How Buddhistic is Wang Yang-ming?[*]
By Wing-Tsit Chan[a]

Philosophy East & West
V. 12 (1962)
pp. 203-215

Copyright 1962 by University of Hawaii Press


 

 

 

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    IT IS GENERALLY AGREED that Wang Yang-ming[b] (1472-1529) was influenced, perhaps greatly, by Zen (Chan[c]) Buddhism. It is not generally realized, however, that he was in less contact with Buddhism than is generally suspected, and that he was more critical of Buddhism than he was receptive to it.

    That there are Buddhist elements in Wang's philosophy is undeniable. The whole course of Sung[d] (960-1279) and Ming[e] (1368-1644) Neo-Confucianism is colored by Buddhist thought. Being the culmination of the idealistic tendency of Neo-Confucianism, Wang's philosophy, as is expected, possesses a deeper hue. But both his critics and his supporters have grossly exaggerated his affinity with Buddhism and have undermined his attack on it.

    Wang had many, many critics, both during his lifetime and for some 150 years thereafter. The most extreme were Chen Chien[f] ( 1497-1567) and Chang Lieh[g] (1622-1685). In his Hsueh-pu t'ung-pien[h] (General Critique of the Obscurations of Learning), Chen devotes a whole chapter to the attack on Wang alone. But, like most others, he has only exaggerated certain similarities between Wang and Buddhism and has either ignored or slighted the differences. A good example is Chen's criticism on the following passages of Wang's:

"To recognize one's original state at the time of thinking of neither good nor evil"[1] is the Buddhist expedient or convenient way intended for those who do not yet recognize their original state. The original state is what our Confucian school calls innate knowledge.[2]

 

 

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    Here Wang equates the Confucian "innate knowledge of the good" (liang-chih[i]) with what the Buddhists call "original state." But Chen not only disapproved of this equation; he said that Wang's doctrine of the innate knowledge of the good is based on the Buddhist doctrine of original state[3] and attacked him on that basis.

    Like every Chinese student, Chen knew, of course, that Wang's doctrine of the innate knowledge of the good was derived from the Book of Mencius, where Mencius said, "The ability possessed by men without having been acquired by learning is innate ability, and the knowledge possessed by them without deliberation is innate knowledge."[4] Wang's contribution to the doctrine is his famous idea of "the extension of innate knowledge" (chih liang-chih[j]), that is, that the innate knowledge of the good must be extended or translated into action. It means that man possesses the innate knowledge of filial piety, for example, and, if his knowledge is sincere, he will naturally extend it to the practice of serving parents filially. This idea of the extension of innate knowledge is one of the key concepts in Wang's teachings. Quite aside from the fact that there is a tremendous difference between his doctrine of innate knowledge and the Buddhist doctrine of the original state, his definitions of the liang-chih show very clearly that his equation with the Buddhist original state is purely incidental. He describes innate knowledge as "the original substance of the mind," "the Principle of Nature," "the intelligence and clear consciousness of the mind," the mind that is "always shining" and reflects things as things come without being stirred, "the equilibrium before the feelings are aroused," "the original substance that is absolutely quiet and inactive," "the state of being broad and impartial," "man's root which is intelligent and is grown by Nature," and "the spirit of creation."[5] Only the terms "pure intelligence" (hsu-ling[k]) and "shining" contain any Buddhist flavor, for in Zen Buddhism, particularly, the shining and pure (or, rather, vacuous) mind is emphasized. All the rest are orthodox Confucian concepts. The Neo-Confucian concept of the mind as an embodiment of the Principle of Nature, or the Moral Law, and the spirit of creation are totally absent in Buddhism. Chen ignored all of this and simply denounced Wang for betraying Confucianism and putting Buddhism in Confucian disguise.

    Another well-known archcritic of Wang, Chang Lieh, repeated the same

 

 

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tune, although, generally speaking, Chang's criticisms are more solid and less reckless.[6]

    This tendency to exaggerate Wang's acceptance of Buddhism and minimize his opposition to it is no less strong among his own supporters, especially Japanese scholars. Take, for example, one of the most outstanding modern Japanese on the relation between Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism, Tokiwa Daijo[l] (1870-1945). He, like many others, only pointed out the similarity between Wang's innate knowledge and the Buddhist concept of the original state.[7] None of the critics or supporters acknowledged the fact that Wang not only continued to say, "If we already understand clearly what innate knowledge is, there is no longer any need of recognizing one's original state at the time of thinking of neither good nor evil," but also criticized the Buddhist concept as an indication of selfishness. He said, in the same passage,

    Now to wish to think of neither good nor evil and to want the mind of innate knowledge to be clear, tranquil, and at ease mean to have the mind of selfishness. . . . Innate knowledge by its own nature discriminates between good and evil. What good and evil are there for the mind to think about? . . . Innate knowledge naturally brings forth thoughts, and now you want to add the wish that thoughts will not arise.

If one reads this whole section, one will readily find that Wang's equation of the Confucian innate knowledge with the Buddhist original state is one step backward and that his criticism of the Buddhist original state is two steps forward.

    There is no intention at all of glossing over the fact that Wang was under Buddhist influence. His central theme that principle is inherent in the mind is definitely more Buddhist than Confucian. This idealistic doctrine is derived from Lu Hsiang-shan[m] (1139-1193), whose identification of the mind with the universe reflects Buddhist influence. In addition, Wang himself was much interested in Buddhism and Taoism when he was young.[8] He said,

From youth I was also earnestly devoted to the two systems [Buddhism and Taoism]. I thought I had learned something and thought the Confucian system was not worth studying. Later, while I lived in barbarous territory [Kuei-chou[n] in southwest China, to which he was banished] for [nearly] three years, I realized how simple, easy, extensive, and great the doctrines of the Sage [Confucius] are, and then sighed and regretted having wasted my energy for thirty years.[9]

 

 

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It is unreasonable to expect that there was no impact on him after thirty years of earnest study.

    Furthermore, he used many Zen idioms and told a number of Zen stories. He was not unique in this; many Neo-Confucians before him had done the same. For example, he described the mind as "vacuous, intelligent, and not beclouded."[10] This is a Buddhist description. But he was quoting Chu Hsi[o] (1130-1200), who had paraphrased the Buddhist expression.[11] In urging alertness and attention, Wang told the Zen story of "a cat trying to catch a rat, with eyes single-mindedly watching and ears single-mindedly listening." This, too, had been told by Chu Hsi before.[12] The difference between Wang and other Neo-Confucians is that he used Zen idioms and stories much more. Altogether, there are about forty cases.

    What is more, he actually practiced Zen techniques several times, This is something that few, if any, other Neo-Confucians had done. According to the Nien-pu[p] (Chronological Biography), when he was thirty-two, he gradually realized the mistakes of Buddhism and Taoism, but the next year, when he happened to see a Zen monk who had been for three years sitting in silence with his eyes closed, he shouted, "What does this monk say so noisily all day, and what does he see with his eyes wide open all day?"[13] Both to shout and to say the opposite in order to shock people were typical Zen techniques. Once a pupil asked, "It is difficult to overcome one's selfish desires. What can be done about them?" Wang answered, "Give me your selfish desires. I shall overcome them for you."[14] This is not sarcasm but ridicule of the questioner who passes on a problem to others which is essentially his own. Ridicule in this form was highly popular among Zen masters and was often employed by them. It is traced to Bodhidharma[q] (fl. 460-534), who is traditionally believed to be the founder of Zen Bud-

 

 

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dhism in China. When a pupil of his told him that his mind was not calm and asked the Master to calm it for him, Bodhidharma replied, "Give me your mind and I shall calm it far you."[15] Another favorite Zen technique used by Wang is indicated by the following story:

    When a friend asked about his not being earnest about his task, Wang said, "I have already covered everything about the task of learning in one sentence. How is it that, the more you talk about it, the more you are off the mark, and none of what you say touches the root of the matter?" 
    The friend replied, "I have heard your instructions on the extension of innate knowledge. But it requires elucidation."
    Wang said, "If you clearly know what the extension of innate knowledge is, how can it be elucidated? The extension of innate knowledge is itself clear. The thing to do is to exert effort earnestly and concretely. Otherwise, the more one talks about it, the more muddled it will become."
    The friend said, "My request is precisely on the elucidation of the effort to extend innate knowledge."
    Wang said, "You have to find the way yourself. I have no other method to offer. Once there was a Zen Master. When someone came to him to ask about the Law of the Buddha, he merely raised a dust whisk. One day his followers hid his dust whisk to see what other schemes he would resort to. [When someone asked him about the Law,] he looked for the dust whisk but could not find it, and merely raised his empty hand.[16] This innate knowledge of mine is the dust whisk of my scheme. Aside from it, what can I raise?"
    A little later, another friend asked about the task of being earnest. Wang looked to the side and asked, "Where is my dust whisk?" Those present were excited and happy.[17]

    From the above it may seem that Wang was a Zen Buddhist. As pointed out before, he was attacked as such. What is more, because some Zen Buddhists had become undisciplined and carefree and many of Wang's followers had become "wildcat Zen Buddhists," he was severely attacked as a Zenist in disguise. In the 1570s, some four decades after Wang's death and about seven decades before the collapse of the Ming Dynasty, many of his followers took license in sex and drinking to be the free exercise of man's innate knowledge. In their eyes, a sinner is also a sage, since in Wang's doctrine "All people in the street are sages."[18] Wang was reasserting in a dramatic way the traditional Confucian doctrine that all men can be sages. He would have turned in his grave if he had known his doctrine was being abused to such an absurd degree. Needless to say, Wang himself and the overwhelming

 

 

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majority of his followers were men of the highest integrity and rigid discipline, and he would not tolerate any libertine looseness. The fact remains that some of his followers were really wild. Historians have blamed them partly for the fall of the Ming Dynasty. Actually, they were symptoms of rather than causes for the decline of the Ming. It was the degenerated state of the Ming that produced them instead of vice versa. To some extent, Wang's teaching of the carefree spirit contributed to the rise of the wildcat tendency among his followers. In commenting on the growing attack on him, he said,

Before I went to Nanking,[r] I still harbored a few ideas of the goody-goody villager [who is pleasant but not always honest].[19] Now I believe in innate knowledge. To me what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. I act freely without any more effort to cover up or to conceal. Only, now I have come to have the mind of the restrained. Let all people in the world say that I do not cover up my words or deeds. It is all right with me.[20]

Of course, what he meant was that one had reached the point of knowing what truth was and would act spontaneously without regard for conventional opinion. But he must be held responsible for having failed to foresee the potential danger of the misinterpretation and misapplication of what he said.

    So far as Wang himself is concerned, although he frequently employed Zen idioms and techniques, it is amazing how little actual contact he had with Buddhism. Take his visiting of Buddhist temples. Wang was fond of travel, and in his travels he liked to visit Buddhist temples and often wrote poems after the visit. Altogether, he definitely visited some forty Buddhist temples in some eight provinces in various parts of China. He probably visited forty more temples, although we have no concrete evidence to that effect. When he was forty-nine he made thirteen visits. Often he stayed for a week or two.

    These frequent visits seem to indicate an intimate relationship between Wang and Buddhism, and Japanese scholars have asserted as much.[21] But in these visits his interest in Buddhism was purely casual and should not be interpreted to mean that Wang was continuing his pursuit of Buddhism or that Buddhist thought continued to have a hold on him. In virtually all cases he was either merely passing through and rested there or making a visit for diversion, as is often done by Chinese scholars. It is significant that his longest stay in a Buddhist temple was for about eight months, but that was

 

 

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when he was thirty-two, before he rejected Buddhism and evolved his own Confucian philosophy. Since then, only on three occasions, when he was forty-two, forty-eight, and fifty-four, did he stay for as long as a month. At other times his visits did not last: for more than a week or two.

    A mote revealing fact about his slight relationship with Buddhism is that, unlike the Neo-Confucians of the Sung Dynasty, he had no intimate Buddhist friends. He did not receive instructions from a Buddhist, as did the outstanding Neo-Confucians Chou Tun-i[s] (1017-1073) and Chang Tsai[t] (1020-1077), both from the Buddhist monk Chang-tsung.[u] Nor did he converse with Buddhists in a Buddhist temple, as did Cheng Ah[v] (1032-1085) for a whole day. Of course, the times were different. In the eleventh century, Buddhism was still flourishing and there were many prominent Buddhist scholars. Many of them were in the national capital, where leading Neo-Confucians lived. By Wang's time, in spite of the fact that the founder of the dynasty was a monk, and in spite of the support of emperors Hsiao-tsung[w] (reigned 1488-1505) and Wu-tsung[x] (reigned 1506- 1521), during Wang's lifetime, generally speaking, Buddhism was on the decline. There were no Buddhist scholars of the calibre of Wang. The earlier Neo-Confucians enjoyed the new challenge of Zen Buddhism and the friendship of Zen masters who were intellectually and spiritually their equal. Wang had none of these.

    There is a persistent tradition in Japan that Wang befriended the Japanese priest Keigo Ryoan[y] (1425-1515), who visited China and stayed for about a year and a half. Japanese accounts are not consistent. The date of his entry into China is given variously as 1506, 1510, and 1512. One account says that Wang repeatedly visited him, but another says that Wang met him by chance. It is quite certain that they were in Nanking at the same time, from the second to the fifth month of the eighth year of the Ching-te[z] period (1513). Wang was then in Nanking waiting for an appointment to a government position, and Keigo was there preparing to leave for Japan. It is to be noted that in the following year Wang became senior lord of the bureau of state ceremonials, which included diplomatic receptions. He may have already had some interest in foreign guests. If he did meet Keigo, however, the contact was extremely brief, most probably casual. The only record of the visit is the essay bidding Keigo farewell, which is dated the fifth month of the eighth year of Ching-te. An examination of the style of the essay shows that it could have come from Wang's own hands, and it definitely says, "I have visited him." But this essay is not included in Wang's complete works, and there is no reference to it anywhere. This is a sure indication that the editors of the work, who were Wang's own followers,

 

 

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did not accept the authenticity of the essay. Even if we accept it as authentic, it does not show any significant interest in Buddhism, much less Buddhist influence, on Wang's part. It mentions the fact that Keigo showed him an essay discussing the similarities and differences between the various philosophical and religious systems and equating the Buddha with Confucius. There is much praise of Keigo's personality but nothing to show any enthusiasm for Buddhist doctrines.[22]

    If Wang's contact with Buddhist thinkers was virtually nil, his contact with Buddhist scriptures was not much greater. Again, Sung Neo-Confucians were students of Buddhist scriptures, although their seriousness and understanding may not have been profound. All of them referred to Buddhist works and quoted from them. Some, like Chu Hsi, even criticized them specifically. It is amazing that in the entire Ch'uan-hsi lu[aa] (Instructions for Practical Living),Wang quotes only once from a Buddhist text.[23] It has been noted that he used more Zen idioms and stories than other Neo-Confucians, but he did not quote from Buddhist scriptures as often as they did. This may be explained, as in the case of his friendship with Buddhists, by the fact that Buddhist literature was not as attractive to Neo-Confucians in Wang's time as it was in the Sung Dynasty. But, if this is true, it is also true that Buddhist literature was much less stimulating and influential in Wang's day.

    Turning to his criticisms of Buddhism, we find that he was very vigorous, in some respects more so than his Neo-Confucian predecessors. A study of his criticisms reveals a very significant fact, namely, that he concentrated on attacking the Zen doctrine of the mind. This makes him markedly different from other Neo-Confucians. Chu Hsi, for example, attacked Buddhism on all fronts--social, ethical, historical, and philosophical.[24] Others, like Ch'eng I[ab] (1033-1107), stressed the practical side.[25] Wang, however, directed his attention primarily to the Zen concept of the mind and to the fact that the Zen Buddhists failed to live up to their own ideal. In other words, Wang attacked the very foundation of Zen Buddhism and rejected

 

 

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its strongest claim. It is natural that he should concentrate his efforts in this direction, for, being an advocate of the mind as the ultimate reality, this is where his chief interest lay. But in attacking the Zen doctrine of the mind and the Zen failure to live up to it, he did more damage to Buddhism than other critics did.

    Although he also criticized Buddhism in his letters and essays, the important points of his criticisms are found in the Ch'uan-hsi lu, which is, after all, the main embodiment of his doctrines. Out of 343 conversations that make up the book, seventeen deal with Buddhism either mainly or incidentally. Of these seventeen, only two are devoted to the purely ethical aspect. In Section 49 he said that "the Buddhists lure people into their way of life by the promise of escape from the cycle of life and death," and in Section 90 he said, "Merely to talk about manifesting the clear character and not to talk about loving the people would be to behave like the Taoists and Buddhists."[26] All the rest take the Buddhist doctrine of the mind to task in one way or another.

    Since his criticisms were made in conversations, they are not systematic or thorough. However, they are both clear and definite and can be classified under four headings:

    (1)    The Zen doctrine of the mind is untenable. One of the chief doctrines of Zen is the absence of thought. It was advocated by Shen-hui[ac] (670-762), who expounded the doctrine of sudden enlightenment taught by his master, Hui-neng[ad] (638-713), founder of the Southern School of Zen Buddhism, and who thus overthrew the Northern School of Zen Buddhism, which taught gradual enlightenment. Shen-hui taught the doctrine of the absence of thought so that the mind would return to its original state of tranquillity and be free from attachment to the differentiated characters of things. Originally, it was only one of several fundamental methods, but it became a basic tenet of the school. Wang rejected this concept entirely, for to him the absence of thought was inconceivable. When he was asked about Chu Hsi's statement, he said,

When one does not know a thing, his task is to be apprehensive. . . .[27] TO be apprehensive implies that one already knows the situation. If one does not know, who is it that is apprehensive? The view you stated inevitably leads to the Buddhist meditation that cuts off all events. . . . To be apprehensive is also thought. The thought of apprehension never ceases. . . . From morning to evening, and from youth to old age, if one wants to be without thought, that is, not to know anything, he cannot do so unless he is sound asleep or dead like dry wood or dead ashes.[28]

 

 

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Actually, Shen-hui taught no cult of unconsciousness. What he meant was for the mind to return to its original state of tranquillity and be free from the differentiated characters of things. There is no doubt, however, that the doctrine logically leads to an indifference to things, and Wang insisted that this was impossible while we are awake.

    (2)    Zen Buddhists are bound by the very thing from which they have claimed freedom, namely, attachment. According to the Platform Scripture of the Sixth Patriarch, by the absence of thought is meant "to see all dharmas (elements of existence) but not to be attached to them and [for the mind] to pervade everywhere but not to be attached to anything."[29]
    The scripture further says, "When all dharmas are examined in the light of wisdom, and one neither is attached to them nor renounces them, one will see one's nature and attain Buddhahood."[30] Thus, Zen Buddhism not only advocates freedom from attachment to external things but also from attachment itself.

    To Wang, this is exactly where the Buddhists failed. He said:

Buddhism claims to be free from attachment to and affliction by phenomenal things [dharma-characters] , but actually the opposite is the case. The Buddhists are afraid of the burden in the relationship between father and son and therefore escape from it.... In all cases, because the relationships between ruler and minister, father and son, and husband and wife involve attachment to phenomena, they have to escape from them. With us Confucians we accept the relationship between father and son and fulfill it with humanity as it deserves.[31]

    In Wang's view, to fulfill a moral duty without any personal preference is real non-attachment, whereas to avoid moral responsibility is really attachment to selfishness. He said elsewhere:

The Taoist talk about vacuity is motivated by a desire for nourishing everlasting life, and the Buddhist talk about non-being is motivated by the desire to escape from the sorrowful sea of life and death. In both cases, a certain selfish idea has been added to the original substance [of the mind], thereby losing the true character of vacuity and obstructing the original substance [of the mind]. The Confucian sage merely returns to the true condition of innate knowledge of the good and does not attach to it any selfish desire.[32]

    According to Wang, just as the Buddhists cannot be free from attachment in their idea of non-being, so are they not free from attachment in their con-

 

 

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cept of the non-distinction of good and evil. When asked what the difference was between the Buddhist non-distinction of good and evil and the Confucian non-distinction, he replied, "The Buddhists were attached to this non-distinction... whereas in his non-distinction of good and evil the [Confucian] sage merely makes no special effort whatsoever to like or to dislike."[33] In commenting on the Zen Buddhist doctrine of "recognizing one's original state at the time when one thinks of neither good nor evil,"[34] he said that, while this doctrine is no different from the Confucian doctrine of innate knowledge, "the Buddhists are different from us because they have the mind motivated by selfishness. Now, to wish to think of neither good nor evil and to want the mind of innate knowledge to be clear, tranquil, and at ease means to have the mind of selfishness."[35] In short, no matter what the Buddhists may claim, they cannot be free from the very thing from which they have claimed freedom, namely, attachment.

    (3)    The Zen method of sudden enlightenment cannot bring about the complete functioning of the mind. The peculiar method of Zen Buddhism is to understand the mind, see one's own nature, attain calmness and wisdom, and achieve sudden enlightenment. To Wang, this is "to achieve sudden enlightenment out of nothing."[36] Instead, he advocated the methods of the investigation of things, the extension of knowledge, the sincerity of the will, and the rectification of the mind, all of which are directed to the task of personal examination and actual demonstration of matters concerning one's own mind and daily affairs. In contrast to the Buddhist idea of "constantly bringing your thoughts to the fore" and to "always be alert," he taught Mencius saying, "Always be doing something."[37] He understood the task of "constantly bringing thoughts to the fore," not merely as a state of mind, as the Buddhist did, but as to "always be doing something."[38] In other words, the mind must not only be active at all times; it must always be applied to daily human affairs. As Wang saw it, since the Buddhists desert daily human affairs, they virtually desert the mind itself.

    (4)    The Buddhist way of cultivating the mind is useless for the purpose of administrating the world. This is clear from the following conversation:

    Someone asked, "The Buddhists also devote themselves to the nourishment of the mind, but fundamentally they are incapable of governing the world. Why?"

 

 

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    The Master [Wang] said: In nourishing the mind, we Confucians have never departed from things and events. By merely following the natural principles of things we accomplish our task. On the other hand, the Buddhists insist on getting away from things and events completely and view the mind as an illusion, gradually entering into a life of emptiness and silence, and seem to have nothing to do with the world at all. This is why they are incapable of governing the world.[39]

    Furthermore, since the Buddhists aim at the state of thinking of neither good nor evil, they are attached to this state and neglect everything. For this reason also, they are incapable of governing the world.[40]

    Although the above points are only briefly stated, they are nonetheless cogent, for they are centrally directed at the most important aspect of Zen Buddhism, namely, the function of the mind. In this he was different from Chu Hsi, who attacked the Buddhist doctrine of the mind from the point of view of the substance of the mind rather than its function. In his special treatise criticizing the Buddhist doctrine, the Kuan-hsin shuo[ae] (On the Examination of the Mind), he stressed the point that the Buddhists divide the mind into two so that one examines the other.[41] The point involves both substance and function, but Chu Hsi's emphasis was on the nature of the mind.

    Elsewhere, Chu Hsi attacked the Buddhists for identifying the mind with principle and for confusing the mind with human nature.[42] It is interesting to note why Wang preferred to dwell on the function rather than the substance of the mind. Obviously, with respect to the nature of the mind, he was close to, if not identical with, the Buddhists, and was subject to all criticisms Chu made against the Buddhists. In effect, while attacking Buddhism, Chu was attacking also the idealistic tendency of Neo-Confucianism itself. In concentrating on the function of the mind, Wang could criticize Buddhism without endangering Neo-Confucianism. In this way, Wang's criticism of Buddhism was more effective.

 

 

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a. 陳榮捷 aa. 傳習錄
b. 王陽明 ab. 程頤
c. ac. 神會
d. ad. 慧能
e. ae. 觀心說
f. 陳建 af. 六祖壇經
g. 張烈 ag. 大正新修大藏經
h. 學蔀通辨 ah. 王文成公全書
i. 良知 ai. 四部叢刊
j. 致良知 aj. 正誼堂全書
k. 虛靈 ak. 王學質疑
l. 常盤大定 al. 支那ズ於んペ佛教シ儒教道教
m. 陸象山 am. 東京東洋文庫
n. 貴州 an. 大學章句
o. 朱熹 ao. 澄觀
p. 年譜 ap. 景德傳燈錄
q. 菩提達摩 aq. 宗密
r. 南京 ar. 禪源諸詮集都序
s. 周敦頤 as. 祖心
t. 張載 at. 黃龍
u. 常總 au. 五燈會元
v. 程顥 av. 續藏經
w. 孝宗 aw. 聯燈會要
x. 武宗 ax. 朱子文集
y. 桂悟了庵 ay. 四部備要
z. 正德 az. 朱子大全
ba. 久須本文雄
bb. 王陽明ソ禪的思想研究
bc. 名古屋
bd. 馮友蘭
be. 朱子全書

 

 

 

 

NOTES

*    This article is based on a brief paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Boston, on April 3, 1962.

1.    A quotation from the Liu-tsu tan-ching[af] (Platform Scripture of the Sixth Patriarch), sec. 1, Taisho shinshu daizokyo[ag] (Taisho Edition of the Buddhist Canon),Taisho No. 2008, Vol. 48, p. 349.

2.    Ch'uan-hsi lu (Instructions for Practical Living), sec. 162, in the Wang Wen-ch'eng Kung ch'uan-shu[ah] (Complete Works of Wang Yang-ming), Ssu-pu tsung-k'an[ai] (Four Libraries Series) edition (SPTK), 2:45a (chap. 2, p. 5a). The section number and those below follow my forthcoming book, Instructions for Practical Living and Other Neo-Confucian Writings of Wang Yang-ming, now in the process of publication by Columbia University Press.

3.    Hsueh-pu t'ung-pien (Complete Library of the Hall of Rectifying the Way), Cheng-i-tang ch'uan-shu[aj] edition, 9:3a.

4.    BOOK of Mencius, 7A.15.

5.    Ch'uan-hsi lu, secs. 135, 137, 152, 255, 244, and 261; SPTK, 2:36b, 9b, 13b, 38b; 3:19b and 25a, respectively.

6.     Wang-hsueh chih-i[ak] (Questions on Wang's Doctrines), Cheng-i tang ch'uan-shu edition, 4:5a.

7.    Shina ni okeru bukkyo to jukyo dokyo[al] (The Relation Between Buddhism and Confucianism and Taoism in China) (Tokyo: Toyo Bunko,[am] 1930), p. 463.

8.    Ch'uan-hsi lu, introduction to pt. 1, SPTK, l:la.

9.    Ibid., sec. 124, SPTK,1:61a.

10.    Ibid., sec. 32, SPTK, 1:24b.

11.    In his Ta-hsueh chang-chu[an] (Commentary in the Great Learning), commentary on the text. The phrase is probably derived from the common Buddhist phrase "intelligent, knowing, and not beclouded," which was uttered by Zen masters like Cheng-kuan[ao] (ca. 760-838). (See Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu,[ap] or "Records of the Transmission of the Lamp Compiled During the Ching-te Period," 1004-1007, SPTK, 30:8a.) The terms "intelligent and knowing" and "not be-clouded" were also used by Tsung-mi[aq] (780-841) in his Chan-yuan chu-chuan chi tu-hsu.[ar] (General Preface to the Collection of Source Material of the Zen School),Taisho shinshu daizokyo Taisho No. 2015, Vol. 48, pp. 404-405.

12.    The words quoted are by Zen Master Tsu-hsin[as] (fl. 1060) of Huang-lung[at] Mountain. See Wu-teng hui-y,u.an[au] (Five Lamps Combined),chap. 17, Zokuzokyo[av] (Supplement to the Buddhist Canon), 1st collection, pt. 2, B, case 11, p. 335a; also Lien-teng hui-yao[aw] (Essentials of the Several Lamps Combined), chap. 15, Zokuzokyo, 1, 2, B, 9, p. 339b. Chu Hsi used the story in the Chu Tzu wen-chi[ax] (Collection of Literary Works of Chu Hsi), Ssu-pu pei-yao[ay] (Essentials of the Four Libraries) edition entitled Chu Tzu Ta-chuan[az] (Complete Literary Works of Chu Hsi),71:6b.

13.    Wang Wen-cheng Kung chuan-shu, 32:10a.

14.     Chuan-hsi lu, sec. 122, SPTK, 1:58b.

15.     Ching-te chuan-teng lu, SPTK, 3:7a.

16.    A common Buddhist story, the source of which is unknown.

17.    Chuan-hsi lu, sec. 280, SPTK, 3:12 a-b.

18.    Ibid., sec. 313, SPTK, 3:44b

19.     Alluding to the Confucian Analects, XVII.1Z and the Book of Mencius, 7B.37.

20.     Ch'uan-hsi lit, sec. 312, SPTK, 3:44a.

21.    See Kusumoto Bunyo[ba] Oyomei no zenteki shiso kenkyu[bb] (Study Of Wang Yang-ming's Zen Ideas) (Nagoya:[bc] Nisshinodo Shoten, 1958),chap. 5.

22.    See Ibid., chap. 4.

23.    Sec. 167, SPTK, 2:50b, from the Diamond Suutra, sec. 10. The earlier quotation (in note 1) from the Liu-tsu tan-ching was not his own. The quotation was in a letter to which he was making a reply.

24.    See Galen Eugene Sargent, Tchou Hi Contre le Bouddhisme (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1955),pp. 10-39. For some philosophical criticisms, see Fung Yu-lan,[bd] A History of Chinese Philosophy, Derk Bodde, trans. (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1953), Vol. II, pp. 566-571.

25.    See ibid., pp. 508-509. Also Wm. Theodore de Bary, Wing-tsit Chan, and Burton Watson, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), pp. 532-533.

26.    SPTK, 1:30a and 1:41b.

27.    Chu Hsi, Chung-yung chang-chu (Commentary on the Doctrine of the Mean), chap. 1.

28.     Chuan-hsi lu sec. 120, SPTK, 1:58a.

29.     Liu-tsu tan-ching sec. 31. This translation is from the version discovered in Tun-huang in 1907, the oldest version, of which the current version referred to in note 1, above, is an elaboration. I have translated this Tun-huang version into English and it will soon be published by the St. John's University Press, New York.

30.    Sec. 27.

31.    Ch'uan-hsi lu, sec. 236, SPTK, 3:15b-16a.

32.    Ibid., sec. 269, SPTK, 3:17b-18a.

33.    Ibid., sec. 101, SPTK, 1:48a.

34.    See above, note 1.

35.    Chuan lu, sec. 162, SPTK, 2:45a.

36.    Ibid., sec. 131, SPTK, 2:3a.

37.    Book of Mencius, 2A.2.

38.    Chuan lu, sec. 163, SPTK, 2:46b

39.    Ibid., sec. 270, SPTK, 3:18 a-b.

40.    Ibid., sec. 101, SPTK, 1:48a.

41.    Chu Tzu Wen-chi, chap. 67.

42.    Chu Tzu chuan-shu[be] (Complete Works of Chu Hsi), 1713 edition, 60:14-15.