Title The Meaning of Myriad Good Deeds: A Study of Yung-ming Yen-shou and the Wan-shan t'ung-kuei chi ("Treatise on the Common End of Myriad Good Deeds")
Yung-ming Yen-shou (904-975) was a Buddhist monk who lived in a period of broad changes in Chinese society and Buddhism. He played a leading role in the restoration of Buddhism in the Wu Yüeh kingdom, and left a large body of writings. One of his best known works, the Wan-shan t'ung-kuei chi, has long been cherished by the tradition for its advocacy of harmony between Ch'an meditation and Pure Land practice. The dissertation questions the association of Yen-shou and his Treatise on the Common End of Myriad Good Deeds with the motives of the Pure land school from two points of view. In the history of the numerous biographies of Yen-shou, the association of his image with the Pure Land movement is relatively late. An investigation of the Wanshan t'ung-kuei chi demonstrates that the synthesis of Ch'an meditation and Pure Land practice is a topic of discussion, but is by no means the central concern of the text from either a theoretical or pracical standpoint. The dissertation contends that Yen-shou's Ch'an-Pure Land synthesis should be understood within the context of the Wan-shan t'ung-kuei chi as a whole. A translation of elect passages of the Wan-shan t'ung-kuei chi are included by way of confirming the reassessment put forward in the dissertation.