kirtu wrote:Shantideva's "Way of the Bodhisattva" is virtually unknown in Zen Buddhism. Almost no Indian texts are referenced in Zen Buddhism. More or less Nagarjuna is the only Indian teacher outside of the short lineage from Mahakashyapa mentioned in Zen. Nagarjuna is also not generally read.
If you mean "Zen in Japan," then perhaps it is true that sutras from India play little role. However, if you mean Zen in other countries such as China, Korea, Vietnam, etc., then Buddhist sutras from India do play a substantial role, and have from the beginning. Many texts still have a major place in these traditions, such as the Diamond Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Lankavatara Sutra, Surangama Sutra
, etc. Historically, the Avatamsaka Sutra, Mahaparinirvana Sutra,
and the Srimaladevi Simhanada Sutra
were also important. Looking through the Platform Sutra
, or even the compendiums of koans, there are many references to the Mahayana sutras, showing that people associated with the Zen school during its formative period had studied many of these texts.
FWIW, the lineage of Zen Patriarchs includes 28 Indian monks including some famous teachers such as Asvaghosa, Nagarjuna, and Vasubandhu.