PHIL 213 Class notes, Week 5, Lecture 3

 Buddhism III: Mahayana Buddhism: Early Chinese Buddhism

549-623 CE: Chi-tsang (Jizang), master of the San-lun (Sanlun) or emptiness school of Chinese Buddhism.

538-597 CE: Chih-i (Zhiyi), master of the T'ien-t'ai (Tiantai) school of Chinese Buddhism emphasizing that human nature is karmically evil.

A. Chi-tsang and the Emptiness School (San-lun)

  1. The "middle" as the intersection of form and emptiness, of distinctions and no distinctions, word and beyond words
  2. The Four Middles: Comparative Middle, Exhaustive Middle, Absolute Middle, and Creative Middle.

B. Chih-i and the T'ien-t'ai School

  1. Human Nature as Inherently Evil - Karmically Evil
  2. Buddha Nature as Inherently Evil - Both Good and Evil; Neither Good Nor Evil.
  3. The Four Samadhis (Meditative Absorption) of Amitabha (Buddha of Infinite Light)