<eng>This paper examines the import of Buddhism in Yuan Zaju “An Ape Listens to the Sutra in the Long-ji Mountain “. This play tells the story of a domesticated ape listening to the sacred sutra and in due time becoming a Chan convert. The Ape is finally enlightened and released from evil ways. He is then born in the pure-land through the agency of Chan master Xiugong. The prototype of Chan master Xiu-gong in the zaju is the Chan master Shaoxiu of the late Tang dynasty, founder of the Longji Temple in Jiangxi. The four acts of the play are located at a meditation hall, guiding readers and audiences to perceive the solid and stable structure of Chan Practice. The enlightened mind and perfect heart of understanding of Chan master Xiugong and the nature of mountains symbolize “constancy” while the restless mind of the ape and its changing roles symbolize “vicissitude”. The plot introduces the transformation of the mind of the ape by affiliation with the Chan Master. The extent of including practitioners and the power of releasing others from suffering by the Chan master deepens with the development of the story. This paper illustrates the themes, structure and usage of language from two Buddhist ideas:release from suffering and self-enlightenment as well as advocacy of Chan Buddhism. This paper also explores the cultural implications of the affiliation of monk and ape in the play through relevant literature. Finally this paper will focus on textual analysis in order to show the sources of the play that come from sutras.
- Buddhist implication
- Affiliation of monk and ape
- Release from suffering and evil
- Buddhist Enlightenment Drama