The next topic on which we're going to be comparing Buddhism and Daoism is literature and we'll spend a lot more time on Buddhist literature because its impact on Chinese literature, literary history is far more massive than that of Daoist literature. The chapter that we'll be using for this is written by François Martin, who is professor, was a professor, at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Unfortunately, he recently deceased. This chapter is called "Buddhism and Literature." He leaves aside the Buddhist canon as such, with its, as we saw, scriptures, vinaya rules, and doctrinal treatises, to survey exclusively Buddhist narrative literature and poetry. In the first category—that is narrative literature— he includes parables and apologues, miracle tales, biographies, and travel records. So just the statement of these five literary genres gives an idea of the scope of the impact of Buddhist narrative literature. Among the first set—that is to say of narrative literature— are what are called <i>jātaka</i>, accounts of previous lives, as we saw, the previous lives of Buddha, the previous lives of bodhisattvas, and so on, and <i>avadāna</i> or parables. Parables are called <i>piyu</i> 譬喻 in Chinese, a word that is still used today to mean "comparison" or "simile," and Martin points out that there are many such "parables" in Buddhist scriptures, the most famous being that in the <i>Lotus Sutra</i> of the burning house. We'll refer to that in a moment, but just very quickly the idea of the <i>Lotus Sutra</i>—the parable in the <i>Lotus Sutra</i>— is that a father is confronted by the fact that the house is burning, his house is burning and his three beloved sons are all inside playing with toys and he has to figure a way to get them out. And so he says, oh they both love, they all love carts—toy carts— and so I'll promise them a toy cart if they come out from the burning house. We'll come back to that in a moment, so this is a very very famous parable in the <i>Lotus Sutra</i>. Martin in fact focuses on a single book which is a collection of parables, <i>The Book of the Hundred Parables</i>, called <i>Baiyu jing</i> 百喻經 in Chinese, written by the Indian monk Gunavrddhi, "who settled in Jiankang," that is today's Nanjing, "around [the year] 480." According to Martin, "He soon became famous in the capital for his art of storytelling and the elite thronged to his place. He had learnt his repertoire from his master, Sanghasena, [also of] Indian origin, who had constituted a highly original collection of stories which had in common the mise en scene of a fool who, in every case, acts so stupidly that he ends by being everyone's laughingstock." Though the final aim of this "garland of flowers of folly," as Sanghasena called it, was to expound the precepts of religion, he did it through laughter. In his own words: "It is like a remedy wrapped in leaves. When it has had its effect, you throw away the leaves. Laughter is like those leaves: truth lies therein. The wise will take the truth and throw away the laughter." The next type of literary genre that Martin deals with are miracle tales. Only three collections have survived intact and they're all called <i>Guangshiyin yingyan ji</i> 光世音應驗記, ranging in date from the late fourth century to 501. Guangshiyin is commonly called Guanshiyin 觀世音, which we now know—whom we now know as Guanyin. Today she's almost always a "she" but in these days she was still a "he." The name Guanshiyin means literally "he who listens [or actually observes] the voices of the world"— so underlining that oral character of Buddhism that we already talked about. Those who invoked him would be "saved from every kind of danger." "Belief in Guanshiyin's saving power spread among all layers of society," according to Martin, and another essay by Li Yuqun on the iconography of the period shows that Guanshiyin or Guanyin became the most popular bodhisattva in both North and South China. The title <i>yingyan</i> 應驗 means "evidence of response [to prayers]"— that is to say, miracle tales. These miracle tales are "illustrations of the efficacy of Buddhist piety, often through descriptions"—listen carefully— "of the inexorable law of karmic retribution." In other words, these miracle tales don't just come out of the sky or erupt without any reason, without any karmic cause. So they are part of that inexorable law of karmic retribution: merit and demerit. While most tales "praise the salvific power of faith, some warn of the awful punishments which befall offenders of the Law." Buddhism, in other words, replaced vague native notions of the afterlife with well-defined pictures of heavens and hells. The third literary genre that Martin treats of is hagiographies, that is to say biographies of famous monks, primarily, later on there was also a collection of hagiographies of famous nuns. But the first one is about the <i>Lives of Eminent Monks</i> called the <i>Gaoseng zhuan</i> 高僧傳 in Chinese, written around the year 530 by someone called Huijiao 慧皎, whose dates are 497 to 554. Now follow very closely, it contains nine or ten categories of hagiographies starting with translators. Why translators? As Martin says translators come first "for without them Buddhism would have never been known to China." So this corresponds to what we saw, that the criterion of authenticity of a Buddhist scripture was that it was translated. So the first section in these lives of eminent monks is about translators. The second is exegetes, that is to say people who explain the scriptures; then miracle workers, meditators, disciplinarians, that is to say those who follow the <i>vinaya</i>, the rules; self-immolators—people who burn themselves or cut themselves and gave their flesh to the Buddha as an offering or to others; reciters, promoters of works of merit, psalmodists, and preachers. So take note of this, because this is a hierarchy starting with the most important and ending with the least important in the view of Huijiao. Exegetes, number two, "made the texts accessible" through explanation. Thaumaturgists, that is to say miracle workers—third category— "make conversions by their miracles." "Meditation is the monks' fundamental and noblest activity." Five, "discipline alone can bring the purity of mind which makes meditation possible." Self-immolator, six, offer themselves to the Buddha "or cut pieces of their flesh to give hungry people." The last four categories —so reciters, promoters of works of merit, psalmodists, and preachers— these last four constitute "a third group, markedly inferior, [that] bears on," I quote from Martin, "less spiritual aspects of religion." Most interesting here is that the very last two categories —psalmodists, that is singers and preachers, were a kind of afterthought, "clearly looked down on." The subsequent evolution of the genre, notably in a <i>Sequel</i> 續 by Dao Xuan 道宣, written in 645, confirms the meaning of this hierarchy, with miracle workers being downgraded to the sixth position—too popular— apologists being inserted as the fifth —in other words rational defense of the religion— and psalmodists and preachers being combined into one last group called "various virtues of the voice," of voice. So here we see a very interesting phenomenon, that as Buddhism becomes Chinese it in fact changes on the elite level in order to make it more compatible with elite notions of spirituality and value systems, because as we've said last time these "various virtues of voice" are without any question what made Buddhism a truly popular because oral religion. The next text that Martin deals with is a very famous one called the <i>Luoyang qielan ji</i> 洛陽伽藍記, <i>Record of the Monasteries of Luoyang</i>. Luoyang was the capital of the Northern Wei. It's a nostalgic record written after the destruction of Luoyang in 534. I quote Martin: "On the six <i>zhai</i> days, concerts of female musicians were held there. The melodies of their songs" —so here in fact we have the psalmodists not just the concert of the musicians but also the singing— "the melodies of their songs soared up to the rafters, the dancers' sleeves swirled, strings and winds sounded high and clear, bearing the sounds of a music at once harmonious and spiritual. As it was a nunnery, male visitors had no access to it, but those who could enter thought themselves in paradise." "After the death of Prince Wenxian, the rules were somewhat relaxed and everybody gained free access… Musicians were called upon to display their art. Rare birds and strange beasts danced in the courtyards" —so it's like a zoo— "acrobats and magicians, the like of which had never been seen in the world, thronged there, displaying the strangest tricks." So, it was a circus as well, so here we see that this popular aspect of Buddhism spills over into the creation of feast days and central places where all of society can gather to see the strange, the marvelous, the miraculous —acrobats, musicians, rare birds, and strange beasts. "Men and women gazed at them with bewildered eyes. But from the Jianyi era"—that's 528 on— "there was major fighting in the capital and all these forms of entertainment were seen no more." The next category that Martin deals with are travel accounts. They're mostly accounts of pilgrimages to India made by Chinese Buddhist monks in search of the Law. One of them, a biography of a certain Fayong 法勇, recounts not just harrowing journeys over mountains but also Guanshiyin miracles: "These miracles came in response to his sincere heart." So here we see that karmic law on logic which of course corresponds to what we've already seen of the —shall we say Confucian culture?—the importance of a sincere heart. So "these miracles came in response to his sincere heart." These accounts "had a far-reaching influence on imaginative creation," says Martin. "One of the few Chinese works to enjoy worldwide fame, the <i>Xiyou ji</i> 西遊記," An <i>Account of the Voyage to the West</i> or <i>Journey to the West</i> as it has been translated by Anthony Yu, "from the sixteenth century, is the direct heir" of such travel accounts.