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Ta-hui Tsung-kao and Kung-an Ch'an.doc

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Ta-hui Tsung-kao and Kung-an Ch'an By Chun-Fang Yu Journal of Chinese Philosophy V. 6 (1979) pp. 211-2! 1979 #y $. %ei&el Pu#lishing Co p 211 Ta-hui Tsung-kao ( 大慧宗杲) (1089-1163) was a monk belonging to the Lin-chi school of Ch'an u!!hism #e was the 1$th gene%ation hei% of the Lin-chi line #e em&hasi'e!( like all t%ue Ch'an maste%s befo%e him( the &%imac) of the enlightenment e*&e%ience #owe+e%( unlike man) othe% Ch'an maste%s( he insiste! u&on the e*clusi+e use of
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  Ta-hui Tsung-kao and Kung-an Ch'an By Chun-Fang YuJournal of Chinese Philosophy V. 6 (1979) pp. 211-2! 1979 #y $. %ei&el Pu#lishing Cop 211  Ta-hui Tsung-kao ( 大慧宗杲 ) (1089-1163) was a monk belonging to the Lin-chi school of Ch'anu!!hism #e was the 1$th gene%ation hei% of the Lin-chi line #e em&hasie! like all t%ue Ch'an maste%sbefo%e him the &%imac of the enlightenment e*&e%ience #owe+e% unlike man othe% Ch'an maste%s heinsiste! u&on the e*clusi+e use of the so-calle! ,&ublic cases, (Ch kung-an 公案  koan) in Ch'anme!itation an! o&&ose! the &%actice of .uiet-sitting fo% he belie+e! that the latte% was con!uci+e to lifelessem&tiness an! &assi+e esca&ism #e calle! the teache%s of .uiet-sitting he%etical an! %efe%%e! to thei% Ch'an&%actice as the ,he%etical Ch'an of silent illumination, (mo-chao hsieh-ch'an) 默照邪禪  an! his own schoolcame to be known as the ,Ch'an of kung-an int%os&ection, (k'an-hua ch'an)  看 話 禪 /e+e%al schola%s  1  ha+e suggeste! that Ta-hui was a seminal figu%e in the !e+elo&ment of Ch'anu!!hism a +iew also sha%e! b Chinese u!!hists since Ta-hui's time #is im&o%tance un!oubte!l liesmainl in his successful c%eation of an ,o%tho!o*, teaching on the use of kung-an in Ch'an me!itation whichhel! swa !u%ing the succee!ing centu%ies in China an! to some e*tent in a&an as well th%ough theacti+ities of the Tokugawa 2en maste% #akuin who also belonge! to the same Lin-chi t%a!ition  the ele+enth an! twelfth centu%ies the time of Ta-hui Ch'an u!!hism ha! come a long wa f%om itsobscu%e beginnings as one among man g%ou&s of me!itation teache%s who taught was to achie+e s&i%itualawakening e can .uickl summa%ie its ea%l !e+elo&ment 4fte% Ch'an u!!hism was fi%st int%o!uce! intoChina b the 5n!ian monk o!hi!ha%ma in the ea%l &a%t of the 6th centu% it gaine! inc%easing influence!u%ing the ne*t two hun!%e! ea%s until it s&lit into two main schools the o%the%n an! /outhe%n schoolsafte% the 7ifth at%ia%ch #ung-en  the mi!!le of the ninth centu% the /outhe%n /chool of Ch'an ha! won the !a This school %ega%!e! #ui-neng (638-:13) as the /i*th at%ia%ch an! the legitimate hei% to the Ch'an teachings b%ought to China bo!hi!ha%ma p 212  The o%the%n /chool which claime! the famous &%iest /hen-hsiu as its lea!e% came to&%ominence befo%e the /outhe%n /chool but it was unable to hol! out against the latte%  2  5t was f%om the/outhe%n /chool that all late% Ch'an sects we%e to t%ace thei% line of !escent The e*act !ate when the fi+eCh'an sects o% the ,7i+e #ouses'' (wu-chia) 五家  came to be gene%all %ecognie! cannot be asce%taine! Thete%m howe+e% a&&ea%s to ha+e been in use !u%ing the late% &e%io! of the 7i+e ;nasties (90:-960) notlong afte% the !eath of 7a-en (88<-98<) the foun!e% of the last of the ,7i+e #ouses,  3  hile all of themt%ace! thei% lineages !i%ectl to #ui-neng it was %eall #ui-neng's !isci&les an-u #uai-ang (6::-:==)an! Ch'ing-uan #sing-ssu (! :=0) an! es&eciall thei% famous hei%s >a-tsu Tao-i (:09-:88) an! /hih-t'ou#si-ch'ien (:00-:90) who we%e the %eal foun!e%s of the late% sects  4  >an legen!s g%ew u& a%oun! >a-tsu an! /hih-t'ou oth &%o!uce! man !isci&les an! thei% schools!e+elo&e! into flou%ishing establishments? in!ee! all the famous maste%s of the late T'ang !nast !e%i+e!  f%om them 4n often .uote! &assage !esc%ibes thei% fame@ ,in Aiangsi the maste% was Tao-chi >a-tsu? in#unan the maste% was /hih-t'ou eo&le went back an! fo%th between them all the time an! those whone+e% met these two g%eat maste%s we%e com&letel igno%ant , Thei% connection with the /i*th at%ia%ch isobscu%e but the%e is no !oubt that the a!o&te! him as thei% at%ia%ch [5] The Lin-chi an! Auei-ang sects we%e t%ace! to >a-tsu while the Ts'ao-tung Bun-men an! 7a-en sectswe%e t%ace! to /hih-t'ou 4lthough these fi+e sects we%e all still acti+e b the beginning of the twelfthcentu% the Lin-chi an! Bun-men occu&ie! a !ominant &osition m&e%o% #ui-tsung of the o%the%n /ungwho %eigne! f%om 1101 to 11$< summa%ie! the situation of the Ch'an sects in his time in a &%eface hew%ote fo% #su ch'uan-teng-lu a se.uel to the T%ansmission of the lam& (Ching-te ch'uan-teng-lu) 景德傳燈錄 4fte% an-u an! Ch'ing-uan Ch'an u!!hism has been !i+i!e! into fi+e sects (wu-tsung) ach!e+elo&e! its own t%a!ition an! taught acco%!ing to the !iffe%ences in the lea%ne%s' talents 4lthough the!iffe% in &a%ticula% em&hases thei% goal is still the same These sects ha+e benefite! sentient beings an!enable! man &eo&le to %each enlightenment ach has s&%ea! wi!e in its influence an! &ut fo%th lu*u%iantfoliage but the two sects of Bun-men an! Lin-chi now !ominate the whole wo%l! [6] The Lin-chi sect continue! to &la a !ominant %ole !u%ing the /outhe%n /ung but the Bun-men sect wassu&&lante! b Ts'ao-tung which fi%st eme%ge! in im&o%tance !u%ing the /outhe%n /ung an! achie+e! a&osition of &%ominence b the en! of the !nast [7] #owe+e% within Lin-chi itself the%e was a s&lit at theen! of the tenth centu% The !i%ect hei% of Lin-chi in the se+enth p 21  gene%ation left two !istinguishe!!isci&les each of whom establishe! his own line of t%ansmission@ Bang-ch'i 7ang-hui (99$-10=9) establishe!the Bang-Ch'i 楊歧  line an! #uang-lung #ui-nan (100$-1069) establishe! the #uang-lung 黃龍  line The#uang-lung line ne+e% &%o!uce! an maste% of g%eat statu%e an! !ie! out soon afte% the twelfth centu% TheBang-ch'i line continue! to %ise in influence an! came to combine all the &%e+iousl se&a%ate schools of Ch'anteaching that ha! a%isen afte% the /i*th at%ia%ch with the e*ce&tion of the Ts'ao-tung school 4lthough the%e we%e such !i+isions stu!ents of Ch'an coul! a&&a%entl wo%k un!e% maste%s of !iffe%entschools t%ansfe% f%om one monaste% to anothe% an! ha! access to %eco%!e! saings of fo%me% maste%s of all the fi+e sects Ta-hui in his t%aining se%+e! as a goo! e*am&le of the stu!ents' f%ee!om of choice an!the coo&e%ation between %i+al schools of Ch'an 4cco%!ing to his biog%a&he%s [8] Ta-hui was a nati+e of #suan-chou in mo!e%n 4nhwei &%o+ince The famil fo%tune was al%ea! in !ecline when he was bo%n an! afi%e wi&e! out e+e%thing when Ta-hui was ten ea%s ol! 4t thi%teen he ente%e! the local school an! al%ea!felt the att%action of u!!hism (,#ow much bette% to stu! the t%anscen!ental ;ha%ma than to %ea! secula%books, ) [9] #e %ecei+e! the &%ece&ts fo% a monk at the age of se+enteen an! sta%te! to %ea! the %eco%!e!saings of ea%lie% Ch'an maste%s #e was &a%ticula%l fon! of the saings of Bun-men 4t fi%st he stu!ie!un!e% a teache% of the Ts'ao-tung school an! maste%e! the essentials of the ,7i+e Danks (wu-wei &'ien-cheng), 圓悟克勤   [10] in two ea%s #owe+e% belie+ing that the%e was mo%e to Ch'an than !ialecticalsubtleties at twent-one he went o+e% to Chan-t'ang en-chun a maste% belonging to the #uang-lungb%anch of the Lin-chi /chool 5n the ne*t few ea%s he became +e% knowle!geable about Ch'an u!!hism inan intellectual manne% but faile! to ha+e an &e%sonal e*&e%ience of enlightenment hen Ta-hui wastwent-si* ea%s ol! Chan-t'ang calle! him o+e% one !a an! sai! to him ,Bou can talk about Ch'an +e%well? ou can .uote the saings of fo%me% maste%s an! w%ite commenta%ies on them Bou a%e elo.uent ingi+ing se%mons an! .uick with the e*changes !u%ing inte%+iews ut the%e is one thing which ou still !o notknow, hen Ta-hui aske! what it was the maste% answe%e!,hat ou !o not ha+e is the awakening Thus when 5 talk with ou in m %oom ou ha+e Ch'an ut as soon as ou lea+e the %oom ou lose it hen ou a%e awake an! attenti+e ou ha+e Ch'an ut as soon as ou fall aslee& ou lose it 5f oucontinue like this how can ou e+e% con.ue% life an! !eathE, Ta-hui p.21'  ag%ee! saing that he himself ha!been agonie! o+e% this fo% a long time [11] Fnl the enlightenment e*&e%ience can sol+e the %i!!le of lifean! !eath Gnless one conf%onts one's mo%talit a &e%son will not ha+e the necessa% !ete%mination toachie+e enlightenment 4s we shall see late% this was to be a cent%al theme in Ta-hui's se%mons an! lette%s   efo%e Chan-t'ang's !eath the maste% tol! Ta-hui that the onl &e%son who coul! hel& him to %each his goalwas Buan-wu A'o-ch'in 五位偏正  (1063-113<) a maste% belonging to the Bang-ch'i b%anch of the Lin-chi/chool H the same Buan-wu whose commenta%ies on the saings of fo%me% maste%s we%e to be com&ile!into the i-en lu 碧錄  (The Deco%! of the lue Cliff) one of the most celeb%ate! Ch'an classics Ia%iousthings inte%+ene! an! it was not until ten ea%s late% when Ta-hui was thi%t-si* ea%s ol! that he finallha! an o&&o%tunit to become a stu!ent of Buan-wu who was then the abbot of a g%eat monaste% theT'ien-ning an-shou-ssu in the no%the%n /ung ca&ital of ien-liang 4cco%!ing to Ta-hui's testimon he ha!b then become almost !es&ai%e! of e+e% attaining awakening an! +owe! to himself that this was to be hislast e*&e%iment with Ch'an me!itation 5 will gi+e this maste% nine summe%s as the limit 5f his teaching !oes not !iffe% f%om othe% maste%s an! if hegi+es me his a&&%o+al easil 5 will then w%ite a t%eatise !enouncing Ch'an u!!hism 5nstea! of ta*ing ms&i%it an! wasting &%ecious time on it 5 will !e+ote mself to a suut%a o% a t%eatise an! culti+ate +i%tue sothat 5 can be %ebo%n again as a u!!hist [12]   #a+ing ma!e u& his min! he th%ew himself into intense st%uggle #e was tol! to wo%k on the koan ,The ast>ountain walks o+e% the wate%'' #e ma!e fo%t-nine attem&ts to answe% it but was %ebuke! each time 7inall on the thi%teenth !a of the fifth month in the ea% 11$< he e*&e%ience! a b%eak-th%ough #e%ecalle! the g%eat e+ent this wa@ >aste% Buan-wu ascen!e! the high seat in the lectu%e hall at the %e.uest of >a!ame Chang A'ang-kuo #esai! ,Fnce a monk aske! Bun-men this .uestion 'whe%e !o all the u!!has come f%omE' Bun-menanswe%e! 'The ast >ountain walks o+e% the wate%' (Tung-shan shuei sheng hsing) ! #$%  ut if 5 we%ehe 5 woul! ha+e gi+en a !iffe%ent answe% 'he%e !o all the u!!has come f%omE' '4s the f%ag%ant b%eeecomes f%om the south a slight coolness natu%all sti%s in the &alace &a+ilion ' hen 5 hea%! this all of asu!!en the%e was no mo%e befo%e an! afte% Time sto&&e! 5 cease! to feel an !istu%bance in m min! an!%emaine! in a state of utte% calmness [13]   hile the fi%st answe% still im&lie! a !ichotom between motion an! %est Bu-wu st%esse! the unit of thetwo 4&&a%entl this %ema%k ha! enough p.21!  suggesti+e &owe% to enable Ta-hui to achie+e a new state of consciousness #owe+e% the maste% %ega%!e! Ta-hui's %ealiation as still im&e%fect #e sai! to Ta-hui ,5t isin!ee! not eas to a%%i+e at ou% &%esent state of min! ut unfo%tunatel ou ha+e onl !ie! but a%e notet %ebo%n Bou% g%eatest &%oblem is that ou !o not !oubt wo%!s enough (&u-i u-chu shih-wei ta-&ing) &'()*+,大-  ;on't ou %emembe% this saingE 'hen ou let go ou% hol! on the &%eci&ice ou becomethe maste% of ou% own fate? to !ie an! afte%wa%! come to life again no one can then !ecei+e ou , Ta-huiwas then assigne! the koan ,To be an! not to be - it is like a wiste%ia leaning on a t%ee'' (u-chu wei-chu ut'eng i chu) .)/)*0123  an! tol! to wo%k on it #e ha! to see the maste% th%ee o% fou% times a !a to%e&o%t on his un!e%stan!ing ut as soon as he sta%te! to sa something the maste% woul! at once sa itwas w%ong This continue! fo% half a ea% +entuall Ta-hui ha! anothe% enlightenment e*&e%ience u&onhea%ing Buan-wu's !iscussion of this koan Let Ta-hui tell the sto% in his own wo%!s Fne !a while 5 was ha+ing su&&e% in the abbot's .ua%te%s 5 was so abso%be! in the koan that 5 ust hel!the cho&sticks an! fo%got to eat The maste% %ema%ke! to a bstan!e% that m &%og%ess in Ch'an was asslow as the g%owth of the #uang-ang &lant u*us mc%o&hlla a &lant which allege!l g%ows onl oneinch e+e% ea% 5 then tol! him b a simile what &osition 5 was in ,5 am like a !og who stan!s b a &ot of boiling fat@ he cannot lick it howe+e% ba!l he wants to no% can he go awa f%om it though he ma wish to.uit , The maste% sai! ,This is e*actl the case The koan is %eall a +a%a cage an! a seat of tho%ns toou , 5 then sai! to him ,hen ou we%e with ou% teache% u-tsu ou aske! him about the same koanan! what was his answe%E, The maste% at fi%st %efuse! to sa anthing ut 5 insiste! saing ,hen ouaske! him about it ou we%e not alone but with an assembl 5 am su%e that the%e a%e &eo&le who know all  about it , The maste% then sai!? ,5 ask him 'To be an! not to be H it is like a wiste%ia leaning on a t%ee hat is the meaning of itE' u-tsu %e&lie! 'Bou cannot &aint it ou cannot sketch it howe+e% much out% ' 5 fu%the% sai! 'hat if the t%ee su!!enl b%eaks !own an! the wiste%ia !iesE' u-tsu sai! 'Bou a%efollowing the wo%!s' , [14]   Ta-hui claime! that as soon as he hea%! this he saw the whole &oint of the koan most clea%l #is maste%teste! him fu%the% with a few othe% koans all of which Ta-hui successfull answe%e! one b one Buan-wu%ecognie! him as a t%ue hei% to the Lin-chi t%a!ition >an ea%s late% when he ga+e a se%mon to his!isci&les he woul! %ecall the ea%s of s&i%itual st%uggle in this wa@The%e is no language to !esc%ibe Ch'an Fne must achie+e his un!e%stan!ing th%ough an enlightenmente*&e%ience /ince 5 was se+enteen ea%s ol! 5 ha! been seie! with !oubt conce%ning this matte% 4fte% 5st%uggle! fo% se+enteen ea%s 5 finall coul! %est efo%e  p.216  5 achie+e! enlightenment 5 often thought tomself@ 5 am now al%ea! of such an! such an age efo%e 5 was bo%n on this ea%th whe%e was 5E > min!was &itch-black an! ha! no i!ea whe%e 5 came f%om /ince 5 !i! not know m o%igin this was whatu!!hism calle! ,Life is a g%eat matte%, (sheng ta) 4大  hen 5 !ie in the futu%e whe%e shall 5 goE hen 5thought about this m min! was also totall !a%k an! ha! no i!ea whe%e 5 woul! go f%om he%e /ince 5 !i!not know m !estin this was what u!!hism calle! ,;eath is a g%eat matte%, (ssu ta) 5大  ,*istence isim&e%manent an! life en!s .uickl Life an! ;eath is a J%eat >atte%, [15]   4gain we fin! the c%ucial facto%s in Ta-hui's s&i%itual st%uggle we%e the e*istential conf%ontation with hismo%talit an! the bu%ning nee! to sol+e the g%eat mste% of samsa%a 4fte% his enlightenment his fames&%ea! fa% an! wi!e Jent% officials +ie! fo% the o&&o%tunit to stu! un!e% him The >iniste% of the DightLu /hun &%esente! him with a &u%&le %obe an! the hono%ific title 7o-ih ''The /un of u!!hism, #owe+e%this was a +e% t%oublesome time fo% the nation The +e% ne*t ea% 11$6 the u-chen Ta%ta%s ca&tu%e!both m&e%o%s #ui-tsung an! Chin-tsung togethe% with some th%ee thousan! membe%s of the %oal famil The ca&ital was mo+e! to the /outh an! the /outhe%n /ung !nast began Ta-hui s&ent the ne*t se+e%al ea%s t%a+elling wi!el in southe%n China #e continue! to ca%% out the wo%kof t%aining both monks an! lamen #e also sta%te! the se+e%e c%iticism of the ,Ch'an of silent illumination,a &%eoccu&ation which laste! th%oughout his life 5n the ea% 113: when Ta-hui was fo%t-nine ea%s ol!u&on the %ecommen!ation of the %ime >iniste% Chang Chun one of his most intimate !isci&les Ta-hui wasa&&ointe! the abbot of Ching-shan monaste% in Lin-an (&%esent !a #angchow) the /outhe%n /ungca&ital This was the fi%st time that he hea!e! a monaste% ha+ing %efuse! othe% offe%s &%e+iousl #e nowbecame the acknowle!ge! lea!e% of u!!hism ithin two ea%s the sangha g%ew to two thousan! innumbe% >e!itation semeste%s often !%ew c%ow!s of o+e% se+enteen hun!%e! 4mong his la followe%s the%ewe%e man officials hol!ing high &ositions #owe+e% his +e% fame an! %e&utation a&&a%entl sowe! thesee!s fo% a fall he was to suffe% late% on 4cco%!ing to the analsis of one followe%@ /ince his teaching is b%oa! he att%acts multitu!es of &eo&le #owe+e% +e% few &eo&le can li+e u& to hisst%ict stan!a%!s /ince his inst%uction is to the &oint those who become enlightene! lo+e him !ea%l utthe%e a%e also &eo&le who become f%ightene! an! !isconce%te! b his loft talk 5 know that the%e is gossi&!efamation an! sus&icion ci%culating about the maste% an! cannot feel but en%age! about this [16] p.217 The imme!iate cause of Ta-hui's !ownfall was that one of his followe%s Chang Chiu-cheng a +ice-&%esi!entbelonging to a &a%t of cou%tie%s a!+ocating wa% offen!e! Ch'in #ui the lea!e% of the &eace &a%t [17] ecause of Chang's %elationshi& to Ta-hui Ta-hui was &unishe! along with his !isci&le fo% the latte%'sa!+ocacies #e was !e&%i+e! of his o%!ination ce%tificate an! monk's %obe an! was e*ile! to #eng-chou(&%esent !a #unan) in the ea% 11=1 Ten ea%s late% at the age of si*t-two he was t%ansfe%%e! to >ei-chou (&%esent !a Auangtung) a &lace famous fo% &lagues an! othe% hostile elements 4ll these ea%s!es&ite !e&%i+ation an! &hsical !ange% he was followe! b faithful !isci&les #e also won new con+e%ts
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