Scholarly article on topic 'Where from the “secret of expression” of Chinese civilization?'

Where from the “secret of expression” of Chinese civilization? Academic research paper on "Philosophy, ethics and religion"

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Academic research paper on topic "Where from the “secret of expression” of Chinese civilization?"

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Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 7098-7119

Selected Papers of Beijing Forum2006

Where from the "secret of expression" of Chinese civilization?-

Historical operation of "chindia" in mining the spiritual and material

cultures of China

Tan Chung

Retired Professor

Many international observers like to describe Chinese developments as "quizzical", which is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, had another kind of puzzling feeling for China which was genuinely friendly as he inaugurated the Visva-Bharati Cheena-Bhavana in 1937:

"It is not what is old or what is modern that we should love and cherish but what has truly a permanent human value. And can anything be more worthy of being cherished than the beautiful spirit of Chinese culture that has made the people love material things without the strain of greed, that has made them love the things of this earth, clothe them with tender grace without turning them materialistic? They have instinctively grasped the secret of the rhythm of things, —not the secret of power that is in science, but the secret of expression. This is a great gift, for God alone knows this secret. I envy them this gift and wish our people could share it with them." (Tan Chung, 1998(2), 179)

What Tagore described here was a sort of mythical quality in Chinese culture—a gift only comprehensible by God which Tagore designated as "the secret of expression" or "the secret of the rhythm of things'". In order to gain an in-depth insight of Tagore's vision, we have to refresh our memory about what he said on May 1st, 1924 in his talk at the Tsing-hua College in Beijing:

"You are not individualists in China. Your society is itself the creation of your communal soul. It is not the outcome of a materialistic, of an egoistic mind, —a medley of unrestricted competition, which refused to recognize its obligations to others .It is true that you love this world and the material things about you with an intense attachment, but not by enclosing your possessions within the walls of exclusiveness. You share your wealth, you make your distant relatives your guests, and you are not inordinately rich. This is only possible because you are not materialistic." (Das, 63-64)

Tagore continued:

"Let us develop the instinct that can grasp the secret of the rhythm of things—not merely secret of power which is in science, but the secret of expression. This is a great gift, for God alone knows this secret. Look at the miracle of expression in all the things of creation, the flowers, the stars, the blade of grass. You cannot analyse the secret of this exclusive beauty in your laboratory. How fortunate you are! —you who possess it by instinct. It cannot be taught, but you can allow us to share its fruits with you." (Das, 65-6)

These words of Tagore remind us the Chinese saying: "Pangguanzhe qing/The bystander sees clearly". The combined force of Western civilizations is the destroyer, not bystander of the Eastern civilizations, hence many Western scholars stubbornly cling to both extremes vis—vis the Eastern civilizations: One extreme being arrogantly

1877-0428 © 2010 Beijing Forum. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.05.063

and tyrannically disparaging them, and the other extreme treating them as curios and museum pieces—patronizingly appreciative but not wanting the East to modernize. Tagore stood as a fellow-sufferer of such Western repression to observe and comment on China. He was calm without prejudices, discovering that Chinese were neither ruthlessly covetous in the Western style, nor idealistically ascetic in the Indian traditional mode, rejecting the way of life in the material culture that was worthy of commendation. In other words, the Chinese civilization combined the good points of both the spiritual and material worlds. Since Tagore thought it rather difficult to accomplish, hence he designated it "a great gift" that "God alone knows".

Jawaharlal Nehru, the founder Prime Minister of the Republic of India also had an in-depth understanding of China. He observed in The Discovery of India:

"...each country [of India and China] learned something from the other, not only in the regions of thought and philosophy, but also in the arts and sciences of life. Probably China was more influenced by India than India by China, which is a pity, for India could well have received, with profit to herself, some of the sound common sense of the Chinese, and with its aid checked her own extravagant fancies. China took much from India, but she was always strong and self-confident enough to take it in her own way and fit it somewhere in her own texture of life." (Nehru, 193)

Mr. Jairam Ramesh, an intellectual elite (currently the Commerce Minister of the Government of India), was inspired by Nehru to invent the word "CHINDIA" at a time when the international opinion thought it a miracle that China and India which together had one third of humanity were rising simultaneously, hence there was a worry that the Chindian hegemon could eclipse all other countries which are now in the limelight. I know that this was not what Mr. Ramesh had conceived. By coining "CHINDIA", he wished that the two countries would unite as they had done in the past when Buddhism was prevailing. I have rendered "CHINDIA" into "Zhong-Yin datong' in Chinese to help us discuss the import of "the secret of expression" in Chinese civilization, avoiding the narrow-minded designation of Chinese civilization as "Confucian humanism".

We could, in fact, assert that the theoretical foundation of "CHINDIA" had already been laid by Prof. Ji Xianlin, doyen of India studies among Chinese scholars. He observed that the Sino-Indian neighbourhood was "tian she di zao/created by Heaven and Earth", that the two great civilizations of China and India made up one half of the world's ancient civilizations. He further said: "Had there not been cultural interactions between China and India—of course impossible and unthinkable—there would not have been the cultural development of the two countries as there are today." (Ji Xianlin, 2)

The most important period of Sino-Indian cultural interaction was from the Han Dynasty to the Song Dynasty (the 1st to the 12th century) when the "Mahayana" (great carrier) of Buddhism transported the ancient Indian civilization to China and resulted in the convergence, duplication, clash, intercourse, and vibration between the two great civilizations. The spiritual and material culture of China got a facelift. We can compare the situation then with the contemporary scene today. During the inception of reforms and opening up, it was felt that the cake of China was too small. After courageously experimenting the marriage between capitalism and socialism for a quarter century, the size of cake has increased so incredibly. Similarly, it was the operation of "CHINDIA" that created the enviably large cake of China's spiritual and material culture centuries ago. It was also this facelift of Chinese culture which stood China in good stead when she was challenged by the Western imperialist powers in modern times.

In this paper, I shall spell out this historical operation of "CHINDIA" from six aspects: (1) "CHINDIA" helping China develop its unique ideographic stroke-script and accompanying fathomless sea of literature into a "study" culture and "study" industry hence building up a gigantic material infrastructure for a spiritual civilization; (2) helping China explore the thought potential of its language and literature thus enriching the spiritual contents of Chinese civilization; (3) establishing in China the "temple culture" to neutralize the harm of "palace culture"; (4) helping enhance the quality of Chinese peasants and create the rhythm of China's social progress revolving on periodical peasant revolutionary wars; (5) helping Chinese promote physical and mental health and creating a civilization for health care and longevity; and (6) promoting the spirit of "wuhu sihai/universal brotherhood" and establishing in China a unified civilization of plurality and a joint family of multiple nationalities. I shall spell out these six ramifications below.

1. The booming "study" culture and industry

If I am allowed to oversimplify but hitting the nail on the head, I would describe Chinese civilization as of, by and for the intellectual elite. Mencius observed that "laoxinzhe/brain workers" (intellectual elites) not only ruled over the "laolizhe/brawn workers" (massive labouring people), but also were fed by the latter. Language and script are the basic tools of culture. In ancient India, people laid greater emphasis on the spoken language than the written script. In China, however, from ancient times till today, there has been great emphasis on the written script to communicate between a great many languages. The Chinese script has had its refreshing feature from its inception. Xu Shen, the compiler of the first ever dictionary of the world, Shuowen jiezi (Anatomy of the script), described that when the legendary inventor of Chinese script, Cangjie, started working, "the demons wept at night", meaning that the birth of the script as the symbol of Chinese civilization would forever stop the demons to keep humanity in uncouthness. The aim of the creation of the Han (Chinese) script went far beyond the provision of a visual symbol for language, but to make bricks and stones for the building up of the mansion of civilization. The Han script was simultaneously the visual symbols of thousands of spoken language systems in ancient China, hence the Han script and the Chinese literature built on this Han script (particularly poetry) could develop and recreate independently of the language traditions of various localities in China. They gradually became gigantic repository of information of Chinese culture, creating in China a highly developed civilization sustainable for millenniums. It was this unique design that has made the world's lone non-alphabetic writing system endurable and vibrant, beating back repeated attacks by the protagonists of modern civilization.1 We should understand the unique aim and wisdom of the creation of this Han script afresh, and give cognizance of its important contribution to the unification of China"

The "Preface" of Yijing (Book of Change) has a famous observation of "Xing'ershang weizhi dao, xing'erxia weizhi qi/That exists in the upper part of 'xing/physiography' is called 'Tao/spirit', and that exists in the lower part of 'xing' is called 'qi/utility'." Here, "xing/physiography" is actually the universe. This famous observation is clearly the conception of both spiritual culture and material culture in the universal existence of humanity. The Han script is itself a binary entity containing both the "Tao/spirit" and the "qi/utility"—the combination of spiritual and material cultures. Its prosperity would necessarily require development and progress on the "qi/utility" material side. This is why the "wenfang si bao/four treasures of the study", i.e., paper, brush, ink and ink-basin, become a distinctive feature of Chinese culture. Paper is the most basic of this "qi/utility", having the advantages of being light, thin, easy to carry, cheaply available, and preservabi; ity for long duration—unlike the ancients in India using leaf or bark for preserving the scriptures which would hardly survive many centuries. Recently, the archaeologists working on the Dunhuang historical sites discovered some fragments of letters written by the garrison troops in the 8th year BC. The paper was made of jute. The date was more than a century earlier than the epoch-making year of 105 AD supposed to be the first invention of paper by Cai Lun.m This discovery proves that the first users of paper in the world were the ruling elite of the Han Dynasty—those sent by the Han imperial court to open up contacts between China and the "xiyu/western regions", to carve out the "Silk Road" and to link up the two great civilizations of China and India.iv The creation of paper culture stood the Han script culture in good material stead, and laid a favourable foundation for the culture of "wenfang si bao/four treasures of the study".

Mozi (a collection of the quotations of this ancient Chinese philosopher, Master Mo) has an allusion to Duke Zhou's "reading books" a hundred chapters every morning about 3,000 years ago (Chapter on Guiyi, Section 47). There was no paper in his time, the so-called "books" were just wooden or bamboo slides with writing on them being strung together. The so-called "wenxian/documents" of the ancients were described by Confucius as "bu zu gu/not solid or steadfast" (Analects, ch. 2, section 9) which seemed to indicate these wooden and bamboo slides. What we mean by "wenfanglstudy" is, in reality, the room where books are kept. Without the book industry this would not have been possible, hence we seldom see the ancients describe "book reading". But, in the 8th century, poet Du Fu rhymed:

"Fugui bi cong qinku de, nan'er xu du wu che shu."

Diligence and suffering beget wealth,

Reading five carts of books is a must.

Boxueshi maowu (The hut of Scholar Bo)

In this description we can see the contours of the "study" culture. Now, we know that during Du Fu's time, printing books was starting, and China began to have her book-making industry.

It is interesting to note that in his keynote speech on October 27 in the inaugural session of Beijing Forum, 2006, my old friend, Prof. Amartya Sen of Harvard University, also referred to the Chinese invention of book-printing. He followed a conventional theory that the "Diamond Sutra" (Vajracchedika-prajnaparamita Sutra) printed in 868 and now in the custody of the British Museum, London, was the first book produced in the world according to our existing knowledge. He left in a hurry and I chanced to meet him in the passage and told him about the Wugou jingguang da tuoluoni jing (Vimala-prabha mahadharani) discovered in South Korea which was published more than a century earlier than the Chinese Diamond Sutra in the British Museum.v He was interested in hearing this and asked me to send him the detailed information.

Late historian, Xiang Da, observed in his essay titled "Tangdai kanshu kao" (A study on the publications of books during the Tang Dynasty) written in 1928 that "There was intimate connection between Buddhism and the origin of Chinese printing. Briefly stated, it started with printing the Buddha image, then the charms, then the scriptures, and the origins were not unrelated with India." (Xiang Da, 120). This excellent analysis of a great master of Chinese studies made three quarters of a century ago has hardly been noticed by Chinese scholars. So many books on the history of printing have been published in China, they have almost all centred on one theme: "China as Number One". Few scholars have paid attention to the fact that although the Chinese civilization had laid such great emphasis on the "dao-qi binary", that the writing brush, paper, ink and ink-basin had such an early existence, the book-printing industry shied away for many centuries. The reason for this was the want of an educational system at the popular level in China. During the Tang Dynasty, there were two historical trends: (1) The imperial examination system which absorbed the relatively poor and humble into the ruling elite, and demanded a large number of "dushuren/book readers" from the masses; and (2) Buddhism being patronized by the rulers and the wealthy and powerful strata of the society. The major difference between Buddhism and Confucianism lay in the fact that the latter imparted only limited education among the intellectual elites, while the former was a religious cultural movement driving into the grass roots of the populace. It was because of the mushrooming of Buddhist temples all over China and the temples being libraries issuing reading materials to the book-loving youths in both urban and rural areas that the Tang imperial examination system succeeded in absorbing fresh blood into the ruling machine. One more point of Xiang Da's research that has been overlooked is the popularity of the charms that needed to be printed. We have seen that the earliest book of the world being a Tantric dharani text, suggesting the powerful motivating force of the charms leading to the emergence of book industry.

We have cited earlier what Ji Xianlin has observed that "Had there not been cultural interactions between China and India there would not have been the cultural development of the two countries as there are today." This observation should apply to the birth and prosperity of the "study" industry of China. Xiang Da, too, observed that "Yijing was the first one to discuss printing". He also alluded to pilgrim Xuanzang and Ambassador Wang Xuance's bringing back from India the "Buddha seals" and the printed Buddha images to prove that India was the inspiration for the Chinese invention of printing. (Xiang Da, 121) The ancient Indian tradition had its accent on oral, not written textual, teaching, hence printing was never used beyond the simple practice of creating the Buddha images. But, when the Indian civilization came to embrace a Chinese civilization that was eager to establish the "study" industry, the job was done. Putting it the other way, if the Buddhist "mahayana/great carrier" had not transported the quintessence of Indian civilization to China, there would not have been the birth of the "study" industry at the end of the 7th and the beginning of the 8th century, Du Fu would not have rhymed the Boxueshi maowu (The hut of Scholar Bo), and the Chinese "study" culture would not have been so brilliantly developed.

India was following her oral tradition, and China her textual tradition. Few eminent Indian Buddhist monks arrived in China with written texts of the scriptures. But, the Chinese rulers who warmly received them assigned them the task of translation of the scriptures. As there was no text, most of the Buddhist scriptures were first recited by the Indian monks, then rendered into the texts of Chinese Buddhist scriptures. Here, we have the convergence of the Indian oral tradition and the Chinese textual tradition. Mou Rong, a government officer of the Han Dynasty, wrote in the 2nd century AD the famous essay, titled "Li huo lun/On rationally removing the doubts" in which he observed: " [Confucian] Sages authored seven classics, totaling only 30,000 words", but the "Buddhist scriptures number tens of thousands of volumes with hundreds of millions of words". He also likened the contrast between the unbounded Buddhist discourses with their limited Confucian counterpart to "the difference between the ocean and the puddle", or "the difference between the Five Holy Mountains and the hills". There is truth in his argument. In the first millennium of our Common Era, the Chinese ruling strata virtually concentrated their efforts on the translation of Buddhist scriptures and ignored the Confucian classics. Moreover, from the inception of book industry

in China it was controlled by the evangelical networks of Buddhism, making China the production base of Buddhist scriptures of the world. Today, it is the Chinese Tripitakas that is the most comprehensive repository of documentation of Buddhist (The Tibetan Tripitakas ranks second). Those who can't read Chinese are unable to study Mahayana Buddhism in depth. For, most of the Mahayana scriptures that are extant were first made in Chinese inside China with very few of them being rendered back into Sanskrit or other languages. The majority of them have not been translated into non-Chinese. The titles of some of these scriptures cannot be translated into Sanskrit, proving that they were "made in China" without any Indian connection. All this epitomizes the spirit of "Nalai zhuyi/Sinicized absorption" which is a salient feature of Chinese civilization. Because of such "Sinicized absorption" of the quintessence of ancient Indian civilization into the mansion of Chinese culture, the culture of Chinese script and its "study" culture could stand in good stead on the global stage.

2. Exploring the thought potential of language and enriching the thinking culture

When the Confucian scholars of modern times describe Chinese civilization as "Confucian humanism", they cite the discourses of the "Lixue/school of rationality" and "Xinxue/school of mind" of the Song and Ming dynasties as evidence. But, we must have seen that Zhu Xi (the cynosure of "Lixue") and his contemporaries, Zhang Zai, Zhou Dynyi and the Cheng brothers of the Song Dynasty as well as Wang Yangming (the cynosure of "Xinxue") of the Ming Dynasty have all participated in the operations of "CHINDIA". How do we interpret Zhu Xi's term "lixue"? Obviously we can't find the adages of Confucius or Mencius to do it, but the Sanskrit word "yukta" can fill the bill. (Tan & Geng, 402-3) Similarly, Wang Yangming's "xinxue" is the ramification of the Indian concept of "bodhicitta" —again an operation of "CHINDIA" in China. (ibid) Therefore, when we expound the "Confucian humanism" of the Song and Ming scholars, we actually propound the Chindian humanism.

Buddhism is rich in "Tao" (the Chinese Tripitakas is replete with the character "dao/Tao") which was bound to contribute to the Chinese "dao-qf binary civilization. Viewed mechanically and in isolation, we can easily treat Buddhism as a complete system of foreign ideology that had established itself beyond the jurisdictions of Confucianism and Taoism. In that case, though the Chinese ruling elite had raised the slogan of "sanjiao he yi/convergence of the three teachings", Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism would just be three parallel rivers. This actually has been the perspective of a good many Chinese scholars. I think such a perspective not only devoid of materialistic dialectics, but blind to a fundamental fact. Historically, from the Tang and Song dynasties to Ming and Qing, the Chinese civilization had never been the phenomenon of three parallel rivers, but a fathomless sea after the confluence of three main streams (of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism). The fundamental fact may best be raised in the form of a question. Has Chinese civilization been, like Indian civilization, discriminatory between the "orthodoxy" and the "heterodoxy", and has the Chinese ruling elite ever treated Buddhism, from the Sui-Tang period onwards till the time of the Republic of China, as "heterodoxy"? The answer has to be negative. Moreover, in this essay I am discussing Buddhism not as a religion per se, but only using it as the symbol for Indian civilization, only reiterating its "mahayana/great carrier" role for a full-load of transportation of Indian cultural gift to China. The Indian culture that had arrived in China would inevitably spread into arenas of non-Buddhist institutions and individual minds. Ji Xianlin has likened the contribution of Buddhist ideology to Chinese culture to the injection of fluid. I think it can be further likened to blood transfusion. After the transfusion it becomes impossible to distinguish the alien from the endogenous blood inside the body of Chinese civilization.

It is interesting that Tagore designated China's equilibrium between the spiritual and material culture as the "secret of expression". Doubtlessly, it was the blood transfusion from Indian civilization into Chinese civilization that has created this equilibrium, and a person so sensitive of spiritual culture like Tagore could smell of it. It was also a positive result of the operation of "CHINDIA" which explored the thought potential of Chinese language and literature, obtaining a bumper harvest during the Tang Dynasty. The great poet, Li Bai, was an activist in this operation. In literary creation, there must be an objective environ that is visually-attractive, feelingly-touching, thought-provoking and sentiment-inspiring. Only then can the poet inter-mingle his/her observation, imagination, dramatization and will-power with the environs to create poetic masterpieces. That Li Bai could become one of China's greatest and the world's most famous poets was due to three factors: (1) His talent, (2) the "golden times" of the Tang Dynasty which was simultaneous turbulent and eventful, and (3) the duplication, clash, interaction and vibration between the Chinese and Indian civilizations on Chinese soil. I shall now focus on the last factor.

In the first place, when people see the frequent occurrence of "dao/Tao" and "xian/fairy" in Li Bai's writings, they regard him as a devout Taoist follower. However, it was the fashion of the Tang writers to designate the Buddha as "jinxian/the golden fairy", and Buddhism as "jinxiandao/the Tao of the golden fairy", hence Buddhism should never be excluded from Li Bai's poetic arena. For instance, Li Bai began in his poem to Censor Liu Wan from his old study at the Peach Rock, on Baizhao Hill, at Anlu County (Anlu Baizhaoshan Taohuayan ji Liu shiyu Wan) with this line:

"Yun wo sanshinian, haoxian fu aixian. "

Sleeping for three decades on the clouds,

Leisure be my love and fairy my darling.

He ended the poem with these lines:

"Du ci linxia yi, yaowu quzhongyuan.

Yong ci shuangtaike, qianzai fang lai xuan."

I determine to live in this wood,

Sever all the affiliations with society.

Farewell, my fellow of frosty mansion,

I'll return to you after a millennium.

The poet has resorted to two Indian idioms in this seemingly typical sentiment of a Chinese intellectual's retiring from the madding crowd. One is the Indian concept of "hetupratyaya" brought to China by Buddhism and known as "yuan"; the other is his usage of "qianzai/millennium" which is a reference to the Indian Buddhist worldview of three categories of millenniums of worlds.

In his poem Song Tongchanshi huan Nanling Yinjingsi (Sending off Chan Master Tong back to the Yinjing Monastery at Nanling), Li Bai rhymed:

"Wo wen Yinjingsi, shanshui duo qifeng.

Daoren zhi menghu, zhenxi huan gufeng. " I am fancied by the Yinjing Monastery, With miracles amidst scenic beauty.

A priest overpowered a fierce tiger,

You return to the lone peak on walking stick.

Here, the "tiger" reference was from Fayuan zhulin (Beads Forest of Dharma Garden) that a Buddhist monk, Yu Falan, of the Jin Dynasty overpowered an intruding tiger while he was meditating. Li Bai used this refernce to describe his friend "Chan Master Tong" whose identity can't be established. The poet also designated the past and present Buddhist monks as "daoren" which literally meant "a Taoist master", but was the common designation for Buddhist monks during the Tang Dynasty.

It is practically meaningless to debate whether Li Bai was a Buddhist follower or a Taoist follower or both. The important thing is to discover his innate Chindian ethos through his poetic inspirations. Viewing superficially, there are two salient features of Li Bai's poems: (1) Dreaming of a fairyland, and (2) returning to reality and realizing the voidness of the world after allowing his imagination wandering beyond limits. The second feature is the methodology of the Buddhist scriptures—first giving a hyperbolic description of the wonders of the paradise, and emphasizing at the end that it's all "maya/illusion". (The Chinese Buddhist followers have not been true to this Buddhist enlightenment, and would like to believe there is paradise, real and true.)

Li Bai had a brief tryst with the imperial palace. After he quit it and left the imperial capital, Chang'an, in 745, he composed the poem Mengyou Tianmu yin liubie (The Dream of a trip to Mount Tianmu: A Souvenir of Parting) and rhymed:

"Thus I dream of a tour to the Wuyue site, Flying over the mirror-lake in moonlight.

On mountaintop, the sun rises from sea, The celestial peacock sings to me.

Unbounded azure Heaven front and behind, The Golden paradise in brilliant sunshine.

All of a sudden I sit up with open eyes Seeing the familiar pillow by my side, Enchanting visions vanish without trace. This is what the pleasure of world always be, Myriad heroic deeds flow like rivers to sea.

Kneeling and serving the powerful is futile, It never makes my heart smile."

This is a poem typical of Li Bai. He first toured Mount Tianmu spiritually and felt that he was in the paradise. Then, he woke up from the dream and felt the futility of life's illusions which was, in reality, the voidness of all the fanciful things of the quotidian world. He also voiced his feeling of dignity, unwilling to be subservient to the powerful. In this poem, he was advocating the Buddhist tenet of "sunyata/voidness" via a fugitive quest for fairyland, duplicating an Indian spiritual mood on an ethical proposition for a Chinese intellectual's societal odyssey. The line of "kongzhong wen tianji/the celestial peacock sings to me" is the clear reference to the Indian legendary bird, the kinara (the "yueshen/music deity" in Buddhist scriptures) which is vividly enshrined in the frescoes of the Dunhuang cave paintings. This all the more enhanced the scenario of "CHINDIA".

In his poem Chunri guishan ji Meng Haoran (For Meng Haoran on A Spring Day Returning to the Mountains), Li Bai penned "Jinsheng kai juelu" (Open up the way to Enlightenment with the Golden Thread)vi, and in another poem he dispatched to Yuan Danqiu wanting to emulate the latter's seclusion (Wen Danqiuziyu chengbei shanying shimen youjuzhong you gaofeng yiji puli qun yuanhuai yiyou qidunzhizhi yin xujiu yi jizhi), Li Bai talked of "mijin juelu shf (Going astray, at loss of the way to Enlightenment)™. All this shows Li Bai was conscious of the Buddhist "juewu/Enlightenment" (to obtain "puti/bodhi"). The entire poem is a vivid description of the booming of "Temple Culture" during the Tang Dynasty, while the poet felt apologetic for not giving the best account of it. Again, in his poem For Reverend Ya (Zeng seng Yagong), Li Bai detailed how he was groomed in Buddhism. The poem has a line of "Dulang xie goufen" (Individual Enlightenment desisting filthy trend). For the rhythmic reason, he altered the Buddhist term "dujue" (individual Enlightenment, translating the Sanskrit "pratyakabuddha") into "dulang". Li Bai's poem composed in 751 entitled Yu Yuan Danqiu Fangchengsi tanxuan zuo (Composition after Discourse with Yuan Danqiu on Mysticism at the Fangcheng Monastery) in which the poet completely immersed himself in the Buddhist universe. He rhymed:

"Mangmang damengzhong, wei wo du xianjue." I am alone, Enlightenment obtained, When the world slumbers in the delusion.

He further observed:

"Denglu guan cishen, yinde tong jizhao; Langwu qianhouji, shizhi Jinxian miao." View myself with mind of purity As if my course is lit by peace. Enlightenment guides my destiny, I bow to the Golden Fairy.

In these descriptions, Li Bai demonstrated a mastery of the observation in Chinese Buddhist scripture Lengyanjing (translation of Sanskrit Surrangamasamadhi Sutra) that "Jingjiguang tongda, jizhao han xukong." (With the omnipresent endless pure light, peace shines upon the atmosphere.) and his spiritual environment had a facelift.

Li Bai, in his poem For monk Zhaomei (Zeng seng Zhaomei), paraphrased a story from the Buddhist scriptures to narrate the miraculous experience of a boat passenger getting drowned, but resurfaced from water after obtaining the "mingyuezhu/moonshine pearl" from the dragon's stomach. He commented that when this priceless treasure was on sale, people were ignorant of its value. Actually, he was likening Buddha Dharma to this treasure. Again, in his poem For Reverend Chongjun of the Lingyuan Monastery of Xuanzhou (Zeng Xuanzhou Lingyuansi Chongjungong), Li Bai wrote these lines:

"Guanxin tong shuiyue, jieling de mingzhu."

Your mind is like water under moonshine,

Your words offer the shining moon pearl.

In both the poems, Li Bai used the metaphor of "mingyuezhu/moonshine pearl" for dharma, though in the second poem he omitted the character "yue" because of the rule of diction of Chinese poetry. Actually, it was the Indian idiom of "mani", the designation of "dharmaratna" (Buddhism as a treasure) that resulted in the term "monizhu" (the mani pearl) in Chinese Buddhist literature which is vividly exhibited on the frescoes of Dunhuang. Li Bai's "shuiyue" (water under moonshine) description eventually became a popular designation of Bodhisattva avalokitesvara ("shuiyue guanyin") in later centuries. I hope all these narratives can help us take off the cap of "Confucian humanism" from the head of Chinese civilization, and put on a new hat of "Chindian humanism" in its place.

On top of all the above, there are two crucial aspects to link Li Bai's literary mastery with the operation of "CHINDIA": (1) The Vimalakirti cult, and (2) the "canchan/meditating" methodology of Tang poetry. Vimalakirti was a paradoxical figure in Indian Buddhist tradition. He was not a monk, let alone a bodhisattva, yet would lecture to the bodhisattvas on dharma (even Bodhisattva Manjusri went to listen). This Vimalakirti tradition was tantamount to half opening the gate of Indian civilization (which had a rigid observance of "simple living and high thinking") to the Chinese literati who were unable to forsake the comforts and luxuries of material life—as if to say, with "high thinking" the non-observance of "simple living" could be overlooked. There was "Vimalakirti fever" during the Tang Dynasty with scholars vying with each other to become a spiritual monk of sorts without being ordained. The most typical example was Wang Wei who monopolized the Chinese transliteration of the name Vimalakirti (i.e., "Weimojie") in his first and second names (first name "Wei", and the other name "Mojie"). Li Bai would not like to be left behind. In the above cited poem, his Discourse with Yuan Danqiu on Mysticism at the Fangcheng Monastery, Li Bai likened the Fangcheng Monastery to the "Qingliangong/Nilotpala palace" which was the heavenly residence of Vimalakirti. In another poem Nightly Feeling at Donglin Monastery at Mount Lushan (Lushan Donglinsi yehuai), Li Bai rhymed:

"I am in search of the Nilotpala palace

I inhale an ethereal fragrance Issued from the sunyata canyon, My senses in eternal indulgence In the melody of celestial haven. Composed and at ease, I sat in the audience with peace. I feel the millennium worlds Entering the pores of my being."

Though the poet's extraordinary imagination of the "Qingliangong/Nilotpala palace" have evaded the sensitivity of many modern experts on Li Bai, it was noticed by the Song Dynasty master, Zhu Xi, who had the references of "chuangui Qingliangong" (I hasten to return to the Nilotpala palace) and "zuodui baiyuhao" (I sat experiencing the White Jade hair) in his poem Ascending the pinnacle of Mount Zhurong (Zi Shangfeng deng Zhurongfeng jueding ci Yingfu yun). Here, Zhu Xi's reference of "baiyuhao/White Jade hair" and Li Bai's reference of the universe entering his pores are the same. This is according to the interpretation of Huilin yinyi (Huilin's dictionary of Buddhist terminology), in section eleven, which brings to light that the Buddhist legend depicts the white hair between the Buddha's eyebrows as of white jade appearance, and it emits light to penetrate the universe. Li Bai was

certainly conversant in this legend (so was Zhu Xin). Besides his above line, Li Bai also commented in his poem Ascending the Xiling Pagoda of Yangzhou in autumn (Qiuri deng Yangzhou Xilingta) that "I long to see the Jade Hair/That it shines upon the uncouth lands."

The most important ramification of Li Bai's jumping into the fray of the "Vimalakirti fever" was his arrogating to himself the title of "Qinglian jushi/Nilotpala upasaka" (the Blue Lotus lay-follower of the Buddha). In his poem Reply to the Inquiry of Huzhou Officer Kasyapa (Da Huzhou Jiaye Sima wen Bai shi heren), Li Bai rhymed:

"My name 'Blue-Lotus' an upasaka, The angel of Heaven fell apart. My fame vanished behind the pubs, Thirty six Springs nursing wine cups. Who am I? Asked the Huzhou officer. Am Golden-Millet Tathagata another."

Here, he described himself as the reincarnation of "Jinsurulai/Golden-Millet Tathagata" which is the nickname of Vimalakirti. His assuming the title of "Qinglian jushi/Nilotpala upasaka" meant he was the master in the "Nilotpala palace"—Li Bai being Vimalakirti himself.

The Tang poets' poetic methodology of "canchan/meditating" was a sort of inspiration-operation spelled out as "ningxin ruding/concentrating mind in meditation", "zhuxin kanjing/observing with a pure perspective", "qixin waizhao/applying mind to external environs", and "shexin neicheng/focussing mind in self-retrospection". (Yang Zengwen, 372) People generally regard Wang Wei's poems such as Luchai (Luchai) and Autumn Evening at Country Resort (Shanju qiuming) as perfect examples. However, I feel Li Bai's Reflections at Quiet Night (Jing yesi) no less a model.

LikeWang Wei's Luchai, Li Bai's Reflections at Quiet Night is a masterpiece of only 20 characters which lay out a pure and transparent as well as fathomless ocean of ideas before its readers, making it a household name within China, and the most recited Chinese poem all over the world. We have to go through Li Bai's biographical background to understand the charm of this masterpiece. Zhou Xunchu, former Director of the Institute of Classical Documents of Nanjing University, linked up Li Bai's sensitivity to the symbol of "yue/moon" to the poet's ethnic affinity with the ancient race of "Yuezhi", his sister's name of "Yueyuan" and his son's name of "Mingyuenu". (Zhou Xunchu, 36-40) I think we cannot overlook all this. An important point of Zhou Xunchu's analysis is: "The ancients thought the sun residing in Japan in the east, and the moon living in the west." He cites the Liang Emperor Jianwen's eulogy on Buddha dharma, Dafa song (In praise of the Great Dharma) in which the ruler depicted Buddha Dharma as "passing beyond the home of moon in the west, and spreading towards Japan in the east". Zhou continues to illustrate the same concept during the Tang Dynasty, and cites Li Bai's Music Ascending the Clouds (Shangyun yue) which alluded to the author of the music, Wenkang, a man of foreign descent as "born in the home of moon" (shengbi yueku), because he came from the "x/yu/western regions". (ibid, 36-7) Prof. Zhou's establishment of the affinity between Li Bai and the moon deserves to be supplemented by an important perspective, viz. all the "xiyu/western regions", "yuezhi/Yuezhi", "yueyuan/Yueyuan", "mingyuenu/Mingyuenu" alluded to by him as well as Li Bai's own activities across the boundaries of nationalities were related to the boom of the "Silk Road". Again, this international "Silk Road" was related to the operation of Buddhism. The human interactions and travels between China and the "xiyu/western regions" (including India) carried out with a mood that "looked at the perilous journey with ease" were resultant from the Buddhist spirit of pilgrimage and the adventurism of the traders. Hence, the "Silk Road" and the "dharmaratna marga/road for the transmission of the Buddhist jewel" were one and the same, duplicating each other. After obtaining this perspective, we must include Xuanzang's christening India "Yindu" with the Sanskrit word "indu/moon" as its base, and his depicting the country of the Buddha as enjoying "langyuezhi ming/the brightness of moonshine". (Da-Tang xiyuji, fascicle 2, "General Introduction of India", section 1, "explaining the name"). Only in this way can we further understand why Li Bai, in his poem Accompanying Uncle touring the Qingfeng Pavilion of the Huacheng Monastery (Pei zushu Dangtuzai you Huachengsi Shenggong Qingfengting), mentioning the "moon in water" (shuizhong yue) and the "blue-lotus" (qinglian), tracing the genesis of his affection with the moon and the title "Qinglian jushi/Nilotpala upasaka".

Now, let us see how, Li Bai, our great writer with rich imagination and expansive and profound ideas and emotions, explore the thought potential of the symbol of "yue/moon" which we can itemize into ten ramifications.

The first ramification is Li Bai's not treating the moon as an entity beyond human life, but a part and parcel of it. He had such expressions like "xianye zuo mingyue" (the bright moon sitting leisurely at night), "ren cheng haishangyue" (people ride on the moon on sea), "mingyue guanshan ku" (the bright moon tired of long travels), "changge jin luori, chengyue gui tianlu" (singing for long tire out sunset, riding the moon to return to country house), and "mingyue kan yu zhui, dangchuang xuan qingguang" (the bright moon looks falling, hanging clean light on the window) etc.

The second ramification is Li Bai's treating the moon as a bosom friend. He had such expressions like "wo ji chouxin yu mingyue" (I post to the bright moon my sorrow), "haoge dai mingyue" (I sing heroically waiting for the bright moon), "ju bei yao mingyue, dui ying cheng sanren" (I raise my glass to invite the bright moon, my shadow joins the party of three), "wo ge yue paihuaf (I sing the moon is vacillating), "wo ji chouxin yu mingyue" (I sweep the stones waiting for the bright moon to return), and "xianren bujian wo, mingyue kong xiangzhf (the fairy doesn't receive me, I have the bright moon as bosom friend in vain) etc.

The third ramification is Li Bai's treating the moon as a witness for history and human life. He had such expressions like "cangcang Jinling yue, kong xuan diwang zhou" (The moon over Nanjing so pale, having watched the king's state in vain), and "Jinren bujian gushiyue, jinyue cengjing zhao guren." (People today don't see the ancient moon, the present moon had shone upon ancient people.) etc. The fourth ramification is the moon's being above board according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Zhongxing luo qingtian, mingzhe duyou yue." (Stars are crowding the azure sky, only the enlightened have the moon.), "Yue chu Lucheng dong, ming ru tianshang xue." (The moon emerges east of city Lu, bright as snow in the sky.), and the moon's "jiao ru feijing lin danque." (bright as a mirror flying over the palace) etc.

The fifth ramification is the moon's concerns about the universe according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Jian jun wanlixing, haishui zhao qiuyue." (Seeing your mind covering thousands of miles, like the Autumn moon shining upon the sea.), and the moon's "Wangu qi chenxing, guanghui zhao tianxia." (Riding over the stars in millennia, with brilliance all over the universe.) etc. The sixth ramification is the moon's being the indispensable guide for human life according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Ren pan mingyue bukede, yue xing que yu ren xiangsui." (Humans can't climb the bright moon to get it, but the moon follows humans everywhere.), and particularly these lines in his poem Coming down from Mount Zhongnan Staying at the Place of Hill Dweller Dousi (Xia Zhongnanshan guo Dousishanren su zhijiu):

"At dusk, climbing down the blue mountain, I was escorted by the country moon. When I turn back to look at my trail, What a brilliant sight of lush details."

The seventh ramification is the moon's superiority over mundane vulgarity according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Qingfeng sheng xukong, mingyue zuo tanxiao." (A gust of fresh air flowing over space, we sit and chat amidst the bright moon.), and "Yuese buke sao, kechou buke dao." (Can't sweep away the moonshine, can't narrate the loneliness of the stranger.) etc. The eighth ramification is the moon's being an untenable idealism according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Xiangsi ru mingyue, kewang buke pan." (Longing is like the bright moon, you can be thirst for without getting it.) etc. The ninth ramification is the moon's representing a force beyond the space according to Li Bai, as he depicted the rebellion of Anlu Shan as "the foreign moon intruding the palace" ("huyue ru ziwei") in his poem Sending off Scholar Zhang to see Minister Gao (Song Zhangxiucai ye Gaozhongcheng) etc. The tenth ramification is the moon's stimulation of patriotism and love for homeland according to Li Bai. He had such expressions like "Meng rao biancheng yue, xin fei guguo lou." (In dream the moon surrounds frontier towns, the mind flies over houses of the past country.) etc.

Poets have the freedom to expand the ideological contents of their symbols and transcend them. We have earlier cited Li Bai's reference of "mingyuezhu/moonshine pearl" in his poem For monk Zhaomei (Zeng seng Zhaomei) as an imagery for Buddha Dharma. All the above discussions help us arrive at a new interpretation of Li Bai's great masterpiece, Reflections at Quiet Night. The first five letters "Chuangqian mingyueguang" is a combination of a static element "chuang/bed" (connoting relaxation) and a dynamic element "mingyueguang/bright moonshine"—the construction of a situation of Buddha Dharma dawning in his mind. The second line "yi shi dishangshuang' changed the entire scenario into: "What? Is there frost on the ground?" The sequence depicts the dawning of Buddha Dharma

has created a turbulence in the poet's mind. The key word here is "yi/doubt". The two propositions of "mingyueguang/bright moonshine" and "dishangshuang/frost on the ground" are not compatible, and the poet used them to depict the yawning gap between the Buddhist idealism and the mundanity of Chinese worldly reality. After some struggle in his mind, the poet regained his cool, and there is "jutou wang mingyue", i.e., the poet was gazing at the bright moon of Buddha Dharma. He returned to the scenario of "mingzhe duyou yue/ only the enlightened have the moon". Finally, he further returned to his own odyssey of life with an enhanced love for the microcosmic and macrocosmic world of his own: "ditou si guxiang" i.e., "In introspection my mind flies to my native land."

Reflections at Quiet Night represents a trend of Chinese poetry's becoming simpler, more precise, colloquial, and popularized. It could reflect profound and thought provoking scenarios with very simple vocabulary and diction. This actually was the approach of Chan Buddhism—few words, colloquial, and encouraging free thinking. In comparative studies today we like to analyze the "text" along with the "context", and further combine the "competence/langue" and the "performance/parole" of the language expressions. The Tang poetry provides an excellent matter for such a study. The Tang poetry, particularly the five-word and seven-word short pieces (four and eight lines) with perfect rhyming and rhythmic melody, so easy to remember, recite and popularize, has been a mighty instrument for Chinese intellectuals to express their noble mentality. Li Bai's creation has always been there to inspire Chinese writers to explore poetic moods and language potentials. Reflections at Quiet Night has been a must reader for Chinese intellectuals. We can count it as a contribution of the operation of "CHINDIA".

Tagore's knowledge about Li Bai was through his contacts with the high-ups of British literary circles, and had read some of the English translations of Li Bai's poems. But, Tagore's impression about China's "secret of expression" was formed during his China visit in 1924 and through his contacts with Liang Qichao, Xu Zhimo, Hu Shi, Lin Changmin, Lin Huiyin, Mei Lanfang etc., possibly in addition to some images of ancient Chinese poets. Actually, from Li Bai's poems, there was the vision of "Zhuangshi huai yuanlue, zhi cun jie shifen." (A hero cherishes a long-term strategy, he aims at resolution of societal troubles.), of "gaoqing chu renjian" (Noble sentiments are born from humanity), of "Di zhu mingxian hao, feng sui huihua chun." (The place has added charm by projecting celebrity, the Spring wind is made by popularization of wisdom.) —all reflections of the longing for a "harmonious society". Li Bai also transcended himself from mundaneness, with an obsession for honour and chivalry, while utterly contempt of money and profit-making: "Youde bi baozhi, qianjin chiwei qing." (I must pay back kindness, thousands of gold have no weight in my mind), "Rensheng gui xiangzhi, hebi jin yu qian." (The treasure of life is the power of understanding, money is unnecessary). Li Bai also demonstrated "Suogong zhong shanyue, suoqing de chengai." (Our common heritage weighs heavier than mountains, our gains lighter than dust), "Tian kai qingyunqi, ri wei cangsheng you." (Heaven operates lofty gadgets, the sun worries for people's living), and "Yuan xian zhongqin yi, yixiang Huanghe fei." (I want to carry all the birds, we all fly to the Yellow river.), demonstrating his patriotism and Bodhisattva spirit. All this is the ramification of Tagore's compliment for the Chinese spirit. Thus, what was Li Bai's achievement in the operation of "CHINDIA" in ancient times is the theme of Tagore's reviving the "Chindian" spirit today.

Mention should be made about Li Bai's exploration of the concept of "jing" (mirror), e.g., "Yuexia fei tianjing, yun sheng jie hailou." (The moon's like a flying mirror in the water, the clouds add construction of the mirage.), "Yunshan haishang chu, renwu jingzhong lai." (Clouds form mountains above the sea, people and boats move in the mirror.), "Tian kai qingyunqi, ri wei cangsheng you." (The government cleanses its golden mirror, neighbours near and far in order.), "Daguo zhi heng jing, junping tianxia xin." (The great state with balance and mirror, the universe feeling fairness and equity.) etc. All this reminds us the Jinjing shu (Book of the Golden Mirror) authored by the Tang Emperor Taizong to establish his heritage of governance. The Tang Emperor Ruizong penned "Xuan Fawangzhi jing, zhuan Fandizhi lun." (Hanging the mirror of the Dharma-raja, turning the cakra/wheel of Brahma) in his "Foreword" to the Chinese translation of Maharatnakuta sutra ("Dabaojijing xu") (Tan & Geng, 379). More important was while Li Bai was writing, his contemporary, the patriarch of Chan Buddhism, Shenhui, was advocating "xin ru mingjing" (making one's mind like the bright mirror) —the centre of his teaching: "The bright mirror instantly gets the image of the object, so should the mind be." (Yang Zengwen, 391) There was no question of Li Bai's emulating or influencing Shenhui, or vice versa. While Shenhui was a devout Buddhist, Li Bai was a "kuangren/mad man" who was obsessed with the fairyland. But, both were responding to the "mirror" propositions of the Tang emperors, Taizong and Ruizong, and engaging in their own respective exploration of the ideological potential of Chinese language symbols. This is the historical evidence of the operation of "CHINDIA" we have been searching for.

Li Bai and other writers during the Tang and Song dynasties made great contributions to the exploration of ideological potential of Chinese language. I have some discourse on this in the book Yindu yu Zhongguo—Liang da wenmingde jiaowang he jidang (India and China—Interaction and vibrations between the two great civilizations). For instance, the Chinese character "xiang" (fragrance) in Oracle Script form was a combination of "he" (grain) and "kou" (mouth), denoting taste, while the character for smell was "chou/xiu", a combination of dog and nose. Ironically, "chou" is now the antonym of "xiang", while in ancient times it was for both the aromatic and foul smell. Such insensitive feeling of smell of the Chinese ancients was due to the fact that China was a poor producer of aromatic plants historically. India, on the contrary, was always the "Spice Land" of ancient Europeans, and the cause of innumerable wars in the Western Hemisphere. The Buddhist scriptures have played up the importance of "xiang", and the term "xianghuo" (literally, "incense and fire") has become the designation of Buddhist religious life in China. This was how the sense of smell was explored while the literary potential of "xiang" developed too. (Tan & Geng, 463-7) Another example is the Chinese character "jin" (gold). India has always been rich in gold, and golden ornaments were made 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit vocabulary, there are over 30 words and compound words denoting "gold". China was a poor producer of gold, hence not a single word specifically denoting gold in early times. The visual form of "jin" originally was a sketch of a mine, denoting "minerals", particularly copper. Once again, the Buddhist scriptures have an indulgence in the expression of "jin" connoting gold. Li Bai and other Tang writers started to use the new vocable "jin/gold" to enrich the descriptions of life. However, being patriots, Li Bai and others hated to see the imported concept of "jin" eclipse the traditional Chinese qualifier for high value, i.e. "yu" (jade). Hence the exploration of the potential of "jin" also helped promote the value-addition of "yu", creating scores of four-syllabic Chinese phrases such as ""jinyumantang" (a house full of gold and jade treasures), "jinyuliangyari" (words of gold and jade, i.e. valuable advice). All this is typical ramification of the operation of "CHINDIA". (ibid, 449-458)

In Section I, we have discussed the support of Indian civilization for the "qi/utility" aspect of China's "study" culture. Now we can see the contribution of Indian civilization to the "Tao/spirit" aspect of China's "study" culture as well. Liang Qichao concluded that the spread of Buddhism in China resulted in the increase of 35,000 words and phrases in Chinese vocabulary, and he arrived at this conclusion based on the Chinese Buddhist dictionary compiled in Japan. (ibid, 448) Those who use Chinese dictionaries often can see that two thirds of the Chinese expressions enshrined in various dictionaries are new expressions explored by Chinese intellectuals after the establishment of Buddhism in China. The positive result of the operation of "CHINDIA" is clear to see.

3. Establishment of "temple culture" to neutralize the harm of "palace culture"

In the beginning, Buddhism had no idol, only using the giant footprint or the seat under the bodhi tree to symbolize the Buddha in its graphic tradtion. Gradually idol-worship was developed. The earliest Buddhist temples in India were call the "vihara" which was a place for the Buddhist disciples to gather, studying, meditating and listening to preaching. After the introduction of idol-worship, there began ceremonies with incense burning—the birth of "monastic Buddhism". As Buddhism was a cultural movement, it developed into a powerful evangelical movement as well. From ancient times till today, temples have always been cultural centres.

Xuanzang, in his Da-Tang xiyu ji, Fascicle 4 on "Jiebita guo" (country of Kapitha) (in the Farrukhabad District in north India today), narrated a magnificent monastery resided by several hundred monks, with "tens of thousands of lay followers taking residence around it". Such a phenomenon can still be seen in south India. People taking residence around the monastery not only go there to worship the idols, but also to participate in various cultural activities, including celebrations of red-letter days, visiting trade fairs etc. organized by the monastery. The best silk saree in south India is the "temple saree". The Indian society, particularly in ancient times, offered the most and best money, materials, art and technology to creating the magnificence of the temple, while the residence of the king was far too frugal in comparison. Such a "temple culture" was very helpful for the construction of a harmonious society. Before the advent of Buddhism in China, there was no "temple culture" at all, but only the "palace culture" with the most and best money, materials, art and technology of the country commandeered by the emperors and kings to create the magnificence of the palace. The commoners hated the "palace culture". Every time when the peasants' rebel army stormed the imperial capital, they razed the palace to the ground. All the famous imperial palaces of China, except that in Beijing, have disappeared. There are Du Fu's immortal lines:

"Zhumen jiurou chou, lu you dongsi gu."

Meat and wine plenty leftover,

Rotten within the Red Door;

Cadavers you stumble outside,

The poor who died of frostbite.

This is a graphic revelation of the harms of the "palace culture".

The authority on religious studies in modern China, Ren Jiyu, was of the opinion that during Sui and Tang dynasties, both the Buddhists and non-Buddhists felt the dominant power of Buddhism. Statistics show that there were 45,000 plus Buddhist temples and nearly 300,000 monks and nuns, in addition to 150,000 bonded labourers during the Tang Dynasty. Millions of acres of land were the property of the temples. (Yang Zengwen, 10) Ren Jiyu concluded:

"Buddhism was very powerful. Temples possessed a lot of land and houses, with massive followers, having advantages in all walks of life. Buddhist temples were, without doubt, the centres for disseminating the religion. They had large quantities of books, not only Buddhist scriptures, but also non-religious books, hence they were also cultural centres. Temples also engaged in money-lending, charging interest, playing the role of economic centres. Temples rent out surplus houses and rooms to provide accommodation as well as book issuing facilities for scholars to prepare or appear in the imperial examinations, hence they became venues to socialize with intellectuals." (ibid, 3)

From this brief sketch we see "temple culture" in China having developed as, or even more powerful, than that of India. On top of it, because of Buddhist influence, Taoists, even Confucians, started to develop their own temple culture to echo and compete with the Buddhist temple culture.

The "temple culture", after being trans-planted on Chinese soil by Buddhism, neutralized, to a certain degree, the harms of the "palace culture" of China. Li Bai penned in 739 the poem For Meng Haoran on A Spring Day Returning to the Mountains which clearly indicates that his Chindian ethos was closely related to the "temple culture":

"Court dresses left behind the sentient world,

To the lush hill feast of Brahma sermon.

Golden thread opens the road to Enlightenment,

Raft ferry all beings out of sea of sorrow.

Lofty pagoda the signal tower of rising sun, River skirts the mist-covered mansion. Fragrance permeates the Trilokya, Bell toll reverberates valleys afar.

Birds of all feathers for Dharma gather, Nagarajas protect dharmaratna together."

Though with dramatization, the poem vividly described people in authorities leaving their imperial uniforms behind to go to the Buddhist temple to attend the "fanyan/feast of Brahma", i.e. preaching of Buddha Dharma, and likened them to the Nagaraja of the Indian legend protecting the dharmaratna (triple jewels of Buddhism). It also vividly depicted the prominent and domineering positions of the monastery and the pagoda in Chinese geomancy. Again, the lines of "Fragrance permeates the Trilokya, /Bell toll reverberates valleys afar." eloquently summed up the influence of Buddhism through the length and breadth of China. Li Bai, while touring the Xiling Pagoda of Yangzhou, described it as:

"I reach the legendary joint of heaven and earth, The tip of tower overlooks the sea of clouds. Kaleidoscopic views of the lokyasviii before me, Three Heaven touch the painted beams." Qiuri deng Yangzhou Xilingta

(Ascending the Xiling Pagoda of Yangzhou on an Autumn Day)

In another poem, Li Bai painted the Chinese landscape as:

"xiangyun bianshan qi, huayu cong tian lai."

Incense clouds all over the hills,

Petal showers from Heaven by the deviix.

Xun shanseng bujian zuo (Composed after missing the monk of the hill)

All this makes us feel that the Indian "temple culture" has made a facelift of the Chinese landscape.

Temples and pagodas form an important part of China's geomancy. That China has had the maximum numbers of Buddhist temples is beyond doubt. The pagoda was originally a stupa in India—a simple architecture as the repository of the relics of the Buddha. It thrived in China as the jewel of architecture and also completely Sinicized. The cave art beginning from the second century BC spread from the western coast of India to Afghanistan, to Xijiang, to Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Henan, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Sichuan and other places. From the Indian Ajanta Grottoes to the Dazu Caves of Sichuan, there is a garland of cave art on earth, and most of the flowers on the garland fall within Chinese territory—as if China has stolen the thunder from India. Even more interesting is the fact that the four eminent Indian Bodhisattvas, i.e., Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, and Ksitigarbha, have now settled down in China, having their heavenly resorts on four holy mountains: Avalokitesvara on Mount Putuo in Zhejiang, Manjusri on Mount Wutai in Shanxi, Samantabhadra on Mount Emei in Sichuan, and Ksitigarbha on Mount Jiuhua in Anhui. The name of the last holy shrine, i.e., "Jiuhua", was christened by Li Bai.x As they don't have their shrines in India now, their admirers all over the world (including Indians) have to go to China for pilgrimage. Had there not been the "temple culture", China would not have become such a powerful attraction in tourism.

There is a Chinese saying:

"Shishang haoyan Fo shuojin, tianxia mingshan seng zhanduo."

All good words of mankind are said by the Buddha,

Buddhist monks occupy most famous hills of China.

(Tan & Geng, 348)

This saying has highlighted the "dao-qf binary of Buddhist "temple culture". "All good words of mankind are said by the Buddha" depicts the input of Buddhism to the spiritual culture of China, while "Buddhist monks occupy most famous hills of China" describes the important place of "temple culture" in China's social life of yore, playing a role of social transformation. We can spell this out. First of all, Buddhism did not create the "clash of civilization" in China, it stimulated Taoism and Confucianism to join in the development of the "temple culture". Now, we see the Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian temples having similar outlooks and internal structures. Starting from the period of Southern and Northern Dynasties, there had been temples inside the Chinese palaces, mostly Buddhist temples.

In addition, there are various kinds of temples, like the temple of the local deities, the temple of the "dragon king" (the Chinese version of nagaraja), the temple of Duke Guan etc. Zhu Xi, in his poem Incense World ("Xiangjie") realized that China "has really become the world of incense clouds in the country of the Buddha", which seems to suggest that the ritual of incense burning in China had surpassed India. The Chinese have been using "xiangche baoma" (fragrant coach and jewel-studded horse) to compliment the rich, and "shuxiang mendi" (family with fragrance of books) to compliment the scholarly family, not because of the coach or books are fragrant, but because of their consuming more incense than the ordinary people. There are even more descriptions like "xianghuo yinyuan" (marriage solemnized by incense burning) and "xianghuo xiongdf (fraternity solemnized by incense burning). A couple with no son is described as "duanle xianghuo" (incense burning discontinues). All this indicates the influence of "temple culture" in the non-religious arenas in human life.

Next, the Buddhist "temple culture" has had the compassionate effect and tranquilizing effect on the Chinese folklore. The holistic concept of the Indians regards life as one, and the injury to other's life means injury to one's own, hence the culture of "ahimsa/non-slaughter/non-violence". This culture has penetrated deep into the Chinese spirit. On one hand, China has always been a superpower in population (having from 1/6 to 1/3 of humanity for the last 2,000 years), she naturally has been a concentration of human contradictions. On the other hand, China has had

to maintain its unification, eager to establish consensus, difficult to tolerate differences. It is inevitable that the state ruling machine uses repressive measures towards the dissidents and rebels. The advent of Buddhism helped Confucianism to mediate political confrontations. Those emperors who changed their reigning eras frequently were Buddhist followers, using the establishment of a new era to announce amnesty. Many emperors of Tang and Song issued "deyin/benevolent news" edicts for amnesty and pardon. (Tan & Geng, 384-6) The genesis of the binary strategy of Chinese ruling tradition combining "de/benevolence" and "wei/deterrence" may be traced from this issuance of "deyin/benevolent news" edicts (neither from the "de/virtue/benevolence" propounded by Confucianism, nor from the "de/truth/benevolence" advocated by Laozi). All this is the compassionate effect of the "temple culture". When Mahatma Gandhi was hit by the assassin's bullets, he uttered: "Hi, Ram!" which being the spontaneous reaction of the Hindus at the moment of shock, and also a natural affection for the Hindu god, Ram. The Chinese also have a similar utterance in "Amituofo" which is the transliteration of "Amitabha" —name of the Buddha. The renowned pilgrim, Xuanzang, always uttered the name of "guanyin/Avalokitesvara" during the moment of danger in his journey. I had the same habit during the turbulent days of Anti-Japanese War, being taught by my mother to invoke "Nanwu dacidabei jiukujiunan guangda linggan Guanshiyinpusa" (O, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara who symbolizes the great compassion, who rescues people in sorrow and distress, and who is omnipresent and will respond to my appeal!) whenever I needed courage and tranquilization. The "temple culture" has contributed to the toleration and fortitude of Chinese people for sure.

Furthermore, in Indian tradition, women are respected. In ancient tradition, there were goddesses (all deities of the mountains were male while all deities of rivers were female). From times immemorial till today, wife has been addressed as "devi/goddess" by husband. In Indian tradition, mother's love is the greatest. Before the advent of Buddhism in China, the Chinese civilization had "fu wei qi gang/husband being the key link of wife" reflecting a husband-centric society. There was hardly any significance of mother's love (while there was the saying "xiaozi bu sheng cifuzhi jia/the family of compassionate father would not produce a son of filial piety", hence the term "cifu/compassionate father" was rather a derogatory term, reiterating "yang bu jiao, fuzhi guo/father commits mistake by not being a hard-task-master to the son"). Buddhism propagated "cibei/compassion", and there was the cult of the "cishi pusa/compassionate bodhisattva" during the Tang Dynasty, revering Avalokitesvara generally, but also the Maiterya Buddha sometimes. In 648, the Crown Prince who was running the administration on behalf of the sick Emperor Taizong, issued an edict to commemorate his late mother, Queen Wende, and built the "Ci'ensi/Monasteiy of Compassionate Mother", likening his mother to the "compassionate bodhisattva". This symbolized the Chinese absorption of the Indian reverence for the greatness of mother's love. It was probably during Li Bai's time that there began the expression of the "cimu/compassionate mother" in Chinese literature and the description of the mother's love as "chunhui/Spring sunshine". Li Bai penned "Quge ciqin lian, xingyou baoguoxin." (Severing attachment for compassionate mother, concentrating in serving the country in trouble.) (Hangzhou song Pei Daze shi fu Luzhou zhangshi, i.e., At Hangzhou sending off Pei Daze to join office at Luzhou), "Sui zhao yangchunhui, fu bei gaoqiu yue." (Though reflecting Spring sunshine, it also mourning decay under the Autumn moon.) (Gufeng, 38, i.e., Imitating ancient "Feng"poetry, No. 38), "Hudi wu chunhui, zhengren xing bu gui." (There is no Spring sunshine in alien land, expeditionary soldiers don't return home.) (Xue gu si bian, i.e., Imitating ancient rhyming on the border) etc. In the last two symbols of "chunhui/sunshine", there is the suggestive feeling of mother's love. With such inventions by Li Bai, it was easy for Meng Jiao to pen his masterpiece, Song of Travelling Son (Youzi yin) which marked the milestone for the new ear of eulogizing the mother's love in the history of Chinese literature. We can regard this as the contribution of the Buddhist "temple culture". The elevation of the status of mother to "compassionate mother" definitely enhanced the societal position of women in China. We are reminded of the example of Wu Zetian who rose from a commoner to a junior waitress of Tang emperor Taizong, to the second ranking consort of Tang Emperor Gaozong, to Emperor Gaozong's Queen, to the Empress Dowager after Emperor Gaozong's demise, to the reigning empress of China, and finally to the recipient of the title of "Cishi yuegu jinlun shengshen huangdf (Compassionate sacred cakravatin emperor and Bodhisattva surpassing historical personage). It is hard to imagine that such a miraculous phenomenon occurring in a country as male chauvinistic as China. How this had happened is still a topic not properly researched which is surely related to the boom of Buddhism and the decay of Confucian moral principles at that time. Another puzzling topic is why Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara performed a sex transformation from an Indian male (all Indian bodhisattvas are male) into a Chinese female. We could see that it was Wu Zetian who first transformed the Chinese "Son of Heaven" into female, and she also arrogated to herself the symbol of the "compassionate bodhisattva" who

was no other than Avalokitesvara. The extension of this logic is that Empress Wu had already created the female "Guanyin/Avalokitesvara". This is a complex topic involving the vibration between the study of the Buddhist "temple culture" and the social revolution in China. It is, indeed, a historic event resulting from the operation of "CHINDIA".

Wu Zetian herself was an eminent personification of the operation of "CHINDIA". She was the most passionate exponent of Buddhist cause among the Chinese rulers besides the Liang Emperor Wu. Many Buddhist shrines in China, including the caves at Longmen and Dunhuang, bear her imprint. She not only usurped the "Tang" dynastic name, but also usurped the omnipotent "long/dragon" symbol, substituting "fengque/phoenix gate" to "longque/dragon gate" for the designation of imperial palace, substituting "fengcheng/phoenix city" to "longcheng/dragon city" and "fengjing/phoenix capital" to "longque/dragon capital" for the designation of the imperial capital, and changing the descriptions of the imperial transport from "longnian" or "longjia" (dragon's carrier) into ""fengnian" or ""fengjia" (phoenix's carrier). She also addressed herself as "luantai zhen" (Her Majesty sitting on the phoenix altar). All this has the suggestion of what the Chinese call "yinsheng yangshuaf (the rise of Yin and the fall of Yang), i.e. the fair sex gaining prominence over the male sex. I have studied the symbols of dragon and phoenix for many decades, and hold that it was the Buddhist legend that modified the ancient Indian legend of the "garuda" overpowering the "naga" to make both serving Buddha Dharma in the category of "tian long bazhong" (eight supernatural beings) resulting in both the dragon and the phoenix upholding the power of the imperial authorities. (Tan & Geng, 495-519) Wu Zetian did play a role in all this, enriching both the Chinese "temple culture" and the Chinese "dragon and phoenix culture".

4. Enhancement of peasants'quality to create peasants'wars as the rhythm of China's social progress

The Chinese concept of "nong" is quite unique as there are various phrases like "shi nong gong shang" (the officials, the farmers, the workers, the merchants), "zhongnong qingshang" (giving importance to nong/agriculture and treating commerce/business lightly), "quan nong" (encouraging the pursuit of farming), "gui nong" (return to the farmers' world) etc. This "nong" concept gives prominence to the agroculture (agricultural culture) as well as unites various social strata. Foreigners, especially the Americans, find it difficult to understand China's "peasant" problem. The American "farmers" are different from the Chinese "peasants". The American "urban farmers" are the owners and dwellers of garden houses in the cities who do a little gardening as a hobby. Not only in American history there ware no social strata like the Chinese "peasants" (Those who did the heavy, rough, and dirty work in the farms were the black slaves in bygone days, and the illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries today.), even the entire Europe could not find their counterparts. The "feudal society" defined by Karl Marx was the society of the manorial lords in addition to the small farmers serving them in the Middle Ages of Europe. For this reason, the Communist Manifesto praised the Bourgeois culture for liberating people from the "rural idiocy". Mao Zedong was himself a new-type of intellectual grown up among Chinese peasants and one who was thoroughly conversant in Chinese history. As early as 1927, he wrote in the "Hunan nongmin yundong kaocha baogao" (A report of studying the peasants' movement in Hunan) with a prediction that the Chinese peasants would "break the net" that had bound them, and "all the elements of imperialism, warlords, corrupt officers and tyrants of the countryside would be buried by them." Never before had there been any foreign thinker who regarded the Chinese peasants as such a powerful force for social evolution.

The Chinese peasants were the inventors and masters of the great agroculture. They sang:

"I start to work at sunrise,

I return to sleep at sunset,

I dig my well for water to drink,

I till my land for food to eat,

How can Almighty mean anything to me?!"

Jirang ge (Beating the earth)

This was the song of three to four thousand years of vintage which expresses the self-reliant spirit of the Chinese peasants, neither depending on Nature, nor believing in God. They gave play the theory of "tiandizhi dade yue sheng" (the great virtue of universe is creation) and "tian ren heyi" (nature and humans are one). The female

Chinese peasants were great. In times immemorial they started gathering vegetations for food while their husbands did hunting and fishing. It was from gathering that they went a step further to invent agriculture. There was the famous division of labour known as "nan geng nu zhi" (the male tilling the land while the female weaving the cloth) in early Chinese civilization, showing that the textile industry was the invention of women. Legends attributed to Luzu, wife of the Chinese cultural hero, Huangdi, for the invention of sericulture, which also mirrored the living reality. Chinese peasant women also joined the revolutionary wars. In the army of the Taiping Rebellion there were separate camps for female soldiers. Five hundred years before the emergence of these female soldiers there was the wife of Zhu Yuanzhang, lee Ms. Ma, who had contributed to the victory of the anti-Yuan/Mongol revolution. Her appearance of a peasant woman (without footbinding) as the queen of the founding emperor of Ming Dynasty became a laughing stock for the folklore of the imperial city, and she had to abstain from public socialization.

In comparison with the peasants of India and other countries, the Chinese peasants were not only docile, but also very dynamic in many aspects which was quite contradictory and dialectic. In 742, Li Bai composed Nanling bie ertong rujing (Going to the imperial capital from Nanling, bidding farewell to kids) in which he alluded to a man, Zhu Maichen who had been forsaken by his wife, but ultimately distinguished himself as a trusted officer of the emperor. Then he commented: "Wobei qishipenggaoren!" (We fellows are not the country bumpkin type!) We are reminded of Meng Xiao's (who was the late contemporary of Li Bai) ecstasy after qualifying for the highest imperial exams, exclaiming "chunfeng deyi mati ji" (Spring wind sends my steed galloping) in his poem Dengke hou (After hearing I qualified for keju), hence can divide Chinese peasants into "penggaoren/ country bumpkin" type and the "deyiren/elated successful" type. The latter were those who succeeded in expanding their spaciality in society by means of their knowledge and wisdom.

Buddhism entered China as a cultural movement. It had started its tradition in India in propagating among the low castes and social strata and continued to do so in China. Whether it was the text of the Buddhist scriptures or the preaching in the Buddhist temples (e.g. the famous "suchang/preaching with illustrations"), everything was easy to comprehend. In addition, the Buddhist scriptures are twenty percent discourse and eighty percent stories, guiding understanding from the lower intellectual level to higher and higher degrees, facilitating the education of the common people. Such a cultural movement helped the vast Chinese peasants broaden their vision and increasing their knowledge. The boom of Buddhism complemented mutually with the imperial examination system beginning from the Tang Dynasty. The children of the peasants had opportunities to study and even become imperial officers. The description of "shinian hanchuan" (ten years by the cold window) was that of the course of transformation from a peasant into an intellectual elite. Many famous literati were known as "chushen hansu" (from the background of cold and simple life), meaning emerging from the ranks of the peasants. One of them was Bai Juyi who confessed:

"Wo ben shanzhongren, wuwei shiwang qian."

I was a dweller among the hills,

By mistake fall into the net of modernity.

You Wuzhensi shi (Poem of visiting the Wuzhen temple)

It was from the standpoint of the peasants that he sharply condemned the government officers' repression of the peasants, "gouzhua juchi shi renrou" (with paws like hooks and teeth like the saw, they feed on the peasants' flesh) in his famous poem Duling sou (The old man of Duling). It was in the same poem that he revealed somebody's (actually himself) petitioning the emperor, getting His Majesty's "deyin/benevolent news" edict issued to exempt the peasants concerned from taxation. Similarly, Li Shen's two famous poems of Min nong (Pitying the peasants) have become household names in China, using the peasants' toiling to educate the children of the rich, particularly admonishing waste of food. Such a Chinese agroculture had nothing in common with the "rural idiocy" of the erstwhile Europe.

Through the evangelic mechanism, Buddhism disseminated culture to the remote areas and grass roots of China, making a facelift of the quality of Chinese peasants. The unique example was that a wood cutter, Lu, of a national minority rose to become the patriarch of the southern sect of Chan Buddhism, Reverend Huineng, whose quotation collection, Liuzu tan jing (The 6th patriarch's holy book of the altar), was more popularly influential among the Chinese populace than the Confucian classics for the last thousand odd years. We seldom see such a development in the history of other countries. On the other hand, Buddhism that spread the Indian ideal of "samata" (equality) among the Chinese populace, and ignited the concept of "dabao buping" (fighting against injustice) —strengthening

the theory of "Struggle Ethic". Fang Litian, a modern expert on Buddhism, observes: "After its long duration of popularization in China, Buddhism created a complicated impact on the down-trodden masses, and gradually became the instrument of propaganda and organization for the peasants' rebellious armies." (Fang Litian, 244) He also cited some comments of historical personalities to say "In the eyes of the down-trodden masses, Sakyamuni, the founding patriarch and highest spiritual leader, was the protector of the interest of the imperial dynasties, and they shifted their emotional and ideological following towards the Buddha/Bodhisattva Maiterya " (ibid, 245) In other words, Buddhism actually played the dual role of protecting the interest of the rulers in the name of Sakyamuni and helping the repressed peasants rebel against tyranny in the name of Maitery. This was not what Buddhism had intended, but the result of the operation of "CHINDIA".

There were innumerable instances of Buddhists joining the armed uprisings. The earliest example was what was called the "Milefozhi luan/the rebellion of the Maiterya Buddha" in 610.xi Again, a monk of Huairong, named Gao Tancheng who proclaimed himself "Emperor of Mahayana" and started his Era of Falun (dharmacakra) in 618.xii When Li Shimin and his revolutionary army took Luoyang, he was helped by the monks of the Shaolin Temple. Afterwards, Li, as Tang Emperor Taizong, presented an epigraph to the temple thanking their help.xiii In the end of the 9th century, the leader of a peasant army, Huang Chao, stormed into the imperial capital, Chang'an, and proclaimed himself emperor for two years. He left behind a famous poem Juhua (Chrysantimum). More famous was Zhu Yuanzhang, who had been a "beggar boy" and a Buddhist monk, rising to become the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty. All these examples could not have emerged from the history of European evolution. Many peasant rebellious organizations in recent times, like the "White Lotus", the "Taiping Celestial Kingdom", and the "Boxer Rebellion" were all influenced by Buddhism. In 1991, I helped a regiment centre of the Indian Army identify certain booty of the "Eight Allied Army" from their 1900 victory against the Boxer Rebellion, i.e. fourteen tablets of the Boxers. One of them has a lantern on the lotus seat painted on it. The inscription in the centre is "Danglai dengdu Chuanxiangjiaozhu laoshizun" (The reverend patriarch of the Religion of Passing the Incense who is about to travel East to us). This was the reference to "Damo laozu" (Patriarch Bodhidharma), the south Indian monk who arrived in China in the 6th century who was the universally revered patriarch of Chan Buddhism. Another piece was for worshipping Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara; another piece was for worshipping Bodhisattva Manjusri; another piece was for worshipping Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha; yet another piece was for worshipping Lokapala Vaisramana, whose Chinese reincarnation was "Tuota Litianwang" (Celestial King Li who had a Pagoda in his palm). We see from these souvenirs a paradoxical phenomenon, viz. when the Boxers were fighting the British-led Eight Nation Coalition Force along Beijing and Tianjin, it was a strange sight of bare-bodied braves inspired by "Patriarch Bodhidharma" —the south Indian monk who arrived in China in the 6th century—on one side, and Indian soldiers under the Union Jack on the other side to shoot them down. In the war during 1947—1949, the Chinese peasants from the "Liberated Areas" sent their youths to the front, saved their food and clothing for the Liberation Army, and braved enemy bombing and straffing to send them to the front, presenting another rare phenomenon of history. All this is worthy of careful research for us to understanding the historical significance of the operation of "CHINDIA".

The Jin Dynasty writer who had been inspired by Buddhism, i.e., Tao Yuanming, imagined the existence of a "shiwai taoyuan" (Peach Garden Paradise) which was essentially a "shiwai taoyuan" (paradise outside the mundane market economy) —an indirect eulogy for a healthy, happy and harmonious society of agroculture. Guan Hanqing, in his poem Xianshi (Leisure enjoyment) eulogized this harmonious society in these lines:

"Lile minglichang, zuanru anlewo."

Farewell to the stages of fame and profit,

Hiding in the nest of peace and happiness.

Zhuge Liang could clearly read the political situation of the country from his rural reclusion. Edgar Snow visited the Yan'an caves and regarded it the cultural centre of China which he made wide publicity all over the world in his Red Star over China. All this is the convergence of Chinese agroculture and the operation of "CHINDIA". Today, international observers see among the ordinary Chinese masses a powerful force for development and getting rich which is less visible in India. The main reason was the "fanshen" (changing position from lying under to standing up) liberation of the Chinese peasants from repression of the millennia-long "sharecropping system", while their Indian counterparts have not had such a thorough revolution. In some areas, the Indian peasants who are indebted to

the loan-sharks have to work on the construction sites of the latter with all family members for their life time to pay back the debt—similar to the peasants' misery of erstwhile China.

5. Establishment of the culture of cultivation of mental and physical health

Expert on Buddhist studies, Prof, Xue Keqiao of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, observes: "Survival and reproduction are the two main innate quests of all species Humans wish to live a healthy long life In the skills for health and longevity in ancient China, there is the spirit and wisdom of Buddhism, including the absorption and modification of the ancient Indian skills for health and longevity." (Xue Keqiao, 381) These words help us understand another ramification of the operation of "CHINDIA".

We kmow that Buddhism was born from a quest for the resolution of the four major problems of life, viz., birth, old age, sickness and death. Early Buddhism sough the "bodhi/enlightenment" of inner mind. Late Prof. Feng Youlan of Peking University interpreted Buddhism as the replacement of "atmagraha/ego-clinging" by "dharmagraha/truth-clinging". Chan Buddhism advocates "xin jishi fo" (mind/heart is the Buddha), "Fo bu yuanren, ji xin er zheng." (Buddhahood does not shy from humans, one gets it in the heart/mind.) The "lixue/School of yukta" and "xinxue/School of bodhicitta" of the Song and Ming scholars were actually the operation of "CHINDIA" in the respect of cultivation of mental and physical health.

That Buddhism was "invited" to Chinese in the wake of Han Emperor Ming's dream of the "jinren/golden Buddha" shows a kind of market rule of demand and supply—Chinese civilization intentionally and proactively imported Buddhist culture according to its own needs. From the Eastern/Latter Han Dynasty onwards, many problems in the Chinese civilization propped up and objectively created three demands from the Indian civilization. The first was the demand to enrich its food for thought. The second was: owing to the chaotic political situation and the frequent intrusions of forein races it demanded an environment of peace and a spirit of toleration. The third was the people's sensitivity to self-preservation in highly unstable and uncertain socio-political conditions that created the demand for the skill of cultivating mental and physical health. Buddhism could satisfy all these three demands. We have already discussed about the first demand and supply of food for thought. The second Chinese demand was exactly the forte of Indian civilization. In the daily life of the Indians, two homonyms are the guiding principles: "santi/peace" and "ksanti/toleration". We see the Hindus chanting "santi/peace" three times at the end of their prayer. The same "santi/peace" is also what people try to practise in social relationship—saying this to avoid conflict or to stop quarrel. About "ksanti/toleration", this is regarded as the "gongdeli/power for accumulating merits for next life" or "ji yinyuan pingdeng zhilf (wisdom for gathering opportunities and equality) in Buddhist terminology. Buddha himself is the personification of "renruxian/the deity of toleration". This word "ren" has contributed substantially to the cultiviation of mental and physical health in China. The Shuowen jiezi dictionary has two different vocables of "ren", one with a dot and another without the dot in their visual symbols. The one without dot denoted "anger", while the one with dot denoting "capability" which was interpreted by Duan Yucai as "ganyu xing/brave in action", being a capacity that would not yield before external pressure. (Tan & Geng, 314) Both of these two original Chinese "ren" moods are just the antithesis of what the word "ren" denotes as we understand it today. This shows that Chinese civilization has absorbed the "ksanti/toleration" spirit of Indian civilization and abandoned the traditional moods of "anger" and "counteraction to pressure" as shown in the vocables of "ren" in Shuowen jiezi. About the third demand and supply, India has had a longer history of practising "gongfu/martial art", and the residence of the eminent monk, Boddhidharma, at the Shaolin Monastery was instrumental to the birth of "gongfu/kungfu" in China. The Chinese style of "taijiquan" (Taiji/shadow boxing) has developed on the basis of the Indian Yoga. Xue Keqiao has discussed in his book Buddhism and Chinese culture Inida's contribution to China's massage, physical exercise and martial art. (Xue Keqiao, 412-420)

Talking of the contribution of "CHINDIA" on Chinese cultivation of mental and physical health inevitably reminds us "Bhaisaijyaguru Buddha" or "Bhaisaijyaraja", the deity in charge of medicine according to Indian Buddhist legend—the common symbol of insurance of longevity enjoyed by both Chinese and Indian civilizations. According to superstition, Buddha would bless his disciples, and burning incense to invoke Buddha's blessings would cure sickness. However, many eminent Indian monks have introduced Indian medical discourses to China. We see from the "Documentation" section of Suishu (Annals of Sui Dynasty) that because both the emperors of the dynasty were devout Buddhists, in addition to the advent of a good many eminent Indian monks, the Sui Dynasty saw many publications of books on medicine, like Xiyu mingyi suoji yaofang (Medical prescriptions of the famous

doctors of the western regions), including prescriptions of famous ancient Indian doctors, Nagarjuna and Jiva. Though these books are not extant, they have played an important role in the development of medical science in Chinese society at that time. This "Bhaisaijyaguru Buddha/Bhaisaijyaraja" is the best symbol of the "dao-qf binary of Chinese Buddhism. Dr. Ma Boying who had collaborated with Joseph Needham thought that Buddhism as a religious philosophy emerged from a time when medical science was booming in India, hence its accent on medicine. (Tan & Geng, 483) This created a convergence between the Mahayana Bodhisattva spirit of rescuing the suffered and ferry them out of the "Sea of Sorrow" and the medical treatment of the sick, benefiting China a great deal. Here we see the record of a brilliant chapter opened by the "dao-qf binary operation of "CHINDIA" in helping longevity in China. Dr. Ma further revealed that the Indian "needle method" helped Chairman Mao Zedong remove cataract without surgery as he could not stand for general anesthesia. (ibid, 484) The Chinese "Bencao" (pharmacopedia) literature is replete with references of the valuable medicines of India and other countries introduced to China through Buddhism which is also a good example of the operation of "CHINDIA".

6. Promotion of the spirit of "wuhu sihai/universal brotherhood'

The thing that deserves the greatest emphasis is: Chinese and Indian civilizations have always treated each other as equal, and there has never been "civilizational clash" between them as there has been between Catholicism and Protestantism, and between Catholicism and Protestantism on one hand and Islam on the other in the Western Hemisphere. The salient feature of Buddhism is internationalism. In the first place, Buddhism has no concept of "original-country", nor "headquarters", nor "Pope". In the second place, Buddhism advocates "sama/samata/equality" and the Buddha is "Da pingdengwang/Maharaja of Equality" with "pingdeng xin/the mind of equality" —a sort of compassion that does not discriminate or play favouritism. In the third place, Buddhism adapts easily with new environments as the Chinese saying goes: "Dao nage shanshang chang nage ge" (Always sing the local song). In China, Buddhism serves the interest of China, not any other country. This is eloquently proved by the names of many famous Chinese Buddhist temples such as "Anguosi", "Qingguosi", "Ningguosi", "Longguosi", "Baoguosi", "Fengguosi". These temples have made it clear that they wished China, not India or any other country, "anding/stable", "qingbai/pure", "anning/peaceful", and "xinglong/prosperous", and they have dedicated themselves for "baoda/redeeming their gratitude" to China and "jingfeng/ obediently serve" China, not India or any other country.

The popularization of Buddhism has widened the vistas and accommoability of Chinese intellectuals as reflected by the poets of Tang and Song dynasties. Wang Bo had this famous observation:

"Hainei cun zhiji, tianya ruo bilin." Bosom friends who know me Are plenty within the four seas, Those who live on other end Of the earth are our neighbours.

Dushaofu zhiren Shuzhou (Magistrate Du going for new assignment in Shu Prefecture) This was echoed by Chen Gangzhong's: "Ruozhi sihai jie xiongdi, hechu xiangfeng fei guren." Knowing all within four seas are borthers, Anywhere you surely find bosom friends. Yangguan ci (Song of Yangguan)

I have alluded to earlier the intimate relationship between Li Bai and the operation of "CHINDIA". Li Bai's essay Reply to County Officer Meng's letter on behalf of Shoushan is regarded "a unique self introduction" by Prof. Zhou Xunchu who thinks ideologically Li Bai was mainly in the Taoist arena, but "he would not live the entire life as a Taoist". Prof. Zhou further thinks "His [Li Bai's] aim was not for his own good, but he would like to benefit everyone in the universe. He wanted to retire ultimately after achieving some success in career and fame." Li Bai's essay said: "The Venerable Mr. Li [Li Bai] sighed for a while towards the sky and said to the person by his side: 'I can't go. You and I stick together, in success we lend a helping hand to the universe, in poverty we fend for ourselves.'" (Zhou Xunchu, 258) In the same essay Li Bai penned "Fu sihai, heng bahuang" (floating on the four

seas and covering the eight corners of the hinterland) and "Fu wuhu, xi Cangzhou" (floating on the five lakes and playing in Cangzhou). (ibid) This is one of the earliest references to "wuhu sihai/five lakes and four seas". Li Bai had a mighty expansive horizon: "Haodang shenmou pen jianghai, zongheng yiqi zou fenglei. " (With strategy deep, expansive and mighty like rivers and sea, aspirations thundering all over the length and breadth." (Shude jian chenqing shang Geshu dafu, i.e., Submitting to Courtier Geshu complimenting virtue and reporting situation) and "Huanghe luo tian zou Donghai, wanli xieru xionghuaijian." (Falling from Heaven, Yellow River flows to East Sea, writing in its bosom the scenery of thousands of lis." (Zeng Peishisi, i.e., For Pei the 14th) In his poem Looking at Zige Peak of Mount Zhongnan and rhymed for the recluse there (Wang Zhongnanshan ji Zige yinzhe), Li Bai rhymed:

"Sometimes a patch of white cloud Wander with ease in the sky, My heart is drawn into it My inspirations rising high."

In all these poems, the mind of the poet was as expansive and mighty as the landscape of China, and his verse was, as it were, the composition of China's innumerable mountains and rivers.

Why would Li Bai have such an ideological mind? For one thing, he lived in the zenith of the powerful Tang Dynasty which was described by Li Bai as:

"Such a majestic country For years of one hundred forty! Five Pavilions of Phoenix Overlooking three rivers. Aristocrats like stars twinkle, And guests of all sorts gather." Imitating ancient "Feng" poetry 46

I have alluded to earlier that two international highways, i.e. the "Silk Road" and "Dharmaratna Marga", had contributed to the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty. That also created the expansive vista of Li Bai. The second reason: Li Bai's family background had created the mobility of his life. He was one of the most travelled intellectuals of ancient times which enabled him to see the universe-like country in totality. The third reason was the prosperity of trade and commerce of his times coupling with the booming Buddhist culture, in addition to the civil servant system which promoted endless traffic between the imperial capital and various localities of the country. Li Bai could stay wherever he went, even when he was penniless. Like many other Tang poets, he often spent his nights at the Buddhist temples. All this shows that the spirit of "wuhu sihai/universal brotherhood" complemented mutually with the operation of "CHINDIA".

Buddhism, being a popular movement of "wuhu sihai/universal brotherhood", has broken the divisions of geography, ethnicity, language, class and tradition. In Chinese history, there were more instances of Buddhist promoted movements and events that united intellectual elite with emperors and kings, courtiers, aristocrats and rich people than Conficianism had promoted. We have the Song Dynasty imperial officer, scholar, writer and poet, Fan Zhongyan, making these observations:

"Xian tianxiazhiyou eryou, hou tianxiazhile er le" I am the first to worry the worries of the world, And the last to enjoy the enjoyment of the world.

"Ju miaotangzhigao zeyou qimin, chu jianghuzhiyuan zeyou qijun" From the height of offices and establishments I worry about the people, From the distance of rivers and lakes I worry about the ruler. Yueyanglou ji (An account on the Yueyang Pavilion)

These words have been commended by international scholars as a synthesis between Confucian and Buddhist spirit, and have united together the two entities of "jun/ruler" and "min/people". It is the "wuhu sihai/universal brotherhood" spirit resulting from the operation of "CHINDIA" that has laid a solid foundation for a gigantic unified China.

I feel privileged for being invited to participate in the Beijing Forum 2006 to discuss, together with Chinese and foreign scholars, the cause of "CHINDIA" to which my father, Tan Yun-shan and myself have been dedicating our efforts for seven decades plus. This cause has now gained added vitality with the increasing popularity of the word "CHINDIA" invented by my Indian friend Jairam Ramesh. I present the above in the spirit of "pao zhuan yin yu" (Throwing away bricks to invite others' throwing jade in return). I shall never abandon my idealism of "CHINDIA", and am confident that it will replace the "clash of civilizations" as the new paradigm of the new century.

Major References

Das, Sisir Kumar (ed), Rabindranath Taogre: Talkes in China, 1999, Calcutta: Rabindra-Bhavana, Visva-Bharati.

Fang Litian, Zhongguo fojiaoyu chuantong wenhua (Chinese Buddhism and traditional culture), 1988, Shanghai, People's Publishing House. Ji Xianlin, Zhong-Yin wenhua jiaoliu shi (History of culture interaction between China and India), 1991, Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, 1946, New York: The John Day Company. Tan Chung 1998

(1) Across the Himalayan Gap: An Indian Quest for the Understanding of China, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts &

Gyan Publishing House.

(2) In the footsteps of Xuanzang: Tan Yun-shan and India, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts & Gyan Publishing House. Tan Chung & Geng Yinzeng (Tan & Geng), Yindu yu Zhongguo—Liang da wenmingde jiaowang yu jidang (India and China—Interaction and

vibrations between the two great civilizations), 2006, Beijing: The Commercial Press. Xiang Da, Tangdai Chang'an yu xiyu wenhua (Chang'an and the culture of the western regions during the Tang Dynasty), 1957, Beijing:

Sanlian Bookshop publication. Xue Keqiao, Fojiao yu Zhongguo wenhua (Buddhism and Chinese culture), 2006, Beijing: Kunlun Press. Yang Zengwen et al, Fojiao yu lishi wenhua (Buddhism and historical culture), 2001, Beijing: Religious Cultural Press. Zhou Xunchu, Shixian Li Baizhi mi (The myth of Li Bai, the poetic fairy), 1996, Taipei: the Commercial Press.

i During the 20th century, there had been repeated efforts to reform the Han script aiming at transforming it into an alphabetic system lest China would fall far behind modern scientific progress. Now there is neither such worry nor such reform attempt, and the Han script seems doing very well in the new era of information revolution.

ii For one thing, the Han race which defies the anthropological definition of "primordial affinity" was the creation of the Han script (which facilitated different races to live in a unified culture and erased their ethnic differentiations). For another, Taiwan would never become an "independent" political entity so long as the Han script remains its medium of communication and intellectual activities.

m See, Aug. 14, 2006.

iv First, there was Ambassador Zhang Qian's "discovery of India" in 110 BC which led to the determination of the Han imperial court to open up the "Silk Road".

v This was believed to be printed during the end of Tang Empress Wu's reigning era (690-705). See Luo Shubao et al (eds), Yinshuazhiguang: Guangming laizi dongfang (The brilliance of printing: Brilliance originated from the East), 2000, Hangzhou: Zhejiang People's Art Press, p.30.

vi The word "jinsheng/golden thread" was a new Chindian vocabulary first used by Tang Emperor Taizong in his poem. Cf. Quan Tangshi (Collection of Tang poems), 1960, Beijing: Zonghua Bookshop publication, vol.1, p.2.

vii Modern Chinese scholars overlooked this "juelu/way to Enlightenment" and interpreted the line as "Going astray, feeling losing the way". Cf. Zhan Furui et al, Li Bai shi quanyi (Translation of all Li Bai's poems), 1997, Shijiazhuang: Hebei People's Publishing House, p.491.

viii The Chinese origin "fenjie" refers to the Indian concept of the combinations of "lokya" in the Buddhist theory of "Trilokya".

ix According to Indian legend, when Buddha gave his sermon, the devi (female inmates of Heaven) throw flower petals. This is known in Chinese

idioms as "tiannu san hua" (devi throw petals), or "yuhua" (petals rain like showers). The latter was Li Bai's simile.

x Li Bai, along with Gao Ji and Wei Quan, had composed a poem relating the story that took place on Mount Jiuhua in 754. Cf. Zhan Furui, pp.942-3.

xi Cao Wenzhu et al, Ershiliushi da cidian (Dictionary for references in the 26 dynastic annals), Shijian juan (volume of events), 1993, Jilin People's Publishing House, p.342.

xii Rixia jiuwen kao (Studies on old stories), reprint, 1981, Beijing: Old Texts Publishing House, vol. 1, p.35.

xiii The epigraph remains inside the compound of the Shaolin Monastery, with Emperor Taizong's signature of "Shimin" engraved on it.