Indian Materials on the Doctrine of Sudden Enlightenment

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Indian Materials on the Doctrine Of Sudden Enlightenment
Citation: Gómez, Luis. "Indian Materials on the Doctrine of Sudden Enlightenment." In Early Ch’an in China and Tibet, edited by Lewis Lancaster and Whalen Lai, 393–434. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press, 1983.

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Any steps to be taken in the direction of investigating the Indian roots of Ch'an are hindered by the thicket of legends in which the tradition shrouded itself. The Ch'annists must also be blamed for the fact that the question of what was the original form of this peculiarly Chinese version of Buddhism remains open, still obscured by the fallacious assumption that Ch'an was a monolithic, clearly defined school or tradition. Progress in this area is further hampered by the fact that in both India and China the early history of the movements that gave rise to Ch'an belongs to mystical traditions existing on the margins of the scholarly establishment of Buddhism. On the other hand, the broader question of contacts, connections, agreements and disagreements between Ch'an and Indian Buddhism can now be the object of documented study thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Buddhist scholars in Russia, France and Japan, who have attempted to verify the facts and meaning of an incident known as the "Council of Lhasa." (Gómez, "Indian Materials," 393)