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Mind Inscription



Mind Inscription

Hsin Ming

By Founder of the Ox-Head School Niu-t'ou Fa-jung


Title of the Text

Author of the Text

The Original Text

Translation of the Text

An Analysis of the "Hsin Ming"


Title Of The Text

\"Hsin Ming" (Wade-Giles)

"Xin Ming" (Pinyin) Xin1 Ming2

"Shinmei" (or "Shin no Mei") (Japanese)

"Sim Myong" (Korean)

Literally, Heart (Mind)

Author Of The Text

Niu-t'ou Fa-jung (Wade-Giles)

Niutou Farong (Pinyin) Niu2tou5 Fa3rong2

Gozu Hy (Japanese)

Niu-t'ou Fa-jung
("Gozu Hy", 594-657) was of the "Wei"1 ("I") family and a native of "Yen-ling"2 ("Enry") in "Jun-Chou"3 ("Junsh"), present day
"Chen-chiang" in the southern part of "Kiangsu" Province. "Fa-jung" is the founder of the The Ox-Head School4 of Ch'an Buddhism.
The name "Ox-Head" ("Niu-t'ou", "Gozu") come from the Mount "Niu-t'ou" ("Niu-t'ou shan", "Gozusan")
where "Fa-jung"
lived. He is also known as "Niu-t'ou"
Mountain [Temple/School] First Patriarch Ch'an master "Fa-jung"5. The Ox-Head School is considered not belonging to the orthodox line of Ch'an. This line of Ch'an sect is also known as "Niu-t'ou" Zen6.





\"Niu-t'ou-"tsung" ("Gozush" )

5 "Niu-t'ou shan Ch'u-tsu Fa-jung Ch'an-shih" ("Gozusan Shoso Hy Zenji" )

6 "Niu-t'ou Ch'an" ("Gozu Zen" )

"NIU-T'Ou Fa-jung\" and the Fourth Patriarch "Tao-hsin"

Under Tao-hsin
the fourth patriarch, Zen was divided into two branches. The one known as Gozusan (Niu-t'ou Shan), did not live long after the passing of its founder, Fa-jung, who lived at Mount Niu-t'ou, and is considered not belonging to the orthodox line of Zen. [.

Tao-hsin's interview with Fa-jung, the founder of the Niu-t'ou school of Zen, was significant, showing where their views differed and how the one came to be converted into the orthodox understanding of Zen. It was during the Chn-kuan era of the T'ang dynasty that Tao-hsin, learning of the presence of an extraordinary saintly man in Niu-t'ou mountains, decided to see who he could be. When Tao-hsin came to a Buddhist temple in the mountains he inquired after the man and was informed of a lonely anchorite who would never rise from his seat nor salute people even when they were approaching him. When Tao-hsin proceeded further into the mountains he saw him as he was told, sitting quietly and paying no attention to the presence of a stranger. He then asked the hermit what he was doing here. 'I am contemplating on Mind,' was the reply. Tao-hsin then demanded: 'What is he that is contemplating? What is Mind that is contemplated?' Fa-jung was not prepared to answer such questions.
Thinking that the visitor was a man of deep understanding, he rose from the seat and saluting him asked who he was. When he found that the visitor was no other personage than Tao-hsin himself, whose reputation he was not ignorant of, he thanked him for the visit. They were now about to enter a little hut nearby where they might talk about religion, when Tao-hsin saw some wild animals such as tigers and wolves wandering about the place, and he threw up his hands as if he were greatly frightened. Fa-jung remarked, 'I see this is still with you.'
The fourth patriarch responded at once, 'What do you see yet?' No answer came from the hermit. After a while the patriarch traced the character 'Buddha' ("fo") on the stone which Fa-jung was in the habit of sitting in meditation. Seeing it, the latter looked as if shocked. Said the patriarch, 'I see this is still with you.' But Fa-jung failed to see the meaning of this remark and earnestly implored to be instructed in the ultimate teaching of Buddhism. This was done, and Fa-jung became the founder of the Niu-t'ou school of Zen Buddhism.

(Essays in Zen Buddhism - First Series 201-3)

The Original Text

The original text of the
"Hsin Ming"
(from "Taish Daizky"1, vol. 51. 457-458. )

Translation of the Text

Mind Inscription

Translated by Henrik H. Sorensen

The nature of the mind is un-born. Why should it be necessary to know this?

Fundamentally there is not one single phenomenon; who then can speak about defilement and purification?

There is no end to coming and going, and no matter how much one seeks, one will never realize it!

When everything is inactive, then the bright stillness will manifest by itself.

Before one it will be like emptiness, and thereby one will know how to dispose with confused doctrines.

Distinguishing clearly the circumstances one will illumine the dark and hidden.

If the One Mind1 is obstructed, then all the dharmas2 will not have a penetrating effect.

Spontaneously coming and going, what use is it exhausting oneself?

As life has the mark of the un-born, it will illumine the oneness.3

If one wishes to obtain purity of mind, then one must diligently cultivate no-mind.

To have no mental reflections high and low, this more than anything else is the marvelous!

One will know the "dharma" (the Buddha's teaching) through non-knowing, as this non-knowing will know the essentials.

By grasping the mind and maintaining stillness4, one will still not be able to leave behind the sickness (of clinging)5.

In life and death one must forget that which one is attached to, then there and then the fundamental nature (will manifest, shine forth etc.).

The highest principle has no explanation, (one will be able to attain to it without) getting rid of anything and without restraining oneself.

Spiritual penetration and responding to affairs will constantly take place there and then,

Before one there will not be a thing, and "not a thing" will be a matter of course.6

If you do not strive for the Mirror of Wisdom, then its essence will be wonderously empty of itself.

Thinking arises and thinking goes away, before and after there is no discrimination.

The latter thought is not produced as the former is cut off by itself.

In the Three Worlds7 there is not a thing: neither mind nor Buddha.

All living beings are (products) of no-mind, and depend upon no-mind to come into existence.8

Discriminating between worldly and holy will cause vexations in abundance.

Constantly calculating and making plans amounts to searching for the truth while turning one's back to reality.

If one puts an end to the two extremes (of being and non-being), then one will be both bright and clear.

It is not necessary to observe infantile practices diligently.

Through awareness one will gain knowledge, and when seeing the net (of samsara) one will turn around and stop.

In Samdhi there is nothing to be seen, for in a dark room there is no movement.

In awareness there is no falsity, in samaadhi there is clear brightness.

The myriad shapes are all true, all having the majestetic one characteristica9

Going and coming, sitting and standing be grasped.

With no fixed place, who (can be said) to come and go?

No coming together and no breaking up, neither slowly nor hasty.

The bright stillness is selfso and words speak about it!

If in the mind there is nothing different from the mind, one does not have to stop desire.

As its nature is empty, it will disappear if it is allowed to drift on.

Neither pure nor defiled, neither shallow nor deep.

Originally the past is not, and just now, the present is not!

Just now there is non-abiding and that is the original Mind.10

When one does not hold on to the origin, then the origin will be present.

"Bodhi" originally is, (that is why) it is not necessary to maintain it.

Vexations are fundamentally non-existing, therefore it is not necessary to do away with them!

The spiritual wisdom shines forth by itself, and the myriad phenomena return (to the source).

Nothing to revert to and nothing to receive. Cut off opinions and forget about the precepts!

The Four Virtues11 are un-born, and the Three Bodies are fundamentally existing.12

The Six Roots13 (just) face the circumstances and (clear or direct) perception has nothing to do with consciousness.

Then the mind will have nothing wrong and the ten thousand causes will directly harmonize.

The mind and the feelings are basically of the same source, they coexist without interfering with each other.

The un-born is in accordance with phenomena, together they dwell and rest in the dark.

Enlightenment comes from that which is not enlightened, therefore enlightenment is non-enlightenment!

Gain and loss are like the two sides of a coin. Who can then speak about good and bad?

All that is caused, is originally the product of the un-born.

The knowing mind is not the Mind, (the true Mind is something which) neither disease nor medicine can effect.

In times of confusion just let things go their way, because when awakening is accomplished, they will not be different (from your self).

Fundamentally nothing can be grasped; now what will you throw away?

Speaking of existence is to give in to demons, for with words empty images arise!

Do not wipe out worldly feelings. The only teaching that you should be concerned about, is how to do away with ideas!

Ideas will be annihilated by no-mind, and mental states will be cut off by non-activity.

There is no use trying to verify emptiness, spontaneously it will shine forth!

Extinguishing both life and death, the profound Mind enters the (ultimate) principle.

Just open your eyes and behold the forms, letting your mind go along with the arising circumstances.

If the mind abides in no-circumstances, then the circumstances abide in no-mind.

Then when the mind is about to annihilate the circumstances, they will go along with the annihilation.

The mind will be quiet and the circumstances just the same. One will neither have to let go nor to hold on.

When circumstances go along with the mind they will be extinguished, and the mind which follows circumstances is nothingness.

Both abide in the un-born, still purity and empty brightness!

Awakening appears like a shadow in the mind's water, which is constantly clear.

The nature (or disposition) of the virtuous is like stupidity, for it does not set up any separation between this and that.

They are not moved by either grace or dishonour, and do not choose a (fixed) place to dwell.14

If all causes are put to rest, then one will cease to worry about them!

If one does not discriminate, then an eternal day can be like a night, and an eternal night can be like a day.15

When seen from the outside it seems as if one is wayward and stupid, however within, the mind is vacant and in communion with reality.

Adverse conditions will not move one, and one will have the power of an accomplished being.

There will be neither seer nor the seen, then that non-seeing will be perpetually manifested.

Penetrating everything, constantly being everywhere.

Thinking will cause confusion, and confusion will give rise to all kinds of emotions.

If by grasping the mind one tries to stop agitation, then with this movement the mind will be even more active.16

The myriad phenomena have no base, there is only the One Door.17

This is the door of neither entering nor leaving, of neither stillness nor disturbance.

The wisdom of "'Srvaka"s and "Pratyeka-buddha"s can not fathom this.

In reality not one thing exists, the wonderful wisdom alone remains. Circumstances are fundamentally empty.

It is not something which the mind can exhaust.

True enlightenment is non-enlightenment, and real emptiness is not empty!

All the Buddhas of the Three Times18 teach this doctrine.

This teaching is like a particle of dust, worlds as numerous as sandgrains in the "Ganges" are contained therein!

If one does not occupy oneself with everything, then the peaceful mind will have nowhere to abide.

The peaceful mind will be non-abiding, and the empty brightness will manifest by itself!

The quiet stillness is un-born, and one will be free to roam in all directions.

Whatever one does there will be nothing to obstruct one. In motion and in rest, all will be equal.

The sun of "prajn" is still, the light of "samdhi" is bright;

(They are)
the bright park of no mark ("laksana") and the clear city of "nirvna".

In all causes one should be un-mindful of the fruit; it can be likened to the quality of the spiritual "samdhi".

Do not set up platforms for teaching; but take a peaceful nap in an empty house.19

One will find happiness in the Way, with plenty of space to roam about in True Reality.

Nothing to do, nothing to obtain, and depending upon nothing, the self will manifest.

The Four Virtues20 and the Six
"Parmit"s21 all belong to the path of the One Vehicle.

When the mind in this way is not produced, then all the phenomena also will not be wrong.

Knowing that life is un-born, before one it will constantly remain thus.

Those with wisdom will know this, but no amount of words can explain this kind of awakening!


(In Sorensen's article
("v.s."), these correspond to the notes 54-74.)

The Buddha Mind or Buddha Nature ("fo-hsing" ).

2 The various Buddhist methods and teachings.

3 Meaning that life as such is manifesting the un-born or absolute. This has been presented in the "Prajnpramithrdaya Stra"a ("Nsin ching", T.250) in the following words: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form."b [a b ]

4 A
type of meditation practice common in the Northern Ch'an School of "Shen-hsiu"c (605-706 A.d.). This method is called "shou-hsin"d (observing the mind). [c d ]

5 If one practices in this way, according to "Fa-jung"e one will still be subject of dualistic thinking. [e ]

6 The realization of suchness ("tathat"f). [f ]

7 1)
The world of desireg, 2) the world of formh and 3) the world of no-formi (the formless world). [g h i ]

8 This is the so-called "dharmadhtu"-originationj, a cardinal doctrine in the "Hua-yen ching"k. [j k ]

9 The one characteristicl or the one mark is suchness. [l ]

10 The essential nature, the Buddha Mind.

11 1)
Permanencem, 2) joyn, 3) personalityo and 4) purityp. These Four Virtuesq were expounded by the Buddha in the Mahparinirvna Strar. (t. 374). They are attributes of the Buddha Nature. [m n o p q r ]

12 l) "Dharmakya"s, 2) "Sambhogakya"t, 3) "Nirmnakya"u. [s t u ]

13 1)
Eyev, 2) earw, 3) nosex, 4) tonguey, 5) bodyz and 6) mind (consciousnessaa). [v w x y z aa ]

14 This is a very orthodox "Indian" description of the correct behavior of a Buddhist ascetic. It is said that some of the "Niu-t'ou" masters roamed about living in the woods never settling down in a temple. The master Niao-k'e Tao-linab (741-824) is one such example. [ab ]

15 The meaning here is not quite clear to the translator.

16 Again a critique of the Northern Ch'an practice of "shou-hsin"ac. [ac ]

17 The direct perception of the un-bornad. [ad ]

18 Past, present and future.

19 This is tandem with the statement in note 14.

See note

The Six "Pramit"sae: 1) "Dna"af (the perfection of giving), 2) "'sla"ag (the perfection of the discipline), 3) "ksnti"ah (the perfection of patience), 4) "vrya"ai (the perfection of zeal or perseverance), 5) "dhyna"aj (the perfection of meditative absorbtion) and 6) "prajn"ak (the perfection of trancendental wisdom). [ae af ag ah ai aj ak ]

An Analysis of the Hsin Ming

The following is an analysis of the "Hsin Ming" by Henrik H. Sorensen.

This article can be also found in the following site:


"Hsin-ming" Attributed To Niu-t'Ou Fa-jung

By Henrik H.

Journal of Chinese Philosophy Vol.13 1986, pp.101-120

Dialogue Publishing Company, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.s.a.

In the thirtieth chapter of the celebrated Ch'an Buddhist collection "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu"a (1) one finds a number of short texts of the "gtha" ("chia-t'a"b) type (2)
composed by various Ch'an masters. Among these often highly abstruse "songs"
("ke"c) is included one called "Hsin-ming"d (Mind Inscription),
(3) which is attributed to "Fa-jung"e (594-657), (4)

the First Patriarch of the early Ch'an Buddhist denomination commonly known as the "Niu-t'ou" Schoolf after the name of the mountain where the master dwelt. (5) Before going on to a discussion of the text and its contents let us first take a brief look at the author and iris brand of Ch'an Buddhism. [a b c d e f ]

"Fa-jung" is regarded as a direct disciple of "Tao-hsin"g (580-651), (6)

the fourth Patriarch of Chinese Ch'an tracing its line of transmission back to "Bodhidharma"h (d. ca. 538 a.d.), (7) but recent research has shown several problems concerning the verification of this claim. (8) In "Fa-jung"'s oldest biography to be found in "Tao-hsan"'s (596-667) (9) Hs kao-seng ch'uani (10) nothing whatsoever is mentioned about "Tao-hsin", and in "Tao-hsin"'s biography contained in the same collection, we find no mentioning of "Fa-jung" either. (11)
The earliest claim connecting "Fa-jung" with the Fourth Patriarch first comes across in the memorial inscription Jun-chou He-lin Ssu ku Ching-shan Ta-shih pei-mingj (12) dedicated to the "Niu-t'ou" master "Hsan-su"k (668-752),
composed by the famous literature "Li Hua"l (?-ca. 766).
In the memorial inscription on the stele of "Hsan-su"'s disciple,
"Tao-ch'in"m (714-792) (15) the claim is repeated. (16) As late as 829 the scholar "Liu Yu-hsi"n (772-842) (17) wrote the inscription "Niu-t'ou Shan ti i-tsu Jung Ta-shih hsin-t'a chi"o (18) for the new memorial "stpa" for "Fa-jung" that had been set up on "Niu-t'ou Shan" following the school's rise to prominence during the second half of the 8th century. (19) All these inscriptions and the later biographies contained in the standard Ch'an collections of the late "T'ang"-early "Sung" (9-10th century)
such as the "Tsu-t'ang chi"p (20) and the
"Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" (21) all perpetuate the claim making "Fa-jung" a "dharma" heir of "Tao-hsin". (22) [g h i j k l m n o p ]

According to "Fa-jung"'s biography in the "Hs kao-seng ch'uan" he was of the "Wei" family and a native of "Yen-ling"q in "Jun-Chou"r, present day Chen-chiang in the southern part of "Kiangsu" Province. As a young man he studied Confucianism and Taoism but later he became dis-illusioned with these belief systems and turned towards Buddhism. He first studied under a monk called "Kuei Fa-shih"s (n.d.) (23) on "Mao Shan"t to the southeast of "Nanking"u also in "Kiangsu". He penetrated the "prajnpramit" doctrines of the "San-lun" Schoolv (24) and later practised the "Chih-kuan"w ("'samatha-vipa'syana") system of the "T'ien-t'ai" Schoolx. (25) After "Fa-jung" had become a master in his own right, he went to "Jun-chou" ("Nanking") in 643 and settled in the "Yu-hsi" Templey on the southern slope of "Niu-t'ou Shan". (26) Here he lived in seclusion in a cave behind the temple proper; and it was during this time that he is said to have been visited by "Tao-hsin" and became his disciple. (27)
Following his seclusion in the cave he attracted a large number of followers teaching at several locations in the region. In 657 he passed away at the age of 63. (28)

After the master's death the school supposedly was continued by a monk called "Chih-yen"z (600-677),
however it is rather questionable that "Chih-yen" was a disciple of "Fa-jung". In the "Hs kao-seng ch'uan" there is nothing to substantiate this claim. (30) [q r s t u v w x y z ]

The learned Ch'an and "Hua-yen"aa master Kuei-feng Tsung-miab (780-841) (31) critically treated the doctrines of the "Niu-t'ou" School in several of his works. Through this characterization one is given an insight into the cardinal teachings of a highly radical "madhymika" ("chung-tao"ac) oriented denomination of Ch'an Buddhism. (32) The hall-mark of this school was an emphasis on "universal emptiness" ("hs-k'ung"ad) or "'snyat" in a direct and practical way of application. The basic doctrines of the "Niu-t'ou" School was summed up by "Tsung-mi" as follows: [aa ab ac ad ]

Secondly there is the school of utter annihilation and nondwelling, that is to say all phenomena (worldly and holy inclusive) are all like illusions, completely non-existent.
Fundamentally empty stillness does not take its beginning in nothingness; even the wisdom with which one reaches emptiness cannot be obtained. In the sameness of "Dharmadhtu" there are neither Buddhas nor sentient beings. "Dharmadhtu" is merely a designated name. As the mind does not have any existence of its own, who can speak about "Dharmadhtu"? In non-cultivation there is no cultivator and as the Buddha is non-existent there is no Buddha(hood). Let us suppose that there is a "Dharma" which is higher than "Nirvna", then I say that this would be like an illusion. There is no "Dharma" that can be grasped, and no Buddha(hood) that can be attained. If there is anything that can be accomplished (at all), then it is all delusion and falsehood. If one is able to penetrate into this, then fundamentally there is not a thing to which the mind can attach. (33)

All phenomena including the Buddhist "Dharma" are essentially without own being, i.e.
they do not possess any inherent mark ("fa"ae) of existence and are therefore empty and non-existent. This very lack of inherent existence is at the same time the "nirvanic" imprint on all phenomena, meaning that everything fundamentally is in the absolute state of suchness ("chen-ju"af). So far there is nothing strange or deviant about the "Niu-t'ou" teachings, they are quite straight-forward "San-lun" doctrine. However the practical conclusions reached by "Fa-jung" and his followers are extreme when seen from the viewpoint of "Tsung-mi" and other "orthodox"
monks. The extreme conclusions concerning the "snyta" doctrine as propagated by the "Niu-t'ou" School can be clearly discerned in the "Hsin-ming". Because all phenomena are baseless and illusory it is neither necessary to cultivate any virtues nor to purify oneself. All one needs to do is to maintain a non-clinging mind free of mentation. When this is achieved the illusory phenomena will cease to exert any influence on the adept and he will enjoy direct communion with absolute reality, entering into the highest principle ("chih-li"ag). One of the key-concepts in this enlightenment process is to be unmindful of the feelings ("wang-hsing"ah), which then will result in their natural cessation. As any notion of the employment of
"upya" ("fang-pien"ai) is absent from the "Niu-t'ou" doctrines, it is clear that they tended to overlook perhaps the most vital aspect of the "madhymika" doctrine. This aspect is the two truths ("erh-ti"aj), i.e. the absolute truth ("chen-ti"ak) and the relative truth (shih-su tial); the "Niu-t'ou" doctrine paid attention to the absolute level at the expense of the relative level. This one-sided emphasis on emptiness and cessation naturally exposed the school to attacks from other Buddhist monks, causing "Tsung-mi" to characterize the "Niu-t'ou" School as one following a doctrine of "utter annihilation and non-dwelling" ("min-chueh wu-chi"am). (34)
Following "Tsung-mi" the Ch'an master "Huang-po Hsi-yun"an (d. ca. 850)
later criticized "Fa-jung" for having been unable to grasp the ultimate truth, obviously referring to his supposed onesided understanding of emptiness. (36) [ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ]

So far the "Hsin-ming" is the only existing text which is directly attributed to "Fa-jung". (37)
Another text, the "Cheh-kuan lun"ao, (38) which the Japanese scholar "Yanagida Seizan"ap holds to be by "Fa-jung" or at least by one of his close disciples, does admittedly bear close resemblance to the "Hsin-ming" and might very well be a work from "Fa-jung"'s hand. (39) However even though the two texts do not always use identical stockphrases there seems to be little doubt that they are both the product, if not by the same author, then at least by followers of the same type of Ch'an doctrine. Besides the distinct "absolutistic madhymika" or "San-lun" view one of the most pronounced identical features of the texts is the clear "Taoistic"
flavour which permeates them throughout. When comparing the doctrinal stances of the two texts one's associations are invariably led in the direction of the
"Tao-te ching"aq and the "Chuang-tzu"ar. The concepts of non-action ("wu-wei"as) and no-mind ("wu-hsin"at) appear several times in both works and the unBuddhist stress on spontaneity ("tzu-jan"au) at the expense of the "vinaya" ("ssu-fen"av) is conspicuous. Indeed, whole passages of the "Cheh-kuan lun" appear to have been taken right out of the "Tao-te ching". (40) From "Fa-jung"'s biography in the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu", most of which is taken up by a dialogue between the master and a certain Prince "Po-ling"aw (n.d.); we find the same clear "San-lun"/"madhymika" teaching as the "Hsin-ming" and the "Cheh-kuan lun". (41)
However it is not possible to assert whether the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" presentation of "Fa-jung"'s teaching really is by him or whether it is a later composition. (42) [ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ]

When seen in the light of the "Hsin-ming"," the "Cheh-kuan lun" and the dialogue with the Prince in "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" we might say that "Tsung-mi"'s description and criticism of the "Niu-t'ou" School's rather extreme "'snyata" view is partly justified. However it is quite clear too that "Tsung-mi" in his criticism tended to over-look the fact that "Fa-jung" and his followers included a wide range of standard "Mahyna" doctrines in their Teachings too. In the "Hsin-ming"," for example, one finds an obvious use of the doctrine of "dharmadhtu"-origination
("fa-chieh hsing-ch'i"ax), (43) and in the Cheh-kuan lun one likewise finds influence from the "Hua-yen ching" (ay) (44) and the "Wei-mo ching"ay. (45) [ax ay ]

As to the problem whether the "Hsin-ming" is actually by "Fa-jung" we do not have any definitive proof. All in all we must conclude that there are a number of important points such as style and contents which clearly allow us to associate the text with "Fa-jung" and the "Niu-t'ou" School. The close doctrinal resemblance with the "Cheh-kuan lun" and "Fa-jung"'s biographical entry in the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" be over-looked. Furthermore the teachings as contained in the "Hsin-ming" correspond closely with "Tsung-mi"'s characterization of the "Niu-t'ou" School. The main points of doubt concerning the genuiness of the text lies with the facts that it is included in a relatively late Ch'an collection, i.e: the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" from 1004; therefore it might be another example of pious contribution. Secondly, we do not find any reference to the text in earlier Ch'an materials. (46) In this connection it must be noted that the line of thought as presented by the author of the "Hsin-ming" is not very close to that of "Fa-jung"'s supposed master "Tao-hsin". Actually it is doctrinally a far cry from the teachings of "Tao-hsin" as presented in his "Ju-tao an-hsin yao fang-pien fa-men"az, (47) which is a point adding to the argument that "Fa-jung" probably never had any direct contact with "Tao-hsin" and his line of transmission.
Interestingly the "Hsin-hsin ming"ba (48)
attributed to the Third Patriarch "Seng-ts'an"bb (d. 606) (49)

in the "Bodhidharma" line, has many points in common with the "Hsin-ming", both as regards contents and style. (50) Likewise when reading the "Hsin-ming" one overlook the close affinity which the doctrines of the text has with those of "Wu-chu"bc (714-774) (51)

of the "Pao-t'ang" Schoolbd and with some parts of the teachings of "Shen-hui"be (670-672) (52)

of the "Ho-tse" Schoolbf. [az ba bb bc bd be bf ]

"Hsin-ming" as we have it today exist in two versions. The one used here is that of the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" and the other can be found in the "t'ung-shu"bg collection "Ch'uan T'ang-wen"bh. (53) The two versions do not deviate greatly and some of the different characters in the latter version appear to be misprints.
It seems as if the "Ch'uan T'ang-wen" version has been taken from the "Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu" version, however a seperate transmission of the text cannot be ruled out, and in that case the former version might very well be the oldest of the two. [bg bh ]

University of Copenhagen


wish to express my thanks to the following people, who in various ways helped me with this article: First my thanks go to Mr. Morten Schlutter of East Asiatic Institute, University of Copenhagen for reading through the manuscript and contributing many helpful suggestions. Next my thanks go to Mr. Poul Andersen, our local specialist in Taoist studies, also of East Asiatic Institute, for his critique and suggestions concerning the translation. Last but not least thanks to Miss Charlotte Rohde of the Royal Danish Library for her painstaking efforts in locating useful material for my study.



\"Chodang chip". "Yanagida" version.

"Chueh-kuan lun". "Tokiwa" version.

"Chin-shih ts'ui-pien". Shanghai, 1893.

\"Taisho" version, 2076".

"Chiu T'ang-shu". Peking, 1978.

\"Ch'uan T'ang-wen". Taipei, 1960.

\"Hsu kao-seng ch'uan", T. version,

"Hsin-ming". CTL version.

"Hsu tsang-ching". Lung-men reprint.

"Hsin T'ang-shu". Peking, 1978.

\"Indogaku Bukkyogaku".

"Journal of Chinese Philosophy".

"Journal of International Association of
Buddhist Studies

"Pelliot Collection".

"Philosophy East West".

"Taisho Daizokyo".

"T'oung Pao".

"T'ang-wen ts'ui". Taipei, 1973.

. N.y., 1969,
pp. 3-11, 17-26. For a modern treatment in Japanese of "Fa-jung" and his teaching see "Hiromine Kinami": "Gozu-shu ni Okeru Ichikosatsu". In: Ib Xxviii,
1, 1979,
pp. 186-87 (1) and Ib Xxix, 1, 1980, pp. 146-47 (ii). The most comprehensive study so far in a Western language is John R. McRae's The Ox-Head School of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism: From Early Ch'an to the Golden Age. In Studies in Ch'an and Hua-yen, ed. by Robert M. Gimello font-family:"Times New Roman";
color:black'> School and its doctrines up to ca. 1979.

5. A
description of the mountain and its temples including photoes can be found in Buddhist Monuments in China ("Shina Bukkyo Shiseki Kinenshu") by Daijo Tokiwa and "Tadashi Sekino", Vol. 4, Tokyo, 1937, pp. 17-19. The mountain was visited around the same time as the Japanese, i.e. in the 1920's, by the Danish architect Johannes Pripp-Moller, who described it in his monumental work Chinese Buddhist Monasteries. Copenhagen font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black'>6. Biography in Hksc (t. 2060), ch. 26, pp. 606bc, in CDC ch. 2, pp. 41b-42a, and in Ctl (t.
ch. 3, pp. 222b-223a. For a very thorough treatment of this key-figure in early Chinese Ch'an see David W. Chappell's The Teachings of the Fourth Ch'an Patriarch Tao-hsin (580-651). In "Early Ch'an in China and Tibet" ed. by Lewis Lancaster and Whalen Lai. Berkeley, 1983, pp. 89-129.

Biography in HKSC ch. 16, pp. 551bc, CDC ch. 2, pp. 32a-39a, and CTL ch. 3, pp.
217a-220b. For a modern study on "Bodhidharma" in Japanese see "Buny Matsuda"'s "Bodaidaruma Ron". In IB Vol.
Xxvii, 2, 1978,
pp. 595-600, a critically annotated edition in Japanese of the discourses attributed to "Bodhidharma" can be found in "Seizan Yanagida" (ed.
font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black'>. "Zen no Goroku" Series Vol.
1. Tokyo, 1969.

See Chappell pp. 103-104, note 11.

Biography in Sksc (t. 2061
), ch. 14, pp. 790b-791b. He finished compiling the HKSC in 664 a.d.

10. Hksc (t. 2060),

ch. 26, pp. 603c-605b. In this work "Fa-jung"'s biography is included in the "hsi-ch'an" section. A much shorter biography obviously based on the HKSC version can be found in the work "Hung-tsan fa-hua ch'uan" (t. 2067), ch.
3, pp. 16c-17a, by "Hui-hsiang" (n.d.). This collection is dated to
667 a.d., and here "Fa-jung" is represented as a master of the Lotus Sutra, an indication of his close affinity with the "T'ien-t'ai" School.

11. See note 6 above.

12. Twt
ch. 64.

Biography in CDC ch. 3, p. 53b and CTL ch. 4, pp. 229bc.

14. Biography in CTS ch. 190 and in HTS ch. 203. For a treatment of "Li Hue"'s Buddhist involvement see the author's MA. Thesis: The Relationship Between Confucian Men of Letters and Buddhist Monks During the Latter Half of the T'ang Dynasty: A Study in Assimilation and Harmonization Between Two Major Spiritual Traditions in China.
University of Copenhagen, 1983, pp. 22-26.

The title of this inscription is "Hang-chou Chin-shan Ssu To-chueh shih pei-ming" composed by
"Li Chi-fu" (758-814), Ctw \"Tao-ch'in"'s biography is in CDC ch. 3, p. 53b and in CTL oh. 4, pp. 230ab.

16. Ctw

Biography in CTS ch. 160. See also biographical note in CTW ch. 610.

In TWT ch.64.

This "stpa" was built in 774 a.d. during the reign of "T'ai-tsung" (762-779).

20. A
Korean Ch'an
("Son") collection of biographies compiled in 952 a.d. by the two Korean monks "Chong" and "Un". For a discussion of this important text see Paul Demieville: Le Recueil de la Salle des Patriarches: Tsou-T'ang Tsi Tp Lvi, 1-3, 1970, pp. 262-286.

See note l.

22. See CDC ch.
3, p. 51a, and CTL ch. 4, p. 227a.

23. For a discussion of the monks under whom "Fa-jung" studied see "Hakuju Ui": Zensh shi Kenky. Vol. 2, Tokyo, 1939-43 (reprint 1966), pp. 511-519.

One of the earliest structured Buddhist traditions in China based on the "madhymika" philosophy of
"Nagrjuna" (ca. 3rd cent.). Its status as a school of Chinese Buddhism did not arise until far into the "T'ang" dynasty. For a discussion of the lineage in the "San-lun" School see "Ryko Furusaka": Sanron Gakuha ni Okeru Sosho Mondai. Ib Xviii, 2, 1970, pp. 609-10. For treatments of the "San-lun" thought and history in English see Hsueh-li Cheng: Chi-tsang's Treatment of Metaphysical Issues. Jcp 8 (1981), pp. 371-989, and Aaron K. "Koseki": The Concept of Practice in San-fun Thought: Chi-tsang and the "Concurrent Insight" of the Two Truths. Pew 31, 4,
pp. 449-466, and: Later Maadhyamika in China: Some Current Perspectives on the History of Chinese Prajnaapaaramitaa Thought. JIABS. Vol. 5,2, 1982. The latter article is a review article of "Hirai Shun'ei"'s monumental work: "Chuugoku Hannya Kenky". Tokyo, 1976.

One of the important Buddhist denominations in Southern China during "Sui"-first half of the "T'ang" period. The impotance of "T'ien-t'ai" meditation practices in relation to the formulation of early Ch'an Buddhism has still not been thoroughly investigated, however some aspects have been touched upon in recent Japanese scholarship.
See "Kenju Komatsu": "Makashikan no Hoben". Ib Xxvi, 2, 1978, pp. 826-828. Toshio Kazama: "Makashikan to Nanshzen no Kankei ni Tsuite". Ib Xxviii,1, 1979, pp. 51-55, "Keisho Sengoku: Nangaku Eshi no Zenkan". Ib Xxxi, 1,
pp. 256-58. 256-58, two articles by "Hideto Ono": Tendai Kanjin Jikiho no Kenky. Ib Xxix, 1, 1980,pp. 326-332, and Shiki Tendai no Ten Shiso. Ir Xxiv 1, 1975, pp. 114-118, \"Rosan Ikeda"; Tendai Chigi no Reiho Taikei. Ib Xxix, 1, 1980, pp. 37-41, and "Kobaku Sakamoto": Tendai ni Okeru Shizen. Ib Xxxi 1. 1982, pp. 259-262. Important studies in Western languages are Leon Hurvitz: Chih-i, an Introduction to the the and ideas of a Chinese Buddhist Monk. MCB Vol. 12, Bruxelles, 1962; Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer: Die Identitat Der Buddhistischen Schulent und Die Kompilation Buddhistischer Universalgeschichren in China. Wiesbaden, 1982; and Paul Magnin: La Vie et l'Euvre de Huisi (515-577).

Publications de l'Ecole Franraise D'extreme-Orient Vol. CXVI. Paris, 1979.

See "Tokiwa" and "Sekino" pp. 17-19 (also note 5).

The first mention of the supposed meeting between "Fa-jung" and "Tao-hsin" can be found in "Kuei-feng Tsung-mi"'s "Yuan-chueh ching ta-hsu ch'ao" (HTC Vol. 14, p. 279b) from 823 a.d. The earlier inscriptions only mention the lineage. See also CDC ch. 3, pp. 51ab. The biographical entry on "Fa-jung" in CTL mentions that "Tao-hsin" went to Niu-t'ou Shan in "the middle of the "Chen-kuan" period"
a.d.); CTL ch. p. 227a.

28. Cdc
ch. 3, p. 53a.

29. Biography in HKSC ch. 25, pp. 602ac. See also the above mentioned later stele-inscriptions and the line of transmission as given in CDC ch. 3, p. 53a.

30. This has also been noted by John R. McRae in his The Ox-head School of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism, p. 178.

Biography in the stele-inscription "T'ang Ku Kuei-feng hui sh'an-shih ch'uan-fa pei"," by P'ei Hsiu (797-870), Cstp ch. 114. For a reprint of the original inscription see "P'ei Hsiu tzu-t'ieh"," publ. by Hsi-ch'uan Jen-min Ch'u-pan she, Ch'eng-tu, 1981. See also the biographical entries in CDC ch. 5, pp. 114a-116a and CTL ch. 13, pp. 305c-308b. For a study of the life and Ch'an thought of this important master see Jan Yun-hua: Tsung-mi: His Analysis of Ch'an Buddhism. Tp Lviii, 1972; pp. 1-54 for a discussion and complete translation of
"Tsung-mi"'s "Ch'an-yuan chu-ch'uan chi tou-hsu" (t. 2015)

see Jeffery Broughton: Kuei-feng Tsung-mi. The Convergence of Ch'an and the Teachings.
Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1975.

32. T. 2015.
402c, HTC Vol. 14, p. 279b, HTC Vol. 110, pp. 436d-437a.

33. Ch'an-yuan chu-ch'uan chi tu-hsu (t. 2015), p. 402c.

34. Ibid. This characterization will appear quite fair when compared with the contents of the "Hsin-ming".

35. Biography in CDC ch. 16, pp. 309a-312a and CTL ch. 9, pp. 266abc. For a translation of his "yu-lu" compiled by
"P'ei Hsiu", i.e. the "Ch'uan-hsin fa-yao" (t. 2012) see John Blofeld: The Zen Teaching of Huang Po. London, 1958.

\"Hsi-yun"'s critique of "Fa-jung" is found in CTL ch. 9. p. 266c.

37. In the scripture catalogues compiled by "Eun" (n.d.) (t. 2168ab) and "Enchin" (814-889)
(t. 2169, 2170, 2171, 2172, 2173)
we find the titles of the following texts bearing the name of "Fa-jung": "Chu chin-kang pan-jo ching" in one chapter pp. 1088, "Chu chin-kang pan-jo" in two chapters pp. 1091, Wei-mo ching chi in one chapter pp. 1091, "Hua-yen ching szu-chi" in one chapter pp. 1151. In addition to these texts several more bear the name "Niu-t'ou" probably also meaning "Fa-jung". If these commentaries actually were written by
"Fa-jung", it is readily understandable why we find citations from the Vimalakrti Stra and the "Avatamsaka Stra" in the Ckl.

In Lionel Giles's Descriptive Catalogue of the Chinese Manuscripts from Tun-huang in the British Museum. London, 1957, p. 129 (s. 2944) we find a text called Jung Ch'an-shih ting-hou yin (The Ch'an master Jung's Song Following Samdhi),
which through further investigation might turn out to be a work by "Fa-jung" too.

38. Pelliot (hereafter P.) 2732, P. 2885 and P. 2045. A modern version, annotated and translated into modern Japanese and English can be found in "Cheh-kuan lun". Ed. by Gishin Tokiwa. Kyoto, 1973. This book is based on the research of a study-group under the supervision of "Seizan Yanagida" at the Institute for Zen Studies in "Kyoto". In the English translation "Tokiwa" translates the
"kuan"bi in the title as "contemplation",
however this author disagrees with the rendering of "kuan" in this particular case, finding that "views" or "opinions" as a translation of kuan are much more in accordance with the real meaning of the title. See also McRae pp. 208-9 for a discussion of the meaning of kuan. [bi ]

\"Yanagida"'s argument for the attribution of the "Cheh-kuan lun" (hereafter CKL) to "Fa-jung" appears to be well documented and there can be little doubt that the text is from his hand. See "Tokiwa" pp. 2-3 and p. 23 note 7.

See "Hsin-ming" (hereafter HM) pp. 457b line 2, p. 457c line 2, p. 457c line 3, p. 457 line 12 and p. 458a line 6, and CKL ("Tokiwa" version) section III, p. 89, section VI, p. 91, section IX, p. 93 and section X, pp. 93-94. Compare fx. the opening passage of CKL with that of "Tao-te ching". The "Taoistic" touch apparent in the "Niu-t'ou" doctrines should not be interpreted to mean that this school of Ch'an was a mixture of "Lao-Chuang" Taoism (wrongly called Neo-Taoism)
and "dhyna" Buddhism, but should rather be seen as a genuine Chinese Buddhist interpretation of "mdhyamika" philosophy emphasising the practical realization of universal emptiness partly expressed through "Lao-Chuang" terminology.
When seen from this angle, then the "Niu-t'ou" doctrines constitute a logical and direct continuation of the type of Chinese "mdhyamika" evident in such a work as "Chao-lun" (t. 1858) et al.

41. Ctl
ch. 4, pp.227b-228a.

42. The CTL as such is admittedly quite late, however the contents of the "Fa-jung" biography included therein agrees perfectly as far as doctrine goes with that of the HM and CKL, and might very well be at least partly genuine.

43. Ctl
ch. 30, p. 457c, line 6.

44. Ckl
section VI, p. 91.

Ibid, section IV, pp. 89-90.

See note

47. T. 2837,
pp. 1286c-1289b. See also the modern Japanese version by "Seizan Yanagida" in Shoki no Zenshi, 1. "Zen no Goroku" 2. Tokyo, 1971, pp. 49-326. It has been translated into English by David W. Chappell in Early Ch'an in China and Tibet, pp. 107-129.

48. Ctl
ch.30, pp. 457ab.

49. Biography in
"Pao-lin ch'uan" ("Zengaku Gyosho" Vol. 5), comp. by Seizan Yanagida, reprint 1983) ch. 8, pp. 148-154, Cdc ch. 2, pp. 41ab and CTL ch. 3, pp. 211c- 212b.

50. The teaching on the unobtainability of phenomena is identical in the two works and so is that of non-duality. It must be noted however, that the "Hsin Hsin-ming" has a stronger leaning towards the doctrine of "tathgatagarbha" ("fo-hsing") than the Hm.

Biography in the "Li-tai fa-pao chi" (t. 2075), pp. 185c-196b and CTL ch. 4, pp,

52. Biography in CDC ch. 3, pp. 56b-57a and CTL ch. 5, pp. 245ab. A biographical treatment in French can be found in Jacques Gernet: "Biographie du Maitre Chen-houei de Ho-tso." Journal Asiatique, Ccxlix, 1951, pp. 29-60.

53. Ctw


The Development of Chinese Zen After the Sixth Patriarch. Heinrich Dumoulin. SMC Publishing, Inc. Taipei, n.d..

"Early Ch'an in China and Tibet". Ed. by W. Lai and L.R Lancaster.
Berkeley Buddhist Studies Series. Asian Humanities Press. Berkeley, 1983. David W. Chappell "The Teachings of the Fourth Ch'an Patriarch Tao-hsin (580651)",
pp. 89-129.

\"Essays in Zen Buddhism", 3 vols. Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki. Rider and Company. London, 1949-53.

\"Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary". Dait Shuppansha.
Tky, 1991.

\"Zen Buddhism: A History", Vol. 2. Heinrich Dumoulin.
Macmillan. New York, 1990.
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