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Chinese Literature
Hanlongjing 撼龍經 "Classic of Shaking the Dragon"

The Hanlongjing 撼龍經 "Classic of shaking the dragon" is a book on geomancy attributed to the Tang period 唐 (618-907) master Yang Yunsong 楊筠松. The book is only 1 juan "scroll" long, but all editions include two lengthy appendices, namely the text Yilongjing 疑龍經 "Suspecting [the presence] of dragons", and the Zangfa daozhang 葬法倒杖 "Methods of burial and the reverse staff".
Yang Yunsong, also called Yang Yi 楊益, came probably from Baozhou 寶州 (in modern Shaanxi) and served as a Grand Master of Splendid Happiness (guanglu dafu 光祿大夫). It is said that during the rebellion of Huang Chao 黃巢 he profited of the general chaos and stole the text Yuhan mishu 玉函秘術 "Secret art of the jade case" from the palace library. He later arrived in Chuzhou 處州, where he became a disciple of Zeng Wenchan 曾文辿. The official dynastic histories do not include a biography of Yang Yunsong. His name is first mentioned in the Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題. The imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the history Songshi 宋史 calls him Yang Jiupin 楊救貧. It is said that, except the Hanlongjing, he had also written the books Qingnang aoyu 青囊奧語 and Tianyujing neizhuan 天玉經內傳. Yet his authorship of the Hanlongjing can not be ascertained.
The book Hanlongjing is specialised on the interpretation of mountain shapes as the vital dragon to be detected in the art of geomancy. It is divided into nine chapters that include a main text and an interpretive part.
The book Yilongjing is divided into three parts, the first of which is dedicated to the search of "branches" (zhi 枝) out of the "stem" (gan 干) with the help of waters. The second part explains the method to detect the head and back of dragons, and the last part describes the connection of "cavities" (xue 穴), in which the energy (qi 氣) of the earth concentrates. For this purpose, it includes ten questions about the search of dragons with the help of holes.
The second appendix, the text Zangfa daozhang elucidates the relations of such holes to the earth. The "Method of burial" (Zangfa 葬法) is divided into the four chapters Shi taiji 識太極 "Identifying the highest extreme", Fen liangyi 分兩儀 "Separating the two powers (Yin and Yang)", Qiu sixiang 求四象 "Searching the four phenomena", and Bei bagua 倍八卦 "Doubling the eight trigrams" (see Yijing 易經).
The second part of the book, the "Reverse staff" (Daozhang 倒杖) is a more detailed explanation of the method to determine the place of a tomb, and describes twelve different methods. It has a short appendix of twenty-four further methods to recognize auspicious and inauspicious places. This trinity of geomantic books has been transmitted for a long time and deeply influenced the art of geomancy of later ages. It is included in the series Dili daquan 地理大全 and the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

貪狼星 Tanlang The voluptuous wolf
巨門星 Jumen The great gate
祿存星 Lucun
文曲星 Wenqu
廉貞星 Lianzhen
武曲星 Wuqu
破軍星 Pojun
左輔星 Zuofu
右弼星 Youbi

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1784. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 30, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail