Master Huineng
2014-March-20 Source:
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Master Huineng - At the Vanguard of Popularizing Buddhism in China

In square of the British Library in London stand the statues of ten of the greatest thinkers in the world.

Among them are three Chinese philosophers representing the three ideologies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. They are Confucius, Laozi and The Six Patriarch Hui Neng from Yunfu in Guangdong Province, collectively considered to be the “Three Sages of the East.”

Master Huineng (638-731) was born into the Lu family in Xinzhou (now Xinxing County) in Guangdong Province. He learned Buddhism from Monk Hongren, the Fifth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism on the Huangmei Mountain, and inherited his master’s mantle and alms bowl. He continued the Eastern Mountain teaching, becoming the Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism. After his death, the Emperor Zhongzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) conferred upon him the posthumous title of Master Dajian (“Great Mirror”) of Zen Buddhism. The sinologist Chen Yinke (1890-1969) lauded the Sixth Patriarch most highly, saying “his doctrines, which state that the Buddhist belief goes straight into people's minds and one becomes a Buddha the moment he sees his own Buddha nature, simplify the previous monastic doctrines and greatly inspire and enlighten people. Therefore, they are monumental in the history of Chinese Buddhism!”

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Editor: Olivia
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