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The Emergence Of Chan Lineage

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Chapter Summary

The development of the Chan tradition, although still far from fully understood, has been researched and interpreted by many scholars. In a parallel to the Tiantai case, in which Guanding attempted to construct a lineage for Zhiyi by linking Zhiyi's teacher Huisi to the little-known Huiwen, and through Huiwen to an Indian line of masters, this epitaph links Faru to a little known figure called Bodhidharma. In 709, the eminent official Zhang Yue wrote an epitaph for Shenxiu, another disciple of Hongren and the one who succeeded him, in which he identifies Shenxiu as the next patriarch. In the Chuan fabao ji, written between 713-16, Du Fei presents Shenxiu as another of Hongren's heirs, alongside Faru. Jingjue wrote the Lengqie shizi ji, most likely between 712 and 716. In the process, Zhanran rejects an alternative version of Tiantai lineage. The Platform Sūtra introduces another new feature to the developing tradition.

Keywords: Bodhidharma; Chan lineage; Chuan fabao ji; Faru's epitaph; Lengqie shizi ji; patriarchs; Platform Sūtra; Shenxiu; Tiantai developments; Zhang Yue's epitaph



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