By Jamie Hubbard
Even with the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the old 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 favored and influential chinese language Buddhist stream in the course of the Sui and Tang sessions, 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 energy, the San-chieh circulate ran afoul of the experts and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed various instances over a several-hundred-year background. due to 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 examine of the San-chieh circulation, makes use of manuscripts stumbled on at Tun-huang to envision the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulate within the better context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. via 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 targeted expression within the San-chieh texts.
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Additional resources for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library
Realizing that the universalism of the Three Levels was equally a polemic arguing for its own particular solution to the decline tradition, as well as a rhetorical device aimed at convincing an audience, compels a reassessment of the original currents of the Buddhist vision of decline as well. 679a; see also chapter 8, 216–17. 475a ; see also chapter 8, 205. 49b. absolute delusion, perfect buddhahood / 35 even the timetables of decline as at the rhetorical context, a context that reveals a similar polemic or sectarian discourse more interested in establishing a particular orthodoxy of “true teaching” than in voicing historical predictions of actual decline, prophetic warnings of moral failings, or existential statements about humankind’s capacity for realization.
In general we can say that these practices are typical of the time; dhyana and other contemplative exercises, the ascetic dhðta practices, liturgical practice of the six-period pðj„, and the penitentiary fang teng rite—all well-known practices of the time—are each mentioned. Practices more unique to Hsin-hsing—practices that form the bulk of this study—include the universal veneration of all sentient beings as Buddhas, the sixteen practices of the Inexhaustible Storehouse, and of course the teaching of the three levels themselves.
The Ch’i shih fa F7À (a portion of Pelliot 2849R) identi³ed by Nishimoto (edited and included in Sangaikyõ, 592–95; see also 586–88); begging for food is also mentioned in the Hsin-hsing i wen (pp. 3, 6, 7); see also the discussion of how to give to the sangha in the Commentary on the Inexhaustible Storehouse translated in Appendix C. 92 The fact that the various practices relating to food come ³rst reµects a central concern with the rules for receiving alms and eating in the San-chieh community, and, inasmuch as I have no knowledge of Hsin-hsing or his followers practicing the dhðta relating to dwelling, perhaps indicates a preferential order as well.