Buddhism Baoshan
by
Wendi Adamek
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393521-0264

Introduction

Baoshan 寶山 (Treasure Mountain) is a Buddhist site in the Taihang 太行 mountain range in Henan 河南 Province; it includes neighboring Lanfengshan 嵐峰山 (Misty Peak Mountain). It is a network of cave-shrines, devotional and memorial inscriptions, reliquary niches with portrait-statues, and references to buildings and restorations. Most notably, the memorial inscriptions on Lanfengshan are the single largest extant in situ collection of records of medieval Chinese Buddhist nuns. It is claimed that Baoshan was first marked as a Buddhist place by the monk Daoping 道憑 (b. 488–d. 559). Daoping’s disciple Lingyu 靈裕 (b. 518–d. 605) won imperial recognition for the site and probably led the design and construction of the main cave-shrine. Both monks belonged to the southern branch of the Dilun 地論 (Stages treatise) lineage that began in the Northern Qi 北齊 (550–577) capital of Ye 鄴. Two rock-cut cave shrines on Baoshan and Lanfengshan constitute the devotional foci of the site, and a restored temple stands in the valley between them, in what is believed to be its original location. The site’s main cave-shrine Dazhusheng 大住聖 (Great Abiding Holy Ones) is located midway up Baoshan and about five hundred meters west and further up the valley from the restored temple. Mortuary niches for monks and laymen fan out on several levels above the cave to the east and west. An earlier, smaller cave attributed to Daoping was renamed Daliusheng 大留聖 (Great Remaining Holy Ones), establishing correspondence with Dazhusheng. It is situated partway up Langfengshan, overlooking the lower part of the valley. Mortuary niches for nuns and laywomen are carved into cliff-faces above, below, and to the east of the cave. In Lingyu’s Xu gaoseng zhuan 續高僧傳 (Continued biographies of eminent monks) biography, it is said that the temple in the valley between the peaks was designated Lingquansi 靈泉寺 (Ling’s Spring/Numinous Spring Temple) in 591 by Emperor Wen of the Sui. This was meant to honor Lingyu, who that year conferred precepts on the imperial household. One of Lingyu’s disciples, the eminent monk Huixiu 慧休 (b. 547–d. 646), also had a formative influence at the site.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are each introduced individually: Archives, Anyang District Epigraphical Collections and Gazetteers, 20th-Century Catalogues, Buddhist Scriptures at Baoshan, Biographies and Epitaphs, and Tang-Era Chinese Buddhist Works.

Archives

In the early 20th century, rubbings of Baoshan’s inscriptions were made. These rubbings are now preserved at the Zhongyang yanjiu yuan (Academia Sinica) in Taiwan and Tōhoku University in Japan. Archives at the Academia Sinica and the Jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo (Humanistic Science Research Institute) in Kyoto also hold photographs of the rubbings, and the Jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo has made them available online. To view the original rubbings, permission must be sought at Academia Sinica and Tōhoku University.

  • Jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo 人文科学研究所. Kyoto University, Japan.

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    The Jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo (Humanistic Science Research Institute) has two collections. The first collection includes photographs of rubbings in the Sekkoku 石刻 (Stone engravings) collection; Baoshan materials are in collection 9 輯, case 61 函. The second collection contains photographs of rubbings in the Chūgoku kinseki takuhon 中國金石拓本 (Rubbings from Chinese metal and stone inscriptions) collection; Baoshan materials are in cases 43–44 函.

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  • Ōno Kōji 大野晃嗣, Saitō Tomohiro 齋藤智寛, and Watanabe Kenya 渡辺健哉. “Tōhoku Daigaku fuzoku toshokan shozō ‘Chūgoku kinsekibun takuhon shu’ Fu: Kanren shiryō no kankō ni yoseta (東北大学附屬図書館所蔵「中国金石文拓本集」 附: 関連資料」の刊行によせて).” Higashi Asia sekkoku kenkyū 東アジア石刻研究 6 (2015): 1–16.

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    English translation of title: Preface to the publication of the “Collection of rubbings of Chinese documents in metal and stone” at Tōhoku University Annex Library, with related materials. The physical location of the rubbings reproduced in the Kyoto Jinbunken collections is Tōhoku University; this source describes the collection in detail.

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  • Zhongyang yanjiu yuan 中央研究院. Academia Sinica Library in Taipei, Republic of China.

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    Permission must be sought from the librarian to look through the microfiche collection and view selected original rubbings.

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Anyang District Epigraphical Collections and Gazetteers

The most important of the pre-20th-century sources on Baoshan are the Anyangxian jinshi lu and Anyangxian zhi. The practice of publishing collections of inscriptions became widespread during the Qing 清 dynasty (1644–1912). The original archivist, Wu Yi 武億 (b. 1745–d. 1799), compiled materials from Anyang and included inscriptions from Baoshan. He referred to the site as Wanfogou 萬佛溝 (Ten thousand buddhas ravine), a name that remains in popular use. This is an informal designation for the Baoshan-Lanfengshan area that was probably coined sometime in the Ming or Qing due to the many mortuary niches with enshrined images. The Anyangxian jinshi lu and the Anyangxian zhi are sometimes confused, as Wu Yi was the compiler of the first (see Wu 1977) and one of the two compilers of the second (see Wu and Zhao 1799), and they were both originally published in 1799. In 1819 Wu Yi’s son, Wu Muqun 武穆淳, published an expanded version of the Anyangxian zhi (Wu and Gui 1819) that included the Anyangxian jinshi lu as an appendix. However, as their titles indicate, the two works belong to different genres, or distinct parts of a genre. The first is a chronological compilation of inscriptions from the Shang to the Yuan, and the second is a gazetteer, an administrative aid organized according to categories: maps, genealogies of the nobility, officials, offices, geographical records, tax records, records of canals and fields, ceremonies and sites for local spirits, military defenses, biographies, government records, records of filial piety, and bibliographic records. With regard to Baoshan, the Anyangxian zhi does not add anything to the information from the inscriptions included in the Anyangxian jinshi lu, but it does provide valuable context.

  • Li Guoti 李國禔. “Anyang jinshi lu 安陽金石錄.” In Shike shiliao xinbian 石刻史料新編. Series 3, Vol. 28. Edited by Yan Gengwang 嚴耕望, 463–538. Taibei: Xinwenfeng, 1986.

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    English translation of titles: Anyang records in metal and stone; A new edition of historical materials carved on stone. Contains twelve fascicles. Li Guoti reedited the Anyangxian jinshi lu and included it as an appendix to the Guomin Anyangxian zhi 國民安陽縣志 (National Anyang District record). Originally published in 1933.

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  • Wu Muqun 武穆淳, and Gui Tai 貴泰. Anyangxian zhi. 1819.

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    English translation of title: Anyang District gazetteer. Contains twenty-eight fascicles, with Wu Yi’s Anyangxian jinshi lu as an appendix. This expanded version of the gazetteer provides further contextual material about Anyang District. A photocopy of the original is available in Google Books.

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  • Wu Yi 武億. “Anyangxian jinshi lu 安陽縣金石錄.” In Shike shiliao xinbian 石刻史料新編. Series 1, Vol. 18. Edited by Yan Gengwang 嚴耕望, 13819–13948. Taibei: Xinwenfeng, 1977.

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    English translation of titles: Records in metal and stone of Anyang District; A new edition of historical materials carved on stone. Contains twelve fascicles. Wu Yi’s original collection of inscriptions, plus a supplement, is the most useful starting point for an overview of the site (besides going there). Originally published in 1799.

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  • Wu Yi 武億, and Zhao Xihuang 趙希璜. Anyangxian zhi 安陽縣志. 1799.

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    English translation of title: Anyang District gazetteer (aka Jiaqing Anyang zhi 嘉慶安陽志 [Anyang District gazetteer of the Jiaqing era]). Contains fourteen fascicles. This is a gazetteer of Anyang District, providing information for administrative purposes. A photocopy of the original is available in Google Books.

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20th-Century Catalogues

Two major cataloguing efforts are introduced individually.

Tokiwa and Sekino

The earliest photographic records of the site were published in the Shina bukkyō shiseki (Historical materials of Chinese Buddhism), based on materials collected in seven expeditions to China between 1906 and 1925 undertaken by the Japanese scholars Tokiwa Daijō 常盤大定 (b. 1870–d. 1945) and Sekino Tadashi 關野貞 (b. 1868–d. 1935). From 1926 to 1928, Shina bukkyō shiseki was published in five volumes of text and five large volumes of plates (Tokiwa and Sekino 1926–1928). In 1926 the authors published Buddhist Monuments in China (Tokiwa and Sekino 1926), an English translation of the text volumes. These works provide a unique pre–World War II investigation of Buddhist artifacts organized by region and site. The plates include photographs of Baoshan as it was before the neglect and destruction of its buildings and images during the war-torn decades of the first half of the 20th century and further destruction of images during the Cultural Revolution. In 1975–1976, a revised version edited by Takeuchi Takashima 卓一竹島 and Masao Shimada 正郎島田 was published as Chugoku bunka shiseki, kaisetsu 中國文化史蹟, 解說 (Historical materials of Chinese culture, with explanatory notes) in twelve volumes (Takeuchi and Masao 1975–1976). A collection of Tokiwa’s rubbings is preserved at Tōhoku University, and these are the basis for the Jinbunken online database reproductions, as introduced in Archives.

  • Takeuchi Takashima 卓一竹島, and Masao Shimada 正郎島田, eds. Chugoku bunka shiseki, kaisetsu 中國文化史蹟, 解說. By Tokiwa Daijō 常盤大定 and Sekino Tadashi 貞關野. 12 vols. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1975–1976.

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    English translation of title: Historical materials of Chinese culture, with explanatory notes. This is a contemporary revised edition of Tokiwa and Sekino’s major work.

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  • Tokiwa Daijō 常盤大定. Shina bukkyō no kenkyū 支那佛教の研究. 3 vols. Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1938–1943.

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    English translation of title: Research on Chinese Buddhism. This is an anthology of Tokiwa’s articles on various topics in Chinese Buddhism, based on his archeological and textual research.

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  • Tokiwa Daijō 常盤大定. Shina bukkyō shiseki tōsaki 支那佛教史蹟踏查記. Tokyo: Bukkyō shiseki kenkyūkai, 1972.

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    English translation of title: Record of personally examined historical materials of Chinese Buddhism. Tokiwa’s field notes about sites and artifacts provide valuable records of materials that are no longer extant. Originally published in 1938.

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  • Tokiwa, Daijō, and Tadashi Sekino. Buddhist Monuments in China. 5 vols. Tokyo: Bukkyō shiseki kenkyūkai, 1926.

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    This is an English synopsis of Shina bukkyō shiseki.

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  • Tokiwa Daijō 常盤大定, and Sekino Tadashi 貞關野. Shina bukkyō shiseki 支那佛教史蹟. 10 vols. Tokyo: Bukkyō shiseki kenkyūkai, 1926–1928.

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    Shina bukkyō shiseki (Historical materials of Chinese Buddhism) is the original compilation of their expedition materials by the two archaeologists. With five volumes of text and five volumes of plates.

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Henan Research Institute for the Preservation of Ancient Architecture

The most comprehensive catalogue of Baoshan’s artifacts is Baoshan Lingquan si (Baoshan’s Lingquan Temple; see Chang 1991), published by the Henan Research Institute for the Preservation of Ancient Architecture. The principal compiler and editor was Chang Baoshun 棖宝顺, and the work is an impressive collaborative effort, coordinating textual and historical studies, archaeological photographs, and architectural drawings. The work covers artifacts on Baoshan, Lanfengshan, and nearby Shanying shiku 善應石窟; the latter is also known as Xiaonanhai 小南海 (Middle or Central Cave).

  • Chang Baoshun 棖宝顺, ed. Baoshan Lingquan si 寶山靈泉寺. Zhengzhou, China: Henan Renmin, 1991.

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    English translation of title: Lingquan Temple at Baoshan. The publication by Henansheng gudai jianzhu baohu yanjiusuo 河南省古代建築保護研究所 (Henan Research Institute for the Preservation of Ancient Architecture) includes foldout pages cataloguing all the mortuary niches, free-standing pagodas, and images that were extant in 1991. Many of the artifacts of the three sites were drawn and photographed, and there is also a descriptive overview with cursory simplified-character transcriptions of the inscriptions, as well as a survey of previous records. Much care was taken to produce detailed line drawings of the mortuary niches, and these are presented according to the location of niches on the mountainsides.

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Buddhist Scriptures at Baoshan

The inscriptions in and around Dazhusheng cave reference some of the most popular scriptures in 6th-century China, cited in full in this section: the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Sūtra (Da banniepan jing), Avataṃsaka-Sūtra (Huayan jing), Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-Sūtra (Miaofa lianhua jing), Mahāmāyā-Sūtra (Mohemoye jing), and Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanāda-Sūtra (Shengman shizihou yisheng dafangbian fangguang jing). Passages and evocations of these authoritative Mahayana texts reflect the influence of the Buddhist culture that flourished at the Northern Qi capital of Ye, particularly Yogācāra interpretations of the bodhisattva path and tathāgatagarbha doctrines that were central to the Dilun 地論 (Stages treatise) approach to practice. In addition, Baoshan’s carvings include specialized works that were important for repentance and buddha-evocation practices. Listed in this section, specialized works inscribed at Dazhusheng cave fall into two broad categories: (1) texts with liturgical and/or ritual instructions (the Foming jing, Jueding pini jing, and Lüe li qijie foming chanhui deng wen) and (2) works claimed to be translations that were compiled or supplemented in Central Asia or China (the Fu fazang [yinyuan] zhuan, Guan Yaowang Yaoshang er pusa jing, and Yuezang fen jing).

  • Da banniepan jing 大般涅槃經.

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    Mahāparinirvāṇa-Sūtra (Great final passing of the buddha sutra = Nirvāṇa Sūtra). The Nirvāṇa Sūtra has three Chinese versions: T. (= Taishō-era Buddhist Canon) 376, 12. In six fascicles, translation ascribed to Faxian 法顯 (b. c. 337–d. 418); T. 374, 12. In forty fascicles, translation ascribed to Dharmakṣema 曇無讖 (b. 385–d. 433); T. 375, 12. In thirty-six fascicles, this is the Dharmakṣema translation reedited c. 433–452 by Huiyan 慧嚴 (b. 363–d. 443) et al.

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  • Foming jing 佛名經. T. 440, 14.

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    English translation of title: Sutra of the names of the buddhas. The cited translation is ascribed to Bodhiruci 菩提流支 (d. 527); the scripture is an aid for the practice of buddha-evocation. At Baoshan, names of twenty-five buddhas from this scripture are carved on the facade of Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Fu fazang [yinyuan] zhuan 付法藏[因緣]傳. T. 2058, 50.

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    English translation of title: Account of the [Avadāna] of the transmission of the dharma treasury. A probable Central Asian/Chinese compilation from various scriptural sources; it chronicles transmission of the Dharma through biographies of twenty-four generations of the Buddha Śākyamuni’s disciples. Images of the twenty-four dharma-masters are inscribed on the south wall of Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Guan Yaowang Yaoshang er pusa jing 觀藥王藥上二菩薩經. T. 1161, 20.

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    English translation of title: Sutra on contemplating the two Medicine Kings bodhisattvas Bhaiṣajyarāja and Bhaiṣajyasamudgata. This visualization text is likely to be a Central Asian apocryphon, but the “translation” is ascribed to Kālayaśas 彊良耶舍 (b. 383–d. 442). Names of sets of fifty-two buddhas, and buddhas of the ten directions from this scripture are carved on the facade of Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Huayan jing 華嚴經.

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    Avataṃsaka-Sūtra (Flower ornament sutra). This is one of the most famous Mahayana sutras, and is the scriptural basis for the Dilun school. There are three major translations: T. 278, 9, in sixty fascicles, translation ascribed to Buddhabhadra 佛陀跋陀羅 (b. 359–d. 429); T. 279, 10, in eighty fascicles, translation ascribed to Śikṣānanda 實叉難陀 (b. 652–d. 710); T. 293, 10, in forty fascicles, translation ascribed to Prajñā 般若.

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  • Jueding pini jing 決定毘尼經. T. 325, 12.

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    Vinayaviniścaya-Upāliparipṛcchā-Sūtra (Sutra of the inquiry of Upāli regarding determination of the Vinaya). This important text includes details about precepts vows, repentance ritual, and buddha-evocation. Translation is ascribed to Dharmarakṣa 竺法護 (b. c. 265–d. 313). Names of the thirty-five buddhas of confession from this text are carved both inside and outside Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Lüe li qijie foming chanhui deng wen 略禮七階佛名懺悔等文.

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    English translation of title: Abridged seven registers buddhanāma and confession-repentance text. This unique repentance liturgy incorporating elements from other texts is inscribed on the facade of Dazhusheng cave. It is partially included in Zhisheng’s 智昇 collection of liturgies compiled in 730, the Ji zhujing chanhui yi 集諸經禮懺儀 (Anthology of repentance ritual liturgies in the sutras), T. 1982, 47:456b27–457a27.

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  • Miaofa lianhua jing 妙法蓮華經. T. 262–264, 9.

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    Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-Sūtra (Lotus sutra). Possibly the best-known Mahayana sutra of all, the Lotus promoted the idea that buddhahood was the true goal of all beings. Passages from the “Rulai shouliang 如來壽量” (Lifespan of the tathāgata) and “Fenbie gongde 分別功德” (Distinction of merit) chapters are inscribed on the facade of Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Mohemoye jing 摩訶摩耶經. T. 383, 12.

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    Mahāmāyā-Sūtra (Sutra of the Buddha’s mother Mahāmāyā). This was a popular scripture in the 6th and 7th centuries; it describes the Buddha ascending to one of the heavens to give teachings and encouragement to his deceased mother Mahāmāyā. Translation is ascribed to Tanjing 曇景 (b. 479–d. 502), but this could be an apocryphon. This is the second half of the long inscription on the inner south wall of Dazhusheng cave.

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  • Shengman shizihou yisheng dafangbian fangguang jing 勝鬘師子吼一乘大方便方廣經. T. 353, 12.

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    Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanāda-Sūtra (The lion’s roar of Śrīmālā’s One Vehicle, great skillful means far-ranging sutra). This sutra features dialogues between the Buddha and Queen Śrīmālā about the tathāgatagarbha (buddha-matrix) of beings. One might expect that the source for the passage carved on the facade of Dazhusheng would be the version by the Dilun translator Bodhiruci (in T. 310, 11), but the inscribed passage corresponds to Guṇabhadra’s 求那跋陀羅 (b. 394–d. 468) translation.

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  • Yuezang fen jing 月藏分經. T. 397, 13:298a5–381c11.

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    Candragarbhavaipulya-Sūtra (Sutra of the extensive discourse of the bodhisattva moon-embryo). Included in the Daji jing 大集經 (Mahāsaṃnipāta-Sūtra, Sutra of the great assembly), this sutra centers on teachings and narratives about the decline of Śākyamuni Buddha’s dharma. Translation is ascribed to Narendrayaśas 那連提黎耶舍 (b. 517–d. 589), but it probably incorporates portions composed in Central Asia or China. A long passage from the “Bu Yanfuti 布閻浮提” (On the arrangement of Jambūdvīpa) chapter is inscribed on the inner south wall of Dazhusheng cave.

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Biographies and Epitaphs

The works compiled here are major historical sources for Tang-era Buddhism and history. Daoxuan’s Xu gaoseng zhuan (Daoxuan 645–665) is a 7th-century compilation of biographies of Buddhist monks. The Jiu Tang shu (Liu 1975) and Xin Tang shu (Ouyang and Song 1975) (“old” and “new” Tang histories) are dynastic histories, that is, histories and annals of the previous dynasty compiled by historians of the successors’ dynasty. The Tangdai muzhiming huibian fukao (Mao 1984–1994) and Tangdai muzhi huibian xuji (Zhou and Zhao 2001) are contemporary compilations of entombed epitaph inscriptions.

  • Daoxuan 道宣. Xu gaoseng zhuan續高僧傳. T. 2060, 50 (645–665).

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    English translation of title: Continued biographies of eminent monks. This essential source was compiled by the Vinaya master Daoxuan (b. 596–d. 667); it was first completed in 645 and augmented two decades later. It includes biographies of the Baoshan founders Daoping and Lingyu, and the restorer Huixiu. It also includes biographies for figures related to Baoshan.

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  • Liu Xu 劉昫. Jiu Tang shu 舊唐書. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975.

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    The Jiu Tang shu (Old Tang history, 945) is the first version of the retrospective history of the Tang 唐 dynasty (618–906), cited in its standard modern edition. The Jiu Tang shu and Xin Tang shu (Ouyang and Song 1975) include biographical accounts of persons and events that were active at Baoshan or had influence in its milieu.

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  • Mao Hanguang 毛漢光, ed. Tangdai muzhiming huibian fukao 唐代暮誌銘彙編附考. 18 vols. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiu yuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1984–1994.

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    English translation of title: Annotated compilation of Tang dynasty tomb inscriptions. This collection of inscribed epitaphs provides valuable context for the Baoshan memorials and includes epitaphs for related historical figures.

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  • Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修, and Song Qi 宋祁. Xin Tang shu 新唐書. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975.

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    The Xin Tang shu (New Tang history, 1060) is a revised version of the retrospective history of the Tang, cited in its standard modern edition.

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  • Zhou Shaoliang 周紹良, and Zhao Chao 趙超, eds. Tangdai muzhi huibian xuji 唐代墓誌彙編續集. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2001.

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    English translation of title: Continued compilation of Tang dynasty tomb records. This collection of inscribed epitaphs supplements the Tangdai muzhiming huibian fukao (Mao 1984–1994).

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Tang-Era Chinese Buddhist Works

Baoshan and Lanfengshan’s memorial inscriptions mention the titles of dozens of works, so they cannot all be included here. In this section, the selected sources include one work coauthored by a monk memorialized at Baoshan (the Dasheng yizhang), one work containing verses by the cofounder of Baoshan (the Fayuan zhulin; see Daoshi 668), and one work containing a passage inscribed at Baoshan (the Ji zhujing chanhui yi; see Zhisheng 730).

  • Daoshi 道世. Fayuan zhulin 法苑珠林, T. 2122, 53 (668).

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    English translation of title: Jade Grove of the Dharma Garden. Compiled by Daoxuan’s fellow-disciple Daoshi (b. c. 596–d. 683), this Buddhist encyclopedia includes Lingyu’s Zongchan shi’e jiwen 總懺十惡偈文 (Verses on comprehensive repentance for the Ten Evil Deeds), T. 2122, 53: 918c23–919a27. These verses attest to Lingyu’s concern with repentance as a key practice.

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  • Jingying Huiyuan 淨影慧遠, and Huixiu 慧休. Dasheng yizhang 大乘義章, T. 1851, 44.

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    English translation of title: Chapters on the meaning of the Mahayana. This massive compendium is attributed to Huiyuan 慧遠 (b. 523–d. 592) of Jingying 淨影 Temple, Lingyu’s contemporary and one of the most prominent Dilun masters active in that period. Huiyuan categorized Mahayana doctrines according to principles such as numerical groups and the structure of the bodhisattva path. He drew heavily on the translations of Dharmakṣema and was especially indebted to the Nirvāṇa-Sūtra. The Baoshan epitaph for his disciple Huixiu 慧休 (b. 547–d. 646) claims that Huixiu coauthored the work.

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  • Zhisheng 智升. Ji zhujing chanhui yi 集諸經禮懺儀. T. 1982, 47 (730).

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    English translation of title: Anthology of repentance ritual liturgies in the sutras. Compiled by the famous cataloger of Buddhist scriptures Zhisheng (active c. 700–740), this compendium includes a version of the liturgy carved on the facade of Dashusheng.

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Selected Secondary Sources

It is of course impossible to include all the relevant material; a comprehensive bibliography can be found in Adamek 2020 (cited under Baoshan). Sources in this section are divided into the following subsections: Baoshan, Persons Connected with the Site, Related Cave Shrines and Objects, and Buddhist Doctrines and Practices.

Baoshan

Works in this subsection are summarized in chronological order. Ding 1988 introduces Baoshan as a significant site for archeological study. Chen, et al. 1989 is the first work to discuss Baoshan in the context of the Anyang caves as a group. Ōuchi 1997, Li 1998, and Li 1999 introduce Baoshan’s inscriptions on the basis of archival collections of rubbings in Japan and Taiwan. Kim 2005 connects Baoshan’s texts and images and discusses their significance in the context of the Anyang caves and the Buddhist culture of the Northern Dynasties. Li 2012 describes the newly recovered Lou Rui tablets of Lingquan Temple. Adamek 2020 collects the author’s twenty years of research on the site into a volume of themed chapters, including translations and photos of the 6th-to-8th-century inscriptions and niches.

  • Adamek, Wendi L. Practicescapes and the Buddhists of Baoshan. Hamburg, Germany: University of Hamburg Press, 2020.

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    This work includes the author’s transcriptions of Baoshan’s cave and memorial inscriptions based on in situ examination. It includes 177 photos taken in 2005, and translations of all the 6th-to-8th-century memorial inscriptions. It is the first such record for the site. Themed chapters discuss prominent features of the site: eschatology, repentance practice, networks, Dilun soteriology, and the role of images. Adamek also devotes a chapter to the nuns and laywomen memorialized at Baoshan.

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  • Chen Mingda 陳明達, Ding Mingyi 丁明夷, and Zhongguo meishu quanji bianji weiyuanhui 中國美術全集編輯委員會, eds. Gong xian Tianlong shan Xiangtang shan Anyang shi ku diao ke 鞏縣天龍山響堂山安陽石窟雕刻. Zhongguo meishu quanji 中國美術全集 13. Bejing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1989.

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    English translation of title: The stone-cave carvings of Gong District, the Tianlong Mountains, the Xiangtang Mountains, and Anyang. This seminal work on the Anyang caves and related Buddhist caves was part of a comprehensive series on major Chinese archaeological sites.

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  • Ding Mingyi 丁明夷. “Beichao fojiaoshi de zhongyao buzheng 北朝佛教史的重要補正.” Wenwu 文物 4 (1988): 15–20.

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    English translation of title: Important additions and corrections to the Buddhist history of the Northern Dynasties. In both this work and in Chen, et al. 1989, Ding Mingyi provides information about Dazhusheng cave and its iconographical program and architectural features within the context of Buddhist cave programs of the Northern dynasties. Though not focused exclusively on Baoshan, these two works established the archaeological significance of the site. The Henan Research Institute for the Preservation of Ancient Architecture catalogue (see 20th-Century Catalogues) followed shortly thereafter.

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  • Kim, Sunkyung. “Decline of the Law, Death of the Monk: Buddhist Text and Images in the Anyang Caves of Late Sixth-Century China.” PhD diss., Duke University, 2005.

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    Kim’s dissertation is one of the most important works on Baoshan. Synthesizing a variety of sources, she examined Daliusheng and Dazhusheng as part of a group of “Anyang Caves,” including the three Shanyingshan 善應山 caves located at Xiaonanhai. She discusses images and selected texts in the context of Northern Dynasties Buddhism. Like Li Yumin, she emphasizes the importance of “final age” eschatology in the Buddhist constructions of the Northern dynasties.

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  • Li Yumin 李玉玟. “Baoshan Dazhushengku chutan 寶山大住聖窟初探.” Gugong xueshu jikan 故宮學術季刊 16.2 (1998): 1–51.

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    English translation of title: A preliminary study of Dazhusheng cave on Mt. Bao. Li Yumin’s article is the first to focus on Dazhusheng cave and its many inscriptions. She was working from the collections of rubbings and photographs in the archives at Academia Sinica in Taipei.

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  • Li Yumin. “Preserving the Dharma in Word and Image: Sixth-Century Buddhist Thought, Practice, and Art at Ta-chu-sheng Grotto.” National Palace Museum Bulletin 34.2 (1999): 1–17.

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    This is the first of a two-part English version of the 1998 article. The second part is published in National Palace Museum Bulletin 34.3 (1999): 16–37.

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  • Li Yuqun 李裕群. “Lingquan si Bei Qi Lou Rui Huayanjing bei yanjiu 靈泉寺北齊婁睿「華嚴經碑」研究.” Kaogu xuebao 考古學報 1 (2012): 63–82.

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    English translation of title: The research on Lou Rui’s Huayan jing tablets of the Northern Qi dynasty at Lingquan Temple. These tablets were believed lost, but were rediscovered and replicas were restored to Lingquan Temple at Baoshan. Article includes plates.

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  • Ōuchi Fumio 大内文雄. “Hōzan Reisenji sekkutsu tomei no kenkyū—Zui-Tō jidai no Hōzan Reisenji 宝山霊泉寺石窟塔銘の研究—隋唐時代の宝山霊泉寺.” Tōhōgakuhō 東方學報 69 (1997): 287–355.

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    English translation of title: Research on the stūpa inscriptions in the Baoshan Lingquan Temple caves—Baoshan Lingquan Temple in the Sui and Tang dynasties. Ōuchi Fumio was working from the archives at the Jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo at Kyoto University, and also visited the site. He gives an overview of the layout of the site and discusses its founders. He also transcribes and translates (into Japanese) selected memorial inscriptions.

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Persons Connected with the Site

Baoshan was part of a network that connected, with various degrees of separation, many of the major figures in Tang Buddhism. Included here in chronological order are sources that present figures directly connected with Baoshan or mentioned in the memorial inscriptions. Makita 1981 discusses the Baoshan cofounder Lingyu as an important figure in Northern Dynasties Buddhism. Paul 1984 is one of the first English-language works to feature the philosophical significance of the work of the Southern Branch Dilun progenitor Paramārtha (b. 499–d. 569). Tanaka 1990 highlights Dilun exegete Jingying Huiyuan’s contribution to Pure Land thought and practice. Liu 1998, Liu 1999, and Liu 2000 focus on the special Buddhist practice of corpse exposure, including discussion of figures memorialized at Baoshan. Shanxisheng kaogu yanjiusuo and Taiyuanshi wenwu kaogu yanjiusuo 2006 is an archaeological report on the excavation of the tomb of Baoshan patron Lou Rui, Prince of Dongan. Zhang 2008 annotates Huixiu’s memorial inscription at Baoshan.

  • Liu Shufen 劉淑芬. “Linzang—Zhonggu fojiao lushizang yanjiu zhi yi 林葬—中古佛教露屍葬研究之一.” Dalu zazhi 大陸雜誌 96.3 (1998): 22–136.

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    English translation of title: Forest burial—research on medieval Buddhist burial by corpse exposure, Part 1. In the first part of her study, Liu introduces the topic and focuses on references to exposure of corpses in forests or uninhabited areas.

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  • Liu Shufen 劉淑芬. “Shishi cuoku—Zhonggu fojiao lushizang yanjiu zhi er 石室痤窟—中古佛教露屍葬研究之二.” Dalu zazhi 大陸雜誌 98.4 (1999): 49–152.

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    English translation of title: Stone chamber cavity [burial]—research on medieval Buddhist burial by corpse exposure, Part 2. Liu Shufen’s work is of critical importance because a handful of Baoshan’s memorial inscriptions refer directly to the practice of corpse exposure, a funerary ritual carried out by disciples at the behest of the deceased. In this second part of her study, she focuses on evidence for exposure of the bodies of monastics in stone chambers.

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  • Liu Shufen. “Death and the Degeneration of Life: Exposure of the Corpse in Medieval Chinese Buddhism.” Journal of Chinese Religions 28 (2000): 1–30.

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    This is an English summary of Liu 1998 and Liu 1999.

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  • Makita Tairyō 牧田諦亮. “Hōzan Reiyū den 寶山靈裕傳.” In Chūgoku bukkyō-shi kenkyū 中國佛教史研究. Vol. 1. By Makita Tairyō, 235–270. Tokyo: Daitō shuppansha, 1981.

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    English translation of the titles: A biographical study of Lingyu of Baoshan; Research on historical issues related to Chinese Buddhism. Makita summarizes and discusses Lingyu’s Xu gaoseng zhuan biography. Originally published in 1964.

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  • Paul, Diana Mary. Philosophy of Mind in Sixth-Century China: Paramārtha’s “Evolution of Consciousness.” Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1984.

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    Paramārtha 真諦 (b. 499–d. 569) was considered a progenitor of the Southern Branch Dilun lineage, and is cited as such in Lingyu’s memorial. Paul discusses his work and unique version of Yogācāra theory.

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  • Shanxisheng kaogu yanjiusuo 山西省考古研究所, and Taiyuanshi wenwu kaogu yanjiusuo 太原市考古研究所, eds. Bei Qi Dong’an wang Lou Rui mu 北齊東安王婁睿墓. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2006.

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    English translation of title: The northern Qi Tomb of Lou Rui, Prince of Dong’an. This is an archaeological report on the tomb of Lou Rui 婁叡 (b. 531–d. 570), Prince of Dongan 東安, and nephew of the Northern Qi Empress Dowager Lou Zhaojun 婁昭君 (b. 501–d. 562). He was a lay disciple of Lingyu’s; according to Lingyu’s Xu gaoseng zhuan biography, he helped fund the development of Baoshan.

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  • Tanaka, Kenneth K. The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine: Ching-ying Hui-yüan’s Commentary on the Visualization Sutra. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1990.

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    Tanaka’s work demonstrates the impact Jingying Huiyuan had on early Pure Land thought, and mentions his collaboration with Huixiu.

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  • Zhang Guye 张固也. “Tangchu gaoseng Huixiu ji dewen kaoshi 唐初高僧慧休记德文考释.” Wenxian 文献 4 (2008): 35–44.

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    English translation of title: A textual criticism on the epitaph of eminent monk Huixiu living in the initial period of Tang. Zhang provides helpful annotation of Huixiu’s memorial on Lanfengshan; Hiuxiu was the restorer of Lingquan Temple after a period of neglect.

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Related Cave Shrines and Objects

These works provide important contextualization for styles, socioeconomic factors, and devotional iconography at sites related to Baoshan. The works in this subsection focus on important related cave-shrine sites: Xiangtangshan (Fengfeng kuangqu wenwu baoguan suo 2013, Tsiang 2010), Longmen (McNair 2007), Xiaonanhai (Hsu 2011), Fangshan (Lee 2010), Wutaishan (Lin 2014), and Fenglongshan (Li 1998). Three further works discuss the ritual significance of objects found in and around cave shrines, or substituting for them: Wong 2004, Rösch 2012, and Rösch 2015.

  • Fengfeng kuangqu wenwu baoguan suo (Fengfeng Mining District Office of Protection and Management of Cultural Relics) 峰峰矿区文物保管所, and Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago. Bei Xiangtang shiku kejing dongNanqu 1, 2, 3 hao ku kaogu bao 北响堂石窟刻经洞—南区 1、2、3号窟考古报告. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2013.

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    English translation of title: The cave of the engraved scriptures at northern Xiangtang stone caves—archeological report of southern sector caves 1, 2, and 3. The Xiangtangshan caves contain images and shrines with the closest iconographic counterparts to styles seen in the Baoshan memorial stūpas, and there are also comparable devotional programs. This detailed report is an invaluable resource.

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  • Hsu, Eileen Hsiang-ling. “The Sengchou Cave and Early Imagery of Sukhāvatī.” Artibus Asiae 71.2 (2011): 283–324.

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    Sengchou’s cave, known as the “Middle Cave” at Xiaonanhai, is the closest geographical counterpart to Baoshan, and is often included in comparisons of the Anyang-area caves. Hsu’s analysis gives a helpful overview of the cave-program and inscriptions.

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  • Lee, Sonya S. “Transmitting Buddhism to a Future Age: The Leiyin Cave at Fangshan and Cave-Temples with Stone Scriptures in Sixth-Century China.” Archives of Asian Art 60 (2010): 43–78.

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    Through Lee’s careful analysis of Fangshan, one can compare its original sutra preservation project with the Baoshan’s eschatologically motivated selection of related scriptural inscriptions.

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  • Li Yuqun 李裕群. “Fenglongshan shiku kaiye niandai yu zaoxiang ticai 風龍山石窟開業年代與造像題材.” Wenwu 文物 1 (1998): 67–75.

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    English translation of title: On the topics of the sculptured images and opening date of the Fenglongshan cave temples. Fenglongshan’s cave-shrine devotional program is a close match with Dazhusheng cave. Li Yuqun’s discussion helps illuminate the functions of the design.

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  • Lin, Wei-cheng. Building a Sacred Mountain: The Buddhist Architecture of China’s Mount Wutai. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.

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    In his innovative exploration of Wutaishan, Lin discusses Baoshan and comparable northern mountain temples with unique architectural features.

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  • McNair, Amy. Donors of Longmen: Faith, Politics, and Patronage in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Sculpture. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007.

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    Working on the famed imperial site of Longmen, McNair discusses contemporaneous social and political factors that also had bearing on Baoshan.

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  • Rösch, Petra Hildegard. “Inscribed Columns: Ritual and Visual Space in Chinese Buddhist Cave Temples.” In Shifting Paradigms in East Asian Visual Culture: A Festschrift in Honour of Lothar Ledderose. Edited by Burglind Jungmann, Adele Schlombs, and Melanie Trede, 77–106. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 2012.

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    In this article, Rösch discusses ritual contexts for the unique inscribed columns found at sites related to Baoshan.

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  • Rösch, Petra Hildegard. “Envisioning Purification: Material Evidences of Buddhist Rituals of Confession and Repentance at North Chinese Cave Temples.” In Ritual and Representation in Buddhist Art. Edited by Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch and Antje Papist-Matsuo, 61–83. Studies of East Asian Art History 2. Berlin: VDG, 2015.

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    Both of Rösch’s articles (see also Rösch 2012) link little-studied northern cave-shrine features with texts on practices of visualization and repentance. She makes convincing arguments about how the caves and inscribed artifacts may have been used.

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  • Tsiang, Katherine R., ed. Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan. Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 2010.

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    Tsiang has done extensive work on the Xiangtangshan cave and Buddhism of the Northern Qi (550–577) dynasty. Though short lived, the flourishing Buddhist kingdom of the Northern Qi was the cultural matrix from which the Dilun school and the Baoshan founders emerged.

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  • Wong, Dorothy C. Chinese Steles: Pre-Buddhist and Buddhist Use of a Symbolic Form. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004.

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    Wong’s influential work on stele styles and their social contexts provides a unique window into the world of donor societies and devotional constructions in the Tang.

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Buddhist Doctrines and Practices

The sources in this subsection provide context for questions about the Baoshan community’s doctrines and practices. As noted, Dilun (Stages treatise) concerns were foundational for the site (Funayama 2000, Williams 2002, and Williams 2005). These concerns included devotion to the path to buddhahood, Yogācāra epistemology, and tathāgatagarbha theorization, topics too broad to annotate here. However, Baoshan serves to illustrate and instantiate a distinctive Dilun practical orientation toward visualization and repentance practices (Yamabe 1999, Shioiri 2007). One major influence was the belief that Śākyamuni’s dharma had entered its last stage or “final age” of efficacy, and the world was in a degenerate state requiring special forms of practice (Nattier 1991). Of particular importance for Final Age soteriology are materials related to the Sanjie 三階 (Three Levels) sect (Yabuki 1927, Nishimoto 1998, Hubbard 2001, Zhang 2013) and early Pure Land devotional sects (Tsukamoto 1976). The practice program in Dazhusheng cave shows a close affinity with Sanjie sites, and writings by the Sanjie founder Xinxing 信行 (b. 540–d. 594) echo Lingyu’s focus on repentance practice and the Final Age.

  • Funayama Toru 船山徹, ed. “Jironshū to nanchō kyōgaku 地論宗と南朝教学.” In Hokuchō Zui Tō Chūgoku bukkyō shisōshi 北朝隋唐中国仏教思想史. Edited by Aramaki Noritoshi 荒牧典俊, 123–153. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2000.

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    English translation of titles: The Dilun School and scholasticism in the Southern Dynasties; History of Chinese Buddhism in the Northern Dynasties, Sui and Tang. Funayama has done extensive research on Buddhism in the Southern dynasties, and through his work we see a different milieu for practices (like precepts rituals) and doctrines (like Dilun epistemology) that took alternative forms at Baoshan.

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  • Hubbard, Jamie. Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2001.

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    Hubbard carefully analyzes the triumphs and struggles of the Sanjie (Three Levels) sect.

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  • Nattier, Jan. Once upon a Future Time: Studies in the Buddhist Prophecy of Decline. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities, 1991.

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    Nattier’s classic work on Final Age eschatology discusses the influence of the Candragarbha-Sūtra (carved at Baoshan).

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  • Nishimoto Teruma 西本照真. Sangaikyō no kenkyū 三階教の研究. Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1998.

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    English translation of title: Research on the Three Levels sect. Nishimoto provides extensive coverage of Sanjie texts and ordained and lay followers.

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  • Shioiri Ryōdō 塩入良道. Chūgoku bukkyō ni okeru zanpō no seiritsu 中国仏教における懺法 の成立. Tokyo: Taishō Daigaku Tendaigaku Kenkyūshitsu, 2007.

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    English translation of title: The development of penitential methods in Chinese Buddhism. Shioiri’s work is an essential resource on Chinese Buddhist repentance practices.

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  • Tsukamoto Zenryū 塚本善隆. Chūgoku Jōdo kyōshi kenkyū 中国浄土教史研究. Tsukamoto Zenryū chosakushū 塚本善隆著作集 4. Tokyo: Daitō shuppansha, 1976.

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    English translation of title: Research on the history of the Chinese Pure Land school. Tsukamoto’s classic work discusses figures and doctrinal developments that also impacted the Baoshan community.

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  • Williams, Bruce Charles. “Mea Maxima Vikalpa: Repentance, Meditation, and the Dynamics of Liberation in Medieval Chinese Buddhism, 500–650 CE.” PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2002.

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    Williams discusses Dazhusheng cave and the Baoshan community in his insightful discussion of links between visualization and repentance practice.

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  • Williams, Bruce Charles. “Seeing through Images: Reconstructing Buddhist Meditative Visualization Practice in Sixth-Century Northeastern China.” Pacific World 7 (2005): 33–89.

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    Delving further into materials and topics explored in his groundbreaking dissertation (see Williams 2002), Williams makes important claims about Dilun practice.

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  • Yabuki Keiki 矢吹慶輝. Sangaikyō no kenkyū 三階教の研究. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1927.

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    English translation of title: Research on the Three Levels sect. This is a foundational study of the Three Levels sect.

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  • Yamabe, Nobuyoshi. “The Sūtra on the Ocean-Like Samādhi of the Visualization of the Buddha: The Interfusion of the Chinese and Indian Cultures in Central Asia as Reflected in a Fifth Century Apocryphal Sūtra.” PhD diss., Yale University, 1999.

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    Yamabe’s exposition on this fascinating apocryphal visualization scripture includes important analysis of the group of six scriptures belonging to the genre, including the Guan Yaowang Yaoshang er pusa jing carved at Baoshan.

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  • Zhang Zong 張總. Zhongguo Sanjiejiao shi 中國三階教史. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenzhang, 2013.

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    English translation of title: History of China’s Three Levels sect. Zhang has added much to our understanding of the Three Levels sect through his analysis of small surviving cave shrines in remote areas in the North.

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