In any case, there are brief discussions of the

"three sages" or "three holy ones" (san-sheng 三聖), as they are commonly called, in Ch'eng-kuan's commentaries and subcommentary. [2] It seems, however, that it was not until later, when his estimable lay disciples put their question to him, that he undertook a systematic, albeit brief and highly compressed, exposition of the subject. That exposition is the very short text on which we focus in this essay, viz., theSan-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men 三 聖圓融觀門 (Contemplations of the Perfect Interfusion of the Three Holy Ones).


p. 345

Ch'eng-kuan's basic strategy in this work is to attend carefully to what the sūtra says about each of the three "holy ones," and about the relations of each to the others, and to find therein a set of basic Hua-yen themes which the holy ones are said not so much to "represent" or to "signify" as ' to

"symbolize" or actually to "embody." All three are thus found to have status both as particular (albeit supernal) persons and as embodiments of universal truths.

In this way, Mañjuśrī is held to embody or symbolize especially the themes of "faith" (hsin 信), "understanding" (chieh 解), and "insight" or "wisdom"

(chih 智) ── the intentionality of Mahāyāna, as it were; whereas

Samantabhadra is said to constitute the "object of faith" (suo-hsin 所信),

"practice" (hsing 行), and "principle" (li 理) ── the objective and actual ground of Mahāyāna truth. Moreover, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra together are seen to comprise the order or dimension of "cause" (yin 因), i.e., the myriad powers and practices of the path, by which beings pursue and attain liberation and so stand in contrast to Vairocana, the cosmic Buddha, who is held to constitute the order or dimension of "fruition (kuo 果), i.e. ultimate realization.

This, however, is no fixed or static array of persons and virtues. Rather the whole pattern of inter-relationship among the three holy ones and what they symbolize is rendered unstable, fluid, and protean by Ch'eng-kuan's

invocation of the characteristically Hua-yen notion of "perfect interfusion"

or "complete communion" (yüan-jung 圓融) ── an idea which echoes the older and even more characteristically Hua-yen theme of "non-obstruction"

or "mutual pervasion" (wu-ai 無礙) and one which is likely to call to the mind of the western reader certain of the cardinal principles of Christian trinitarian theology whereby the three divine persons are three and distinct, yet also one and inseparable.[3] By that principle, it is shown that cause implies or entails fruition, that faith is inherent in insight, that practice is inseparable from understanding, etc. Thus, the virtues of each holy one interfuse among themselves while also drawing the three sacred persons into a mysterious relationship of mutual identity that somehow also entailing


mutual difference. Moreover, all of this is shown to have practical as well as theoretical value.

Let us then present the text, first in a critical edition of the Chinese and then in an annotated English translation.

p. 346

The San-Sheng Yüan-Jung Kuan-Men: A Critical Edition

The edition of the text printed below is the product of a comparison of the following previously published editions:

1. The Chin-ling k'o-ching ch'u 金陵刻經處 edition, otherwise known as the Yang Wen-hui 楊文會 or Yang Jen-shan 楊仁山 edition (1897).

2. The Zokuzōkyō 續藏經 edition (original edition: 1905-1912; new, corrected and expanded edition: 1973-1989).

3. The Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 大正新修大藏經 edition (1924-1931).

4. The Chung-kuo fo-chiao ssu-hsiang tzu-liao hsüan-pien 中國佛教思想資料選編 edition, otherwise known as the Chung-hua shu-chü edition (1983).

Also consulted were:

A. A paraphrase of the text preserved in the Hua-yen ching p'u-hsien hsing-yüan p'in pieh-hsing shu ch'ao 華嚴經普賢行願品別行疏鈔 (SSZZ 229:5.238a6-c20), which is Tsung-mi's subcommentary to Ch'eng-kuan's commentary on Bhadracarīpraṇidhāna, the latter having been appended by the missionary Prajñā (般若 / 智慧 744-ca. 810) to his 796-798 translation of the Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra(T293:10.661-851), of which it comprises the fortieth and final scroll.

B.The abbreviated paraphrase of the text found the Kegon hokkai gikyō 華嚴法界義鏡 a


1295 work by the scholar-monk Gyōnen's 凝然 (available in several modern editions).

C. "The extant fragment (fascicles 1 & 2) of Gyōnen's Sanshō ennyūkan giken 三聖圓融 觀義顯 a 1312 commentary on the basic text, available in the Nihon daizōkyō 日本大藏 經 of 1922 (reprinted in 1970).

[Note: "T" = Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 大正新修大藏經, 1924-1932. "SSZZ" = Shinsan zokuzōkyō 新纂續藏經, 1978-1989.]

Note that characters for which there are possibly significant variants in certain of the versions of the work are printed here in reverse type.

For more information on these and other versions of the text see below the appendix entitled "Versions of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men."

p. 347


唐大華嚴寺 沙門澄觀述

夫上聖觀人設教:言不虛陳,按[4]指發揮,觸事皆通。因有名[5]德叩 示[6]以二聖表法之二義,遂著三聖圓融觀。一毛之智觀難[7]以度成。


三聖者,本師毘盧遮那如來,普賢文殊三大菩薩是也。大覺應世輔翼塵 沙,而華嚴經中,獨標二[9]聖為上首者,託以表法,不徒然也。







謂普賢表所信之法界,即在纏如來藏。故理趣般若云:『一切眾生皆如 來藏。普賢菩薩自體遍故』。初會即『入如來藏身三昧』者,意在此也。



p. 348

『文殊菩薩出生一切菩薩無休息故』。然信但有信而未能見,又[13]所 信所證無二理。故無初普賢。信可始生,理唯極見。故文殊居初,普賢 居後。




聞菩薩行,入解脫門,皆是文殊威神力』故。又云,『文殊常為一切菩 薩師故』。又云,『文殊師利心念力故』。


普賢表所證法界。即出纏如來藏。『善財童子入其身故』。又云,『得 究竟三世平等身故』。『一毛廣大即無邊者稱法性』故。『普賢身相如 虛空』故。又,見普賢即得智波羅蜜者明依於理而發智故。

文殊表能證大智。本所事佛名不動智故。慈氏云,『文殊師利常為無量 百千億那由他諸佛母』故。『文殊於諸經中所說法門多顯般若旨』故。


p. 349

見後文殊方見普賢,顯其有智方證理故。是以古德銘後文殊為『智照無 二相』。不現身[15]相者,表極智甚深,心境兩亡[16],信解雙絕故。

又理開體用,智分權貴,故以文殊二智,證普賢體用。此之一門,古德 親問三藏。言有經說,未傳此方。又此一門,亦表定慧,理本寂故,智 即慧故。亦表體用,普賢理寂以為心體,文殊智照為大用故。





信解真正,方了本原,成其極智。極智反照,不異初心。故初發心時便 成正覺。又前方便之智,不離智體。故後文殊名智照無二相。照信不殊 於智。故從無身相而展右手。是以文殊三事融通隱隱。





p. 350


謂要因於信,方知法界。信不信理[20],信即為邪故。能所不二,不信 自心有如來藏非菩薩故。


次,以智是理用,體理[21]成智,還照於理,智與理冥,方曰真智。則 理智無二。故經云。『無有如外智,能證於如。亦無智外如,為智所入。』

又,法界寂照名止[22],寂而常照名觀,觀窮數極,妙符乎寂,即定慧 不二。


是以文殊三事融通隱隱,即是普賢三事涉入重重。此二不異[23],名普 賢帝網之行。故普賢行品及[24]上下諸經[25],廣顯理事圓融,為普賢 行。非獨事行,名『普賢行[26]』。既二聖相融,而不名『文殊行』者。



唯證相應故。法界品中,普賢之後,便偈讚佛德者,顯果相也。品初如 來自入三昧,現相無言,表所證絕言,而普賢開顯放光令悟,表能證絕 言。而文殊開顯者,即斯意也。[32]


p. 351



文殊是『方廣』,理上之智為業用故。又通是普賢,理含體用通為所證 故。





亦一代時教,不離於此理智等。[34]然上理智等並不離心。心佛眾生無 差別故。若於心能了,則念念因圓,念念果滿。出現品云。『菩薩應知 自心,念念常有佛成正覺』故。


常見三聖及十方諸菩薩。一即一切故。心境無二故。依此修行,一生不 剋,三生[36]必圓矣。

p. 352


Note: Sections headings ── in parentheses and bold-face ── are not found in the original but have been devised by the translator so as to highlight the structure of the text.

Contemplations of the Perfect Interfusion of the Three Holy Ones,Expounded by Śramaṇa Ch'eng-kuan


The supreme holy one establishes his teachings on the basis of a keen observation of men. His words are not desultory but pointed and distinct, [37] penetrating all the particular circumstances on which they touch.[38]

Having been asked by some eminent worthies[39] to explain the two-fold significance of the fact that [in the Flower Garland Scripture] it is the two holy ones [rather than the Buddha himself] who expound the dharma,[40] I take the opportunity to compose these "contemplations of the perfect

interfusion of the three holy ones." For [one like myself, possessed of only]

scant discernment, [this is a topic] hard to treat definitively. [However,] by rudimentary reliance on doctrinal formulations, I will sketch its general outlines. I hope only that [the reader] will seek after it in a spirit far removed [from delusion] and emptied of personal [bias].[41]

"The "three holy ones" are: the primal teacher, the Tathāgata Vairocana, and the two great Bodhisattvas, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra. As the salvific means by which the supremely enlightened one responds to the world are as numerous as the grains of sand [in the Ganges],[42] so it is of no little significance that in the Flower Garland Scripture only Mañjuśrī and

Samantabhadra are featured as chief protagonists and charged with the task of expressing the dharma.[43]

Let us now briefly set forth two approaches to be taken to the subject. First, we shall distinguish among [the three holy ones] so as to clarify what they outwardly express; secondly, we shall merge them with each other so as to manifest their perfect wholeness.

p. 353

(I. The Two Holy Ones in Contradistinction to One Another.)

From the former perspective, two among the three holy ones (i.e., Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra) symbolize the dimension of cause,[44] whereas the Tathāgata symbolizes the dimension of fruition. As the dimension of fruition transcends speech and thought, so let us speak [only] of the two-fold causal dimension. For if one apprehends the profound subtlety of the two-fold causal dimension then will one understand the deep wonder of the ocean of fruition.


Thus, the theme of the two holy ones consists, generally, in three kinds of distinction:

(I.A. The Distinction between Faith and Its Object.)

First, [Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra may be distinguished from each other]

according to the distinction between faith and the object of faith. That is to say:

(I.A.1 Samantabhadra as the Object of Faith.)

Samantabhadra represents[45] the dharmadhātu as the object of faith, the matrix of Buddhahood (tathāgatagarbha) "entangled" [in the afflictions of saṃsāra].[46] Therefore is it said in the Li-ch'ü po-jo(the Scripture of

Definitive insight), that "all sentient beings are matrices of Buddhahood, for they are instinct with the essential nature of Samantabhadr.a"[47] Herein lies the significance of Samantabhadra's entrance into the "Samādhi of the

Embryonic Tathāgata" in the Flower Garland Scripture's first assembly.[48]

(I.A.2 Mañjuśrī as the Faithful Mind.)

Mañjuśrī, by contrast, represents the faithful mind. According to the Sūtra of the Buddhas' Names, "All the Buddhas rely upon Mañjuśrī for the arousal of the aspiration for awakening,"[49] for it is just faith's awakening [of that aspiration] that he represents.[50] Thus, it was when he first met [Mañjuśrī]

that Sudhana conceived the great aspiration for awakening, for [that

encounter] corresponds [symbolically] to a bodhisattva's [accession to] the stage of faith. As the [Flower Garland]

p. 354

Scripture says. "The bodhisattva Mañjuśrī ceaselessly gives birth to all the bodhisattvas." Although faith is just faith and not yet capable of immediate experience, yet the object of faith and the object of realization are not two different truths. Thus, [Sudhana] has no prior [encounter with]

Samantabhadra; [rather he meets him only at the culmination of his quest].[51] As it is faith which comes first [whereas] immediate

experience[52] of the truth comes only at the end, so it is that [in the story of Sudhana's journey] Mañjuśrī comes first and Samantabhadra afterwards.


(I.B. The Distinction between Understanding and Practice.)

Second, [the two holy ones may be distinguished from each other] according to the distinction between understanding[53] and practice.

(I.B.1 Samantabhadra as Practice.)

Samantabhadra represents the myriad practices [engendered by

understanding], for "the practices of Samantabhadra" are mentioned in passages found throughout the scripture.[54]

(I.B.2 Mañjuśrī as Understanding.)

Mañjuśrī, [by contrast], represents the understanding that engenders

[practice], for to understand phenomena and principle thoroughly is also to master expedient means. As Maitreya said [to Sudhana in the Hua-yen ching], "That you have already met all the [other] spiritual benefactors (kalyānamitra), that you have learned of the practices of bodhisattvas, and that you have entered the gate of liberation ── these are all due to

Mañjuśrī's spiritual power."[55] And, as is also said, "Mañjuśrī serves always as the teacher of all bodhisattvas" ... "It is because of the force of Mañjuśrī's thought."[56]

p. 355

(I.C. The Distinction between Principle and Insight.)

Third, [the two holy ones may be distinguished from each other] according to the distinction between principle[57] and insight.

(I.C.1 Samantabhadra as Principle, the Object of Realization.)

Samantabhadra represents the realm of truth (dharmadhātu), which is the object of realization. This is the matrix of Buddhahood (tathāgatagarbha) disentangled [from all the afflictions of saṃsāra]. [58] For, [as is said in the sūtra], "... The youth Sudhana enters [Samantabhadra's] body" ... "He attains a body wherein past, present, and future are utterly identical" ... "A single strand [of Samantabhadra's] hair is of boundless breadth, equivalent to the dharma-nature itself' ... "The body of Samantabhadra is as vast as


space..."[59] Moreover, to meet Samantabhadra is just to attain the perfection of insight, and from this is it clear that insight arises from principle.

(I.C.2 Mañjuśrī as Insight, the Subject of Realization.)

Mañjuśrī, [by contrast], represents the great insight which effects [realization], for the Buddha whom he originally served was named

"Immovable Insight."[60] As Maitreya says [in the Hua-yen ching],

"Mañjuśrī is the eternal mother of all the incalculable billions of Buddhas" ...

"[He is] the purport of the insight revealed in all the teachings taught in all the scriptures." And, as he says further, "it is from the ocean of Mañjuśrī's insight that [realization] arises."[61]

It is after meeting the "Latter Mañjuśrī" that Sudhana meets Samantabhadra;

this shows that realization of principle follows from the existence of insight.

Therefore did the Old Master [Fa-tsang] declare that the "Latter Mañjuśrī" is

" [the embodiment] of the insight that illumines non-duality."[62] His invisibility symbolizes the deep profundity of his utmost wisdom, wherein mind and object are both effaced, faith and understanding both


p. 356

Furthermore, principle is divided into "substance" and "function," insight into "the provisional" and "the actual." Thus, availing one's self of

Mañjuśrī's two-fold wisdom, one may realize both the "substance" and the

"function" of Samantabhadra. About this particular teaching the Old Master [Fa-tsang] personally queried the Trepiṭaka [Śikṣānanda],[64] who replied that there were [relevant] scriptures that had not yet reached China.

Furthermore, this one teaching also expresses the relationship between concentration (samādhi) and insight (prajñā), for principle is the

fundamental quiescence [of samādhi] whereas insight is nothing other than prajñā [itself]. It expresses [the relationship between] substance and function also in the sense that the quiescence of principle [embodied by]

Samantabhadra is the "substance" of the mind, whereas the illumination of insight [emanating from] Mañjuśrī is the mind's "great function."


(II. The Complete Identity of Two Holy Ones.)

The second [perspective], that of the perfect wholeness [of the two holy ones] as revealed in their interfusion, also has two aspects.

(II.A. The Internal Unity of Each Holy One's Three Aspects.)

First it shall be made clear that among the themes [symbolized by each] of the two holy ones, each [single theme] naturally and completely entails [the other two].

(II.A.1 The Mutual Implication of Understanding, Faith, and Insight in the Person of Mañjuśrī.)

That is to say, Mañjuśrī is capable of perfect understanding only because he is grounded in faith. For any [effort at] understanding that is without faith [simply] compounds heresy, whereas faith without understanding [merely]

extends ignorance. But when faith and understanding are true and correct, then does one both apprehend the original source and attain to the utmost insight. In its reflexive radiance[65] utmost insight does not differ from the mind's first stirrings toward awakening. Thus, as soon as one first arouses the aspiration for awakening one has already

p. 357

achieved its perfect fulfillment. Moreover, the preliminary insight of

expedient means is not separate from insight in its very substance. Thus it is that the "Latter Mañjuśrī" is called "Insight which Illumines Nonduality."

And as radiant faith does not differ from insight, so does [the sūtra show Mañjuśrī] extending a disembodied right hand to touch Sudhana's head.

Such is the manifold interfusion of the three themes [symbolized by ] Mañjuśrī![66]

(II.A.2. The Mutual Implication of Truth, Practice, and Substance in the Person of Samantabhadra.)

Then there is the mutual implication of Samantabhadra's three themes. If principle were without practice, then principle would never be manifest. As practice arises from substance, so practice must necessarily conform to substance. As principle is realized out of practice, so there is no principle apart from practice. And as principle manifests practice, so there is no practice apart from principle. Therefore, whichever the principle to be


realized, there is no practice which does not entail it. As each single realization embodies all realizations, so do we see how each of

Samantabhadra's particular teachings is ineffably greater than the last. And, as function is identical with substance, so the slightest single teaching entails an infinity [of teachings]. Such is the manifold commingling of the three themes [symbolized by] Samantabhadra.

(II.B. How the Characteristics of Each of the Two Holy Ones Entail Those of the Other.)

Second, the interfusion of the teachings of both holy ones.

That is to say, it is only by reliance on faith that one may come to know the dharmadhātu. For faith that is not faith in principle is [mere] error. So too, the subject of faith and its object are not two, for he is no bodhisattva who lacks faith in the Tathāgatagarbha's presence in his own mind.

Likewise is it certain that only by reliance on understanding can one generate practice. As it is in conformity with understanding that one generates practice, so

p. 358

practice is not different from understanding. Thus understanding and practice are not two.

And thus, as insight is the function of principle, so to embody principle is to accomplish insight, which in turn illumines principle. It is the fusion of insight and principle that is called "true insight." From this it follows that principle and insight are not two. Thus does the sūtra say, "There is no insight outside of suchness by which you can realize suchness; nor is there any suchness outside of insight into which insight can delve."

Moreover, the quiescent radiance of the dharmadhātu is called "stilling"

(śamatha); whereas to be quiescent and yet always luminous is called

"discernment" (vipaśyanā). When discernment has reached its ultimate it mysteriously coincides with quiescence, and just this is the nonduality of samādhi and prajñā.


Also, as it is just the function of substance that is called insight and the substance of function that is called principle, so substance and function are not two.

It follows then that the manifold interfusion of the three themes [symbolized by] Mañjuśrī is nothing other than the multifarious commingling of the three themes [symbolized by] Samantabhadra. The nonduality of these two is called 'the Indra's Net' practice of Samantabhadra." Thus the "Chapter on Samantabhadra's Practice," together with passages of the scripture that precede and follow it, makes it abundantly clear that it is the complete interfusion of principle and phenomena, not simply phenomenal practice, that is called "Samantabhadra practice."[67] And as the two holy ones are an amalgam, so one does not speak: [also] of a "Mañjuśrī Practice." Subsuming both insight and principle, there is only the dharmadhātu of the one mind.

Thus, to adduce just one of the holy ones is to imply them both.

As the teachings of the two holy ones are interfused, so the repletion of cause [symbolized by] Samantabhadra, escaping characterization and

transcending speech, merges with the ocean of fruition. This is the pervasive illumination of Vairocana's radiance, for it is only a reflex of realization. In the "[Entrance into] the Dharmadhātu" chapter [of the Hua-yen ching], after the [encounter with] Samantabhadra there are verses in praise of the

qualities of the Buddha which give explosion to the dimension of fruition.

At the opening of the chapter, when p. 359

the Tathāgata spontaneously enters samādhi, the wordlessness of the event expresses the fact that what is realized transcends speech. Likewise, when Samantabhadra manifests himself, the brilliance he emits to inspire

awakening [in others] expresses the fact that the subject of realization [also]

transcends speech. And when Mañjuśrī manifests himself, it has the same significance.

(III. The Three Holy Ones in Terms of the Sūtra's Title)

If one coordinates the three holy ones with the rubrics of the scripture's [title]:


Samantabhadra [correspond to the rubric] "ta" ("great"), for there is nothing not encompassed by principle and substance, the objects of realization [that he symbolizes].

Mañjuśrī [corresponds to the rubric] "fang-kuang" ("expansive"), for insight as to principle, [which is what he symbolizes,] is his function.

Moreover, this is common also to Samantabhadra, insofar as principle [which is what he symbolizes] encompasses both substance and function, the joint objects of realization.

Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra together [correspond to the rubric] "hua-yen"

("flower ornament") for in the 'blossoming' of the myriad practices faith, insight, understanding, and practice are all the 'flowers' of cause, and they function to 'ornament' the fundamental substance.[68]

Vairocana [corresponds to the rubric] "fo" ("Buddha"), for by thoroughly perfecting all causes, he attained both substance and function.

We speak of [the text] as a "ching" ("scripture") because it is an expression relying upon speech.

As they thus embrace the whole title, with nothing left out, thus do [the three holy ones] subsume [in their persons] the entire meaning of the scripture.[69]

p. 360

(IV. The Three Holy Ones and the Mind: Concluding Remarks on Practice.) Moreover, the teaching of the whole age does not depart from these things

── principle, insight, etc. Likewise, the aforesaid principle, insight, etc. do not depart from the mind, for among the mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings there is no distinction. If you can see clearly into the mind then, [you know that] in each moment of thought cause is being perfected and in each moment of thought fruition is being fulfilled. For, as it is said in

[the Hua-yen ching's] "Chapter on The Manifestation of the Tathāgata," "the


bodhisattva should know that in each and every one of his own momentary thoughts there are always buddhas attaining perfect awakening."[70]

And so, as difference that is identical with unity does not block outward discernment, do not speak in adhesion to words. If you would undertake these contemplations fix your eyes on the objective realm and see always that the three holy ones and the bodhisattvas of the ten directions are

identical, one with all, and that the mind and the objective realm are not two.

Rely on this practice; if a single lifetime does not suffice, then surely three lifetimes will bring perfection.

p. 361

Appendix: Ch'eng-kuan's San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men: Extant Versions of the Text, Its

Commentaries, and Its Paraphrases


A. Pre-modern Versions.

1. The 1685 Edition.

2. Other Early Japanese editions (?).

B. Modern Versions.

1. The Yang Wen-hui Edition.

2. The Zokuzōkyō Edition.

a. The Original Zokuzōkyō.

b. The Taiwan Reprint of the Original Zokuzōkyō.

c. The Shinsan zokuzōkyō.

d. The Taiwan Reprint of the Shinsan zokuzōkyō.

3. The Taisho Edition (and its reprints).


4. The Chung-hua shu-chü Edition.

5. The "Tucson" Edition.

C. The Tsung-mi Paraphrase.

D. The Gyōnen Paraphrase &. Commentary.

1. The Early Japanese Acquaintance with Ch'eng-kuan.

2. Gyōnen and His Age.

3. Gyōnen and the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men.

a. The Kegon hokkai gikyō.

i. The Nihon daizōkyō Edition.

ii. The Dainihon bukkyō zensho Edition.

iii. The Bukkyō taikei Edition.

iv. The Nihon shisō taikei Edition.

v. The Kitabatake Tensei Edition.

b. The Sanshō ennyūkan giken.

c. The Kegonshū yōgi.

E. Other Relevant Texts.

1. The Sanshō kammon emman ki.

2. The Sanshō ennyū kammon kōgi.

p. 362

A. Pre-modern Versions.

The San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men was lost in China sometime during the late T'ang, Five Dynasties, or early Sung Period. It is therefore not to be found in any of the pre-modern Chinese printed editions of the Ta-tsang ching; nor was it preserved in the Tun-huang 敦煌 archives or among the Fang-shan 房山 stone-tablet inscriptions. However, it was preserved in Japan and for this reason the earliest surviving versions of the text, so far as we know, are Japanese.


The entry on this text in Ono Gemmyō 小野玄妙, Bussho kaisetsu daijiten 佛書解說大辭典 (Vol. 4, pp. 89-90) is by Yusuki Ryōei 湯次了 榮.[71] Yusuki lists ── as the earliest surviving version known to him ──

an early Tokugawa printed edition dated 1685 (Jōkyō 貞享 2). We have not seen this edition, and do not know where it was printed or by whom.

Neither do we know what earlier version (manuscript or printing) was used by the 1685 printer as his model. The only information we have as to its provenance is what we are told by its colophon, which is reproduced in both the Taishō and Zokuzōkyō editions. It reads as follows:


"Copied during eighth lunar month (August-September) of the second year of the Jōkyō era (1685), during a month's retreat at a lodge in the Southern Capital (Nara)."

This suggests that it was based on a copy of the text, probably a manuscript copy, kept in some archive in the old capital of Nara. As the Tōdaiji 東大寺 was that city's major repository of Kegon literature, we may reasonably suppose that our anonymous seventeenth century copyist was working from a Tōdaiji manuscript, which seems no longer to exist.

Yusuki does tell us of five copies of this 1685 printing preserved in various Japanese libraries:

‧ The Kōyasan 高野山 University Library

‧ The Kyōtō Semmon Gakkō 京都專門學校 Library (i.e., a library belonging to Tōji, 東寺 the great Shingon 真言 cathedral in Kyoto)

‧ The Taishō 太正 University Library (Tokyo)

‧ The Kyōtō 京都 University Library

‧ The Ōtani 大谷 University Library (Kyōtō)

p. 363

Yusuki also mentions what he calls a "kanshibon" 刊支本, copies of which may be found in the Kyōtō University and Ōtani University Libraries. I take this "kanshibon" to be either a later reprinting done from the same blocks as


were used to print the 1685 edition, or a version printed from other blocks newly carved from the 1685 model. No date is given for this.[72]

In all likelihood, the first version of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men to arrive in Japan came there by way of Korea. We know that a Korean edition of the text had been published in the late eleventh century by the royal Korean scholar-monk Ŭich'ŏn 義天 (1055-1101, visitor to Sung China from May 27, 1085 until August 2, 1086) as part of his famous

"Supplement" to the Tripiṭaka (the Sokchanggyŏng 續藏經 ── 1,010 titles in 4,740 scrolls). All but a few fragments of this "Supplement" were lost in the destruction wrought by the 1231 Mongol invasion of Korea, but its catalogue, published in the 1090, does survive and the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men is listed therein ── see the Sin'pyŏn chejong kyojang

ch'ongnok 新編諸宗教藏總錄 (T 2184:55.1166c). We cannot be sure where Ŭich'ŏn himself found the work but, since there are indications that it had been lost in China by his day, it is probable that he found it somewhere in Korea. (Bear in mind that Hua-yen flourished in Korea throughout the period from the eighth through the eleventh century and so Korean monasteries had extensive collections of early Hua-yen literature.)

We also know that the medieval Japanese acquired many Chinese Buddhist texts from Korea. The San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men was probably one such. In any case, we can be certain that the work was circulating in Japan by the early thirteenth century because it was cited in a work written in 1220 by Myōe 明惠 (1173-1232) ── see below ── and in the course of the subsequent century it was cited, summarized, and commented upon it in several works by Gyōnen 凝然 (1240-1321) ── again, see below. The 1685 printed edition of the work was probably based on some earlier printed or manuscript version that may well have derived in turn from the same version or versions that Myōe and Gyōnen had used.

B. Modern Versions.

1. The Yang Wen-hui 楊文會 or Chin-ling k'e-ching-ch'u 金陵刻經處 Edition.


In the year 1897 (Kuang-hsü 光緒) the eminent scholar-official and

Buddhist layman, Yang Wen-hui 楊文會 (1837- 1911, tzu 字: Jen-shan 仁 山), printed a copy of the San-sheng yüan-Jung

p. 364

kuan-men at the Chin-ling Scriptural Press, an institution he had established a few decades earlier in Nanking.

Yang was committed to reprinting Buddhist texts in the wake of the

widespread destruction of Buddhist libraries by the T'ai-p'ing rebels. Also, he had become a close friend of the Japanese scholar Nanjō Bunyū 南條文 雄 (variant spelling: Nanjio Bunyiu), whom he had met in England in the 1880's while Yang was serving in China's legation in London and Nanjo was a graduate student at Oxford. Through this friendship Yang came to know that there were many important Chinese Buddhist texts preserved in Japan and Korea that had been lost in China. From around 1890 on Yang made a concerted effort to acquire as many such texts as possible. Nanjō and a

number of Nanjō's Japanese colleagues (some of whom were active in Korea) assisted him in this effort. One of the texts Yang acquired in this way was the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men. Yang does not tell us what version of the work he received from Japan, but we can guess that it was a copy of the 1685 printed edition discussed above. However, Yang was apparently not willing simply to reprint the Japanese edition as he found it. Rather he submitted it to some editorial scrutiny of his own and added his own punctuation (as it happens, his readings and punctuation are usually preferable to those found m the various Japanese versions of the text).

By virtue of this 1897 edition, Yang Wen-hui may be said to have

"re-introduced" the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men to China after an absence of approximately a thousand years.

A photo-reprint of Yang's 1897 edition was published in 1975, in Taipei, by Ho-lo t'u-shu ch'u-pan-she 河洛圖書出版社, as part of a two-volume collection of Hua-yen texts entitled Hua-yen i-hai 華嚴義海. All the works in this anthology had previously been published by Yang Wen-hui and several of them, like our Ch'eng-kuan text, had been retrieved from Korea and Japan. The San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men is found at the end of volume I (these volumes do not have continuous pagination).


2. The Zokuzōkyō 續藏經 Edition.

During the years 1905-1912 a group of Japanese scholars based in Kyoto and working under the direction of Maeda Eun 前田惠雲 (1857-1930) and Nakano Tatsue 中野達惠 (1871-1934) gathered together a large collection of 1,757 Chinese Buddhist works (in 7,148 kan 卷) and published them in the form of a "Supplement" to the "Manji" 卍字 edition of

the Tripiṭaka (full p. 365

title: [Manji] Dainihon kōtei zōkyō 卍字大日本校訂藏經) which had been published only a few years earlier (in 1902-1905). The 1905-1912

"Supplement" consists mostly of works preserved in various Japanese monastic and private archives which had not previously incorporated into any Tripiṭaka collection (although some of them had been included in the supplements to the "Chia-hsing" 嘉興 edition of the canon published in late Ming / early Ch'ing China, i.e., during the period extending from 1579 to 1677).[73]

This Japanese Tripiṭaka Supplement ── commonly referred to simply as the Zokuzōkyō ── contains the second modern edition of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men, and the first edition ever to be included in

aTripiṭaka collection. The Zokuzōkyō editors used the 1685 edition as their base text (as is indicated by their inclusion of the 1685 colophon). They also compared that base text with another version, but they do not tell us what that other version was.[74]

In the 1920's the Zokuzōkyō was reprinted by the Commercial Press

(Shang-wu yin-shu kuan 商務印書館) of Shanghai, in the original format;

this reprint is now rare. More recently it has been reprinted again (in an unauthorized or "pirated" edition) in Taiwan, first by the Chung-kuo

fo-chiao hui 中國佛教會 later by Hsin-wen-feng 新文豐 publishers. This Taiwan reprint adopted a format different from the original ── 150

western-style bound volumes, rather than stitched fascicles and cases ──

and it made no distinctions among "series" and "sub-series." Many Chinese and western scholars, when citing texts in this Taiwan reprint of the

Zokuzōkyō, will refer to it as the Wan-tzu hsü-tsang ching, or simply as


the Hsü-tsang ching(abbreviation: "HTC"). In this reprint the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men appears in Vol. 103.

More recently still the Japanese have produced a revised version of

the Zokuzōkyō, known as the Shinsan dainihon zokuzōkyō 新纂大日本續 藏經, or simply as the Shinsan zokuzōkyō (abbreviation: "SSZZ"). It is published by Kokusho Kankōkai 國書刊行會 of Tokyo. Publication began in 1973 and was not concluded until 1989. The result is a great improvement over the original edition and its Taiwan reprints.[75]

3. The Taishō 大正 Edition.

Between the years 1924 and 1934 a consortium of Japanese Scholars under the direction of Takakusu Junjirō 高楠順次郎 (1866-1945), Watanabe Kaigyoku 渡部海旭 (1872-1932), and Ono Gemmyō 小野亦妙

(1884-1939) produced a "critical edition" of the Sino-Japanese Buddhist p. 366

canon which has ever since served as the standard citation edition. Its full title is Taishō shinshū daizōkyō(The Great Collection of Scriptures Newly Compiled during the Taishō Era [1912-1925] - abbreviation: "T"), and it comprises a total of 3,360 different works in 100 bound volumes. Vols. 1-55 contain texts taken principally from earlier Chinese, Korean, and Japanese editions of the canon; vols. 56-84 contain works composed in Japan and previously excluded from editions of the canon; vol. 85 contain mostly works found at Tun-huang; vols. 86-96 contain illustrated texts (zuzo 圖像) from the Japanese esoteric (mikkyo 密教) traditions; and vols. 98-100 (known separately as the Shōwa hōbō sōmokuroku 昭和法寶目錄 ── The Showa Era's Comprehensive Catalogue of Dharma Treasuries) contain reprints of seventy-seven earlier catalogues of the canon.

The Taishō editors used the Korean edition of the canon as their basis, but, when possible, they compared texts in that Tripiṭaka with versions preserved in other canons or with separately published versions. They also added many texts that had not previously been included in any version of the Tripiṭaka, neither the Korean nor any other. [76]


The Taishō edition of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men, like

the Zokuzōkyō edition, is based on the 1685 edition mentioned above, as compared with other versions which (unfortunately) are not identified.

In the Taishō, the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men has the serial number 1882 and may be found in volume 45, on pages 671a-672a.

The Taishō has also been "pirated" in Taiwan and in the Mainland China. I do not know the details of the Mainland reprint, but in Taiwan it was reprinted first by the Chung-kuo Fo-chiao Hui 中國佛教會 and later by Hsin-wen feng 新文豐.

4. The Chung-hua shu-chü 中華書局 Edition.

In the 1980's a group of Chinese scholars led by Shih Chün (Shi Jun) 石峻, Lou Yü-lieh (Lou Yulie) 樓宇烈, Fang Li-t'ien (Fang Litian) 方立天, Hsü K'ang-sheng (Xu Kangsheng) 許抗生, and Lo Shou-ming (Luo Shouming) 樂壽明 multi-volume anthology (eight volumes have appeared so far) of basic Buddhist texts for use primarily in colleges and universities. This anthology is entitled Chung-kuo fo-chiao ssu-hsiang tzu-liao

hsüan-pien (Zhongguo fojiao sixiang ziliao p. 367

xuanbian) 中國佛教思想資料選編 and it is published by Chung-hua shu-chü (Zhongguo shuju) of Peking. The third volume in this series (第二 卷。第二冊) contains a selection of Hua-yen texts, including the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men (Sansheng yuanrong guanmen) [pp. 375-378].

This edition is based on the Yang Wen-hui edition mentioned above, but is printed horizontally and with some additions and with some changes (not always reliable) in punctuation, etc.

5. The "Tucson Edition."

This is the critical, newly punctuated edition of the text provided in this article. It is based on a comparison of all other available editions (including the Tsung-mi and Gyōnen texts discussed below), with all variant readings noted in endnotes.


It was prepared on a Macintosh computer using the "Nisus Writer" word processing program (version 4.07) together with the "Apple Chinese Language Kit." It is printed horizontally, using the National Taiwan University "Kai" 揩 font.

C. The Tsung-mi 宗密 Paraphrase.

A paraphrase of Ch'eng-kuan's essay ── with certain interesting elisions and additions ── may be found in the second of the six chüan of Tsung-mi's (780-841) Hua-yen ching hsing-yüan-p'in shu ch'ao 華嚴經行願品疏鈔 (SSZ 229:5.238a6-c20).

This work by Tsung-mi has its roots in the final phase of the transmission to China of theBuddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra and its component scriptures, a phase datable to the Chen-yüan 貞元 era of the T'ang (785-805) or, more

precisely, to the last decade of the eighth century. Late in the year 795 the Emperor Te-tsung 德宗 (r. 779-805) received, as a tribute gift from the King of Uḍra (the region of India corresponding roughly to the modern state of Orissa), a 16,700 śloka Sanskrit manuscript of theGaṇḍavyūha that the Indian monarch is said to have copied out in his own hand. The following year Te-tsung ordered the Kashmiri monk, Trepiṭaka Prajñā (Po-jo

san-tsang 般若三藏; 744-810?), who was then residing in Ch'ang-an, to translate this manuscript. In this task Prajñā was assisted by a number of eminent Chinese monks, including Ch'eng-kuan. They began their work in the summer of 796, finishing in the early spring of 798, and their

p. 368

effoits yielded a forty chüan work entitled Ta-fang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching 大方廣佛華嚴經 (T 293:10.661a-851c). The title of this work, of course, is the very same as that which had been used to designate both of the two earlier Chinese translations of the complete Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra, and for this reason Prajñā's translation is often mistakenly referred to as

"third translation of the Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra." In fact, however, it is a translation of only the Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra, a work which continued to circulate as an independent scripture even though it had also been

incorporated into theBuddhāvataṃsaka, as its final chapter, under the title Ju fa-chieh p'in 入法界品.


It is a special feature of the Prajñā translation of the Gaṇḍavyūha that, in addition to being the most ample of the three Chinese versions, it had

appended to it another originally independent work that would soon become a standard and important component of the Hua-yen corpus, viz.,

the P'u-hsien hsing-yüan 普賢行願

([Samanta]bhadracaryā-praṇidhāna-gāthāḥ; sometimes known by an irregular abbreviation of its title simply as the Bhadracarī). This hymn interspersed with passages of prose is an eloquent, classical, and widely influential expression of Mahāyāna piety. It survives in its original hybrid Sanskrit in two different traditions of redaction. One such tradition may be called Sino-Japanese for it consists in Sanskrit manuscripts preserved in Japan and traceable back to the Sanskrit manuscripts that Kūkai and later ninth century Japanese visitors to China had brought back home with them.

These and their derivatives are the manuscripts on which the great

eighteenth century Japanese Sanskritist Jiun 慈雲 (1718-1804) based his edition and study of the hymn. The other textual tradition is Nepalese and consists in a considerably later lineage of manuscripts. Before Prajñā the Bhadracarī (or certain antecedents thereof) had been translated several times into Chinese ── first, by Nieh Tao-chen 聶道真 (fl. ca. 280-312) of the Western Chin under the title San-man-t'o-p'o-t'o-luo p'u-sa ching 三曼陀跋 羅菩薩經 (T 483:14.666c-668c); second, by Buddhabhadra in the early fifth century, under the title Wen-shu-shih-li fa-yüan ching 文殊師利發願 經 (T 296:10.878c879c); and third, in 754, by the great Tantric master Amoghavajra, under the title P'u-hsien p'u-sa hsing-yüan tsan 普賢菩薩行 願讚 (T 297:10.880a-881c). There are also two other anonymous

translations found among the Tun-huang manuscripts ── the P'u-hsien p'u-sa hsing-yüan wang-ching 日賢菩薩行願王經 (Stein mss. # 2324 &

2361; T 2907:85.1452c-1454a) and the Ta-fang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching p'u-hsien p'u-sa hsing-yüan wang-p'in 大方廣佛華嚴經普賢菩薩行願王品 (Stein ms. 32384; T 2908:85.1454a-1455b) ── which may or may not have been made prior to Prajñā's translation.

p. 369

The core of the Bhadracarī, in Prajñā's version, is a rendition in sixty-two stanzas of the ten vows of practice that Samantabhadra tells Sudhana are essential to completion of the bodhisattva path: (1) to pay homage to all the buddhas; (2) to glorify the qualities of all the tathāgatas; (3) to make ample


offerings to all the buddhas; (4) to confess and repent of all one's sins; (5) to rejoice in the merits of others; (6) always to request the preaching of the dharma; (7) to entreat enlightened beings to remain in the world; (8) always to study the teachings of the buddha; (9) always to respond to sentient beings according to their various needs; and (10) to dedicate all merits to sentient beings that they may achieve buddhahood. The profession of these vows seems to have been at the heart of Mahāyāna ritual practice and in that ritual context they came also to serve as a link between Mahāyāna and the nascent Vajrayāna traditions.

Prajñā's translation of the Gaṇḍavyūha and Bhadracarī was completed in 798. More than ten years prior to that date ── i.e., by 787 ── Ch'eng-kuan had finished the Hua-yen ching shu 華嚴經疏, his commentary on the eighty chüan Śikṣānanda translation of the Buddhāvataṃsaka. During the intervening decade, we presume, he had composed his great subcommentary, the Yen-i ch'ao 演義鈔. These two encyclopedic works served as vehicles for Ch'eng-kuan's thought as it had developed up to that point. They might therefore be characterized as products of roughly the middle-period of his remarkably long career. However, his Hua-yen thought had not then ceased to evolve. The appearance of Prajñā's new Chinese rendition of

the Gaṇḍavyūha, together with the Bhadracarī, was an occasion for the further development and consolidation of his vision of Hua-yen in particular and Mahāyāna in general. An index of this further development is his

commentary on Prajñā's translation, the ten chüan work known either as theCommentary on the Hua-yen Ching Newly Translated During the Chen-yüan Era (Chen-yüan hsin-shih Hua-yen ching shu 貞元新譯華嚴經 疏) or the Commentary on the Practice Vows Chapter of the Hua-yen Ching (Hua-yen ching hsing-yüan p'in shu 華嚴經行願品疏) ── SSZZ 227:5.48b-198c. We are not sure exactly when this work was completed, but it is reasonable to assume that it dates to the first decade of the ninth century.

In it we find a systematic summary of Ch'eng-kuan's more mature Hua-yen thought, framed especially in terms of Samantabhadra's vows.

Ch'eng-kuan's commentary on Prajñā's translation was sufficiently

interesting to his disciple Tsung-mi (780-841) that the latter composed (we know not exactly when) an analytical chart or outline of it,

the Ta-fang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching p'u-hsien hsing-yüan p'in shu

k'o-wen 大方廣佛華嚴經普賢行願品疏科文 (SSZZ 228.5.199-219), as well as a kind of selective subcommentary entitled Ta-fang-kuang


fo-hua-yen ching p'u-hsien hsing-yüan p'in pieh-hsing shu ch'ao 大方廣佛 華嚴經普賢行願品別行疏鈔, in six chüan (SSZZ 229:5.220b-329b). It is in the last mentioned

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work, in which Tsung-mi selects certain passages in Ch'eng-kuan's

commentary and supplements them with his own explanations, that we find Tsung-mi's paraphrase of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men(SSZZ


Unlike other of Ch'eng-kuan's works, the Hsing-yüan p'in shu survived in China, as well as Korea and Japan. The colophon to the surviving Japanese version of the work refers to an early Southern Sung edition and, although it was never included in any of the Chinese printed editions of the canon, it is mentioned in two seventeenth century scripture catalogues (the Ta-ming shih-chiao hui-mu i-men k'ao-shih 大明釋教彙目義門考釋, compiled late in the Wan-li 萬曆 period [1573-1619], and the Yüeh-tsang chih-chin k'ao-shih 閱藏知津考釋). The Zokuzōkyō edition on which we mostly depend today is based on what appears to be an early fifteenth century (1409?) Japanese manuscript that Maeda Eun had found in the private collection of a Mr. Shimada Shigemoto 島田蕃根 (note: the pronunciation of Shimada's personal name is uncertain). According to its colophons this manuscript (the present whereabouts of which is unknown) was itself based on two imported printed versions ── Ŭich'ŏn's 1095 edition printed for inclusion in his Tripiṭaka Supplement, a copy of which had apparently found its way to the Kōzanji 高山寺, Myōe's temple in the northwestern suburbs of Kyoto, and an early Southern Sung edition.

Tsung-mi's subcommentary also survived in China and in fact came to be even better known there and elsewhere in East Asia than the Ch'eng-kuan work on which it was based. It was included in Chinese editions of the Tripiṭaka, for example ── the supplements to the "Chia-hsing" 嘉興 edition (compiled between 1589 and 1677) and the "Lung" 龍 edition (compiled between 1735 and 1738). There is also a separately published Japanese edition printed in 1673, copies of which may be found in several Japanese libraries. The compilers of the Zokuzōkyō do not tell us which version(s) they used as the model(s) for their edition.


Tsung-mi's paraphrase is a relatively free and concise rewording of

Ch'eng-kuan's text. Its most salient differences from the original are its lack of the section dealing with the words of the scripture's title and its addition of an illustrative quotation from the Tantra of the Mañjuśrī of a Thousand Arms and a Thousand Bowls (see the notes to the body of this article).

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D. The Gyōnen 凝然 Commentaries (With General Remarks on Kegon Studies in the Japan of Gyōnen's Time).[77]

1. The Early Japanese Acquaintance with Ch'eng-kuan.

We do not know exactly when the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men was first brought to Japan, but we do know that some of Ch'eng-kuan's better known and longer works arrived there rather early.

The first of them seems to have been his basic commentary on the

eighty-scroll Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra, the Hua-yen-ching shu 華嚴經疏 (T 1735:35). which reached Japan while Ch'eng-kuan was still alive. It was imported in 806 by Kūkai 空海 (774-835, a.k.a. Kōbō Daishi 弘法大師), the founder of the Shingon 真言 school of Japanese Buddhism, who had spent nearly two years studying in China (see Kūkai's Goshōrai

mokuroku 御請來目錄 ─T 2161:55.1064a2). It is not unlikely that Kūkai actually met Ch'eng-kuan in Ch'ang-an (although no mention of such a meeting is to be found in the records of Kūkai's travels).

In 813 Kūkai lent his copy of the Hua-yen-ching shu to Saichō 最澄

(767-822, a.k.a. Dengyō Daishi 傳教大師), the founder of the Tendai 天台 school in Japan, who had only recently established the headquarters of his new school on Mt. Hiei 比叡山, northeast of the new Japanese capital of Kyoto (then called Heian 平安). Saichō had also visited T'ang China, during the years 804-805, and he too brought many books back to Japan with him, but apparently he did not bring back anything by Ch'eng-kuan.

The records tell us that Saichō returned all or part of the Hua-yen-ching shu to Kūkai in 813 and that Kūkai then presented the work as a gift to an unnamed monk at Tōdaiji.


Later Tendai travellers to China ── e.g., Ennin 圓仁 (814-891, a.k.a.

Jikaku Daishi 慈覺大師), who visited China in the years 838-847 (see his Nihonkoku jōwa gonen nittō shinrai shōkyō mokuroku 日本國承和五年 入唐新來聖教目錄 ── T2165:55.1083bl3), and Enchin 圓珍 (814-891, a.k.a. Chishō Daishi 智證大師), who was there from 853 to 858 (see his Chishō daishi shōrai mokuroku 智證大師請來 T 2173:55.1105b5-6), also brought back copies of the Hua-yen-ching shu, and Enchin brought back as well a copy of Ch'eng-kuan's autocommentary thereon, the Yen-i ch'ao 演義鈔 (T 1736:36).

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Thus, it was in the early Heian period, and chiefly through the agency of Shingon and Tendai monks, that Ch'eng-kuan's works were first introduced into Japan. Not until the later Heian period, however, did his writings come to be a central focus of study in the Kegon tradition itself. Crucial to this development, it would seem, was the late eleventh century Korean

publication of Ch'eng-kuan's works and the introduction of those Korean editions to Japan. As noted above, in the late 1080's and early 1090's the royal Korean monk Ŭich'ŏn sponsored the collection and reprinting of

numerous Buddhist texts of native East Asian authorship, i.e., works most of which had not yet been included in Tripiṭaka collections (such collections being then largely reserved for works composed in India and only translated into Chinese). Despite Ŭich'ŏn's formal affiliation with the Tien-t'ai (Korean:

Ch'ŏnt'ae) tradition, his principal intellectual interests were in Hua-yen (Korean: Hwaŏm) and so Hua-yen works were especially well represented among the texts he assembled and published as part of his Tripiṭaka

Supplement. His catalogue, for example, lists no fewer than seventeen of Ch'eng-kuan's writings, plus scores of other Hua-yen works by earlier and later figures. Many of these are now lost but even the very fact that they had once existed would be quite unknown to us had Ŭich'ŏn not listed them; in fact, Ŭich'ŏn's catalogue is probably the single best premodern bibliography of Chinese Hua-yen literature.

A number of the texts collected and reprinted by Ŭich'ŏn soon found their way to Japan, including at least one, but probably more than one, by

Ch'eng-kuan. Thus, in the Tōdaiji library, for example, there survives today


a Japanese transcription of the Hua-yen ching yen-i ch'ao 華嚴經演義鈔 (T 1736:35) that was based on the Korean printed edition published by Ŭich'ŏn less than a decade earlier. The blocks for the Korean xylograph edition were carved over the course of three years, from 1094 to 1096, and the Japanese transcription was done in 1103 at the Shōkaiji 性海寺 in Harima 播磨 (i.e., modern Hyogo 兵庫 Prefecture ── near Ōsaka 大坂, in medieval times a center of trade with Korea).[78]

One of the earliest medieval Kegon scholars of stature to make a concerted study of Ch'eng-kuan's writings was Myōe Shōnin 明惠上人 (1173-1232, a.k.a. Kōben 高辨), the great visionary and Japanese pioneer in the

amalgamation of Kegon and Mikkyō who was even better known as a great scourge of sectarian Pure Land Buddhism. Apropos of Hua-yen, Myōe is best known for his study of the writings of the T'ang dynasty lay scholar of Hua-yen, Li T'ung-hsuan 李通玄 (635? - 730?, a.k.a. Tsao-po Ta-shih 棗 柏大師 or Li Ch'ang-che 李長者), but he was quite well versed in

Ch'eng-kuan's works as well. That Myōe knew the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men is

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indicated by the fact that he cites it in his Kegon shuzen kanshō nyū gedatsu mongi 華嚴修禪觀照入解脫門義 (T 2331:72.78b22-23 & 80c9). In fact, this appears to be the earliest Japanese reference we have to the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men. The 49 year-old Myōe wrote it in 1220 (Jōkyū 承久 2). We can therefore take that date as the terminus ad quem for the

introduction of the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-mento Japan; but of course it could well have arrived even earlier.

The theme of the mutual identity of the three sages must have been of special interest to Myōe not only because of the visions he often had of these figures but also because their communion is a theme also treated ──

albeit in a somewhat different way ── by his much admired Elder Li.

2. Gyōnen and His Age.

Myōe's interest in Ch'eng-kuan and the San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men is noteworthy and was no doubt maintained among his disciples. However, it was not in the Myōe lineage that Ch'eng-kuan and hisContemplations of the


Perfect interfusion of the Three Sages would achieve their highest Japanese recognition. Rather, that was to be the accomplishment of scholar monks in a tradition of Kegon learning quite distinct from Myōe's. I refer to Sōshō Shōnin 宗性上人 (1202-1278), and especially to his foremost intellectual heir, Gyōnen Daitoku 凝然大德 (1240-1321).

Sōshō was Prior (Inju 院主) of the Sonshōin 尊勝院, a subsidiary cloister within the Tōdaiji complex founded in 960 by Kōchi 光智 (894-979 ──

the monk traditionally regarded as the tenth Japanese "Patriarch" of Kegon).

The custom at the Sonshōin was to emphasize the older scholastic traditions of Buddhism, to organize them according a Kegon perspective, and to preserve their integrity vis a? vis the more recently imported Shingon and Tendai esoteric traditions that were dominant through most of the Heian period. Sōshō was true to this Kegon scholastic heritage ── indeed, he reconsecrated the Sonshōin to the explicit purpose of asserting Kegon over and against Mikkyō ── whereas his more famous near contemporary, Myōe, was drawn especially to those aspects of Kegon that could most readily be combined with Shingon esoterism. Sōshō was also a devotee of Maitreya and one of the first chroniclers of the Japanese monastic tradition. In matters of Kegon thought per se he was especially indebted to Fa-tsang and


Sōshō's disciple Gyōnen was probably the single most learned and prolific Japanese monk of his day. His erudition was truly catholic in its scope and he is regarded not only as the chief reviver

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and systematizer of Kegon thought in medieval Japan but also as a leading authority on monastic discipline (Vinaya, 律, Chinese: Lü, Japanese: Ritsu) and an influential Pure Land thinker. Probably the most famous of Gyōnen's many writings is the Hasshū kōyō 八宗綱要 (available in many editions), which has been for centuries the standard "textbook" on the basic doctrines of the six schools of Nara Buddhism and the two schools of Heian

Buddhism. This is a work of broad learning, all the more impressive when one realizes that it was composed in 1268, when Gyōnen was only 28 years old! His scholarship developed steadily throughout his long career, however, and his later works reflect even greater erudition.[80]


The Six Nara Schools are:

Sanron 三論 (Chinese: San-lun = Madhyamaka)

Jōjitsu 成實 (Chinese: Ch'eng-shih = *Tattvasiddhi or *Satyasiddhi) Hossō 法相 (Chinese: Fa-hsiang = Yogācāra / Vijñānavāda, a.k.a. 唯識 Chinese: Wei-shih, Japanese:Yuishiki)

Kusha 俱舍 (Chinese: Chü-she = Abhidharmakośa) Kegon 華嚴 (Chinese: Hua-yen)

Ritsu 律 (Chinese: Lü = Vinaya, a.k.a. 戒律 Chinese: Chieh-lü, Japanese:


The Two Heian Schools are Tendai 天台 (Chinese: Tien-t'ai) Shingon 真言 (Chinese: Chen-yen)

Although the title of Gyōnen's work refers to hasshū (8 schools) it actually treats also of a ninth and a tenth, viz., Zen 禪 (Chinese: Ch'an) and Jōdo 淨土 (Chinese: Ching-t'u).

Gyōnen's chief mentor, under whom he was ordained and who brought him to Tōdaiji's Kaidan'in 戒壇院 (Ordination Hall) where he lived almost all of his studious life, was Sōshō's Tōdaiji confrere, Enshō 圓照 (1221-1277).

Enshō was a major figure in his own right. He first studied Sanron 三論 (i.e.. East Asian Madhyamaka) Buddhism, but was also well versed in Shingon and in non-sectarian Pure Land (Jōdo 淨土), for the "Sanron"

studied at Tōdaiji in those days was actually an amalgam of Madhyamaka doctrine (kyōri 教理) with Mikkyō practice and Jōdo devotionalism.

Enshō's Pure Land beliefs were shaped in part by his studies under Ryōhen p. 375

Shōnin 良遍上人 (1195-1252), a Hossō 法相 scholar of the Kōfukuji 興 福寺 (another great Nara temple) who compiled the Kanjin kakumushō 觀 心學薨鈔 (T2312:71), the classic Japanese summary of Yogācāra

doctrine.[81] From this fact one may speculate that Enshō's Pure Land Buddhism was of the sort that had long been associated with Yogācāra, not the sectarian variety newly promulgated in Japan by Hōnen, et al. One



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