My Life as a Buddha

Alan Cole

in Fathering Your Father

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780520254848
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943643 | DOI:
My Life as a Buddha

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This chapter presents one more iteration of the Bodhidharma lineage, found in the text of Jingjue's History of the Masters and Disciples of the Lankavatara Sutra (Lengqie shizi ji). Jingjue enters into a retelling of the history of the truth-fathers that mimicks Du Fei's Record but reworks it in several ways. He lists Bodhidharma's descendants down to Shenxiu in a manner parallel to Du Fei, but changes the end of the lineage to recount how he came to inherit tradition from Xuanze, who looked like an ordinary monk but was in fact equal in status to the buddhas. Jingjue did to Du Fei's Record what he saw Du Fei do to the Faru biography, which itself had done something similar to the protolineage for Fachong in Daoxuan's Encyclopedia. Despite the many parallels between Du Fei's and Jingjue's genealogies, Jingjue's History shows major innovations, that reflect a burgeoning audacity in rewriting the past in order to claim buddha-status in the present.

Keywords: Bodhidharma lineage; Jingjue; Lankavatara Sutra; Lengqie shizi ji; Jingjue's genealogies

Chapter.  15750 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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