Kim Hwasang

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Musang Kim Hwa-sang (無相 金和尚; Wu-hsiang, Chin ho shang, 684–762) was a Korean Ch'an master lived in Sichuan in China whose form a Zen teaching independent of East Mountain Teaching and Huineng.[1] His teachings were amongst the first streams of Ch'an Buddhist transmitted to Tibet.

Solonin (2005: unpaginated) links the Tangut people, the Helan Mountains and Baotang Wuzhu:

The origins of the Tangut Chan can be also traced deeper, than it was previously believed: information on Bao-tang Wu-zhu (保唐无住720~794) travels in North-Western China from the Notes on Transmitting the Dharma Treasure through Generations implies that at the period of 760's some sort of Buddhism was spread in the region of Helanshan, where the Tangut were already residing.  Concerning the late 8th century Helanshan Buddhism, little can be said: the doctrines of the lu (律) school and the teaching of Sichuan Chan of Rev. Kim (金和尚) seem to be known there.[2]

Yün-Hua Jan (1986: pp.27–28) states:

Although Shen-hui has advanced the concept of no-thought in his teachings, the concept only remains as one of the principal doctrines. There are still a number of other ideas that are equally important in his thought. It was in the two schools of Ch'an Buddhism, developed in Shu state (presently Ssuchwan) that have given further attention to the concept. In fact these two schools made no-thought as the exclusive doctrine of their teachings. The one who initiated the development was Wu-hsiang (684-762), originally a native of the Silla kingdom in the Korean peninsula and more well-known in China as Monk Kim.[3]

Buswell (2005: p.191) states:

Such contacts between Chinese and Korean Buddhism are especially pronounced in the case of the Ch'an or Sŏn tradition of Sinitic Buddhism. Two of the earliest schools of Ch'an in China were the Ching-chung and Pao-t'ang, both centered in what was then the wild frontier of Szechwan in the southwest. Both factions claimed as their patriarch a Ch'an master of Korean heritage named Musang (Ch. Wu-hsiang; 684-762), who is better known to the tradition as Reverend Kim (Kim hwasang), using his native Korean surname. Musang reduced all of Ch’an teachings to the three phrases of "not remembering," which he equated with morality, "not thinking," with samādhi, and "not forgetting," with wisdom. Even after his demise, Musang’s teachings continued to be closely studied by such influential scholiasts in the Ch’an tradition as Tsung-mi (780-841).[4]

Transmission of Ch'an to the Nyingmapa[edit]

Chinese Ch'an Buddhism was introduced to the Nyingmapa in three principal streams: the teachings of Master Kim, Kim Ho-shang, (Chin ho shang) 金和尚 transmitted by Sang Shi[5] in c750 CE; the lineage of Master Wu Chu, 無住 of the Pao T'ang School was transmitted within Tibet by Ye shes dbang po; and the teaching from Mo Ho Yen, 和尚摩訶衍 (Tibetan: Hwa shang Mahayana) that were a synthesis of the Northern School of Ch'an and the Pao T'ang School.[6]

Tibetan King Khri srong lde btsan (742–797) invited the Ch’an master Mo-ho-yen (whose name consists of the same Chinese characters used to transliterate "Mahayana") to transmit the Dharma at Samye Monastery. Mo-ho-yen had been disseminating Dharma in the Tun-huang locale, but lost an important philosophical debate on the nature of emptiness from the Indian master Kamalashila, and the king declared Kamalashila's philosophy should form the basis for Tibetan Buddhism.[7]

Ray (2005) holds that the first documented dissemination of Ch'an to Tibet, chronicled in what has become known as the Statements of the Sba Family, occurred in c761CE when Trisong Detsen sent a party to the I-chou region to receive teachings of Reverend Kim (Chin ho-shang), a Korean Ch'an master, whom they encountered in Szechwan. The party received teachings and three Chinese texts from Reverend Kim. Reverend Kim died soon after.[8]


  1. ^ 木棉袈裟歸處 蜀寧國寺探蹤
  2. ^ Solonin, K. J. (2005). Tangut Chan Buddhism and Guifeng Zong-mi. Source: [1] (accessed: January 23, 2008)
  3. ^ Jan, Yün-Hua (1986). "Patterns of Chinese Assimilation of Buddhist Thought: A Comparative Study of No-Thought (Wu-Nien) in Indian and Chinese Texts." Journal of Oriental Studies. Volume 24 n.1 (1986) pp21-36. Source: [2] (accessed: January 23, 2008)
  4. ^ Buswell, Jr., Robert E. (2005). Korean Buddhism in East Asian Context. NB: The paper is adapted from the introduction to: Currents and Countercurrents: Korean Influences on the East Asian Buddhist Traditions (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2005). Source: [3] (accessed: January 23, 2008)
  5. ^ Sang Shi later became an abbot of Samye Monastery.
  6. ^ Barber, A. W. (1990). The Unifying of Rdzogs Pa Chen Po and Ch'an. Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal. Vol.3, 04.1990. PP.301-317. Source: [4] (accessed: October 20, 2007).
  7. ^ Yamaguchi, Zuihō (undated). The Core Elements of Indian Buddhism Introduced into Tibet: A Contrast with Japanese Buddhism. Source: [5] (accessed: October 20, 2007)
  8. ^ Ray, Gary L. (2005). The Northern Ch'an School and Sudden Versus Gradual Enlightenment Debates in China and Tibet. Source: [6] (accessed: December 2, 2007)

Further reading[edit]

  • Yun-Hua, Jan (1989). A Comparative Study of 'No-thought' (Wu-nien) in Some Indian and Chinese Buddhist Texts. VVol. 16/1989: pp.37-58. Dialogue Publishing Company. Source: [7] (accessed: January 25, 2008)