Fazang

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Fazang (Chinese: 法藏; pinyin: Fǎzàng; Wade–Giles: Fa-tsang) (643–712) was the third of the five patriarchs of the Huayan school. He was an important and influential philosopher, so much so that it has been claimed that he "was in fact the real creator of what is now known as Hua-yen."[1] Fazang's ancestors came from Sogdia, a major center for trade along the Silk Road (modern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), but he was born in the Tang capital of Chang'an (now Xi'an),[2] where his family had become culturally Chinese.

In his youth, Fazang assisted Xuanzang in translating Buddhist works from Sanskrit into Chinese, but later became a disciple of Zhiyan, the second patriarch of the Huayan school.[3] Another disciple of Zhiyan during the same period was the Korean Buddhist Uisang, who went on to found Hwaeom, the Korean branch of Huayan.[4] Fazang and Uisang became good friends, and after Uisang returned to Korea, Fazang wrote him a letter expressing his admiration and affection.[5] One of the major intellectual influences on Fazang was the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, particularly its doctrine of the tathagatagarbha "womb of the Buddha",[6] and his commentary on it "has been accepted as the final authority for a correct understanding of the text."[7] In interpreting The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana, Fazang frequently quotes with approval the interpretation of the Korean Buddhist Wonhyo.[8] Many scholars have also observed the influence of Taoism on Chinese Buddhism in general and Fazang's thought in particular.[9] Finally, some claim that Fazang drew inspiration from the Yijing.[10]

Fazang is said to have authored over a hundred volumes of essays and commentaries, but two of his works in particular are among the most celebrated Huayan texts: "On the Golden Lion" and "The Rafter Dialogue."[11] The former essay is based on a lecture on Buddhism that Fazang gave to Empress Wu Zetian. The Empress was having trouble understanding the subtle views of Huayan, so Fazang drew an analogy, comparing the relationship between the shape of a lion statue and the gold of which it is composed to the relationship between the conditioned things that exist and the underlying reality of which all are a part. "On the Golden Lion" may be found in the Taishō Tripiṭaka, where it is text 1881, and is accompanied by the Song dynasty commentary of Cheng Qian. In The Rafter Dialogue, Fazang defends the doctrine of the interdependent existence of all entities, using the relationship between a rafter and the other parts of a building as an analogy. The Rafter Dialogue is a portion of a longer, systematic treatise, Paragraphs on the Doctrine of Difference and Identity of the One Vehicle of Huayan (Chinese: 華嚴一乘教分齊章), which may be found in the Taishō Tripiṭaka, where it is text 1866.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cook, Francis (1977). Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 32. 
  2. ^ Jacques Gernet (31 May 1996). A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. pp. 278–. ISBN 978-0-521-49781-7. 
  3. ^ Chen, Kenneth (1964). Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 314. 
  4. ^ Hakeda, Yoshito (2006). The Awakening of Faith: Attributed to Asvaghosha (reprint ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. p. 19. 
  5. ^ Lee, Peter (1962). "Fa-tsang and Uisang". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 82 (1): 56–62. doi:10.2307/595980. 
  6. ^ Cook, Francis (1977). Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 51–52. 
  7. ^ Hakeda, Yoshito (2006). The Awakening of Faith: Attributed to Asvaghosha. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780231131575. 
  8. ^ Hakeda, Yoshito (2006). The Awakening of Faith: Attributed to Asvaghosha (reprint ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 40, 58, 64. 
  9. ^ Cook, Francis (1977). Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 26–30, 50–51. 
  10. ^ Lai, Whalen (1980). "The I-ching and the Formation of the Hua-yen Philosophy". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 7 (3): 245–258. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.1980.tb00239.x. 
  11. ^ Cook, Francis (1977). Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 76. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chen, Jinhua (2007). Philosopher, practitioner, politician: The many lives of Fazang (643-712). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-15613-5. 
  • Chen, Jinhua (2005). "Fazang: The Holy Man". Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 28 (1): 11–84. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. 
  • Cleary, Thomas F., Entry into the Inconceivable : An Introduction to Hua-yen Buddhism, Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, 1994.
  • Fazang, "Essay on the Golden Lion," trans. Bryan W. Van Norden. pp. 86–91 in Justin Tiwald and Bryan W. Van Norden, eds., Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2014.
  • Fazang, "The Rafter Dialogue," trans. David Elstein. pp. 80–86 in Justin Tiwald and Bryan W. Van Norden, eds., Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2014.
  • Fox, Alan, "Fazang." pp. 99–103 in Ian P. McGreal, ed., Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, HarperCollins, 1995.
  • Hamar, Imre, ed., Reflecting Mirrors: Perspectives on Huayan Buddhism. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2007.
  • Liu, Ming-wood (1982). "The Harmonious Universe of Fazang and Leibniz: A Comparative Study". Philosophy East and West. 32 (1): 61–76. doi:10.2307/1398752. 
  • Liu, Ming-wood, "The Teaching of Fa-tsang: An Examination of Buddhist Metaphysics" University of California at Los Angeles, 1979.
  • Odin, Steve, Process Metaphysics and Hua-yen Buddhism: A Critical Study of Cumulative Penetration vs. Interpenetration, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982.
  • Vorenkamp, Dirck, An English Translation of Fazang's Commentary on The Awakening of Faith, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2004.
  • Vorenkamp, Dirck (2004). "Reconsidering the Whiteheadean Critique of Huayan Temporal Symmetry in the Light of Fazang's Views". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 32 (2): 197–210. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.2005.00187.x. 
  • Weinstein, Stanley, Buddhism in T’ang China, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • Wright, Dale, "The ‘Thought of Enlightenment’ In Fa-tsang’s Hua-yen Buddhism," The Eastern Buddhist (Fall 2001): 97-106.

External links[edit]