Huyan Theoretical Interpretation on Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation

Seok Gil-am / Researcher,
Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies

This paper is aimed to analyze meaning with Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation from view of Huayan theory of Nature Arising (性起, Xingqi).

Nature Arising occupies the core position in Huayan thought. It is explained as the world where the Non- Discriminated and Originally Non-Moved Tranquillity is identified with the Non-Discriminated Arising. Thus, in respect that the Non-Discriminated and Originally Non-Moved Nature is described by Nature’s Arising, main characteristic of Nature Arising theory lies in positive stressing Buddha’s World as presented in Sentient Beings’ mind. The fact that both Zhiyan (智儼) and Uisang (義湘) emphasize that the Chapter on Samanthabhadra’s Practice (普賢行品) is included in Nature Arising, informs us that they take the core of Nature Arising as Arising’s union with Nature.

As represented by “As soon as s/he arises his/her mind for the first time, s/he attains right Enlightenment,” Huayan theory of becoming Buddha is generally said to be “First Abide Becoming Buddha” (住初成佛) or “Full Faith Becoming Buddha.” (信滿成佛) However, it just means entering the world of Enlightenment. Rather, the focus of “First Abide Becoming Buddha” lies in having firm faith in the world of Originally Non-Moving as the original aspect of the world. It is the reason why Samanthabhadra’s Practice as both causal practice and resultant practice is contained in Huayan Buddhism.

Even though Jinul’s thinking of Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation seems to also correspond to this, it has subtle difference from this. Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment which stresses Function of one’s own Wisdom is different from Huineng (慧能)’s Sudden Enlightenment emphasizing Function of Wisdom of outer objects. It has also difference from the fact that Huayan Nature Arising identifies Arising with Nature as the original nature and that already has placed Samanthabhadra’s Practice on the original aspect of Nature Arising. In this point, there is a reason why Jinul puts Gradual Cultivation as the practice followed enlightening after Sudden Enlightenment. Because he asserts Sudden Enlightenment with emphasizing its characteristic as Function of one’s own Wisdom, his idea should be different from Huayan Nature Arising focusing on Arising, and, consequently, he has no choice but present Gradual Cultivation.

In other hand, it might be because he intends to explain Buddhist characteristic as the practice after enlightening like the compassion practice and Buddha’s practice. Though expressed as the practice after enlightening, Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation might reveal his will to search the character- istic of Buddhism not within the enlightenment itself but within the practice after one’s enlightenment. Thus, Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation is the idea transformed, by his intention focused on Gradual Cultivation, from Nature Arising of Huayan and from Sudden Enlightenment of Huineng.

* key words

Huayan, Nature Arising (性起, Xingqi), Samanthabhadra’s Practice (普賢行), Sudden Enlightenment(頓悟), Gradual Cultivation (漸修), Jinul(知訥), Huineng (慧能)

Wisdom, Compassion, and Zen Social Ethics: the Case of Jinul, Seongcheol

Wisdom, Compassion, and Zen Social Ethics: the Case of Chinul, Sŏngch’ŏl, and Minjung Buddhism in Korea

Abstract

This essay examines the possibility of Zen social ethics by contemplating the relationship between wisdom and compassion in two Korean Zen masters, Pojo Chinul and T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl. Unlike the common assumption that wisdom and compassion naturally facilitate each other in Zen practice, I contend that in both Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, they are in a relationship of tension rather than harmony and that such a tension provides a ground for Zen social ethics. In this context the Minjung Buddhist movement in contemporary Korea is discussed as an example of Zen social activism that makes visible the social dimension of Zen philosophy and practice.

Recent Buddhist scholarship in the West has raised a question regarding how to understand Zen teachings in the larger milieu of the life-world beyond monastic experiences. In other words, is ethics possible in Zen Buddhism and, if so, what kind of ethics does Zen offer? This further raises the question of whether Zen Buddhism can contribute to social activism. To answer these questions, in this essay, I will examine the relationship between wisdom and compassion in the context of how an individual’s path to realizing the teachings of Zen Buddhism influences the person’s relationships with others, that is, his or her practice of compassion.

A common assumption is that wisdom and compassion are like two wings of Zen practice, and, thus, the attainment of the one “naturally” facilitates the other. This essay questions that very assumption and claims that wisdom and compassion are, in fact, in a state of tension, and even create a theoretical gap in two major Zen teachers in Korean Buddhism. This essay further contends that addressing the nature of this tension and, thus, finding its position both in Zen discourse and in its practice could be one of the first steps to understanding the status of Zen Buddhism in the ethical discourse. I will discuss the issue by examining the Zen teaching of Pojo Chinul (普照知訥, 1158-1210) and comparing it with the Buddhist thoughts of T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl (退翁性徹, 1912-1993). After discussions on Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, I will examine Minjung Buddhism (民衆佛敎, Buddhism for the Masses) in contemporary Korea as a possible example of Zen social activism.

1. The Mind: Doctrinal Ground for the Identity of Wisdom and Compassion in Pojo Chinul

Chinul’s Buddhist thought developed around the idea of the mind. At the very beginning of his early work, Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of the Samādhi and Prajñā Community (Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun 勸修定慧結社文, 1190), Chinul states(1):

When one is deluded about the mind and gives rise to endless defilements, such a person is a sentient being. When one is awakened to the mind and gives rise to endless marvelous functions, such a person is the Buddha. Delusion and awakening are two different states but both are caused by the mind. If one tries to find the Buddha away from this mind, one will never find one.

In another of his essays, Secrets on Cultivating the Mind (Susimkyŏl 修心訣, 1203-1205), Chinul also teaches (HPC 4.708b):

If one wants to avoid transmigration, the best way is to search for the Buddha. Though I said “search for the Buddha,” this mind is the Buddha. The mind cannot be found in a distant place but is inside this body.

Also in Straight Talk on the True Mind (Chinsim chiksŏl, 眞心直說, around 1205), Chinul advises that the role of patriarchs is “to help sentient beings look at their original nature by themselves” (HPC 4.715a).

By identifying the Buddha with the mind and one’s original nature, Chinul joins many other Zen masters to whom the identity between the Buddha and sentient beings in their original state marks the basic promise of the school. Chinul further characterizes the original state of a sentient being as a state of liberation and, thus, advises his contemporary practitioners (HPC 4.700b):

Why don’t you first trust that the mind is originally pure, the defilement empty. Do not suspect this but practice, by relying on this. Outwardly observe precepts, and forget about binding or attachment; inwardly practice samādhi, which, however, should not be suppression. [Then, w]hen one detaches oneself from evil, there is nothing to cut off, and when one practices meditation, there is nothing to practice. The practice without practice, the cutting off without cutting off, can be said to be real practice and cutting off.

Through such paradoxical statements as “practice without practice” or “cutting off with nothing to cut off,” Zen Buddhism, including that of Chinul, emphasizes that the ultimately realized liberated state of enlightenment is none other than the original state of a being. Chinul describes such a state of the mind as the original mind of both the Buddha and sentient beings. In the Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, Chinul clarifies this non-existence of the differences between the Buddha and sentient beings through his emphasis on “the mind of marvelous knowing” (Kor. yŏngchi chisim, 靈知之心) which is empty and quiet (Kor. kongjŏk, 空寂). As Chinul states (HPC 4.710a):

The deluded thoughts are originally quiet, and the outside world is originally empty; in the place where all dharmas are empty exists the marvelous knowing, which is not dark. This mind of marvelous knowing, which is empty and quiet, is your original face. This is also the dharma-recognition that has been mysteriously transmitted through all the Buddhas in the three worlds and all the patriarchs and dharma teachers.

The combination of emptiness and the non-empty nature of emptiness deserves further analysis. Emptiness and quietness are the ontological reality of a being, whereas marvelous knowing is the epistemological ground for the being’s awareness of the empty and quiet nature of one’s existence, which is repeatedly represented as the mind in Chinul. Chinul responds to the question requesting a further elaboration on the quiet and marvelous mind by pointing out that neither an entity (an individual) nor the actions of the entity—both physical and mental—has one identifiable control center. Hence, both an entity and its actions are empty. Their source, which Chinul describes as nature (Kor. sŏng 性), is empty and, thus, cannot have a shape. Hence Chinul states (HPC 4.710c):

Since there is no shape, how can it be either big or small? Since it is neither big nor small, how can there be limits? There being no limits, there is neither inside nor outside; there being neither inside nor outside, there is neither far nor close; there being neither far nor close, there is neither this nor that; there being neither this nor that, there is neither going nor coming; there being neither going nor coming, there is neither life nor death; there being neither life nor death, there is neither past nor present; there being neither past nor present, there is neither delusion nor awakening; there being neither delusion nor awakening, there is neither the secular nor the sacred; there being neither the secular nor the sacred, there is neither purity nor impurity; there being neither purity nor impurity, there is neither right nor wrong; there being neither right nor wrong, all the names and sayings cannot explain it.

The statement succinctly sums up the logical development of the ontological status of a being, and its implications in religious practice, and then its position in ethical discourse. The non-discriminative nature of one’s being negates the secular distinctions of binary opposites, which has been identified as one major obstacle that Zen Buddhism needs to deal with in order to make it viable as an ethical system. For the sake of convenience, let us identify this as the first problem of Zen Buddhist ethics: ambiguity of ethical categories in Zen Buddhist discourse.

Despite this non-existence of the binary reality between the Buddha and sentient beings, the gap still exists, in reality, between the two. Chinul explains this bounded state of sentient beings on three levels: the first involves being bound through outside phenomena, the second, through inner desire, and the third, through the desire for enlightenment. One can identify them as epistemological, psychological, and religio-teleological bondages respectively, which an individual experiences as obstacles to the full realization of one’s original nature.

Liberation from outside phenomena has to do with the relationship between an individual and the outside world. In this encounter, the disturbance of the mind by the phenomenal world indicates that the practitioner is bound by the characteristics of the object of her/his perception. Whether the object is a thing or an event, the disturbance of the mind by an outside phenomenon gives evidence that the subject takes the phenomenon as if it had a substance of its own, and this perceptual illusion, according to Chinul, is created through the function of the mind. By understanding the phenomenon as if it had a substantial nature, the mind not only mistakes the nature of the object of perception, but misunderstands the subject’s own nature by imposing on the object certain qualifications. In this process, both the mind and the phenomenon turn into substances, creating a dualistic structure of the subject and the object, and binding both of them to imaginary substances.

The second and the third instances of bondage—i.e., bondage through an inner desire (or psychological binding) and bondage through the teleological idea (or religio-teleological binding)—can be explained through the same logic. Such emotional reactions to the outside world as greed, anger, or pleasure have meaning only when the outside phenomenon has a substantial nature in and of itself. When its nonsubstantiality is understood by the practitioner in the first place, not only does the emotional reaction lose its meaning, but it proves to the practitioner the non-substantiality of the practitioner’s reaction itself. The realization of the first and second instances of bondage opens a way of being liberated from the third, for a logical conclusion indicates that, from the beginning, there was nothing for the practitioner to free her/himself from. Searching for a goal, that is, enlightenment per se, turns out to be the practitioner’s illusion. At this point, the original state of the practitioner is confirmed as the state of full liberation, that of wisdom.

This brief analysis of the status of sentient beings in bondage reflects the inward movement in Zen Buddhism’s understanding of an individual’s reality, and, thus, the practitioner’s realization of innate wisdom. Bondage begins with one’s mind and so does liberation from bondage. The subjective and individualistic nature of one’s realization of original nature has been addressed as another problem in the construction of Zen Buddhist ethics. We will identify this as the subjectivism of Zen practice.

This identity of difference and difference of identity between the enlightened and unenlightened leads us to the third problem in Zen ethics: the issue of the ethical agent. In his essay on Chinul’s Buddhism, Hyŏnghyo Kim introduces the idea of existentiality (Kor. siljonsŏng, 實存性) and essentiality (Kor. ponjilsŏng, 本質性) of self-nature (Kor. chasŏng, 自性). Characterizing Chinul’s Buddhism as “metaphysics of the self-mind [Kor. chasim, 自心]” (Kim 1996:8), Kim defines the meaning of awakening in Chinul as follows: “As the mind becomes calm in the process of its acceptance of self-nature, the existential mind experiences a metaphysical acceptance of self-nature; such acceptance is the awakened mind [Kor. osim, 悟心]” (ibid:19). In other words, the existential mind is the unenlightened aspect of the mind, whereas self-nature is the mind in its original state; the former is bound to various aspects of the worldliness of an individual, whereas the latter is free from such bondages. When the former, the existential mind, becomes one with the essence of self-nature, the existential mind turns into the true mind (Kor. chinsim, 眞心). Kim’s philosophical rephrasing of Chinul’s Zen thought elaborates on the problem of ethical agency in Chinul’s thought. Is the essential (enlightened) mind the ethical agent (i.e., for compassion) or the existential (unenlightened) mind? On a theoretical level, they cannot be separated. On the other hand, it is true that there exists a gap between the two in the real world.

The three issues that I have identified as problems in Zen ethical discourse—i.e., ambiguity of ethical categories, subjectivism of practice, and ambiguity in the identity of the ethical agent—are not separate issues, but closely related. As the fourth entry in this list, we also need to consider the public meaning of Zen awakening. In other words, if original nature is an awakened state, how does it enable an individual to practice virtuous behaviors, which are understood as a natural outcome of one’s recovery of the state of original mind? Why does the ontological recovery of one’s original state facilitate moral behaviors and bodhisattvic activities?

More often than not, Zen Buddhist tradition has offered, if any, a foggy response to this issue. Chinul could be one example. Examine the following statement by Chinul from his Encouragement to Practice (HPC 4.699b):

Vain is all phenomena. [When you encounter phenomena] search for the fundamental cause of them. Don’t be influenced by them, but keep your entire body in a calm state, firmly close the castle of your mind, and make more efforts for concentration. You will find a quiet returning place, which is comfortable and without discontinuity. In that situation, the mind of love or hatred will naturally disappear; compassion and wisdom will naturally become clearer as your evil karma will naturally cut off and meritorious behavior will naturally be advanced [emphasis mine].

In this passage, correction of perceptual illusion is directly connected with moral activities. In other places in the same text, Chinul quotes a gāthā that runs: “Dhyāna is the armor of diamond. It is capable of fending off the arrows of defilement; Dhyāna is the storehouse of wisdom; it is the field of all kinds of meritorious virtues” (HPC 4.701a). In this gāthā, meditation leads one to virtuous behaviors. Not only is there no explanation of why that should be the case, Chinul does not explain the nature of this meritorious behavior either. Does it have to do with social engagement, or is the fact that one is free from all illusionary thoughts itself virtuous behavior?

Chinul’s “naturalist” position exposed in the above seems a good example of what James Whitehill criticized as a “transcendence trap” of a romanticized version of Zen Buddhist ethics: “The trap misleads them [interpreters of Zen] and us into portraying the perfected moral life as a non-rational expressiveness, something natural, spontaneous, non-linguistic, and uncalculating” (Whitehill 2000:21). Although it is true that Zen Buddhism has not been very eager to provide a clear response to the problem that Whitehill identified here, a close examination of Chinul’s texts indicates that Chinul was actually keenly aware of this problem and constantly emphasized the gap between sentient beings and the Buddha, as much as confirming their identities. The coexistence of both the emphasis of identity and, at the same time, the differences between the Buddha and sentient beings, and thus the intrinsic identity of wisdom and compassion and their differences, could confuse practitioners and cause a theoretical conflict in Chinul’s Buddhism. However, binary postulations in Zen tradition, including the Buddha and sentient beings, wisdom and compassion, the unenlightened and the enlightened, awakening and cultivation, are actually in a relationship of tension as much as in a state of harmony. To consider the nature of this tension will take us into a new dimension in Zen Buddhist ethical discourse.

2. Sudden Awakening and Gradual Cultivation as an Ethical Paradigm

In the Secrets of Cultivating the Mind and the Excerpts from the Dharma Collection and Special Practice Record with Personal Notes (法集別行錄節要幷入私記, 1209, henceforth Personal Notes), Chinul constantly brings up sudden enlightenment, followed by gradual cultivation, as he emphasizes the importance of returning to one’s original mind. In that context, Chinul also brings the practitioner’s attention to the fact that the existence of the mind, which is void, calm, and marvelously knowing, only confirms the ontological reality of a being, and thus, its realization is not accomplished naturally. That is, to Chinul, the exercise of the mind of the Buddha requires continuous and strenuous efforts, which Chinul articulates as sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation (Kor. ton’o chŏmsu, 頓悟漸修).

In the Personal Notes, Chinul summarizes the four Zen schools of China as they appear in the Special Dharma Records of Guifeng Zongmi (圭峯宗密, 780-841), and connects them with the theory of subitism and gradualism. In his commentaries, Chinul states that the doctrinal school spreads out teachings and that Zen makes a selection, and, thus, simplifies. The simplified teachings can be summarized in the following two aspects: “With regard to the dharma, there are absolute (Kor. pulbyŏn, 不變) and changing (Kor. suyŏn, 隨緣) aspects; with regard to humans, there are sudden awakening (Kor. ton’o, 頓悟) and gradual cultivation (Kor. chŏmsu, 漸修)” (HPC 4.734c). This statement suggests that, in Chinul, sudden awakening and gradual cultivation are not in the relationship of either/or, but represent two aspects of the same phenomenon. In the later section of the text, Chinul further clarifies his position on the relationship between awakening and cultivation and, thus, wisdom and compassion, as he states (HPC 4.755b):

Practitioners in our time often say, “if one is able to look into one’s Buddha-nature clearly, the vow and altruistic behaviors will naturally be realized.” I, Moguja, do not think that is the case. To see clearly one’s Buddha-nature is to realize that sentient beings and the Buddha are equal and that there is no discrimination between “me” and others. However, I worry that if one does not make the vow of compassion, they will stagnate in the state of calmness. The Exposition of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra says: “The nature of wisdom being calm, it needs to be guarded by the vow.” Therefore in the deluded state before the awakening, the strength of the mind is dark and weak, and thus is unable to realize the vow. However, once one experiences [the initial] awakening, one will be able to sympathize with the suffering of the sentient beings through one’s discriminative-wisdom, and thus exercise one’s compassion and make a vow, and practice the bodhisattva path according to one’s capacity, which will gradually complete one’s awakened-behaviors. How could this not be joyful?

Chinul, in this passage, emphasizes that a mere awareness of wisdom cannot be directly connected to compassionate wisdom; this statement, in a sense, contradicts his remarks in the Encouragement to Practice in which he emphasized the natural flow from wisdom to compassion. However, we should interpret this in two different ways. In this sense, Sung Bae Park makes a distinction between the realm of faith and the realm of practice in understanding the sudden–gradual paradigm in Chinul (Park 1993:217-224). In terms of the realm of faith, practitioners believe that their minds are the original Buddha; thus, enlightenment should be sudden. In the realm of practice, the realization of the innate Buddha-nature requires a constant cultivation. From this, one can further move on to the idea, as expressed by Kŏn’gi Kang, that sudden awakening is the realization of wisdom as gradual cultivation is the exercise of compassion (Kang 1999:43).

Pŏpchŏng moves one step further in his interpretation of the relationship between wisdom and compassion in the soteriological structure of sudden-awakening-and-gradual-cultivation in Chinul and states: “In the case of Śākyamuni Buddha, awakening under the bodhi tree represents sudden enlightenment, whereas forty-five years’ activities of guiding numerous sentient beings represents gradual cultivation. This also represents the two wings in Buddhism: wisdom and compassion” (Pŏpchŏng 1987:4).

This view on sudden awakening and gradual cultivation, especially in our exploration of Zen Buddhist ethics, suggests to us that the seemingly exclusive dominance of inward movement of the practitioner in understanding Zen practice needs reconsideration. At least in Chinul’s case, his constant reference to and emphasis on the importance of gradual practice after the initial awakening and further compassionate bodhisattvic behaviors as main activities of the gradual cultivation point to several issues in our previous discussion. Unlike the common assumption that Zen practice is exclusively dominated by introspective subjectivism, Chinul contends that even though introspectivism facilitates one’s awakening, it should also accompany social activities of compassion to reach its perfection. In other words, to Chinul, compassionate activities are manifestations of wisdom. This is an important point because, unlike the romantic version that envisions a natural flow of compassion upon the realization of wisdom, Chinul is claiming that compassion is wisdom; that is, wisdom per se without compassionate actions cannot be obtained. The commonly accepted movement from wisdom to compassion, then, is reversed here.

A support for such a claim—that wisdom is nourished by and perfected through compassionate activities—is ironically found in the teachings of the opponent of Chinulean gradualism. Known as the sudden-gradual debate (Kor. tonchŏmron, 頓漸論), the subitist critique of Chinul’s gradualism occupied the center stage of Korean Buddhist debate on Zen Buddhist soteriology in the 1990s, and continues to spark debates on the nature of enlightenment, cultivation, and the identity of Korean Zen Buddhism.

The debate was triggered by Zen Master T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl who challenged the authenticity of Chinul’s Zen Buddhism in his publication entitled the Right Path of the Zen School (Sŏnmun chŏngno, 禪門正路, 1981). In this book, Sŏngch’ŏl claims that Chinul’s teaching of the sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation is a heretical teaching of Zen Buddhism.(2) On a surface level, the contrasting claims between gradualists and subitists seem clear. Enlightenment, for Chinul, means realizing one’s own nature; hence it is sudden. Chinul identified this first stage of awakening as understanding-awakening (Kor. hae’o, 解悟). This initial awakening, however, cannot be sustained continually due to the influence of the habitual energy accumulated within the practitioner throughout many lives. Thus, gradual cultivation after the initial awakening is necessary for the practitioner to reach ultimate enlightenment. To Chinul, the subitist idea of sudden awakening, followed by sudden cultivation, is also a part of sudden enlightenment, followed by gradual cultivation, because what is meant by sudden practice is none other than the result of gradual cultivation that practitioners performed in their previous lives, which makes sudden cultivation in this life possible.

Sŏngch’ŏl claims that realizing one’s own nature is possible only in the state of ultimate enlightenment; hence, the understanding-awakening that takes place in the first stage of the Ten Faiths falls far short of being any kind of enlightenment. Sŏngch’ŏl contends that the sudden awakening in sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation is mere knowledge, which creates the worst kind of obstacle for Zen practitioners. Whoever endorses sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation, Sŏngch’ŏl further claims, is a follower of intellectual knowledge, which is the heretical and wrong way of practicing Zen Buddhism.

Sŏngch’ŏl has been well known for his relentlessly strict view on Zen Buddhism. His radical subitism claims that there is only one complete enlightenment, which he defines as “seeing one’s true nature” (Kor. kyŏnsŏng, 見性). In the preface to his Right Path of the Zen School, Sŏngch’ŏl writes (1981:2):

The essence of the Zen school is seeing one’s true nature, which means to get through one’s true nature of suchness. To see through one’s true nature is not possible unless one completely cuts off the finest delusion in the eighth ālaya-vijñāna, the fundamental ignorance, which hides one’s true nature.

To Sŏngch’ŏl, “seeing one’s true nature” cannot be partial; in order to truly see one’s own nature, even the most infinitesimal and coarse delusion should be eliminated. Claiming subitism as the only authentic form of Zen practice, Sŏngch’ŏl insisted that, without maintaining consistency or integrity in one’s practice of hwadu (Ch. huatou, 話頭) in the state of moving or staying still (Kor. tongjŏng iryŏ, 動靜一如), in the state of dreaming (Kor. mongjung iryŏ, 夢中一如), and in the state of a dreamless sleep (Kor. sungmyŏn iryŏ, 熟眠一如), one should not mention being awakened. This is known as breaking through the Three Gates in Sŏngch’ŏl’s theory of enlightenment. Not only was he adamant in his view on the authentic way of Zen enlightenment in theory, Sŏngch’ŏl himself has been known as an uncompromisingly strict Zen practitioner. He undertook, for eight years, the practice of “never lying down” (Kor. changjwa purwa, 長座不臥) and, for ten years, the practice of seclusion (Kor. tonggu pulch’ul, 洞口不出, 1955-1965). He was also obstinate in his belief that practitioners should remain isolated on a mountain without becoming involved in worldly affairs.

Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching of Zen Buddhism raises an important question in the context of our discussion on Zen ethical structure. Earlier, I proposed that sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation provides us with an ethical paradigm of Zen Buddhism in Chinul’s gradualism. If we apply this idea to Sŏngch’ŏl’s subitism, in which only rigorous Zen practice on a secluded mountain is validated, how do we find an ethical dimension? In what way is Sŏngch’ŏl’s rigorous subitist vision of enlightenment turning wisdom into compassion? His search for wisdom being so rigorous, there does not seem to exist room for compassion. Does this mean that Sŏngch’ŏl ‘s Zen teaching remains in the solipsism of practitioners, cutting itself off completely from the outside world, including the world of other sentient beings?

It is true that Sŏngch’ŏl has been a target of such criticism by more socially oriented thinkers. However, if we look into Sŏngch’ŏl’s Dharma talks, we find another aspect of Sŏngch’ŏl’s Buddhism, which seems to go directly against this subitist vision, and which endorses the Chinulean gradualist view and, thus, emphasizes the importance of compassionate activities as gradual cultivation in the process of one’s practice of Buddhism.

One of Sŏngch’ŏl’s major teachings includes his emphasis on making offerings to the Buddha (Kor. pulgong, 佛供). In his efforts to reform monastic life in Korea in the early twentieth century, Sŏngch’ŏl prohibited the practice of monks making offerings to the Buddha on behalf of lay practitioners in exchange for donations. Sŏngch’ŏl claimed that one cannot make offerings or pray “on behalf of” others: one should make offerings oneself. Sŏngch’ŏl further contended that “one cannot pray to the Buddha by mindlessly beating a wooden block in a temple. It should be practiced by helping others” (1987:112). Sŏngch’ŏl emphasized that making offerings to the living beings in the world is equal to making offerings to the Buddha since all the beings in the world are the Buddha. In his Dharma talk to Buddhist practitioners, he brought special attention to the practice of Samantabhadra-bodhisattva in the Huayan jing. In the section in which Sudhana hears of Samantabhadra-bodhisattva‘s great vows, Samantabhadra explains the Dharma-offerings as follows (Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 10.293.845 a.):

[Dharma-offerings mean] making offerings to the Buddha by practice as taught by the Buddha; by helping sentient beings; by respecting and embracing sentient beings; by emphasizing the suffering of sentient beings; by producing the root of goodness; by not deserting bodhissatvic activities; by not leaving the bodhissatvic mind . . . Such an utmost and universal offering should be made until the empty sky becomes exhausted; until the world of sentient beings becomes exhausted; until the karmic result of the sentient beings and their defilements become exhausted, and then my offering-makings will come to an end. But the empty sky and all of the above including the defilement of sentient beings cannot be exhausted, my offering-making cannot come to an end.

Sŏngch’ŏl emphasizes that, among the above seven Dharma-offerings, helping sentient beings is the marrow of the Buddha’s teaching. He also cites the story from the same sūtra that to offer a bowl of cold rice to a starving dog is a better way to make offerings to the Buddha than offering thousands of prostrations to the Buddha (Sŏngch’ŏl 1987:104-105). Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching of making offerings to the Buddha, which was at the forefront of his teaching throughout his life, conveys the meaning, which is rather similar to Chinul’s teaching of the gradual practice of compassionate altruistic activities after the initial awakening. In one of his public Dharma talks, Sŏngch’ŏl even moved closer to Chinul in his gradualist position as he stated (Sŏngch’ŏl 1987:156-157):

For a hundred thousand kalpas, all living beings have been Buddhas, living in the Buddha land, so how come we still get lost in this pitch darkness? That is because we are yet to open our mind-eyes. Then, how do we open our mind-eyes? Either one should diligently practice hwadu [Ch. huatou, 話頭] and thus attain awakening or one should lead an altruistic life of helping others. Whether your business is selling rice-cakes, running a bar, or a butcher’s shop, whatever your occupation might be, learn hwadu and practice hwadu in your heart. In your heart, practice hawdu, and in your actions, help others: if such a life continues, someday, your mind-eyes will become bright like lightning, then, the Buddha’s teaching that everybody was originally the Buddha who has lived in the Buddha land for timeless kalpas will be clearly understood. From then on, you will be a teacher for both the human world and heaven and exercise endless great Buddha-works until the future comes to an end.

How does Sŏngch’ŏl’s emphasis on the importance of compassionate action in the practice of Buddhism in this passage go together with his rigid teaching of Zen practice that we discussed earlier? Should we dismiss the inconsistency between Sŏngch’ŏl’s view on making offerings to the Buddha through the exercise of compassion and his rigid view of sudden enlightenment and sudden cultivation to attain wisdom as a mere contradiction in his theory? Or is this gap and tension between awakening and cultivation, wisdom and compassion, rather something internal in Zen Buddhist teaching?

In his essay on Chinul’s view on sudden awakening and gradual cultivation, Robert Gimello proposes to understand the sudden–gradual paradigm in Chinul as a reflection of the tension within Zen Buddhism between the radical challenge to the existing status-quo and the necessity of ethical concern and responsibilities (Gimello 1990:231).(3) In other words, Gimello suggests that sudden awakening reflects the very promise of Zen Buddhism, whereas gradual cultivation meets the ethical dimension required for maintenance of religious practice. Gimello’s interpretation can also be applied to the seeming conflict between acquiring wisdom and the exercise of compassion. In both Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, these two aspects—sudden awakening and gradual cultivation—create a gap or a tension in their teaching and lives. In the case of Sŏngch’ŏl, his rigid emphasis on subitism, which proposes the secluded practice of hwadu meditation, is combined with his strong emphasis on the gradualist practice of compassion in the form of making offerings to sentient beings in one’s daily life. In the case of Chinul, his emphasis on the gradualist practice of compassion as a way of obtaining wisdom created a gap with his own life, which was not much different from that of Sŏngch’ŏl in that Chinul preferred to stay away from society and remain in a mountainside monastery. This aspect of Chinul has led Woo Sung Huh to define Chinul’s ethics as ethics of mind, body, and space. In Chinul, Huh claims, in order for the mind to be pure, the body should be pure, and in order for the body to be pure, the body should be placed in pure space (Huh 1996:125, 138-150). Huh supports his idea by referring to the Compact Community of Samādhi and Prajñā, which Chinul created in his early years as a way of focusing on Buddhist practice and staying away from the corruptions of the secular world. In this context, Huh asks, if one is free only within the limitations of a conditioned state, how do we overcome the limitations of Chinul’s ethics, which functions only by leaving society (ibid.:184-185)?

3. Minjung Buddhism and Zen Social Activism in Contemporary Korea

The idea that the movement from wisdom to compassion should actually be reversed in Zen Buddhism, and that they are in a relationship that is characterized more by tension than by harmony, is in some way reflected in Minjung Buddhists’ understanding of Zen Buddhism. Minjung Buddhism (Kor. Minjung pulgyo, 民衆佛敎, Buddhism for the Masses) is a socially engaged Buddhist movement in Korea whose activities were most visible from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. Critical of the collusion between the ecclesiastics and the state in the Korean Buddhist tradition, Minjung Buddhism demanded that Buddhism change its direction and actively become involved in the lives of those who are alienated and exploited in society.

The idea of Buddhism for the masses in Korea first appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century when reform-minded Buddhist intellectuals proposed changing Korean Buddhism to correspond with the life of the general public, especially those who were marginalized in society. However, as a movement, Minjung Buddhism took shape together with pro-democratic and anti-government movements in Korean society during the military dictatorship in the mid to late twentieth century.(4) By its founding principles, Minjung Buddhism is Buddhism for the politically suppressed, economically exploited, and socio-culturally alienated. This sets it in clear opposition to traditional Korean Buddhism, which had a tendency to collaborate with the state, isolate itself in mountain-side monasteries, and, in general, be at the service of the upper class. Adherents of Minjung Buddhism emphasize liberation from all forms of suppression, especially that conducted by the state and the ruling class.

A question has been raised of whether Buddhist social engagement as offered by Minjung Buddhism can earn broader support from the Korean Buddhist community without first defining its relationship with Zen Buddhism, given that Zen Buddhism has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea. If we examine some details of the Minjung Buddhist understanding of Buddhist history and philosophy, the issue of defining the relationship between Zen and Minjung Buddhism appears to be critical. In an essay that considers the viability of Buddhist social engagement in the context of Korean Buddhism, the author Hee-Sung Keel summarizes Minjung Buddhism with the following six characteristics: (1) Minjung Buddhism considers the nature of the suffering of the people as socio-political, and refuses as idealism the idea of ascribing the cause of suffering to the individual’s mind; (2) it strongly criticizes traditional Korean Buddhism’s uncritical support for nationalism and its state-oriented nature; (3) it emphasizes the social and historical consciousness which Minjung Buddhism considers as lacking in traditional Korean Buddhism; (4) in this context, Minjung Buddhism is critical of Zen Buddhism for its individualistic and idealistic philosophy of the mind; (5) it highly values the Hīnayāna tradition and emphasizes the role of saṅgha as an ideal social community; (6) emphasizing the negative aspects of capitalism and nationalist Buddhism, it proposes the land of Maitreya as a Buddhist ideal society (Keel 1988:28).

Identifying the characteristics of Minjung Buddhism, Keel is less than positive about the interface between social engagement and Zen Buddhism as he asks “whether Zen enlightenment that aims to liberate us from the secular concerns in our lives is compatible with active practice of social ethics” (ibid.:28). Keel comes to the conclusion that Zen Buddhist identification of good and evil based on its doctrine of emptiness disables Zen Buddhism from offering social ethics; further, he claims that the identification of emptiness and forms deprives Zen of any room for ethics to be sustained within its system. Keel contends that the world confirmed with the enlightened mind, in which good is identified with evil, is not the same as that where the unenlightened individual suffers from various evils, the resolution of which is necessary for the members of a society to lead a happy life. Keel ends his essay with questions (ibid.:40): “Is emptiness compatible with compassion? Is it not that emptiness dissolves the real compassion that is needed to solve the real suffering of the sentient beings? . . . Where does compassion come from? . . . Is Buddhist compassion that is anchored on the wisdom of emptiness able to take the form of practical social ethics?”

The questions that Keel has posed above well reflect our discussion in which we identified four problem areas of Zen Buddhism in its encounter with social ethics. I am sympathetic with Keel’s agonizing efforts to find a place for Zen Buddhism in the social and ethical context of today’s world. However, in line with our previous discussion on subitism and gradualism as a Zen ethical paradigm, I would like to suggest that the problems Keel identified as limits of the Zen ethical paradigm need further consideration. This consideration includes the very foundation of Zen philosophy and the relationship between subitism and gradualism in Zen Buddhism. One clue to this consideration can be found in the philosophy of Minjung Buddhism, as was outlined by Yŏ Ikku. Like Keel, Yŏ also criticized some forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism, including Zen, Tiantai (Kor. Ch’ŏnt’ae), and Huayan (Kor. Hwaŏm) Buddhism, claiming that these Buddhist schools turned Buddhism into a subjective idealism by overemphasizing the mind and its emptiness, and, thus, obscuring the social and political reality of the general public (Yŏ 1988:123-127). However, unlike Keel, who could not find a positive connection between Zen and the Minjung Buddhist movement, Yŏ did not deny the possibility of the mutual incorporation of the two. In fact, Yŏ emphasized that only if Zen can reject the secluded shelter of subjective idealism, can Zen Buddhism’s radical rejection of authority be a powerful force for Buddhism to liberate the people from suppression and suffering.

The social dimension of Zen philosophy and practice becomes more visible in another Minjung Buddhist thinker, Pŏpsŏng, who joins Yŏ in his criticism of the subjectivist position of Buddhism, and interprets hwadu practice as a form of Zen social activism. In one of his essays, Pŏpsŏng asks (1990:223):

Is Buddhist activism a movement to deliver the theological doctrine called Buddhism or is it a movement that pursues an inner safety of an individual through a certain mystical practice proposed by Buddhism? How do we put together these two different categories of activism and Buddhism?

In this context, Pŏpsŏng claims that hwadu practice is not an individual’s encounter with “internal spiritual mystery,” but an activity through which one “negates the reification of conceptions and absolutization of being-in itself” (ibid.:223). And he further states (ibid.: 223-224):

[H]wadu practice is a thinking-activity that opposes falsity and fantasy and at the same time a creative historical movement through which one realizes one’s independence in spite of situational contradictions. Therefore, hwadu practice is not a training that makes one a perfect and holy self, as many idealist Zen masters have claimed . . . It is a question-in-action that one asks oneself with regard to the situation at hand.

Yŏ’s interpretation of Zen Buddhism’s potential as a social activism and Pŏpsŏng’s radical reinterpretation of hwadu practice in its social and ethical context help us fill the gap that Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, the two more conventional-style Zen thinkers, left unanswered or at least ambiguous. In other words, what does it mean exactly that compassionate activities will complete the attainment of wisdom? What did Sŏngch’ŏl mean when he said that regardless of one’s occupations, one should practice hwadu in mind and try to help others, and then awakening will eventually take its own course? Obviously, Sŏngch’ŏl was not claiming here that practicing hwadu and helping others or running a bar are in two totally different dimensions; they are and should in some way be connected, however tenuous the connection might look at first regard. Chinul’s admonition that compassion and wisdom are not naturally connected to each other, but require practitioners’ constant efforts to make them work together is also in line with Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching about Buddhist practice and its position in the life-world.

In Pŏpsŏng’s interpretation of Zen hwadu practice, together with Yŏ’s emphasis of a potential role that Zen Buddhism can play in social activism, Zen Buddhism does not remain as a solipsistic introspective subjectivism, but is projected as a practice for a mental revolution that further facilitates a socially engaged Buddhism, through the practitioner’s strenuous efforts to transfer one’s spiritual and mental change into the reality of one’s social existence. More importantly, the relationship between the two—mental revolution and social engagement—are not in a relationship of lineal process in which the accomplishment of the former naturally facilitates the latter. They are rather in a relationship of tension, through which both wisdom and compassion influence each other in a dynamic action. Constituents of tension in this case cannot be mutually exclusive, but mutually nourishing and stimulating. When we foreground a certain element in the constituents of tension and suppress others in an attempt to create a harmony or consistency in Zen theory, we risk the danger of envisioning either a purely asocial version of Zen practice or Zen social activism that negates the basic tenets of Zen Buddhism.

4. Conclusion

I have proposed four categories as problem areas in terms of understanding Zen Buddhism in the context of ethical discourse: (1) ambiguity of ethical categories; (2) subjectivism of practice; (3) ambiguity in the identity of the ethical agent; and (4) the relationship between awakening and altruistic action. I would like to contend that these four seeming problems in Zen Buddhist ethics are not irreparably negative markers for Zen Buddhist ethics. Instead, a serious consideration of Zen Buddhism’s position in an ethical discourse can revalorize the tradition itself—in the sense that Rita Gross claims that the feminist re-reading of Buddhism is a revalorizing of the tradition (1994:3). At the same time, considering the nature of Zen Buddhist ethics also challenges traditional normative ethics and demands a new ethical mode in our time. In the section below, I will briefly discuss why this is the case.

First, the subjectivist nature of Zen meditation has been understood as an anti-social aspect of Zen Buddhism. However, historically, Zen tradition per se has not developed as an exclusively meditation-oriented school, nor have Zen masters exclusively focused on solipsistic meditational practices in seclusion. I have tried to demonstrate this through the example of Sŏngch’ŏl. Even such a rigid Zen master as Sŏngch’ŏl, who remained in a secluded mountain place, provided a guideline for practitioners regarding how to transfer one’s efforts to obtaining awakening into one’s altruistic activities and vice versa. Secondly, this issue is also relevant to our understanding of the relationship between awakening (wisdom) and altruistic activities (compassion). In analyzing Chinul’s gradualism and Sŏngch’ŏl’s subitism, I have demonstrated that, in both cases, Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl emphasized to practitioners that awareness of one’s wisdom does not naturally transfer to the activities of compassion, and that one should constantly make efforts for altruistic behavior as one makes offerings to the Buddha.

Thirdly, ambiguity in the ethical category and the ethical agent are not so much a problem of Zen Buddhism per se as one that arises when one views the Zen Buddhist value system from the perspective of normative ethics. If the metaphysical concept of ethics grounds itself in the belief of human beings’ capacity as rational beings capable of distinguishing between right and wrong or good and bad, then Zen Buddhist ethics cannot follow the mode of normative ethics, for, from the Zen perspective, making a distinction itself creates delusion. This, however, does not mean that Zen cannot provide ethical guidelines, for ethics begins with the acceptance that such distinctions are possible only after appropriation and, thus, suppression in the decision making. One name for such an appropriation is bias; Zen Buddhism calls it delusion. What this suggests is that one cannot create Zen Buddhist ethics simply by appropriating Zen theories into the format of the current normative ethics; instead, Zen Buddhist ethics demands a new direction in our understanding of ethical categorization itself.

Zen Buddhism is not alone in demanding a new form of ethics that radically challenges normative ethics based on a metaphysical view of the world and its beings. Postmodernist thought, being a non-substantialist mode of thinking as Zen Buddhism is, has faced a problem similar to Zen Buddhist ethics; in this context, contemplation on the nature of Zen Buddhist ethics can go together with postmodern ethical thinking. In order to consider Zen Buddhist ethics in its full scope, a new ethical paradigm, to which both postmodern thought and Zen Buddhism can contribute, should emerge as an alternative to normative ethics.

Notes

(1) Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun (Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of Samādhi and Prajñā Community) in Han’guk pulgyo chŏnsŏ (Collected Works of Korean Buddhism 韓國佛敎全書, hereafter HPC): 4.698a-708a, p. 4.698a. Throughout the essay, for the translations of the titles of Chinul’s works, I have adopted Robert Buswell’s translations (Buswell 1983); all other translations from Classical Chinese and Korean are mine, unless noted otherwise.

(2) In response to Sŏngch’ŏl’s claim, a conference, “Enlightenment and Cultivation in Buddhism” was held in 1990 at the Songgwang monastery, the place where Chinul launched his compact community movement almost eight hundred years ago, and which has become the head-monastery in maintaining the Chinulean tradition. Three years later, the Hae’in monastery, where Sŏngch’ŏl resided as a headmaster, hosted a conference in which the sudden–gradual issue was actively debated.

(3) Only a Korean translation (without an English original version) was published.

(4) The expression “Minjung Buddhism” was first used at a college students’ meeting held at the Songgwang monastery in 1976 where a paper on the “Theory of Minjung Buddhism” was presented. A critical event took place in the fall of 1980 when, in the name of purifying Buddhism, the government cracked down on Buddhist headquarters and on more than three thousand monasteries. Known as the 10/27 Persecution, this event brought disillusionment to many Buddhists, which expedited the spread of Minjung Buddhism.

Bibliography

Buswell, Robert E. Jr. The Korean Approach to Zen: The Collected Works of Chinul. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1983.

Chinul. Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun (勸修定慧結社文, Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of the Samādhi and Prajñā Community, 1190). In Han’guk Pulgyo Chŏnsŏ (韓國佛敎全書, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism), vol. 4. Seoul: Tongguk taehakkyo ch’ulp’anbu, 1982, 698a-708a.

Chinul. Susimkyŏl (修心訣, Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, 1203-1205). In Han’guk Pulgyo Chŏnsŏ (韓國佛敎全書, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism), vol. 4. Seoul: Tongguk taehakkyo ch’ulp’anbu, 1982, 708b-714c.

Chinul. Chinsim chiksŏl (眞心直說, Straight Talk on the True Mind, around 1205). In Han’guk Pulgyo Chŏnsŏ (韓國佛敎全書, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism), vol. 4. Seoul: Tongguk taehakkyo ch’ulp’anbu, 1982, 715c-723c.

Chinul. Pŏpchip pyŏrhaeng nok chŏryo pyŏngip sagi (法集別行錄節要幷入私記, Excerpts from the Dharma Collection and Special Practice Record with Personal Notes, 1209). In Han’guk Pulgyo Chŏnsŏ (韓國佛敎全書, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism), vol. 4. Seoul: Tongguk taehakkyo ch’ulp’anbu, 1982, 741a-767b.

Gimello, Robert M. “Songdae Sŏn pulgyo wa Pojo ǔi tono chŏmsu” (“Zen Buddhism During the Song Dynasty and Pojo’s Sudden Awakening and Gradual Cultivation”), translated by Hosŏng Kim, Pojo sasang 4 (1990), 204-231.

Gross, Rita. Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Huayan jing 華嚴經 (The Flower Garland Scripture). In Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 大正新修大藏經. Tokyo, 1914-1922, 10.293.661a-851c.

Huh, Woo Sung. “Chinul ǔi yulli sasang ǔi t’ǔksŏng kwa han’gye: Taehye Chonggo rǔl maegyero” (“Characteristics and limitations of Chinulean ethics—in connection with Dahui Zonggao”). In Chinul ǔi sasang kwa kǔ hyŏndaejŏk ǔimi (Chinul’s Thought and its Meaning in Our Time), edited by Hyŏnghyo Kim et al., 123-192. Pundang, Korea: Han’guk chŏngsin munhwa yŏn’guwŏn, 1996.

Kang, Kŏn’gi. “Susimkyŏl ǔi ch’e’gye wa sasang” (“Structure and thoughts in Secrets on Cultivating the Mind“) Pojo sasang 12 (1999), 9-47.

Keel, Hee-Sung. “Minjung Pulgyo, Sŏn, kǔri’go sahoe yulliljŏk kwansim” (“Buddhism for the Masses, Zen, and Socio-Ethical Concerns”), Chonggyo yŏn’gu (Religious studies) 4 (1988), 27-40.

Kim, Hyŏnghyo. “Chinul sasang ǔi siljonsŏng kwa ponjilsŏng” (“Existentiality and essentiality in Chinul’s thought”). In Chinul ǔi sasang kwa kǔ hyŏndaejŏk ǔimmi (Chinul’s Thought and its Meaning in Our Time), edited by Hyŏnghyo Kim et al., 3-60. Pundang, Korea: Han’guk chŏngsin munhwa yŏn’guwŏn, 1996.

Park, Sung Bae. “Ton’o tonsu ron” (頓悟頓修論, “Theory of Sudden Awakening and Sudden Cultivation”), Paengnyŏn Pulgyo nonjip (White Lotus: A Collection of Buddhist Studies), 3 (1993), 201-254.

Pŏpchŏng 法 頂. “Kanhaengsa” (“Preface to the Publication”), Pojo sasang 1 (1987), 3-5.

Pŏpsŏng 法 性. “Minjung pulgyo undong ǔi silch’ŏnjŏk ipchang” (“Practical standpoint of the Minjung Buddhist movement”), Chonggyo yŏn’gu (Religious studies) 6 (1990), 223-228.

Sŏngch’ŏl, T’oe’ong. Sŏnnum chŏngro (禪門正路, Right Path of the Zen School). Seoul: Pulkwang ch’ulp’ansa, 1981.

Sŏngch’ŏl, T’oe’ong. Chagi rǔl paro popssida (Let’s See Ourselves Clearly). Seoul, Korea: Changgyŏnggak, 1987.

Whitehill, James. “Buddhism and the Virtues.” In Contemporary Buddhist Ethics, edited by Damien Keown, 17-36. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000.

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Copyright 2006

Misunderstandings of Enlightenment, and the Truth

【 Abstract 】
Hong, Sa-sung
(Director of the Buddhism Broadcast)

This article contemplates four important themes of enlightenment through the Sutras. The first theme is about the content of enlightenment. In the Buddhist tradition, enlightenment is not deemed as something mysterious or special. Instead, it is understanding of the law of interrelationship which is as simple and easy as common sense. Things rise as a result of the interactions of cause and effect. Therefore, everything disappears when its cause and conditions fade away. All beings are governed by the law of uncertainty, which means that a substantial self does not exist by itself. One should know that this interrelationship between things is what is in the essence of enlightenment.

Secondly, enlightenment is not a possession of a few gifted people. It is open to all those who search for wisdom. Many arahans during the Buddha’s lifetime attained enlightenment that was not different from Gautama Buddha’s. The only difference between them is that the Buddha became their teacher just because he was enlightened ahead of them, and the ones who attained enlightenment after him became his disciples.

Third, there is no other special way to enlightenment than incorporating the Eightfold Path into life. All the truth is already revealed by the Buddha. The only thing we need to do is to acknowledge the truth the Buddha illuminated and to walk the path he showed to us.

Fourth, the last thing examined in this study is the difference between the enlightened and the common mortal. Buddhas are the ones who transcended the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance, which the common mortals experience in contact with the external environment.

The discussion about enlightenment has been avoided because it has been considered something mysterious and special. This is one of the reasons why enlightenment has not been properly understood. In order to get a better understanding of enlightenment, open and active discussions will be necessary. By doing so, we will be able to make our life-long Buddhist practice valuable and worthwhile.

【 Key words 】

enlightenment, the law of cause and effect, the five aggregates, uncertainty, non-self, ignorance, five bodies of the Dharma, ten names of the Buddha, the eightfold path

Contemplation on the 25 methods of Jigye and practicing Jigwan

Abstract
Contemplation on the 25 methods of Jigye and practicing Jigwan
Kim, Jong-Du (Lecturer, Univ. of Dongguk)

Sage Jiui observed lots of destroying humanities during Nambukjo age’s confusion and wars, so he emphasized to have Gye for their restoration and practice. Many people became bonzes and started to practice, but the number of people to get comprehension decreased every year. Sage Jiui analyzed the reason critically. He thoroughly followed Gyehang in Mt. Cheontaesan and practiced. Then, his thoughts made great strides and that was the momentto make Cheontaesamdaebu. Those thoughts were extended to Gwanjeong, Damyeon, and Samyeongjirye, and made religious influence of Cheontaejong greater. Jigye idea was on the base.

Sage Jiui believedthat it is impossible to regard Gye and Jigwanhaeng separately. Therefore, he insists it is not possible to correctly practice without correct gye and you have to get rid of sin by contrition when you violate any of gye.

Thus, all of the current ascetics both married priests and bonzes should re-consider and comprehend its significance.

【 Key words 】 Jiui, Jigye (observing the Buddhist commandments), Mahajigwan, repentance, expedient

The study on practice of āhāra(food, nutriment) in the Early Buddhism

【 Abstract 】
The study on practice of āhāra(food, nutriment)
in the Early Buddhism
Shin, Byoung-Sam
(Researcher, in Institute of Electronic Buddhist Texts & Culture Contents)

All of beings maintain their life with something to eat(food, nutriment). The buddhist terms for something to eat(food, nutriment) is āhāra. The buddhist term āhāra is translated into chinese character ‘食’. The original meaning of āhāra is to bring something. Therefore the relationship between subject and object should be maintained by something which subject brings from object, and life force should be continuous.

So the meaning of āhāra contains not only something to eat(food, nutriment) but also sense-impression, volitional thought, consciousness. At this point something to eat(food, nutriment), sense-impression, volitional thought, consciousness are assimilated to son’s flesh, skinned cow, a lump of charcoal in a blaze, a hundred lance one by one. The buddhist view of something to eat(food, nutriment) is negative rather than positive. Because ascetics need something to eat(food, nutriment) for maintaining their life, and their ultimate purpose is to accomplish emancipation from the sufferings of the transmigration of souls which make every endeavor to maintain life. On that account ascetic exercises are mentioned something to eat(food, nutriment) with relevance.

There is the perception of loathsomeness in something to eat(food, nutriment) which helps access concentration(upacāra) by ten methods: 1) as to going, 2) seeking, 3) using, 4) secretion, 5) receptacle, 6) what is uncooked(undigested), 7) what is cooked(digested), 8) fruit, 9) outflow, and 10) smearing.

And in mendicancy ascetic exercises which always ingest something to eat(food, nutriment) to the extent of the minimum quantity for maintaining life is assumed: 1) alms-food-eater’s practice, 2) house-to-house seeker’s practice, 3) one-sessioner’s practice, 4) bowl-food-eater’s practice, and 5) later-food-refuser’s practice. With these ascetic exercises, ascetic exercises attain Buddhahood little by little.

Human beings whom are inseparably related to something to eat(food, nutriment) have a tendency to regard something to eat(food, nutriment) as an object of indulgence which is originated in delusion.

By above-mentioned ascetic exercises human beings whom cause greed(lobha), hate(dosa), and delusion(moha) in connection with something to eat(food, nutriment) should be lead an satisfactory, joyful, boundless style of living.

【 Key Word 】

āhāra(food, nutriment) / sense-impression / volitional thought / consciousness / the perception of loathsomeness in food / access concentration(upacāra) / alms / delusion(moha)․greed(lobha)․hate(dosa) / Lokavidū(Knower of Worlds)

Study on character transformation and Zen therapy

Abstract

Study on character transformation and Zen therapy

(focusing on maladjusted soldiers and officers)

Ph. D, Kim Mal-hwan

Most of maladjusted soldiers and officers have excessive depression due to inadequate personal relationships and anxiety that comes from anticipating their future environment.

Such clients have a negative distorted view of themselves from early childhood. Thus they are always filled with the thought of oppressing themselves and attacking others. This is why they are constantly anxious and distressed.

This kind of false idea clings onto oneself as a distorted sense of self and does not allow one to see the true nature of oneself.

To get rid of this anxious state of mind, meditation practice has some good effects. Especially, breathing-meditation, walking-meditation, eating-meditation and so forth have significant effects on psycho-therapy.

Because practice of meditation is excellent in letting us get back to the true sense of ourselves, it can change false ideas into pure mind.

As it changes anxiety into stable and pure, wise and generous mind, our negative ideas turn into positive thinking, and rather than separating oneself from another and thus guarding against nonself it enables us to see another as helpful partners and thus share together.

When the clients go into this stage they gradually open their hearts and turn into positive and outgoing people.

As this links directly to a happier life, zen therapy which opens the closed mind can become one important therapy.

* Key words

Personal-inspection

Maladjusted solders

Pscyo-scale

Clinging scale

Depression and unrest-scale

Zen therapy

Interpersonal-evasion

ego-clinging

Nature-mind

Door of mind

A Study on Mahāyana Buddhism and Vegetarianism

ABSTRACT

A Study on Mahāyana Buddhism and Vegetarianism

Lee, Jae-so

(Researcher of Electronic Buddhist Text Institute,

Dongguk Univ.)

The Śākyamuni Buddha may have permitted monks to eat meat under very limited circumstances. There are three instances in which meat may be eaten: when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected. The Buddha and monks got their food either by going on donations or by being invited to the houses of their supporters and in both cases they ate what he was given. In early Buddhism we should be remember that the First Precept prohibits killing. It also makes anyone who causes another to take a life equally culpable. Eating meat is the cause of killing animals and it is clearly a violation of the First Sila.

Why do Mahāyana Buddhism advocate vegetarianism? The main reason is maitrī-karuṇa(compassion), and because we cannot bear to eat the flesh of living beings.

The Mahā-parinirvāṇa Sūtra tells us that if we eat the meat of living beings, we are destroying the seeds of compassion. And In the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra says, how can the Bodhisattva who desires to approach all living beings as if they were himself and to practice the Buddha-truths, eat the flesh of any living being that is of the same nature as himself?

At the conclusion of this study, I say that practice of compassion and mercy toward all beings in the world must necessary lean on Ahiṃsā(non-violence) and vegetarianism.

Jñānaśrībhadra and Jñānavajra: Their Biographical Approaches.

Jñānaśrībhadra and Jñānavajra:

Their Biographical Approaches
Kim, Su-ah *

• Table of Contents •
I. Introduction
II. Biographical Accounts of Jñānaśrībhadra
III. Biographical Accounts of Jñānavajra
IV. Conclusion

․ Bibliography

I. Introduction

Although not well known by modern Buddhist scholars, Jñānaśrībhadra of Kashimir and Jñānavajra, born in India during the eleventh and twelfth centuries respectively, each wrote a commentary on the Laṅkāvatārasūtra (abb. LAS), which is currently included in the Tibetan canon. In addition to his commentary on the LAS, Jñānaśrībhadra also wrote a commentary entitled the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārapiṇḍārtha, which is based on Maitreyanātha’s Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, and another on Dharmakīrti’s Pramāṇaviniścaya, which is called the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā. Jñānaśrībhadra was an exponent to the Yogācāra school Maitreyanātha founded in the early third century in India, but also followed the school of Buddhist logic and epistemology, established in India during the sixth century by Dignāga and Dharmakīrti in the seventh century.

Furthermore, regarding Jñānavajra we can assume that he belonged to the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school during the twelfth century, due to the fact that the content of his commentary on the LAS relied on the philosophical methods of the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school. The personal and philosophical backgrounds of Jñānaśrībhadra and Jñānavajra have yet to be thoroughly uncovered. Because of the lack of data on Jñānaśrībhadra and Jñānavajra’s life and scholarship, I will explore these by focusing on their connections not only with other Indian Buddhists, but also in the transmission of Tibetan Buddhism by analyzing the contents of their commentaries on the LAS. Also I will explain the historical events of this period, which affected their lives and writings.

Due to the lack of traditional accounts of the history of Indian Buddhism, biographical information about later eminent Indian Buddhist scholars also needs to be investigated especially in relation to Tibetan historical materials. From the eighth through the twelfth centuries, Indian Buddhists were involved in the transmission of Buddhism into Tibet. Relying on the modern scholarship concerning Jñānaśrībhadra, we know that he was a famous Buddhist logician who was educated in Kashmir during the rule of King Harśadeva. While in Tibet he was connected to the so-called “Old Epistemology” school (tshad ma rnying ma), originally established by Rma Lo tsā ba Dge ba’i blo gros (ca. 1020~1080), in the middle of the eleventh century. Thus, Jñānaśrībhadra’s identity may be approached from two means: first, by his relationship with other eleventh century Buddhist logicians in India, and secondly, by his connections to early Tibetan Buddhists.

Unlike Jñānaśrībhadra, the identity of Jñānavajra is difficult to ascertain, because the details of his life have not been adequately established. H. Hadano focused primarily on Jñānaśrībhadra and his works, although he does briefly mention Jñānavajra’s philosophical position.

Based on his philosophical position, regarding ‘cognitive centrism’ (vijñaptimadhyama, rnam rig dbu ma), unique to the school of Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka in the late Indian Buddhism, I believe that Jñānavajra is one of the later Indian Buddhist philosophers of Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Mādhyamikas. Therefore, in my clarification of Jñānavajra’s identity, I will focus mainly on the traditions of the Indian Buddhist school of Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka in addition to some schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Furthermore, Jñānavajra’s nationality has been uncertain because of a lack of biographical information and due to the fact that his commentary, preserved only in the Tibetan canon, does not contain the translator’s name on the colophon. His name has only come down to us in a Tibetan translaton: “Ye shes rdo rje.” In Sanskrit this name would read “Jñānavajra.” His only work known to us is Tathāgatahṛdayālaṃkāra, his commentary on the LAS found in the Tibetan canon. In all colophons, this work is ascribed to Ye shes rdo rje who, they say, was a “Chinese abbot” (rgya’i mkhan po). I believe there is plenty of evidence in the text itself to show that this colophone is incorrect. He was an Indian, and not a Chinese scholar. I hope to resolve the issue of Jñānavajra’s nationality utilizing the contents of his commentary, although the relationship between Jñānavajra and the Tibetan Buddhist schools of that period is obscure. Because Jñānavajra cites Jñānaśrībhadra in his commentary on the LAS. It can be assumed that Jñānavajra lived later than Jñānaśrībhadra. Based not only on the contents of his commentary on the LAS in relation t Jñānaśrībhadra’s commentary, both of which were translated into Tibetan, I believe that Jñānavajra’s work influenced twelfth century Tibetan Buddhism. However, here, I will attempt to clarify his biographical data.

II. Biographical Accounts of Jñānaśrībhadra

Due to the lack of biographical information regarding Jñānaśrībhadra’s life, the earliest actual accounts available to date are Tāranātha’s (1575~1634) History of Buddhism in India and ‘Gos Lo tsā ba Gzhon nu dpal’s (1392~1482) The Blue Annals. However, although modern scholars also have been unable to ascertain Jñānaśrībhadra’s date of birth, they estimate Jñānaśrībhadra’s date of birth to have been during the eleventh century.

Hadano, after examining Tibetan historical materials, notes:

It would certainly be mistaken to place the period of his [Jñānaśrībhadra’s) activities somewhere in the middle to the late years of the eleventh century A.D., in view of the above-mentioned people, such as Sajjana, Rma Dge ba’i blo ‘gros, Khyung po Chos kyi brtson ‘grus, and Khyung po Grags seng, who surrounded him.

Hadano’s major criterion revolved around the Tibetan Buddhist religious council of 1076 A.D., which was sponsored by King Mnga’ bdag Rtse lde in Tibet. Hadano also mentions other council participants, some of whom included Jñānaśrībhadra’s name in their biographical works about the eleventh century Tibetan Buddhist scholars studying in northern India. Another possible date is proposed by J. Naudou, who places Jñānaśrībhadra’s birth during the eleventh century, sometime during the reign of king Kalaṣa and Harśadeva.

Even though the aforementioned date is useful, to some extent, it is, in my opinion, still unsatisfactory. In an effort to argument material centered on Jñānaśrībhadra’s biography, I will begin with his significance in the history of Indian Buddhism.

Steeped in the tradition of Indian Buddhist logic, Jñānaśrībhadra studied the extensive works of both Maitreyanātha’s five works and Dharmakīrti’s works, attaining eminence in Kashmir as a Buddhist logician. In fact, Tāranātha mentions Jñānaśrībhadra’s fame in Kashmir, noting that Jñānaśrībhadra was too busy to accept the many invitations offered by the Tibetan king. However, Jñānaśrībhadra finally did travel to Tibet, where he was regarded as a famous Buddhist logician, and called him Mahāpaṇḍita or Kashmirian paṇḍita by Tibetan Buddhists.

However, there is still a point of difficulty regarding the details of Jñānaśrībhadra’s life. Tāranātha has influenced the already controversial details of Jñānaśrībhadra’s biography by stating that Jñānaśrībhadra was one of the four major followers of Suvarṇadvīpa (Dharmakīrti or Dharmapāla). This observation presents further confusion in that Jñāśrīmitra was one of Dharmapāla’s disciples in the Vikramaśīla monastery in northern India while Jñānaśrībhadra was a Buddhist logician in Kashmir, as has been noted by the Buddhist scholar Naudou. Because of the discrepancies concerning this issue I will look more closely at Jñānaśrībhadra’s career as a Buddhist logician.

During the tenth and eleventh centuries, the cities of Kashmir and Magadha both located in northern India were appropriate places for the study of Buddhism, especially for the study of Buddhist logic and Madhyamaka thought. In The Religions of Tibet author G. Tucci writes:

Ye shes ‘od chose several youths and sent them to Kashmir to study the Buddhist teachings. One of these youths was later to become prominent under the name of Rin chen bzang po (958-1055). Kashmir was an appropriate place not only because of its nearness, but also because the last splendor of Buddhist schools then held sway there, and famous religious teachers preserved both the speculative and logical tradition, and the practice of tantra and ritual.

In addition, Naudou divides the relationship between Kashmirian Buddhist teachers and Tibetan Buddhists into two periods:

1. Buddhists in Kashmir and the activity of Kashmiri Buddhists in Tibet at the beginning of the seventh century until the persecution by Glang-Dar-ma.

2. The contribution of Kashmir to the second propagation of the doctrine and, in particular, her role in diffusion of logic and of the Vajrayana.

Based on the information presented above, and the strength of Buddhist study in Kashmir, I believe that Jñānaśrībhadra was a well versed scholar of Buddhist logic.

On the other hand, during the tenth and the eleventh centuries in the Vikramaśīla monastery, there were three Buddhist logicians: Ratnākaraśānti, Jñānaśrīmitra, and Ratnakīrti. It is from the biography of Atiśa (ca. 982~1054), the most famous Buddhist scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism that the identities of these three logicians are known.

According to Kajiyama’s work, when Atiśa stayed in Vikramaśīla monastery, he studied Buddhist logic with Dharmapāla’s disciples, among whom were included Ratnākaraśānti, Jñānaśrīmitra, and Ratnakīrti. Around 1041, when Atiśa left Vikramaśīla monastery and traveled to Tibet, Ratnākaraśānti was the chief abbot in Vikramaśīla monastery. Kajiyama suggests that these three above Buddhist logicians were active in the early and middle eleventh century. He also notes that, in their texts of logic, they frequently mention the ideas of contemporary Buddhist and non-Buddhist logicians. To date, Jñānaśrībhadra’s name is not mentioned in the works of any of these logicians. I believe that this strongly indicates that Jñānaśrībhadra was not their contemporary, but instead wrote later in the eleventh century.

Jñānaśrībhadra’s move to Tibet was a popular story in the history of Indian Buddhism, mainly because it is described in the Tāranātha’s History and in the The Blue Annals the details of Jñānaśrībhadra’s life initially appeared in the historical sources of Tibetan Buddhism, especially the texts of the “Old Epistemology” school, established by Rma Lo tsā ba. While living in Tibet, Jñānaśrībhadra translated his own commentaries, the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārapiṇḍārtha (Toh. 4031) and the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā (Toh. 4211), into Tibetan with the assistance of the translator Khyung po Chos kyi brtson ‘grus, and he also translated Dharmakīrti’s Vādanyāya with the help of the famous Tibetan Buddhist Rma Lo tsā ba. Because of these translations, I think that Jñānaśrībhadra worked in Tibet with some Tibetan logicians and as a result, was called “Mahāpaṇḍita” or “Kashmirian paṇḍita” by Tibetan Buddhists.

Unlike Atiśa, whose biography indicates that he traveled to Tibet in 1042, there are no traditional accounts which date Jñānaśrībhadra’s move to Tibet. At this point I must clarify some of the dates which I have already discussed. While studying Buddhist logic and Madhyamaka ideas Rngog Lo tsā ba Blo lden ses rab (1059~1109) resided in Kashmir from 1076 until 1092; and Pa tshab Nyi ma grags, born in 1055, lived and studied in Kashmir for 23 years sometime between the late eleventh and early twelfth century. Both of the Tibetan Buddhist scholars mentioned above, did not cite Jñānaśrībhadra’s activities in their own time spent in Kashmir. In addition, Naodou suggests that Jñānaśrībhadra’s career preceded the arrival of Rngog Lo tsā ba and Nyi ma grags.

Based on Rngog Lo tsā ba’s biography, the most plausible theory is that Jñānaśrībhadra left Kashmir for Tibet just after Rngog Lo tsā ba had arrived in Kashmir in 1076; and, by the time Rngog Lo tsā ba returned to Tibet in 1092, after 17 years of study in Kashmir, Jñānaśrībhadra had already passed away. In Tibetan Buddhism, the “New Epistemology” (tshad ma gsar ma) was founded after Rngog Lo tsā ba returned to Tibet in 1092. Therefore, since Jñānaśrībhadra’s translations contributed to the “Old Epistemology” school in Tibetan Buddhism, he obviously lived in Tibet between 1076 and 1090. Taking into account all the currently existing historical materials found in both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, I can say with a large degree of certainty that Jñānaśrībhadra’s date of birth is some time between 1020~1080.

Based on L. W. J. van der Kuijp’s periodicization of the Tibetan Epistemology school, both of the old and the new belong to the pre-classical period. Although Jñānaśrībhadra is connected to the “Old Epistemology” school in Tibetan Buddhism, his educational lineage is continuously connected to the “New Epistemology” school. In the same context, Onoda points out that, during the time of Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (1109~1169), there existed both old and new epistemology schools in the gSang phu ne’u thog monastery. After returning from Kashmir in 1092, this is the monastery where Rngog Lo tsā ba wrote many Buddhist commentaries.

At this point, I will concentrate on the relationships that existed between Jñānaśrībhadra and the Tibetan Buddhist school, rather than detailing the history of the Tibetan Epistemology school. A parallel to Jñānaśrībhadra’s educational background appears in Gser mdog Pan chen’s brief biography of Rngog Lo tsā ba, considered to be the founder of the “New Epistemology” school in Tibetan Buddhism. During his 17 years in India, Rngog Lo tsā ba studied the seven works of Dharmakīrti and the five works of Maitreyanātha. The Blue Annals also contains a short biography of Rngog Lo tsā ba, but there is no detailed information regarding his studies. Only mention is made that while in Kashmir, he was the attendant of six teachers, including the paṇḍita Sajjana and Parāhitabhadra. However, after returning to Tibet, he composed commentaries, taught logic (tshad ma), the Five Treatises of Maitreyanātha (byams chos sde lña), the Mādhyamika doctrine, and extensive other texts. I think that we can infer the focus of his studies while in Kashmir by noting his activities in Tibet.

III. On Jñānavajra

I now turn to the question of the identity of Jñānavajra, which can be inferred from his LAS commentary and his relation to Jñānaśrībhadra. Jñānavajra was a commentator on the LAS who came from India. Jñānavajra’s commentary contains quotations from Jñānaśrībhadra’s commentary. For example:

Furthermore, since the learned Ācarya Jñānaśrībhadra has stated the connectedness of this very sutra, do not doubt (this).

This quote serves as an evidence that Jñānavajra wrote his work after Jñānaśrībhadra. There is not, however, any information about his date of birth. Based on my previous assumption in the second section, namely that Jñānaśrībhadra probably lived between 1020 and 1080, I conclude that Jñānavajra’s date of birth or the period in which he lived was during the late eleventh and the early twelfth century, or 1050~1110.

Despite the lack of biographical data, we can assume that Jñānavajra belongs to the Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school’s philosophical lineage. Especially, he belongs to the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school since he relies heavily on Kamalaśīla’s ideas. When Jñānavajra explains the argument of one and many in his work, he states that it is said like what was taught from the master Kamalaśīla. In addition, in his commentary, he applies the probative syllogism (*svatantra hetu) to his argument:

Therefore, if by means of a probative syllogism (*svatantra hetu), the cessation [of a belief in things] is made understood for oneself or others, in this case, the subject is the subject when it appears commonly to the opponent and proponent for denying the external object such as form etc. The mere appearance established by the valid cognition of the direct perception etc. is liberated the fault of it being a non-established subject.

Hadano has also observed:

The Tathāgatahṛdayālaṃkāra corresponds completely to the Tibetan translation of the Āryalaṅkāvatārasūtra (Toh. 107), and it takes the standpoint that the myriad pure and defiled dharmas are all manifestations of mind (citta), that they are not different to mind, and that they are mind-itself, in other words, the standpoint of the Rnam par rig pa tsam gyi dbu ma (vijñapti-mātrika-mādhyamika) which considers saṃvṛtti and paramārtha as two sides of the same coin, and discards duality.

Let us examine the term rnam par rig pa tsam gyi dbu ma (vijñapti-mātrika-mādhyamika) in the above quotation. In Jñānavajra’s first chapter, as mentioned above, he refers to himself as one who practices ‘cognitive centrism’ (rnam rig dbu ma, vijñaptimadhyama), thereby revealing his philosophical identity with the notion of mind-only. Ruegg and Kajiyama reveal that throughout the history of Indian Buddhism, to date, the word *vijñaptimadhyama appears only in Ratnākaraśānti’s works. Ratnākaraśānti, in the eleventh century, wrote several Buddhist commentaries from the perspective of *vijñaptimadhyama. In later Indian Buddhism, the above word is considered to be an epithet for the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school.

Even though Jñānavajra utilizes the term rnam rig dbu ma, he does not entirely follow Ratnākaraśānti’s idea. This is because in the beginning of his commentary he mentions his opponents:

So, also to say that those who claim specifically the color-form aggregates that derived from elements, the essence of the external (world) and those who speck of the mere cognition is false deal with what does not exist, is not correct; (this) will be shown below.

In fact, Ruegg indicates that Ratnākaraśānti is considered to hold the Alīkākāravada position. Although it is not clear that Jñānavajra held the Sākāravada position only from the above quotation, it can be assumed that he rejected the Alīkākāravada position in his work. Thus, I believe that he definitely follows the lineage of Kamalaśīla because he relies on Kamalaśīla’s Madhyamakāloka, and also he is one among the *vijñaptimadhyama‘s philosophers of late eleventh and early twelfth century Indian Buddhism.

Due to insufficient biographical materials, Jñānavajra’s nationality has been a subject of some dispute. It seems strange that Tāranātha would include Jñānavajra’a name in his History of Indian Buddhism because Tāranātha considers Jñānavajra to have been Chinese. This is based on the colophon on Jñānavajra’s commentary. However, based on Jñānavajra’s work, Hadano does not consider him to be Chinese. Interestingly, according to K. Mimaki’s research on Tibetan Grub mtha’ literature, the term, rnam par shes pa dbu ma, which we meet with in Jñānavajra’s work, cannot be found in either the early period or the later period of Tibetan Buddhism. Instead, Tibetan Buddhists prefer Mdo sde pa’i dbu ma and Rnal ‘byor spyod pa’i dbu ma to classify the Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school. Consequently, I assume that, unlike Mdo sde pa’i dbu ma and Rnal ‘byor spyod pa’i dbu ma, the word vijñaptimadhyama was created by later Indian Buddhists. Thus, Jñānavajra was neither Chinese nor Tibetan, but Indian.

Now, I will present three factors that are given as proof that Jñānavajra is not of Chinese origin. First, interspersed throughout the history of Chinese Buddhism, there are fifteen official commentaries on the LAS. Due to the tradition of Chinese Buddhism, most Chinese commentaries written on this sutra were based on the four-volume version of the LAS. Both Hadano and Yamaguchi note that the basic text of Jñānaśrībhadra’s and Jñānavajra’s commentaries on the LAS are the seven-volume-version of the LAS, which was translated into Chinese in 704 A.D. and into Tibetan during the first half of the ninth century. This means that Jñānavajra followed the Indian tradition as did Jñānaśrībhadra.

Secondly, as mentioned before, Jñānavajra is certainly one of the later Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Mādhyamikas of the twelfth century. In later Indian Buddhism, from the eighth to the twelfth centuries, the tradition of the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school held a strong position. Ruegg mentions that this school is not known to have been influential in China. This is further clarified by the famous Bsam yas debate in Tibet. This debate, held in the late eighth century, was between the Chan tradition of Chinese Buddhism and the tradition of the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school of Indian Buddhism. If Jñānavajra had been Chinese, it would have been impossible for him to have adhered to Kamalaśīla’s Indian Buddhist position.

Finally, in the twelfth century, the Chinese had already created their own style of Chinese Buddhism and subsequently developed methods which were based on practice rather than the scholastic study of Buddhism. According to Takasaki, there are several twelfth-century Chinese Buddhist commentaries on the LAS written by Chan masters. Compared to the earlier works on the LAS from the Tang dynasty, which remain fragmentary, the later Chinese commentaries on the LAS lack sophisticated scholastic qualities. Jñānavajra’s commentary, on the other hand, is a highly academic work. His commentary does not belong to the twelfth-century Chinese Buddhist tradition.

IV. Conclusion

Although biographical data for the two Indian commentators is insufficient, their identities can be determined by investigating not only their connections with other Indian and Tibetan Buddhists during the tenth and eleventh centuries, but also through the contents of their own commentaries on the LAS. As a result of my investigation, certain aspects of their biographical information have been clarified.

In Jñānaśrībhadra’s case, his date of birth has been approximated by comparing details of his life and works with those of other Indian Buddhist logicians. The main Indian Buddhist logicians are the late tenth and mid-eleventh centuries scholars, Ratnākaraśānti, Jñānaśrīmitra, and Ratnakīrti from the Vikramaśīla monastery, and, in addition the late eleventh century Tibetan Buddhist scholars, Rngog Lo tsā ba and Nyi ma grags, who studied in Kashmir. After making these comparisons, I have come to the conclusion that his date of birth was probably between 1020 and 1080, and that his time of life in Kashmir occurred between the former group of Indian Buddhist logicians in the Vikramaśīla monastery and the latter group of Tibetan Buddhists in Kashmir.

Moreover, I believe that he was educated under Sajjana and other Buddhist teachers in Kashmir, and that his basic philosophical viewpoint is based on both the works of Dharmakīrti and Maitreyanātha. And we know that Jñānaśrībhadra’s educational background is similar to Rngog Lo tsā ba’s educational background in Kashimir. Even though Jñānaśrībhadra’s translations of Dharmakīrti’s works seem to have been influenced by the “Old Epistemology” school, originally established by Rma Lo tsā ba, Jñānaśrībhadra’s educational lineage is also connected to the “New Epistemology” school in Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Rngog Lo tsā ba.

On the other hand, due to a lack of biographical detail pertaining to Jñānavajra, I investigated his date of birth in relation to Jñānaśrībhadra’s chronology and the contents of his commentary on the LAS. As a result of my investigation, I have concluded that Jñānavajra’s birth date was later than Jñānaśrībhadra’s. The reason is that, in his commentary on the LAS, there are a few quotations from Jñānaśrībhadra. Consequently, I assume that Jñānavajra’s time of life is in the twelfth century. In addition, Jñānavajra defines himself as a Vijñapti-Mādhyamika, a word established by Ratnākaraśānti in eleventh-century Indian Buddhism. From the early stage of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhists classified the Indian Buddhist school utilizing their own criteria. The word, vijñaptimadhyamaka preferred by Indian Buddhists, however, does not appear in the early period or the late period of Tibetan Grub mtha’ literature. Instead, Mdo sde pa’i dbu ma (Sautrāntika-Madhyamaka) and Rnal ‘byor spyod pa’i dbu ma (Yogācāra-Madhyamaka) are the preferred words. It is understood that the Vijñapti-Mādhyamika was classified by later Indian Buddhists. Therefore, even though his date of birth and life active are uncertain, Jñānavajra was born later than Ratnākaraśānti and Jñānaśrībhadra. On this basis, I conclude that Jñānavajra lived between 1050~1110 and that he was a later Indian Buddhist who belonged to the Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school.

Subsequently, the doubt concerning Jñānavajra’s possible Chinese origin is resolved from the fact that he belonged to the Vijñapti-Madhyamaka school of the twelfth century. This is because this school was not only an influence on Chinese Buddhism, but also twelfth century Chinese Buddhism lacked high scholarship in its Chinese commentaries on the LAS. I propose, however, that Jñānavajra’s work, Tathāgatahṛdayālaṃkāra (Toh. 4019), is discussed in the doctrine of mind-only by contrasting the positions of both Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools. Jñānavajra also mentions various different branches of his own Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school, which were developed in later Indian Buddhism.

Key word – Jñānaśrībhadra Jñānavajra H. Hadano

Rngog Lo tsā ba Blo lden ses rab Laṅkāvatārasūtra(楞伽經)

Yogācāra-Svātantrika-Madhyamaka school(유가행중관학파)

Yogācāra school(유식학파) Āryalaṅkāvatāravṛtti(聖楞伽釋)

Tathāgatahṛdayālaṃkāra(如來心莊嚴)

tshad ma rnying ma(古因明)

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Korean History: A Bibliography : Religion and Philosophy: Buddhism

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An, Pyong-jik. “Han Yong-un’s Liberalism: An Analysis of the ‘Reformation of Korean Buddhism.'” Korea Journal 19:12 (December 1979): 13-18.


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Bernen, Rebecca. “Sosan Taesa: Reviver of the Korean Zen Tradition.” Stone Lion Review 4 (Fall 1979): 17-25.


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Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Chinul’s Systematization of Chinese Meditative Techniques in Korean Son Buddhism.” In Peter N. Gregory, ed. Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.


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Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Did Wonhyo Write Two Versions of His Kumgang Sammaegyong-Ron (Exposition of The Book of Adamantine Adoption)?: An Issue in Korean Buddhist Textual History.” In Hangukhak ui kwaje wa chonmang: Che-5 hoe kukche haksul hoeui segye Hangukhak taehoe nonmunjip II (Yesul – sasang – sahoe p’yon): Korean Studies, Its Tasks and Perspectives II: Papers of the 5th International Conference on Korean Studies. Songnam: Hanguk chongshin munhwa yonguwon, 1988.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Ch’an Hermeneutics: A Korean View.” In Daniel S. Lopez, Jr., ed. Buddhist Hermeneutics. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1988.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Chinul’s Ambivalent Critique of Radical Subitism.” Pojo sasang 2 (1988): 45-70.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. The Formation of Ch’an Ideology in China and Korea: The Vajrasamadhi-Sutra, A Buddhist Apocryphon. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Chinul’s Ambivalent Critique of Radical Subitism in Korean Son.” The Journal of The International Association of Buddhist Studies 12:2 (1989): 20-44.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Haein-sa: The Monastery of the Dharma Jewel.” Korean Culture 10:1 (Spring 1989): 12-21.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Songgwang-sa: The Monastery of the Sangha Jewel.” Korean Culture 10:3 (Fall 1989): 14-22.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Chinul’s Alternative Vision of Kanhwa Son and Its Implications for Sudden Awakening/Gradual Cultivation.” Pojo sasang 4 (1990): 423-447.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “The Pilgrimages of Hyangbong: Memoirs and Poems of the Kumgang Mountains.” Korean Culture 11:4 (Winter 1990): 18-23.


Buswell, Robert E., Jr. Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1992.


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Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Buddhist Reform Movements in Korea During the Japanese Colonial Period: Precepts and the Challenge of Modernity.” In Charles Wei-hsun Fu and Sandra A. Wawrytko, eds. Buddhist Behavioral Codes and the Modern World: An International Symposium. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.


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Buswell, Robert E., Jr. “Imagining ‘Korean Buddhism’: The Invention of a National Religious Tradition.” In Hyung Il Pai and Timothy R. Tangherlini, eds. Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity. Berkeley: Center for Korean Studies, Institute of East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998.


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Chung, Bong-kil. “Won Buddhism: A Synthesis of the Moral Systems of Confucianism and Buddhism.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 15:4 (December 1988): 425-488.


Chung, Bong-kil. “The Position of Won Buddhism in the Cultural History of Korea.” (Wongwang taehakkyo chonggyo munje yonguso) Hanguk chonggyo 13 (1988:9): 75-93.


Chung, Bong-kil. The Scriptures of Won Buddhism: A Translation of Wonbulgyo kyojon with Introduction. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002.


Chung, Sae Hyang. “The Silla Priests Uisang and Wonhyo.” Korean Culture 3:4 (December 1982): 36-43.


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Covell, Jon Carter. “Manhae as Buddhist Philosopher-Theoretician.” Asian and Pacific Quarterly of Cultural and Social Affairs 12:3 (Winter 1980): 1-7.


Cozin, Mark. “Won Buddhism: The Origin and Growth of a New Korean Religion.” In Laurel Kendall and Griffin Dix, eds. Religion and Ritual in Korean Society. Berkeley: Center for Korean Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1987.


Evon, Gregory Nicholas. “Contestations over Korean Buddhist Identities: The ‘Introduction’ to the Kyongho-jip.” The Review of Korean Studies 4:1 (June 2001): 11-33.


Faure, Bernard. “Random Thoughts: Wonhyo’s ‘Life’ as Thought.” Pulgyo yongu 11-12 (1995): 197-224.


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Girndt, Helmut. “Platonic Thinking in the Light of Chinul’s Reflections on Son.” In Hangukhak ui kwaje wa chonmang: Che-5 hoe kukche haksul hoeui segye Hangukhak taehoe nonmunjip II (Yesul – sasang – sahoe p’yon): Korean Studies, Its Tasks and Perspectives II: Papers of the 5th International Conference on Korean Studies. Songnam: Hanguk chongshin munhwa yonguwon, 1988.


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Kim, Sang Yil. “Wonchuk’s Transformation of Yogacara Buddhism: A Process View.” In Towon Yu Sung-guk paksa hwagap kinyom nonmunjip kanhaeng wiwonhoe, ed. Tongbang sasang nongo. Seoul: Chongno sojok ch’ulp’an chusok hoesa, 1983.


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Kim, Seung Chul. “Bodhisattva and Practice-Oriented Pluralism: A Study on the Zen Thought of Yong Woon Han and Its Significance for the Dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism.” Buddhist-Christian Studies 18 (1998): 191-205.


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Copyright 2004 Kenneth R. Robinson & The Center for Korean Studies. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission of the author.

Was Jesus a Buddhist?

James M. Hanson.
Buddhist-Christian Studies, Annual 2005 v25 p75(15)

Was Jesus a Buddhist? Certainly he was many things–Jew, prophet, healer, moralist, revolutionary, by his own admission the Messiah, and for most Christians the Son of God and redeemer of their sins. And there is convincing evidence that he was also a Buddhist. The evidence follows two independent lines–the first is historical, and the second is textual. Historical evidence indicates that Jesus was well acquainted with Buddhism. If Jesus did not go to India, then at least India went to Judea and Jesus. The real historical question is not if he studied Buddhism, but where and how much he studied Buddhism, especially during his so-called "lost years."

Historical accounts aside, many textual analyses indicate striking similarities between what was said by Jesus and by Buddha and between the prophetic legend of Jesus and ancient Buddhist texts. The conclusion is that, although not identifying himself as a Buddhist for good reasons, Jesus spoke like a Buddhist. The similarities are so striking that, even if no historical evidence existed, we can suspect that Jesus studied Buddhist teachings and that the prophecy and legend of Jesus was derived from Buddhist stories.

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF BUDDHISM IN JUDEA

Historical evidence indicates that Jesus knew about Buddhism, simply because both he and it were in Judea during the same time. Other evidence, while perhaps apocryphal, indicates that he spent most of his so-called lost years outside Judea, possibly in Kashmir to study Buddhism exclusively.

I owe thanks to the barbed but benign comments of my friend, Dale Bengtson.

Regarding Buddhism in Judea, Jesus did not live in a pastoral, ethnically isolated place and time. On the contrary, non-Jewish political and cultural influences permeated Judea, which was an important shipping center for trade between India and the West and the military gateway to invade Egypt via land. Both land and sea trade routes had run through Jerusalem for centuries. Overland routes extending to Persia and western India were especially active after Alexander’s invasion of western India 360 years earlier; most of the routes, whether connecting to wealthy cities in Egypt or in Greece and Rome, came through Jerusalem, where goods for Greece and Rome were shipped via the Mediterranean Sea. Sea routes from Bombay and the mouth of the Indus River went through the Persian and Red Gulfs, the distance between the mouths of the Indus and Tigris and Euphrates rivers being only about three hundred miles; much of the trade came up the Gulf of Aquaba and overland up to Jerusalem (actually nearby Jappa) as the shipping point to the Mediterranean.

During Jesus’ time, Judea was a Roman dominion and most of the trade was Roman. Being the wealthiest empire of the time, Rome sent tons of gold-minted sesterces eastward for goods from India and other places. Most of this trade came over the Mediterranean and through Judea, making Jerusalem a cosmopolitan shipping center. Because of trade alone, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism were well known to the people in Judea. News from other lands was naturally of great interest. Most traders provided detailed accounts of the events of cities and states along their routes, often in the form of eloquent verse. Easterners in Judea were as anxious to hear news as were Jews in Persia or western India.
In addition to trade, Zoroastrians and Buddhists settled in northern Arabia, including Judea, which was only two hundred miles from Mesopotamia. The story of Jesus’ birth attracting the three Magi priests, if true, demonstrated close ties with Zoroastrians. Settlements occurred especially during Alexander’s invasion of the East after 330 BCE. This included Jews who welcomed Alexander’s overthrow of Egyptian rule and who joined Alexander’s army. Many settled along the invasion route through Persia and what is now Afghanistan and Kashmir/Punjab, a practice encouraged by Alexander to maintain his empire. About 360 years later, Jesus dispatched Thomas, perhaps his closest and most loyal apostle, to practice Christianity in India. The descendants of these Jews continue today to reside in Kashmir or Punjab.

Were Buddhists really in Judea, as Jews were in India? In Jesus’ time Buddhism was already five hundred years old and had spread from India, east to southeast Asia, north to central Asia, and west to the Middle East. The overland route westward was through what is now Afghanistan, northern Persia, and the area of Baghdad, then forked east to Palestine and Egypt or the northeast and lesser-traveled route through Syria, Turkey, and Greece. After Alexander’s eastern conquests, the great India ruler Ashoka, according to Will Durant’s account, "sent Buddhist missionaries to all parts of India and Ceylon, even to Syria, Egypt and Greece, where, perhaps, they helped prepare for the ethics of Christ." (1) Furthermore, Max Muller stated that missionaries also were sent more than thirty years prior to Ashoka’s reign: "That remarkable missionary movement, beginning in 300 BCE, sent forth a succession of devoted men who spent their lives in spreading the faith of the Buddha over all parts of Asia." (2) Philo noted the presence of Buddhists in Alexandria, Egypt. (3)

The link between Buddhism and Jesus appears to be primarily the Essenes, perhaps also the Mandeans, Mithraites, and probably other sects generally known as Gnostics. While the members of these splinter groups were Jews, they rejected the worldly, rationalist, optimistic faith of Jewish mainline thinking in the Torah or Old Testament. Their beliefs were ascetic, millenarian, otherworldly, and about a god beyond reason and ordinary intelligence, as expressed by John the Baptist and partly by his protege, Jesus. Malamed discusses these differences and concludes, "Numerous scholars long ago discovered Buddhistic elements in the Gospel of John and also recognized the Buddhistic background of Essenism, by which Jesus was greatly influenced. The conclusion is inescapable that Palestine, together with many other parts of Asia Minor, was inundated with Buddhistic propaganda for two centuries before Christ." (4) A similar historical account of that time is provided by Rosser: "Records from Alexander indicate a steady stream of Buddhist monks and philosophers who, living in that area, which was at the crossroads of commerce and ideas, influenced the philosophical currents of the time. There are strong similarities between Buddhist monastic teachings and Jewish ascetic sects, such as the Essenes, that were part of the spiritual environment of Palestine at the time of Christ’s birth." (5)

Derrida provides a contemporary account of the radical break between Jesus and Jewish tradition, echoing the ancient themes stressed by the Gnostics in the apocrypha. First, Jesus bypassed traditional temple and doctrine by referring to the spirit as existing within the soul or conscience of the individual. Second, Jesus stressed virtue over justice and warned explicitly against the Old Testament admonishment of an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth (Matthew 5:38-39) and against striking back at one’s enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). Third, Jesus stated that the giving of alms and performing other good deeds was to be done privately if not secretly to obtain the favor of God (Matthew 6:1-4). (6)
Historians know little about the origins of the Essenes. Philo, Pliny, and Josephus mentioned them to have existed about 150 years before Jesus, which is shortly after the time Ashoka’s Buddhist emissaries arrived from India. The name "Essene" appears to have Indic origins. Serrano explains, "The word ‘Essene’ could have evolved from the foreign pronunciation of the Indian word ‘Eeshani.’ Eeshan is Shiva (the Hindu God) and Eeshani is one who adores Eeshan or Shiva." (7)

Mithraism is undoubtedly Indian in origin, Mithras being a deity in several Hindu Vedas. Mithras grew in importance in Persia, being associated with the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda, who was well known in Judea. Mithraism became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire during the second and third centuries and influenced many of the rewritings of Christian doctrines of the time.

Given all of these East-West trade and settlement patterns, Jesus certainly was exposed to Buddhism. Jesus would have known about Zoroastrianism and Buddhism as a teenager. The Bible refers to Jesus and his family visiting Jerusalem during annual Passover celebrations. Luke (2:47) has the twelve-year-old Jesus in a Jerusalem temple talking to a group of doctors: "All those who heard him were in amazement." Clearly, the young Jesus was engaged in the ideas and issues of his day, which would have included Buddhism.

The extent of Jesus’ exposure to Buddhism depends on just where he was during his lost years. If Jesus lived his life only in Judea, then his exposure was minimal. If he traveled outside Judea, especially to Mesopotamia, then his exposure to Buddhist-influenced groups was increased.
The Bible makes no mention of where the young Jesus lived. In Matthew (2:23) and Mark (1:23), Jesus is called a "Nazarene" and in other documents a "Nazoraean." But the town of Nazarene was not mentioned in the Bible-related texts until some four hundred years CE. Nazarene probably refers to another Jewish sect, also known as the "Nazirites," involving John the Baptist and Jesus’ brother James. In Acts 24:5, Paul is referred to as "the leader of the sect of Nazarenes." (8)

Nonbiblical historical accounts indicate that Jesus traveled outside Judea. Old Muslim records refer to Jesus as the "traveling prophet" and as the "chief of travelers." Another states, "Jesus was named the ‘Messiah,’ because he wandered about, and because he did not stay in one place." (9) The more Jesus traveled about, the more he would have encountered Buddhist ideas.

The Bible provides no account of Jesus’ lost years between ages thirteen and twenty-nine. If Jesus was lost, where was he? Luke 2:40 only generalizes: "And the child grew and waxed strong, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." In the last recorded account of Jesus as a twelve-year-old, Luke 2:51 says that Jesus left Jerusalem with his parents "and lived there in subjection to them … and so Jesus advanced in wisdom with the years." But this does not square with Luke’s own account of the twelve-year-old Jesus engaging the doctors of Jerusalem. Indeed, this account introduces contrary dimension, which is that even then Jesus had his calling clearly in mind regardless of his parents’ concerns. Luke 2:49 quotes Jesus’ curt reply to his mother, who was worried about his whereabouts for three days: "Could you not tell that I must be in a place [the temple] which belongs to my father?" This cannot be the same youth who supposedly lived "in subjection" to his parents and whiled his time away as a carpenter.

Jesus certainly studied and preached during his lost years. There is no reason for Jesus to have stopped preaching, especially when as a twelve-year-old he told his mother of his commitment. This almost certainly means that he traveled and evangelized elsewhere, as nonbiblical evidence indicates. Being one of the greatest moral prophets to ever bless humankind, he would not have spent his formative years contented to be a carpenter in his boyhood community, which would have nullified everything about his prophecy as the Messiah, his anointed birth, and his prodigious childhood. For Jesus, this had to be a period of intensive study and contemplation that was guided by some unusual teachers, and probably of evangelizing as well.

On the point of Jesus being away from Judea during his lost years, there is one suggestive incident in the Bible. When Jesus suddenly emerged from his lost years for his baptism as a twenty-nine-year-old by John the Baptist, the people were amazed to hear him speak. According to Mark 6:2-3 they asked, "How did he come by all this? What is the meaning of this wisdom that has been given him, and of all these wonderful works that are done by his hands? Is this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" This clearly indicates that they had never heard Jesus speak in this manner before. The last question could be interpreted to mean that they did not know how a mere carpenter could speak this way, which suggests he undertook intensive study, and/or that they simply did not recognize him because of a long absence.

HISTORIC EVIDENCE OF JESUS IN INDIA

Most accounts of Jesus in India derive from a book titled The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, written by Nicholas Notovitch, a Russian doctor who claimed to visit the monastery of Himmis near Leh, Ladakh (Kashmir) in 1888. (10) Notovitch said that, in visiting the monastery, he reviewed written verses that described the presence there of Jesus known as "Issa." Other passages elaborate on Jesus’ travels in India, his teachings, his acceptance of the Shudras and other untouchables, and his conflicts with the Brahmans and the Zoroastrian priests of Persia. Jesus supposedly arrived in India at the age of fourteen and returned to Judea at the age of twenty-nine. (11)

When appearing in 1894, Notovitch’s account became immediately and widely controversial. Christian churches denounced it as a hoax. The British Church Mission in India employed a professor to find and bury the documents described by Notovitch. The Anglican Church commissioned the services of F. Max Muller, the great German scholar who taught at Oxford. Muller dismissed it, largely by challenging the two main sources, namely a book of fourteen chapters and another document titled Nath Namavali preserved by the Saddhus of Yoga Nath. Muller also cited an interview of the Himmis monastery’s abbot who insisted that no documents about Jesus existed and that Notovitch never visited there. (12)

By the mid-nineteenth century, as the first translations of the Indian Vedas became published, Europeans took a great interest in the possible historic connections between Indic and European peoples, which was indicated by the movement of socalled Aryan populations beginning about 2000 bc and their occupation of northern India in 1500 BCE. Most European languages originated at least partly from Sanskrit, which the Aryans probably already found in India (due to the earlier Harappa or Saraswati civilization) and then developed and disseminated the language. A particular question was whether the Aryan populations included Semitic groups who later settled Judea and Egypt as the tribes of Israel.

Twenty-five years prior to Notovitch’s expedition Muller had written, "Between the language of the Buddha and his disciples, and the language of Christ and his apostles, there are strange coincidences. Even some Buddhist legends and parables sound as if taken from the New Testament, though we know that many of them existed before the beginning of the Christian era." (13) Muller then was joined by other scholars. De Bunsen stated: "The most ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha which correspond in a remarkable manner, and impossibly by mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels about the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ." (14) Doane wrote, "The history of Jesus of Nazareth, as related in the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations." (15)

Was Notovitch a fraud who took advantage of the current interest? Certainly he had a following of many frauds or fools. One was the Muslim Ahmadiyya movement founded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed that Jesus also escaped death on the cross and returned to India. Another was Levi Dowling, writer of The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, first published in 1911 and still read today by New Age Aquarians. Dowling derived his account of Jesus in India obviously from Notovitch, although he claimed to have derived his knowledge from the so-called "Akashic Records," which are the unwritten thoughts existing within the universe that can be accessed by psychics such as himself. (16)

Notovitch’s most credible supporter probably is Fida Hassnain, a retired Buddhist scholar from University of Srinagar, director of state archeology, and past head of the Kashmir Library and Archives. In a book written with Dahan Levi titled The Fifth Gospel, Hassnain restates most of the information provided by Notovitch: Jesus left Judea when he was thirteen. Traveling most of the way with merchants, he made his way via Damascus, Babylon, and Kharax to Persia and eventually to Kashmir to study and lecture. Jesus remained in India for about sixteen years; he studied Buddhism, the Vedas, and other Indic writing mostly in Kashmir, but he also lectured and traveled throughout India. At the age of twenty-nine he left India and eventually reappeared in Judea to begin his ministry. His time in Kashmir coincides exactly with his "lost years" in the gospels.

Hassnain cites other Asian sources that mention Jesus being in India. These include the following.
1. A Chinese text preserved in Tibetan called the "Glass Mirror" mentions Yesu, who was "a teacher and founder of the religion who was born miraculously, proclaimed himself the Savior of the World," and who followed Buddhist principles.
2. Twenty-one Muslim historical chronicles in Arabic refer to Issa (known as Yuz Asaph or various derivatives of this name).
3. The Persian Kamal u-Din by Said-us-Saddiq mentions Jesus in the late ninth century.
4. The Kashmiri Hindu text "Bhavishya Maha Purana" speaks about king Shalivahana (circa ad 80) meeting a foreigner calling himself Ishvara Putaram (Son of God). (17)

Buddhist records usually refer to Jesus as Issa-Masih, and Muslims use the name Yusu-Masih or some variant. One record of Jesus’ sermons in Kashmir is in Bhavishya- maha-purana, written by Sutta in 115 CE. (18) Another record of Jesus’ sermons in Kashmir was Tarikh-I-Kashmir, written later by the Muslim Mulla Nadri, who identified Jesus as Yuz-Asaph. (19) A Muslim record was Al-Shaikh Al-Said-us-Sadiq; Ikmal-ud-Din. (20) Another was the history of Kashmir written by Kalhana circa 1148 CE, which referred to Jesus as Isana, "the great guru" who impressed the king, Samdhi-mati. (21) A Persian account of Jesus in India is written around 900 CE by Al Shaikh Said-us-Sidiz and titled Mamal-Ud-Din. (22) Finally, the Apocalypse of Peter refers to Jesus sitting at one of the ten pillars erected in India by Ashoka: "As the Savior was sitting in the temple in the three hundredth (year) of the covenant and the agreement of the tenth pillar." (23) A passage in Song of the Yogi sung by Natha Yogas reads: "My friend Ishai has gone towards Arabia." A verse in the Puranas reads: "Having found the sacred image of Eeshai [God] in my heart, my name will be established as on the earth as Eesah Mashi [the Messiah]." (24)

Beside Hassnain, another respected supporter of Notovitch’s find is Nicholas Roerich, a world-renowned painter and choreographer and founder of the Roerich Pact, an international agreement that started in 1935 and continues today that preserves historical art. In his autobiographical account of his time in India during 1923-1928, Roerich cites numerous conversations about the legend of Issa with people in Kashmir and Tibet who knew nothing of Notovitch’s claims. (25) He states, "Still many other legends and manuscripts related of Issa in Asia," but he cites no particular manuscripts.

After accounts by Roerich, another persuasive rebuttal was written by Edgar J. Goodspeed. (26) One problem is that several of the sources that put Jesus in Kashmir during his lost years also put him there after his attempted crucifixion. The best known is the so-called Gospel of Thomas, which was written by Leucius at the beginning of the second century supposedly based on letters written by the apostle Thomas, who was a missionary in Taxila in the Punjab, letters that state that Jesus was there at the age of forty-nine. This and similar accounts are presented in books by Hassnain and Levi, Ahmad, and Faber. (27) Jesus was thought to have escaped death on the cross, recuperated, and fled to Kashmir to continue his practice. To this day, pilgrims and tourists alike go to the Rozaball section of Srinagar, India to visit the tomb that claims to contain the remains of Yousa-Asaf, the Muslim name for Jesus Christ. (28)

This post-crucifixion argument differs from the "lost years" argument. It has Jesus surviving a Roman persecution, leaving India for no obvious reason, living for more than one hundred years, and so on, and it contradicts numerous sources and testimonies that Jesus did die on the cross. The argument that Jesus went to India as a young man encounters none of these difficulties and contradicts nothing except vague references, and it in fact explains the otherwise unexplained biblical silence about Jesus’ lost years. The critics, of course, are happy to merge the two arguments and use the latter to discredit the former argument.

However, the main problem with Jesus being in India is that its chief source, Notovitch, probably was a fraud. As already stated, the abbot of the Himmis monastery, when later interviewed by J. Archibald Douglas, denied that Notovitch ever visited the monastery. Pali was never used in that area, although Notovitch says this was the language translated for him into French. Himmis had been visited previously by other Westerners who never heard mention of Issa. Jesus’ presence in India is not mentioned in any of the established sutras. (29) And most importantly, the sources cited by Hassnain and other supporters are all dated well after Jesus’ life. Almost certainly, Jesus traveled beyond Judea, but probably not to Kashmir.

TEXTUAL EVIDENCE OF JESUS IN KASHMIR

Setting aside the historical evidence, the textual evidence is convincing by itself alone. Most of what Jesus said, which, if even confined to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, was said five hundred years earlier by Buddha. Much of what Jesus did was done five hundred years earlier by Buddha. So, schooled as a Buddhist, Jesus spoke and acted like a Buddhist. Jesus was the most important source for the biblical accounts of his life, which he gave to Peter and which Peter gave to Matthew and Luke.

Indeed, but for inevitable differences in translations, what Jesus said may have been identical with what he read and heard of Buddha and Veda texts. The languages of Pali (which Buddha spoke) or Sanskrit (found in most Buddhist documents) had to be translated first into Greek or Coptic, then into Jesus’ native Hebrew or Aramaic. More translation is involved with the writing and rewriting of texts after Jesus, including the final English translation in the King James version of the Bible. Considering these discrepancies in translation, many of Jesus’ statements could have been identical with their Buddhist sources.
The accounts commonly known about both Jesus and Buddha are numerous, as indicated below.

* Born as an incarnate god.
* Born from a virgin mother.
* Birth claimed as a divine event and prophesied as the same.
* Birth attended by singing angels.
* Birth attended by wise men bearing gifts.
* Prodigious childhood.
* As a child astounded teachers with knowledge.
* Fasted in the wilderness for forty days.
* Tempted while alone by the devil.
* Resisted the devil successfully.
* After the devil left, supernatural events occurred.
* Were vegetarians (fish excepted).
* Began ministry at thirty years of age.
* Attract large following mostly from lower classes.
* Attracted disciples who traveled with him.
* Attracted one disciple who was treacherous.
* Changed disciples’ names.
* Encouraged celibacy for their disciples.
* Consecrated in a holy river.
* Itinerant ministry instead of at a fixed place.
* Performed miracles such as curing blindness.
* Renounced worldly riches and required the same of their disciples.
* Ministered to outcasts.
* Advocated universal love and peace.
* Taught mostly through use of parables.
* Triumphal entries (in Jerusalem and Rajagripa).
* Gave major sermon from a mound.
* Disregarded by the dominant religious elite (Pharisees and Brahmans).
* Just before death dispatched disciples to preach in other areas.
* Death accompanied by supernatural event.

Both Jesus and Buddha issued moral commandments that prohibited killing, stealing, adultery, false witness, and coveting. Both emphasized the same moral themes: advocate peace, not war; avoid the corruption of wealth; help the poor; abolish slavery and caste systems; abandon self and selfishness; and love your neighbor, even your enemy. Many statements by Jesus resembled those by Buddha, as presented below.

JESUS: "A foolish man, which built his house on sand."
BUDDHA: "Perishable is a city built on sand." (30)
JESUS: "Therefore confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed."
BUDDHA: "Confess before the world the sins you have committed." (31)
JESUS: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the foregiveness of sins."
BUDDHA: "Let all sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered." (32)
JESUS: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
BUDDHA: "Consider others as yourself." (33)
JESUS: "If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also."
BUDDHA: "If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon all desires and utter no evil words." (34)
JESUS: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
BUDDHA: "Hatreds do not cease in this world by hating, but by love: this is an eternal truth. Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good." (35)
JESUS: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
BUDDHA: "Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world." (36)
JESUS: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her."
BUDDHA: "Do not look at the faults of others or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have done and have not done." (37)
JESUS: "You father in heaven makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."
BUDDHA: "The light of the sun and the moon illuminates the whole world, both him who does well and him who does ill, both him who stands high and him who stands low." (38)
JESUS: "If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
BUDDHA: "The avaricious do not go to heaven, the foolish do not extol charity. The wise one, however, rejoicing in charity, becomes thereby happy in the beyond." (39)

The Hebrew prophecy of the Messiah reflects ancient Indian legends. Jesus’ second coming to abolish evil corresponds with the legend of Krishna, who will return and save the world from evil and the destructive acts of Shiva. According to Serrano, "Three hundred years before the birth of Christ the story of Krishna had already been compiled in India, and had begun to influence the Essenes in the Middle East." (40) He outlines the parallel Krishna/Messiah legends: "Christ may have evolved from Krishna, the Hindu God-Avatar of Vishnu. Like Krishna, Christ was born of a virgin, and the idea of Mary’s virginity may have been adopted from the Oriental legend. Both Krishna and Christ were born under the tyrants Herod and Kansa who ordered the killing of all the children. Other similarities include each being born at midnight and common character traits. And when they died the heavens were full of signs of their passing." (41)

As Muller pointed out, the Hebrew name of "Messiah" appears to be etymologically derived from the Sanskrit word of "Maitreya," in having similar sounds and the same meaning of an anointed figure that is prophesied to appear on earth to save his people. (42) Just as Jews recognized the coming of a Messiah in Old Testament writings, Buddhists read the reappearance of Buddha as the Maitreya in many Sanskrit texts, often referred to him as the prophesied Bagwa Maitreva (white traveler). Both recognized Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Messiah/Maitreya prophecy. There is also the likely derivation of the Old Testament Hebrew name for Jesus as "Ruhullah" from the Buddhist name of "Rhaula" for a disciple of Buddha. (43) In addition, Ahmad notes that Jesus and Buddha were known through virtually identical titles:

Jesus calls himself the Light of his teachings, so Gautama has been named the Buddha, which in Sanskrit means Light. If Jesus had been    called the Master in the Gospels, so the Buddha has been called Sasta or the Master; if Jesus has been called Blessed in the Gospels, so the Buddha has been named Sugt, i.e., the Blessed. If Jesus had been called Prince, so has the Buddha been called Prince. Jesus has also been described by the Gospels as one who fulfills the object of his coming, so has the Buddha been called in Buddhistic scriptures Siddhartha, i.e., one who fulfills the object of his coming. Jesus also has been called by the Gospels the Refuge of the Tired, so has the Buddha in Buddhistic scriptures been called Asarn Sarn, i.e., the refuge of the refugeless. Jesus has also been called the Gospel’s King, though the interpreted it as King of the Kingdom of Heaven, so also Buddha has been called the King. (44)

Finally, most of rituals and monastic practices are the same, as observed of Lamaism (old term for Buddhism in northern India) by Christian missionaries as early as 1660: "Lamaism, with its shaven priests, its fells and rosaries, its images and holy water, its popes and bishops, its abbots and monks of many grades, its processions and feast days, its confessional and purgatory, and its worship of the double virgin, so strongly resembles Romanism that the first Catholic missionaries thought it must be an imitation by the devil of the religion of Christ." (45)
Clearly derived from the earlier Buddhist story was the story of the Seven Seals in Revelations, which was supposedly written by John the apostle shortly after Jesus’ death but perhaps by someone else within seventy years of Jesus’ death. The detail between the two stories is virtually identical. St. John weeps because he sees no one worthy to open the book and to break its seven seals, which can be done only by the Lamb slaughtered in sacrifice. In the Buddhist story The Perfection of Wisdom, a book also was sealed with seven seals and induced the ever-weeping Bodhisattva to sacrifice himself to become worthy. This parallel is remarkable not only for the similarities of the religious logic, but also for the fact that both books have seven seals. (46)

THE UNIVERSALIST EXPLANATION

The most accepted explanation for the textual similarities is the universalist, ecumenical, or humanist argument that the spiritual condition of humankind is basically the same. To wit, whether we follow Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Zarathustra, we all have the same three-pound brain, body and senses, the same emotions and needs and the same basic experiences of suffering, caring for others, fearing death, and looking to a higher being. The psychoreligious sameness is manifest in Sigmund Freud’s discontents of civilizations, Carl Jung’s archetypes, Joseph Campbell’s hero legend, and William James’s varieties of religious experience, to name but a few of many such sources.

Therefore, moralists of the standing of Jesus and Buddha are simply expressing the same human conditions and eternal truths. Borg acknowledges: "The correlations of these ancient texts are almost eerie…. Jesus’ and Buddha’s later teachings are as alike as their early biographies. Whether speaking of love, material wealth, temptation or salvation, they were two masters with one message." (47) Borg dismisses cultural borrowing or Jesus learning from Buddha: "The similarities are not of the kind to suggest cultural borrowing. They are not at the level of specific images or language. They are structural." (48) Christians and Buddhists have been anxious to find common ground. From the Christian side, Thomas Merton is most notable, with works such as Mystics and Zen Masters. The Buddhist side has been led by the Dalai Lama, The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus, and Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ.

There are two alternative treatments for these extraordinary textual parallels. The first is to deny that the parallelisms exist and/or claim they are coincidental. This is hard to maintain against the existence of so many parallel quotations and circumstances. The second explanation is the universalist argument that the ethics and laws of the human situation are the same; thus Jesus knew nothing of Buddhism but, like Buddha, understood the same universal truths and morals that are evident to all enlightened human beings. This can be secular or sacred. The secular version holds that human biological survival and/or psychological well-being depends on certain obvious laws and ethics regarding human rights and obligations. The sacred version is that both Buddha and Jesus were hearing the same God, either as sons of God or as unusually enlightened "students" of God.

Drawing on Jung’s cultural archetypes, Serrano states, "All of these stories seem part of a universal myth, and the legends of Osiris and Akhenaton, and those of the Christian Father and Son, and of Krishna and Adonis, have much in common…. The myth is always the same and revolves timelessly down through the ages." (49)

The problem with the universalist argument is that ethics and laws vary widely among cultures, at different times within given cultures, and by different spokespersons or subcultures within given cultures. Ethics and laws differ even within given Christian churches or denominations. Other than the belief that Jesus was the son of God, beliefs vary widely even within Christian churches and denominations, arguably more widely than between certain Christian denominations and Buddhism.

The parallelisms between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha are unique, not universalist. There are no such parallelisms between what Jesus taught and what was taught by Zoroaster, Tao, Confucius, or Plato and the ancient Greek philosophers.

BIBLICAL SILENCE

The biblical silence about Jesus’ lost years is one of the strangest hiatuses in history. It is a total silence about one of the greatest moralists in human history, covering seventeen years of Jesus’ life between the ages of twelve and twenty-nine. Indeed, except for his birth and a singular account of Jesus as a twelve-year old in Jerusalem, there is silence about all but the last three years of his life. Why? Why did not Jesus’ twelve disciples and his thousands of followers not comment on his life for twenty-nine of his thirty-two years?

Surely they did comment. Hundreds, even thousands, of accounts were written in the form of prayers, sermons, letters, or what became disparaged as the "apocrypha." By the second century CE, the church of Christ was destroying every piece of evidence of the life of Christ that did not support its doctrines, and the church continued its purging with more or less fervor throughout the succeeding centuries. The activity continued at the turn of the twentieth century when the very question of Jesus’ travels as a young man was raised first by Notovitch. Different church authorities destroyed documents at the Himmis Monastery and later documents at the Tun-huang caves in central Asia. (50)
At stake throughout the centuries was the critical church doctrine that Christ was a Jew who started his own religion as the Son of God. Any evidence not supporting this view was condemned as "apocrypha" and destroyed or rewritten. Even the four gospels were rewritten to provide the impression that Jesus never left Judea. An example is Luke’s reference to Jesus during the lost years. The original edition probably read: "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the desert, till the day of his showing in Judea." It now reads: "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him."

The church’s later concerns about Jesus’ Jewishness and holiness would have prevailed during his life and ministry. Jesus’ identity as a Jew, the Messiah, and Son of God was critical to his credibility as a leader and to the survival of his religious/political movement. The Jews who followed him exposed their lives and fortunes to the occupying Roman authorities that persecuted thousands and destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. To be followed, Jesus had to be seen as the Jewish Messiah prophesied in Jewish folklore, as Jesus himself emphasized repeatedly, not as some kind of Buddhist Maitreya. His travel and exposure to Buddhist ideas could not be acknowledged, nor could the records of Buddhist influence upon the Essenes and other sects in Judea before and during Jesus’ time. Hence the inexplicable lost years.

CONCLUSION

Was Jesus really a Buddhist? The answer is not yes or no, but rather to what extent Jesus was or was not a Buddhist. The historic evidence shows that Buddhism had spread throughout the area, from Mesopotamia to Egypt, which included Jerusalem as a trading center between East and West. Contrary to Rudyard Kipling’s colonialist belief that never the twain shall meet, East and West have shared the same history at least since Aryan populations began settling west and central Asia four thousand years ago, which are the ancestral stock shared by Jews and Hindus alike. East /West wars have been documented since at least the TrojanWar 3,200 years ago. Both Alexander and Ashoka brought East and West together in different ways, and the Silk Road was well established during the beginning of China’s Han dynasty at least a century before Christ.

The historic evidence of Jesus being in India is doubtful–Notovitch probably was a fraud. But no answers are found to the question of where Jesus was during his lost years. Certainly, he was no hometown carpenter, and he probably traveled extensively throughout Asia Minor, which increased his exposure to Buddhism. His travel is indicated by the many records found in India and even China and the keen interest demonstrated by Buddhists and other Easterners.

The textual evidence shows that Buddhism not only had spread West through Silk Road travelers and contacts between East and West from the conquests of Alexander, but also had been deliberately propagated through emissaries sent from India during the third century BC. This influence is revealed both by the actions and statements of Jesus and by the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, a term probably derived from Sanskrit.

The identities and parallels between the legends of Buddha and Jesus and between their deeds and statements require explanation. They are too close and too specific to be explained by a presumed set of universalist truths and ethics. If these truths and ethics are so universal and evident, then why is human history dominated by violence and ignorance? Why are the same identities not evident between Jesus and Mohammad, Jesus and Zarathustra, or Jesus and Lao Tzu?

When nineteenth-century missionaries translated and read ancient Sanskrit and Pali documents in India, they began to call Buddhism the Christianity of the East. But Buddhism came first, five hundred years before Christ. The more accurate dubbing is to call Christianity the Buddhism of the West.

ADDITIONAL READINGS
Deardorff, James. "A New Ecumenicalism Based upon Reexamination of the ‘Lost Years’ Evidence." 1994. http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/ecumensm.htm .
Donehoo, James De Quincey. The Apocryphal and Legendary Life of Christ. New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903.
Gale, Nur Tichard. "Isa ( Jesus) and Kashmir." N.d. http://www.mm2000.nu/sphinxjj.html ;.
Price, Robert M. "Jesus in Tibet: A Modern Myth." 2001. http://www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_Articles/Tibet/tibet.html ;.
Prophet, Mark, and Elizabeth Clare. Climb the Highest Mountain: The Everlasting Gospel. Los Angeles: Summit University Press, 1980.
The Reluctant Messenger. "The Lost Years of Jesus: The Life of Saint Issa." N.d. <http:// reluctant-messenger.com/issa.htm>, http://www.tsl.org/masters/jesus/front.htm;.
Sanderson, Jim. "Was Jesus a Buddhist?" 1998. http://jimvb.home.mindspring.com/ser19980ct11.htm ;.
Selarion, Robertina. "Appolinas of Tyana: The Monkey of Christ." 1999. <http://www.apollonius.net/issa.html ;.
Wright, William, ed. and trans. Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. Amsterdam: Philo Press, 1968.
James M. Hanson
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

NOTES
(1.) Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, Part One (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935), vol. 1, p. 449.
(2.) Muller quoted in John R. Remsburg, The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence (New York: Truth Seeker Company, 1909), p. 510.
(3.) S. M. Melamed, Spinoza and Buddha:Visions of a Dead God (University of Chicago Press, 1933), pp. 312-313.
(4.) Ibid, p. 324.
(5.) Yvette Rosser, "Buddhism in Christianity," International Internet Association, May 23, 1995, http://www.indunet.org/alt_hindu/1995_May_2/msg00015.html ;.
(6.) Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death, trans. David Wills (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 100-109.
(7.) Migel Serrano, The Serpent of Paradise: The Story of an Indian Pilgrimage (London: Rider and Company, 1963), p. 144.
(8.) John Davidson, The Gospel of Jesus: In Search of His Original Teachings (Rockport MA: Element Books, 1995), pp. 134-135.
(9.) Ancient Moslem records cited in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Jesus in India: Being an Account of Jesus’ Escape from Death on the Cross and His Journey to India (London: London Mosque, 1978 [1899]), p. 67.
(10.) Nicolas Notovitch, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, ed. and trans.Virchand R.Gandhi and G. L. Christie (Chicago: Indo-American Book Company, 1907).
(11.) Ibid., p. 78.
(12.) Fida Hassnain and Dahan Levi, The Fifth Gospel (Srinagar, Kashmir: Dastfir Publications, 1988), p. 265.
(13.) Friederich Max Muller, Introduction to the Science of Religion (New York: Arno Press, 1978 [1873]), p. 243.
(14.) De Bunsen, The Angel Messiah of Buddhists, Essenes and Christians (London: 1880), p. 50.
(15.) Thomas William Doane, Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions (New York: New Hyde Park, 1971 [1882]), p. 286.
(16.) Levi H. Dowling, The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ (Los Angeles: LeoW. Dowling, 1952 [1911]).
(17.) Hassnain and Levi, The Fifth Gospel.
(18.) Sutta quoted in ibid., pp. 203-205.
(19.) Ibid., pp. 206-208.
(20.) Ibid., pp. 208-209.
(21.) Ibid., pp. 261-262.
(22.) Ibid., p. 268.
(23.) The Order of Nazorean Essenes, "The Buddhist Connection: Ancient Nazoreans and Buddhism," http://essenes.crosswinds.net/asoka.html ;.
(24.) Serrano, The Serpent of Paradise, p. 144.
(25.) Nicholas Roerich, Altai-Himalaya: A Travel Diary (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1929).
(26.) Edgar J. Goodspeed, Famous "Biblical" Hoaxes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1956).
(27.) Ibid. Also see Ahmad, Jesus in India, and Andreas Faber Kaiser, Jesus Died in Kashmir: Jesus, Moses, and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (London: Gordon and Cremonesi, 1977).
(28.) Ibid., pp. 221-224.
(29.) Davidson, The Gospel of Jesus, pp. 137-138.
(30.) John E. Remsburg, The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis on the Evidences of His Existence (New York: Truth Seeker Company, 1909), p. 508.
(31.) Christian Discussion Forum. "Buddha vs. Jesus." 2000, p. 2, http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Courtyard/1652/BuddhaChrist.html ;.
(32.) Ibid., pp. 5-6.
(33.) Marcus Borg, ed. Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 1997), pp. 14-15.
(34.) Ibid., pp. 16-17.
(35.) Ibid., pp. 18-19.
(36.) Ibid., pp. 24-25.
(37.) Ibid., pp. 38-39.
(38.) Ibid., pp. 44-45.
(39.) Ibid., pp. 62-63.
(40.) Serrano, The Serpent of Paradise, p. 100.
(41.) Ibid.
(42.) Muller cited in Ahmad, Jesus in India, p. 74.
(43.) Ibid., p. 80.
(44.) Ibid., p. 68.
(45.) An early edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica quoted in Remsburg, The Christ, pp. 509-510.
(46.) Tin Htut, "Is Jesus a Buddhist?" n.d., p. 1. <http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/jesus.htm ;.
(47.) Borg, Jesus and Buddha, p. 4.
(48.) Ibid., p. xiii.
(49.) Serrano, The Serpent of Paradise, pp. 100-101.
(50.) Ibid., p. 266.

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