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Tiantai Buddhist Elaborations on the Hidden and Visible
Author Kantor, Hans-Rudolf (著)
Source Asiatische Studien : Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Asienkunde=Etudes asiatiques : revue de la Société Suisse d'études asiatiques
Volumev.74 n.4 Special Issue
Pages883 - 910
PublisherSwiss Asia Society=Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft
Publisher Url
LocationZurich, Switzerland [蘇黎世, 瑞士]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteAuthor affiliation: Graduate Institute of Asian Humanities, Huafan University
Keywordround/perfect; paradox; hidden and visible; root and traces; Madhyamaka; Tiantai
AbstractA crucial feature of Tiantai (天台) Buddhist thought certainly is its elaboration on the hidden and visible, called “root and traces” (ben ji 本跡), as the concept of non-duality (bu er 不二) of these opposites is part of what constitutes the highest level of Buddhist doctrine in Tiantai doxography, called “round/ perfect teaching” (yuanjiao 圓教). Such elaboration is inextricably bound up with paradoxical discourse, which functions as a linguistic strategy in Tiantai practice of liberating the mind from its self-induced deceptions.

Observation of paradoxes in the elaboration on the hidden and visible could be called practice qua doctrinal exegesis, because Tiantai masters try to integrate self-referential observation in mind-contemplation (guanxin 觀心) with interpretation of sūtra and śāstra. For Tiantai Buddhists, the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma (fofa 佛法) itself is independent from speech and script and only accessible to the liberated mind, yet it cannot fully be comprehended and displayed apart from the transmission of the canonical word. To observe the paradox in non-duality of the hidden and visible is what triggers practice qua doctrinal exegesis and entails liberation (jietuo 解脫) according to the “round/ perfect teaching.”

The article traces the formation of paradoxical discourse in Chinese Madhyamaka, particularly referencing the Tiantai elaboration on the hidden and visible and its diverse sources of inspiration, which includes both Chinese indigenous traditions of thought (Daoism and Xuanxue) and translated sūtra and śāstra literature from India.
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ISSN00044717 (P); 22355871 (E)
Created date2023.08.04
Modified date2023.08.04

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