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By Jamie Hubbard

Inspite of the typical view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the old list 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 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 strength, the San-chieh move ran afoul of the professionals and its teachings and texts have been formally proscribed a variety of instances over a several-hundred-year background. as a result of those suppressions San-chieh texts have been misplaced and little information regarding its teachings or background is on the market. the current paintings, the 1st English learn of the San-chieh move, makes use of manuscripts stumbled on at Tun-huang to ascertain the doctrine and institutional practices of this circulate within the higher context of Mahayana doctrine and perform. via viewing San-Chieh within the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard unearths it to be faraway from heretical and thereby increases very important questions about orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He exhibits that a few of the hallmark rules and practices of chinese language Buddhism locate an early and certain expression within the San-chieh texts.

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Additional resources for Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy

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89 90 The Tan t’ou t’o ch’i shih fa w¼F7À and the Ming ch’i shih pa men fa gF7k–À, T #2154, 678c. , the Ch’i shih fa F7À (a portion of Pelliot 2849R) identi³ed by Nishimoto (edited and included in Sangaikyõ, 592–95; see also 586–88); begging for food is also mentioned in the Hsin-hsing i wen (pp. 3, 6, 7); see also the discussion of how to give to the sangha in the Commentary on the Inexhaustible Storehouse translated in Appendix C. 92 The fact that the various practices relating to food come ³rst reµects a central concern with the rules for receiving alms and eating in the San-chieh community, and, inasmuch as I have no knowledge of Hsin-hsing or his followers practicing the dhðta relating to dwelling, perhaps indicates a preferential order as well.

86 87 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. 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. Chih-i and his disciples, for example, are well known for advocating the practices, as is Huitsan, mentioned above in connection with Hsin-hsing’s seeking to receive the novice ordination.

Chih fa, 579. 63 See Nishimoto Teruma, “Sangaikyõ no kanhõ ni tsuite,” Õkurasan ronshð 44 (1999), 85–121. 64 Chih fa, 579, 582. 65 Practice in Accord with the Capacity, 123 (cf. , 142); see also chapter 5. 66 Practice in Accord with the Capacity, 117–20. 70 Fang-teng As mentioned above, it seems likely that Hsin-hsing studied with Hui-tsan, a Vinaya and meditation master also known for his cultivation of the dhðta and the fang teng ¾f penitentiary rite. 71 Whether because of Hui-tsan’s inµuence or simply because of its widespread popularity is unclear, but Hsin-hsing and his followers also practiced the fang teng rite, a complex and lengthy (one week was standard, but longer periods are also provided for) ritual retreat consisting of extensive physical puri³cation, offerings to and veneration of the Buddhas, confession of sins, circumambulation while chanting dh„ra«‡, and seated meditation designed to remove obstacles and purify the mind.

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