Regulations for Students of the Mountain School
Regulations for Students of the Mountain School, The
[山家学生式] (Jpn Sange-gakusho-shiki )
Abbreviated as The Regulations for Students. A three-part work by Dengyo (767-822), the founder of the Japanese Tendai school, specifying regulations for students appointed by the imperial court (two each year) to study the Tendai teachings at the temple on Mount Hiei, and setting forth the Mahayana precepts into which the students were to be initiated upon their ordination as priests. The first part contains six articles and was presented independently to Emperor Saga on the thirteenth day of the fifth month of 818. It stipulates that all annually appointed students will be initiated into the ten good precepts before becoming novices; that after their ordination they shall remain on Mount Hiei for twelve years and study both the type of meditation called concentration and insight and the Vairochana disciplines, based chiefly on the Mahavairochana Sutra; and that after completing their twelve-year practice they shall be appointed to responsible positions according to their ability. The second part contains eight articles and was presented to Emperor Saga on the twenty-seventh day of the eighth month of the same year. It gives a more concrete and detailed explanation of the regulations. The third part comprises four articles and was presented to Emperor Saga on the fifteenth day of the third month of 819. It classifies the precepts into those of Hinayana and those of Mahayana, and the methods of ordination into the Hinayana way and the Mahayana way. It moreover asserts that the annually appointed students of the Tendai school are required to receive the precepts of Mahayana bodhisattvas, and that the ceremony of receiving the precepts should be performed under Mahayana regulations. In The Regulations for Students, Dengyo expressed his wish that the ordination ceremony for conferring the Mahayana precepts be performed at the temple on Mount Hiei independently of the six schools of Nara. At that time the six Nara schools alone were privileged to perform Buddhist ordination ceremonies, which they conducted according to the Hinayana regulations. Dengyo's request provoked intense opposition from the Nara priests. He rebutted their arguments in A Clarification of the Precepts, which he wrote in 820.
See also Mahayana ordination platform.