Chinese Buddhism

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Institutions of Chinese Buddhism
Zhuhai Jintai Temple inner court view and monks.jpg
Wu Xi Ling Shan Da Fo Fan Gong  - panoramio.jpg
Ju Shi Lin 94458.jpg
Monasticism: Buddhist monks at Jintai Temple in Zhuhai, Guangdong, mainland China.
❷ Public temples: Inner view of the Ling Shan Brahma Palace (simplified Chinese :梵宮; traditional Chinese :梵宫; pinyin :fàn gōng) in Wuxi, Jiangsu, mainland China.
❸ Lay congregations: A Buddhist house assembly (居士林jūshìlín).


    Related Research Articles

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Pure Land Buddhism</span> School of Mahāyāna Buddhism

    Pure Land Buddhism is a broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism focused on achieving rebirth in a Pure Land. It is one of the most widely practiced traditions of Buddhism in East Asia.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Avalokiteśvara</span> Buddhist bodhisattva embodying the compassion of all buddhas

    In Buddhism, Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is the principal attendant of Amitabha Buddha at the right. He has 108 avatars, one notable avatar being Padmapāṇi. He is variably depicted, described, and portrayed in different cultures as either male or female. In East Asian Buddhism, he has evolved into a female form called Guanyin.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Huayan</span> Tradition in East Asian Buddhism

    The Huayan or Flower Garland school of Buddhism is a tradition of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy that first flourished in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907). The Huayan worldview is based primarily on the Avatamsaka Sutra as well as on the works of the Huayan patriarchs, like Fazang. The name Flower Garland is meant to suggest the crowning glory of a Buddha's profound understanding of ultimate reality.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Guifeng Zongmi</span>

    Guifeng Zongmi was a Tang dynasty Buddhist scholar and bhikkhu, installed as fifth patriarch of the Huayan school as well as a patriarch of the Heze school of Southern Chan Buddhism. He wrote a number of works on the contemporary situation of Tang Buddhism, which also discussed Taoism and Confucianism. He also wrote critical analyses of Chan and Huayan, as well as numerous scriptural exegeses.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiantai</span> School of Mahayana Buddhism established and practiced in China

    Tiantai or T'ien-t'ai is an East Asian Buddhist school of Mahāyāna Buddhism that developed in 6th-century China. The school emphasizes the Lotus Sutra's doctrine of the "One Vehicle" (Ekayāna) as well as Mādhyamaka philosophy, particularly as articulated in the works of the fourth patriarch Zhiyi. Brook Ziporyn, professor of ancient and medieval Chinese religion and philosophy, states that Tiantai Buddhism is "the earliest attempt at a thoroughgoing Sinitic reworking of the Indian Buddhist tradition." According to Paul Swanson, scholar of Buddhist studies, Tiantai Buddhism grew to become "one of the most influential Buddhist traditions in China and Japan."

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Tendai</span> School of Mahayana Buddhism in Japan

    Tendai, also known as the Tendai Lotus School is a Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition officially established in Japan in 806 by the Japanese monk Saichō. The Tendai school, which has been based on Mount Hiei since its inception, rose to prominence during the Heian period (794-1185). It gradually eclipsed the powerful Hossō school and competed with the rival Shingon school to become the most influential sect at the Imperial court.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Mahayana sutras</span> Religious texts in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition

    The Mahāyāna sūtras are a broad genre of Buddhist scriptures (sūtra) that are accepted as canonical and as buddhavacana in Mahāyāna Buddhism. They are largely preserved in the Chinese Buddhist canon, the Tibetan Buddhist canon, and in extant Sanskrit manuscripts. Several hundred Mahāyāna sūtras survive in Sanskrit, or in Chinese and Tibetan translations. They are also sometimes called Vaipulya ("extensive") sūtras by earlier sources. The Buddhist scholar Asaṅga classified the Mahāyāna sūtras as part of the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, a collection of texts meant for bodhisattvas.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Nianfo</span> Repetition of the name of Amitābha in Pure Land Buddhism

    Nianfo is a term commonly seen in Pure Land Buddhism. In the context of Pure Land practice, it generally refers to the repetition of the name of Amitābha. It is a translation of Sanskrit buddhānusmṛti.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">East Asian Buddhism</span> East Asian Mahayana Buddhism adhering the Chinese Buddhist canon

    East Asian Buddhism or East Asian Mahayana is a collective term for the schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism that developed across East Asia which follow the Chinese Buddhist canon. These include the various forms of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Buddhism in East Asia. East Asian Buddhists constitute the numerically largest body of Buddhist traditions in the world, numbering over half of the world's Buddhists.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Zhiyi</span> Chinese Buddhist founder of Tiantai

    Zhiyi also Chen De'an (陳德安), is the fourth patriarch of the Tiantai tradition of Buddhism in China. His standard title was Śramaṇa Zhiyi (沙門智顗), linking him to the broad tradition of Indian asceticism. Zhiyi is famous for being the first in the history of Chinese Buddhism to elaborate a complete, critical and systematic classification of the Buddhist teachings. He is also regarded as the first major figure to make a significant break from the Indian tradition, to form an indigenous Chinese system.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Vairocana</span> Celestial Buddha embodying emptiness

    Vairocana is a cosmic buddha from Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Vairocana is often interpreted, in texts like the Avatamsaka Sutra, as the dharmakāya of the historical Gautama Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism, Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of śūnyatā. In the conception of the 5 Jinas of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the centre and is considered a Primordial Buddha.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Buddhist texts</span> Historic literature and religious texts of Buddhism

    Buddhist texts are religious texts that belong to, or are associated with, Buddhism and its traditions. The earliest Buddhist texts were not committed to writing until some centuries after the death of Gautama Buddha. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, found in Afghanistan and written in Gāndhārī, they date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. The first Buddhist texts were initially passed on orally by Buddhist monastics, but were later written down and composed as manuscripts in various Indo-Aryan languages and collected into various Buddhist Canons. These were then translated into other languages such as Buddhist Chinese and Classical Tibetan as Buddhism spread outside of India.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Schools of Buddhism</span> Institutional and doctrinal divisions of Buddhism

    The schools of Buddhism are the various institutional and doctrinal divisions of Buddhism that have existed from ancient times up to the present. The classification and nature of various doctrinal, philosophical or cultural facets of the schools of Buddhism is vague and has been interpreted in many different ways, often due to the sheer number of different sects, subsects, movements, etc. that have made up or currently make up the whole of Buddhist traditions. The sectarian and conceptual divisions of Buddhist thought are part of the modern framework of Buddhist studies, as well as comparative religion in Asia.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Buddhism in Vietnam</span> Buddhism in Vietnam

    Buddhism in Vietnam, as practiced by the ethnic Vietnamese, is mainly of the Mahayana tradition and is the main religion. Buddhism may have first come to Vietnam as early as the 3rd or 2nd century BCE from the Indian subcontinent or from China in the 1st or 2nd century CE. Vietnamese Buddhism has had a syncretic relationship with certain elements of Taoism, Chinese spirituality, and Vietnamese folk religion.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Five Tathāgatas</span> Representations of the five qualities of the Adi-Buddha

    In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, the Five Tathāgatas or Five Wisdom Tathāgatas, the Five Great Buddhas, the Five Dhyani Buddhas and the Five Jinas, are five Buddhas which are often venerated together. Various sources provide different names for these Buddhas, though the most common today are: Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Vairocana, Amitābha, and Amoghasiddhi.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Mahayana</span> Branch of Buddhism

    Mahāyāna is a term for a broad group of Buddhist traditions, texts, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in ancient India and is considered one of the three main existing branches of Buddhism. Mahāyāna accepts the main scriptures and teachings of early Buddhism but also recognizes various doctrines and texts that are not accepted by Theravada Buddhism as original. These include the Mahāyāna sūtras and their emphasis on the bodhisattva path and Prajñāpāramitā. Vajrayāna or Mantra traditions are a subset of Mahāyāna which makes use of numerous tantric methods Vajrayānists consider to help achieve Buddhahood.

    Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty, known as the Chan School, and later developed into various sub-schools and branches. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam and became Vietnamese Thiền, northeast to Korea to become Seon Buddhism, and east to Japan, becoming Japanese Zen.

    Though Zen is said to be based on a "special transmission outside scriptures" which "did not stand upon words", the Zen-tradition has a rich doctrinal and textual background. It has been influenced by sutras such as the Lankavatara Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Chinese Buddhism</span>

    The History of Chinese Buddhism begins in the Han Dynasty, when Buddhism first began to arrive via the Silk Road networks. The early period of Chinese Buddhist history saw efforts to propagate Buddhism, establish institutions and translate Buddhist texts into Chinese. The effort was led by non-Chinese missionaries from India and Central Asia like Kumarajiva and Paramartha well as by great Chinese pilgrims and translators like Xuanzang.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Ouyi Zhixu</span>

    Ouyi Zhixu was a Chinese Buddhist scholar monk in 17th century China. He is considered a patriarch of the Chinese Pure Land School, a Chan master, as well as a great exponent of Tiantai Buddhism. He was also one of the Four Eminent Monks of the Wanli Era, after Yunqi Zhuhong (1535–1615), Hanshan Deqing (1546–1623), and Daguan Zhenke (1543–1604). He is most well known for his non-sectarian and syncretic writings, which draw on various traditions like Tiantai, Pure Land, and Chan, and also engage with Confucian, Daoist and Jesuit sources.



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    Further reading


    • Nan Huai-Chin (1998), Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism and Zen, Translated by J.C. Cleary, Red Wheel Weiser
    • Nan Huai-Chin (1995), The Story of Chinese Zen, Translated by Thomas Cleary, Charles E. Tuttle Company
    • Tansen Sen (2003), Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600–1400, Association for Asian Studies & University of Hawai'i Press
    • Shinko Mochizuki, Leo M. Pruden, Trans. (1999). Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History, Chapter 1: A General Survey. In: Pacific World Journal, Third Series, Number 1, 91–103. Archived from the original
    • Shinko Mochizuki, Leo M. Pruden, Trans. (2001). Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History, Chapter 2: The Earliest Period; Chapter 3: Hui-yuan of Mt.Lu; and Chapter 4: The Translation of Texts-Spurious Scriptures. In: Pacific World Journal, Third Series, Number 3, 241–275. Archived from the original
    • Shinko Mochizuki, Leo M. Pruden, Trans. (2002). Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History, Chapter Five: The Early Pure Land Faith: Southern China, and Chapter Six: The Early Pure Land Faith: Northern China. In: Pacific World Journal, Third Series, Number 4, 259–279. Archived from the original
    • Shinko Mochizuki, Leo M. Pruden, Trans. (2000). Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History, Chapter 7: T'an-luan. In: Pacific World Journal, Third Series, Number 2, 149–165. Archived from the original

    First Buddhist revival

    Contemporary Chinese Buddhism

    • Chau, Adam Yuet (2010), Religion in Contemporary China: Revitalization and Innovation, Taylor & Francis
    • Miller, James (2006), Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies, ABC-CLIO
    • Baumer, Christoph (2011), China's Holy Mountain: An Illustrated Journey into the Heart of Buddhism, London: I.B.Tauris, ISBN   978-1-84885-700-1
    • Master Sheng Yen (2007), Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, Translated by Douglas Gildow and Otto Chang, North Atlantic Books
    • Munro, Robin; Mickey Spiegel (1994). Detained in China and Tibet: A Directory of Political and Religious Prisoners. Human Rights Watch. ISBN   978-1564321053.
      • List first published in: "Appendix: Sects and Societies Recently or Currently Active in the PRC". Chinese Sociology & Anthropology. 21 (4): 103–104. 1989. doi:10.2753/CSA0009-46252104102.
    Chinese Buddhism
    Traditional Chinese 漢傳佛教