By Jamie Hubbard
Despite the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the old list preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and hobbies that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) was once a well-liked and influential chinese language Buddhist stream throughout the Sui and Tang classes, counting strong statesmen, imperial princes, or even an empress, Empress Wu, between its consumers. In spite, or maybe accurately simply because, of its proximity to strength, the San-chieh stream ran afoul of the gurus and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed various instances over a several-hundred-year historical past. 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 stream, makes use of manuscripts stumbled on at Tun-huang to ascertain the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulation within the greater context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. by means of viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard unearths it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases vital questions on orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He indicates that a number of the hallmark rules and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and detailed 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
The tumultuous centuries of warfare and cultural change prior to the uni³cation of the Sui and establishment of the imperial capital at Ch’ang-an saw both large-scale suppressions of Buddhism as well as the development of indigenous forms of Buddhist doctrine, practice, and institution. Indeed, it was one of the most fertile epochs in Chinese Buddhist history, setting patterns for the more formal systematizations of later dynasties. Hsin-hsing incorporated many of these currents into his own teaching and left behind a prospering community of like-minded practitioners.
97 The “Field of Compassion” (pei t’ien «,) refers to sentient beings, the fertile ³eld in which the bodhisattva sows seeds of compassion that come to fruition for the bene³t of all; the “Field of Respect” (ching t’ien ’,) refers to the Three Jewels, the fertile field in which sentient beings sow seeds of respect that come to fruition in the form of merit. Of course, both types of “seeds” are metaphorical, and what the biography is referring to is charity (d„na) and Hsin-hsing’s practice of giving equally to ordinary sentient beings and to the Three Jewels.
Though Buddhism is arguably individualist in terms of its path to the ultimate goal of wisdom and relentless in doctrinally subsuming other considerations to that ultimacy (hence even the Buddha should be metaphorically “killed” along the path to awakening), Buddhists are of course quite literally “in” a social, political world and naturally are concerned with the historical realities of their situation. First and foremost among those concerns has always been the construction and preservation of the tradition.
Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library by Jamie Hubbard