Wang Jih-hsiu

(d. 1173)

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(d. 1173).

A Chinese Buddhist layman of the Sung dynasty (960–1279) who helped to revitalize the Pure Land tradition. A native of Shu-ch'eng in Anhwei Province, his Buddhist name was layman Lung-shu. He obtained the chin-shih degree during the reign of the Sung Emperor Kao-tsung (r. 1127–63), and evidently wrote many essays on Confucianism.but never held office. However, he abandoned this and dedicated his life completely to Pure Land practice, charitable donations, and performing a thousand prostrations per day. In 1160 he began the project of re-editing and publishing a critical edition of the Larger Sukhāvatī-vyūha Sūtra, which he completed three years later (Taishō 364). Accounts of his life recount the prayers and vows he used to make daily and some stories of miraculous healings attributed to him. His greatest achievement was the composition and subsequent popularization of an anthology called the Lung-shu ching-t'u wen, or ‘Lung-shu's Pure Land Anthology’. This was a collection of excerpts from other works with Wang's commentary arranged topically in order to arouse faith in the Pure Land, give instruction in methods of practice, and tell edifying stories of others' successes with Pure Land practices as attested by stories of those who attained rebirth or experienced miraculous occurrences in their lives as a result of the practice. See also China.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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