An early master of the Hua-yen school of Chinese Buddhism, commonly regarded as the first ‘patriarch’ of the school. A native of the area now covered by Shaan-hsi Province, he served in the military briefly, becoming a monk at age 18. He mastered meditation, and developed a deep and penetrating philosophical mind. He steeped himself in the teachings of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra (Chinese, Hua-yen ching), and became well-known as a master of this scripture. Students of the Ti-lun school, who already concentrated their studies on one chapter of this scripture, came to him. However, it should be noted that he also put forth works extolling Amitābha Buddha and his Pure Land, and advised some students to contemplate the Buddha as their main practice. He was renowned for his practice, learning, and virtue, and was honoured by emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty.