By Jamie Hubbard
Despite the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the historic list preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and pursuits that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) was once a well-liked and influential chinese language Buddhist move 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 energy, the San-chieh move ran afoul of the specialists and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed a number of 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 background is accessible. the current paintings, the 1st English learn of the San-chieh circulation, makes use of manuscripts came upon at Tun-huang to check the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulate within the higher context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. through 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 some of the hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and certain expression within the San-chieh texts.
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Additional info for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy
19, of a memorial that Pei composed for Ching-ming Ïe, a disciple who is mentioned together with Seng-yung in the Ku ta Hsin-hsing ch’an shih ming t’a pei; cf. Hubbard, “Chinese Reliquary Inscriptions,” 255. 52 Tsukamoto, “Sangaikyõ shiryõ zakki,” Shina Bukkyõ shigaku, 1/1–2 (Shõwa 12), 99. 16 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? Hui-jih ½Õ, and the Hung-shan e3. ”54 The widespread inµuence of the movement that Hsin-hsing began is also evident from records of the Inexhaustible Storehouse, which both attracted throngs from all over the empire as well as established branches throughout the provinces (see chapter 8).
This, the teaching of universal Buddha-nature, proclaimed that all living beings, no matter how degenerate or sinful, were fundamentally of an awakened nature and would one day realize that enlightened nature. Thus the situation presented an interesting dilemma—on the one hand the universal capacity for 18 / hsin-hsing— a buddhist heretic? Buddhahood proclaimed an equal and ultimate human potential, yet on the other hand there is the decayed capacity for realization of that potential. Hsin-hsing, as with many others, transformed this dilemma into an opportunity for advocating new doctrinal and institutional con³gurations of traditional Buddhist practice.
Other important studies include Yamada Ryðjõ, “Mappõ shisõ ni tsuite,” Indogaku Bukkyõgaku kenkyð 4/2 (1956): 361–70; David W. Chappell, “Early Forebodings of the Death of Buddhism,” Numen 27 (1980): 122–53; Étienne Lamotte, Histoire du bouddhisme indien (Louvain: Publications Universitaires, 1958), 210–22; Kumoi Shõzen ²mÅ3, “Hõmetsu 36 absolute delusion, perfect buddhahood / 37 untangling of the scriptural sources has constituted the indispensable bedrock of prior studies (by sixth-century Chinese monks as well as by contemporary scholars), here I am interested in the function of the concept of the decline, which shows it working as a rhetoric of orthodoxy (in Nik„ya and Mahayana Buddhism) or as a stylistic device legitimating new interpretations of the teachings (for tantra, Hsin-hsing, and the preachers of the Pure Land path).