Rituals of the Dragon Flower Movement
by Chiang Chushan Bio
An important scripture within the Orthodox Linshang school of the Luo sect (羅教靈山正派) and the Taiwanese Longhua school of the Vegetarian sect (齋教龍華派). It is divided into first and second parts, the first known as the Precious Buddha-Provided Scripture of the Orthodox Teaching of the Great Multiplication (大乘正教佛供寶卷), and the second the Precious Scripture of Orthodox Teaching and Clear Instruction of the Great Multiplication (大乘正教明宗寶卷). The scriptures contain every kind of scripture and praise, laws, songs, gathas, and annotations; most of which was used by the academic World to understand the Orthodox Lingshan School of the late Qing (清) and the historical Precious Buddha-Provided Scripture of the Orthodox Teaching of the Great Multiplication (大乘正教科儀寶卷), the basic material recorded within the Precious Scripture of the 3 Ancestors (三祖寶卷), and edited versions of other scriptures. All of the texts found to date have been published by Minde Hall (民德堂) in Taiwan in 1979.
While the Vegetarian sect did maintain its original doctrines, it also absorbed the important factors which allowed Maitreya Buddhism to flourish. The Taiwanese Dragon Flower school of the Vegetarian sect and the Orthodox Luo sect of Qing-era Zhejiang (浙江) province separately maintained the lineage from which they originated (in the case of the latter, the Limitless Orthodox School [無極正派] of the Vegetarian sect). The Dragon Flower school contained the two religious traditions of Zen Buddhism and popular Religion, as a result of which the Rituals of the Dragon Flower Movement (龍華科儀) came to be an important resource for research into the history and Doctrine of the Orthodox Lingshan school.
Within the Rituals of the Dragon Flower Movement, the concept of “Dao (道) being transmitted through Fire” can be seen, from which the lineage of Zen Buddhism can be seen within the Vegetarian sect. It was believed that the Zen ancestors were able to spread the laws of dao to the boorish Luo ancestors of the Vegetarian sect. The book also uses many Zen terms, such as “depart from Books, concentrate on the Heart, and visibly become a Buddha,” which borrows from the concepts of the Scripture of Walls (壇經). The text also mentions “Cha Na (剎那),” one of the Luo ancestors of the Dragon Flower school who preached the dao: after seeing a bright white Light in the south-west, he set out the “Truth of seeing through the Body of the Universe itself.” The Lingshan school combined belief in the Birthless father and mother and the Buddhist belief in Life after Death, and the Taiwanese Dragon Flower school of the Vegetarian sect also continued the fundamental beliefs of the Luo sect, emphasizing that the “family” refers to the western Pure land of Maitreya Buddhism.
齋教 , 寶卷 , 龍華派
vegetarian sects , precious volumes , Dragon Flower Movement
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