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Patriarchs on PaperA Critical History of Medieval Chan Literature$
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Alan Cole

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284067

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284067.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Plans for the Past

Plans for the Past

Early Accounts of How Perfect Truth Came to China

(p.20) 2 Plans for the Past
Patriarchs on Paper

Alan Cole

University of California Press

This chapter compares the oldest surviving accounts of Bodhidharma to slightly earlier narratives that sought to explain how the essence of Buddhism moved from India into the possession of certain Chinese men. The first part of the chapter looks at how two late-sixth-century masters—Zhiyi (532–597) and Xinxing (540–594)—were presented as perfect receptacles of truth; the second part then covers the earliest accounts of Bodhidharma and his teachings. The final section of the chapter looks closely at Huike, the supposed disciple of Bodhidharma, to try to make sense of the way his biography in Daoxuan's Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks was rewritten so that he appears to stand at the head of a lineage that passes on the essence of Buddhist truth in a man-to-man manner.

Keywords:   Bodhidharma, Buddhism, Zhiyi, Xinxing, Huike, Buddhist truth

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