Mount Jiuhua is one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism. It is located in Qingyang County in Anhui province and is famous for its rich landscape and ancient temples. Many of the mountain's shrines and temples are dedicated to Ksitigarbha, a bodhisattva and protector of beings in hell realms according to Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Pious Buddhists visit Anhui to climb to Greater Tiantai peak, regarded as Jiuhuashan's most important peak, although it is not the tallest. Mount Jiuhua was called Mount Lingyang in Han Dynasty, it was called Mount Jiuzi in Chen Dynasties of South Dynasties. A legend says that the great poet Li Bai of Tang Dynasty travelled here and wrote down "Magic is divided to two branches, sacred mountain generates nine glories.". Thus it was named Mount Jiuhua. JiuHuashan is delicately beautiful, located in the southeastern part of Chizhou City, in Quingyang County of Anhui Province; the gross area reaches 120 square kilometers, while the protection area reaches 114 square kilometers.
Shiwang Peak is the highest one with an elevation of 1342 meters above sea level. Together with Wutai Mountain in Shanxi, Emei Mountain in Sichuan and Putuo Mountain in Zhejiang. Jiuhua Mountain is called one of the four great Buddhist mountains in China. In 719 AD, Kim Qiaoque, a Silla prince cultivated himself for 75 years, he died at 99 years of age, his corporeal body stayed intact. Because he was similar in appearance to Dizang Buddhisattva, the monks there believed Dizang Boddhisattva was reincarnated in him, as a result, Jiuhua Mountain became the place to hold rites for Dizang Boddhisatva. During the golden periods of the Ming and Qing dynasties, there were as many as 360 temples and 4,000 to 5,000 monks and nuns; the mountain is not only famous for its Buddhist culture but noted for its natural landscapes featuring old pines, green bamboo forests, strange rocks, waterfalls and caves. Mount Jiuhua was known as Jiuzi Mountain, but since Li Bai, the celebrated poet in the Tang Dynasty wrote of the mountain, Sailing down the Jiujiang River the other day, I saw the Jiuhua Peaks in the distance.
Looking like a heavenly river hanging in heaven, Its green water embroidering cotton rose hibiscuses. The mountain was renamed Jiuhua Mountain; as a popular pilgrimage destination, it was famous in the southeastern part of China and became one of the four holy mountains of Buddhism. Since its opening in 1979, Jiuhua Mountain, with its abundant Buddhist culture and uniquely attractive scenery, has enjoyed a high reputation in southeast Asia, South Korea and Japan, it is known as the mountain of Dizang Buddhisattva and for having a large number of whole Buddhist relics. There are 99 peaks in the area, among them Shiwang Peak, Lotus Peak, others; some renowned temples located at Mount Jiuhua includes: Huacheng Temple Guoqing Temple Dabeilou Temple Baisuigong Temple Qiyuansi Temple Roushen Temple Tianchi Temple Zhantanlin Temple Zhiyuan Temple Guoqing Temple Zhiyi History of Jiahuashan
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as the Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called the Classical Sanskrit emerged in mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous modern daughter Northern Indian subcontinental languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st-century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants; the Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-. It connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal qualities, rather than semantic. Sound and oral transmission were valued quality in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India; the sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself, the "mysterious magnum" of the Hindu thought.
The search for perfection in thought and of salvation was one of the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread to weave all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in the Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patanjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Dandin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".
Dandin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Natyasastra text; the early Jain scholar Namisadhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisadhu stated that the Prakrit language was the purvam and they came to women and children, that Sanskrit was a refinement of the Prakrit through a "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of the three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the older recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite.
This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, distinguishable into Old Hittite, Middle Hittite and Neo-Hittite. I
Kucha or Kuche was an ancient Buddhist kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin and south of the Muzat River. The area lies in present-day Aksu Prefecture, China, its population was given as 74,632 in 1990. The history of toponyms for modern Kucha remain somewhat problematic, although it is clear that Kucha and Kuché, correspond to the Kushan of Indic scripts from late antiquity. While Chinese transcriptions of the Han or the Tang infer that Küchï was the original form of the name, Guzan, is attested in the Old Tibetan Annals, dating from 687 CE. Uighur and Chinese transcriptions from the period of the Mongol Empire support the forms Küsän/Güsän and Kuxian/Quxian rather than Küshän or Kushan. Another, cognate Chinese transliteration is Ku-sien. Transcriptions of the name Kushan in Indic scripts from late antiquity include the spelling Guṣân, are reflected in at least one Khotanese-Tibetan transcription; the forms Kūsān and Kūs are attested in the 16th century work Tarikh-i-Rashidi.
Both names, as well as Kos, Kujar etc. were used for modern Kucha. Chinese names of Kucha – 曲先. While 龜玆 has sometimes been romanized as Qiuzi, this is regarded as incorrect. According to the Book of Han, Kucha was the largest of the "Thirty-six Kingdoms of the Western Regions", with a population of 81,317, including 21,076 persons able to bear arms. For a long time Kucha was the most populous oasis in the Tarim Basin; as a Central Asian metropolis, it was part of the Silk Road economy, was in contact with the rest of Central Asia, including Sogdiana and Bactria, thus with the cultures of South Asia and coastal areas of China. The Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited Kucha and in the 630s described Kucha at some length, the following are excerpts from his descriptions of Kucha: The soil is suitable for rice and grain...it produces grapes and numerous species of plums, pears and almonds... The ground is rich in minerals-gold, copper and lead and tin; the air is soft, the manners of the people honest.
The style of writing is Indian, with some differences. They excel other countries in their skill in playing on the pipe, they clothe themselves with ornamental garments of silk and embroidery.... There are about one hundred convents with five thousand and more disciples; these belong to the Little Vehicle of the school of the Sarvastivadas. Their doctrine and their rules of discipline are like those of India, those who read them use the same originals.... About 40 li to the north of this desert city there are two convents close together on the slope of a mountain... Outside the western gate of the chief city, on the right and left side of the road, there are erect figures of Buddha, about 90 feet high. A specific style of music developed within the region and "Kuchean" music gained popularity as it spread along the trade lines of the Silk Road. Lively scenes of Kuchean music and dancing can be found in the Kizil Caves and are described in the writings of Xuanzang."he fair ladies and benefactresses of Kizil and Kumtura in their tight-waisted bodices and voluminous skirts recall--notwithstanding the Buddhic theme--that at all the halting places along the Silk Road, in all the rich caravan towns of the Tarim, Kucha was renowned as a city of pleasures, that as far as China men talked of its musicians, its dancing girls, its courtesans."
Kuchean music was popular in Tang China the lute, which became known in Chinese as the pipa. For example, within the collection of the Guimet Museum, two Tang female musician figures represent the two prevailing traditions: one plays a Kuchean pipa and the other plays a Chinese jiegu; the "music of Kucha" was transmitted from China to Japan, along with other early medieval music, during the same period, is preserved there, somewhat transformed, as gagaku or Japanese court music. Following its conquest by the Tang dynasty in the 7th century, during the Tang campaign against the oasis states, the city of Kucha was regarded by Han Chinese as one of the Four Garrisons of Anxi: the "Pacified West", or its capital. During periods of Tibetan domination it was at least semi-independent, it fell under Uighur domination and became an important center of the Uighur Kingdom after the Kirghiz destruction of the Uighur steppe empire in 840. The extensive ruins of the ancient capital and temple of Subashi, abandoned in the 13th century, lie 20 kilometres north of modern Kucha.
Francis Younghusband, who passed through the oasis in 1887 on his journey from Beijing to India, described the district as "probably" having some 60,000 inhabitants. The modern Chinese town was about 700 square yards with a 25 feet high wall, with no bastions or protection to the gateways, but a ditch about 20 feet deep around it, it was filled with houses and "a few bad shops". The "Turk houses" ran right up to the edge of the ditch and there were remains of an old city to the south-east of the Chinese one, but most of the shops and houses were outside of it. About 800 yards north of the Chinese city were barracks for 500 soldiers out of a garrison he estimated
Huiyuan was a Chinese Buddhist teacher who founded Donglin Temple on Mount Lushan in Jiangxi province and wrote the text On Why Monks Do Not Bow Down Before Kings in 404 AD. He was born in Shanxi province but after a long life of Buddhist teaching he wound up in Jiangxi province, where he died in 416. Although he was born in the north, he moved south to live within the bounds of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Huiyuan was posthumously named First Patriarch of the Pure Land School of Buddhism, his disciples included Huiguan and Faan. Huiyuan began studying the Laozi at a young age, as well as the teachings of Confucius. However, at the age of 21 he was converted in Hebei Province by the Buddhist Dao An, a Chinese disciple of a Kuchan missionary. Hearing the sermons of Dao An convinced Huiyuan to "leave the family" and embark on a life of Buddhist teachings, he became a patriarch of Donglin Temple at Mount Lushan. His teachings were various, including the vinaya, meditation and Prajna or wisdom. Although Huiyuan did not take the initiative in establishing the relations with the secular world, he had contacts with court and gentry families.
Huiyuan was on two occasions invited by the dictator Huan Xuan to take part in the discussions about the status of the clergy and Huiyuan defended the independence of the clergy. Members of the cultured classes came to live on Mount Lu as Huiyuan's lay disciples to take part in the religious life. Besides his teaching and interaction with lay followers of the Buddhist faith, he upheld a learned correspondence with the monk Kumarajiva. In the year 402 he organized a group of monks and lay people into a Mahayana sect known as Pure Land Buddhism, the Pure Land being the western paradise of the Buddha Amitabha. In the year 404, Huiyuan wrote a treatise On; this book symbolized his efforts to assert the political independence of Buddhist clergy from the courts of monarchic rulers. At the same time, it was a religious and political text that aimed to convince monarchs and Confucian-minded ministers of state that followers of Buddhism were not subversive, he argued that Buddhists could make good subjects in a kingdom due to their beliefs in retribution of karma and the desire to be reborn in paradise.
Despite the Buddhists' reputation of leaving their family behind for a monastic life, Huiyuan stated "those who rejoice in the Way of the Buddha invariably first serve their parents and obey their lords." Buddhism in China Chinese philosophy Bary, Theodor de. Huiyuan: A monk does not bow down before a king. In: Sources of Chinese tradition, vol. I, New York: Columbia University Press, pp 426-428 Ebrey, Patricia Buckley; the Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tanaka, Kenneth Kenichi; the dawn of Chinese pure land Buddhist doctrine: Ching-ying Hui-yuan's Commentary on the Visualization sutra, Albany: State University of New York Press Zürcher, E. and Teiser, Stephen F.. Buddhist Conquest of China: The Spread and Adaptation of Buddhism in Early Medieval China. Boston, MA: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 204–53
Taixu, was a Buddhist modernist and thinker who advocated the reform and renewal of Chinese Buddhism. Taixu was born in Hǎiníng in Zhejiang province, his lay name was Lǚ Pèilín. His parents died when he was still young, he was raised by his grandparents. At 16 he was ordained into the Linji school of Chan Buddhism in Xiao Jiǔhuá Temple in Suzhou. Not long after being ordained he was given the Dharma name of Taixu. In 1909 he travelled to Nanjing to join the Sutra Carving Society established there by the lay Buddhist Yang Renshan; as a result of being exposed to the political writings of Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao, Tan Sitong and Zhang Taiyan, Taixu turned his mind to the reformation of Buddhism. In 1911 while in Guangzhou, he made contact with the revolutionaries plotting to overthrow the Qing dynasty and participated in some secret revolutionary activities. Taixu would describe the formation of his political thinking during this time in his Autobiography: My social and political thought was based upon'Mr.
Constitution', the Republican Revolution and Anarchism. As I read works such as Zhang Taiyan's "On Establishing Religion", "On the Five Negatives", "On Evolution", I came to see Anarchism and Buddhism as close companions, as a possible advancement from Democratic Socialism. After the establishment of the new Republic of China, Taixu founded the Association for the Advancement of Buddhism, which lasted only a short time due to resistance from conservative Buddhists. Unable to convince the Buddhist community of his ideas, shocked by the outbreak of the First World War and the sufferings in China, Taixu went into seclusion on Putuoshan for three years from October 1914; until his death Taixu worked toward the revival of Buddhism in China, although because of the economic and political turmoil that China experienced through wars and revolutions, few of his projects were successful. He died on March 1947 at the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai. One of his influential disciples was Dongchu 東初. Besides being a revolutionary activist for the Chinese, Taixu was a Buddhist modernist.
He adapted it so that he may propagate Buddhism throughout the world. One of his grand schemes was to reorganize the Sangha, he envisioned plan was to cut the number of monks in the monastic order down and according to history of religion professor Don A. Pittman, by 1930 Taixu had these numbers to include only twenty thousand monastics. Of the twelve thousand bodhisattva monastics, five thousand should be spreading the Dharma through public preaching and teaching, three thousand serving as administrators in Buddhist educational institutions, fifteen hundred engaging in Buddhist charitable and relief work, fifteen hundred serving as instructors in the monastic educational system, one thousand participating in various cultural affairs; this reorganization of the Sangha was an attempt to revitalize Buddhism, an important step to bring about a Pure Land in this world. Pure Land Buddhism was practiced in China during his time. Taixu's modernist mentality caused him to propagate the idea of a Pure Land, not as a land of Buddhist cosmology but as something possible to create here and now in this world.
Pittman writes: His views on the realization of that ideal were far from those of the mainstream of the contemporary Sangha. Rather than focusing on the glories of distant pure lands, which were accessible through reliance on the spiritual merit and power of other great bodhisattvas and buddhas, Taixu visualized this earthly world transformed into a pure land by the dedication and sacrificial hard work of thousands of average bodhisattvas who were mindful of what their concerted witness could mean. Like many Buddhist modernists, Taixu was interested in using tactics such as cultural translation so that non Buddhists can better comprehend the complexity of the tradition. For example, in his essay "Science and Buddhism," Taixu makes a translation of the Buddha's teaching that inside of every drop of water, there are 84 thousand microbes, a Buddhist teaching that states that within our world there are many more worlds, he goes on to explain how that when one looks inside of a microscope one will be able to see these tiny microbes and that each one is a life of its own.
In his writings he connected the scientific theory that there is infinite space with no center of the universe to the Buddhist Sutras that states "Space is endless and the number of worlds is infinite, for all are in mutual counterpoise like a network of innumerable beads." However, Taixu did not believe that science was the end-all. As a matter of fact he saw that in no way was it possible to reach enlightenment through science though it is capable of explaining many of the universe's mysteries. "Scientific knowledge can prove and postulate the Buddhist doctrine, but it cannot ascertain the realities of the Buddhist doctrine." He understood Buddhism to be scientific and yet surpassing science. Like other Buddhist modernists, Taixu condemned superstition. Taixu explains that the two rooted superstitions were the "Superstition of God" and the "Superstition of Reality." These two superstitions go hand-in-hand in regards to explaining why, according to Taixu, Buddhism is the only way to true enlightenment.
The "Superstition of God" can be understand as how science will never be able to explain the existence of the supernatural. Science is only able to expla
The Dharmaguptaka are one of the eighteen or twenty early Buddhist schools, depending on the source. They are said to have originated from the Mahīśāsakas; the Dharmaguptakas had a prominent role in early Central Asian and Chinese Buddhism, their Prātimokṣa are still in effect in East Asian countries to this day, including China, Vietnam and Japan. They are one of three surviving Vinaya lineages, along with that of the Theravāda and the Mūlasarvāstivāda. Guptaka means "preserver" and dharma "law, morality", most the set of laws of Northern Buddhism; the Dharmaguptakas regarded the path of a bodhisattva to be separate. A translation and commentary on the Samayabhedoparacanacakra reads: They say that although the Buddha is part of the Saṃgha, the fruits of giving to the Buddha are great, but not so for the Saṃgha. Making offerings to stūpas may result in many extensive benefits; the Buddha and those of the Two Vehicles, although they have one and the same liberation, have followed different noble paths.
Those of outer paths cannot obtain the five supernormal powers. The body of an arhat is without outflows. In many other ways, their views are similar to those of the Mahāsāṃghikas. According to the Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣā Śāstra, the Dharmaguptakas held that the Four Noble Truths are to be observed simultaneously. Vasubandhu states that the Dharmaguptakas held, in agreement with Theravada and against Sarvāstivāda, that realization of the four noble truths happens all at once; the Dharmaguptaka are known to have rejected the authority of the Sarvāstivāda prātimokṣa rules on the grounds that the original teachings of the Buddha had been lost. The Dharmaguptaka used a unique twelvefold division of the Buddhist teachings, found in their Dīrgha Āgama, their Vinaya, in some Mahāyāna sūtras; these twelve divisions are: sūtra, geya, vyākaraṇa, gāthā, udāna, nidāna, jātaka, itivṛttaka, adbhūtadharma, avadāna, upadeśa. Between 148 and 170 CE, the Parthian monk An Shigao came to China and translated a work which described the color of monastic robes utilized in five major Indian Buddhist sects, called Da Biqiu Sanqian Weiyi.
Another text translated at a date, the Śāriputraparipṛcchā, contains a similar passage with nearly the same information. However, the colors for Dharmaguptaka and Sarvāstivāda are reversed. In the earlier source, the Sarvāstivāda are described as wearing deep red robes, while the Dharmaguptaka are described as wearing black robes; the corresponding passage found in the Śāriputraparipṛcchā, in contrast, portrays the Sarvāstivāda as wearing black robes and the Dharmaguptaka as wearing deep red robes. During the Tang dynasty, Chinese Buddhist monastics wore grayish-black robes and were colloquially referred to as Zīyī, "those of the black robes." However, the Song dynasty monk Zanning writes that during the earlier Han-Wei period, the Chinese monks wore red robes. According to the Dharmaguptaka vinaya, the robes of monastics should be sewn out of no more than 18 pieces of cloth, the cloth should be heavy and coarse. A consensus has grown in scholarship which sees the first wave of Buddhist missionary work as associated with the Gāndhārī language and the Kharoṣṭhī script and tentatively with the Dharmaguptaka sect.
However, there is evidence that other sects and traditions of Buddhism used Gāndhārī, further evidence that the Dharmaguptaka sect used Sanskrit at times: It is true that most manuscripts in Gāndhārī belong to the Dharmaguptakas, but all schools — inclusive Mahāyāna — used some Gāndhārī. Von Hinüber has pointed out incompletely Sanskritised Gāndhārī words in works heretofore ascribed to the Sarvāstivādins and drew the conclusion that either the sectarian attribution had to be revised, or the tacit dogma "Gāndhārī equals Dharmaguptaka" is wrong. Conversely, Dharmaguptakas resorted to Sanskrit. Starting in the first century of the Common Era, there was a large trend toward a type of Gāndhārī, Sanskritized; the Gandharan Buddhist texts, the earliest Buddhist texts discovered, are dedicated to the teachers of the Dharmaguptaka school. They tend to confirm a flourishing of the Dharmaguptaka school in northwestern India around the 1st century CE, with Gāndhārī as the canonical language, this would explain the subsequent influence of the Dharmaguptakas in Central Asia and northeastern Asia.
According to Buddhist scholar A. K. Warder, the Dharmaguptaka originated in Aparānta. According to one scholar, the evidence afforded by the Gandharan Buddhist texts "suggest that the Dharmaguptaka sect achieved early success under their Indo-Scythian supporters in Gandhāra, but that the sect subsequently declined with the rise of the Kuṣāṇa Empire, which gave its patronage to the Sarvāstivāda sect." Available evidence indicates that the first Buddhist missions to Khotan were carried out by the Dharmaguptaka sect: he Khotan Dharmapada, some orthographical devices of Khotanese and the not yet systematically plotted Gāndhārī loan words in Khotanese betray indisputably that the first missions in Khotan included Dharmaguptakas and used a Kharoṣṭhī-written Gāndhārī. Now all other manuscripts from Khotan, all manuscripts written in Khotanese, belong to the Mahāyāna, are written in the Brāhmī script, were translated from Sanskrit. A number of scholars have identified three distinct major phases of missionary activities seen in the history of Buddhism in Central Asia, which are associ
Chan, from Sanskrit dhyāna, is a Chinese school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It developed in China from the 6th century CE onwards, becoming dominant during the Tang and Song dynasties. After the Yuan, Chan less fused with Pure Land Buddhism. Chan spread south to Vietnam as Thiền and north to Korea as Seon, and, in the 13th century, east to Japan as Zen; the historical records required for a complete, accurate account of early Chan history no longer exist. The history of Chán in China can be divided into several periods. Zen as we know it today is the result of a long history, with many changes and contingent factors; each period had different types of Zen. Ferguson distinguishes three periods from the 5th century into the 13th century: The Legendary period, from Bodhidharma in the late 5th century to the An Lushan Rebellion around 765 CE, in the middle of the Tang Dynasty. Little written information is left from this period, it is the time of the Six Patriarchs, including Bodhidharma and Huineng, the legendary "split" between the Northern and the Southern School of Chán.
The Classical period, from the end of the An Lushan Rebellion around 765 CE to the beginning of the Song Dynasty around 950 CE. This is the time of the great masters of Chán, such as Mazu Daoyi and Linji Yixuan, the creation of the yü-lü genre, the recordings of the sayings and teachings of these great masters; the Literary period, from around 950 to 1250, which spans the era of the Song Dynasty. In this time the gongan-collections were compiled, collections of sayings and deeds by the famous masters, appended with poetry and commentary; this genre reflects the influence of literati on the development of Chán. This period idealized the previous period as the "golden age" of Chán, producing the literature in which the spontaneity of the celebrated masters was portrayed. Although McRae has reservations about the division of Chán-history in phases or periods, he distinguishes four phases in the history of Chán: Proto-Chán. In this phase, Chán developed in multiple locations in northern China, it is connected to the figures of Bodhidharma and Huike.
Its principal text is Four Practices, attributed to Bodhidharma. Early Chán. In this phase Chán took its first clear contours. Prime figures are the fifth patriarch Daman Hongren, his dharma-heir Yuquan Shenxiu, the sixth patriarch Huineng, protagonist of the quintessential Platform Sutra, Shenhui, whose propaganda elevated Huineng to the status of sixth patriarch. Prime factions are Southern School and Oxhead School. Middle Chán. In this phase developed the well-known Chán of the iconoclastic zen-masters. Prime figures are Mazu Daoyi, Shitou Xiqian, Linji Yixuan, Xuefeng Yicun. Prime factions are the Hongzhou school and the Hubei faction An important text is the Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall, which gives a great amount of "encounter-stories", the well-known genealogy of the Chán-school. Song Dynasty Chán. In this phase Chán took its definitive shape including the picture of the "golden age" of the Chán of the Tang-Dynasty, the use of koans for individual study and meditation. Prime figures are Dahui Zonggao who introduced the Hua Tou practice and Hongzhi Zhengjue who emphasized Shikantaza.
Prime factions are the Caodong school. The classic koan-collections, such as the Blue Cliff Record were assembled in this period, which reflect the influence of the "literati" on the development of Chán. In this phase Chán is transported to Japan, exerts a great influence on Korean Seon via Jinul. Neither Ferguson nor McRae give a periodisation for Chinese Chán following the Song-dynasty, though McRae mentions "at least a postclassical phase or multiple phases"; when Buddhism came to China, it was adapted to understanding. Theories about the influence of other schools in the evolution of Chan vary and reliant upon speculative correlation rather than on written records or histories; some scholars have argued that Chan developed from the interaction between Mahāyāna Buddhism and Taoism, while others insist that Chan has roots in yogic practices kammaṭṭhāna, the consideration of objects, kasiṇa, total fixation of the mind. A number of other conflicting theories exist. Buddhist meditation was practiced in China centuries before the rise of Chán, by people such as An Shigao and his school, who translated various Dhyāna sutras (, which were influential early meditation texts based on the Yogacara meditation teachings of the Sarvāstivāda school of Kashmir circa 1st-4th centuries CE..
The five main types of meditation in the Dyana sutras are anapanasati. Other important translators of meditation texts were Kumārajīva, who translated The Sutra on the Concentration of Sitting Meditation, amongst many other texts; these Chinese translations of Indian Sarvāstivāda Yo