Li Tongxuan's Utilization of Chinese Symbolism in the Explication of the Avataṃasaka-sūtra

Asian Philosophy 20 (2):141-158 (2011)
Abstract
This article deals with Li Tongxuan's explication of the Avata asaka-s tra in terms of the Sinification of Buddhism. While the affirmation of the present human condition is shared by other Chinese Huayan masters as well, this attitude is most evident in Li Tongxuan's explication of the scripture where the Chinese symbolisms such as yin-yang and five phases are amply employed. For him, every scriptural description on ordinary objects and names, especially directions, had profound religious implications. In order to reveal these meanings in a lively and concrete language, the lay exegete Li Tongxuan freely alluded to the non-Buddhist ideas when elucidating or justifying the scriptural phrases. Although his interpretation sometimes resulted in a forced one, his intuitive adoption of the indigenous philosophy served to illumine the vision that an ordinary human condition is the foundation of the ultimate realization
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