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Encounter with Chinese Hermits in Zhongnan Mountain (South of Chang’an) From Daoism to Buddhism.

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Presentation on theme: "Encounter with Chinese Hermits in Zhongnan Mountain (South of Chang’an) From Daoism to Buddhism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Encounter with Chinese Hermits in Zhongnan Mountain (South of Chang’an) From Daoism to Buddhism

2 Much of Daoist worldview and some of its religious and social values are similar to that of Buddhism, at least in general terms Nature/universe is so vast/infinite that human knowledge cannot fathom Life and death is within the larger process of natural and cosmic transformation; there are ceaseless cycles Humans can live better lives if they cut their desires to the minimum

3 Plants and herbs are good regimens for longer, healthier life Concentration, meditation, breathing exercise are used to conserve, nurture, and increase vital force, qi Abstention from using weapons/violence Follow the right path (way) and become a better being Moral actions/behaviors determine one’s life and death

4 Buddhism: General Remarks A more structured/systematic religious system than Daoism A more structured/systematic religious system than Daoism Doctrines run counter with traditional Chinese thought and values, particularly with Confucian values Doctrines run counter with traditional Chinese thought and values, particularly with Confucian values Underwent change, adaptation, adjustment, and transformation after its transposition from India to China Underwent change, adaptation, adjustment, and transformation after its transposition from India to China

5 Became a predominant religious form that assimilated Daoism and Confucianism Became a predominant religious form that assimilated Daoism and Confucianism Sinification/sinicization of Buddhism Sinification/sinicization of Buddhism Growth of it in China made China the center of Buddhism in historical times Growth of it in China made China the center of Buddhism in historical times

6 The Hinayana School is considered a closer representation of the original Buddha’s teachings, whereas the Mahayana School represents a more ideal, altruistic, egalitarian, and practicable form of the religion. The Mahayana School divided into sub-schools in China, with Tiantai, Huayan, Chan, Pure Land being most well-known

7 Is Buddhism a Religion? A question often asked when an Asian “ religion ” is mentioned A question often asked when an Asian “ religion ” is mentioned Is Daoism a religion? Is Daoism a religion? Is Confucianism a religion? Is Confucianism a religion? What does the word “ religion ” mean? What does the word “ religion ” mean? Definition of religion? Definition of religion?

8 Seven Dimensions of Religion Practical and Ritual Practical and Ritual Experiential and Emotional Experiential and Emotional Narrative and Mythic Narrative and Mythic Doctrinal and Philosophical Doctrinal and Philosophical Ethical and Legal Ethical and Legal Social and Institutional Social and Institutional Material Material

9 Practical and Ritual  Rites and ceremonies  Ritual of initiation (head is shaved)  Annual summer retreat  Festivals

10 Experiential and Emotional Personal experience highly valued –Meditation Accelerate spiritual development –Compassion For the suffering of mankind

11 Narrative and Mythic Creation myth Jātaka stories 547 in a Pali collection

12 Doctrinal and Philosophical Dharma Scriptures and canons Entire Philosophical system

13 Ethical and Legal Principle of non- harming –Rejection of violence –pacifism –Respect for life Vegetarianism Precepts Monastic rules

14 Social and Institutional Sangha: Buddhist order Sangha: Buddhist order The Four Orders The Four Orders Monks Monks Nuns Nuns Male lay disciples Male lay disciples Female disciples Female disciples Assemblies Assemblies

15 Material Sacred spaces Sacred spaces –Buddhist sites Sacred objects Sacred objects –Images –Relics –Scriptures The Buddhas of Bamiyan and destruction of them

16 Assess Han and Post-Han Daoism according to this definition by focusing on the following: Assess Han and Post-Han Daoism according to this definition by focusing on the following: –Organization –Ritual/liturgy –Moral/Ethical views –doctrines:

17 Hierarchical Organization: The celestial master was the ruler direct followers were “libationers” (jijiu 祭 酒 ), who administered 24 districts demon soldiers (guizu 鬼卒 ) Common followers Each member was equipped with a list of spirit generals for protection, together with talismans in a piece of silk  The Celestial Masters School: “ the Way of Five Pecks of Rice ”

18 The list of spirit generals was called “register” (lu 籙 ) The list of spirit generals was called “register” (lu 籙 ) Protective talismans were called fu ( 符 ) Protective talismans were called fu ( 符 ) They were used to ward off/combat demons that could appear everywhereThey were used to ward off/combat demons that could appear everywhere One needed to be familiar with demons, recognize them, call them by their proper nameOne needed to be familiar with demons, recognize them, call them by their proper name One needed to fortify one’s house and body with talismans, if one felt being haunted by demons.One needed to fortify one’s house and body with talismans, if one felt being haunted by demons. Recited the ritual formula “[demon, demon, I know your name, vanish right away], swiftly, swiftly, in accordance with the statutes and ordinances” (jiji ru lűling 急急如律令 )Recited the ritual formula “[demon, demon, I know your name, vanish right away], swiftly, swiftly, in accordance with the statutes and ordinances” (jiji ru lűling 急急如律令 )

19 Doctrines Doctrines –Lord Dao created and ruled the universe –Celestial administration consisted of the Three Bureaus of Heaven, Earth, and Water They assisted Lord Dao They assisted Lord Dao Kept records of life and death Kept records of life and death –illness is due to the patient’s sins and immoral deeds.

20  A patient is required to write down his sins and cast his written confession into a stream of water, vowing to the gods that he would sin no more, on penalty of death  Followers should practice recitation of Laozi’s Daode jing and follow a set of precepts (basic nine, middle nine, and highest nine)

21 The basic nine precepts: Do not strongly pursue riches and honor Do not do evil Do not set yourself many taboos and avoidances Do not pray or sacrifice to demons or the spirits of the dead Do not strongly oppose anyone Do not consider yourself always right Do not quarrel with others over what is right and wrong; if you get into a debate, be the first to concede Do not praise yourself as a sage of great fame Do not take delight in soldiering

22 The Middle nine precepts 1.Do not study false texts. 2.Dot not covet high glory or vigorously strive for it. 3.Do not pursue fame and praise. 4.Do not do things pleasurable to ears, eyes, or mouth. 5.Always remain modest and humble. 6.Do not engage in frivolous undertakings. 7.Always be devout in religious services, of respectful mind and without confusion 8.Do not indulge yourself with fancy garb or tasty food. 9.Do not overextend yourself.

23 The highest nine precepts 1.Do not delight in excess, since joy is as harmful as anger. 2.Do not waste your essence or qi. 3.Do not harm the dominant qi. 4.Do not eat beings that contain blood to delight in their fancy taste. 5.Do not hanker after merit and fame. 6.Do not explain the teaching or name Dao to outsiders. 7.Do not neglect the divine law of Dao. 8.Do not try to set things in motion. 9.Do not kill or speak about killing.

24 Celebrated the Three Primes and major community events with banquets known as “kitchen-feast” (chu) Wine flowed, animals were slaughtered… “Harmonization of Qi” (heqi) Talismans (fu)

25 All healing was undertaken through ritual and magic All healing was undertaken through ritual and magic –A sick person was isolated in a quiet chamber or “jingshi” –He/she confessed his/her sins as a sinner –A senior master wrote them down and sent and petition to three bureaus, often by burning –Sinner beat his/her breast, threw himself/herself to the ground and knocked his/her head –Conducted self-blame by repenting his/her sins and accusing himself/herself of various misdeeds –Showed his inner shame to the entire community and thus be exonerated

26 Sometimes, a sinner also underwent self-punishment Sometimes, a sinner also underwent self-punishment Or underwent purification that involved the ingestion of “talisman water” ( fushui 符水 )---the ashes of a talisman dissolved in water Or underwent purification that involved the ingestion of “talisman water” ( fushui 符水 )---the ashes of a talisman dissolved in water Or underwent gymnastic exercise, or meditation Or underwent gymnastic exercise, or meditation Or performed community service on a regular basis Or performed community service on a regular basis

27 Self-Cultivation Practices Three groups: Three groups: –Literati Daoists:The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove/ Representatives: Xi Kang, Ruan Ji Representatives: Xi Kang, Ruan Ji –Alchemists Representative: Ge Hong Representative: Ge Hong –Two organized schools of Daoism Maoshan/Shangqing (Highest Purity) School Maoshan/Shangqing (Highest Purity) School –Representatives: Xu family, Tao family Lingbao (Numinous Treasure) School Lingbao (Numinous Treasure) School –Representative: Ge Chaofu

28 The Lingbao School Key concept: Key concept: –Talismans creates and maintains the world Founder: Ge Chaofu, a descendent of Ge Hong Founder: Ge Chaofu, a descendent of Ge Hong Lineage: Lineage: –Ge Xuan → Ge Hong → Ge Chaofu Texts: Texts: –Scripture of the Five Lingbao Talismans ; – Perfect Text in Five Tablets, Written in Red Ge Hong concocting the elixirs

29 The Lingbao School Worldview — a mix of Worldview — a mix of –Shangqing ’ s and Han Daoist cosmology of the five phases –fangshi ideas and practices –Celestial Master ritual Doctrines Doctrines –emphasizes the notion of spells and talismans, cosmic sounds and signs as being key to both creation and empowerment

30 Use of talismans to Get access to the otherworld and immortality Gain peace and harmony for family, village, country and empire Talisman composed of Cloud-shaped Seal Characters

31 Combined use of talismans, divine charts and diagrams can bring effect to herbs, eight minerals, numinous mushrooms, cinnabar liquid ward off or destroy demons, goblin, mountain spirit….

32 Talisman for protection in the mountain Talisman of supreme heaven ruler of south pole Talisman to establish contact with spirits of earth and wind

33 The Shangqing School  Its emergence signifies a major expansion of Daoism  New worldview and new cosmology: –New creator deity called Yuanshi tianwang (Heavenly King of Primordial Beginning) –New Daoist celestial pantheon populated by divine beings in a hierarchical order modeled upon this-worldly bureaucracy  gods of Dao, celestial immortals, demon kings,…

34  New concept of and approach to immortality –Previously, attained immortality through cultivating inner virtue –Now, transferred one’s registered file from the administration of death in Fengdu to that of life in the southern Palace  New understanding of the human body –Body is a storehouse of divine agencies –Nomenclature of key parts are based on the Yellow Court Scripture (Huangting jing)  Yellow Court—head, spleen; Dark Towers—kidneys, ears; Flowery Canopy—eyebrows and lungs; Spiritual Furnace—nose; Flowery Pond---mouth; Jade Fluid or Sweet Spring---saliva,…

35 Shangqing’s Meditation Practice  Visualization of: –Colors associated with organs to strengthen qi –Inner passways and palaces to learn the cosmic geography –Gods and immortals residing there to acquire familiarity with the divine beings –planets and stars to emerge with their power  This practice could lead to –a deep trance and go on a spiritual journey to otherworldly realm –Ascend to the higher heavens and walk on the Big Dipper, known as “Pacing the net” (bugang)

36 Ge Hong ( ? or ?) Master who Embraces Simplicity

37  Most famous for his alchemical theories –One could achieve immortality by undergoing –Ritual purification –Magical protection –A prolonged period of longevity practice –The concoction of an elixir or cinnabar (liandan)  His book, the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity) describes: –Protective measures against demons and evil spirits, –Application of herbs and minerals

38 –The attainment of magical powers such as multilocation, invulnerability, invisibility, flying, and so on –The procedures for preparing the elixir…


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