Iryeon’s Hwaeom Philosophy in His Life and
Samguk yusa (2) *
- Author: Jeon Ho-ryeon (Ven. Hae-ju)
- Publish: International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture Volume 17, Issue0, p7~28, Sep 2011
This treatise examines Iryeon’s Hwaeom philosophy and faith through a study of his biographical records and his most significant work, Samguk yusa. The premise that Iryeon’s philosophy has its roots in the Hwaeom school is supported by evidences that he prayed to Manjusri when Goryeo was facing a Mongol onslaught, and that he went to the ‘place of non-residence’ at the behest of Manjusri where he achieved ‘non-hinderance.’ Manjusri who appears in Samguk yusa is the same Manjusri we find in the Avatamsaka pantheon. And Iryeon’s philosophy, which is based on non-residence, non-expansion and non-contraction, and non-hindrance, is clearly linked to Uisang’s idea of ‘non-resident enlightenment.’ It is in this context that we can understand his profession of philosophical lineage stemming from Jinul and his integration of Seon and Hwaeom can be understood. Other examples of the connection between Iryeon and Hwaeom include his reconstruction of Yongcheonsa, one of the Ten Main Hwaeom temples, and the establishment of a reformative religious society, Buril Gyeolsa 佛日結社) there; his completion of Samguk yusa and his passing at Ingaksa, a temple founded by Uisang, and Iryeon’s recognition by people as the incarnation of Dammugal Bodhisattva. In addition, his faith in Hwaeom (evident in Samguk yusa), as well as the Ornamented World philosophy and Vairocana, and his worship of the Avatamsaka Bodhisattvas and their pantheon, naturally led to view Hwaeom as superior of itself and to Uisang’s Hwaeom philosophy. The scripture Iryeon referred to when he was writing his opus magnum was the Eighty Avatamsaka. And his reverence for Uisang was a natural extension of his efforts to emulate the Bodhisattvas in caring for all mortals, based on the enlightenment of nonresidence and non-hindrance which is at the crux of his Hwaeom faith and philosophy. Thus the Gyeongcho Seon that is his religious hallmark could be considered as his unique Seon expression of the Hwaeom Bodhisattva Work (華嚴菩薩行).
Iryeon , Uisang , Hwaeom , Seon , Samguk yusa , Order of Nine Mountain Schools , Avatamsaka Sutra , Revised Edition on Caotong’s Five Categories.
(continued from the previous article)
A selection and re-organization of chapters and references scattered throughout
Samguk yusawas made for proper assessment of Iryeon’s thoughts on Hwaeom. Kim, Yeong-tae (1982), author of Hwaeom Philosophy in Samguk yusahas prepared a following list with summaries.
In addition to the contribution of Prof. Kim, there are a lot more records in
Samguk yusathat are pertinent to Hwaeom, as shown in the following:
At this juncture, it is possible to elicit facts concerning Iryeon’s faith in Hwaeom and his own Hwaeom philosophy. There is first the matter of Iryeon’s personal faith in the
Avatamsaka Sutra. The general liturgy surrounding mahayana sutras, namely the processes of lecture, rumination, recital, invocation, transcription and interpretation, also apply to the Avatamsaka Sutra; and they also appear in Samguk yusa. However, more emphasis seems to be placed on the merits of lecturing rather than the incantation of the Sutra, and it also seeks to praise Hwaeom philosophy in the interpretations on the sutra or references to it. References on the Avatamsaka sutra Faith from Samguk yusaare organized and listed below:
The above references underscore the faith in the miraculous powers and authority of the
It would be possible to say that references to the Hwaeom contain Iryeon’s own faith in the Hwaeom doctrines. However, if we choose to limit our observation to those that contain Iryeon’s own thoughts, the ‘Jajang Sets the Commandments’ and ‘the Fifty Thousand Bodies of the Buddha at Mt. Odae’ chapters stand out. Master Jajang rebuilt his residence within the Wollyeongsa Temple, and when he was preaching from the
Avatamsaka Sutraduring the completion ceremony, magical phenomena occurred as if the “fifty-three wise-ones” of the ‘Entering the Dharma Realms’ in the Avatamsaka Sutrahad manifested, and subsequently 53 trees were planted in honor of the 53 saints (H. 6, 347a). The construction of Wollyeongsa is, therefore, an explicit demonstration of Jajang’s Hwaeom faith. Jajang later went to China and prayed to the image of the Manjusri Bodhisattva at Qingliangshan, where he wanted to reside but received a mantra that read “ garapajwanang dalyechiguya nanggaigaganang dalyenosana” (呵囉婆佐曩 達㘑哆佉嘢 曩伽呬伽曩 達㘑盧舍那). Intially unable to comprehend it, another monk told him that the verse means “Having understood all dharma, nothing remains of one’s nature,” and “Thus is the dharma interpreted, and thereby one is able to see the Rocana Buddha” (ref. ③) (H. 6, 334a), and that no doctrine he could ever learn would be more profound (ref. ⑤) (H. 6, 346b). Therefore, his lecture upon with the Avatamsaka Sutraat the ceremony was in fact not a coincidence but an evidence of his personal faith in Hwaeom. Probably he had already believed that the verse was the most profound of all dharmas, and the fact that he chose to pray to Manjusri is also an evidence of his belief in the Avatamsaka Sutra.
This passage actually allows a glimpse into Iryeon’s own Hwaeom philosophy. The verse received by Jajang and interpreted as “Having understood all dharma, nothing remains of one’s nature,” and “Thus is the dharma interpreted, thereby able to see the Rocana Buddha” appears in the ‘Incantations from the Summit of Tusita’ as it appears in the Eighty Avatamsaka (80 華嚴) (T. 10, 82a). However, the Eighty Avatamsaka had not yet been translated into Chinese characters at the date (636‐43 CE) Jajang supposedly received his Sanskrit mantra, as only the Sixty Avatamsaka (trans. 418 CE) had been in circulation. The Sixty volume version does not contain the exact wording of Jajang’s mantra, only verses that are somewhat similar. Then how is this discrepancy to be explained? First, there is the possibility that the Jajang’s tale above was created and written at a later date. But Iryeon offers an additional clarification of the events surrounding Jajang and Manjusri:
Then he goes on to debunk as a hoax the folk legend that posits that Jajang was appointed as an Honorable Monk by the Emperor Taizong of the Tang, as they were not found in either Tang or Silla records (H. 6, 346c). It proves that Iryeon exercised much caution in writing
Samguk yusa. The same attitude was likely applied when he stated recognized Jajang’s encounter as a true event, and also does not contradict the interpretation of Jajang’s mantra in any way. It should also be taken into consideration that Iryeon presided over the Tripitaka Completion Convention and was well-versed in doctrine as well as inscriptions and scriptures ( JG1:470). This makes it safe to assume that Iryeon was more familiar with the Eighty Avatamsaka, and that his Hwaeom philosophy itself was based on the Eighty Avatamsaka. Such an assumption can also be safely made by observing Iryeon’s interpretation of the term ‘Naksan (洛山),’ where Uisang was supposed to have met the real Bodhisattva of Mercy:
However, the Mount Potalaka that Iryeon cites is nowhere within the pages of the Sixty Avatamsaka,3 and only makes its appearance in the Eighty version as the residence4 of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Kim, Yeong-tae 1988, 17‑18). Even more troubling, Uisang’s meeting with the Bodhisattva of Mercy on Mt. Odae was also BEFORE the translation date (695 CE) of the Eighty Avatamsaka, and that disproves that Iryeon is making reference to Eighty.
Though other possibilities might still be fathomed,5 the interpretation of the Sanskrit mantra and the definition of the term “Naksan” leads us to believe that Iryeon’s Hwaeom philosophy was based on the Eighty Avatamsaka. The appearance of the Vairocana Buddha rather than the Rocana in the Fifty-Thousand Bodies of the Buddha chapter also attests to the ubiquity of the Eighty attained during the time of Iryeon.
References ③, ⑧, and ⑱ hint at another important idea, that of the Faith of the Buddhist Pure Land. Of course, there is nothing that is not the manifestation of the Vairocana and no place that is not Vairocana’s residence; these are the references bespoken of in this treatise.
First in reference ③ (Fifty Thousand Buddha Bodies in Mt. Odae), there is evidence that Prince Bocheon yearned for the Ornamented World of Vairocana (華藏刹海) earnestly. Silla princes Bocheon and Hyomyeong built the Bocheonam hermitage in Mt. Odae and worshipped the Buddha Bodies every day, and also made tea for the ten thousand Manjusris who supposedly resided in the site of the Jinyeowon (Eternal Truth hermitage) at the Middle Peak. Hyomyeong would later descend the mountain to take the throne, while Bocheon continued his discipline, and even received assistance from the Manjusris along the way. Later, as he was passing away, he recorded details of the ‘ceremony for the nation,’ which involved constructing five chambers for Gwaneum (Avalokitesvara), the Mita (Amitabha), Jijang (Ksitigarbha), Nahan (Arhat), and Jinyeo (Tathata) in each of the peaks of north, south, east, west, and the center of the country. In addition, devotional-societies like the Wontong, Sujeong, Geumgang (Diamond), Baekryeon (White Lotus), and Hwaeom denominations were formed societies there. Bocheon hermitage would be expanded into the Hwajangsa Temple, where the Beopryun (Dharma Wheel) Society would form. Three Round Images of the Vairocana and the Great Tripitaka would be placed there. Monks would read the scriptures by day and recite the names of the Hwaeom pantheon and hold a Hwaeom convention every 100 days. They would be commanded to perform pure deeds and practices that lead to enlightenment and never allow the incense to be extinguished, which would ensure longevity for the monarch, comfort for the common people, peace between the literary and the martial, and a hundred kinds of grains would yield great harvests (H. 6, 334b–36a).
The indications that Bocheonam was reconstructed and re-named Hwajangsa (Ornamented World Temple), a Vairocana Buddha statue was erected, and the names of the Hwaeom Pantheon were recited along with the holding of Hwaeom conventions, we can conclude that Hwajangsa was built as a model of the Ornamented World of the
Avatamsaka Sutra. The reason why Bocheon made Hwajangsa the headquarters for his Mt. Odae (Five Platforms Society) is that the world Bocheon sought out, as he held the Manjusri in high esteem and worshipped the Fifty Thousand deities, is none other than the Ornamented World of Vairocana mentioned in the Avatamsaka Sutra, and the content of Samguk yusadoes include references to worship of that Ornamented World.
Iryeon’s thoughts on the Ornamented World appears in the “Sabok the Speechless” chapter (ref. ⑧) of
Samguk yusa, where a 12-year-old boy named Sabok asked Wonhyo (from Goseonsa temple) to preside over his dead mother’s funeral. The rite was held on the woods east of Mt. Hwali, where Wonhyo recited the phrase that all life is suffering as she was about to be buried. Then Sabok answered him, “The Sakyamuni once entered nirvana under the Shala tree, and as I have seen Buddha’s images, I will retire to the Ornamented World.”6 Sabok then uprooted a bunch of grass and suddenly the ground broke open and there appeared a world so pure and ethereal, where balconies and pavilions were decorated with magnificent jewelry, a world that could in no way be mortal. Sabok took his mother’s body and jumped into the ground together, upon which the ground closes and returned to its original state (H. 6, 349b‑50a).
Concerning the incident where Sabok entered the Ornamented World with his mother, Iryeon had this to say:
This is a commentary that reveals Iryeon’s personal perspective on the Ornamented Realm, as opposed to the Sabok story where the realm is described as a place where Sabok went to because it was free of suffering, and the cycle of life and death, Iryeon offers an alternate view that contends the Ornamented Realm as a place where the suffering of life and death is not suffering at all, as there is no such distinction. Therefore, there Ornamented World is not a region far-flung and removed from the mortal world, but IS the mortal world, as long as it is a state where no distinction between life and death exist. It is the exact state described as “the Mortal World does not diminish but the Buddha Realm does not expand either,” (生界不滅 佛界不增) and also a state where “The Three Realms are Illusions, and the Great Earth has no impediments.”
There are also elements of Iryeon’s Hwaeom philosophy in the story of the Two Holies of Nambaekwol, Nohil-budeuk and Daldal-bakbak. It is said that both men, who became Amitabha and the Maitreya with the aid of the Bodhisattva of Mercy, would always expressed their wishes to walk through the Ornamented World as they were engaged in discipline. They went to Nambaekwol, where Budeuk worshiped Maitreya, whereas Bakbak recited the name of Amitabha. One day, as they were nearing their third year, a young maiden visited Bakbak in his hermitage and asked him if a poor maiden could stay the night as it was sunset and she had a long way to go. But Bakbak turned her away, saying that the hermitage must retain its purity. She then went to Budeuk and asked as she did Bakbak, and Budeuk said, “Though the hermitage should not be defiled by women, kindness to mortals is also the Way of the Bodhisattva” (H. 6, 329c), and let her in. As evening passed into night, the maiden pleaded with Bakbak, who was reciting mantras, that she was about to give birth and preparations had to be made. Budeuk, despite his embarrassment and weariness, prepared a large tub with hot water and had her bathe. The water thereupon turned fragrant and golden. Budeuk then bathed in the same water, at the maiden’s behest. Budeuk’s mind suddenly became clear, his skin turned to gold, and a lotus seat materialized in front of him. The maiden then asked him to take a seat, announcing that she was the Bodhisattva of Mercy and that she was there to lead him to enlightenment (H. 6, 330a). Then she disappeared.
When Bakbak came to Budeuk’s residence the next day, he saw the later seated upon the Lotus Throne and had become a golden Maitreya, whereupon Bakbak bathed in the remaining golden water and became the Amitabha. The residents of the village below flocked to the hermitage when they heard of this, and the two Buddhas gave them a sermon and disappeared on a cloud. King Gyeongdeok also heard the news and sent his emissary to the location to build a grand temple and named it Namsa. When the temple was completed seven years later, a statue of Maitreya was erected inside the main sanctuary, which became the Hall of the Enlightened Maitreya Manifest. Also, a statue of Amitabha was set up at the lecture hall, named the Hall of the Enlightened Amitabha Manifest. But the latter image, due to shortage of water, was left incomplete with blotches on its surface. Iryeon offered the following commentary concerning the two figures aided by the Bodhisattva of Mercy in his chapter “The Enlightenment of the Two Holies at Baekwolsan”:
Iryeon sees the maiden, or the manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Mercy, who leads the two men to enlightenment, or the personification of Lady Maya, one of the 53 sages that appear in the
Avatamsaka Sutra’s last chapter, Entering the Dharma Realm. The 53 sages of the Avatamsaka Sutradescribe each Bodhisattva as well as their deeds through the Gate of Enlightenment. Lady Maya is the 42nd of the 53 sages, and blessed with the power to enlighten by manifesting as a Bodhisattva.7 Translated into the Faithful’s Stages of Discipline that preceded the chapter of Entering the Dharma Realm, it goes beyond the 10th stage up into the 11th ground of enlightenment (等覺位), the discipline of the Gate of the Enlightenment by Arising Wisdom Along with Mercy (Jeon 1983, 69). Thus Lady Maya, as the mother of Sakyamuni, is the Venerable Mother of Sakyamuni Buddha and became a ranking member of the pantheon with other sages and Bodhisattvas. Iryeon is using the “birth” by the maiden (manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Mercy) as an allegory for the efforts of Lady Maya to bring Sudhana to universal enlightenment (omniscience). Vowing to lead the two monks to the bodhi, the Bodhisattva of Mercy transformed herself into a maiden and visited them, to elicit their sense of compassion, which Budeuk displayed and thus became a Buddha on-the-spot. Iryeon’s explicit commendation for Budeuk’s concern for all mortals and merciful acts is, in a way, concordant with his Seon philosophy embodied in his Gyeongcho-Seon (Seon of Ascetic Life, 莖草禪). Such overwhelming mercy succeeded in leading the other monk, Bakbak, to Buddhahood as well. But for his lack of mercy, his image in the great lecture hall was left in an imperfect state.
Although Budeuk and Bakbak differed in how they became Buddhas, Iryeon states that both attained a buddhahood through the Gate of Enlightenment by efforts of a holy sage all the same. Therefore, the two Buddhas that Budeuk and Bakbak respectively became are not different from the Vairocana of the
Avatamsaka Sutra, who resides in the Ornamented World that the two monks both aspired to go. Iryeon’s commentary is not only a testament to the Bodhisattvas and the care they expend upon mortals, but a valuable record that also contains Avatamsaka Buddha Realm Philosophy, as represented by the Vairocana Buddha and the Ornamented World Faith.
The Bodhisattvas and various deities appear in
Samguk yusain varying frequency, and their list are here as follows: Avalokitesvara/Bodhisattva of Mercy (28 times), Manjusri (9 times), Samantabhadra (5 times), Maitreya Bodhisattva (12 times), Mahasthama (4 times), Ksitigarbha (9 times), Child Bodhisattva (幼童菩薩, 1 time), Eight Diamond Kings (3 times), Ananyagamin Bodhisattva (正趣菩薩, 1 time), Sarasvati (2 times), god of Trāyastriṃśas god/Indra (5 times), Thirty-Three Heavens god (2 times), Tusita Heaven god (4 times), Brahma (2 times), Five Heavens of Purity (1 time), Deva Kings (1 time), Indra (13 times), god of heaven (9 times), dragon kings (55 times), Eight Divine Guardians (1 times), Gandharva (1 time), Raksa (6 times), Holy Pantheon (6 times), Asura (1 time), Avatamsaka pantheon (2 times), Guardian god (1 time), and temple guardian (1 time) (Gojeon Yeongusil 1980, 15‑19).
Among those included in the list, Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Maitreya, Mahasthama, and Ananyagamin Bodhisattva are all important deities that appear in the
Avatamsaka Sutra. Other members of the pantheon are also part of Buddha’s audience that appear in the sutra. Some are so important as to be worshipped alongside the Vairocana Buddha, such as Manjusri and Samantabhadra. Therefore, all acts of reverence and worship of these Bodhisattvas and deities can be included as part of the Hwaeom faith. However, some references to the Hwaeom faith are much more direct and explicit, such as Manjusri (ref. ③, ④, ⑤), Samantabhadra (ref. ⑭), worship of the Bodhisattva of Mercy (ref. ②, ⑲, ㉓), and worship of other deities of the pantheon (ref. ②, ③, ⑤, ⑫, ⑭, ⑰, ㉑, ㉓). Of all the references mentioned above, Iryeon is particularly direct with his Hwaeom philosophy in those sections of Samguk yusathat refer to the worship of the Bodhisattva of Mercy and Manjusri. And has already been mentioned, Iryeon takes a distinct Hwaeom view of not only Manjusri but the Bodhisattva of Mercy also, as can be seen in using the maiden as the allegory for Lady Maya, or his story of the Avalokitesvara physically manifested in Naksan. Moreover, Iryeon’s commentary on Josin’s dreams of receiving divine blessings from the Bodhisattva of Mercy for his prayers is more than likely a reflection of Iryeon’s own personal experience:
“The way to enlightenment and the trials of life are but dreams,” as Iryeon warns, “I know from this day that the Three Realms are but delusions,” is another expression of the words he uttered in his own awakening.
Nationalist sentiment that places the nation’s roots in the mythical founding-king Dan-gun, flows throughout the entire text of
Samguk yusa, through the medium of Hwaeom philosophy. Hwaeom is of course a Chinese import, but Iryeon’s opinions as expressed in Samguk yusaexhibit pride and affirmation of identity. This is in addition to his reverence for the progenitor of Korean Hwaeom, Master Uisang, that Iryeon does not care to conceal.
The chapter of “Uisang Spreads the Teachings” (ref. ⑦) in
Samguk yusatells us that when Uisang arrived in Mt. Zongnan in Zhixiang Temple, master Zhiyan (智儼) treated him with special courtesy, for he had seen portents of his arrival in a dream. Zhiyan saw in the dream a tree that covered the entire East (Silla), which grew and covered the whole China, and upon climbing the tree saw the nest of a phoenix, which contained a Mani Orb that radiated light far and wide. Then as Zhiyan woke up and cleaned his room and waited, Uisang arrived at his temple. Uisang was engaged in deep and extensive analysis of Hwaeom teachings. Iryeon highlighted the fact that Uisang’s Hwaeom philosophy was widespread in China before he met Zhiyan, in a tale only recorded in Samguk yusaand no other source. Iryeon praises Uisang with the following verse:
Iryeon then continues:
Iryeon is singing happily that Hwaeom is flourishing both in Silla and Tang thanks to the efforts of Uisang, including the creation of the Dharmadhatu Diagram of Avatamsaka Single Vehicle and an appended commentary, which Iryeon believed display the importance of the Single Vehicle and set an example for many generations and therefore there is no necessity of further publications thereafter. Iryeon analogized the tale as “Only a piece of meat would suffice to give taste to a potful of broth,” heaping praise on Uisang, and displaying the degree of respect he had for the founder of Korean Hwaeom.
Zhiyan passed away the same year Uisang published the Diagram, and Iryeon likens his passing to Confucius stopping his writing work at the appearance of the mystical Qilin (麒麟, giraffe). Then Iryeon declares all of Uisang’s ten main disciples as Demi-Saints.8 He is thus exhorting the superiority of Korean Hwaeom and the excellence of Uisang’s philosophy, which has been translated into the superiority of the Hwaeom schools in succession to Uisang’s Hwaeom philosophy in the following periods.
In the chapter “Ven. Nangji Walking on the Cloud and the Samantabhadra Tree,” the seven-year-old Jitong was led by Sarasvati to the venerable Nangji, who was possessed of magical powers and frequently lectured on the
Lotus Sutra. But as Jitong received his commandments from Samantabhadra Bodhisattva and entered the priesthood on the way, and Nangji paid his respects to the young boy upon his arrival, saying that he had been praying for years to meet the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva but did not encounter, confessing the boy Jitong superior to him. Jitong later moved on to study under Uisang and had a profound awakening, after which he worked hard to spread the Dharma. It was none other than Jitong who summarized Uisang’s 90-day lectures on the Avatamsaka Sutra, to Uisang’s three thousand students as a tribute to Uisang’s disciple Jinjong’s deceased mother, into two volumes of the Chudonggi(錐洞記).
Iryeon’s wholehearted agreement to the notion of Hwaeom superiority is exhibited in another chapter, “Daehyeon of the Yuga, Beophae of the Hwaeom” (ref. ⑩). When the Yuga master Daehyeon was praying while walking in circles around the stone Maitreya of the Yongjangsa Temple in Gyeongju’s Namsan, the statue’s face moved along with him. King Gyeongdeok invited him into the palace to pray for rain with a sermon on the
Golden Radiance Sutra, and a huge fountain of water shot up to a height of nearly twenty feet from a dry well in the palace courtyard, and the well was thus named the Fountain of Golden Radiance (金光井). The king invited the revered Beophae for a lecture on the Avatamsaka Sutrathe following year, and told him what had happened during Daehyeon’s sermon, asking Beophae about the magnitude of his powers. Beophae answered him that he possessed enough powers to sink the East Mountain of Silla’s capital, as well as flood the entire capital. The king did not believe him until during the middle of Beophae’s lecture on the Avatamsaka Sutra, when a herald told him that the eastern lake flowed over and 50 sections of the palace were floundering in the water. The king was awe-struck, as Beophae smiled and said that he had merely expanded the water vein below as a prelude to moving the East Sea, forcing the king to bow before him. It can be seen that Beophae of the Hwaeom displayed powers greater than in comparison with Daehyeon of the Yuga, and Iryeon again composed lyrical verses in praise:
It is certainly beyond doubt that Iryeon confers superior powers to Beophae of the Hwaeom over Yuga’s Daehyeon in his writings. His verse about the ‘no fetters whatsoever in the universe’ is the epitome of the glorious praise he lavishes upon Beophae, not to mention his own enlightenment he described ‘I see no obstacles on the great earth.’ Although there are no other records concerning Beophae in detail, he was certainly another great Hwaeom master of Silla that Iryeon mobilized in his effort to establish his idea of Hwaeom’s superiority.
1Sang Hyun Kim (1985, 68) assigned the episode 17 to the Recitals in accordance with the reading of Reciting the Avatamsaka Sutra (稱華嚴經). However, it seems more likely that the word should be read 講 (to give a lecture) instead of 稱 (to refer or to indicate) because Jihae (智海) stayed at the place about 50 days. 239 years after the death of Iryeon (1328 CE) Chewon (體元) expresses similar opinion on an explanation about Baekhwa (白花, White Flower) in his Baekhwadoryang balwonmun yakhae (白花道場發 願文略解). “中華嚴貞本經第十六卷云 觀自在菩薩 在補?洛迦 淸凉?釋云 補?洛迦者 此云小白花樹山多此樹 香氣遠聞 聞見必欣故以爲名” (H. 6, 571a). 3In the Sixty Avatamsaka (A60), there appears Mount of Light (光明山) instead of Mount Potalaka (T.9, 717c-18a) 4Here the A80’s Chinese transliteration of Potalaka (補?洛迦) is slightly different from the previous quotation, Mt. Potalaka (T. 10, 366c). 5Yeong-tae Kim (1988) is rather skeptical about the Uisang’s authorship of Baehwadoryang balwonmun (白花道場發願文). However, chances are very high that Uisang knew the toponym Potalaka, original Sanskrit name of Naksan (洛山), and he would intentionally named Naksan or Baekhwadoryang (白花道場) for the residence of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. 6往昔釋迦牟尼佛 裟羅樹間入涅槃 于今亦有如彼者 欲入蓮花藏界寬. (H. 6, 350a) 7A60 (T. 9, 761c-65a); A80 (T. 10, 413c-17b). 8More supporting evidences include the folklore (ref. ①) that the Precept Master Daoxuan (道宣) could not receive on time the heavenly meal due to the procession of the Hwaeom divinities protecting Ven. Uisang and another folklore (ref. ②) that even Wonhyo failed to recognize the incarnated Avalokitesvara who Uisang had encountered face to face.
This treatise has examined Iryeon’s Hwaeom philosophy and faith through his biographical records and his most significant work,
Samguk yusa. The fact that Iryeon’s philosophy has its roots in the Hwaeom school is supported by the evidences that he prayed to Manjusri when the Goryeo Kingdom was faced with the Mongol onslaught, and that he went to the “place of non-residence” at the behest of the Manjusri and achieved “non-hiderance.” The Manjusri who appears in Samguk yusais none other than the Manjusri of the Avatamsaka pantheon, and Iryeon’s philosophy based on non-residence, non-expansion and non-contraction, and non-hindrance is clearly linked to Uisang’s ‘non-resident enlightenment’ idea. It is in this context that his profession of philosophical lineage from Jinul and his integration of Seon and Hwaeom can be understood.
Other incidents and deeds that also establish the connection between Iryeon and Hwaeom include his reconstruction of the Yongcheonsa, one of the Ten Main Hwaeom temples, and the establishment of a reformative religious society, Buril Gyeolsa (佛日結社) there; his completion of
Samguk yusaand passing away at Ingaksa, a temple founded by Uisang himself; and his popular recognition as an incarnation of the DammugalBodhisattva.
In addition, his faith in the Hwaeom sect (as evident in
Samguk yusa), the Ornamented World philosophy and Vairocana, and worship of the Avatamsaka Bodhisattvas and their pantheon naturally led to a notion of the superiority of the Hwaeom itself or the Hwaeom philosophy of Uisang. And the scripture Iryeon made reference to when he was writing as opus magnum was the Eighty Avatamsaka. As for his reverence of Uisang, it was a natural extension of his efforts to emulate the Bodhisattvas in caring for all mortals, based on enlightenment of non-residence and non-hindrance that forms the crux of his Hwaeom faith and philosophy. Thus the Gyeongcho-Seon that is his religious hallmark could be considered as his unique Seon expression of the Hwaeom Bodhisattva Work (華嚴菩薩行).
It is hoped that there will be more study and research into Iryeon’s Seon philosophy contained in the Summarized Essentials of the Five Categories of Caotong in the days to come.
(S=Sanskrit, K=Korean, C=Chinese)
Ananyagamin Bodhisattva (S) 正趣菩薩
Avalokitesvara (S) 觀音
Bodhisattva (S) 菩薩
Bodhisattva of Mercy 觀音菩薩
Bojo-Seon (K) 普照禪
Buddha Realms 佛國土
Buddha transmitted from the past 舊來成佛
Buddhabhadra (S) 舊來成佛
Entering the Dharma Realms入法界品
Gwaneum (K) 觀音
Gyeongcho-Seon (K) 莖草禪
Hwaeom (K) 華嚴
Iryeon (K) 一然
Jajang (K) 慈藏
Jitong (K) 智通
Mahasthama (S) 大勢至
Maitreya (S) 彌勒
Manjusri (S) 文殊
Naksan (K) 洛山
Nangji (K) 郞智
Odaesan (K) 五臺山
Ornamented World 蓮華藏
Revised Edition on Caodong’s Five Categories重編曹洞五位
Samantabhadra (S) 普賢
Uisang (K) 義相
Vairocana (S) 毘盧遮那
Zhiyan (C) 智儼
Zongnanshan (C) 終南山
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