Historically, there are many well-known Buddhist figures who, having made great accomplishments in the secular world, devoted their lives to the faith, practice, and spread of Buddhism following their reunciation. Zunshi was one such example. As such, a study limited to his doctrinal contributions would not be representative of his life. Therefore it is necessary to first examine his life, including his faith, practice and efforts to spread Buddhism. The author has previously published four articles regarding Zunshi in Japanese periodicals. The current article is a continuation of that series.
This article is an attempt to create a critical historical study of Zunshi, providing an overall view of his life. The author first looks at the monasteries in which he stayed throughout his life, searching for information regarding his practice, studies, and proselytization, showing that he devoted his life completely to Buddhism. Next, this paper will focus on Zunshi’s activities at Tianzhu si, a time which may be divided into three periods: poetry writing, preaching and writing, and seclusion. In the period of poetry writing, he wrote poems about the natural surroundings of Tianzhu si. Zunshi’s attitudes about Tianzhu and his co-practitioners are revealed in these poems. In Zunshi’s period of preaching and writing, he had contact with contemporary officials, and his ideas and techniques for benefiting sentient beings may be seen. During this same period, there is information regarding Zunshi’s contributions to the Tiantai school. He was responsible for the publication of Tiantai texts brought from
Ciyun; Zunshi; Tiantai; canonization; Tianzhu si