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T'ien-T'ai


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


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[ xii ] A scholastic and eclectic school of C hinese buddhism , founded by Hui Ssu (515–77 ce ) and Chih I (Chih K'ai) (538–97), based principally upon the Lotus Sutra ( Saddharmapundarika ) and on Chih I's two commentaries on it, and upon Hui Ssu's ‘Method of Concentration and Insight in the Mahayana’ ( Ta Ch'eng Chih Kuan Fa Men ). The basic doctrine is that of the Threefold Truth, which asserts that dharmas (see D hamma ) are: (1) empty ( see E mptiness ), because they are without self or being of their own; (2) existing temporarily by depending on causes and conditions; and (3) intermediate, because they are empty and exist at the same time. Hence things are both distinct and also part of a unified organic whole. This idea was developed into the teaching of the ‘3,000 realms in one thought moment’. In the 10 levels of existence (of B uddhas , B odhisattvas , P ratyekabuddhas , A rahats , gods, demons, humans, hungry ghosts, animals, beings in H ells ), each level shares the characteristics of the other levels, giving 100 realms. Each of these has 10 characteristics of suchness ( tathata ), giving 1,000 realms. Each 1,000 is divided into living beings, elements ( skandhas ) and space, giving 3,000. All these 3,000 realms of existence interpenetrate and entail each other, and in every single thought-moment each of these realms is immanent. According to Hui Ssu the immanence ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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