This essay examines two redactions of a commentary on internal alchemy, no longer extant, preserved in the Daoist Canon, the Zhen longhu jiuxian jing and the Jiuxian pian. The second contains a commentary attributed to the eminent scientist-monk Yixing (673-727), one of the key architects of East Asian esoteric Buddhism. I analyze various materials to clarify the image of Yixing as an alchemist and argue that an anonymous 9th century author probably used Yixing as a mouthpiece for certain Buddho-Daoist elements in the texts. Specifically, I try to show that the esoteric Buddhist rite called Inner Homa, a topic on which Yixing wrote at length, probably served as one of several antecedents for methods of meditative incineration documented in these two sources as well as texts of the Zhong-Lü tradition. I situate this appropriation an act of "translation," meaning a creative transposition of Buddhist metaphors into a Daoist framework.


Additional Information

pp. 65-95
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.