Dayong 大勇

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Dàyǒng 大勇 (1893-1929)
  • Lay name 俗姓名: Lǐ Jǐnzhāng 李錦章
  • Courtesy name 字: Dàyǒng 大勇
  • Dharma name 法名: Chuánzhòng 傳眾
  • Born 1893 (Guāngxù 光緒 17) in Bā County 巴縣, Sìchuān 四川
  • Died August 10, 1929 (Mínguó 民國 18) at Zhájiā Temple 札迦寺, Garzê 甘孜 Province
Notable Associates:
  • Article editor: Erik Hammerstrom

Dàyǒng 大勇 (1893-1929) was a Hàn 漢 monk who was famous for teaching Japanese Esoteric Buddhism 東密, as well as leading a group to Tibet to study Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism 西密.


In his early years, Dàyǒng graduated from the Sìchuān Legal and Political Academy 四川法政專科學校, and made a name for himself in the civil and military worlds of Sìchuān.

In 1918 he went with his two friends Huáng Bǎocāng 黃葆蒼 and Dǒng Mùshū 董慕舒 (they were joined by their friend Sūn Dàoxiū 孫道修) to hear Fóyuán 佛源 lecture in Chóngqìng 重慶, which led them all to have faith in Buddhism. Lǐ was the youngest of the three. They were tonsured together under Yùhuáng 玉皇 at Tiānwáng Temple 天王寺 in Níngbō 寧波. Lǐ became Dàyǒng, Huáng became Dàcí 大慈, and Dǒng became Dàjué 大覺.

Dàyǒng was ordained in 1920 at Jīnshān 金山, then went to Mt. Wǔtái 五台山 on pilgrimage. He returned to Běijīng 北京 in 1921 to hear Tàixū 太虛 lecture on the Lotus Sūtra.

Dàyǒng studied Esoteric Buddhism at Koyasan 高野山 in Japan, returning to China in October of 1923. After his return he began transmitting the Esoteric dharma in Shànghǎi 上海, and then in January of 1924, he went to Wǔhàn 武漢 to do the same. In Wǔhàn, he was based at the Wǔchāng Buddhist Seminary 武昌佛學院, and he gave abhiṣeka 灌頂 to hundreds of people.

In 1924, he returned to Běijīng 北京, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with Bái Pǔrén 白普仁 at Yōnghé Temple 雍和宮. This experience inspired him to abandon Japanese Esoteric Buddhism in favor of Tibetan Buddhism 西密, and he set up the Buddhist Tibetan Language College 藏文學院 (with some help from Tàixū 太虛) in October of 1924. He served as the primary teacher at the school. The following year he met Dorjé Chöpa 多杰覺拔, who began teaching at the school. Dorjé Chöpa also inspired him to form the residing-in-Tibet Dharma Studies Group 留藏學法團, which Dàyǒng led until his death. They attempted to reach Tibet, but were not successful during his lifetime.

Notable Students


  • Tuttle, Gray. Tibetan Buddhism in the Making of Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Pp. 81, and passim.
  • Yú Língbō 于凌波, ed. Xiàndài Fójiào rénwù cídiǎn 現代佛教人物辭典 (A Dictionary of Modern Buddhist Persons), 2 vols. Taipei: Foguang, 2004. Pp. 1.44c-48c.
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