Archive of messages exchanged on the pmjs mailing list from 25 May, 2000.
Question raised by: Stephen D. Miller
Discussants: Niels Guelberg, Shigeki Moro
Signatures omitted or abbreviated. For who's who see
Copyright of each message belongs to its author.
See general note on editing.
return to: PMJS archive index / PMJS index / members / translations
A student of mine is interested in finding out the source of
the moon=enlightenment trope in Japanese literature/poetry. I
can only guess that it might have originally come from something
like the Mahaparinirvana Sutra via Chinese literary permutations,
but before I lead her in the wrong direction, I thought I might
inquire here to you all. Any help you can lend to this would be
Thanks so much.
University of Colorado
From: Niels Guelberg
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 10:36:07 +0900 (JST)
About Stephen Miller's question:
There is no single source for the moon=enlightenment trope. Look at the Taisho daizokyo indices or at the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) edition (recently vols 1-32 completed)
In Japanese Literature there are different traditions, so it would be better to work out the differences of i.e. Tendai and Shingon (or kenkyoo and mikkyoo).
From: Shigeki Moro
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 14:44:10 +0900
Subject: Re: moon and enlightenment
> A student of mine is interested in finding out the source
> the moon=enlightenment trope in Japanese literature/poetry.
One of the answers may be the metaphors of the moon and a finger pointing the moon, which have been regarded as important teaching especially in Chan/Zen tradition.
Originally the metaphors can be found in some Mahayana sutras, such as the Lankavatara sutra (Ryouga-kyo, see T XVI 670 iv 510c17 or so), the Lengyan-jing (Ryougon-kyo, see T XIX 945 111a9-13) and the Yuanjue-jing (Engaku-kyo, see T XVII 842 917a25-28) etc..