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    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

    (Continued on back flap)

    (Continued from front flap)

    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.


    Cuevas and


    Buddhist studies

    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


    The Buddhist Dead Practices, Discourses, Representations

    edited by

    Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone


    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.

    BQ4487.B82 2007

    294.3 0423—dc22


    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

  • Contents

    List of Illustrations vii

    Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction 1

    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

    Gregory Schopen

    3 The Moment of Death in Daoxuan’s Vinaya

    Commentary 105

    Koichi Shinohara

    4 The Secret Art of Dying: Esoteric Deathbed Practices

    in Heian Japan 134

    Jacqueline I. Stone

    5 The Deathbed Image of Master Hongyi 175

    Raoul Birnbaum

    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

    Transformations 345

    Matthew T. Kapstein

    12 Chinese Buddhist Death Ritual and the Transformation

    of Japanese Kinship 378

    Hank Glassman

    13 Grave Changes: Scattering Ashes in Contemporary

    Japan 405

    Mark Rowe

    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

    Contributors 467

    Index 471

    vi Contents

  • Illustrations

    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


  • Acknowledgments

    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