YULU (j. goroku; k. orok): in chinese, “discourse records” or “recorded sayings,” compilations of the sayings of chan, son, and zen masters.

This genre of chan [zen] literature typically involved collections of the formal sermons, exchanges, and utterances of chan masters, which were edited together by their disciples soon after their deaths. The yulu genre sought to capture the vernacular flavor of the master’s speech, thus giving it a personal and intimate quality, as if the master himself were in some sense still accessible.

Often the recorded sayings of a master would also include his biography, poetry, death verse, inscriptions, letters, and other writings, in addition to the transcription of his lectures and sayings. For this reason, chan discourse records are the buddhist equivalent of the literary collections of secular literati.

The term first appears in the Song gaoseng zhuan, and the genre is often associated particularly with the chan master Mazu Daoyi (709–788) and his Hongzhou line of chan. Among the more famous recorded sayings are the Mazu yulu (a.k.a. Mazu Daoyi chanshi guanglu), Linji Yixuan’s linji lu, and Huangbo Xiyun’s chuanxin fayao.
Buswell, Robert & Lopez, Donald:
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism.
Princeton 2014, p. 1045
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