Version: v1, Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 24, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/platform-sutra/v-1
The Platform Sutra is the single most important work of early Chinese Chan Buddhism, perhaps of the entire Chan/Sôn/Zen tradition. It purports to contain the teachings of the Sixth Patriarch Huineng (638–713), whom it celebrates as an illiterate but enlightened sage. The centrepiece is an exchange of verses attributed to Shenxiu (606?–706) and Huineng, generally taken to represent, respectively, a gradual or progressive self-cultivation leading to perfect enlightenment and a sudden or subitist style of practice in which enlightenment is attained all at once. The Platform Sutra was actually composed around 780, more than a century after the events it describes. Its reportage is demonstrably inaccurate and its traditional interpretation problematic, but this does not alter the profound mythopoeic importance of the text.
McRae, John R.. Platform Sutra, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G042-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/platform-sutra/v-1.
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