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An Analysis of Later Audience            at theBuddhist Site of Baodingshan                          Karil J Kucera, PhD  ...
Incomplete sculptures of Radiant Kings, north side, Great Buddha Bend   2
1945 photo of Yang Jialuo and his team at Great Buddha Bend                                                          4
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1413 inscription by Hu Jing, left hand sideof carved text.                             7
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View towards the east of Great Buddha Bend, Wansui Pavilion,and detail of carved inscriptions                              9
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宝顶 ‘ Precious Summit‘               The eighth day of the fourth month, summer, 1873.The Prefect of Dazu County, Wang Deji...
Hu Jing of Kaifeng, Grand Master of Palace Accord, Prefect ofChongqing Prefecture, passed by here on public business.Inscr...
Gentleman for Managing Affairs, Judge of Chongqing Prefecture Lu Jiangzhi, andZhang Xian of Jindou, working on the people’...
In summer, the fifth month of 1443, I came to Dazu to nurture thepeople. I climbed the mountain at leisure, saw all the gr...
In what year was the hermit’s chamber opened?The mountains’ depths are folds of green;Blue clouds constantly fill the door...
A poem harmonizing with Prefect Guo’s rhymes on the wall, while visitingBaoding Temple. Though its words are vulgar and no...
The Bodhi tree is old, its trunk become a shadow;A green reflection on the dragon pond, the water isn’tdeep;Having washed ...
“The carved images at Dazu convert all living creatures. The king of demonsheroic and majestic, evil ghosts and sprites, a...
19
…In Dazu, southwest of Ba [County], there’s the famous Mt. Baoding. … Themountain towers loftily, while its temples are br...
*       *       **                                     *                                     ****                  **     ...
Rubbing of 1818 Zhang Shu text,copied by Wang Dejia inscribed at Baodingshan                                           22
“Turning a little, I arrive at a bend in the cliff, where there is carved a sleepingBuddha. His head as big as a house; hi...
“Next I move on to the carved tableau of the Buddha’s Tooth and the SixVices. Then there is carved the hell transformation...
“Again I return to the left side of the south cliff, and follow the cliff to thewest, where are carved nine head of oxen, ...
“Alas, I have rambled all over the world, and wherever I have climbed andobserved, I have filled my eyes and ears. On my v...
Grouping of calligraphy at western end of Great Buddha Bend,near modern entrance to the site; large “Baoding” by Wang Deji...
281874 gazetteer depiction of Nanshan
Rubbing of large character inscription at Nanshan by Wang Dejia                                                           ...
Rubbing of 1874 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan                                                     30
Rubbing of 1874 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan                                                     31
Rubbing of 1875 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan                                                     32
“Through layered ranges of rock one li in length,  the divine spring seeps;Who carved the lotus flower that floats before ...
“The cave’s mouth is guarded by spring clouds;At the mountain’s waist, old carvings multiply;Vimalakirti pursues past even...
“Misty and distant, the divine mountain has a path leading to it;Seeking solitude, directly I enter Brahma’s temple;The sp...
People in this earthly domain areof a nature to then follow;Clouds and mountains, misty and distantis Brahma’s Temple;A sp...
“Amidst wild vines and smoke, the road is impassable.Climbing the cliff, chopping brambles, I visit the Jade Palace.Jinggu...
“Incense burns in the precious vessel”   38
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Image List• Photo by the author - #2, 3, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19,  20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41• Dazu shike mingwen...
An Analysis of Later Audience at the Buddhist Site of Baodingshan
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An Analysis of Later Audience at the Buddhist Site of Baodingshan

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Karil J Kucera, PhD
St Olaf College, Minnesota, USA
International Symposium of Dazu Rock Carvings, October 2009

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An Analysis of Later Audience at the Buddhist Site of Baodingshan

  1. 1. An Analysis of Later Audience at theBuddhist Site of Baodingshan Karil J Kucera, PhD St Olaf College, Minnesota, USA International Symposium of Dazu Rock Carvings, October 2009 1
  2. 2. Incomplete sculptures of Radiant Kings, north side, Great Buddha Bend 2
  3. 3. 1945 photo of Yang Jialuo and his team at Great Buddha Bend 4
  4. 4. 5
  5. 5. 6
  6. 6. 1413 inscription by Hu Jing, left hand sideof carved text. 7
  7. 7. 8
  8. 8. View towards the east of Great Buddha Bend, Wansui Pavilion,and detail of carved inscriptions 9
  9. 9. 10
  10. 10. 宝顶 ‘ Precious Summit‘ The eighth day of the fourth month, summer, 1873.The Prefect of Dazu County, Wang Dejia of Chenggu respectfully wrote this. 11
  11. 11. Hu Jing of Kaifeng, Grand Master of Palace Accord, Prefect ofChongqing Prefecture, passed by here on public business.Inscribed on the twenty-fourth day of the eighth month of eleventhyear of the Yongle era [1413].{inscription on left} 12
  12. 12. Gentleman for Managing Affairs, Judge of Chongqing Prefecture Lu Jiangzhi, andZhang Xian of Jindou, working on the people’s behalf, together with Confucianschool instructors Lu Ling and Liu Tianren of Dazu County, and assistantinstructor Fan Jian of Wu Chang in the eleventh year of the Yongle era [1413], in themonth when chrysanthemums have their yellow flowers, three days before the Chongyang[Double Brightness] festival, traveled to sincerely inscribe this. {Inscription on right} 13
  13. 13. In summer, the fifth month of 1443, I came to Dazu to nurture thepeople. I climbed the mountain at leisure, saw all the grottoes, and wasmoved to compose a poem in regulated verse to memorialize my visit:The rocky peak towers aloft joined to the upper terrace;Exquisite halls carved from the cliff are opened up to view;Three thousand Buddhas appear in the clouds;A myriad immortals come across the sea.In the cliff there’s a dragon always spouting water;Before the grottoes there’s not a beast without moss;Brahma’s temple is quiet, and visitors are few;Ancient steps, meditation halls: not a speck of dust.Written by the learned doctor Youhe of Jiangxi,Assistant Prefect of Chongqing Prefecture. 14
  14. 14. In what year was the hermit’s chamber opened?The mountains’ depths are folds of green;Blue clouds constantly fill the doors;Purple vapor wants to scrape the void.A single cup: I escape the vulgar world;The dual marvel of the Lotus Sutra: I’m even calmer;I’ve trod all the deva paths;Carefree, my inspiration is unbounded.Kang Gui of Lingnan wrote this. 15
  15. 15. A poem harmonizing with Prefect Guo’s rhymes on the wall, while visitingBaoding Temple. Though its words are vulgar and not worthy of looking at,I’ll use it to record the time of year.Putting aside business for a spring outing, my view grows clear;Greeting me from a distance with flutes and drums are several mountainmonks;Observing customs, I feel ashamed for abandoning my new post;Loving old things, I order the worker to clean the old inscriptions;The grass is soft on the bank, the yellow calf sleeps;At the mouth of Pine Fragrance Grotto, white clouds arise;The grand sights of a thousand autumns I’ll gather up;In the meditation hall, who will forbid me to sigh?In the second month of spring, 1530, for two days I acquainted myself withthe affairs of Dazu County. Yuan Yan of Guilin wrote this. 16
  16. 16. The Bodhi tree is old, its trunk become a shadow;A green reflection on the dragon pond, the water isn’tdeep;Having washed away the worldly dust,the moon is Buddha nature;Parting the clouds and mist, one sees the heart of Ch’an;The white lotus reveals its divine majesty;The green bamboo forest resounds with Sanskrit chants.How many famous mountains lack such a sight?It’s all because the wind and moonare worth their weight in gold. 17
  17. 17. “The carved images at Dazu convert all living creatures. The king of demonsheroic and majestic, evil ghosts and sprites, all are surrounded by ironwalls of a myriad fathoms, locked in for a thousand lengths. Why did theBuddha bring his great light from the West? The meaning is that the Buddha isthe mind. Don’t do evil deeds, but practice goodness. Then the thousandrivers will flow back to a single source, and every home will be in springtime.If it is as I say, then this is called the Buddha’s preaching. If it’s not as I say,then it’s the Evil One. All hail Amida Buddha, and Guanyin from the west whosaves us from suffering. Li Kaixian offered this in praise of the 82 nd year ofthe honorable Master Fa of Changshou County. Changyuan’s Wang Jiawrote and impressed his seal on it.” 18
  18. 18. 19
  19. 19. …In Dazu, southwest of Ba [County], there’s the famous Mt. Baoding. … Themountain towers loftily, while its temples are bright. If you wish to seek immortalsor Buddhas, or to picture sinners, then jump down a few paces, and look where youhave gone. …. These are all scenes that the mortal eye cannot see, of which fewknow the details. I am particularly clear about the inscriptions, and so I haveexplained them somewhat briefly. If you don’t believe me, then take up the Dashengbao’en jing and just see which lines have not been completely depicted, whichpassages have not been carved completely. … I only hope that all living creatureswill follow these examples in self-cultivation, so that they may hope for sagelinessand hope for goodness, so that they may become Buddhas and immortals. 20
  20. 20. * * ** * **** ** ***** ** Denotes place of origin of authors at BDS based on inscriptional evidence. 21
  21. 21. Rubbing of 1818 Zhang Shu text,copied by Wang Dejia inscribed at Baodingshan 22
  22. 22. “Turning a little, I arrive at a bend in the cliff, where there is carved a sleepingBuddha. His head as big as a house; his body length 90 feet. Beside him are carvedabout ten disciples, toward the Buddha all are as if weeping with grief. Again I turnto the west, toward the north cliff-face, where there are the nine dragon mouths. Thenine dragon mouths spout pure spring water. Its flying drops increase the longevityof the newborn child, flow into the square pond, and flow through nine bends toenter the mountain stream.” 23
  23. 23. “Next I move on to the carved tableau of the Buddha’s Tooth and the SixVices. Then there is carved the hell transformation tableau, with strangedemons in profusion; and the palaces of the Tusita Heaven, where manyBuddhas pick flowers, and then a snowy mountain range with eagles on thecliff, where Sakyamuni welcomed his austerities. The scene makes theviewer’s soul wander through its realm.” 24
  24. 24. “Again I return to the left side of the south cliff, and follow the cliff to thewest, where are carved nine head of oxen, and ten oxherders. The oxen areeither eating grass or drinking water or haltered lying down or leaningagainst trees or looking up to moo, or pulling against their ropes, notwanting to be lead. Some of the herding boys vigorously drag or whiptheir oxen, others sleep against a rock, or sit on a rock and play the flute,or stretch their necks to gaze, or wrestle with each other. This then is the 25story of how Yang Cigong achieved enlightenment by herding oxen.”
  25. 25. “Alas, I have rambled all over the world, and wherever I have climbed andobserved, I have filled my eyes and ears. On my visit to Baoding today, Ihave gazed broadly at the cliffs and hollows, and scrutinized the Buddhiststatues in detail, then raising my voice and startling the crowds, I can say:As for Baoding Temple, the Tang Dynasty’s Master Liu studied Wu Daozi’sbrushwork, and on the surrounding cliffs and pavilions for miles he chiseled reliefsand carved statues; strange changelings and mysterious monsters; truly, there hasbeen no other place like it, past or present.” 26
  26. 26. Grouping of calligraphy at western end of Great Buddha Bend,near modern entrance to the site; large “Baoding” by Wang Dejia 27
  27. 27. 281874 gazetteer depiction of Nanshan
  28. 28. Rubbing of large character inscription at Nanshan by Wang Dejia 29
  29. 29. Rubbing of 1874 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan 30
  30. 30. Rubbing of 1874 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan 31
  31. 31. Rubbing of 1875 inscription, Wang Dejia at Nanshan 32
  32. 32. “Through layered ranges of rock one li in length, the divine spring seeps;Who carved the lotus flower that floats before the Buddha?Illuminating golden rays wash the clouds clean.Before the cliff one delights again to see the devas.” 33
  33. 33. “The cave’s mouth is guarded by spring clouds;At the mountain’s waist, old carvings multiply;Vimalakirti pursues past events;My generation likes to speak of ‘emptiness’;How dim the sound of pipes and chimes!The venerable drinking cup rises free and easy;Sitting in meditation, thoughts of the dusty world are cleansed;Walking everywhere, how endless are the worlds!” 34
  34. 34. “Misty and distant, the divine mountain has a path leading to it;Seeking solitude, directly I enter Brahma’s temple;The spring crosses rock walls, flowing cold;The moon faces the flowered wall, and crosses over, empty;The Buddha’s bones are buried in disorder under yellow leaves;Monks’ clothes hang awry among the white clouds;Among Amitabha’s 84,000 pagodas, 35which layer of lotus thrones am I on?In spring of 1825, Jiangjin Graduate for Preeminence Yang Tan inscribed this.”
  35. 35. People in this earthly domain areof a nature to then follow;Clouds and mountains, misty and distantis Brahma’s Temple;A spring through rock walls flows pure;The moon crosses by the magnificent cliff,the myriad of shapes is empty;Evil doers deceived heaven andburied the Buddha’s bones;Cultivating sage traces among the white clouds;I hold dear the clear and secluded placeof the Seven Jewels;Which among the layers of upright jade tabletson the terrace?Written in the winter of the Renwu year [1882].The Buddhist statues are extremely solemn;People’s minds make good karma;On this winding route, I accompaniedhim to this holy site;A fairieland in the world of man.Chongqing’s Zhao Ciguan. 36
  36. 36. “Amidst wild vines and smoke, the road is impassable.Climbing the cliff, chopping brambles, I visit the Jade Palace.Jinggui on the South Sea, the sound of the tide is still.The moon reaches into the Western regions, the visible in the void.The lonely meditation hall beyond the withered grass;the Buddha’s bones scattered in the setting sun.On the day when the official traveled to [X],the sun returns to the jade tablet in the morning,giving another layer of new life to the spiritual mountain. 37In the fall of 1943, Bei County’s Wang Lie inscribed this.”
  37. 37. “Incense burns in the precious vessel” 38
  38. 38. 39
  39. 39. 40
  40. 40. 41
  41. 41. Image List• Photo by the author - #2, 3, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41• Dazu shike mingwen lu - #7, 8, 10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34• Dazu xianzhi [1874 ed.] - #5, 6, 28• The Discovery (1945) of 6216 Statues Carved on Rocks During the Tang and Sung Dynasties at Ta-Tsu. - #4• Dazu [slide scan] - #1 42

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