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The Study of ZhiYue -a Monk from QiuCi Royal Family
Wang Jianlin
Zhiyue was the first prominent royal monk from the Kucha area during the Sui and Tang Dynasty. He decided to be a monk and study Buddhist texts because of political conflict. Before that, he was the brother of the emperor of Kucha. Kucha locals created a legendary book called Ais Temple, based on the overwhelming odds against this monk and the karma story in Buddhism. The story was also recorded in the Records of the Western Regions of the Great Tang by Xuanzang, who passed by Kucha on his way to study in India. This paper argues that the character in this legend is the monk Zhiyue. This argument matches the statement made in Biography: Xuanzang by Huili Tang and Zongzhu Yan. We know of Zhiyue from the debate between Xuanzang and Juduo: “…… when my uncle became a monk, he thoroughly understood Buddhist scripture, just at that time, I was sitting beside him…”. Juduo was ashamed after reading this sentence in Xuanzang’s Discussion and said “ I am too old to forget it.” Then Xuanzang asked for the rest of the Buddhist scripture, but received no answer. It was recorded in The Commentaries on Nanhai Jigui Neifa by the monk Yijing that Zhiyue was his teacher and he lived in the Zhi Luo Tu temple. We conclude that the monk Zhiyue should be the same one that Xuanzang saw in the Kucha.
Key Words: Kucha, celebrity