By Jamie Hubbard

Even with the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the ancient checklist preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and routine that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) was once a well-liked and influential chinese language Buddhist circulate 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 energy, the San-chieh flow ran afoul of the gurus and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed quite a few occasions over a several-hundred-year historical past. due to those suppressions San-chieh texts have been misplaced and little information regarding its teachings or historical past is obtainable. the current paintings, the 1st English examine of the San-chieh flow, makes use of manuscripts came across at Tun-huang to ascertain the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulate within the better context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. by way of viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard finds it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases very important questions about orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He indicates that the various hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and designated 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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9 The millennial tradition, best known in the context of the future Buddha Maitreya, is clearly related to the cosmological tradition. 6 billion years off) that it took some time before he came to be re³gured in millennial terms of world renewal. Most importantly for any discussion of Hsin-hsing and his teachings, however, is that even after this re³guring takes place, the later millennial traditions that incorporate the Maitreya motif contain an expectation of a future utopia, occurring within history, that is not found in the Three Levels or the Pure Land traditions.

By T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg, Sacred Books of the East, 1885, Motilal reprint, 1975), Part III, 250 ff. 86 Cf. E. G. Kemper, “Buddhism Without Bikkhus: The Sri Lanka Vinaya Vardena Society” in Religion and Legitimation of Power in Sri Lanka, ed. by Bardwell L. Smith (Chambersburg: Anima Books, 1978), p. 216. 87 26 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? not been as well commented on as the Buddhist involvement in ³nancial activities, economic enterprise, military operations, and the like, Chinese monks have also often been noted for their dhðta practice.

60 Hsin-hsing i wen, 6. A cursory check of the extant manuscripts reveals well over ³fty references to tso ch’an and ch’an ting. 61 62 Chih fa, 581; underscoring its importance, the Chih fa states that the monk appointed to oversee San-chieh communities—though regarding himself as evil and others as virtuous— was expected to cultivate the seated meditation of the “formless samadhi” (wu hsiang san mei [oX*). Chih fa, 579. 63 See Nishimoto Teruma, “Sangaikyõ no kanhõ ni tsuite,” Õkurasan ronshð 44 (1999), 85–121.

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