SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social SciencesПравильная ссылка на статью:
Life of Wenhai Fuju, or how the emperors upheld the “school awareness” of Buddhist monks in the XVIII-century China / Жизнь Вэньхай Фуцзюя: к вопросу о роли императоров Китая в поддержании "школьного сознания" буддийских монахов в XVIII веке
Дата направления статьи в редакцию:11-05-2019
Аннотация.Данная статья обращается к рассмотрению концепции «школьного сознания», которое в предшествующей литературе в основном осмысляется как результат проникновения китайских патриархальных устоев в буддийское сообщество на фоне ослабления государственного контроля в конце эпохи Мин. Особого внимания заслуживает то, что подобные умонастроения в рядах буддийских монахов сохранялись вплоть до конца XVIII века. Одним из заметных носителей «школьного сознания» на позднем этапе его существования стал Вэньхай Фуцзюй (1685-1765), предпринявший ряд шагов для упрочения престижа ветви Цяньхуа школы Винаи китайского буддизма. Для исследования его деятельности в данной работе произведён синтез сведений из различных источников, на основе чего получена целостная, хронологически упорядоченная биография. Анализ полученных результатов показал, что большинство действий Вэньхай Фуцзюя, выражающих его «школьное сознание», производились под влиянием потребностей и возможностей в рамках взаимодействия с императорами Юнчжэном (1723-1735) и Цяньлуном (1736-1795). Это позволяет заключить, что со стороны официальной власти подобное стремление к закреплению доминирующих позиций конкретной буддийской школы оказалось ожидаемым и одобряемым. А значит, именно воздействие политики императоров могло служить активному поддержанию «генеалогического сознания» монахов в Китае на протяжении XVIII века.
Ключевые слова: Китай, религия, буддизм, Цин, Юнчжэн, Цяньлун, Виная, Цяньхуа, Вэньхай Фуцзюй, школьное сознание
Abstract.This paper revisits the concept of “school awareness”, which in the previous scholarship was mostly regarded as a product of penetration of Chinese patriarchal patterns into the Buddhist community against the background of loosened state control during the late Ming dynasty. Particular attention should be directed to the fact that such mindset of Buddhist monks existed even as late as the XVIII century, with one of the main examples here being Wenhai Fuju (1685-1765), who adopted a series of steps to promote the Qianhua lineage of Vinaya school of Chinese Buddhism. In order to explore his activities in detail, this paper synthesizes data form various sources producing a complete, chronologically arranged biography. The analysis of obtained results shows that the majority of Wenhai Fuju’s endeavors embodying his “school awareness” were in fact driven by the needs and opportunities of interaction with the Yongzheng (1723-1735) or Qianlong (1736-1795) emperors. This allows concluding that the official authorities expected and approved such desire for domination for a particular Buddhist school. Accordingly, it was the impact of imperial policy that could have kept up such “school awareness” in the XVIII century China.
Keywords:Wenhai Fuju, Qianhua, Vinaya, Qianlong, Yongzheng, Qing, Buddhism, religion, China, school awareness
The term “school” (zongpai , 宗派) is central to the historical research of Buddhism in the late Ming and Qing China, with “schools” not only being a characteristic of gnoceological activity or cultivation practices of monks, but also a way to describe the organizational aspect of Buddhist community. As a “paradigm and method” of research of Chinese Buddhism, “school” was in the focus of discussion at the Academic Seminar on the Analysis, Interpretation and Reconstruction of the History of East Asian Buddhist Schools, which took place in Beijing on September 1-2, 2018 . At the conference, Professor Zhang Xuesong pointed out that “school” should be interpreted differently when dealing with various historical periods and counties. He particularly stressed that in the Ming-Qing era “schools” were based on “genealogical systems of Dharma transmission, with succession from masters to disciples, and strong patriarchal sense” .
Indeed, the “schoolness” (zongpaixing , 宗派性) of Ming-Qing Budhism was brought to light long before, most notably in Yuukei Hasebe’s major article [7, p. 87-109], where he indicated four types of initiatives that reflected the phenomenon he meant to capture by this term, respectively:
1. Compilation of Lamp Records and School Histories;
2. Transformation of public monasteries into hereditary public monasteries (Dharma-transmission monasteries);
3. Compilation of monastery gazetteers to praise the strongholds of schools;
4. Adoption of monastic codes as daily regulations in the monasteries of the same school [7, p. 103].
A closer look at these four aspects reveals that while number 2 and 4 mostly highlight institutional innovation, number 1 and 3 mainly cover the ideological pitch of the relevant text compilers. Accordingly, there is no surprise that “school awareness” (zongpai yishi, 宗派意識) of such works and their authors later came to be regarded as a separate matter worth researching, while Yuukei Hasebe himself mentioned “school-distinguishing awareness” (fenpai yishi , 分派意識) only once and even that one in the Conclusion of the article [7, p. 108].
In current Chinese scholarship “school awareness” is notably discussed with respect to Vinaya school (Lv zong , 律宗). Relevant articles, such as ,,, examine particular writings of Vinaya patriarchs, showing how they sought superiority for their respective “schools” and refuted competing cases. Nevertheless, little is said about the stimuli that spurred these claims and clashes. In this respect, Yuukei Hasebe’s logic in 1991 and Professor Wang Song’s rhetoric at the aforementioned Conference in 2018 are in essence equivalent, stating that the development of Ming-Qing hereditary-oriented “schools” was a result of a diffusion of patriarchal schemes from the general society into the Buddhist community, which occurred progressively as the state control over clergy got lax in late Ming.
These presentation of the prior findings being made, it becomes clear that the actual motifs for putting “school awareness” into practice still remain a blank spot. In other words, if indeed from the late Ming on, the successive patriarchs of proliferating “schools” were all tainted by partisan thinking and therefore highly “school aware”, why only a few turned into passionate promoters and protectors of their lineages? For example, in the aforementioned Vinaya school, its earlier eminent and prolific patriarchs of the late Ming and transition into Qing period, such as Sanmei Jiguang and Jianyue Duti, are not known to have taken much action to promote their “school”, while since the Kangxi generation of Ding-an Deji and Yijie Shuyu on and into Yongzheng and Qianlong periods a frenzy to cultivate “school-awareness” is evident among Vinaya patriarchs.
This paper makes the argument that, at least in the second and third quarter of the eighteenth century (Yongzheng and first half of Qianlong reign) the rise of practical activities to articulate the virtues and foster a high status for particular branches of Vinaya school was induced by the monk-emperor interaction. Here the figure of Wenhai Fuju 文海福聚, the 7th patriarch of Qianhua school, a branch of the overall Vinaya school, is chosen as the focus of research, as he showed the most ample array of such activities. The first section of the paper gives a brief review of the Ming-Qing Vinaya revival and the role of Qianhua school and Wenhai Fuju within it. The second section provides a chronology of events concerning Wenhai Fuju and the monastery he headed during his abbotship term. The third part discusses the observations that were made by means of establishing this chronology, outlining the connection between the practical “school awareness” of Wenhai Fuju and his interactions with the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors.
Qianhua branch of Vinaya school and its patriarch Wenhai Fuju
The Vinaya school (Lv zong , 律宗) discussed here is what Yuukei Hasebe refers to as “the school of patriarch Gu” (guzu pai, 古祖派), meaning the stock of lineages that sprang from Guxin Ruxin 古心如馨 (1541–1615), who actively propagated Vinaya in Jiangnan region 江南 during the Wanli reign (1573-1620) and was summoned to the capital for an official vows transmission ceremony in 1615. Among the immediate disciples of Guxin Ruxin, the most prominent and prolific were Sanmei Jiguang 三昧寂光 (1580-1645) and Jianyue Duti 見月讀體 (1601-1679), who were respectively the first and second Vinaya abbots of Longchang monastery at Mt Baohua 寶華山 near Nanjing. Not surprisingly, both of them had a number of disciples that spread their teaching elsewhere in China, forming a Qianhua school, or the school of Thousand Flowers (Qianhua pai, 千华派) within the greater Vinaya school, named so after the society of practitioners established by Sanmei Jiguang at Mt Baohua with reference to the relevant image in sutras.
Another consequence produced by the eminence of Sanmei and his disciple Jianyue was that the monks of the next generation started to conceptualize the sequence of these renowned Vinaya masters as a particular lineage endowed with special virtues. An interesting insight in such historiographic exercises by Yijie Shuyu 宜潔書玉 (1645-1722), a Dharma heir of Jianyue, can be found in an relevant article . Remarkably, Jianyue’s students were on peak of their activities as abbots during the Buddhism-engaging Kangxi reign, with the Kangxi emperor even visiting and renaming the Mt Baohua monastery from Longchang 隆昌寺 into Huiju 慧居寺.
The proliferation of Vinaya school descending from Guxin Ruxin is well-described in the works of Yuukei Hasebe [8; 9, p. 231-48; 10, p. 113-39] and Shi Shengkai . All of these papers demonstrate the dominance of Qianhua school, with its main branch staying on Mt Baohua and subbranches spreading to other areas of Jiangnan as well as outer regions such as Mt Wutai and Beijing. However, this Qianhua-predominant guise of Vinaya school is to a large extent shaped by the bias in the underlying sources, as one of the most important and contemporaneous of them, the Genealogy of Nanshan School (Nanshan Zongtong, 南山宗統), was compiled by the seventh Qianhua patriarch Wenhai Fuju (1685-1765). And remarkably again, it was he who held the abbot position at Mt Baohua during the next after Kangxi reign of the Yongzheng and than the Qianlong emperors. It is therefore little wonder that Wenhai Fuju provided the most detailed account of Qianhua school, of which he was an ardent proponent.
Accordingly, Wenhai Fuju can be envisioned as a very suitable figure for research of actual personified activities of practicing “schoolness”. Indeed, in the aforementioned article by Zhan Tianling , Wenhai Fuju is described as a person of vivid “school-awareness”, which manifested itself mainly in the following deeds:
1. He successfully petitioned to the emperor to include five texts by earlier Qianhua patriarchs into the imperial edition of the Buddhist canon in 1737;
2. He compiled the Genealogy of Nanshan School, tracing the origins and transmission of Vinaya school
Zhan Tianling summarizes Wenhai Fuju’s contribution by saying that he “established the image of Longchang monastery in people’s hearts as the patriarchal stronghold of Vinaya school, pushed to the peak the vows transmission and Vinaya propagation of Longchang monastery, in the textual form stipulated the Qianhua school (Qianhua pai, 千华派) as the key school of the Nanshan Vinaya school during the Ming-Qing period, and obtained an indirect official acknowledgement of that” . By the “indirect official acknowledgement” he means the approval of putting the texts by Qianhua patriarchs into the canon. By its very spirit, this act of Wenhai Fuju obviously falls into Yuukei Hasebe’s concept of “schoolness” and therefore can be added to the four types of its manifestations that he proposed.
Moreover, apart from the two deeds mentioned by Zhan Tianlong, Wenhai Fuju also accomplished one more type of “schoolness” activities from Yuukei Hasebe’s list, that is, the compilation of monastery gazetteer. Wenhai Fuju commissioned the compilation of the Gazetteer of Mt Baohua (Baohua Shanzhi, 寶華山志) to Liu Mingfang, a poor literatus, who made his living by this kind of local history writing work, as is shown in a relevant paper . This additional accomplishment being mentioned, we now have at hand as many as three steps that constitute clear material manifestations of Wenhai Fuju’s “school-awareness”.
Chronology for Wenhai Fuju as abbot
The next stage of research now is to pin these three acts of “school awareness” on a chronological axis of his abbotship term and try to figure out if the neighbouring events could tell us about motivations of this Vinaya patriarch in embarking on each of these moves. By means of constructing such a chronology this research strives to overcome the limitations of the method adopted in previous scholarship where the introduction of Wenhai Fuju was based almost solely on one of his ready-made biographies available in the historical sources such as Genealogy of Nanshan School, Gazetter of Mt Baohua, or New Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks .
By contrast, the viewpoint of this paper is that by virtue of their complex nature the aforementioned sources, especially Genealogy of Nanshan School and Gazetter of Mt Baohua, comprise a number of other texts from which valuable information of Wenhai Fuju’s activities can be gleaned, including imperial decrees, petitions, stele inscriptions and even the descriptions of particular buildings of the Mt Baohua monastery, which as it appears can tell a lot about official involvement into construction and refurbishment of the monastery. Another advantage of putting this new data into use is that the researcher will no longer need to follow the logic of biography writers, who surely had their own vision of how to carve and polish the image of the monk they undertook to record into history, and thus get a more evenhanded outlook.
Here are some technical remarks about the following chronology. For each event the exact texts in the sources that mention it are indicated. Certain events do not have an explicit date, so their timing is inferred from other relevant material. For convenience of perception, the years are written in Gregorian style. The dates are left lunar, since calculating the proper Gregorian dates is excessive for the purposes of this research, yet the dates are necessary for clarifying the sequence of events happening in the same year.
1722 – Wenhai Fuju becomes abbot of Mt Baohua after death of the previous abbot Zhenhui Shiyong 珍輝實[王永] (1675-1722) [32, part 5, p. 116],[17, p. 319],[24, p. 193], with Zhenhui’s death year indicated in his biography [31, part 5, p. 100].
1724, 6th month – Jia Zerun 賈澤潤, former head of Jurong County 句容縣 (1719-1722] [23, juan 107], provides the text for stele inscription upon request of Wenhai Fuju, in order to secure Mt Baohua’s privilege of not sending tribute grain to the capital [28, p. 348-352].
1724 – the Yongzheng emperor prescribes that provision of salt to Mt Baohua on the public expense is included into official register [19, p. 354].
1733, 2nd day of the 1st month – Jing Kaoxiang 景考祥 composes Preface to the Genealogy of Nanshan School [12, part 4, p. 4-5].
1733, 19th day of the 4th month – the Yongzheng emperor orders Prince Zhuang 莊親王 to send letter to Jiangnan governor telling him to escort Wenhai Fuju to the capital [2, p. 4].
1733, 5th month – public funds are allocated for refurbishment of Fayuan monastery 法源寺 in Beijing .
1733, 24th day of the 9th month – steward of Mt Baohua Sengxing 僧行 petitions the Salt and Grain Control Bureu to approve the production of stele inscription securing Mt Baohua’s privilege of receiving salt at government expense, with the petition being approved by the Bureu [30, p. 352-353].
1734, 2nd month – refurbishment works in Fayuan monastery are completed .
1734, 13th day of the 2nd month – Wenhai Fuju arrives to Beijing. This is knows from the Yongzheng emperor’s decree [2, p. 4], and the year is also mentioned in Wenhai Fuju’s biography in the Gazetteer of Mt Baohua [24, p. 193].
1734, 15th day of the 2nd month – Wenhai Fuju has an audience with the emperor. Minzhong monastery 愍忠寺 in the capital is renamed Fayuan [2, p. 5].
1734, 19th day of the 2nd month – Wenhai Fuju is escorted to Fayuan monastery [2, p. 5].
1734, 20th day of the 2nd month – the emperor orders to start the transmission of vows [2, p. 5].
1734, 24th day of the 2nd month – the emperor orders Prince Zhuang to escort Wenhai Fuju for audience with the emperor, bestowal of violet robe and sutras produced under the royal order. Decree also prescribes to lead for the audience the 120 administrative monks from Mt Baohua and newly ordained 1819 monks in groups of 10 people [2, p. 5-6].
1734, 5th day of the 4th month – the emperor orders Prince Zhuang to transmit imperial instruction to monks, inquire on who of them would like to stay in retreat, bring them for audience, consider and report to the emperor what bestowals would be suitable for Wenhai Fuju and ten administrative monks [2, p. 7-9].
1734, 2nd day of the 5th month – Wenhai Fuju petitions the emperor to include five texts by first three Qianhua patriarchs into the imperial edition of the Buddhist canon. The date of this petition is indicated in Wenhai Fuju’s later Petition to Princes Zhuang and He 和親王 [21, p. 567].
1734 – the emperor visits Fayuan monastery . Most plausibly, this visit should have taken place before Wenhai Fuju’s leave later that year.
1734, 15th day of the 7th month or later – Wenhai Fuju returns to Mt Baohua. In the 1742 Preface to the Genealogy of Nanshan School Wenhai Fuju writes that transmission of vows lasted for 5 months [3, part 4, p. 8], after which, during an audience, he asked permission to return to Mt Baohua. In any case, Wenhai Fuju’s leave would likely have taken place only after the end of summer retreat on the 15nd day of the 7h month.
1734, winter – fire at Mt Baohua destroys a number of buildings [5, p. 105-106, p. 110, p. 114].
1735 – governor Zhao Hong-en 趙洪恩 petitions the emperor, and receives the Yongzheng emperor’s order to allocate public funds for reconstruction. The destroyed buildings are reconstructed and some new ones are added under Zhao Hong-en’s supervision [5, p. 105-106, p. 110, p. 114, p. 123].
1736, 2nd month of the autumn – stele inscription is produced telling about Zhao Hong-en’s completion of reconstruction under imperial order [35, p. 247-251]. The Profound Gazetteer of Jiangnan, though, indicates that Zhao Hong’en reconstructed the monastery under imperial order in 1734 [23, juan 43].
Between 1734 and 1737 – Wenhai Fuju files petition to Princes Zhuang and He reporting the results of examination of the five texts by Qianhua patriarchs intended for inclusion into the canon [21, p. 567-569].
Between 1734 and 1737 – Princes Zhuang and He produce a report upon considering Fuju’s petition [20, p. 331-332].
1737, 28th day of the 1st month – Wenhai Fuju files a petition and the Qianlong emperor orders to include the texts by three Qianhua patriarchs into the imperial edition of the Buddhist canon according with Wenhai Fuju’s petition [20, p. 329-333],[24, p. 194].
1740 – Wenhai Fuju reconstructs Xuelang chapel on Mt Baohua [5, p. 126].
1742, 8th day of the 12th month – Wenhai Fuju writes Preface to the Genealogy of Nanshan School [3, part 4, p. 7-8].
1742, last but third day of the 12th month – Yemu Hongjian 冶牧洪建writes Preface to the Genealogy of Nanshan School [22, part 4, p. 6].
1742-1744 – Zhang Pengchong 張鵬翀 composes the early version of Wenhai Fuju’s biography in the Genealogy of Nanshan School [32, part 5, p. 116]. For more on the textual analysis of this biography and its gradual formation see relevant research paper [13, p. 30-31].
1743, autumn – Wenhai Fuju’s Dharma heir Xingshi Tianyue 性實天月 (1693-1774) becomes abbot of Fayuan monastery [17, p. 321].
1744 – Wenhai Fuju writes Explanation of Qianhua Dharma School [4, part 4, p. 9-13].
1744, 1st month – inscription is produced under imperial order of a poem on a stele at Fayuan monastery .
1744, 2nd month – steward of Mt Baohua Sengzi 僧自 petitions to secure Mt Baohua’s privilege of receiving salt at government expense [19, p. 353-354].
1744, 9th month – inscription is produced of the Heart Sutra written by the Qianlong emperor on a stele at Fayuan monastery .
1746 – monks of Mt Baohua erect a long-life pagoda for Wenhai Fuju on the eastern side of Mt Guirenfeng [5, p. 128].
1746, late 10th month – Prince Xian 顯親王 visits Fayuan monastery [17, p. 316-317].
1746, 2nd month of the winter – Prince Xian compiles a biography of Wenhai Fuju to be inscribed on a long-life pagoda built to mark Wenhai Fuju’s seventieth birthday on the appeal of Xingshi Tianyue, Wenhai Fuju’s successor as the abbot of Fayuan monastery [17, p. 325].
1746 – Wenhai Fuju reconstructs Zhunti and Guanyin halls in the left outbuilding on Mt Baohua [5, p. 108].
1747, 10th day of the 11th month – the Qianlong emperor visits Fayuan monastery .
1750 – a high-profile committee of regional officials supervises the reconstruction or addition of several buildings on Mt Baohua, so as to prepare a suitable accommodation for the emperor [5, p. 104-105, p. 115, p. 120].
1751, 28th day of the 3rd month – the Qianlong emperor visits Mt Baohua for the first time [1, p. 10].
About 1752 – composition of Wenhai Fuju’s biography that entered the Gazetteer of Mt Baohua. This has been calculated in relevant research [13, p. 29] mainly basing on the passage in this biography saying that it was written 30 years after Wenhai Fuju’s becoming an abbot, which took place in 1722 [24, p. 195].
1757, 16th day of the 3rd month – the Qianlong emperor visits Mt Baohua for the second time [1, p. 13].
1762, 23th day of the 3rd month – the Qianlong emperor visits Mt Baohua for the third time [1, p. 15-16].
1765, 3rd day of the 3rd month – the Qianlong emperor visits Mt Baohua for the fourth time [1, p. 17].
1765, 2nd day of the 8th month – Wenhai Fuju dies [32, part 5, p. 116].
Discussion of results
The chronology produced in this research provides plenty of context for every one of Fuju’s renowned actions in support of Qianhua school, be it composition of the Genealogy of Nanshan School, incorporation of texts by earlier Qianhua patriarchs into the imperial edition of Buddhist canon, or commissioning the compilation the Gazetteer of Mt Baohua. The point that the further analysis will advocate is that the lion’s share of these activities were motivated or driven by Fuju’s interaction with the Qing court. To these end, the circumstances in which the relevant activities were initiated will be studied for these three deeds one by one.
The earliest event in the chronology concerning the aforementioned acts promoting Qianhua school is the composition of a preface by a certain Jing Kaoxiang to a text by Wenhai Fuju called Genealogy of Lamp (Dengpu , 燈譜) in 1733. This Genealogy of Lamp was in fact an earlier version of the Genealogy of Nanshan School, the latter having been shaped gradually over the years as is shown in the relevant papers by Yuuke Hasebe [8, p. 92-93] and Shi Shengkai [25, p. 36]. Since a preface was created, it is logical to conclude that at this point there in effect existed the basic text that was prefaced, that is, a certain genealogy by Wenhai Fuju which, one could hardly doubt, described the roots of the school to which he belonged. Therefore, it can be concluded that the genealogy creation, this first act of “school awareness” of Wenhai Fuju, surfaced in 1733.
To explore the context of its appearance, let us cast a look at other events surrounding it on the chronological timeline. The preceding period shows a gaping lack of any major moves. Since Wenhai Fuju became abbot in 1722 and up to the year at hand, 1733, there can only be seen two decisions related to tax exemptions and subsidies for Mt Baohua, both taking place in 1724 without an indication of Wenhai Fuju’s direct involvement. By contrast, the period following the year 1733 is densely nested with significant shifts, with Wenhai Fuju’s arriving at Beijing in 1734 under imperial order to head Fayuan monastery there and conduct an official vows transmission ceremony. Here it is worth while delving into detail and noting that only three and a half months separate the date of the preface to the Genealogy of Lamp and the later decree by the Yongzheng emperor to call Wenhai Fuju to Beijing.
Of course, temporal proximity does not by its own virtue confirm the cause and relation connection between two events. However, there is some more evidence that spans a bridge between the appearance of the genealogy and the royal invitation to its author. This can be obtained through a closer examination of the author of the preface in question, Jing Kaoxiang, who is described both in the colophon of the text and the database of China Biographical Database Project. It appears that Jing Kaoxiang gained jingshi status on examinations in 1713, was left in Hanlin academy, and later on served as examiner assistant, main examiner in Huguang, assistant to provincial governors of Henan and Shandong, and also conducted inspections in Fujian and Taiwan, with the latest known date of his official activities being 1725. He hailed from Henan, with his ancestral home being Jiangdu county of Yangshou district in Jiangsu province, which is about 70 km from Mt Baohua.
It is difficult to determine what sort of connection Jing Kaoxiang had with Mt Baohua or Wenhai Fuju as well as what position he held in 1733. However, it can be argued that Fuju had a preface for his text composed by a jinshi, who at a certain point of his career served in Hanlin academy and held fairly important positions in administration of several provinces. Accordingly, a preface by such a prominent person would undoubtedly add weight and authority to the genealogy in question. Moreover, one can even dare imagine that it was through the hands of this high-profile ex-official that the genealogical work of Wenhai Fuju could have technically be ushered into the capital to be presented for the emperor’s review. But whatever be the route through which this genealogy made its way into Beijing, due to its position on the chronology at the very start of Wenhai Fuju’s trip to the capital, as well as the fact that Wenhai Fuju had it prefaced by a dignified patron, there indeed is great urge to suppose that this text was a sort of an eighteenth century Buddhist resume that was to become a justification for the Yongzheng emperor’s recruiting Wenhai Fuju for the task of official vows transmission in the capital.
The second of Wenhai Fuju’s school promoting deeds in chronological order is the petition to include the texts by earlier Qianhua patriarchs into the imperial edition of the Buddhist canon. The timeline shows that such petition was firstly produced in 1734, most probably when Wenhai Fuju still stayed in the capital and maybe even during an audience with the emperor. Although it is difficult to determine at which point the very idea of such enterprise occurred to Wenhai Fuju, it can definitely be said that its practical implementation sprang out of the opportunity provided by the intimate interaction with the emperor during his stay in Beijing.
Finally, the compilation of the Gazetteer of Mt Baohua is quite remote from the two episodes discussed above, as it took place only twenty years later. The approximate date for it, 1752, is derived from a relevant research paper  where it is determined through a passage in Wenhai Fuju’s biography in the Gazetteer stating that he has been abbot for thirty years, which, if added to 1722, would produce 1752. But even if this date is a rough estimate, from the same paper it can be seen that the Gazetteer should have been compiled in early 1750s, and not before 1749. Accordingly, it is the investigation of the early 1750s in the chronology that can provide context for yet another foray into practical “school awareness” by Wenhai Fuju.
It appears that the 1750s witnessed two visits to Mt Baohua by the Qianlong emperor during his inspections to southern China, in 1751 and 1757 respectively. This was preceded by major refurbishment works in the Huiju monastery in 1750 to prepare accommodation for the emperor and his escort. So, it was no surprise for Wenhai Fuju that he would soon welcome a royal guest, and he might well have planned in advance the production of a text to push the stronghold of Qianhua school into the emperor’s eyesight. It should be noted that the Gazetteer mentions the Qianlong emperor’s visiting Mt Baohua in its Editorial policy [5, p. 27], but the bulk of it might well have been produced earlier. But even if it was not so, it is still quite reasonable to regard the compilation of the Gazetteer as part of preparation for at least the second (1757) imperial visit to the monastery. Now that the subject matter of interaction was not inviting a monk to the capital that would require a proper CV, but rather an excursion to a place, it would naturally call for a tourist guidebook, and a gazetteer of a mountain by its nature falls neatly into such definition.
The current research was dedicated to broaden the understanding of “school awareness” in the eighteenth century Chinese Buddhism. It started by summarizing the results of previous scholarship dealing with the rise of genealogically conscious Buddhist schools during the late Ming and Qing. On the one hand, the relevant papers articulate an overall idea that the formation of such a mindset was driven by the influence of patriarchal paradigm of the Chinese society on the Buddhist community against the milieu of liberalized stated control. On the other hand, they name specific acts that could be deemed as manifestations of “school awareness” such as compilation of school genealogies or monastery gazetteers. However, little has been said about the actual mechanisms transforming the general patriarchal sentiment into such specific moves.
In order to fill this gap, the current paper focused on the figure of Wenhai Fuju, an eighteenth century monk and an ardent promoter of the Qianhua school, a branch of the Vinaya school revived by Guxin Ruxin in the late Ming. Regarding Wenhai Fuju’s accomplishments in the field of “school awareness” from a historical viewpoint, this paper resorted to the method of establishing a chronology of events that took place during his term as abbot. Thus, it sought to provide context for all his moves to push Qianhua school to the heights of prestige and power.
The main findings of the present investigation are as follows:
Firstly, at the example of Wenhai Fuju it was shown that the list of “school awareness” activities provided in the earlier scholarship, which included only genealogies and gazetteers, could be replenished by one more point, that is, securing the inclusion of texts written by the patriarchs of the relevant school into the imperial edition of the Buddhist canon. Undoubtedly, this was a measure that effectively “obtained an indirect official acknowledgment” of the special status of the school in question.
Secondly, each manifestation of Wenhai Fuju’s “school awareness” was to a large extent a reaction to the imperatives of very specific historical circumstances. Although the available sources do not provide a clearly statement of relevant connections, it can be inferred with great degree of probability that the genealogy of Qianhua lineage, which is presently known as the Genealogy of Nanshan School, was at first compiled by Wenhai Fuju as a kind of background reference about himself and his lineage right on the eve of the emperor’s summoning him to Beijing for official vows transmission in 1733; the petition to include the texts by the Qianhua patriarchs into the canon took shape during this visit to the capital in 1734; and the gazetteer introducing Mt Baohua was produced in the course of preparation to the visits of the Qianlong emperor to Mt Baohua, the place of dwelling for Qianhua patriarchs, in the course of his inspections of southern China in 1750s.
Thirdly, all of the unraveled contexts for Wenhai Fuju’s efforts at “school awareness” turn out to be closely connected to his interaction with either the Yongzheng or the Qianlong emperors. This points at a paradoxical new state of development of “school awareness” during the mid eighteenth century. While the rise of Buddhist schools during late Ming benefited from the withdrawal of state control, as the previous scholarship has argued, through the lenses of current research it can be observed that the actual manifestations of “school awareness” in the eighteenth century Qing were brought about by keen Buddhist engagement of the emperors.
To summarize, the current research has shown that “school awareness” was more than a general mood of the Buddhist monks in the late Ming and Qing which contingently materialized itself in the shapes of lineage-tracing or place-promoting genealogies or gazetteers. Apparently, it was also a lingua franca between the Buddhist community and the court. Should a monk be introduced to the emperor, it would require a genealogy, for the proper pedigree is what mattered in the eyes of those who would make judgments of whether this monk was worth recruiting for a certain task. Should a mountain be visited by the emperor, it would require a gazetteer, for the spatial description and historical background were deemed as a proper presentation of a site of interest to the royal guest. So, the “school awareness” did not exist merely in the minds of the monks, but was also a feature of the mindset of the governing audience they communicated their “school awareness” to, with the emperors actually expecting them to be “school-aware”.
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