Jingying Huiyuan

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Jingying Huiyuan(523 - 592) 
淨影慧遠

Jingying Huiyuan. (J. Jōyō Eon; K. Chǒngyǒng Hyewǒn 淨影慧遠) (523-592). Chinese monk and putative Di lun exegete during the Sui dynasty. Huiyuan was a native of Dunhuang. At an early age, he entered the monastery of Guxiangusi in Zezhou (present-day Shanxi province) where he was ordained by the monk Sengsi (d.u.). Huiyuan later studied various scriptures under the vinaya master Lizhan (d.u.) in Ye, the capital of the Eastern Wei dynasty. In his nineteenth year, Huiyuan received the full monastic precepts from Fashang (495-580), ecclesiastical head of the saṃgha at the time, and became his disciple. Huiyuan also began his training in the Dharmaguptaka "Four-Part Vinaya" (Sifen lü) under the vinaya master Dayin (d.u.). After he completed his studies, Huiyuan moved back to Zezhou and began his residence at the monastery Qinghuasi. In 577, Emperor Wu (r. 560-578) of Northern Zhou began a systematic persecution of Buddhism, and in response, Huiyuan is said to have engaged the emperor in debate; a transcript of the debate, in which Huiyuan defends Buddhism against criticisms of its foreign origins and its neglect of filial piety, is still extant. As the persecution continued, Huiyuan retreated to Mt. Xi in Jijun (present-day Henan province). Shortly after the rise of the Sui dynasty, Huiyuan was summoned by Emperor Wen (r. 581-604) to serve as overseer of the saṃgha (shamendu) in Luozhou (present-day Henan). He subsequently spent his time undoing the damage of the earlier persecution. Huiyuan was later asked by Emperor Wen to reside at the monastery of Daxingshansi in the capital. The emperor also built Huiyuan a new monastery named Jingyingsi, which is often used as his toponym to distinguish him from Lushan Huiyuan. Jingying Huiyuan was a prolific writer who composed numerous commentaries on such texts as the Avataṃsakasūtra, Mahāparinirvānasūtra, Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra, Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra, Shidi jing lun (Vasubandhu's commentary on the Daśabhūmikasūtra), Dasheng qixin lun, and others. Among his works, the Dasheng yi zhang ("Compendium of the Purport of Mahāyāna"), a comprehensive encyclopedia of Mahāyāna doctrine, is perhaps the most influential and is extensively cited by traditional exegetes throughout East Asia. Jingying Huiyuan also plays a crucial role in the development of early Pure Land doctrine in East Asia. His commentary on the Guan Wuliangshou jing, the earliest extant treatise on this major pure land scripture, is critical in raising the profile of the Guan jing in East Asian Buddhism. His commentary to this text profoundly influenced Korean commentaries on the pure land scriptures during the Silla dynasty, which in turn were crucial in the evolution of Japanese pure land thought during the Nara and Heian periods. Jingying Huiyuan's concept of the "dependent origination of the tathāgatagarbha" (rulaizang yuanqi)—in which tathāgatagarbha is viewed as the "essence" (ti) of both nirvāṇa and saṃsāra, which are its "functioning" (yong)—is later adapted and popularized by the third Huayan patriarch, Fazang, and is an important precursor of later Huayan reconceptualizations of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda; see fajie yuanqi). (Source: "Jingying Huiyuan." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 392. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n41q.27.)

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  • Fashang · teacher