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Sanlun (simplified Chinese: 三论宗; traditional Chinese: 三論宗; ||pinyin]]: sān lùn zōng) or literally the Three Treatise School was a Chinese school of Buddhism, founded by Jizang, based upon the Indian Madhyamaka tradition, founded by Nagarjuna. The name derives from the fact that three principal Madhyamikan texts by Nagarjuna and Aryadeva were translated by Kumarajiva to form the basis for the tradition. The three texts are:
- The Treatise on the Middle Way (中論), by Nagarjuna.
- The Treatise on the Twelve Gates (十二門論), also by Nagarjuna.
- The One-Hundred-Verse Treatise (百論, by Aryadeva).
In 625, the Korean monk Ekan brought the Sanlun school to Japan, where it was known as Sanron. Like all early Buddhist schools in Nara, Japan it eventually died out and was absorbed by later Japanese Buddhist sects, such as Shingon and Tendai.
Another famous monk of the Sanlun school is Ven. Yin Shun of the 20th century.
The Three Treatise School, in keeping with Madhyamika doctrine, teaches that all phenomena, including ideas and thoughts, are fundamentally empty of a permanent, static existence. This is also defined as shunyata in Buddhism. In conventional existence, all phenomena can be said to exist, have names and so on, but in the Sanlun school, the ultimate truth is their empty nature.
- Ven. Yin Shun (1998). The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modern Chinese Master. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861711335.
- Robert Magliola, "Nagarjuna and Chi-tsang on the Value of 'This World': A Reply to Kuang-ming Wu's Critique of Indian and Chinese Madhyamika Buddhism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy (U. of Hawaii; Blackwell P., U.K.). Vol. 31, No. 4 (Dec. 2004). Pp. 505-516. (Demonstrates Jizang neither denigrates 'this world' nor deviates from what was mainstream Indian Madhyamikan doctrine.)
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