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Qisong As Historian: A Reading Of The First Fascicle Of The Critical Essay On The True Lineage Of The Transmission Of The Dharma

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Chapter Summary

The Critical Essay, two fascicles in length, contains three sections, written at different times, as well as layers of self-annotation in the form of interlinear notes. Throughout the Critical Essay, the two issues that concern Qisong the most are the origin and validity of the Transmission of the Dharma- Treasury and the history of knowledge of the dharma-transmission in China. Qisong announces that he is distressed by conflict over the legitimacy of Chan lineage and declares his determination to resolve the controversy. Qisong devotes the rest of this chapter to refuting a series of criticisms of Chan lineage history made by the Tang monk Shenqing. These include the vexing question of Bodhidharma's dates, the purpose for Bodhidharma's journey to China, and the very need for dharma transmission.

Keywords: Bodhidharma; Chan lineage; Critical Essay; dharma-transmission; Qisong



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