Huihai & Huaihai
The Strange Story of Two Zen Masters of the Tang Dynasty
Mazu Daoyi was by anyone's standards one of the most influential and iconoclastic Zen masters in the illustrious history of Zen. Born in Sichuan Province, China, he studied under the master Nanyue Huairong on Mount Hengshan in Hunan Province, before travelling to Jiangxi Province and teaching many students and disciples there.

Two of his most well-known disciples, who sometimes get confused with each other were Dazhu Huihai and Baizhang Huaihai.
The reason for the confusion stems from the fact that their Buddhist "initiation names" are very similar, at least in the modern romanization--Huihai and Huaihai, and they were both students of the same master. But, as you can see in the above box, which include the Chinese characters, they are different characters, different syllables, and different meanings.
[The "box" above to which Oshobob refers was not found at The image here was created from the data available at the Huihai and Huaihai pages. It is apparent that there are more similarities than the explanation suggests: The "characters" (ideograms) are indeed different, though the last one, corresponding to "Hai", is the same, leaving aside stylistic differences. As to "syllables", when it comes to the Japanese, we have "Ekai" making the last two syllables the same. Possibly historical Japanese usage has contributed to the confusion. And with meanings, there is a significant similarity in "Wisdom Ocean" for both.

And when we come to their histories below, we will find more identity overlap not mentioned here but appearing elsewhere in Oshobob's pages.]
In the seminal Chinese Chan (Zen) book The Transmission of the Lamp, first printed in 1004 in the Song Dynasty, these two students of Mazu both received extensive chapters recording incidents in their Zen lives, both as students and as masters. Oddly enough, Dazhu Huihai did not have any disciples who became masters, and his lineage therefore died out with him. Baizhang Huaihai on the other hand, went on to become one of the most well-known Zen figures in its history, producing many succeeding masters, including the famous Huangbo (Obaku, J.), and Guishan (Isan, J.). The Linji (Rinzai, J.) sect of Zen stems from this group of people.

Dazhu Huihai was given his name Dazhu by Mazu, which was a pun on his Chinese surname Zhu. They are two different characters in the written forms, but pronounced the same. Da zhu means "Great Pearl." He left Mazu at some time in his life, and returned to his original teacher in the Yuezhou state, a man named Daozhi. The Transmission of the Lamp says that there, "obscuring his traces, and concealing his activities, Master Huihai pretended to be a fool, but he distinguished himself by writing a book in one scroll entitled The Essentials of Entering into the Tao by Abrupt Awakening." This line of thinking became known as the "sudden enlightenment" way of viewing the ultimate Zen liberation from mind to no-mind.
[More historical overlap can be found in Oshobob's Huihai and Huaihai pages. Referred to above is Huihai's original teacher Daozhi. We find in Huaihai's page that "Baizhang's 1st teacher was a man named Daozhi, who gave him the dharma name Huaihai". How about that! And the only material in Osho's quote about him (as Hyakujo) concerns this "sudden enlightenment", though that may be related to the confusion of Osho's sutra compilers as mentioned below.]
When someone later brought this scroll to Mazu, he read it and proclaimed to his students, "In Yuezhou there is a great pearl which is round and clear. Its light penetrates freely through everything without obstruction." A pretty strong stroke from the master, and a group of Mazu's student's went to Huihai to study, but strangely, no one carried the "lamp" on, and the Great Pearl's stream fizzled out into a dead end scenario.

Baizhang Huaihai had better luck it seems, and after leaving Mazu, climbed high up on Baizhang Mountain and created an extremely successful monastery with many students. He was known for being the first to lay down Zen monastery rules--his famous saying "A day without work is a day without food" broke the long-standing tradition of Buddhist monks being veritable parasites on the rest of society, begging for their food, etc. Huaihai also had the distinctly unique experience of having his master Mazu roar a shout on his head so loud that his ears were deafened for three days.

The modern Zen master Osho in his illuminating book Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho's Haikus, somehow combines both of these two different Zen masters, melding their two stories into one. Although not exactly faithful to the record of Chan, Osho simply reads what his editors have put in front of him, and manages in his inimitable way, to make it all make sense--weaving his own interpretations into Hyakujo(the Japanese pronunciaton of Baizhang), who seems to have for the moment swallowed Dazhu Huihai whole in this contemporary retelling of the never ending story of the Zen search. The British author and Buddhist seeker, John Blofeld wrote a book, The Teachings of Hui Hai, one of the earliest English language attempts at translating a Chinese Chan master's record. This book is on Dazhu Huihai, and is included in Osho's Books I Have Loved. This may be part of the confusion of Osho's editors and sutra writers for his discourses--i.e., they think "Huihai" is "Huaihai"(just a small 'a' difference). But still, in the true Zen sense, the truth is One, individuals are simply waves on the ocean, and the real "Great Matter" is beyond facts, names, and dates. Is that right?
[The last paragraph above is also, curiously, found currently in Terebess' sprawling, encyclopedic Dharma site.]
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