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TIANTAI (Chinese : 天台; pinyin : PRC Standard Mandarin: Tiāntāi, ROC Standard Mandarin: Tiāntái) is a school of Buddhism
Buddhism
in China
China
, Japan
Japan
, Korea
Korea
, and Vietnam
Vietnam
that reveres the Lotus Sutra
Lotus Sutra
as the highest teaching in Buddhism. In Japan
Japan
the school is known as Tendai , in Korea
Korea
as Cheontae , and in Vietnam
Vietnam
as Thiên thai.

The name is derived from the fact that Zhiyi
Zhiyi
, the fourth patriarch, lived on Tiantai Mountain . Zhiyi
Zhiyi
is also regarded as the first major figure to make a significant break from the Indian tradition, to form an indigenous Chinese system. Tiantai
Tiantai
is sometimes also called "The Lotus School", after the central role of the Lotus Sutra
Lotus Sutra
in its teachings.

During the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
, the Tiantai
Tiantai
school became one of the leading schools of Chinese Buddhism, with numerous large temples supported by emperors and wealthy patrons, with many thousands of monks and millions of followers.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Patriarchs * 1.2 Zhiyi
Zhiyi

* 2 Texts

* 3 Classification of teachings

* 3.1 Five Periods

* 3.2 Eight Teachings

* 3.2.1 Four Doctrines * 3.2.2 Fourfold Methods

* 4 Teachings

* 4.1 The Threefold Truth * 4.2 Three Contemplations * 4.3 The Fourfold Teachings

* 5 Meditation-practice * 6 Influence * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Sources * 10 Bibliography * 11 External links

HISTORY

The bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara
Avalokiteśvara
, an important figure from the Lotus Sūtra.

Unlike earlier schools of Chinese Buddhism
Chinese Buddhism
, the Tiantai
Tiantai
school was entirely of Chinese origin. The schools of Buddhism
Buddhism
that had existed in China
China
prior to the emergence of the Tiantai
Tiantai
are generally believed to represent direct transplantations from India
India
, with little modification to their basic doctrines and methods. However, Tiantai grew and flourished as a natively Chinese Buddhist school under the 4th patriarch, Zhiyi
Zhiyi
, who developed a hierarchy of Buddhist sutras that asserted the Lotus Sutra
Lotus Sutra
as the supreme teaching, as well as a system of meditation and practices around it.

After Zhiyi, Tiantai
Tiantai
was eclipsed for a time by newer schools such as the East Asian Yogācāra and Huayan schools , until the 6th patriarch Zhanran who revived the school and defended its doctrine against rival schools. The debates between the Faxiang school and the Tiantai
Tiantai
school concerning the notion of universal Buddhahood
Buddhahood
were particularly heated, with the Faxiang school asserting that different beings had different natures and therefore would reach different states of enlightenment, while the Tiantai
Tiantai
school argued in favor of the Lotus Sutra
Sutra
teaching of Buddhahood
Buddhahood
for all beings.

Over time, the Tiantai
Tiantai
school became doctrinally broad, able to absorb and give rise to other movements within Buddhism, though without any formal structure. The tradition emphasized both scriptural study and meditative practice, and taught the rapid attainment of Buddhahood
Buddhahood
through observing the mind.

The school is largely based on the teachings of Zhiyi, Zhanran , and Zhili , who lived between the 6th and 11th centuries in China. These teachers took an approach called "classification of teaching" in an attempt to harmonize the numerous and often contradictory Buddhist texts that had come into China. This was achieved through a particular interpretation of the Lotus Sūtra .

PATRIARCHS

Due to the use of Nāgārjuna 's philosophy of the Middle Way, he is traditionally taken to be the first patriarch of the Tiantai
Tiantai
school.

The sixth century dhyāna master Huiwen (Chinese : 慧文) is traditionally considered to be the second patriarch of the Tiantai school. Huiwen studied the works of Nāgārjuna, and is said to have awakened to the profound meaning of Nāgārjuna's words: "All conditioned phenomena I speak of as empty, and are but false names which also indicate the mean."

Huiwen later transmitted his teachings to Chan master Nanyue Huisi (Chinese : 南嶽慧思, 515-577), who is traditionally figured as the third patriarch. During meditation, he is said to have realized the "Lotus Samādhi ", indicating enlightenment and Buddhahood
Buddhahood
. He authored the Mahāyāna-śamatha-vipaśyanā. Huisi then transmitted his teachings to Zhiyi
Zhiyi
(Chinese : 智顗, 538-597), traditionally figured as the fourth patriarch of Tiantai, who is said to have practiced the Lotus Samādhi and to have become enlightened quickly. He authored many treatises such as explanations of the Buddhist texts, and especially systematic manuals of various lengths which explain and enumerate methods of Buddhist practice and meditation. The above lineage was proposed by Buddhists of later times and do not reflect the popularity of the monks at that time.

ZHIYI

Most scholars consider Zhiyi
Zhiyi
to have been the major founder of the Tiantai
Tiantai
school, since he did the most to systematize and popularize the doctrines and methods associated with it. At a later date, the school's sixth patriarch, Zhanran , would compose clarifying commentaries on Zhiyi's writings.

Zhiyi
Zhiyi
analyzed and organized all the Āgamas and Mahayana
Mahayana
sutras into a system of five periods and eight types of teachings. For example, many elementary doctrines and bridging concepts had been taught early in the Buddha's advent when the vast majority of the people during his time were not yet ready to grasp the 'ultimate truth'. These Āgamas were an upaya , or skillful means - an example of the Buddha employing his boundless wisdom to lead those people towards the truth. Subsequent teachings delivered to more advanced followers thus represent a more complete and accurate picture of the Buddha's teachings, and did away with some of the philosophical 'crutches' introduced earlier. Zhiyi's classification culminated with the Lotus Sutra
Sutra
, which he held to be the supreme synthesis of Buddhist doctrine. The difference on Zhiyi's explanation to the Golden Light Sutra
Sutra
caused a debate during the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
.

TEXTS

The Tiantai
Tiantai
school takes the Lotus Sūtra (Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra) as the main basis, the Mahāprajñāpāramitā Śāstra of Nāgārjuna as the guide, the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra
Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra
as the support, and the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (The Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra in 25,000 Lines) for methods of contemplation.

In addition to its doctrinal basis in Indian Buddhist texts, the Tiantai
Tiantai
school also created its own meditation texts which emphasize the principles of śamatha and vipaśyanā. Of the Tiantai
Tiantai
meditation treatises, Zhiyi's Concise Śamatha-vipaśyanā (小止観), Mahā-śamatha-vipaśyanā (摩訶止観), and Six Subtle Dharma
Dharma
Gates (六妙法門) are the most widely read in China. Rujun Wu identifies the work Mohe Zhiguan
Mohe Zhiguan
of Zhiyi
Zhiyi
as the seminal meditation text of the Tiantai
Tiantai
school.

CLASSIFICATION OF TEACHINGS

Tiantai
Tiantai
classified the Buddha's teachings in Five Periods and Eight Teachings. This classification is usually attributed to Zhiyi, but is probably a later development. The classification of teachings was also done by other schools, such as the Fivefold Classification of the Huayan school
Huayan school
.

FIVE PERIODS

The Five Periods are five periods in the life of the Buddha in which he delivered different teachings, aimed at different audiences with a different level of understanding:

* The Period of Avatamsaka . During twenty-one days after his Enlightenment, the buddha delivered the Avatamsaka Sutra
Avatamsaka Sutra
. * The Period of Agamas. During twelve years, the Buddha preached the Agamas for the Hinayana
Hinayana
, including the Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
and dependent origination . * The Period of Vaipulya. During eight years, the Buddha delivered the Mahayana
Mahayana
teachings, such as the Vimalakirti Sutra
Sutra
, the Śrīmālādevī Sūtra , the Suvarnaprabhasa Sutra
Sutra
and other Mahayana sutras. * The Period of Prajna. During twenty-two years, the Buddha explained emptiness in the Prajnaparamita-sutras . * The Period of Saddharmapundarika and Nirvana
Nirvana
Sutra. In the last eight years, the Buddha preached the doctrine of the One Buddha Vehicle , and delivered the Lotus Sutra
Lotus Sutra
and the Nirvana
Nirvana
Sutra
Sutra
just before his death.

EIGHT TEACHINGS

The Eight Teachings consist of the Four Doctrines, and the Fourfold Methods.

Four Doctrines

* Tripitaka
Tripitaka
Teaching: the Sutra
Sutra
, Vinaya
Vinaya
and Abhidhamma
Abhidhamma
, in which the basic teachings are explained * Shared Teaching: the teaching of emptiness * Distinctive Teaching: aimed at the Bodhisattva * Perfect Teaching - the Chinese teachings of the Lotus Sutra
Lotus Sutra
and the Avatamsaka Sutra

Fourfold Methods

* Gradual Teaching, for those with medium or inferior abilities * Sudden Teaching, the Distinctive Teachings and the Complete Teaching for those with superior abilities * Secret Teaching, teachings which are transmitted without the recipient being aware of it * Variable Teaching, no fixed teaching, but various teachings for various persons and circumstances

TEACHINGS

See also: Ten suchnesses

David Chappell lists the most important teachings as the doctrines of:

* The Threefold Truth, * The Threefold Contemplation, * The Fourfold Teachings, * The Subtle Dharma, * The Nonconceivable Discernment.

Nan Huai-Chin , a 20th-century Chan teacher, summarizes the main teaching of the Tiantai
Tiantai
school as the following:

* The One Vehicle (Skt. Ekayāna ), * The vehicle of attaining Buddhahood
Buddhahood
, as the main principle; * The three forms of śamatha -vipaśyanā correlated with the meditative perspectives of śūnyatā , * The mean, as the method of cultivating realization.

THE THREEFOLD TRUTH

The Tiantai
Tiantai
school took up the principle of The Threefold Truth, derived from Nāgārjuna:

* Phenomena are empty of self-nature, * Phenomena exist provisionally from a worldly perspective, * Phenomena are both empty of existence and exist provisionally at once.

The transient world of phenomena is thus seen as one with the unchanging, undifferentiated substratum of existence . This doctrine of interpenetration is reflected in the Tiantai
Tiantai
teaching of three thousand realms in a single moment of thought.

The Threefold Truth has its basis in Nāgārjuna :

All things arise through causes and conditions. That I declare as emptiness . It is also a provisional designation. It is also the meaning of the Middle Path .

THREE CONTEMPLATIONS

While the Three Truths are essentially one, they may be recognized separately as one undertakes the Three Contemplations:

* The first contemplation involves moving from the world of provisionality to the world of śūnyatā. * The second contemplation is moving back from the world of emptiness to the world of provisionality with an acceptance thereof. * The third contemplation involves balancing the previous two by following the Middle Path.

THE FOURFOLD TEACHINGS

The Three Contemplations and Threefold Truth in turn form the basis of the Fourfold Teachings, making them "parallel structures".

MEDITATION-PRACTICE

According to Charles Luk , in China
China
it has been traditionally held that the meditation methods of the Tiantai
Tiantai
are the most systematic and comprehensive of all. Tiantai
Tiantai
emphasizes śamatha and vipaśyanā meditation.

Regarding the functions of śamatha and vipaśyanā in meditation, Zhiyi
Zhiyi
writes in his work Concise Śamatha-vipaśyanā:

The attainment of Nirvāṇa is realizable by many methods whose essentials do not go beyond the practice of śamatha and vipaśyanā. Śamatha is the first step to untie all bonds and vipaśyanā is essential to root out delusion. Śamatha provides nourishment for the preservation of the knowing mind, and vipaśyanā is the skillful art of promoting spiritual understanding. Śamatha is the unsurpassed cause of samādhi, while vipaśyanā begets wisdom.

The Tiantai
Tiantai
school also places a great emphasis on Mindfulness of Breathing (Skt. ānāpānasmṛti) in accordance with the principles of śamatha and vipaśyanā. Zhiyi
Zhiyi
classifies breathing into four main categories:

* Panting (喘), * Unhurried breathing (風), * Deep and quiet breathing (氣), * Stillness or rest (息).

Zhiyi
Zhiyi
holds that the first three kinds of breathing are incorrect, while the fourth is correct, and that the breathing should reach stillness and rest.

In Zhiyi's magnum opus, the "Great Samatha-Vipasyana ", he outlined his meditation system as consisting of 25 preparatory practices, 4 kinds of samadhi and ten modes of contemplation.

INFLUENCE

David Chappell writes that although the Tiantai
Tiantai
school, "has the reputation of being...the most comprehensive and diversified school of Chinese Buddhism, it is almost unknown in the West" despite having a "religious framework that seemed suited to adapt to other cultures, to evolve new practices, and to universalize Buddhism". He attributes this failure of expansion to the school having "narrowed its practice to a small number of rituals" and because it has "neglected the intellectual breadth and subtlety of its founder".

SEE ALSO

* Tiantai
Tiantai
in Korea
Korea
* Tiantai
Tiantai
in Japan
Japan
* Zhou Jichang * Guoqing Temple * Huayan * Chinese Buddhism
Chinese Buddhism
* Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion

REFERENCES

* ^ Groner 2000 , p. 199–200. * ^ Snelling 1987 , p. 154. * ^ Ziporyn 2004 . * ^ A B C Groner 2000 , pp. 248–256. * ^ A B C Williams 2008 , p. 162. * ^ A B Luk 1964 , p. 109. * ^ Ng 1990 , p. 1. * ^ A B C D Luk 1964 , p. 110. * ^ 风穴寺与临济宗 * ^ 論宋代天台宗山家、山外之爭 * ^ Huai-Chin 1997 , p. 91. * ^ Wu 1993 . * ^ Donner 1991 , p. 208. * ^ A B Hua 1977 , p. 52-53. * ^ Buswell 2013 , p. 1003. * ^ Buswell 2013 , p. 911. * ^ A B C Chappell 1987 , p. 247-266. * ^ Huaijin 1997 , p. 91. * ^ Snelling 1987 , p. 155. * ^ Luk 1964 , p. 111. * ^ Luk 1964 , p. 125.

SOURCES

* Buswell, Robert Jr ; Lopez, Donald S. Jr. , eds. (2013), Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism., Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 9780691157863 * Chappell, David W. (1987), "Is Tendai
Tendai
Buddhism
Buddhism
Relevant to the Modern World?" (PDF), Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 14 (2/3), Archived from the original on March 4, 2009, retrieved August 16, 2008 CS1 maint: Unfit url (link ) * Donner, Neal (1991), Sudden and Gradual Intimately Conjoined: Chih-i's Tíen-t'ai View. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor), (1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited * Groner, Paul (2000), Saicho : The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai
Tendai
School, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 0824823710 * Hua, Hsuan (1977), The Shurangama Sutra, Volume 1, Dharma
Dharma
Realm Buddhist Association * Huai-Chin, Nan (1997). Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism
Buddhism
and Zen. York Beach, Me.: Samuel Weiser. ISBN 1578630207 * Luk, Charles (1964), The Secrets of Chinese Meditation, Rider * Ng, Yu-kwan (1990). Chih-i and Madhyamika, dissertation, Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University * Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks * Williams, Paul (2008). Mahayana
Mahayana
Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations 2nd edition. Routledge * Wu, Rujun (1993). T'ien-T'ai Buddhism
Buddhism
and early Mādhyamika. National Foreign Language Center Technical Reports. Buddhist studies program. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1561-0 , ISBN 978-0-8248-1561-5 . Source: (accessed: Thursday April 22, 2010) * Ziporyn, Brook (2004). Tiantai
Tiantai
School, in Robert E. Buswell, ed., Encyclopedia of Buddhism, New York, McMillan. ISBN 0-02-865910-4 * Ziporyn, Brook (2004), Being and ambiguity: philosophical experiments with Tiantai
Tiantai
Buddhism, Illinois: OpenCourt, ISBN 978-0-8126-9542-7

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Chappell, David Wellington (2013). A Guide to the Tiantai
Tiantai
Fourfold Teachings, in: Tsugunari Kubo; Terry Abbott; Masao Ichishima; David Wellington Chappell, Tiantai
Tiantai
Lotus Texts (PDF). Berkeley, California: Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai America. pp. 153–210. ISBN 9781886439450 . * Chen, Jinhua (1999). Making and Remaking History: A Study of Tiantai
Tiantai
Sectarian Historiography. Tokyo: International Institute for Buddhist Studies. ISBN 4906267432 . * Hurvitz, Leon (1962). Chih-i (538–597): An Introduction to the Life and Ideas of a Chinese Buddhist Monk. Mélanges Chinois et Bouddhiques XII, Bruxelles: Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises * Katō Bunno, Tamura Yoshirō, Miyasaka Kōjirō (tr.), (1975 ). The Threefold Lotus Sutra: The Sutra
Sutra
of Innumerable Meanings; The Sutra
Sutra
of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law; The Sutra
Sutra
of Meditation on the Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
Universal Virtue, Weatherhill & Kōsei Publishing, New York & Tōkyō (Rissho Kosaikai) PDF * Magnin, Paul (1979). La vie et l'oeuvre de Huisi (515 - 577) : (les origines de la secte bouddhique chinoise du Tiantai). Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve. ISBN 2-85539-066-4 . * Penkover, Linda (1979). In the Beginning ... Guanding and the Creation of Early Tiantai. Journal of the international Association of Buddhist Studies 23 (2), 245-296. * Stevenson, Daniel B. (1986). The Four Kinds of Samādhi in Early T'ien-t'ai Buddhism. In: Peter N. Gregory: Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism
Chinese Buddhism
Vol. 1, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 45-98. ISBN 0-8248-1088-0 . * Swanson, Paul L. (1989). Foundations of T'ien-T'ai Philosophy, Asian Humanities Press, California. ISBN 0-89581-919-8 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Buddhism
Buddhism
in a nutshell: Tien-tai * Digital Dictionary of Buddhism
Buddhism
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* v * t * e

Lotus Sūtra

Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra

COMPONENTS

* THREEFOLD LOTUS SUTRA :

.