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Platform Sutra

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The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Chinese: 六祖壇經; pinyin: Liùzǔ Tánjīng or simply: 壇經 Tánjīng) is a Chan Buddhist scripture that was composed in China during the 8th to 13th century. The "platform" (施法壇) refers to the podium on which a Buddhist teacher speaks. Its key themes are the direct perception of one's true nature, and the unity in essence of śīla (conduct), dhyāna (meditation) and prajñā (wisdom). The text centers on teachings and stories ascribed to the sixth Chan patriarch Huineng. It contains the well-known story of the contest for the succession of Hongren (enlightenment by the non-abiding), and discourses and dialogues attributed to Huineng. The text attributes its recollection to Fa-hai, but was probably written within the so-called Oxhead school, which existed along with the East Mountain School and Shenhui's Southern School. The text attempts to reconcile the so-called Northern School with its alleged gradual enlightenment teachings, and the so-called Southern School with its alleged sudden enlightenment teachings. In effect, the text incorporates the "rhetorical purity" which originated with Shenhui's attack on Shenxiu, while effectively "writing him out of the story".
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original title: 六祖壇經

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