The I-ching[a] and the Formation of the Hua-yen[b] Philosophy
By Whalen Lai

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
V. 7 (1980)
pp. 245-258

Copyright 1980 by D. Reidel Publishing Co.

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An Analysis of a Key Aspect of Chinese Buddhism

The history of Chinese Philosophy would be incomplete if the contributions of the Buddhist thinkers were not taken into account. Chinese Buddhist thought, on the one hand, is Buddhist reflection on and response to the Buddhist Dharma which the Chinese learned of from their Indian brethren. It is natural that Chinese Buddhist thought has certain non-Chinese colourings. Chinese Buddhist thought is, on the other hand, Chinese reflection that drew upon her native frame of reference. Inevitably, too, Chinese Buddhist philosophy also has elements alien to India. Since the Buddhist Dharma, by its very universal nature as the Truth, is no Indian monopoly, one should seriously consider the Chinese Buddhist response to it as one "faithful" expression of the perceived Truth. Just as Christianity is considered to be a creative synthesis of the Hebraic and the Classical tradition, "Sinitic Mahayana"[1] should also be seen as a proud and independent offspring of the confluence of the Indian and the Chinese culture. It is said that the Hebraic concept of the Messiah and the Greek notion of the logos merged into the Christian idea of Christ as the Word of God. If so, it can also be shown that the mature Chinese Buddhist concept of li[c] (Principle) as a synonym for the Buddhist absolute, Suchness (tathata), was a creative union of the Buddhist Dharma and the Chinese Tao. The use of the term li in the Hua-yen school, probably the most sophisticated Sinitic Mahayana school, demonstrates, I think, a synthesis of the Dharma and Tao - both symbols of Transcendence - and articulates their structural inter-relationships in a manner previously unknown in either India or China. Li provided a new insight into an eternal Truth.

    Considered in this light, Chinese Buddhist thought is more than a case of "Indianization" or "Sinicization", and even less, "Distortion".[2] Chinese Buddhist thought should be grasped, first, in its own terms and only then in terms of the possible influences or confluences that flowed into it. The present essay will seek to look into the concept of "Suchness vasana" (perfumation




by the Buddhist absolute, Suchness, upon avidya, ignorance) as used by the Hua-yen school in China. Then it will show how, in the elaboration of this idea, Fa-tsang, the key patriarch of the Hua-yen school, apparently drew on a mode of thought that is derived from the I Ching, the Book of Changes. It is in the nature of the present article that only the Chinese influence will be underlined and that the Indian contributions to the formation of a theory of a "dynamic Suchness" will only be briefly touched upon. Scholars have long noticed the Taoist influence of Chinese Buddhological thinking, especially within the Ch'an (Zen)[d] and the Hua-yen circles. However, too often scholars only suggest impressionistic parallels, between, say, the book Lao-tzu[e] and the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch or between Mencian humanism ("Every man can be Sage Yao and Shun")[f] and the idea that "Every man can be Buddha." Such presentations of Chinese influence bypass the various problems involved in the long and thorny history of conflict, compromise, mutual self-discovery and fertilization between the two cultural traditions.[3] The present essay will try to be much more concrete by documenting and analyzing the series of incidents which led to a datable innovation on Fa-tsang's part.

    Although the Hua-yen school later traced itself back to Tu-shun[g] (557-640) as its first patriarch, the real beginning came historically with Fa-tsang[h] (643-717), the third patriarch.[4] Fa-tsang was the protege of Empress Wu,[i] and his school, the Hua-yen school, based upon the Hua-yen (Avatamsaka) sutra, gained prominence in her reign (690-705). Fa-tsang was apparently involved in a controversy with the Fa-hsiang[j] school that followed in the footsteps of Hsuan-tsang[k] (596-664). Opposed to the Fa-hsiang doctrine that Suchness is passive and cannot produce dharmas (phenomenal particulars), Fa-tsang held that Suchness is paradoxically pu-pien sui-yuan, sui-yuan pu-pien,[l] unchanging yet it goes along with the conditions (that produce the world), going along with the conditions (of the world) but remaining unchanged. It is fairly obvious that Fa-tsang was or could likely be influenced by the Taoist concept of wu-wei wu-pu-wei,[m] active inactivity or being non-acting (it can therefore) be most active and accomplish all, or by the dual principles in the I Ching known as pu-i,[n] the Unchanging (Principle) and pien-i,[o] the Changing (Principle). This tenet in Hua-yen philosophy is referred to as the principle of "dynamic Suchness".[5]

    The scriptural basis for this doctrine are many, but a key source was the work, Awakening of Faith in Mahayana (Ta-ch'eng ch'i-hsin lun),[p] [6] itself a




controversial text since it might be authored in China.[7] Fa-tsang actually used this text to elevate his philosophy of "dynamic Suchness" and put down the Fa-hsiang school's theory of "alaya-causation".[8] Furthermore, it is in his commentary on the Awakening of Faith that a clear case of I Ching's influence on his particular exegesis of a cryptic passage can be clearly shown.

    The line in the Awakening of Faith which began the process that eventually led to a grand structure in Fa-tsang's commentary is very simple, although in need of explanation. The Awakening of Faith has just finished describing how illusion or samsara comes to be, i.e., illusion is due to the nine causes which agitate the mind out of its original passivity and the perfuming ("influence") of avidya which gives rise to defilements. The Awakening of Faith then goes on to talk about the reversal of this process.

How does the perfuming give rise to pure dharmas and continue uninterrupted? It may be said that there is the principle of Suchness and therefore it can perfume Ignorance. Through the karmic forces of this perfuming, the deluded mind may be caused to loathe the suffering of samsara and aspire for nirvana.[9]

The tathagatagarbha according to the Srimala sutra is able to promote the loathing of suffering and the desire for bliss.[10] The A wakening of Faith stresses the asunya (not empty) aspect of the tathagatagarbha in rescuing men from the jaws of delusion.[11] The Ratnagotravibhaga admits the function of "pure karma" generated by the tathagatagarbha for that purpose.[12] Even Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty[q] had popularized in his days the idea of "pure karma" in his essay on that topic.[13] In addition, the Yogacara tradition speaks of the generating of pure (that is, anasrava) dharmas in the alayavijnana, which are bijas or germs conducive to nirvana.[14] Given all these traditions that were familiar to the author of the Awakening of Faith, it seems hardly unusual for the above passage to appear.

    The term "perfuming" (vasana), which Hakeda has translated as "permeation", is explained by the A wakening of Faith just prior to the above mentioned section.

The meaning of [perfuming.] Clothes in the world have no scent in themselves, but if man permeates them with perfumes, then they come to have a scent. It is just the same with the case we are speaking of. The pure state of Suchness certainly has no defilement, but if it is permeated by ignorance, then the marks of defilement appear on it. The defiled state of ignorance is indeed devoid of any purifying force, but if it is permeated by Suchness, then it will come to have a purifying influence.[15]

Here the Awakening of Faith gives a short explanation of the action of




"vasana". Our everyday mind as such is subtly influenced by lingering, misguided, habitual ways of perception rooted in past experiences preventing the mind from seeing what reality is. Concepts and names, clouding our mental apparatus, leave such traces that the insubstantiality of all phenomena is kept from our knowledge. The term "vasana" was thus used to explain our sad plight. Ignorance, defilements (klesa), and subjective notions (vikalpa) perfume. However, can Suchness "perfume" a nonentity like avidya?[16] It is very likely that, if the Awakening of Faith was a work influenced in any way by Chinese interpolation or authorship, the writer or interpolator may have inserted this passage for symmetry's sake and drawn upon the tradition which said that the tathagatagarbha can perfume. There are three classical commentaries on the A wakening of Faith . They are by Hui-yuan[r] (532-592), Wonhyo,[s] a Korean (617-686), and Fa-tsang, the Hua-yen patriarch.

    The remarkable fact is that the discrepancy did not escape the notice of the commentators. The "Hui-yuan" commentary (not written by Hui-yuan) paused precisely at this point, wondering why after a rather detailed discussion on how illusion arises, the Awakening of Faith has only a sentence or two on this logically very important counterthesis. He remarked:

.... somehow the text ended here (or was destroyed here), and the meaning of how Suchness perfumes is absent.[17]

And it was at this point that he turned to "Master Yuan"[t] (i.e., the historic Hui-yuan) and looked for guidelines. In effect, he quoted directly from Hui-yuan's Ta-ch'eng-i-chang[u] [18] to supply the needed explanation. The "missing portions" were then supplied.

What "perfumation by Suchness" gives rise to are these two: first, it gives rise to ignorance, and second, the deluded mind.[19]

According to the historic Hui-yuan, followed here by the "pseudo-Hui-yuan", Suchness itself is supposed to produce its archenemy, avidya, and avidya produces the deluded mind. Indian philosophers would find this argument illogical and perhaps intolerable. How can Suchness, the absolute, be responsible for its own negation? However, in the Chinese context this is not impossible.

Because Suchness is undifferentiated, therefore it can give rise to ignorance, wu-ming.[v] Its cognizing ability can know [objects] and therefore it [can be] covered by false views. So covered, the deluded mind is born.[20]




If we supply the "Taoist logic" the sequences here involved are totally explicable:[21]

1.    The undifferentiated suchness is dark and mysterious (in the Chinese sense of hsuan,[w] dark/mysterious).
2.    Being dark, it means wu-ming (avidya, literally, unenlightened, not lit) can be.
3.    The pre-cognitive Suchness (mind), leaving behind its self-sufficient mysterious state, comes to cognize objects.
4.    So doing, it discriminates, becoming "listless" and finally "deluded" by the external colors.

Actually, what is said above has already been suggested by none other than the Awakening of Faith itself but under the section on "perfumation by ignorance" where the same Sinitic "logic" was at work.

It may be said that on the ground of Suchness, ignorance appears Ignorance, the primary cause of the defiled state, permeates into the Suchness. Because of this permeation, a deluded mind results.[22]

    Wonhyo, the next commentator, was much more cautious and did not consider the "perfumation by ignorance" sequence along with the discussion of the "perfumation by suchness". Instead, he initiated the theory of "internal perfumation" that was followed by Fa-tsang and others.[23]

The line about the power of Dharma that perfumes refers to the power of Suchness to perfume internally. Relying on this power, one can cultivate practices and accumulate [good roots], follow' the path of perfections [paramitas], from the initial [Bodhisattvic] stage to the final pure (Buddha-) field [bhumi] and be replete with upaya. [One can thereby] break through the realm of samsaric phenomena, which is produced by the mixed [pure-and-impure] consciousness and reveal the eternal [Buddha-] nature that transcends life and death.

It is said, therefore, that when the samsara aspect of the mixed (pure-and-impure] consciousness [alayavijnana] is destroyed and the Dharmakaya is revealed, then at that time, the karmic and changing aspects of the perpetuating consciousness [mind-con continuum] perishes and the mind of a priori enlightenment will return to its original state and become Pure Wisdom.[24]

Wonhyo, in so describing internal perfuming, follows fairly orthodox lines of interpretation. The deluded aspect of the alayavijnana has to be eliminated and the accumulation of good deeds will retrieve the original mind from the karmic stream.

    However, Wonhyo was a learned scholar and realized that, according to the Mahayana-samparigraha (She-lun)[x] what is "beyond life and death" cannot be perfumed.




Question:    the She-lun has said that perfuming can only occur when four conditions are met. It is said that the permanent Dharma cannot be perfumed. Why is it that here [in the Awakening of Faith ] ignorance is said to actually perfume Suchness?

Answer:    that treatise [She-lun] speaks of the thinkable and therefore it says that the permanent Dharma cannot be perfumed. The work [A wakening of Faith ] speaks of the incomprehensible and therefore it is said that there is the perfuming of Suchness by ignorance and vice versa. The meaning of "perfuming" differs [in the two contexts]. The two (views) need not conflict.[25]

Wonhyo drew on the tradition that recognizes that the permanent tathagatagarbha is somehow mysteriously tainted. He reconciled the apparent differences.

    However, Suchness in Indian Mahayana thought was the Unborn Absolute; Dharmata was generally seen as the support of realities. Conceivably, Suchness can, through the tathagatagarbha, act upon the human mind. However, can Suchness interact with Ignorance? Conversely, Ignorance may conceivably cloud the mind and therefore obscure Suchness. However, can Ignorance perfume Suchness itself? The She-lun says "no" but the Srimala sutra suggests that the tathagatagarbha mysteriously tainted or perfumed can, with its wealth of Buddha-dharmas, provoke and direct the self-fulfillment of the innately pure germ in sentient beings.[26]

    The interaction of Suchness and Ignorance, as if they were two primordial forces, was intimated by the Structure of the Awakening of Faith , naively assumed by Hui-Yuan and apologized for (in the name of the utter mystery of it all) by Wonhyo. Fa-tsang finally came out, without reservation, with the theory of a yin-yang[y] [27] interaction scheme of these two "ontological" entities. and defended the notion of a ''Dynamic Suchness" in open confrontation with the doctrine of the total passivity of Suchness held by the Fa-hsiang school.[28] He said:

Suchness has two aspects: the Unchanging and that which goes along with [changing] condition (pu-pien, sui-yuan). Ignorance also has two aspects: that which is non-substantive, empty and that which [nevertheless] actively functions and completes affairs [of the world]. Analyzed in terms of the "true" and the "false", the first [of the two above pairs] combine to produce the Gate (aspect) of Suchness, while (the other two) the Gate of life and death (samsara).[29]

The binary division and reintegration lends itself to neat diagrammatization, which probably became popular around 800 A.D., if not earlier. Translated into diagrams, it means:[30]





Having spelled out this basic scheme, Fa-tsang elaborates on the structure of the Gate of Samsara, which has (as shown above) two component parts.

[The gate of samsara has two component parts: ] the aspect of Suchness that accompanies change and the aspect of Ignorance that functions and completes [These two component parts] have each two sub-aspects: that mode which negates its own being and affirms others, and that mode which affirms its essence and denies the others'.[32]

In terms reminiscent of Hegel, Fa-tsang's elaboration means that each component can be either in the mode of being-for-self/against-others or being-for-others/against-self.[33] From the one (gate of samsara) came the two (components) and from the two came the four (sub-aspects). Then come the eight:

The aspect of ignorance [that functions and completes] in the mode of "being-for-others/against-self" also can be divided into two aspects: that which is against the given state of affairs and is ready to show [the other's true] nature and merits; that which can come to know [its own] superficiality of names and help the pure in its function.[34]

In other words, these two sub-sub-aspects represent ignorance in self-denial, either actively or passively affirming its opposite, namely, Suchness (the other). The more self-asserting sub-sub-aspects are as follows - they assert their ignorance and hide true Suchness.

The aspect [of ignorance] in its "being-for-self/against-others" has [also] two aspects; that which [actively] seeks to obliterate the true principle [Suchness] and that which [more passively merely] produces a deluded mind.[35]

The words "active" and "passive" have been added in the translation to show what would be, again, a yin-yang type of subdivision.

Likewise, Suchness [that accompanies changes] in its "being-for-self/against-others' 'mode, has two aspects: that which [actively] opposes the deluded defilements and




aspires to reveal its own virtue or power; and that which [more subtly] internally perfumes ignorance and arouses the pure functions [to seek for nirvana].

[So too, the same Suchness] in its "being-for-others/against-self" has two aspects: that which actually [ too willingly] hides its own true nature; and that which [more passively] allows delusions to reign.[36]

In this new scheme of Fa-tsang, which has only a vague link with the initial suggestion in the Awakening of Faith, Wonhyo's idea of "internal perfuming" was subsumed as one of the four sub-sub-aspects of Suchness that accompanies change. The full "One-Two-Four-Eight" structure under the gate of samsara has been built. Fa-tsang went on to detail the recombinations of the eight back to the one ("Eight-Four-Two-One"), telescoping them into the one of the alayavijnana. The following is a diagram of the dialectical synthesis involved:

jc26213-2.jpg (61677 bytes)




    The diagram above shows two movements. The top half, the expansion of one into eight, depicts the objective world of samsara and its constituents. The lower half, the contraction of the eight into the one, shows the subjective side. Together, they show that all phenomena (samsara, at the top of the diagram) are consciousness only (storehouse consciousness, at the bottom of the diagram). The key innovation of this scheme in the history of Chinese thought in general is that, although the expansion of the one into eight (upper half) can be anticipated by the Book of Changes (I Ching), the "telescoping" of external reality into consciousness (lower half), that is, subjective Idealism, is not in the classical I Ching tradition. The I Ching never says that the eight trigrams are "of the mind".[37]

    Reality is made up of a positive (Suchness) and a negative (Ignorance) element. The combinations of this pair produce objectively the world of samsara and subjectively the various modes of enlightenment and non-enlightenment. Both Suchness and Ignorance can either deny self or assert self. The quantitative degrees of "positive" and "negative" attributes of the eight modes (in the middle of the diagram) can be "tabulated" as follows:

LEFT (Negative)                                                                                           (Positive) RIGHT
Set of Four                                                                                                   Set of Four

-3           -4             -2               -1                             +2              +1               +3               +4


The numerical values (spanning plus to minus 4) show their relative endowment of Suchness (plus side) and of Ignorance (minus side). The mode furthermost to the right (plus 4) - the active Suchness in its "for self (and against Ignorance)" mode - seeks aggressively to "reverse delusion to reveal truth (itself)." The fourth from the left (minus 1)- the self-effacing Ignorance in its "against self (and for Suchness)" mode - seeks to reverse its ignorant self and point beyond to the good. This pair (plus 4 and minus 1) in their union produces a priori enlightenment, their numerical total being "plus three", the best or most positive combination possible between two items from the two sets. Similarly, the other combinations can be so analyzed:

Incipient enlightenment                     + 3 and - 2         total:+ 1
Branch nonenlightenment                  - 3 and + 2         total: - 1
Root nonenlightenment                     - 4 and + 1         total: - 3




    Fa-tsang's commentary on the Awakening of Faith ingeniously shows that samsara corresponds to the alayavijnana and that the alayavijnana is the abode of enlightenment and nonenlightenment. Consciousness, though trapped in samsara, can seek out the Suchness elements and deliver itself from the mundane realm.

    The I Ching says: From the Great Ultimate comes the two poles; from the two poles come the four forms (hsiang); from the four forms come the eight trigrams.[z] [38] The diagram on P. 252 can be structurally reproduced in I Ching forms by following the logic outlined above.

jc26213-3.jpg (14273 bytes)

The above diagram is my reconstruction showing the I Ching's influence on Fa-tsang's thinking. Actually, although the I Ching contains such an idea of evolution, the diagrammatical representation of it was not known before Fa-tsang's time. Strangely, a diagram similar to the one above was produced for the first time by the Sung Neo-Confucian, Shao Yung[aa] (1011-1077 A.D.), three centuries after Fa-tsang.[39]

jc26231-4.jpg (9229 bytes)

Since Shao Yung might have borrowed the idea from Tsung-mi,[ab] [40] this only goes to show that the I Ching's influence on the Hua-yen interpretation of the Dharma/Dharmata was not one-way. Hua-yen also rediscovered the I Ching for the Neo-Confucians in Sung.

    I have tried to show, in the above discussion, how one cryptic line in the Awakening of Faith touched off a series of speculations upon the activity or dynamic quality of Suchness, and how, in the end, Fa-tsang unconsciously




brought the I Ching philosophy to bear on the problem. Suchness in its "accompanying" aspect brought samsara into existence. Without its acquiescence reality would not be. This notion of' "chen-ju sui yuan pu-pien"[ac] (Suchness participating in all realities without losing its essence quality) produced the sense of the immanence of the Absolute. Li, the Principle or Suchness, and shih,[ad] facts in samsara, are therefore identical.[41] Suchness does not simply passively support[42] but dynamically creates the world. Such "Sinitic Mahayana" ideas explain the Ch'an confidence in the "goodness" of the natural world, in the presence of Suchness in a grain of sand and, eventually perhaps, in the identity of chen-ju ("true such") with the Taoist nature, tzu-jan ("self-be").[ae] [43] Fa-tsang's understanding of the Awakening of Faith became the seminal ground of many later developments in Chinese philosophy, and the I Ching had effectively, through him, liberated Sinitic understanding of the Dharma from an Indian tutelage so that it might embark on its own venture in ideas.

University of Illinois[44]






1.    See my Ph.D. thesis, 'The Awakening of Faith m Mahayana: A Study of the Unfolding of Sinitic Mahayana Motifs'. (Harvard, 1975). I intentionally coined the term "Sinitic Mahayana".

2.    See Hu Shih, 'The Indianization of China: A Case Study in Cultural Borrowings', Independence, Convergence and Borrowing in Institutions, Thought and Art (Cambridge, Mass., 1937).

3.    For example, it is very likely that Mencian humanism was rediscovered with the help of the doctrine of universal Buddha-nature in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra. but the doctrine of fo-hsing,[af] Buddha-nature, was influenced in the translation process by the Chinese tradition of "hsing" debates See my thesis cited above.

4.    For a traditional account of the school of Hua-yen, see Takakusu Junjiro, Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy (Honolulu, 1947), pp. 112-130.

5.    The present article will allure to this development in Fa-tsang's commentary on the Awakening of Faith.

6.    The most recent translation into English of this text is by Hakeda Yoshito at Columbia University as Awakening of Faith in Mahayana attributed to Asvaghosa (New York, 1967).

7.    A good, although somewhat outdated summary of this controversy is Paul Demieville's Sur l'authenticite du Ta Tch'eng K.'i Sin Louen, published in the series, Bulletin de la Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tome II, No. 2 (Tokyo, 1929).

8.    Taisho Daizokyo, vol. 44, p. 243b (henceforth references to the Taisho Tripitaka will be in the standard abbreviated form of T. [vol. no.]).




9.    See Hakeda, op.cit., p. 58. I have substituted "perfuming" where Hakeda would use "permeation" in his translation.

10.    See T. 12, p. 221 and the English translation of this sutra by Alex Wayman, The Lion's Roar of Queen Srimala (New York, 1974), pp. 49, 97. Tathagatagarbha is the "Womb of the Buddha" (Buddha-nature).

11.    See Hakeda, op. cit., pp. 32f. Suchness is eternal, permanent, immutable, pure and self-sufficient in its asunya aspect, and through the marvellous effect that the tathagatagarbha has, it would lead man to enlightenment. See Wayman, ibid., p. 99.

12.    See Takasaki Jikido trans. Ratnagotravibhaga (Uttara Tantra) in Serie Orientale roma XXXIII (Rome, 1966), pp. 187, 173f.

13.    T. 52, p. 335.

14.    For a lucid discussion on the workings of the alayavijnana. as contrasted with the tathagatagarbha, see Shih Yin-shun,[ag] I fo-fa yen-chiu fo-fa[ah] (Taiwan, 1961), pp.301-361.

15.     Hakeda, op. cit., p. 56

16.    The mind may be ultimately perfumed by ignorance, in so far that ignorance is a basic source of illusion and sufferings. Ignorance, avidya, being a negation of knowledge, vidya, is a non-entity. Non-entities, logically speaking, cannot be perfumed or clouded

17.    T. 44, p. 533c.

18.    T. 44, p. 192b.

19.    T. 44, p. 533c.

20.    Ibid.

21.    The Taoist logic described here can be regarded as a case of "from the primal darkness comes light." This cosmogonic motif is thought to be present also in the psyche. The mind is originally void, dark, unknowing until it loses its primal pacific nature as it branches into cognizing objects. The earliest Chinese thinker who realized this theme, according to T'ang Chun-i.[ai] is Chuang-tzu.[aj] See T'ang's discussion of Chuang-tzu's hsu-ming ling-chueh hsin[ak] in his Chung-kuo che-hseuh yuan-lun,[al] vol. I (Hong Kong, 1966), pp.102-104. The more immediate predecessor to the Awakening of Faith's conception of the psyche is likely an essay by Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty (see T. 52, p. 54).

22.     Hakeda, op. cit.,p. 56.

23.    See the note in Hakeda, op. cit..p. 59.

24.    T. 44, p. 221a Consult also Fa-tsang's further explanation on this issue in T. 44, p. 271c.

25.    T. 44, p. 239a. The She-ta-ch'eng-lun[am] specifies that only the alayavijnana meets these four conditions; see T. 31, p. 165c.

26.    T. 12, p. 221 or Wayman, op. cit., pp. 49, 97.

27.    This logic of Yin-yang interaction may be already implied in the Awakening of Faith itself, although the definitive expression of it should be traced to Fa-tsang.

28.    The conflict between a theory of "dynamic Suchness" and a theory of "inactive Suchness" is referred to in some texts' accounts; see, for example, T. 45, pp. 500a,481ab.

29.    T. 44, p. 255c

30.    The diagram is not in Fa-tsang's commentary, but such diagrams have been the traditional tools in China to summarize basic doctrines and texts The use of diagrams came into vogue apparently in the eighth century A.D. within Zen, Taoist and Tantric circles. I will present one of the earliest usage of diagrams - by Tsung-mi (78o-841) - in another essay. Saicho and Kukai, from Japan, also picked up this practice at around the same time.




31.    The diagram, at this junction (Gate of Samsara), underlines the point that the world (samsara) is produced out of the (real) Suchness when Suchness 'foolishly' follows the activities of the (unreal, empty) ignorance. This understanding on Fa-tsang's part is crucial to the Sinitic Mahayana theory of Ju-lai-tsang yuan-ch'i,[an] tathagatagarbha causation that I hope to explain more in a separate paper.

32.    T. 44, p. 255c.

33.    The apparent similarity of Fa-tsang's term "being-for-self/against-others" and Hegel's notion of "being-in-itself" is perhaps more than just a coincidence, since both philosophers subscribed ultimately to a monistic pathos Both thinkers see the welt or samsara as having originated from the One or the Absolute Being, as also being alienated from it due to a slumbering consciousness or deluded alayavijnana. Both embrace a kind of spiritual enlightenment of Geist becoming self-conscious Both are philosophical idealists: reality is the mind The diagram (on p. 8 above) can show this philosophical idealism in one glance.

34.    T. 44, p. 255c

35.    Ibid.

36.    Ibid., pp. 255c-256a

37.    It is perhaps possible to trace some elements of idealism in the writing of Wang Pi,[ao] the Neo-Taoist, on the I Ching, but generally speaking, the Neo-Confucians were the ones who, following upon the footsteps of the Buddhists and the Taoists, initiated a moral, psychological or "personal" reading of the I Ching for self-edification.

38.    I Ching, "Hsi Tz'u"[ap] (Appended Remarks), 1, details this. In English, see for example, James Legge trans. The Yi King(Oxford, 1899), p. 373.

39.    The diagram is cited by Imai Usaburo,[aq]Sodai ekigaku no kenkyu[ar](Tokyo,1958), p. 317.

40.    I would Suggest that Shao Yung was inspired by Tsung-mi's diagram of Suchness and Ignorance in interaction; see the latter's diagram in T. 48, pp. 410-413. For a recent study of Tsung-mi, see Jan Yun-hua, 'Tsung-mi: his analysis of Ch'an Buddhism', T'oung Pao, LVIII (1974), pp. 1-54. Since Jan did not include this diagram and accompanying text in his translation, I plan to introduce them, together with an analysis, in the future.

41.    The favourite Hua-yen expression is Li-shih wu-ai,[as]the non-obstruction of Principle and fact,

42.    In Indian Buddhism, Dharma is usually interpreted as "support" and perhaps only in the bhedabheda ("similar yet different") school within Hindu Vedaanta do we see something akin to the Hua-yen notion of an Absolute which is also "within" the world of relatives.

43.    The choice of the words "chen-ju", true such, to translate tathata itself had been influenced by Taoist sentiments. The chen was not in the original Sanskrit term, tathata, Suchness, but was preferred by the Chinese and by Bodhiruci especially.

44.     Presently at University of California, Davis; all diactiticals for Sanskrit not included in this 1975 work.









a 易經 x 攝論
b 華嚴 y 陰陽
c z 太極兩儀四象八卦
d aa 邵雍
e 老子 ab 宗密
f 堯舜 ac 真如隨緣不變
g 杜順 ad
h 法藏 ae 自然
i 武后 af 佛性
j 法相 ag 樺印順
k 玄奘 ah 以佛法研究佛法
l 不變隨緣 ai 唐君
m 無為無不為 aj 莊子
n 不易 ak 虛明靈覺心
o 變易 al 中國哲學原論
p 大乘起信論 am 攝大乘論
q 梁武帝 an 如來藏緣起
r 慧遠 ao 王弼
s 元曉 ap 轚辭
t 遠公 aq 今井宇三郎
u 大乘義章 ar 宋代易學ソ研究
v 無明 as 理事無礙