Thien/Chan/Zen 禅宗

Zen is a College of Mahāyāna Buddhism, referred to in Chinese language program as Chán. Chán is By itself derived from the Sanskrit Dhyāna, which Implies "meditation". Zen emphasises dharma Exercise and experiential wisdom—ESpecificly as realized in the Type of meditation Identified as zazen—in the attainment of awakening, Usually Merely Known as the Avenue of enlightenment.

As This kind of, it de-emphasizes Each theoretical Understanding and the Research of religious texts in favor of Immediate, experiential realization Via meditation and dharma Exercise. The establishment of Zen is traditionally credited to the South Indian Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who is recorded as Possessing Arrive to China to Instruct a "Specific transmission Outdoors scriptures" which "Do not stand upon Sentences".

The emergence of Zen as a Unique College of Buddhism was 1st documented in China in the 7th century CE. It is Believed to have Produced as an amalgam of Different currents in Mahāyāna Buddhist Believed—Among the them the Yogācāra and Madhyamaka philosophies and the Praj?āpāramitā literature—and of Community traditions in China, ESpecificly Taoism and Huáyán Buddhism. From China, Zen subsequently Distribute southwards to Vietnam and eastwards to Korea and Japan.

The enso, a symbol of Zen Buddhism

Early history of Chan

BodhidharmaAs noted above, A lot of Zen Background is Blended with mythology. The historical Information Necessary for a Total, Correct account of Earlier Zen Background no Lengthier exist. Chan, as it is Often Referred to as when referencing Zen Buddhism in Earlier China, Produced from the interaction In between Mahāyāna Buddhism and Taoism. Some scholars also argue that Chan has roots in yogic Methods, Particularly kamma??hāna, the Thought of objects, and kasi?a, Complete fixation of the Thoughts. The entry of Buddhism into China was marked by interaction and syncretism with Taoic faiths, Taoism in Specific.

Buddhist scriptures Had been translated into Chinese language program with Taoist vocabulary, Since it was Initially Witnessed as a Type of International Taoism. In the Tang Period of time, Taoism incorporated This kind of Buddhist Factors as monasteries, vegetarianism, prohibition of Booze, the doctrine of emptiness, and collecting scripture into tripartite organisation. Throughout the Exact same time, Chan Buddhism grew to Turn into the Greatest sect in Chinese language program Buddhism.


The establishment of Chan is traditionally credited to the Indiann prince turned monk Bodhidharma (formerly dated ca 500 CE, but now ca Earlier fifth century), who is recorded as Obtaining Appear to China to Train a "Unique transmission Outdoors scriptures" which "Do not stand upon Words and phrases". Bodhidharma settled in the kingdom of Wei In which he took Amid his disciples Daoyu and Huike. Early on in China Bodhidharma's Training was referred to as the "1 Automobile sect of Indian".

The 1 Automobile (Sanskrit Ekayāna), also Recognized as the Substantial Automobile or the Buddha Automobile, was taught in the Lankavatara Sutra which was closely Linked with Bodhidharma. Nevertheless, the DeIndicatorate "1 Automobile sect" Do not beAppear Broadly Applied, and Bodhidharma's Training Grew to become Recognized as the Chan sect for its Main Concentrate on chan Instruction and Exercise. Shortly Prior to his Passing away, Bodhidharma apPlaceed Huike to Be successful him, Producing Huike the 1st Chinese language born patriarch and the Next patriarch of Chan in China. Bodhidharma is Mentioned to have passed 3 Goods to Huike as a Indicator of transmission of the Dharma: a robe, a bowl, and a Duplicate of the Lankavatara Sutra.

The transmission then passed to the Next patriarch (Huike), the 3rd (Sengcan), the 4th patriarch (Dao Xin) and the fifth patriarch (Hongren). The sixth and Final patriarch, Huineng (638–713), was one of the giants of Chan Background, and all surviving Educational institutions regard him as their ancestor. Nevertheless, the dramatic Account of Huineng's Existence tells that there was a contrMore thansy More than his Declare to the Name of patriarch. Right after Becoming Selected by Hongren, the fifth patriarch, Huineng Experienced to flee by Evening to Nanhua Temple in the south to Keep away from the wrath of Hongren's jealous senior disciples. Afterwards, in the Center of the 8th century, monks Declareing to be Amid the successors to Huineng, calling On their own the Southern College, cast On their own in opposition to All those Declareing to Be successful Hongren's then publicly recognized
College student Shenxiu. It is Normally Used that it is at this Place—the debates In between these rival factions—that Chan enters the realm of Completely documented Background.

Apart from disagreements More than the Legitimate lineage, doctrinally the Southern College is Linked with the Training that enlightenment is sudden, Whilst the Northern School is Linked with the Training that enlightenment is gradual. The Southern College Ultimately Grew to become predominant and their Northern College rivals died out. Current Scholarship grant, however, has questioned this narrative, Considering that the only surviving Documents of this account Have been authored by People of the Southern College.

Extended Reading

 Five Schools of Zen

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