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Note: This is the HTML version of my paper published in the Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 51, No. 2, March 2003. Although the footnotes and bibliography of my paper in this journal have been omitted for want of space, this HTML version contains the full text. But please note that a few differnces may be found.


Criticism of the Hossō Theory in Girin Quoted by Saichō: Especially with Relation to Wŏnhyo and Ŭijŏk このエントリーを含むはてなブックマーク

Shigeki Moro

1. Introduction

Saichō's Shugokokkaishō 守護国界章 (abbrev. Shugoshō), the most representative text of the controversy between Saichō 最澄 (767-822) and Tokuitsu 徳一 (8-9c) in the early Heian period, contains a variety of quotations. They force Shugoshō to be very hard to read that many of them, including the fragments called Girin 義林, are not extant. In this paper, I would like to investigate the original and authorship of Girin, and examine the thought of Girin especially with relation to Wŏnhyo 元暁 (617-686).

2. Ŭijŏk and the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō

There are two school of thought on the authorship of Girin: first, people who are represented by Yagi [1960] and Morishige [1995] regard Girin as the quotation of the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō / Daesŭng-ŭirim-jang 大乗義林章 written by Ŭijŏk 義寂 of Silla, based on Tōiki-dentō-mokuroku 東域伝灯目録 or else, and assume that Daijō-girin-jō is Ŭijŏk's commentary on Dàchéng-fǎyuǎn-yìlín-zhāng 大乘法苑義林章 written by Jī (632-682), the founder of the Chinese Fǎxiāng 法相 school (the East Asian transmission of Yogācāra). According to Tōiki-dentō-mokuroku, the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō which supplements Dàchéng-fǎyuǎn-yìlín-zhāng was attributed to Ŭijŏk, and its first chapter was also called Girin-san 義林纂1). In addition, Morishige points out that the sentences of Girin are quoted in Zenju's Houon Gikyō 法苑義鏡 as those of (Girin-) san, and as those of Ŭijŏk in Goshingi ryakki 五心義略記 written by Shōban 清範 (962-1004). Secondly, people who are represented by Tamura [1992] believe that the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō was imported and regarded as the work of Jī in Nara period, based on a Shōsōin manuscript2). Both schools argue that the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō is compiled by Jī's disciples based on Saichō's statement as follows:

Generally, as to the theory of Cíēn 慈恩 (=Jī), (Dàchéng-fǎyuǎn-) yìlín-zhāng is an orthodox. He wrote more than fifty commentaries, and then began to write (Dàchéng-) fǎyuǎn-(yì)lín-zhāng. The draft nearly finished, but he died before its revision. After that, the draft was compiled by his disciples (其弟子等), and spread over the east of Jambu (-dvīpa) (=this world)3).

The former school considers the disciples as the authors of the twelve chapter version of Daijō-girin-jō. The latter, in contrast, regard them as mere compilers. It is reasonable to think that Girin is the abbreviation of Daijō-girin-jō or Girin-san and is the partly enlarged and rewritten edition of Dàchéng-fǎyuǎn-yìlín-zhāng.

Although the information presented by Morishige [1995] seems to be of value to investigate the authorship of Girin, it is necessary to point out that his interpretation on Saichō's statement quoted above is confused. Morishige interpreted this quotation as follows:

Since Saichō says that Girin is the edition compiled after the death of Cíēn (=Jī) by his disciples (弟子達), I believe that the disciple (その弟子こそが) is nobody else but Ŭijŏk4).

He distorts the word ‘disciples 弟子等' to Ŭijŏk alone. In addition, it is important to note that, concentrating on the texts before Saichō, there is only one quotation to show the clear relationship between Ŭijŏk and Girin5), although there are many quotations attributed to Girin in Shugoshō and Houon Gikyō. Proofs which Morishige pointed out other than this were based on Goshingi ryakki, Tōiki-dentō-mokuroku and so forth, which were written more than one century after Saichō. From this, it follows that Ŭijŏk was a member of the compilers and, taking Saichō's attitude of quotation into consideration, it is unlikely that he was the author of the parts of Girin quoted by Saichō. For example, Saichō wrote in Hokke-shūku 法華秀句 as follows:

(Master of) Tripiṭaka of Great Tang (=Xuánzàng) and the masters of Hossō school such as Shénfáng 神昉, Ŭijŏk, Ŭi-il 義一 and so forth say that... Details can be seen in the second volume of Shénfáng's (Zhŏngxìng-) Jì 種姓集, the third (volume) of Daijō-girin-jō, and the last volume of Ŭi-il's commentary on the treatise on the Lotus sutra (法華論述記)... Shénfáng, the translator monk of the Tang dynasty, says in the second volume of his Zhŏngxìng-jì that... The third (volume) of (Daijō-) girin-jō writes that... Both Ŭijŏk and Ŭi-il say that... so far the quotation from the last volume of Ŭi-il's commentary on the treatise on the Lotus sutra ends6).

This quotation clearly shows that Saichō did not regard Ŭijŏk as the author of the third volume of (Daijō-) girin-jō quoted above. The authors of later texts such as Tōiki-dentō-mokuroku probably did not know the complicated circumstances behind the authorship of Girin and mistakenly attributed it to Ŭijŏk alone.

3. Criticism of the Three-Period Teaching Classification in Girin

In Shugoshō, there are two quotations from Girin. The first quotation starts with the statement “Girin says (義林云) ...” and finishes with the comment saying “so far the quotation from Girin ends (已上義林文也)”. Taken over, this quotation aims a criticism of the position of the Prajñāpāramitā sutras in the three-period teaching classification, however, this criticism can be split into three paragraphs by the targets7).

  1. Criticism of those who attributed to Paramārtha (真諦, 499-569).
  2. Criticism of those who attributed to Xuánzàng 玄奘 (602-664) or Wŏnch'uk 円測 (613-695).
  3. Criticism of those who attributed to Jī.

In A), Paramārtha's three-period teaching classification, probably taken from Wŏnch'uk's commentary on Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra8), is quoted as follows:

When the first (turning of the) wheel of the dharma, Buddha (=Śākyamuni) at the Deer Park preached the Four Noble Truths for five monks. When the second wheel of the dharma, seven years after the Enlightenment (of Śākyamuni), at the river named Charity of Wisdom in the Kingdom of Śrāvastī being three li or more away from Anāthapindika, Buddha preached the emptiness of all dharmas and the sutras such as Prajñāpāramitā for bodhisattvas. When the third wheel of the dharma, thirty eight years after the Enlightenment, at the auditorium of the ogre king in Vaiśālī, Buddha preached the sutras such as Saṃdhinirmocana for a bodhisattva named Zhēnzàng 真蔵9).

Paramārtha divided the teaching of Buddha only by period of time. The author(s) of Girin criticized Paramārtha for three reasons: (a) The River named Charity of Wisdom cannot be found in Mahāprajñāpāramitā. (b) In Mahāprajñāpāramitā, there were some groups of nuns who were not in existence for seven years after the Enlightenment. (c) According to Dàzhìdù-lùn 大智度論, a part of Prajñāpāramitā was preached after the Lotus sūtra which had been preached just before the Nirvāna of Buddha. It is reasonable to suppose that criticism (c) was derived from Wŏnhyo's Daehyedogyeong-jongyo 大慧度経宗要10).

In B), Girin criticized those who classify the teaching of Buddha only by place of sermon. It is likely that the target of the criticism was either Xuánzàng or his supporter Wŏnch'uk, based on Wŏnch'uk's comment:

According to the three-dharma-wheel theory of (Master of) Tripiṭaka of Great Tang (=Xuánzàng), he claimed (the classification) based only on place of sermon, not on period of years or days. The place of the first wheel of the dharma is similar to Paramārtha mentioned above. The second wheel of the dharma was preached at four places and sixteen meetings (四処十六会) such as Mahāprajñāpāramitā. ...The third wheel of the dharma was preached at two places: pure and impure land. ...It is clear that Vaiśālī which Paramārtha pointed out is an impure land, not the same place of (Saṃdhinirmocana-) sūtra (which was preached at a pure land). ...The reason why the Lotus sutra or Huayan sutra is regarded as the third (wheel of the dharma) is (that both sutras are preached at pure lands such as) Mt. Gṛdhra-kūṭa or seven places and eight meetings (七処八会)11).

The criticism in B) is based on two reasons. (a) According to a legend introduced by Jñānagupta 闍那崛多, not all Prajñāpāramitā sutras were preached at four places and sixteen meetings. Lìdài-sānbào-jì 歴代三宝紀 quotes Jñānagupta's words as follows:

Cakuka was more than 2,000 li to the southeast of Khotan. The king purely believed and respected the Mahāyāna teachings, and housed three great sutras: Mahāprajñāpāramitā, Dàjí 大集 and Huayan in his palace. ... In a deep and pure cave of a precipitous mountain being more than twenty li to the southeast of this country, the king put the twelve sutras such as Dàjí, Huayan, Fāngdĕng 方等 (Vaipulya?), Ratnakūṭa, Laṅkāvatāra, Fānguăng 方広 (Vaipulya?), ...Mahāprajñāpāramitā, Prajñāpāramitā with eight sections and Mahāmeghasūtra...12)

Based on this legend, places of sermon besides four places and sixteen meetings of Mahāprajñāpāramitā can be expected13). (b) Bhāviveka's Prajñāpradīpa mentioned a bodhisattva named Jíyŏngmĕng 極勇猛 as a character in some Prajñāpāramitā sutras14). In Chinese translations of the Prajñāpāramitā sutras including Mahāprajñāpāramitā, however, this bodhisattva cannot be found. To sum up the criticism in B), Girin tried to point out the variation of the Prajñāpāramitā sutras, confronting those who tried to limit it to Mahāprajñāpāramitā. The method of criticism like this can be traced back to Wŏnhyo's Daehyedogyeong-jongyo.

(Sutras named) ‘Mahāprajñāpāramitā' are not single but various. ...For example, (Dàzhìdù-)lùn says, “this sutra (=Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā prajñāpāramitā) has 22,000 verses. Mahāprajñāpāramitā has 100,000 verses. The palaces of the Dragon King, Asura and Deva own (the Prajñāpāramitā sutras with) billions and billions of verses.”15)

At the beginning of B), Girin also says that the groups of the Prajñāpāramitā sutras are various. Although the evidential quotations of Girin and Wŏnhyo are different from each other, their purpose and method are common.

In C), in order to criticize those considering the Prajñāpāramitā sutras as the teaching of emptiness, Girin demonstrated that the Prajñāpāramitā sutras preach the teaching of not only emptiness but also the Middle way by quoting passages of Yogācāra texts such as Vasubandhu's commentary on Mahāyānasaṃgraha, Madhyāntavibhāga and Asvabhāva's commentary on Mahāyānasaṃgraha. Girin concluded that the Prajñāpāramitā sutras belong to both the second and third period of the classification. It is reasonable to suppose the target to be Jī, since he includes, for example, both the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras and the doctrine of the Mādhyamika among the second period, for the reason of their teaching of emptiness. However, the term ‘period' () means a part of the lifetime of Buddha in common usage and according to Hùizhăo 慧沼, regarded as the head disciple of Jī in Japanese tradition, ‘period' should be interpreted not only as a sequence of time (前後) but also as a sort of contents (義類)16). The method of criticism like this can also be found in Daehyedogyeong-jongyo. Wŏnhyo's bases of criticism, however, are the Chinese translation of Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā prajñāpāramitā and the Huayan sutra with sixty volumes, since it was probably still difficult for him to read the new translations of Xuánzàng at that time. As I pointed out in Moro [2002], Chikō 智光 (709-770/781) who was a well-known critic of the Hossō school based on Wŏnhyo and regarded as the greatest monk of the Sanron 三論 school in the Nara period quoted these new translations in the same way as Girin. Hence it is reasonable to think that Chikō's criticism had also inherited from Girin.

4. Girin's Classification

The second quotation of Girin, based on the criticism in the first quotation mentioned above, claims its classification of Buddhist teachings:

According to the abilities of (the people on) the three vehicles, (...) the teachings (of Buddha) should be (divided into) five periods, likewise the five-taste teaching (classification) of Mahāparinirvāṇa: “...for example, the milk comes from the cow, the yogurt (dadhi) from the milk, the fresh butter (nava-nīta) from the yogurt, the matured butter (ghola?) from the fresh butter, and the cream (maṇḍa) which is the most tasty from the matured butter ...By the same token, the twelve divisions of the canons (dvādaśa-anga) came from Buddha, sutras from the twelve divisions of the canon, vaipluya sutras from sutras, Prajñāpāramitā sutras from vaipluya sutras, and Mahāparinirvāṇa like the cream from prajñāpāramitā sutras. The cream is a metaphor of the Buddha nature. The Buddha nature is Tathāgata.”17) The twelve divisions of the canons are the teachings for śrāvaka... Sutras are the teachings for pratyeka-buddha... Vaipulya (sutras) are (the teachings of) Mahāyāna for a novice bodhisattva. Prajñāpāramitā sutras are (the teachings of) Mahāyāna for a proficient bodhisattva. Mahāparinirvāṇa unite all people on the three vehicles and let them enter into the great Nirvāna. The reason for the correspondence like this depends on the anterior passage (of the above quotation): “The Buddha nature of śrāvaka is similar to the milk, the Buddha nature of pratyeka-buddha is similar to the yogurt, the Buddha nature of bodhisattvas is similar to the fresh and matured butter, the Buddha nature of Tathāgata is similar to the cream.”18) It follows from this that the first and second of the five (-taste) teaching (classification) correspond to the first of the three (-period) teaching (classification), the third to the second, and the fourth and fifth to the third. Since both the third of the three (-period teaching classification) and the fourth of the five (-taste teaching classification) compare to the matured butter, both Saṃdhinirmocana and Mahāparinirvāṇa include the same teaching of the Middle way...19)

By quoting the five-taste teaching classification of Mahāparinirvāṇa, Girin confirmed that Prajñāpāramitā sutras corresponded to the matured butter. Moreover, by quoting another passage from Mahāparinirvāṇa, Girin tried to demonstrate that Prajñāpāramitā sutras corresponded to the proficient bodhisattva and the third period of the three-period teaching classification, probably based on the paragraph from Saṃdhinirmocana quoted below.

At the first period, (...) only for those who aimed at the vehicle of śrāvaka, Buddha preached... At the second period, (...) only for those who aimed at the vehicle of Mahāyāna, Buddha preached... Now at the third period, for those who aim at any vehicle, Buddha preached...20)

We can express this relationship as in the following table:

Five-taste teaching classification Target Three-period teaching classification
Taste Sutra
Milk Twelve divisions of the canons Śrāvaka First period
Yogurt Sutras Pratyeka-buddha
Fresh butter Vaipulya sutras Novice bodhisattva Second period
Matured butter Prajñāpāramitā sutras Proficient bodhisattva Third period
Cream Mahāparinirvāṇa All people on the three vehicles

Although it is not clear why the matured butter and proficient bodhisattva are related to the third period, we can see that Girin tried to take the Prajñāpāramitā sutras for being the same rank of the highest sutras such as Saṃdhinirmocana or Mahāparinirvāṇa. This form of verification is also seen in Daehyedogyeong-jongyo21).

5. Conclusion

So far we have outlined the way and background in which the author(s) of Girin criticizes the three-period teaching classification of the masters before him. Based on this investigation, we would like to briefly examine (i) the position of the author(s) of Girin in the history of the East Asian Yogācāra and (ii) the background of Saichō's quotation of Girin.

First on (i), according to the quotations, it is reasonable to regard the authors of Girin as those who belonged to the philosophical lineage of the Shilla Buddhism, especially Wŏnhyo. Although Ŭijŏk is not the author of the quotations studied above and is traditionally regarded as one of the disciples of Ŭisang 義湘, it is not groundless to think of Ŭijŏk also as a follower of Wŏnhyo.

Secondly on (ii), giving consideration to the influence of Wŏnhyo and Girin on the Japanese Sanron school, it could be possible to think of Shugoshō as a text written in the context of the controversy between the Sanron and Hossō school from Nara to early Heian period, since the leading characters were the Sanron monks of Daianji 大安寺 temple22), a place connected with Saichō. From this point we might be able to go on to an even more detailed examination of the relationship between the Sanron-Hossō controversy and the Saichō-Tokuitsu dispute.

Works cited

Matsumoto, Nobumichi [1994].
“Daianji sanrongaku no tokushitsu: Dōji, Keishun, Kaimyō wo chūshin to shite. 大安寺三論学の特質 ―道慈・慶俊・戒明を中心として―Kodaishi ronsō 古代史論叢. Tokyo: Zoku gunshoruijū kanseikai.
Morishige, Takamitsu [1995].
“Shiragi Gijaku no koissho Daijō-girin-jō ni kansuru ichi kousatsu: Nihon no Hossō Tendai ryōshū no in'yō taido ni tsuite 新羅 義寂の古逸書『大乗義林章』に関する一考察 ―日本の法相・天台両宗の引用態度について―Ryūkoku daigaku bukkyōgaku kenkyūshitsu nempō 龍谷大学仏教学研究室年報, 8
Moro, Shigeki [2000].
“Shiragi Gangyō no sanji-kyōhan hihan: Daiedokyōshūyō wo chūshin ni 新羅元暁の三時教判批判 『大慧度経宗要』を中心に (Wŏnhyo's Criticism of the Three Period Teaching Classification).” IBK 49-1(97).
Moro, Shigeki [2002].
“Chikō's Criticism of the Hossō Sect, and Wŏnhyo's Influence.” IBK 50-2 (100).
Sueki, Fumihiko, et al [1994].
Kōzanji-bon Tōiki-dentō-mokuroku 高山寺本東域伝灯目録. Tokyo: Tōkyō daigaku shuppankai.
Tamura, Kōyū [1992].
Saichō kyōgaku no kenkyū 最澄教学の研究. Tokyo: Shunjūsha.
Yagi, Kōkei [1960].
“Koissho Kōshō no fukugen-teki sōsa to Eshin kyōgaku ni okeru sono bukkyōgaku-teki imi. 古逸書《広章》の復元的操作と恵心教学に於けるその仏教学的意義IBK 8-1 (15).
Yūki, Reimon [1962].
Yuishiki-gaku tenseki shi 唯識学典籍史. Tokyo: Daizō shuppan.

  1. Sueki, et al [1994], p. 237.
  2. Tamura [1992], p. 284.
  3. T74, 184a.
  4. Morishige [1995], p. 19.
  5. T74, 240b.16 / DZ2, 650.1 and T71, 173a.18.
  6. DZ3, 88.6-90.5
  7. A) DZ2, 159.4-160.4. T74, 137b.12-137c.2. B) DZ2, 160.4-8. T74, 137c.2-9. C) DZ2, 160.9-162.7. T74, 137c.9-138a.15.
  8. Z34, 824b.8-825a.7.
  9. DZ2, 159.7-11. T74, 137b.17-23. Wŏnch'uk's commentary has 真当 instead of Shugoshō's 真蔵.
  10. See Moro [2000].
  11. Z34, 825a.17-b.6.
  12. T49, 103a. Same tradition also quoted in the Further Biographies of Eminent Monks 続高僧伝 (T50, 434b).
  13. Strictly speaking, reason (a) of B) is inconsistent with reason (a) of A).
  14. For example, see T30, 65c.
  15. T33, 73b.
  16. See T43, 660c.15.
  17. T12, 448c-449a.
  18. T12, 423b.
  19. DZ2, 168.4-169.12. T74, 139b-c
  20. T16, 697a-b
  21. See Moro [2000].
  22. See the vol. 4 of Samguk-yusa 三国遺事.
  23. See Matsumoto [1994] and his series of studies on the controversy.

<Key Words> 三時教判批判 最澄 守護国界章 十二巻本大乗義林章 義寂 元暁

(Lecturer, Hanazono University)



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