The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

with a new foreword and updated glossary

With translation, introduction, and notes by Philip B. Yampolsky. Foreword by Morten Schlütter.

Columbia University Press

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

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Pub Date: April 2012

ISBN: 9780231159579

276 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: April 2012

ISBN: 9780231159562

276 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: April 2012

ISBN: 9780231501347

276 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.95

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

with a new foreword and updated glossary

With translation, introduction, and notes by Philip B. Yampolsky. Foreword by Morten Schlütter.

Columbia University Press

Dating back to the eighth century C.E., the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch is a foundational text of Chan/Zen Buddhism that reveals much about the early evolution of Chinese Chan and the ideological origins of Japanese Zen and Korean Son. Purported to be the recorded words of the famed Huineng, who was understood to be the Sixth Patriarch of Chan and the father of all later Chan/Zen Buddhism, the Platform Sutra illuminates fundamental Chan Buddhist principles in an expressive sermon that describes how Huineng overcame great personal and ideological challenges to uphold the exalted lineage of the enlightened Chan patriarchs while realizing the ultimate Buddhist truth of the original, pure nature of all sentient beings.

Huineng seems to reject meditation, the value of good karma, and the worship of the buddhas, conferring instead a set of "formless precepts" on his audience, marked by embedded notes in the text. In his central message, an inherent, perfect buddha nature stands as the original true condition of all sentient beings, which people of all backgrounds can experience for themselves. Philip Yampolsky's masterful translation contains extensive explanatory notes and an edited, amended version of the Chinese text. His introduction critically considers the background and historical setting of the work and locates Huineng's place within the history and legends of Chan Buddhism. This new edition features a foreword by Morten Schlütter further situating the Platform Sutra within recent historical research and textual evidence, and an updated glossary that includes the modern pinyin system of transcription.
Foreword to the Reprint Edition by Morten Schlütter
Foreword by Wm. Theodore de Bary
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction: Ch'an in the Eighth Century
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
The Tun-huang Text

About the Author

Philip B. Yampolsky (1920–1996) was professor of East Asian languages and cultures and director of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University. An eminent translator and scholar of Zen Buddhist texts, he edited Letters of Nichiren and Selected Writings of Nichiren and translated The Zen Master Hakuin: Selected Writings.

Morten Schlütter is an associate professor at the University of Iowa. He is the author of How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China and coeditor, with Stephen F. Teiser, of Readings of the Platform Sutra.