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Chinese use of the Siddhaṃ script for the Pratisara Mantra. 927 CE The Womb Realm maṇḍala used in Śubhakarasiṃha 's teachings from the Mahavairocana Tantra . Vairocana
Vairocana
is located in the center. Esoteric practices related to Cundī have remained popular in Chinese Buddhism and East Asia

TáNGMì (唐密 literally "Tang Mysteries" or "Tang Esotericism") refers to the traditions of Vajrayana
Vajrayana
Buddhism
Buddhism
that have flourished among the Chinese people since the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
in China
China
. These traditions may also be referred to as HàNCHUáN MìZōNG (漢傳密宗 the " Han Chinese Transmission of the Esoteric (or Mystery) Tradition"."Han Transmission Esoteric School" (Hànmì 漢密 for short)

CONTENTS

* 1 Overview * 2 History * 3 Common practices * 4 See also

* 5 Notes

* 5.1 Bibliography

* 6 External links

OVERVIEW

In China
China
and countries with large Chinese populations such as Taiwan , Malaysia
Malaysia
and Singapore
Singapore
, Chinese Esoteric Buddhism
Buddhism
is commonly referred as Tángmì (唐密) "Tang Dynasty Esoterica", or Hànchuán Mìzōng (漢傳密宗), " Han Chinese Transmission of the Esoteric Tradition" (Hànmì 漢密, "Han Mysteries", for short). It is sometimes referred as Dōngmì (東密) "Eastern Esotericism", meaning the succession of Tang Esoterica in Japan (east to China) transmitted by the Japanese monk Kūkai . Being parts of Esoteric Buddhism (Vajrayana), Tángmì and Dōngmì can be very different from those in Tibetan and Newar traditions, in aspects like yidams , dharmapalas , rituals , the main sutras , and the related Buddhist texts . In a more general sense, the Chinese term Mìzōng (密宗) "Esoteric Tradition" is the most popular term used when referring to any form of Esoteric Buddhism.

These traditions more or less share the same doctrines as Shingon Buddhism
Buddhism
, with many of its students themselves traveling to Japan to be given transmission at Mount Kōya .

HISTORY

Esoteric teachings followed the same route into northern China
China
as Buddhism
Buddhism
itself, arriving via the Silk Road
Silk Road
sometime during the first half of the 7th century, during the Tang Dynasty. Vajrayana
Vajrayana
practices arrived from India just as Buddhism
Buddhism
was reaching its zenith in China, and received sanction from the emperors of the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
. During this time, three great masters came from India to China:

* Śubhakarasiṃha (637–735) * Vajrabodhi (671–741) * Amoghavajra
Amoghavajra
(705–774)

These three masters brought the esoteric teachings to their height of popularity in China. During this era, the two main source texts were the Mahavairocana Tantra and the Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra . Traditions in the Sinosphere still exist for these teachings, and they more or less share the same doctrines as Shingon Buddhism , with many of its students traveling to Japan to be given transmission at Mount Kōya .

Esoteric methods were naturally incorporated into Chinese Buddhism during the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
. Śubhakarasiṃha's most eminent disciple, Yi Xing (Chinese : 一行), also practiced Chan Buddhism
Buddhism
. In Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
there was no major distinction between exoteric and esoteric practices and the Northern School of Chan even became known for its esoteric practices of dhāraṇīs and mantras . However, Buddhist esoteric practices almost vanished from China
China
during the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution (845 CE) initiated by Emperor Wuzong of Tang (唐武宗). Before the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution, Master Kūkai (774–835) from Japan came to Tang China
China
to learn the complete esoteric teachings expounded by the three Indian masters. Kukai was taught by the great master Hui-kuo (746–805; Japanese: Keika). It is claimed that he learned the complete teachings in two years before returning to Japan. The transmission to Japan later became Shingon Buddhism
Buddhism
(真言宗), which is often referred to in Chinese as Dōngmì (東密), "Eastern Esoterica," because Japan is east to China geographically. Some said it is so named due to the temple Tō-ji (東寺, literally Eastern Temple) at Nara , Japan, where Master Kūkai established the Shingon school of Buddhism. Master Saichō (767-822) also brought a few esoteric teachings to Japan that were related to the Japanese lineage of Tiāntái School (天台宗), which are referred to in Chinese as Táimì (台密), "Tái Esoterica", where Tái means the Tái of Tiāntái. Dōngmì and Táimì became the two main systems of Esoteric Buddhism
Buddhism
in Japan.

During the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
, the Mongol emperors made Vajrayana
Vajrayana
the official religion of China, and Tibetan lamas were given patronage at the court. A common perception was that this patronage of lamas caused corrupt forms of tantra to become widespread. When the Mongol Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was overthrown and the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
was established, the lamas were expelled from the court and Vajrayana
Vajrayana
Buddhism
Buddhism
was denounced as not being an orthodox path.

In late Imperial China
China
, the early traditions of Tangmi
Tangmi
were still thriving in Buddhist communities. Robert Gimello has also observed that in these communities, the esoteric practices associated with Cundī were extremely popular among both the populace and the elite.

Since late 19th century, many Chinese and Taiwanese monks went to Japan to learn and bring back the complete teachings of Tang Mysteries passed down in Shingon Buddhism. These efforts are termed "Renaissance of Tángmì" (唐密復興). Due to this reason, Dōngmì (東密), "Eastern Mysteries", referring to Shingon Buddhism, is now sometimes used as an interchangeable term with Tángmì.

COMMON PRACTICES

According to Hsuan Hua , the most popular example of esoteric teachings still practiced in many Chan Buddhist monasteries of East Asia is the Śūraṅgama Sūtra and its dhāraṇī, the Śūraṅgama mantra , along with the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī . In contemporary China
China
there is an ongoing revival of Tang Esoteric Buddhism, largely through connections to Mount Koya.

SEE ALSO

* Vajrayana
Vajrayana

NOTES

* ^ Baruah 2000 , p. 170. * ^ Sharf 2002 , p. 268. * ^ Faure 1997 , p. 85. * ^ A B C Nan 1998 , p. 99. * ^ Wu 2008 , p. 146. * ^ Shi 1977 , pp. 68-71.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Baruah, Bibhuti (2000). Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 978-81-7625-152-5 . * Faure, Bernard (1997). The Will to Orthodoxy: A Critical Genealogy of Northern Chan Buddhism. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2865-2 . * McBride, Richard D. (2008). "The mysteries of body, speech, and mind: The three esoterica (sanmi) in medieval Sinitic Buddhism". Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 29 (2). * Nan, Huaijin (1998). Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism
Buddhism
and Zen. Weiser Books. ISBN 978-1-57863-020-2 . * Sharf, Robert H. (2002). Coming to Terms With Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the Treasure Store Treatise. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2443-3 . * Shi, Hsüan Hua (1977). The Shurangama Sutra. Sino-American Buddhist Association, Buddhist Text Translation Society. ISBN 978-0-917512-17-9 . * Wu, Jiang (2008). Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism
Buddhism
in Seventeenth-Century China. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-971540-4 .

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