The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Combining, excluding, corresponding, and including
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combining, excluding, corresponding, and including
兼但対帯 ( Jpn ken-tan-tai-tai )
A concept propounded by T'ient'ai (538-597) in The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra that categorizes the various provisional sutras and differentiates between them and the Lotus Sutra.
These four categories show the relationship between the first four of the five periods and the four teachings of doctrine.
The five periods are T'ient'ai's classification of Shakyamuni's teachings according to the order in which he believed they had been expounded.
They are the Flower Garland period, the Agama period, the Correct and Equal period, the Wisdom period, and the Lotus and Nirvana period.The four teachings of doctrine are T'ient'ai's classification of Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings according to their content.
They are the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching.
T'ient'ai explained that during the Flower Garland period, the specific teaching, a higher level of Mahayana, was combined (hence, combining ) with the perfect teaching.
During the Agama period, only the Tripitaka, or Hinayana, teaching was expounded, and the connecting teaching, or introductory Mahayana, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching were excluded (excluding ).
In the Correct and Equal period, all four teachings were taught in a manner corresponding to the people's capacity (corresponding ), while during the Wisdom period, the connecting and specific teachings were included in the perfect teaching (including ).
In contrast with the provisional doctrines preached during these periods, which either excluded the perfect teaching or mixed it with other teachings, the Lotus Sutra contains only the perfect teaching; hence it is referred to as the pure and perfect teaching. See also five periods; four teachings of doctrine.