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Contemporary Chinese study of Huineng in Mainland China



State of the Field Report VII M o u Yongsheng* Huineng (gfl~ or N~) (638-713), the sixth patriarch of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, one of the "three great Eastern sages" and the "ten worldwide major thinkers" in the history of Chinese culture and thought (see FANG: 6), was born to a poor family and initiated into the Buddhist tradition with no adherence to a particular scripture or doctrine (bu it" wen Z / ; F ~ g - ) , a special transmission outside the scriptures ~l'iao wai hie chuan g R ~ ) , direct pointing at human mind (zhi zhi ren xin iR~.k,g,), and attaining Buddhahood by seeing into one's own nature ~fian xing chengfo ~ r This tradition has exerted great impact on China and spread far abroad to Japan, Korea, Great Britain, United States, and many other countries. Since the 1980s, with the increasingly intense attention paid to traditional culture and religion in mainland China, Huineng, his thought, and the Southern School of Chan Buddhism have also become the focus of extensive interest in academic circles. According to rough statistics, more than one hundred books and two thousand research articles have been published during the



DaoSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2006

DOI: 10.1007/BF02868040

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