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Research on Mind-Nature Theory of the Platform Sultra and its Research Methodologies and Mind-environment Joint-Construction of Hunan-Jiangxi Rural Zen

Author: LiLinJie
Tutor: HuSui
School: Hunan University
Course: Chinese Philosophy
Keywords: Platform Sultra Mind-Nature Ontology Madhyamapratipada NoTwo Confucianist Orientation of Buddhism Merging of Niutou Sectand Dongshan Sect Hunan-Jiangxi Rural Zen Mind-Environment JointConstruction Function
CLC: B942
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 104
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This Dissertation is aimed to reveal that the symbol of further development ofChinese philosophy in Tang Dynasty and following Five Dynasties is thephilosophical argument and proving of mind-nature represented by Platform Sultrawhich is dominated by its Confucianist orientation; to clarify the sources, the processof their formation, main features and development tendency of the Platform Sultra, theSect bible of Dhyana; and to construct theories, methodologies and functional systemof mind-nature philosophy of Buddhist Zen in order to strengthen the initiativeinnovation capability of traditional Chinese philosophy of transformation into modernphilosophy characteristic of subjective thinking theoretical way and thus acquire theinitiative position of cultural selection. This Dissertation deeply recognizes theresearch attitude of Mr. Fang Litian as deeming Buddhism as a religion, also aphilosophy and a science as well, and adopts Platform Sultra research methodology asthe research methodology, with following3theories and facts as (i) Fang Litian’sphilosophical research methods sourced from international Buddhist researchmethodologies, and philosophical issue resolution method as one of Chinese historyresearch methods,(ii)“mediating mediation” theory of Daisetz Suzuki;(iii) learningand referring to the method of studying Buddhism via Buddhist methods”. Researchfindings and innovation points of this Dissertation are as follows:(1) has constructed a research methodological system of the Platform Sultra andapplied this system into argument and proving of the author of the Platform andDhyana practice. There are four main important notes as follows: first, the connotationand hierarchical structure of this system is with “no two-mapratipada-two truths” asorientation, with comprehensive innovation method as backbone, and with historicliteratures method-interview investigation method-comparative analysis method asbasis; second, the mainstream is to apply a series of philosophical research methods asSunyata etc. into studying the essence of Buddha-Zen culture from concepts,significance and its development changes, while to interpret via philosophical issueswith comparative analysis method as main thread with the consistency of historic andlogic lines in the process of problem proposing, dispute, evolution and settlement.Third, it is applied into demarcation and definition of the core scope “Sunyata” ofBuddhism and “Sunyata” practice; and fourth, results of applying this system into proving the actual author of the Platform Sultra show that the supposition of Huinengbeing the practical author composing the Platform Sultra is untenable, meanwhile, thesupposition of “Farong of Niutou Sect being the source and founder of ChineseBuddhist Zen” and the supposition of “true co-founders of Buddhist Zen beingDaoxing and Hongren” is respectively a flaw in an otherwise perfect thing; while theargument in this Dissertation of “Farong, Daoxing and Hongren being co-founders ofBuddhist Zen” and the argument that “Huneng being the synthesizer and giant ofBuddhist Zen” are adequately reasonable.(2) has proposed the supposition of “Niutou Sect and Dongshan Sect jointlyforging grass-root Buddhism-Chinese Zen in the grand unification era of Sui and TangDynasties on basis of Prajna of Wei&Ji dynasties and Buddhist nature theory of theSouth and North Dynasties, and expounded the source of theories and methodologyand function system of mind-nature philosophy of the Platform Sultra. Niutou Sect,upon its first founder Farong inheriting the methodology of “Middle Way BuddhistNature” supposition and “No Gain” supposition of Sanlun Sect, evolved into thesource and founder of Chinese Buddhist Zen via rounds of innovation of two mainfeatures as Taoism orientation and transcendentalism orientation; while DongshanSect, via good opportunity and good reason of rural meditation theories and practicesof emphasizing both meditation and rural practice sourced from the Fourth PatriarchDaoxing which primarily solved the livelihood and survival of monks to became theco-founder of Chinese Zen and the direct source of Chaoxi Sect, the mainstream ofBuddhist Zen. Niutou Sect had once risen to prominence along with South Sect andNorth Sect and reached a situation of tripartite confrontation, and therefore, in thenatural style of Stone Sect, especially in Hongzhou Sect, especially Sitou Sect of thedescedent of South Sect, flows the blood of Niutou Sect. As for why it has exerted along lasting impact upon the development tendency of Chinese traditional philosophy,this Dissertation has provided theoretical explanation of modern human scienceincluding anthropology for the change, evolvement, merging and transformation ofdifferent ethnic cultures and traditions of Chinese and Indian of modern humanityincluding cultural anthropology, that is, two different religious cultural systems asLengjia Buddhist Zen based on Indian philosophy and Chinese Chuang-tzu philosophymerge into a mode to turn into a third religious cultural system---grassrootmountain-forest Buddhism, i.e. Chinese Buddhist Zen, which is the crystal of culturaltransformation. It is advisable for Pan Menghai to demonstrate the logical process ofZen system into6-layered hierarchy via No Two method, but as a blemish in an otherwise perfect fact, it is not adequately appropriate to expound this system by ablock diagram with same side lengths at the above and the bottom. Because the basisfor growing into a Buddha is rooted in every ordinary human being, but it is very rareto the ones who have a wide theoretical basis of growing into a Buddha and have asudden comprehension of truth and insight to reach the summit with perfectpersonality and moral integrity to become a true Buddha. This Dissertation hasproposed the six-layered pagoda-shaped hierarchy of the mind-nature philosophicaltheories, methodology and the function of improving both internal mind and externalenvironment of the Platform Sultra.(3) With the research attitude of Buddhism as religion, as philosophy and asscience, this Dissertation has argued and proposed the saying of “one main two wings”of South Sect Zen, expounded the appropriate opportunity and grand occasion ofSouth Sect Zen---rural Zen split and contrasted with official North Sect Zen, withCaoxi Sect-Heze Sect as main body and Xingsi-Xiqian-Series and Huairang-MazhuSeries as two rings respectively. The saying of “one flower five leaves” in historicliteratures of Zen, in which “one flower” means the source of Zen, the Tathagata ChanBuddhism passed to China by Bodhidhama; while “five leaves” mean the flows of Zenas Weiyang Sect and Linji Sect in the series of Nanyue Mountain established by SixPatriarch Huineng, and Caodong Sect, Yunmen Sect and Fayan Sect in the series ofQingyuan, was just one-sided saying of two series of Qingyuan and Nanyue, which isinconsistent with historic reality, and also cannot interpret the fact that the swiftdevelopment of South Sect Zen flourishing in early Tang Dynasty, especially after theAn Lushan Rebellion and the Huichang Calamity in mid and late Tang Dynasty andalmost whole socity had accepted the theoretical way and learning route of Huineng,the great innovator and the giant of Buddhist Zen. The Platform Sultra is therepresentative works of Confucianist orientation of Chinese Buddhism, of which themost impressive feature is to comprehend and interpret the Buddhist nature ofBuddhism by the mind-nature and human nature proposition of Confucianism. Theunique flourishing of South Sect Zen lies in its basis and essence sourced fromConfucianism and good command of the fact that “the degree of realization of a theoryin a nation mainly lies in the degree of satisfaction of its demand”(by Carl Marx), andhas also provided a basic evidence for the essence of Maslow’s Need Hierarcytheory---the strong points of Confucianism and South Sect Zen lie in their meetingthe demands and background of times, conform to local situations and their propositions are fit for ancient small-scale peasant economy and feudal patriarch clansystem.(4) has expounded the basic connotation of “mind-environment jointconstruction”, which refers to the five natures of prakrti concept (as peace&quiet,thusness, wisdom, silence&emptiness and inclusiveness) in the heart-clearingBuddhist methodology of Platform Sultra which is sourced from the Joint Emphasis ofMeditation and Practice of Chinese Zen co-established by Farong, Daoxing-Hongren.In a broad sense,“mind-environment joint-construction” is a high generalization ofextended theories and practice of joint emphasis of meditation and practice,mind-nature consistency, mind-circumstance/lot consistency, body-functionconsistency, metaphysics-physics consistency carried out by the Platform Sultra, andthus searching for a starting point and final destination of soul. This Dissertation hasprimarily constructed a “mind-environment joint-construction” functional system ofhealing heart and soul, adjusting supra-mundane and social mundane life as well. Inaddition, with the view points of Tang Dynasty’s political and military achievements,cultural exchange with western regions, Buddhism spreading, and propagandizingnational prestige etc, this Dissertation believes that the national dynasty lies in a jointforce including “mind-environment joint-construction” of the Platform Sultra ofhealing heart and soul, adjusting supra-mundane and social mundane life as well. Withfamous mountains mainly inhabited by Buddhist monks, the functional system of“mind-environment joint-construction” has especially emphasized the functions ofpsychological adjustment, moral practice, social stability and environmentalprotection etc.(5) This Dissertation has expounded the connotation, formation process,development opportunity and theories and methodology of “Hunan-Jiangxi FarmingZen”---Huaihai’s Farming Zen theory and practicing mode. Miyin Buddhist ZenTemple, is the biggest and most typical “Farming Zen Place” established and hostedby Lingyou, a disciple of Huaihai, for44years and descended for44generations,which practices Zen Regulations in Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties, and as aconclusion, enjoys great significance and impact in propagating farmingmeditation.The connotation of “Hunan-Jiangxi Farming Meditation” proposed in thisDissertation refers to the generic group of Qingyuan Xingsi-Shitou Xiqian Zen systemand Nanyue Mountain Huairang-Mazu Daoyi Zen system mainly formed in Hunan andJiangxi with Nanyue Mountain as main base. It was descended directly from CaoxiZen at the South of Five Ridges and sourced from grassroot forest Buddhism as Farong and Daoxin-Hongren series since the first year of the reign of Emperor TangXuanzong, i.e. Tianbao First Year742when Xiqian and Daoyi passed their Buddhisttheories respectively. Descendents of these two series flourished in Hunan and Jiangxiand further advanced and radiated into Yangzi River, Huaihe River, Heluo Culturecovered regions till830s within100years (the statement of Yang Zenwen as “over100years from late8thcentury and mid-late9thcentury seems inadequately accurate).Swift flourishing of South Sect Zen which is adequately matched with small-scalepeasant economy of Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties and feudal clan system is thesymbol of the success of farming Zen (by Du Jiwen). Near one hundred years ofconstruction of the base of “Hunan-Jiangxi Farming-Meditation” is the most key stagefor development of South Sect Zen. Making clear the theories and methodology of“Hunan-Jiangxi Farming Zen” is the key for interpreting why South Sect Zenflourished in early Tang Dynasty, and still continued to flourish after “An LushanRebellion” in mid-late Tang Dynasty and after “Huichang Buddhism Calamity”.

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