Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby Tiger » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:38 am

Firstly, why is there no separate subforum for the Hwa Yen sect of Chinese Buddhism?

As far as I know, it was a historical school which was quite comparable to Pure Land and other sects in popularity. However, I am not sure if it still exists in the Sinosphere and other parts of East Asia. Or probably it just became a part of one of the other major schools?

I would like to know the distinct philosophy and practices of the Hwa Yen school.
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Re: Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby plwk » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:55 am

Do you see any bulk of discussion on Hua Yan as compared to Ch'an and Jing Tu?
Even Tian Tai gets only a passing mention... so where's there demand, there's supply... I guess

Until the in-house scholar whose main interest is in Avatamsaka & moderator huseng comes in (I am also hoping that another learned Sangha member here, the Ven Huifeng could contribute... and Astus the Administrator could chip in as well...), here's some bits from an old site and here too.
And if you can read Chinese, here another one
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Re: Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:31 pm

The Huayan lineage in China seems to have been lost after the Tang Dynasty, though of course the history, texts and philosophy did not become unknown.

Huayan still exists in Japan as an independent lineage (called Kegon in Japanese), albeit quite small. Their HQ is Todai-ji in Nara. I wrote up a description of the temple and the images:

https://sites.google.com/site/dharmadep ... ji-in-nara

I hear much of their practices are drawn from Shingon, though of course they also have their traditional Kegon traditions.

The Hwaŏm school in Korea was merged into the Seon school, so it no longer exists there as an independent lineage, though the influences from Hwaŏm are strong.

Huayan as an independent lineage has been revived here in Taiwan in recent decades, though I'm uncertain about how successful they are. They have a temple in downtown Taipei which I visited. Very low-key.

The reason there is no forum for Huayan is because there are little to no formal practitioners of it in the English speaking world. There are works in English on Huayan and the respective patriarchs, though that's just academic writings and not something people practice. Outside of academia you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who knows much about the school, let alone able to read the original texts in Classical Chinese.

Huayan Buddhism as we understand now is entirely text-based. Zhiyan, Fazang, Chengguan and Zongmi are the key patriarchs, though you find other authors in Korea and Japan (like Gyonen) who wrote their own treatises. If you read Chinese or Japanese there is a lot of academic material on the school, though in English it isn't too extensive.
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Re: Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby Lotus415 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:13 pm

Thank you Huseng for your post, although for some reason the pictures do not load. Do you have information about Bodhisattva Cintāmaṇi-cakra-Avalokiteśvara (如意輪觀音) and if this mantra can be practiced by anyone? I have come across it before.
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Re: Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:58 am

Lotus415 wrote:Thank you Huseng for your post, although for some reason the pictures do not load. Do you have information about Bodhisattva Cintāmaṇi-cakra-Avalokiteśvara (如意輪觀音) and if this mantra can be practiced by anyone? I have come across it before.


The photos should load ... it is on google servers. :smile:

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with said mantra.
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Re: Hwa Yen Sect of Chinese Buddhism

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 9:07 pm

Indrajala wrote:Huayan as an independent lineage has been revived here in Taiwan in recent decades, though I'm uncertain about how successful they are. They have a temple in downtown Taipei which I visited. Very low-key.

Awesome! I really hope they are successful in reviving such an interesting school of Buddhism! :D
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