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(Jap., Hoyu), 594-657; an early Chinese Ch’an (Zen) master. Fa-jung, who is also called Niu-t’ou (Jap., Gozu) after the mountain on which he lived, founded the - Gozu school. He was a student of - Tao-hsin, the fourth patriarch of Ch’an (Zen); however, he was not confirmed by the latter as a dharma successor. Thus the Gozu school was not among the acknowledged Ch’an schools ( - goke-shichishu) in China.
Fa-jung was a Confucian scholar in his younger years. Nevertheless, he was attracted to Buddhism, underwent Buddhist meditative training, and eventually withdrew to a cave in the vicinity of a Buddhist monastery on Mount Niu-t’ou. It is said that the emanations of his enlightened mind were so powerful that the birds of the region came to make him offerings of flowers.
The - Ching-tech'uan-teng-lu reports that Tao-hsin sensed that there was a holy man of great power living on Mount Niu-t’ou and went to look for him. After searching for a few days, he found Fa-jung on a cliff absorbed in meditation. Then suddenly Tao-hsin seemed to hear the roaring of a tiger reverberating from the cliff face, which startled him. “I see you’re not rid of it yet,” Fa-jung remarked - by which he certainly meant that Tao-hsin still showed traces of - ego. A little later, when Fa-jung got up from his meditation, Tao-hsin inscribed the Chinese character for buddha on the spot where he had been sitting. When Fa-jung came back to take his place again, he in his turn was startled and unwilling to sit down on the sacred name. “I see you’re not rid of it yet,” said Tao-hsin, smiling. Fa-jung, who as shown by his reaction was still caught in orthodox Buddhist conceptions and did not understand this comment on the part of the fourth patriarch, asked him to instruct him in its deep meaning - which Tao-hsin then did. It is said that after Tao-hsin left Fa-jung, no more birds came to the latter with flower offerings, a sign that his enlightenment now left no “traces” ( - • goseki). Thus the fourth patriarch had brought him to a more profound level of enlightenment. Later, students gathered around Fa-jung and he taught them the - • buddha-dharma in his style, thus founding the Gozu school of Ch’an (Zen). The teach - >ngs of this school were brought to Japan by the Japanese monk - Saicho. However, these teachings never became of major importance for the development of the Ch’an (Zen) tradition either in China or Japan and died out after a few generations.