Content created: 130817
File last modified: 150621
I have made the same modifications here as in the other two memorials in this section of the web site.
|1. "In the seventh year he presented a memorial to the emperor, in which he proposed to do away with Buddhism altogether.||
Qī nián yì shàngshū qǐng chúqù Shìjiào.
|2. He argued as follows: The west, where Buddha lived, and where he preached his ominous heresies, is far away.||
Yuē: Fó zài xīyù yányāo lù yuǎn.
|3. The Hàn 汉 dynasty translated the foreign writings and was led astray by their apparent trustworthiness, thus causing people to be disloyal to their ruler and devoid of devotion and submission to their parents, to shave their heads and abandon their ruler and their parents;||
Hàn yì húshū zì qí jiǎtuō、gù shǐ bùzhōng bùjiāo xuēfà ér yī jūn qīn、
|4. they became idlers and wandering mendicants, and assumed another garb, in order to escape the paying of ground rent to government.||
Yóushǒu yóushí yìfú yǐ táo zū fù.
|5. By the spread of their ominous writings and the promulgation of their heresies, they opened, on false grounds, the three roads (of transmigration into demons, pretas and animals), and laid out yet the six other roads(of transition into asuras, men, and devas)；
[The reference is to doctrines of reincarnation. DKJ]
Yǎn qí yāo shū、shù qí xié fǎ、wěi qǐ sāntú、miù cháng liù dào、
|6. thus they inspired the ignorant with dread and fear, and deceived the class of government officers, with the result that amongst the people, they who became acquainted with them believed such falsehoods thoughtlessly, without due enquiry after their roots and sources.||
Kǒnghè yú fū、zhàqī yōng pǐn、fánbǎi líshù tōngshí zhě xī bù chá gēnyuán xìn qí jiǎo zhà.
|7. And then they raked up the crimes committed by these people in times past, in order to gauge thereby their future happiness; they taught that the gift of one single coin would give them a chance of thousand fold reward, and that one day's fasting might make them expect food for a hundred days.||
Nǎi zhuī jìwǎng zhī zuì、xūguī jiānglái zhī fú、bùshī yī qián xī wànbèi zhī bào chízhāi yī rì jì bǎirì zhī liáng.
|8. Thus they caused their ignorant victims of deception to try recklessly to do such good works, so that, instead of fearing the laws and prohibitions, these people inconsiderately indulged in transgression of the precepts of the government;||
Suì shǐ yú mí wàngqiú gōngdé、bùdān kē jìn、qīng fàn xiàn zhāng、
|9. and when some committed the abominable crime of opposition, and were entangled for that in the meshes of the penal laws,||
Qí yǒu zàozuo è nì shēn zhuì xíngwǎng、
|10. then, in the dungeon, they still worshipped their Buddhas and muttered their Buddhist Sutras, forgetting all their lassitude both during the day and the night, sustained by the hope of escaping punishment.||
Fāng nǎi yùzhōng lǐ Fó kǒusòng Fójīng、zhòuyè wàng pí、guī miǎn qí zuì.
|11. It depends upon his natural destiny whether one shall live long or die an untimely death; but punishment and intimidation, and the bestowal of blessing and happiness are the business of the sovereign.||
Qiě shēngsǐ shòu yāo yóuyú zìrán、xíngdé wēifú guān zhī rén zhǔ.
|12. We must admit that poverty or wealth, and high or low social standing is called forth by personal labor and merit; but the ignorant Buddhist clergy with their lies maintain that all those things come from Buddha.||
Nǎi wèi pín-fù guì-jiàn gōngyè suǒ zhāo、ér yú sēng jiǎo zhà jiē yún yóu Fó.
|13. Thus they defraud the sovereign of his prerogatives and power and appropriate his (exclusive) rights to lead humanity towards reformation for good；the harm thus occasioned to the influence of the government and morality is truly lamentable.||
Qièrén zhǔ zhī quán、shàn zàohua zhī lì、qí wéihài zhèng liáng kěbēi yǐ.
|14. The Shu [Shū Jīng 书经, "Book of Documents," Part of the Confucian Canon] says:||
Àn Shū yún、
|15. "The sovereign alone creates blessings and intimidates; to him alone belongs all that is precious and edible; and if his subjects create blessings and inspire fear, or appropriate treasures and food, they damage his house, they bring misfortune upon his dynasty; then the men in his service further other interests than his, and become corrupt.".||
"Wéi bì zuò fú wēi、wéi bì yùshí、chén yǒu zuò fú zuò wēi yù shí hài yú ér jiā、xiōng yú ér guó、rén yòng cè pō pì."
|16. From Fú Xī 伏羲 (reign 01a-1) and Shén Nóng 神农 (reign 01a-2) (29th and 28th century b. C.) up to "the Hàn 汉 (period 06a) and the Wèi 魏 (period 07b) dynasties, there was no Buddhism. and the sovereigns in those times were wise, and their ministers "faithful; their reigns were long, and great was the number of their "years of life.||
jiàng zì Xī-Nóng zhìyú.hàn wèi jiē wú Fó fǎ、jūn míng chén zhōng、zuò cháng nián jiǔ.
|17. The emperor Míng 明 of the [Eastern] Hàn 汉 dynasty (reign 06d-2, AD 58-76), on account of a dream, became the first who erected images of western deities; and from that time the bonzes of western lands have spread their doctrines.||
Hàn Míng dì jiǎtuō mèng xiǎng shǐ lì hú shén、xīyù sāng mén zì chuán qí fǎ.
|18. Before the Western Jìn 西晋 dynasty (period 08b, AD 265-317) reigned, the ruling dynasties enacted laws by which the people of the Middle Kingdom were prevented from shaving their heads at pleasure;||
Xī Jìn yǐshàng guóyǒu yán kē、bùxǔ Zhōngguó zhī rén zhéxíng kūnfà zhī shì、
|19. but since the Western families of Fú 符 and Shí 石 sowed confusion in the Flowery Land [of China], the ministers employed by the sovereigns were crafty and perverse, the government became cruel and oppressive, and the reigns became short; all of which evils were brought about by Buddhism.*
*The Fú 符 family were a tribe of adventurers in Shǎanxī 陕西, one member of which,. named Fú Jiàn 符健，founded for himself in 351 the realm of Qín秦 (period 09f, AD 351-394)，with Cháng'ān 长安 [modern Xī'ān 西安] for its capital. The sovereigns were ardent Buddhists, as were also the Shí 石 family, ruling the realm of the Later Zhào 后赵 (period 09e, AD 319-351) in Héběi 河北, founded in 319 by Shí Lè 石勒, an adventurer of western descent. [JJMdG]
Jì yú Fú Shí qiāng hú luàn huá、zhǔ yōng chén nìng、zhèng nüè zuò duǎn、jiē yóu Fójiào zhì zāi yě.
20. Wǔ 武 (reign 10e-1) of the Liáng 梁 dynasty (period 10e)* and Xiāng 襄of the house of Qí 齐** are clear proofs of this.
*The most Buddhist emperor China ever possessed. After a long reign, from 502 to 549, his residence Jiànkāng 建康 (Nánjīng 南京) fell into the hands of a rebellious vassal called Hòu Jǐng 候景， who deposed him and, as it appears, starved him to death. His dynasty was overthrown seven years later. [JJMdG]
**This emperor, rightly called Wénxiāng 文襄，was murdered in 549, when he had scarcely reached his 29th year. [JJMdG]
I am unable to identify this figure. [DKJ]
Liáng Wǔ Qí Xiāng zúwéi míng jìng.
|21. In times of yore, one female by the name of Bāo Sì 褒姒 beguiled and misguided king Yōu 幽 (reign 04b-13) (781-771 BC) so much that she brought his house [the Eastern Zhōu 东周 dynasty, period 04b] to ruin.
[Click here for the story.]
Xī Bāo Sì yī nǚ yāohuò Yōu wáng shàng zhì wáng guó.
|22. How much more then is there to fear now that there are fully a hundred thousand monks and nuns in the world, who cut clothes of silk, and dress and adorn clay images, which they then employ to suppress devils, and to lead the myriads of people astray?||
Kuàng tiān bù sēngní shù yíng shí wàn jiǎnkè huì cǎi、zhuāngshù nírén、ér wéi yàn mèi míhuo wànxìng zhě hū?
Return to top
|23. I propose that all these monks and nuns shall be commanded to marry one another; thus more than a hundred thousand lay families shall be formed, who shall give birth to sons and daughters;||
Jīn zhī sēngní qǐng lìng pǐpèi、jí chéng shí wàn yú hù、chǎn yù nánnǚ、
|24. when these shall have grown up to their tenth. year, and when the second period of equal length shall have been devoted to their education and instruction, they will then naturally be an element useful to the dynasty,||
Shí nián cháng yǎng、yī jì jiàoxùn、zìrán yì guó、
|25. and yield a sufficient contingent of warriors (for the maintenance of the imperial power), while, besides, calamities in the cultivation of silk and food shall be prevented in all parts of the world between the four seas.||
Kěyǐ zú bīng、sìhǎi miǎn cánshí zhī yāng.
|26. If the people be in this way made to understand with whom rests the power to intimidate and to create happiness, those heretical deceptions will naturally die off, and the transformation into a state of purity and simplicity will flourish again.||
Bǎixìng zhī wēifú suǒzài、zé yāohuò zhī fēng zì gé、chúnpǔ zhī huà hái xīng.
Return to top
|27. Both in ancient and in recent times it has seldom occurred that a faithful minister criticizing the emperor did not come to grief.||
Qiě gǔjīn zhōng jiàn xiān bùjí huò.
|28. It has not escaped my attention that, under the Northern Qí 齊 dynasty (period 10l, AD 550-577) , ZHĀNG-QIÚ Zǐtā 章仇子他 presented a memorial to the emperor, in which he stated that the multitude of monks and nuns ruined the imperial house, and that the prodigality indulged in in their temples and pagodas caused idle waste of precious metal and silks.||
Qiè jiàn qí cháo Zhāng-Qiú Zǐtā shàngbiǎo yán、sēngní tú zhòng mí sǔn guójiā、sìtǎ shēchǐ xūfèi jīn bó.
|29. But the monks, being familiar with the ministers, opposed him at court with calumnious imputations, while the nuns, relying upon the good will of the imperial consorts and the princesses, secretly gave play to their insinuations.||
Wéi zhū kuài fùhuì zǎixiàng duì cháo chánhuǐ、zhū ní yī tuō fēi zhǔ qiánxíng bāngdú.
|30. So the end was that Zhāng-Qiú Zǐtā was cast into prison and executed on the market-place of the capital.||
Zǐtā jìng bèiqiú zhíxíng yú dūshì.
|31. But Wǔ 武 (reign 10m-3) of the [Northern] Zhōu 北周 dynasty (period 10m) (see page 34) having subjected [Northern] Qí (period 10l), conferred a title of honor upon his tomb.||
Jí Zhōu Wǔ píng Qí zhìfēng qí mù.
|32. Although your servant is not so intelligent as that minister, yet he endeavors to tread in his footsteps.||
Chén suī bù mǐn、qiè mù qí zōng.
|33. And thus he presented to the emperor his memorial in eleven chapters, written in keen and straightforward style.||
Yòu shàngshū shíyī shǒu、cí shènqiè zhí.
Return to top
[Fù Yì's biography, having thus summarized his memorial, continues with the court's reception of it, in which the emperor's ministers discuss its merits and shortcomings. In a famous exchange, a Buddhist among the ministers recommends that Fù Yì be punished.]
|34. Emperor Gāozǔ 高祖 (reign 12a-1) gave it his ministers to deliberate about it conscientiously …||
Gāozǔ fù qún guān xiáng yì …
|35. and only one of them, viz. ZHĀNG Dàoyuán 張道源, the Director of the Court of the Imperial Stud, declared that the memorial of Fù Yì was rational.||
Wéi tài pū qīng Zhāng Dàoyuán chēng yì zòu hélǐ.
|36. XIĀO Yǔ 萧瑀, the Minister for the Promulgation of the Imperial Resolutions, disputed this.||
Zhōng shū ling Xiāo Yǔ yǔ zhī zhēnglùn.
|37. Buddha, said he, was a sage, and Fù Yì's argumentation was not that of a sage, but breathed a lawless spirit; therefore he proposed that a severe punishment should be administered to him.||
Yuē、Fó shèngrén yě、Yì wèi cǐ yì fēi shèngrén zhě wúfǎ、qǐng zhì yánxíng.
|38. But then Fù Yì himself spoke: The rules for private and social life (li, see p. 8》 start from servility to parents, and end in submission to the emperor;||
Yì yuē、Lǐ běn yú shì qīn、zhōng yú fèng shàng、
|39. if these duties are observed, the natural principles of devotion and submission to parents and of fidelity towards the sovereignty will flourish, and the conduct of ministers and of sons will become perfect.||
Cǐ zé zhōngxiào zhī lǐzhe、chénzǐ zhī xíng chéng.
|40. But Buddha passed across the city-walls and deserted his family,||
Ér Fó yúchéng chūjiā、
|41. thus by his flight turning his back upon his father, he, the married man, thus renounced his emperor; the continuator of the line of his ancestry renounced the duties towards his parents.||
Táobèi qí fù、yǐ pǐfū ér kàng tiānzǐ、yǐ jì tǐ ér bèi suǒ qīn.
|42. Xiāo Yǔ does not come out of a hollow mulberry tree (i.e., he is no hermit), and yet he follows that religion which acknowledges no father;||
Xiāo Yǔ fēi chūyú kōng sāng、nǎi zūn wú fù zhī jiāo、
|43. I now hear that the man without filial submission and devotion, who cares nothing for his parents, is called Yǔ.||
Chén wén fēi xiàozhě wú qīn qí Yǔ zhī wèi yǐ.
|44. Xiāo Yǔ could make no reply.||
Yǔ bù néng dá.
|45. He only clasped his hands, and said: Hell was made for such men as this one!||
Dàn hézhǎng, yuē、Dìyù suǒ shèzhèng wéi shì rén.
|46. Gāozǔ would have carried out Fù Yì's advice, but his abdication (in 627) prevented it.||
Gāozǔ jiāng cóng Yì yán、huì chuán wèi ér zhǐ.
Fù Yì died in 639 at the age of 85. A keen writer of epitaphs, he had earlier written one for himself:
(Giles 1898: 236)
Dying of drink was probably a joke. In fact he seems to have been remarkably active in his old age. His biography in the Old Books ends with the remark that he collected everything he could find written from the time of the collapse of the Hàn dynasty up to his own time that was critical of Buddhism, and that he had assembled this into a vigorously viscious book of ten chapters, now lost, which he apparently had copied and distributed "to the world."
Return to top
The picture here is from a web site devoted to distinguished people named Fù. (Link)