This presentation seeks to draw out the fundamental thought seen in the mystic discourse section (introduction) of Wŏnch’uk’s Commentary of the Sūtra of Immeasurable Meanings, (re-discovered as a new and complete resource), fromthe viewpoint of Yogācāra.Moreover, it aims to demonstrate that this new material was indeed composed written byWŏnch’uk, by way of comparison with other extant works by the same author.
As is well-known tomost scholars, we have at our disposal three relatively complete works by Wŏnch’uk (613-696), a major scholar-monk of the seventh century, who was born in Silla, but spent his career in the Tang: His commentary on the saṃdhinirmocanasūtra (the Jieshenmijing shu); his commentary on the Sūtra for Humane Kings (the Renwangjing shu) and his commentary on the Heart Sūtra (the Boreboluomiduo xinjing zan).
In a 1964 publication, the Japanese scholar Ryōshō Taira showed that the three volumes of the Muryōgikyōsho (the Commentary on the ImmeasurableMeanings Sūtra) contained in the nineteenth volume of the Tendaishū Zensho (CompleteWorks of the Tendai School in Japan) by Renshō was in fact a copy of Wŏnch’uk’s three-volume Wuliangyijingshu. Although this interesting fact was already made known in Japan, Taira’s paper was only published on a volume on Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Thus it may have been ended up being merely understood that this material was not appropriate for inclusion in the collection of the Tendaishū Zensho, rather than being duly recognizes as a discovery of valuable Yogācāra materials.
I have already made the first presentation about this new material at the 2008 Korean saṃgīti Conference on Buddhist Studies, at Tongguk University, mainly to introduce Taira’s article. This article, however, might be observed as not giving due consideration to the perspective ofWŏnch’uk’s own thought and the Yogācāra doctrine. In this second presentation, I intend to augment Taira’s theory with my own analysis.
1. Introducing Renshō’s three‐volume Muryōgikyōsho Introduction of Renshō, and analysis of how the original material of the Muryōgikyōsho contained the nineteenth volume of the Tendaishū Zensho was handed down to the present 2. The basis of Taira’s claims forWŏnch’uk’s authorship Article: Ryōshō Taira, “On the Muryōgikyōsho by Renshō, Disciple of the Fourth Patriarch,” Kōjun Fukui edited “The Research of Jikaku Daishi,” Tendai Gakkai compiled, 1964.
Taira extended to prove Wŏnch’uk’s authorship of this work in various ways, based on two main approaches: First, he points out the possibility of a claim being made for authorship by the Tendai monk Renshō. Second, he shows the correspondences between this material and some pieces of the Muryōgikyōsho written byWŏnch'uk.
3. Features of the Thought observable in the Renshō's Muryōgikyōsho: fromthe standpoint of the One Vehicle The Immeasurable Meanings Sūtra is regarded by some scholars as apocryphal, but it has nonetheless been known as the “opening sūtra” for the Lotus Sūtra since a very early period, such that it is considered as one of the important three sūtras of the Lotus tradition, with the SūtraMeditating on Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is taken as the closing sūtra of the Lotus.
The Immeasurable Meanings Sūtra is understood this way not only by Tiantai figure such as Fayun (467-529), Zhiyi (538-597) and Jizang (549 -623), but also in the Faxiang tradition, especially in Kuiji’s (632-682) commentary on the Lotus Sūtra, which officially identifies the sūtra as the opening to the Lotus Sūtra. So, it is pertinent enough to consider the basic thinking of the Muryōgikyōsho with the problemof the Lotus Sūtra and the way of One Vehicle thinking. In fact, the opening part of the Muryōgikyōsho also mainly argues about the way of understanding the One Vehicle problem.
The below seminal points emerge from the analysis of this first part.
a) The author takes the position of the distinction in five natures, which means that, he or she does not come from a tradition that believes that all beings accomplish Buddhahood.
b) The audience of the Wuliangyi jing consists mainly of śrāvakas of indeterminate nature.Why can we consider the One Vehicle doctrine of the Lotus Sūtra and the Immeasurable Meanings Sūtra in relation to śrāvakas of indeterminate nature? Because the indeterminate nature are the kind of people simultaneously possessing having the innate untainted seeds of Hīnayāna (śrāvaka) and the innate untainted seeds ofMahāyāna (bodhisattva).
They initiate their practices as the adherents of Hīnayāna, and in time, as they have the opportunity to hear the teachings of the One Vehicle, they gradually turn to the Mahāyāna (bodhisattvayāna), renouncing Hīnayāna.
The author of the Muryōgikyōsho understands the main purpose of the One Vehicle doctrine in such a way.
c) Such annotated editions of original sūtras like the Muryōgikyōsho, nevertheless, are restricted in that they themselves are influenced by the style of discourse of original sūtras, and thus wemay have some difficulties in understanding the original thought structures of those authors. We can, however, say that the author fully understands the theory of the tenmeanings of the One Vehicle explained in the Mahāyānasamgraha. Furthermore, Asvabhāva’s commentary of the Mahāyānasamgraha translated byXuanzang is frequently quoted in the opening of the Muryōgikyōsho and this ten meanings theory is also seen in the Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra, though in slightly different ways, The author’s foundation in One Vehicle doctrine must be based on mainly the Mahāyānasamgraha with the distinctive understanding of śrāvaka of the indeterminate nature emerging from this foundation.
d) The controversy between the earlier notion that all livings can become Buddha and the new position of the distinction in five natures emerged in China after Xuanzang (600-664) returned from his Yogācāra studies in India. There was a great divide over the matter of becoming Buddha between the two schools of thought. From the point of view that all livings becoming Buddha, one can support the view that all livings must become Buddha because the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra clearly states “all livings must have the buddha-nature”, and even after adherents of the two vehicles (śrāvakayāna and pratyekabuddhayāna) attain the lesser vehicle nirvāṇa (nirvāṇa without residue), they can go ahead more toward the enlightenment of Mahāyāna, if they understand that their enlightenment is not true, but like an illusion.
On the other hand, from the point of view the theory of the five natures distinction, the key sentence of the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra shows only the standpoint of the tathāgatagarbha of true thusness (the principle-nature) which all livings may have.
There, however, are two kinds of Buddha-nature. One is the tathāgatagarbha that should be accomplished as result of practice (the practice-nature) which we can realize them by only our practice and the innate untainted seeds of Mahāyāna (bodhisattva) in the ālayavijñāna. Only some who are said to have the nature predetermined for bodhisattva and those who have the indeterminate nature have this kind of Buddha-nature. The One Vehicle doctrine that all people can become Buddha in the sūtra may be seen as speaking for these kinds of people.
And when people of the lesser two vehicle perfectly enter into the nirvāṇa without residue of the Hīnayāna, they have therein terminated all activities and thought. They can never turn to the Mahāyāna from there.
The people of the indeterminate nature can do this only before entering into the true nirvāṇa entered into by the people of the nature predetermined for the two vehicles (śrāvaka or pratyekabuddha). These arguments are briefly seen in the Muryōgikyōsho.
4. Fourth, we examine the content of the Jieshenmijing shu as a comparative sample ofWŏnch’uk’s writing.
a) I have already argued, in a forthcoming work, that although some claimthatWŏnch’uk’s Jieshenmijing shu can be understood as taking either side in the five natures debate,Wŏnch’uk is clearly arguing from the position of asserting the five natures distinction.
b) As for the One Vehicle doctrine of the Lotus Sūtra, it shows that this doctrine is referring to the distinctive understanding of śrāvakas that turn from Hīnayāna toMahāyāna.
c) On the final stage about the One Vehicle doctrine, it presents the ten meanings theory of One Vehicle in the Mahāyānasamgraha and develops his own theory of the One Vehicle doctrine.
d) We find the part which minutely enumerated the authorities of the thought that that all beings accomplish Buddhahood by the older thinkers and those of the thought of the five natures distinction which Xuanzang based on. Comparing them, there are two frameworks of controversy introduced there. The first one is that the Buddha nature can be accepted whether it means of that all beings accomplish Buddhahood, or of śrāvaka of the indeterminate nature based on the theory of the two Buddha nature of principle and practice. The second is whether the people of Hīnayāna can change their courses to Mahāyāna even after entering into nirvāṇa, or not after but before they can change or not.
5. Therefore, we argue that the basic thought of the Muryōgikyōsho by Renshō are the same as the section on the One Vehicle doctrine of the Jieshenmijing shu by Wŏnch’uk, even though there areminor differences between them.
Indeed it does not surely need to make the resource be the writing of Wŏnch’uk because the content are popular seen among the resources of the Faxiang doctrine, but Wŏnch’uk’s own theory concerning the body or corpus of doctrine that the second founder Huizhao of the Faxiang sect criticized is developed in other part of this resource. Moreover, there are not any commentary of the Immeasurable Meanings Sūtra which are the authority of the Faxiang sect such as that by Kuiji, but Wŏnch’uk’s three volumes in several materials of list.
Finally, according to Mosaku Ishida’s research, it is widely known that the documents were transcriptions in the Nara period. From the above grounds, we conclude that Taira’s argument that Renshō’s three-volume Muryōgikyōsho is the transcription of Wŏnch’uk’s three-volume Wuliangyijingshu to be correct.