Ch’an Master Ma Zu Dao Yi (马祖道一)

MaZu-01

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

Ch’an Master Ma Zu Dao Yi lived between 709-788, or 688-763, and his lay surname was ‘Ma’ (马). He was also known as ‘Ma Dao Yi’ (马道一), Hongzhou Dao Yi (洪州道一), and Jiangxi Dao Yi (江西道一). He was a famous Tang Dynasty Ch’an Buddhist monk, whose teacher was named Nanyue Huairang (南岳怀让). Ma Zu Dao Yi founded the Hongzhou (洪州) tradition. The history books say that he looked strange. He had the strong bearing of an ox, and the piercing gaze of a tiger. His tongue was long and could touch the tip of his nose, and there was a roundel image imprinted on the sole of each of his two feet.  His posthumous title is ‘Da Ji Ch’an Shi’ (大寂禅师), and whilst alive, he was renowned for being a great Ch’an master who led many through the gate of enlightenment – known as the path of ‘Eighty Eight Good Understandings’. Ma Zu Dao Yi had 139 Dharma-heirs. Amongst the most famous were Xitang Zhicang (西堂智藏), Baizhang Huaihai, and Nanquan Puyuan (南泉普愿), who were known as the three Great Scholars of the Hongzhou School. Baizhang Huaihai’s Dharma-descendents founded the Linji (临济) School, whilst the Dharma-descendents of the other two masters eventually propagated the Wei Yang (沩仰) School of Ch’an Buddhism.

Original Chinese Language Article

http://baike.sogou.com/lemma/default/ShowLemmaDefault.e;jsessionid=12422E455DA57406D2F75DB94787BD6F.n2?sp=l69296869&syn=%E9%A9%AC%E7%A5%96%E9%81%93%E4%B8%80

马祖道一(709-788,或688年—763年),俗姓马,又称马道一、洪州道一、江西道一。唐代著名禅师,开创南岳怀让洪州宗。史书说他容貌奇异,牛行虎视,舌头长得可以触到鼻,脚下有二轮文。谥号大寂禅师。马祖道一禅师门下极盛,号称“八十八位善知识”,法嗣有139人,以西堂智藏、百丈怀海、南泉普愿最为闻名,号称洪州门下三大士。百丈怀海下开衍出临济宗、沩仰宗二宗。

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