Popular Religion and Shamanism, Part I : "Popular Religion"


Cap. 2. (pp. 55-121) Lin Wushu : "A Study of Aequivalent Names of Manikhai-ism in Chinese". [page #s in parentheses repraesent the pagination of the original publication in JIU-Z^OU XUE-LIN (CHINESE CULTURE QUARTERLY), V, No. 1 (2003).]

pp. 57-8 publication & translation of the Min-s^u record on Manikhai-ism

p. 57


"Manichaeism ... record could be found ... "the Mountain Huabiao" (Huabiao shan ...), juan seven of the "Geographical Gazetteer" (fangyu zhi ...), in The Fujian Gazetteer (Min shu ...), which was composed by He Qiaoyuan (... 1557-1631) of the Ming Dynasty. ...



This record of such importance to Manichaeism was firstly [re-]discovered by Chen yuan; and then it was cited in full length in Chen’s well-known treatise – "A Study on the Introduction of Manichaeism to China" (Monjiao ru zhongguo kao ...), in turn,

p. 58


Paul Pelliot translated it into French ... . [fn. 58 : "Paul Pelliot, "Les traditions maniche’ennes au Fou-Kien," T>oung Pao, XXII (1923), pp. 193-208."]

pp. 58-60 the Mountain Hua-biao

p. 58


[translated from the Min-s^u] "Mani ..., also known as "Mani the Last Buddha of Light" (Mo moni guang fo ...), came from Suristan. He ... had the title "Great Messenger of the Light with Complete Wisdom" (Juzhi daming shi ...). ... It was said that Laozi had set off westward and arrived at the place of drifting sand, where he sojourned for more than five hundred years.

p. 59


... Laozi transfigured into "nai yun ... (a pomegranate tree). The wife of King Badi ... ate the fruit of the tree and ... thus became pregnant.



When she gave birth, the fetus opened her chest and came out. ... This legend corresponded to the story of "climbing the plum tree and coming out through the left ribs." ....

This sect venerates white clothes and worships sun at dawn and moon at night. ... . .

... in the reign of Emperor Gao of the Tang Dynasty ... Manichaean priests (Mushe ...) began disseminating their religion in China. By the time of the Empress Wu Zetian, a Manichaean priest, whose name was Gomidiwumosifufudan ... again visited the imperial court. ... . ... the Empress Wu was pleased with what the priest preached and asked him to stay and lecture his teachings. Then in one of the years of Kaiyuan of the Reign of Emperor Xuan, the court built the Grand Cloud and Light Temple (Dayun guangming si ...) for Manichaeism. ...

This sect has seven sacred scriptures; among these, there is the Scripture on the Conversion of the Barbarians (Hua hu jing ...), which tells the story that Laozi headed westward into the land of drifting sand and was reincarnated in Suristan ... . ...

There was a priest called Hulu ..., who came to Futang and taught disciples in Sanshan. The priest Hulu traveled in the Prefecture of Fangquan ... . ... .

p. 60


When the founding emperor of Ming unified the country, the court ... regarded the Teaching of Light to have usurped the official dynastic name "Light" (ming ...) ... . ... the Chief Director of the Board of Revenue, and ... the Chief Director of the Board of Rites, presented a memorial to the Emperor asking that the teaching be retained; thus, this matter was postponed. In the present day, there are people who practice this teaching through incantations and call their doctrine the "Teaching of the Masters" (shi shi fa)."

pp. 61-4 translations of other Chinese records of Manikhai-ism

p. 61


[quoted from the 39th chapter of Annals of the Patriarchs of Buddhism (Fo-zu Ton-ji)] "In the first year of yanzai (of the Empress Wu of Tang Dynasty), a Persian ... can and presented the court the ... doctrine of the Two Principles."

p. 62


"The Buddha Isedewulushen (... a native pronunciation) is rendered as the Messenger of Light, also known as the King of Complete Wisdom or Mani the Buddha of Light, which is a further variant of :the Manifestation of True Body of the Supreme Medical King of the Light with Great Wisdom" (Guangming dahui wushang yiwang yinghua fashen ...). When he is to appear in the world, two lights descend down and transform into three bodies. ... He personally receives the clear and pure edict from Radiant Father and is then reborn as the

p. 63


Messenger of the Light. ... He acts in concert with gods and thoroughly understands all things".

p. 64


[quoted from The Compendium of Doctrines and Laws of Mani the Buddha of Light] "I strode the Qi (the Vital Breath) of Way of Nature and Light (ziran guangming dao qi ...) and flew to Suristan of the S`unyata (xi na yu jie ...), where I was reborn as the Prince. Then, with the title "Moni," I abandoned the royal family and began practicing the Way. After turning the Dharmacakra (Falun ...) .., I proceeded to promote the teaching of Three Times and two Principles (i.e., Manichaeism)."

pp. 79, 81 English-language writings on Manikhai-ism in China

p. 79, fn. 40

"Samuel N. C. Lieu, Polemics against Manichaeism as a Subversive Cult in Sung China, A.D. c.960-c.1200 (Manchester : John Rylands Library of Manchester, 1979) ... . ...

Mariasu Takao, "On ... the Spreading of Manichaeism into South China," in R. E. Emmerick, W. Sundermann, P. Zieme, eds., Studia Manichica, IV, Internationaler Kongress zum Manicheismus, Berlin".

p. 81, fn. 43

"Samuel N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in he Later Roman Empire and Medieval China ... . (.... Manchester University Press, 1985)".

p. 80, fn. * Sammuel L. C. Lieu’s Manichaeism in China". http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/Manichaeism/manichaeism_china.htm (article in Encyclopaedia Iranica)

pp. 77, 79 Manikhai-ism in Fu-jian province

p. 77 (43)

[quoted from the 10th volume of Lu You (1125-1210 ChrE) : Jottings from the Life-Long Learning Hut (Laoxue an biji)] "In Fujian, there are people who practice ... the Teaching of Light. ... They insist on burning fragrant incense and eating red fungus. ... I have read the Accounts of Inspecting Spirits (Ji shen lu) written by Xu Hong, the Regular Attendant, in which it is said : ‘... there was a person who was good at sorcery, which was called the Teaching of Light.’ "

p. 79 (45)

"the priest Hulu ... finally chose to flee eastward to Fujian. When it arrived in Fujian, this religion ... could "... (teach) disciples in Sanshan ... (and ...) ... in the Prefecture of Fangquan"".

p. 82 Manikhaian temple & praying

"In the twelfth chapter, :Memorial to Zhuxi tower" (Zhuxi lou ji ...), of Writing Collections of A Completely Unrestrained Man (Bu xi zhou yu ji ...), which was composed by Chen Gao (... 1315-1366) ..., there was an account of the Temple of Hidden Light (Qian guang yuan ...), which was a Manichaean monastery located in Pingyang of Wenzhou."

"The Temple of Hidden Light is a pagoda of the Teaching of Light. It is said the Teaching of Light originates in Suristan ... . ... The faithful of this teaching ... practice the ritual of kneeling down with closed eyes and placing their palms together at the seventh two-hour period of every dawn and night."

pp. 84-5 (49) Manikhai-ism is reckoned as a sect of Daoism

p. 84

[quoted from the "Memorial to the Palace of Venerating Life" (C^on-s^ou Gon Ji), which was written by Huan Z^en and signed in "the fifth month of the fifth year of Jingding"] Z^an Xi-s^en, superintendent of the Temple of Venerating Life, said : "Laozi, my Master, headed westward into the West Region, where he reincarnated in the form of mani the Buddha. ... The temple where I live is a Daoist monastery and consecrated to Mani".

p. 85

[quoted from the attestation in the "Introduction" to The Seven Slips of Satchel of Cloud (Yunji qiqian ...), which was written by Z^an Jun-fan] "I collected the Daoist canons and scriptures of Mani the Messenger of Light that the imperial court sent down to Fujian ... . I and other Daoist priests ... arranged them in order, finally compiling them into the Daoist Scriptures, which total four thousand five hundred and fifty-five volumes entitled "The Heaven-Treasured Scriptures of the Great Song Dynasty" (Dasong tianbao baozang ...)."


[quoted from the Review Collections (Hen-jian Ji ...)] "the imperial court issued the edict to Fuzhou and then the Board of Rites issued the official notice to Wenzhou .in the seventh year of Zhenghe (1117) and the second year of Xuanhe (1120) respectively. The goal of these edicts and official notices was to order the two regions to select Manichaean scriptures for the Daoist Scriptures."

pp. 86-7 (51) customs & manner of the Teaching of Light


Teaching of Light


[quoted from the 48th chapter of Annals of the Patriarchs of Buddhism (Fo-zu Ton-ji)] "in the area of Sanshan. The leader of such practitioners wore a purple hat and loose clothes, and the female followers dressed themselves


in black hats and white robes. They were called the sect of the Teaching of Light.

{The S`veta-ambara Jaina monks are likewise clad in white.}


... the Buddha they worshiped was clad in white.


Following .. in the Diamond Sutra (Jingang jing ...) ... the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Buddha {Maitreya often being reckoned as the 5th Buddha}, it venerated the Fifth Buddha, also known as "Mani the Last." This name was adopted from the Scripture on the Conversion of the Barbarians (Hua hu jing), in which it said : "... strode ... and entered Suristan, where he was reborn in the royal family and became the prince of the state. ... He had the title ‘Mani the Last’ ..." ...

Their scripture was the "Two Principles and Three Times." The "Two Principles" refers to the Dark and the Light, and the "Three Times" to the Past, the Present and the Future.

When the imperial court issued the edict for compiling the Daoist Scriptures in the years of Dazongxiangfu, ... Manichean scriptures ... were emplaced in the Palace of Illuminating the Way (Mingdao gong ...), which was located in the Prefecture of Bo. ...

As for the people who practice this teaching, they ... are buried naked after death, and perform the ritual of worshiping in every seventh two-hour period."

pp. 94-6 the Teaching of Suristan {Mani "was born near Seleucia-Ktesiphon, ... in the province of Babylon (Suristan)" ("M", p. 585).}

p. 94 (57)

"(Zhuang) Huilong was born ... in the eighteenth year of Zhiyuan (1281) and passed away ... in the ninth year of Zhengji (1349). ... He ... create marvelous writings. He greatly extended his ... learning and left it as a treasure ... . Ouyang Xian, the chief clerk of Jinjiang had a very high

p. 95

opinion of him and called him the "Elderly Hermit of Mountain Forest and Spring." In his twilight years, Huilong grew tired of the worldly truth. Building a shamanic altar ..., he threw himself into the Teaching of Suristan."


[quoted from the epitaph composed by Ou-yan Xian in the years of Z^i-z^en for Z^uan Hui-lon] "In his twilight years, (Zhuang) Huilong tired of worldly truth and threw himself into the Teaching of Suristan, and built a shamanic altar".


[quoted from "The Title of Patriarch of the Reborn Place" (Tuo-hu Guo Z^u Min-hao Zon-jiao Di-yi) of the Dun-huan manuscript of The Compendium of Doctrines and Laws of Mani the Buddha of Light] :Mani the Buddha of Light was born in the imperial palace of King Patig (Ba di ...) of Surisatn, and


was born of Maryam {who must be pomegranate-goddess, judging from his being born from a pomegranate-tree (on p. 59, supra)}

{MARi[Y]AMMan is the Tamil pomegranate-goddess (T-T-ED, p. 460b).}


(Manyan ...), who was the King’s wife and from the family of Kamsarakan (Jinsajian ...)."

p. 96, fn. 69

"Kamsarakan," a family that was frequently mentioned in the history of Armenia ... . ... this family claimed that it was from the royal family of Parthia ... . See : W. B. Henning. "The Book of Giants," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. XI, Part 1 (1943), p. 52."

"M" = Jes P. Asmussen : "Manichaeism". In :-HISTORIA RELIGIONUM, Vol. 1 = Geo Widengren (ed.) : Religions of the Past. Brill, Leiden, 1969. pp. 580-610. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=0sgUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA585&lpg=PA585&dq=

T-T-ED = Tamil-Tamil-English Dictionary. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=3ajm1EnxVFIC&pg=PA460&lpg=PA460&dq=%22deity+of+pomegranate+%22&source=bl&ots=LilSA2rhyK&sig=aEk4FOWd44Df6uMv_ntmrnf3Q-E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=trAXT5CjB4PX0QGltvj9Ag&sqi=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22deity%20of%20pomegranate%20%22&f=false

pp. 102-3, 107 the Radiant Father

p. 102 (63)

"Mani, the founding patriarch, ... as "the Messenger of the Light" ... "receives in person the clear and pure edict from the Radiant Father" and was reborn in this world.


He was therefore the messenger

{"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light." (Euangelion kata Ioannes 1:8)}

p. 103 (63)

of Radiant Father but not the Father himself."

107 (66)

[quoted from the 11th volume of Explanations on the Great Min Code] "followers of the Teaching of the Radiant Father ... follow the doctrine of Mouni the Buddha of Light."

p. 103 (63) the Maiden of Light [according to the Chinese Manikhaian scriptures]

"The Ether, the Wind, the Light, the Water, the Fire, the Mercy, the Honesty, the Perfection, the Forbearance, the Wisdom, and [two defective names], together with the Maiden of Light (Huiming ...), in all they are thirteen and they are

the mark of the Father (ming zun ...) of the immaculate and bright realm."

{"What is the mark of the Father upon you? ... ‘It is action and it is stillness.’ " (GTh 50)}

"The Radiant Father is the supreme god of the Light; the Sons of the Light are the Sun, the Moon and the Light. The Living Spirit is the Maiden of Light."

GTh = Gospel according to Thomas http://irupert.com/nagham/gospel.htm

pp. 106, 114 praesent-day practice of Manikhaian worship

p. 106 (65)

"In the fieldwork carried out in villages around the Thatched Hut, ... there are some residents who still enshrine idols of Mani the Buddha."

p. 114 (72)

"According to recent fieldwork ..., there are indeed villagers who recite the sixteen characters as an incantation."


RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA COLLECTION, Vol. 1 = Ma Xisha & Meng Huiying (edd.) : Popular Religion and Shamanism. Brill, Leiden, 2011.