Everyone knows the culture and spiritual civilization of Western Europe and the United States. Its main center has been the Christian Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) from ancient times to the present day. Similarly the mainstream of Chinese culture and spiritual civilization, until the 20th century, seems to still be centered on the “Four Books” and “Five Classics” of Confucianism. In fact, both Eastern and Western cultures were in a state of transformation and abnormality, and the Western religious culture was degenerating.
Eastern civilization, especially the Chinese culture, is also shattered in the changing of the great wheel of the times. The Confucian doctrine that advocates “humanitarian ethics” is also in the midst of the wandering soul and the returning soul.
If it is said that the “Five Classics” is the confluence of ancient Chinese cultural traditions, this is a more accurate answer. What about the “Four Books”? It began in the Northern Song Dynasty and gradually prevailed in the Southern Song Dynasty, replacing the status of the “Five Classics” culture. It is an academic thought exclusively dedicated to the teaching of Confucius and Mencius, and the Confucianism monopolized by Song Confucian Confucianist Zhu Xi’s “Zhangju” annotations is not enough to cover the complete set of Chinese culture.
The Five Classics are the “Book of Changes”, “Shangshu”, “Book of Rites”, “Book of Songs”, and “Spring and Autumn” by Confucius. There are “Three Biography” such as “Zuo Zhuan”, “Gong Yang” and “Gu Liang” that interpret the content of “Spring and Autumn”. The book “Spring and Autumn” is Confucius’ masterpiece in the late Spring and Autumn Period, that is, between 480 BC.
During this period, in the history of the West, just as Rome changed to republican politics, there was no credibility in history. Sparta organized the Peloponnese Alliance. With the rise of the Nanda Dynasty in India, Buddhists gathered together Buddhist scriptures for the first time. Persia has expeditioned to Greece three or four consecutive times. Athens replaced Sparta as the overlord of Greece. The so-called ancestor of historiography in the West, Herodotus (from 484 BC to 424 BC) was born in the mountain. Socrates (from 470 to 399 BC) was born. This period was also the period when Greek culture flourished in the West.
Everyone knows that Confucius spent his entire life in his later years, “deleting poetry and books, ordering rituals and music” and wrote “Spring and Autumn.” From an extremely objective point of view, he ruled that ancient Chinese history and culture started from the period when Tang Yao (Jiachen year) had documentary information to be found on the throne, which was 2357 BC. He avoided the era of ancient Chinese history, that is, historical sites from Shennong to Huangdi (Xuanyuan) (that is, before 3000 BC, at the same time as the Egyptian Pyramid Dynasty and the founding of Babylon, this is the beginning of the humanistic and cultural development of the East and the West. The early days). He adopted the attitude of “more suspicion”, “exist and ignore”. Therefore, Sima Qian later wrote the “Records of the Historian”, and it is difficult to say clearly that Confucius’ “deleting the book” was insufficient, so in the “Emperor Benji”, he first proposed the “Five Emperor Benji”. After Tang Yao became the Yellow Emperor, he retroactively promoted it. The age of Chinese culture. By the time of Emperor Xiaozong in the Southern Song Dynasty, the scholar Luo Mi wrote another book “History of the Road”, using the posthumous statement of Taoism and other suicide notes, and then went back to the past of the “three emperors and five emperors” in the old history. The article is gorgeous and rich in textual research. Cheng Li, the title of the book “History of the Road”, means that this is the meaning of “Great History” in Chinese history and culture. Judging from the purpose of his works, it is also a deep pity that Confucius “deleted books” was broken from Tang Yao and ignored the tradition of ancient history. It is equivalent to some people in modern times that the historical age of China, starting from the era of the Yellow Emperor, to this year has a total of 4,750 years of similar meaning. However, we just mention that by the way, we are not going to talk about the topic of ancient Chinese and ancient cultural history, we can stop here.
In short, Confucius’s deletion of the “Six Classics” is to consolidate the cultural civilization from Tang Yao and Yu Shun until the founding of the Zhou dynasty, especially the ancient Chinese culture compiled by Zhou Gong Ji Dan, as a general category and pay later. The people of China are invaluable assets left by the ancestors to future generations. At that time, the scholars were called “Confucian scholars” or “Confucian scholars”, not like Confucianism after the Han Dynasty, they referred to the scholars of Confucius and Mencius as “Confucian scholars”.
After Qin Shihuang destroyed the princes of the six kingdoms, he changed the Zhou dynasty’s system of feudal princes and founding the country, unified China, divided counties, and began to create a full-time official title for scholars called “Doctors”, but not limited to specializing in “poems, books, and Yi”. The scope of the “six classics” such as rituals, music, and spring and autumn is called “doctors”. Qin Shihuang and Li Si did not expressly decriminalize the “Doctor” when they burned books and confessed to Confucianism in the 213 and 212 BC (Wu Zi, Ji Chou) years. Most of the pitfalls were Confucian scholars who were not “doctorate” who were “considered by the virtuoso”.
The beginning of the Doctor of the Five Classics
Later, in the early Western Han Dynasty Emperor Liu Che (the era of Jianyuan Yisi, 136 BC), the establishment of the “Doctor of the Five Classics” was the beginning of focusing on Confucianism. At that time, more than one hundred and thirty years had passed since the time when Qin Shihuang burned books and confessed to Confucianism. Of course, more than a hundred years ago, the main cultural thoughts in politics by the Han Wen Emperor Liu Heng and the Han Jing Emperor Liu Qi were dominated by the Taoist “Huang (Emperor) Lao (Zi)” study, but it also It’s not that the doctrines of Confucianism, Law, etc. are not completely ignored. In the Wenjing era, it was believed that since the Qin and Han dynasties, as well as the long-term wars between the Chu and Han dynasties, the people of the society were dilapidated and miserable. What people need was ” rest”, so that the whole people could “live and work in peace and contentment” and re-establish the social order of the people. Saving time and saving is the main thing.
However, in the time of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Confucianism based on Dong Zhongshu was emphasized. In fact, Dong Zhongshu’s Confucianism has been mixed with Yin-Yang school’s thinking to govern “Chun Qiu”. Since then, it has formed the culture of the study of prophecy (prophecy) after the Han Dynasty, which has a great influence on Chinese culture, and it has not faded until now. If it is said that Han Confucian Sinology, which is purely based on the “Five Classics”, etc., it really began in the era of Han Yuan Emperor Liu Shi (48 BC) and paid special attention to Confucianism. Therefore, Confucian scholars in the Han dynasty paid attention to the study of the exegetical study of Confucian classics, which lasted for more than two hundred years between the Eastern Han Dynasty. The ancients ridiculed the scholars of “Youth as Fu, Hao Shou and Poor Classics”, all of their lives were buried in the ancient papers of “Jingyi” and philology.
The changes in this period are called “Pre-Han” and “Post-Han” in historiography, and they are also commonly referred to as “Western Han” and “Eastern Han”. Its division is to usurp the throne from Wang Mang, change dynasties, and call itself the “new dynasty.” At the end of the eighth year at the beginning of the Era, it was the major event in the twelve years since Jesus was born. But Liu Xiu, Emperor Guangwu, who made the Han Dynasty Chongguang, known as the “Lord of the Eastern Han Dynasty”, was also a peasant scholar who had studied the “Book of Songs” since childhood. Because of his influence, the essays and academic atmosphere after the Eastern Han Dynasty have different styles compared with those of the Western Han Dynasty. The ancients commented: “The Western Han Dynasty emphasizes fame and fame, but it is not good practice. The Eastern Han Dynasty emphasizes fame, takes righteousness into benevolence, and disregards it to death.”
The era of metaphysics
The study of Confucian classics in the Han dynasty was trapped in the dreary atmosphere of exegetical textual research for a long time. So as soon as the Wei and Jin dynasties reached the end of the Han dynasty, young scholars such as He Yan and Wang Bi began to believe that the “six classics” of Confucianism were dross. They only engage in talks, pay attention to the discussion of the “Three Xuan”, and emancipate the mind simultaneously with culture and politics. The so-called “Three Xuan” studies explore the philosophical thinking of life and the universe from the three books of Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Zhouyi. Therefore, the protagonists of the literati government since the Wei and Jin Dynasties, and the intellectuals who study in general, tend to be free and unrestrained in style. This is tantamount to the “free” thinking and “romantic” modality that the West has called since the eighteenth century, especially among the upper class. Following that, after the Eastern Jin Dynasty crossed the South, the historical era shifted to the Southern and Northern Dynasties. At this time, Buddhism poured into the east like clouds and rain, permeating all social strata of the government and the opposition. This historical process, after more than 400 years (that is, from 2000 to 620), is a glorious philosophical era of Chinese cultural thoughts exploring the universe and life, but from a political and social standpoint Judging from it, it was also the most degenerate era.
The glorious style of literature and art
After the founding of the country by Li Shimin and his son and the establishment of the regime of the Tang Dynasty, it changed. However, in this historical and cultural period, the so-called Confucian classics since the Han Dynasty has been “this tune has not been played (talked) for a long time”, and has not paid special attention to the “Four Books” such as “The Daxue” and “The Doctrine of the Mean”. But don’t forget that the “Five Classics” and other studies are still the basic cultural ideas of Chinese people and government officials, and they don’t pay much attention to them like Han Confucianism and Song Confucianism. Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty once gave the Yuanzi Jijiu (equal to the only modern university president) Kong Yingda to write “Five Classics of Justice”, which is later called “Five Classics Commentary”.
What about the situation of Western European culture at this stage? From the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century to the tenth century, new countries rose up one after another, wars continued, people’s lives were difficult, and culture was low. He was in what Western historians call the “dark age.” Therefore, the prestige of the Eastern Tang Dynasty, at that time, was more impressive and prosperous for a while.
The so-called Northwest Silk Road in modern times, the Silk Road in Guangdong in the South China Sea, as well as Japan, Korea, Ryukyu and other places, the Tang Feng who sent people to study in Chang’an, has blown across the eastern and western hemispheres, especially in the Mid-Tang Dynasty, the Chinese economy Yangzhou, an important trading center, is even more invincible. The ancients’ so-called “wrapped around a hundred thousand dollars and rides a crane on the field” is Tang Feng’s show off. Compared with Hong Kong in the late twentieth century, it is more fragrant and beautiful.
The culture of any generation is inseparable from the personnel relationship of “the times make heroes, and heroes make times.” The culture of the Tang Dynasty cannot but be attributed to Li Shimin’s genius and generality, as well as his genius achievements in literary governance and martial arts. However, you must not use the eight items of “studying things, knowing, sincerity, loyalty, self-cultivation, family harmony, governing the country, and peace of the world” in the “University” to make in-depth requirements; at the same time, you can’t just use the book “Zhen Guan Zheng Yao”.
The partial generalization conceals the right and wrong evaluation of the historical great man. For example, judging from his background and natural talents, he is born with the family habits of the children of Quan Sect, and at the same time he has the qualifications of a green forest hero. On the other side, he has the bad habits of Qi Huangong (the son Xiaobai), as well as the literary talents of Cao Mengde. There are not only Han Wudi (Liu Che) similar talents, but also Han Guangwu (Liu Xiu) similar vigorous talents. Therefore, the historical glory of the founding of the early Tang Dynasty almost surpassed that of the Han Dynasty. Especially when he was still in the juvenile stage of King Qin, in his shogunate’s right-hand man “think tank”, such as Liu Jing, Yu Shinan, Du Ruhui, Fang Xuanling and other talented people, they were all outstanding choices of the generation at that time. After the uprising, most of the generals and talents used were heroes who were tempered from the green forest in troubled times, and at the beginning they were mostly his opponents, such as Xu Shiji, Cheng Yaojin, Li Jing, and of course Wei Zheng.
Li Shimin, because he was born with the influence of the political system and literary style that the Sui Dynasty first unified the Southern and Northern Dynasties for two hundred years, his literary achievements are also quite extraordinary. For example, the poems and articles of the Tang Dynasty that we all admire the most, and even Chinese calligraphy, all of which are because Emperor Taizong (Li Shimin) of the Tang Dynasty was a master of this, which created an epoch-making atmosphere. Since Yu Shinan’s death, he has rarely written his poems. He said that he has no confidant. He tried his best to learn Wang Xizhi’s Preface to the Collection of Orchid Pavilion and brought it into the coffin when he died. I usually like to tell people that if you want to learn calligraphy from the Tang Dynasty, you must first read “Jinci Inscriptions and Prefaces” written by Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty, and then read the texts of Liu Gongquan, Ouyang Xun, Yan Zhenqing, Pei Xiu, etc. Heart. Now we don’t have extra time to discuss the pros and cons of Tang Taizong’s life, we need to turn to the Tang Dynasty’s cultural thoughts and the key to Confucianism.
Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and the Culture
At the beginning of the founding of the Tang Dynasty, when Li Yuan was in the uprising of the army, he first proposed to reform the literary atmosphere since the Southern Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, and no longer use gorgeous words and chapters to write government documents. Then, after Li Shimin became the throne, in the eleventh year of Zhenguan, Taoism, with the same ancestor Li Laojun (Laozi) as the leader, was in the forefront (the order of rituals in the upper dynasty), and the second in Buddhism, but there was no Confucianism after the meaning. Because all the officials and workers of the imperial government were Confucian students who had studied Confucianism. Although an examination system was established to obtain scholars through examinations, there was no need to test for scholars who were born in the “four books, chapters and sentences” to write eight-legged articles. After the death of Emperor Taizong in the 23rd year of Zhenguan, the crown prince Li Zhi ascended the throne as Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty. Zhou Gong was the first saint and Confucius was the first teacher to respect Confucianism.
The early Tang Dynasty was also very free in religious beliefs. Not only did a large number of Buddhist temples be built, but also Daqin Temple was allowed to be established in Chang’an, as well as another Christian school of Nestorianism. Later, there were temples such as Zoroastrianism (Zorroism) and Manichaeism introduced from Persia, and everything allowed the people to believe in freedom without interference. The fourth year of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty, that is, the year 630 AD, was also just when the founder of Islam, Muhammad, conquered Mecca and dominated Arabia at the same time. In the nineteenth year of Zhenguan (6645 AD), when Master Xuanzang returned from India to take the scriptures, he asked him to start translating scriptures at the newly built Hongfu Temple and sent Prime Minister Fang Xuanling to take charge of the affairs. Master Xuanzang not only has profound and exquisite knowledge of Buddhism, but also has knowledge of Confucianism and Taoism. While translating Buddhist scriptures, he also translated the Chinese “Laozi” (Tao De Jing) into Sanskrit and fed it back to India. Unfortunately, it was lost to later generations. This is really a great loss to the historical role of ancient communication between Eastern and Western cultures!
As for Tang Taizong himself, inspired by Master Zang’s learning and cultivation, he has always been devoted to Buddhism. At the same time, he hoped that Master Xuanzang would return to the vulgar and be his assistant, but he was thanked by Master Zang. For the Buddhist scriptures translated by Master Xuanzang, I made a grand essay of “The Preface of the Three Tibetan Sages of the Tang Dynasty”. It is indeed a leader in the Tang literary, and it is really extraordinary. Therefore, Chinese Buddhism in the early Tang Dynasty flourished for a time, and it became popular in the ruling and opposition parties. The so-called “Ten Sects” with Chinese Buddhism characteristics began in the early Tang Dynasty, with sound and light spreading far as far as East Asia, such as Japan and Korea. Especially since the time of Emperor Liang Wu in the Southern Dynasties, the Zen Buddhism, which was taught by the Bodhidharma from the east from India, gradually spread to all social strata, and even turned to feedback the new secret Buddhism and secret teachings of late Indian Buddhism. The combination of holding Ming (mantra), mandala (holding mandala), wishing action, etc. In the fourth year of Emperor Xuanzong Li Longji of the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 716), there were also people from the east of India, who specialize in Tantric Buddhism, such as Shanwuwei, Vajrayana, and Bukong Sanzang. They are known as the “Three Great Scholars of Kaiyuan”, Dahong The practice of Tantric Buddhism. The “ten sects” of Chinese Buddhism have become more prevalent in all parts of the East. For example, Master Jianzhen was invited by Japan to travel to the east to promote the teachings, and Master Konghai from Japan entered the Tang Dynasty to study and other deeds are all important events in the history of culture and religion in the Tang Dynasty, as well as in the history of Sino-Japanese culture.
In short, since the founding of the Tang Dynasty, the free development of Buddhism, Taoism, and even Chan, Buddhism, and Taoism became Chinese culture through the three dynasties of Tang Taizong, Gaozong and his sons, and Wu Zetian as emperor. The three major mainstream situations of China have established their status during this period. In particular, Zen Buddhism has been popularized by the government and the public, and in the lower-level folk monks and lay societies, with the teachings of “no writing”, “the heart is the Buddha”, “the heart and the Buddha, the three-dimensional difference”, and the “non-mind and non-object”. , More delighted and trusted. The so-called “Nan Zong Shang Xu Tong Convenient (from the sixth ancestor of Zen, Guangdong Huineng) began to chant the sutras in the heart. It is good to go to the monk (monk) by the clouds and water, where the pine and bamboo are not green.” As long as we look at the collection of celebrity poems and essays after the early Tang Dynasty, almost nine out of ten masterpieces of poems are inseparable from masterpieces closely related to Zen and Tao, such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Wei, Meng Haoran, Bai Juyi, Du Mu , Liu Zongyuan, Liu Yuxi, etc., are too numerous to list.
The profound influence of Zen Master Baizhang and Lu Chunyang was in the mid-term of Emperor Xuanzong (Ming Emperor) Li Longji, right after Yang Yuhuan was named Guiji (about 750 AD, the papermaking method invented by China began to spread to Europe. ), Chan Master Ma Zu (Tao Yi), and his disciple Baizhang (Huaihai) Chan Master, created a “jungle system” with Chinese Buddhism characteristics in Jiangxi, regardless of the primitive Buddhism’s precepts of non-production, and advocated collective practice, The principles of collective farming, equality of life, and equal work and rest, formulated the “Bai Zhang Qing Regulations” to replace the original precepts and comply with the appropriate time and place. Moreover, Zen Master Baizhang, who is over ninety years old, also sets an example and leads the people to work every day, leaving the demeanor of “no work for a day, no food for a day”. At that time, the style of Baizhang and Mazu’s master and apprentice was criticized by monks who abide by the original Buddhist precepts as “Bhikkhus of breaking the precepts.” However, since then, the Zen monks’ jungle customs have become popular. Most Buddhist monasteries are advertised as “jungles”, and it is very common to call them “Chan temples” or “Meditation forests”. Therefore, Buddhism can be used in China has taken root in the land, and has done a lot of tangible and intangible merits for the social welfare and charity of future generations. Because of the “jungle temple”, there are people who are called “widows and loneliness”. The old have nowhere to go, the young have nowhere to support, and the poor have nowhere to depend. It can be said that Master Baizhang was the pioneer of China’s religious revolution. There was small book discussing the “jungle system” of China’s special society more than 50 years ago, which could be used as a reference. During this period, Western culture in Europe was also the time when the authority of Christianity reached its peak.
But speaking of the religious revolution in Buddhism, here, by the way, it is mentioned that in the late Tang Dynasty Yizong Xiantong era, around the year 860 AD, Taoism produced a special figure, he is said to be in the Handan residence,” “Dream awakening yellow beams”, Lu Yan (word Dongbin, “Rock” for “Rock”), who went to meditate without seeking fame, is a Taoist soil known as “Lu Chunyang”. He integrated Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It can also be said that he is a religious revolutionist of Taoism from Wei Boyang of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Ge Hong (Baopuzi) of the Jin Dynasty, and Tao Hongjing of the Liang Dynasty. From his beginning, in China’s civil society, everyone would know about Taoism. But few people know Wei Boyang, Ge Hong, Tao Hongjing and others.
The emergence of “The Original Tao” and “The Book of Rejuvenation”
Because Zen and Tao were too vigorous in the early and mid-Tang Dynasty for two to three hundred years, they were too strong, so it came to the time of Emperor Xianzong Li Chun of the Tang Dynasty, that is, the Tubo seeking peace. When Charles the Great of Europe and France died and his son Louis came to the throne around 810 AD, the famous scholar Han Yu (Changli) advocated the revival of ancient literature and art, emphasized literary reform, and was unwilling to sit back and watch the superstitious Buddhist style of the Tang court. The chapter of “Admonition to the Buddha Bone Table” was demoted to Chaozhou to serve as a governor. At the same time, he felt that the culture of Taoism and Buddhism was too popular. He especially pointed out that the orthodoxy of traditional Chinese culture should be based on Confucianism. Therefore, he wrote a large article on “The Original Taoism”, explaining that the Taoism of the real Taoism is With the first-line inheritance of “Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen, Wu, Zhou Gong, Confucius, Mencius”. This is the real avenue of human relations. He also specifically put forward the paragraphs from “Ming Mingde” to “Sincere and sincere” in “The Great University”, criticizing the Buddhist monks and monks as being unfaithful and unfair to their parents’ country. However, in the original quotation, he did not indicate that this was the words from “The University” written by Zeng Zi. He only said the words “chuanyue” and did not say “liyun”. In fact, “The Daxue” is an article in the “Book of Rites”, and Han Yu does not mention its source, only saying that it is a Confucian tradition, but it is just a proof of argument.
After being demoted to Chaozhou, Han Yu felt uneasy, and asked the Chan master Da Dian for some insights. This is the record of Chan and there is also a biography. However, it doesn’t matter whether he asks Chan or not. It’s a pity that his great theory of “The Original Tao” criticizes the views of Taoism and Buddhism. It is claimed not to be clever, and it was really made by a layman. If it is an article criticizing Taoist priests and monks for not being a monk, then it is another matter. Just like the “Admonishment to the Buddha’s Bone Form” written by him, it is also an improper article, so it will cause Tang Xianzong to lose his temper. However, in the article “Yuan Dao”, the beginning put forward that “fraternity is benevolence. What is suitable for action is righteousness. From the reason, it is righteousness.” Then it says that “benevolence and righteousness are definite names, and Tao and virtue are empty positions.” “Wait, the momentum is not small. Therefore, most Confucians in later generations recognized the “benevolence” that Confucius said, which is “benevolence in universal love”! As everyone knows, “fraternity” is the essence of Mozi’s proposition. “What is suitable for doing is meaning” is also the spirit of Mozi’s doctrine. Han Yu is a scholar who has studied Mozi’s studies very well. Therefore, at the beginning of the article “Yuan Dao”, “Mo” was introduced into Confucianism, so that later generations of scholars were easily concealed by his powerful pen.
The purpose of mentioning Han Yu’s “Yuan Dao” by Han Wen Gong was to illustrate the roots of Song Ru’s advocacy of Neo-Confucianism, which was inspired by a great theory on “Yuan Dao”. At the same time, because Han Yu’s disciple Li Ao, after asking the Master Yaoshan, wrote a high-level theory of “The Book of Rejuvenation”, so Song Confucian scholars talked about it based on “The Daxue” and “The Doctrine of the Mean” and the nature of its “mind and micro-speech”.
If we make any comments, the life theory in Li Ao’s “Book of Rejuvenation” is far more profound than his teacher Han Yu’s “Yuan Dao” argument. So, how can Li Ao’s Confucianism have the attainments of “super teacher’s view”? In fact, he is enlightened by Chan. So we introduce Chan to Confucianism, and we don’t ask Fanxiang as expected! But he still, like ordinary Confucian scholars, did not dare to go against the reality of Shilin. Finally pretending to be an excuse. As for his Chan meditation story there is no need to add the finishing touch here! But by the way Mr. Ma Yifu, the master of Confucianism and Zen, who has passed away in modern times, was also an old predecessor between teachers and friends many Chinese scholars.