By Jamie Hubbard
Regardless of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the historic 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 circulate in the course of the Sui and Tang classes, counting strong 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 move ran afoul of the specialists and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed quite a few instances over a several-hundred-year heritage. as a result of those suppressions San-chieh texts have been misplaced and little information regarding its teachings or heritage is accessible. the current paintings, the 1st English examine of the San-chieh circulation, makes use of manuscripts stumbled on at Tun-huang to check the doctrine and institutional practices of this flow within the better context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. via viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard finds it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases very important questions on orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He exhibits that a number of the hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and precise expression within the San-chieh texts.
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Additional info for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library
28 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? 96 In these teachings (detailed in part 3) the all-pervading truth of the dharmadh„tu is seen to be the reality of all phenomena and all sentient beings, even as they exist in samsara; hence they are to be revered as Buddhas at this very moment. Universal reverence was not only a devotional form of greeting—it was also realized more concretely through offerings of material goods in the practice of the Inexhaustible Storehouse. ”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.
Still, in all Buddhist cultures there has always been an interest in ascetic extremes. 87 This broader context is perhaps relevant to the San-chieh movement, given the frequent attacks by the authorities as well as other Buddhists that they experienced. Still, we should not be too hasty to think of Hsin-hsing as a radical ascetic and reformer, for although it is true that the practice of dhðta in China has 83 Hsin-hsing i wen, 7. On begging generally see Jean Rahder, “Bunne,” Hõbõgirin II (1929–1930), 158–69; on begging and dhðta practices in China see John Kieschnick, The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997), 33–35.
He traveled to the capital, where he met Mo Ch’an-shih †,‚, another of Hsin-hsing’s disciples, with whom he studied for over ten years. He continued his teacher’s legacy of cultivating the “universal Field of Merit” (p’u fu t’ien 3t,), an inclusive term referring to both Hsin-hsing’s teaching of the Universal Buddha inherent in all living beings as well as the two ³elds of merit, that is, the ³eld of respect (the Three Jewels) and the ³eld of compassion (suffering sentient beings). Accordingly, Te-mei cultivated the practice of the Bodhisattva Never Despise from the Lotus Sutra, publicly reverencing all members of the Buddhist community, and used the donations of clothing and food that he received for both the ³elds of respect and compassion.
Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (Nanazan Library by Jamie Hubbard