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The Flower of Chinese Buddhism

The Flower of Chinese Buddhism
Pub. Year

2009

Publisher

Middleway Press

ISBN

978-0-9779245-4-7

  The Flower of Chinese Buddhism (Published by Weatherhill, Inc., 1986)

The introduction of Buddhism to China is a fascinating story of the meeting of two great civilizations: India, the land of the Buddha's birth, and China, where Buddhism was transformed into a world religion and from where the Buddhist scriptures eventually spread to Japan.

Picking up where his earlier volume, The Living Buddha, leaves off, Ikeda gives narrative to Buddhist missionaries and translators, the first Chinese Buddhist leaders, the development of distinctly Chinese schools of Buddhism, and the eventual decline of Buddhism in China after the tenth century. He describes the career and achievements of Kumarajiva, famed for his renditions of the sutras, among them the Lotus Sutra, and the philosophical treatises that form the core of East Asian Buddhist literature.

The careers and major works of the Huisi, Zhiyi and Zhanran, and master interpreter-advocates of the Tiantai school of Buddhism in China, are outlined. This presents a useful introduction to the Tiantai school that arose in Japan and informed the teachings of Nichiren in the 13th century.

Translated by Burton Watson, The Flower of Chinese Buddhism offers insightful account of one of the key time periods in the spread of Buddhism across Asia.

The Flower of Chinese Buddism is also available in Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Thai, Danish, Indonesian, Spanish and Chinese (simplified).


CONTENTS

Editor's Note
Preface to the English Edition
Translator's Note
  1. FROM INDIA TO CHINA
  2. Buddhism as a World Religion
    The Introduction of Buddhism to China
    Possible Earlier Contract with Buddhism
    The Situation in Central Asia

  3. EARLY CHINESE TRANSLATIONS OF BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES
  4. Seeking Knowledge of Buddhism
    Monk-Translators from Central Asia
    A Priceless Cultural Legacy

  5. KUMARAJIVA AND HIS TRANSLATION ACTIVITIES
  6. The Unparalleled Monk-Translator
    Kumarajiva's Parentage
    The Period of Youthful Study
    The Road to Chang'an
    The Nature of Kumarajiva's Translations
    The Translation of the Lotus Sutra

  7. EFFORTS TO SYSTEMATIZE THE TEACHINGS
  8. Translations in the History of Chinese Buddhism
    The Activities of Kumarajiva's Disciples

  9. TRAVELERS IN SEARCH OF THE LAW
  10. Pilgrimages of Chinese Monks to India
    Faxian's Account of His Travels and Its Importance
    Over Endless Mountains and Rivers
    Visiting the Sacred Sites of Buddhism

  11. HUISI AND THE VENERATION OF THE LOTUS SUTRA
  12. The Beginnings of the Tiantai School
    Huisi and His Understanding of the Lotus Sutra
    The Lotus Meditation
    Coming Face to Face with the Buddha
    Huisi and the Concept of the Latter Day of the Law

  13. TIANTAI ZHIYI AND HIS THREE MAJOR WRITINGS
  14. Master Interpreter of the Lotus Sutra
    Encounter with Huisi
    The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra
    The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra
    Great Concentration and Insight

  15. XUANZANG AND HIS JOURNEY TO INDIA
  16. Tang Culture and Xuanzang's Place in It
    Background and Motives for the Journey to India
    To the Crossroads of Civilization
    The Beginning of the Sectarian Period

  17. TANG BUDDHISM AND THE ACHIEVEMENT OF MIAOLE ZHANRAN
  18. Buddhism in the Reign of Emperor Xuanzong
    Doctrinal Profundity and the Problem of Propagation
    Zhanran's Achievements and Their Importance

  19. THE BUDDHIST PERSECUTIONS
  20. The Suppression of Buddhism in Wartime
    The Background of the Buddhist Persecutions
    The Characteristics of Chinese Buddhism

Glossary
Appendix: Romanization Table
Index