Daoism in History, capp. 2 to 4


pp. 10-40 – 2. Peter Nickerson : "Bureaucratisation and Textualisation in Early Chinese Mortuary Ritual".

p. 13 divine rulers of divine regions in S^an myth

divine realm

its ruler

"Yellow Springs"

Huan-di ("Yellow Monarch")

xuan[-tian] ("dark heavens")

S^an-di ("Lord on High")

p. 20 mask : "griffon-head to secure the hun-soul"

mask, if having __ eyen

is called __




qi ("dervish")

p. 36, n. 35 meaning of /qi/ is "to dance drunkenly or wildly" {the actual Turkish S.ufi dervish-dance, howbeit, is highly disciplined and orderly}

pp. 21-22 "separate paths" taken "a myriad li apart from one another", when odium fleeth from "the great peach"

p. 21

p. 22

"let the __

attain __"

significance of #



"the nine layers of Mount Kunlun that ascend to the Gate of Heaven" as dai:ses



"five sacred mountains or Marchmounts"

p. 22 divine officials praesiding over tombs

"the Assistant of the Sepulchre,

the director of the Sepulchre,

the Director of the Office that Rules Sepulchres,

the Hostel-Chief of the Gate of the Hun-soul,

the Attack Patrol of the Sepulchre, ...

the Assistant of the Mound,

the Sire of the tomb,

the Subterranean Two Thousand Bushel Officials,

the Marksman of the East of the Sepulchre,

the Marksman of the West of the Sepulchre,

the Special Minister for Subterrestrial Attacks,

the Squad Chiefs of Haoli"


pp. 41-55 – 3. T. H. Barrett : "Preliminary Considerations in the Search for a Daoist Dhammapada".

p. 48 Qin empire

In the 5th century Chr.E. "vestigial remnants of the Former Qin empire ... still existed and claimed the name". This are the " ‘people of Qin’ in the Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Great Dao." {In this contect, do note that Liu Bao-wei, Prime Minister & author early in the Qin dynasty, was an avowed Daoist.}

p. 49 Lao-zi’s "journey west to India"

"the Laozi huahu jing – the Scripture on Laozi’s Conversion of the Barbarians – ... was traditionally, like the Commands and Admonitions, ascribed to the mid-third century. Modern scholarship as, however, [assigned the latter to] the fifth [century Chr.E.]".

Consider "one of the most vexing puzzles in the Commands and Admonitions, namely its earlier version of the same story. That the roots of the tale are very ancient is quite clear, and Ofuchi Ninji has ... shown early traces of it well before the supposed date of the Commands and Admonitions." [This would suggest that "the supposed date" of 5th century Chr.E. is by far too late.]

pp. 51, 43 solution to the problem of why "no one working on the Lingbao legacy has come across any trace ... of any Daoist Dhammapada at all."

p. 51 Take "the hint offered by Ji Xianlin, ... to regard the Sutra in Fory-two Sections as the Daoist Dhammapada. This would [accomplish] answering the difficult question ... as to why Daoan never mentions this famous sutra ... : he knew it, but he saw it as a non-Buddhist confection."

p. 43 "the Sutra in Fory-two Sections, in the view of the great Chinese Indologist Ji Xianlin ..., was taken into the late fourth-century CE Daoist ... Shangqing revelations."

p. 42 A "translation of the Dhammapada" is "preserved as a section in ... the Guanzi, ... earlier listed as a Daoist text, [though] its classification was later changed."

p. 41 According to CP, vol. 2, pp. 187-93, the Dhammapada is "suspected of deriving from pre-Buddhist origins."

CP = K. R. Norman : Collected Papers. Pali Text Society, 1991.


pp. 56-73 – 4. Stephen Bokenkamp : "The Vis`vantara-Jataka in Buddhist and Daoist Translation".

versions of the tale about Vis`vantara = Su-dana




"The earliest attested version of the tale in any language" is in Kan Sen-hui’s (mid-3rd century Chr.E.) Liu-du Ji-jin ‘6-Perfections Collected-Scripture’.

70, n. 4

This Chinese version may be older than Pali text (of the Jataka).


King S`ibi [who, according to the Jataka offered his own eyen to a brahmin (p. 67){; but according to the Puran.a, offered his own flesh to be eaten by a bird of prey in order to redeem its prey}] had as his son Su-dana, who had a wife (named Madri), 2 children, and a praeceptor (named Acyuta); Su-dana donated his own 2 children to a brahmin, and his own wife Madri to god S`akra (who was disguised as another brahmin).

Daoist variants of this tale




"The Lingbao ‘translation’ of the Sudana tale" appeareth in the Z^i-hui Din-z^i Ton-wei Jin ‘Fixing-Aspirations [&] Appraehending-the-Subtle Wisdom Scripture’ (= DZ 325).

The Caelestial Worthy recounteth "the former lives of two deities, one of whom was once his son. The son is now the Perfected of the Left Mystery (Zuoxuan zhenren) and ... the Perfected of the Left and company will have to pay" for disclosure to them of the scriptures.


p. 57 Lin-bao account

p. 71, n. 13 corresponding Jataka (T. 152, vol. 3)


DZ 325, 16b1-5




"sold his body to support the dharma"


5a sq


"threw his body to a hungry tiger"




"sliced off his own flesh to feed a bird"


1b sq


"killed himself to give [his flesh] to beasts"




"placed his wife and children into bondage"




"gave his head to another"







Further similarities can be found between Liu-du Ji-jin and the Lin-bao’s own collection of former-incarnation stories, the Ben-xin Jin ‘Original-Acts Scripture’.


A rich man, namely Yao Jin-xin (‘delighting in pure faithfulness’), had as his son Fa-jie (‘doctrinal praecepts’), who, with his wife’s permission, sold their 8-year-old son Ci-yin (‘2nd heir’), nicknamed Anu, to the wife’s elder sister for 100,000 cash, this amount being voluntary increased by another 500,000 cash by the sister upon the son’s pleasing her.

When (out of this sum) 20,000 cash are, at the behest of Ci-yin, donated to a Daoist priest, the priest performeth on Fa-jie’s behalf a money-increasing rite, so that "Fajie finds all of his storehouses magically full once more." To explain this magical increase, the Daoist priest "relates a dream he had in which a spirit presented him [Fa-jie] with a ruyi


sceptre. In the dream, Fajie accepted the present. ... Finally Fajie accepts the wealth. ... Their children then ride up on celestial conveyances with large retinues and Fajie’s mother is revealed to be the Grand Lady of the Central Watch." Yao Jin-xin "proves to be the Celestial Worthy himself."

p. 73, n. 43 Man.i-cud.a

The Man.i-cud.a-avadana describeth "the extreme gifts of a King Man.icud.a, whose gifts match Sudana’s in every respect, except that the story ends with him [his] giving his own flesh and finally the jewel attached to his cranial protuberance (thus his name) to a demon disguised as S`akra." (summarized in V, pp. 35-6)

V = Kabita Das Gupta : Vis`vantaravadana, Eine Buddhische Legende. Freie Universita:t Berlin, 1977.


Benjamin Penny (ed.) : Daoism in History. Routledge, London, 2006. [festschrift in honor of professor emeritus Liu Ts’un-yan of Australian National University] (pp. 10-73)