Five periods and eight teachings
five periods and eight teachings
五時八教 (Jpn goji-hakkyo )
A system of classification of the Buddhist teachings set forth by T'ient'ai (538-597) in The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra to demonstrate the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all the other sutras. The five periods is a classification of Shakyamuni Buddha's sutras according to the order in which they were expounded and consists of the Flower Garland, Agama, Correct and Equal, Wisdom, and Lotus and Nirvana periods. The eight teachings is an organization of the Buddha's teachings by content and method of presentation. It consists of two sub-classifications— the four teachings of doctrine and the four teachings of method. The four teachings of doctrine, a classification by content, are the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching. The four teachings of method, a classification by method of teaching, are the sudden teaching, the gradual teaching, the secret teaching, and the indeterminate teaching.
See also; eight teachings; five periods.