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By Jamie Hubbard

Regardless of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the old checklist preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and routine that have been banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three degrees) used to be a well-liked and influential chinese language Buddhist circulation in the course of the Sui and Tang classes, 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 strength, the San-chieh circulate ran afoul of the experts and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed a variety of occasions 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 obtainable. the current paintings, the 1st English examine of the San-chieh flow, makes use of manuscripts came across at Tun-huang to envision the doctrine and institutional practices of this flow within the higher context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. by means 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 exhibits that some of the hallmark principles and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and particular 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

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In what way was the tradition of the decline of the dharma really a rhetoric or polemic of orthodoxy? How did a polemic of orthodoxy change into an existential doctrine of decay? Why was this rhetoric amenable to the Chinese recon³guration? In order to answer these questions and to fully appreciate Hsin-hsing’s contribution to the development of the decline tradition, in part two I look briefly at the earlier traditions of decline that the Chinese inherited as well as the Chinese context of decline in which the Three Levels flourished, and then I proceed to examine the teaching of the Three Levels.

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. In addition to universal reverence and charitable work, Te-mei is also known to have practiced the various austerities and liturgies discussed above, including the fang teng rite, yearly observance of the Pratyutpanna walking meditation (he is reported to have “walked without sitting for the entire summer”), penitential rites comprised of buddhan„ma liturgies, maintaining silence for three years, and being sparing in his food (eating only one part in four).

Mark Lewis, “The Suppression of the Three Stages Sect: Apocrypha as a Political Issue,” in Robert E. , Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1990), 210, 212. 38 / decline as polemic of that truth as the teachings of a historical person, and within the latter, that is, within Buddh-ism, the teaching in the world, there were de³nite disagreements over whose teaching was the true teaching. Thus we should note from the very beginning that it was never the teaching conceived as the causal uniformity of all things (dhammat„) that was believed to decline or disappear.

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