Friday, April 29, 2016

The Fate of the Buddhist Canon during the Korean War

Pages of Puning Canon from an auction site

I mentioned I was doing research at China National Library and found fragments of Puning Canon 普寧藏 discovered in Famen Temple 法門寺 in Fufeng by Feng Dian'an 馮奠安. Some of fragments were used by local students for calligraphy and they wrote on the back of the pages. One of the scripture is fascicle 23 of Abhidharma-kośa 阿毗達摩俱舍論卷23分. The Qianziwen 千字文 character number is ya 雅, volume number 4 (四). Number 2( 二) was carved as well but I don't remember what it means. We also have a character jian  堅, which might be the name of the carver for the block. On the back you have a few scrambles and graffiti from students. Clearly they were written during the Korean war. I sent a request for photographing but was denied by the library leadership, citing possible bad political influence. I understand. Here are my notes:

On the back 背面
Quan Zizhi became a teaching assistant. “權自治當了助教”
Zhao Qiugui also became a teaching assistant. “趙秋奎也當了助教”

We students do not want these stuff. These things all mean superstitions. “我們同學不要這樣的東西,這樣的東西都是迷信的義意。”

Resisting US and Assisting Korea. “抗美援朝”

Burn this with fire. “用火燒去這”

Friday, April 22, 2016

Feng Dian'an 馮奠安 and Zhao Wanli's 趙萬里 Discovery of Puning Canon 普寧藏 in Famen Temple 法門寺

Hariti Statue

The fragments of Puning Canon in China National Library mentioned in my previous posted are cataloged as 宗211 in Beihai branch library and have 16 half pages in total. It was actually sent to Beijing around 1965 by a Communist official Feng Dian'an 馮奠安 (zi. Gongyi 公異) in Fufeng county 扶風縣. (Another letter says some one wanted to pay a good deal to buy these fragments but he refused.) He wrote a long note to explain his discovery. He thought this is a Buddhist scriptural catalog which was collated during the Later Zhou dynasty and was inserted into the mud statue of the page boy of Goddess of Nine Sons (Hariti) 九子母侍童 in Famen Temple 法門寺 in 1045. (or 九子鬼母 Hariti, Chinese name 诃梨帝母) It survived the savage of the late Ming peasant rebellion but was destroyed by local students at the time of the Communist liberation. This scripture was taken out from the mud statue and burnt. Only a few pages survived and were smeared with abusive inked words on the back. (More on this in the future.) Therefore, Mr. Feng sent it to Beijing for further examination. It seems that Mr. Zhao Wanli 趙萬里(1905—1980), a famous Chinese bibliographer, examined these fragments and said it is actually a Yuan print. He noted the date is Sept. 1965. I was not allowed to take photos of these handwritten letters and only have partial transcriptions from my notes.



五月十八日信 (節錄):


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fragments of Puning Canon 普寧藏 from Famen Monastery 法門寺 discovered at China National Library

Image of Fragment of Puning Canon from Famensi. All rights reserved by China National Library.

In September 15, 2015, I was doing research at China National Library Beihai branch. I checked out two fragments of an edition of the Buddhist canon. According to Feng Dian'an 馮奠安 and Zhao Wanli 趙萬里, this is a fragment discovered in Famen Monastery in Fufeng country in Xi'an 扶風縣法門寺. At that time, the Buddha relics was not discovered yet. One of them is a page from Yogācār(y)abhūmiśāstra 瑜伽師地論, section 8 of 攝事分中本母事序辯攝 八 . The Qianziwen 千字文 character is  慶十. The transcription of the text from CBETA is as follows:

T30n1579_p0878b03(00)║ 要由餘釋餘  非即此釋此
T30n1579_p0878b04(00)║ 於前略序事  自後當廣辯
T30n1579_p0878b13(10)║二者即依如是所略序事後當廣辯。 云何名為先略序事

Monday, April 11, 2016

New Exhibition for Donggao Xinyue 东皋心越 and Mito Lord Mitsukuni 光圀

Some one passed to me this exhibition catalog which should be very useful for studying Donggao Xinyue and the Mito domain during Mitsukuni's time. It is right now not in the worldcat system.