By Jamie Hubbard
Inspite of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the ancient checklist preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and events that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) used to be a well-liked and influential chinese language Buddhist circulate in the course of the Sui and Tang sessions, counting strong statesmen, imperial princes, or even an empress, Empress Wu, between its buyers. In spite, or maybe accurately simply because, of its proximity to strength, the San-chieh circulation ran afoul of the gurus 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 heritage is out there. the current paintings, the 1st English learn of the San-chieh flow, makes use of manuscripts found at Tun-huang to ascertain the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulate within the greater context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. through viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard finds it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases vital questions about orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He indicates that the various hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and certain expression within the San-chieh texts.
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Extra info for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library
At the same time we cannot deny that Hsin-hsing’s con³guration of these various elements—the practices that he stressed, the institutional organizations he designed, and the way that he derived them from the scriptural tradition—are unique. It is to this—the way in which Hsin-hsing drew from the normative scriptural tradition in order to “dispense the medicine in accord with the afµiction”—that we now turn. Cira½ Ti¦¦hatu Saddhammo! ) from the frontispiece to the Sixth Council edition of the Sa½yutta-nik„ya1 T here is little question but that the Buddhist tradition of its own decline was at the core of Hsin-hsing’s teaching.
The full description of the evil nature of the third level of living being and the essentially enlightened nature of all living beings—absolute delusion and perfect Buddhahood—constitute the bulk of parts 2 and 3; here let me brieµy introduce some of the other practices of the San-chieh community as they are mentioned in Hsin-hsing’s biographies. Practice Although Hsin-hsing’s writings give the best picture of his synthesis of Buddhist doctrine, the biographical materials contain many references to his practice and that of his community.
2. The Beginning: Decline as Polemic T he buddhist tradition of its own decline is a vision of a world in which chaos and strife would reign where the Buddha-dharma had once flourished. This vision is well represented in the Nik„ya, Ãgama, Vinaya, commentaries, Mahayana, and tantras, and it later helped to fuel both the doctrine of the Pure Land schools and the millenarian hopes of Buddhists throughout Asia. One of the most fascinating aspects of this strain of Buddhist thought is the view it affords of the interplay between religious doctrine and historical environment, for in the situations that gave rise to these ideas we can see many of the struggles of the early Buddhist communities, both for doctrinal purity as well as for simple survival in the face of hostile war-lords and monarchs (although even the latter is used to underscore the importance of doctrinal purity).
Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library by Jamie Hubbard