Episode 69 – Southern & Northern #13: The Ransom of the Boddhisatva Emperor


Buddhism has taken Southern China by storm, but few more than its emperor, Wu of Liang. He’ll try to talk a monk out of setting himself on fire, have an awkward chat with the founder of Zen Buddhism, and even enter a monastery and refuse to leave, prompting his whole court to “ransom” him back by bribing the monks to kick him out. All of this while civil war ripples through Northern Wei.

Time Period Covered:
517-535 CE

Notable Figures:
Emperor Wu of Liang (née Xiao Yan)

Consort Ding Lingguang
Crowned Prince Xiao Tong

Crowned Prince Xiao Gang

Marquis Xiao Zhengde
Monk Daodu
Monk Boddhidharma


Sources Used:
Burning for the Buddha by James A. Benn
Zizhi Tongjian by Sima Guang

Blue Cliff Record (BiYan Lu) by Yuanwu Keqin

Textual History of the Mahāyāna-mahāparinirvāna-sūtra by Stephen Hodge
Download: here

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