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The BUDDHIST DEAD
Edited by Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone
Practices, Discourses, rePresentations
Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism 20
In its teachings, practices, and institu- tions, Buddhism in its varied Asian forms has been—and continues to be—centrally concerned with death and the dead. Yet surprisingly “death in Buddhism” has received little sustained scholarly atten- tion. The Buddhist Dead offers the first comparative investigation of this topic across the major Buddhist cultures of India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Tibet, and Burma. Its individual essays, representing a range of methods, shed light on a rich array of traditional Buddhist practices for the dead and dying; the sophisticated but often paradoxical discourses about death and the dead in Buddhist texts; and the varied representations of the dead and the afterlife found in Buddhist funerary art and popular literature.
The paradigmatic figure of the histori- cal Buddha, his death, the symbolism of his funeral, and his relationship to the impurity of the dead are treated in the opening essays by John S. Strong and Gregory Schopen. The deaths of later re- markable adepts, following the Buddha’s model, and their significance for Buddhist communities are investigated by Koichi Shinohara, Jacqueline I. Stone, Raoul Birnbaum, and Kurtis R. Schaeffer. A dramatic, often controversial category of exemplary death, that of “giving up the body” or Buddhist suicide, is examined by James Benn and D. Max Moerman. Mov- ing from celebrated masters to ordinary
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practitioners and devotees, Bryan J. Cuevas, John Clifford Holt, and Matthew T. Kapstein take up the subject of the “ordinary dead” and the intimate rela- tions that often persist between them and those still living, while Hank Glassman, Mark Rowe, and Jason A. Carbine shed light on Buddhist funerary practices and address the physical and social locations of the Buddhist dead.
This important collection moves beyond the largely text- and doctrine-centered approaches characterizing an earlier generation of Buddhist scholarship and expands its treatment of death to include ritual, devotional, and material culture. Its foundational insights are both cultur- ally and historically grounded and at the same time offer a basis for further, com- parative conversations on death between scholars of Buddhism and other religious traditions.
Bryan J. Cuevas is associate professor of Buddhist and Tibetan studies in the Department of Religion, Florida State University.
JaCqueline i. stone is professor of Japanese religions in the Department of Religion, Princeton University.
The BUDDHIST DEAD
Also in the Kuroda Studies in East Asian Buddhism series:
BURNING FOR THE BUDDHA self-immolation in chinese Buddhism James A. Benn
No. 19: 2007, 352 pages Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8248-2992-6
Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism is the first book- length study of the theory and practice of “abandoning the body” (self-immola- tion) in Chinese Buddhism. Although largely ignored by conventional scholar- ship, the acts of self-immolators (which included not only burning the body, but also being devoured by wild animals, drowning oneself, and self-mummifica- tion, among others) form an enduring part of the religious tradition and provide a new perspective on the multifarious dimensions of Buddhist practice in China from the early medieval period to the present time. This book examines the ha- giographical accounts of all those who made offerings of their own bodies and places them in historical, social, cultural, and doctrinal context.
Jacket illustration: “The bodhisattva Jizò rescuing a sinner in the hells,” from the Yata Jizò engi (Kamakura period). Courtesy of Yatadera, Nara Prefecture.
Jacket design by Santos Barbasa Jr.
University of Hawai‘i Press Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822-1888
jack mech.indd 1 3/27/07 10:00:44 AM
The Buddhist Dead
STUDIES IN EAST ASIAN BUDDHISM 20
The Buddhist Dead Practices, Discourses, Representations
Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone
A KURODA INSTITUTE BOOK
University of Hawai‘i Press
8 2007 Kuroda Institute All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
12 11 10 09 08 07 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Buddhist dead : practices, discourses, representations / edited by
Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone.
p. cm. — (Studies in East Asian Buddhism ; 20)
‘‘A Kuroda Institute book.’’
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-0-8248-3031-1 (hardcover : alk. paper)
ISBN-10: 0-8248-3031-8 (hardcover : alk. paper)
1. Death—Religious aspects—Buddhism. 2. Buddhism—Customs and
practices. I. Cuevas, Bryan J., 1967– II. Stone, Jacqueline Ilyse.
III. Kuroda Institute.
The Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values
is a nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1976. One of its
primary objectives is to promote scholarship on the historical,
philosophical, and cultural ramifications of Buddhism. In association
with the University of Hawai‘i Press, the Institute also publishes
Classics in East Asian Buddhism, a series devoted to the translation
of significant texts in the East Asian Buddhist tradition.
University of Hawai‘i Press books are printed on acid-free
paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and
durability of the Council on Library Resources.
Based on design by Kenneth Miyamoto
Printed by The Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group
List of Illustrations vii
Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone
1 The Buddha’s Funeral 32
John S. Strong
2 Cross-Dressing with the Dead: Asceticism, Ambivalence,
and Institutional Values in an Indian Monastic Code 60
3 The Moment of Death in Daoxuan’s Vinaya
4 The Secret Art of Dying: Esoteric Deathbed Practices
in Heian Japan 134
Jacqueline I. Stone
5 The Deathbed Image of Master Hongyi 175
6 Dying Like Milarépa: Death Accounts in a Tibetan
Hagiographic Tradition 208
Kurtis R. Schaeffer
7 Fire and the Sword: Some Connections between Self-
Immolation and Religious Persecution in the History
of Chinese Buddhism 234
James A. Benn
8 Passage to Fudaraku: Suicide and Salvation in
Premodern Japanese Buddhism 266
D. Max Moerman
9 The Death and Return of Lady Wangzin: Visions of
the Afterlife in Tibetan Buddhist Popular Literature 297
Bryan J. Cuevas
10 Gone but Not Departed: The Dead among the Living
in Contemporary Buddhist Sri Lanka 326
John Clifford Holt
11 Mulian in the Land of Snows and King Gesar in Hell:
A Chinese Tale of Parental Death in Its Tibetan
Matthew T. Kapstein
12 Chinese Buddhist Death Ritual and the Transformation
of Japanese Kinship 378
13 Grave Changes: Scattering Ashes in Contemporary
14 Care for Buddhism: Text, Ceremony, and Religious
Emotion in a Monk’s Final Journey 438
Jason A. Carbine
Chinese and Korean Character Glossary 457
Japanese Character Glossary 461
5.1. Master Hongyi on his deathbed 176
5.2. Hongyi in 1937 177
5.3. Vinaya master Guanghua at the moment of death 188
5.4. Hongyi in 1941 191
8.1. Image of Fudaraku tokai based on Jesuit accounts 278
8.2. Nachi Pilgrimage Man ˙ d ˙ ala (Nachi sankei mandara) 280
8.3. Detail from Nachi Pilgrimage Man ˙ d ˙ ala 281
8.4. Diagram of funerary ground from Shugendō mujō yōshū 282
8.5. Manifestation of Kannon at Nachi 288
8.6. Detail of Fudaraku bune sails from Nachi Pilgrimage
Man ˙ d ˙ ala 289
12.1. Marriages among Reishi’s close relatives 383
We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the fine scholars
whose excellent contributions appear in this volume and for their
patience in awaiting its publication. The essays that appear in this
collection were prepared initially for a conference on ‘‘Death and
Dying in Buddhist Cultures’’ held at Princeton University in May
2002. The conference was organized by the two editors and spon-
sored by Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion (CSR), along
with the Council on Regional Studies, the Department of Religion,
the East Asian Studies Program, the Humanities Council, and the
Stewart Fund for Religion. We are grateful for the generous support
of these institutional centers. In particular, we would like to thank
Robert Wuthnow, director of the Center for t