Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a by Jamie Hubbard

By Jamie Hubbard

Inspite of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the ancient list preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and activities that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) used to be a favored and influential chinese language Buddhist stream throughout the Sui and Tang classes, counting robust statesmen, imperial princes, or even an empress, Empress Wu, between its consumers. In spite, or even accurately simply because, of its proximity to strength, the San-chieh stream ran afoul of the professionals and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed a variety of occasions over a several-hundred-year background. as a result of those suppressions San-chieh texts have been misplaced and little information regarding its teachings or historical past is on the market. the current paintings, the 1st English learn of the San-chieh circulation, makes use of manuscripts found at Tun-huang to ascertain the doctrine and institutional practices of this move within the higher context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. through viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard unearths it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases vital questions about orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He exhibits that the various hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and specified expression within the San-chieh texts.

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Extra resources for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library

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71 Whether because of Hui-tsan’s inµuence or simply because of its widespread popularity is unclear, but Hsin-hsing and his followers also practiced the fang teng rite, a complex and lengthy (one week was standard, but longer periods are also provided for) ritual retreat consisting of extensive physical puri³cation, offerings to and veneration of the Buddhas, confession of sins, circumambulation while chanting dh„ra«‡, and seated meditation designed to remove obstacles and purify the mind. 67 Practice in Accord with the Capacity, 145.

Hsin-hsing incorporated many of these currents into his own teaching and left behind a prospering community of like-minded practitioners. Hsin-hsing’s teachings and practices, then, can best be understood as reµecting his milieu rather than as unique or deviant. ” 30 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? fa mieh (the destruction of the dharma), sentient beings “blind from birth” and the attendant teaching of the decayed capacity of sentient beings; the doctrine of universal Buddha-nature; meditation; confession and repentance liturgies; the ascetic dhðta practices and rigorous monastic training; emphasis on the precepts and precept ceremonies, both for lay people and renunciants; buddhan„ma litanies; preference for sutra teachings over commentaries and particular interest in the universalism of the Nirvana Sutra, Lotus Sutra, and Hua-yen Sutra.

M. Hare (London: The Pali Text Society, 1973), vol. 3: 132. , 180–81, 239–40, and vol. 4: 49–50. 20 The Book of the Gradual Sayings, 3: 133. The Book of the Kindred Sayings (Sa½yutta-nik„ya), part II, 178–79; quoted here from E. , Buddhist Texts through the Ages (London: Harper & Row, 1964), 45; Pande judges this passage to be late because these forms “indicate a good deal of previous literary activity” (Pande, Studies, 209). See The Book of the Gradual Sayings, 3: 85 for the same pericope. It is interesting, of course, to speculate on who might have been guilty of producing such “poetical styles,” though the producers of the Mahayana clearly thought they were the targets (see below, p.

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