2005 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 76-78,1243
Traditional studies conclude that Shandao's Pure Land Buddhism has the character of State Buddhism. But when we analyze the text of the Fashi zan in detail, another conclusion follows inevitably from our analysis. In the text of the Fashi zan (T47, p. 483a), Shandao prayed for the happiness of the Crown prince and the women in the seraglio. They were suffering under the tyranny of the Empress Wu. Considering the historical situation, Shandao's words in the text of the Fashi zan are not to be read as depicting the character of State Buddhism but rather as his remonstrance against Empress Wu.