Zhenyan - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Zhenyan

ZHENYAN Buddhism is a form of Vajrayāna Buddhism that flourished in China from the seventh to the twelfth century. The term zhenyan is a translation of the Sanskrit word mantra and literally means "real word." The school is also called Mijiao (esoteric teaching) to distinguish it both from all other forms of Buddhism, which are regarded as exoteric, and from Indo-Tibetan Vajrayāna. The Chinese translation of mantra by the word zhenyan underscores the importance of a realized ontology. Zhen designates the real, apprehended through words, meditation, and action: it is reality realized.

Although the term zhenyan is conventionally used to designate sectarian lineages during the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1278) dynasties, it may also indicate Tantric precursors of the organized lineages and the continued presence of Zhenyan elements in other sects and in popular cults.

History

Buddhism spread across Asia on two...

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This section contains 3,901 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
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Zhenyan from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.