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Huayan, Hua-yen



The Mahayana Buddhist school of Huayan is best known for its teachings on the mutual relationship of all phenomena. It is sometimes called the Flower Garland or Avatamsaka school, because its principle scripture is the Avatamsaka (Flower Garland or Flower Ornament) Sutra.

Huayan originated in 6th century China from the work of Tu-shun (or Dushun, 557–640); Chih-yen (or Zhiyan, 602-668); and Fa-tsang (or Fazang, 643–712). The foundational teaching of Huayan is the "universal causality of the dharmadatu," which points to the nature of existence.

According to Huayan teachings, all beings and phenomena are complete and perfect manifestations of the absolute, or dharmadatu, s limitless, all-pervading matrix in which all phenomena arise, abide, and cease. Thus, all phenomena are reflections of all other phenomena.

This teaching is illustrated in the Avatamsaka Sutra by the metaphor of Indra's Net. The net, also called the Jewel Net of Indra, reaches infinitely in all directions, and in the knots of the net are an infinite number of jewels. Each individual jewel reflects all of the other jewels, and the reflected jewels also reflect all of the other jewels.

In 740 the Chinese monk Shen-hsiang introduced brought Huayan to Japan, where it is called "Kegon." Today Japanese Kegon is the largest remnant of the Huayan school remaining, but its teachings greatly influenced Zen and many other Mahayana schools.


Also Known As: Kegon (Japanese), Hwaeom jong (Korean)

Alternate Spellings: Hua-yen, Huáyán Zōng

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