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Hanshan

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Hanshan is a legendary figure associated with a collection of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the Taoist and Chan tradition. No one knows who he was, when he lived and died, or whether he actually existed. In the Chinese Buddhist tradition, Hanshan and his sidekick Shide are honored as emanations of the bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra, respectively. In Japanese and Chinese paintings, Hanshan is often depicted together with Shide or with Fenggan, another monk with legendary attributes.

Little is known of his work, since he was a recluse living in a remote region and his poems were written on rocks in the mountains he called home. Of the 600 poems he is thought to have written at some point before his death, 313 were collected and have survived. Among the 57 poems attributed to Hanshan's friend, Shide, seven appear to be authored by Hanshan, for a total of 320.

Citações Hanshan

„I am free of the busy world
There is not a doubt in my heart or a worry to disturb my mind“

—  Hanshan
Context: Today I sat before the cliff Until the mist and rainbows disappeared I followed the emerald stream Explored a thousand tiers of green cliffs In the morning my spirit rests among white clouds At night a bright moon floats in the sky I am free of the busy world There is not a doubt in my heart or a worry to disturb my mind

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„Worry for others— it does no good in the end.
The great Dao, all amid joy, is reborn.
In a joyous state, ruler and subject accord,
In a joyous home, father and son get along.
If brothers increase their joy, the world will flourish.
If husband and wife have joy, it's worthy of song.
What guest and host can bear a lack of joy?
Both high and low, in joy, lose their woe before long.
Ha ha ha.“

—  Hanshan
Translated by Mary Jacob Note: It is unlikely that this poem, translated by Mary Jacob, is authored by Han-shan. In comparing it with every poem in the corpus it will be found that there is not a close match. Moreover, neither the language nor the content of this poem is that of Han-shan. Most importantly, this poem does not have the appropriate number of lines for a Han-shan poem. Jacob's poem has 9 lines; there is not a single example of a 9 line poem in all of Han-shan's poetry. All of Han-shan's poems are 4, 8, 10 or 14 lines, with a few that have more than 14. Further, Jacob's poem has an odd number of lines; there is not a single example of a poem with an odd number of lines in all of Han-shan's poetry. Finally, the 9th and final line in Jacob's poem has the words “ha ha ha.” Not a single Han-shan poem has those words as a final line. Perhaps someone is having a joke?

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