Southern and Northern Schools
All that is far removed from the dominant Southern accounts, which in their tendentiousness are like Roman Catholic histories of Protestantism (or vice versa). The South was established by Shen-hui, a disciple of Hui-neng, at the Great Dharma Assembly on 15 Jan. 732, in Hua-tʾai. Of Shen-hui's earlier life, little is known apart from his disputes with pupils of Shen-hsiu, Pʾu-chi and I-fu. According to the Tun-huang text, Shen-hui argued that Bodhidharma is the authentic source of Zen: he stopped the futile activity of building temples, carving images of the Buddha, and copying sūtras. The dharma seal of recognition and the robe were transmitted to Hui-Kʾo, from whom they were transmitted in unbroken line to Huineng. The Northern protagonist refused to confine transmission to one line, via the robe. Shen-hui replied: ‘The robe authenticates dharma, and the dharma is the doctrine [confirmed by] the robe … There is no other transmission.’ True enlightenment, according to Shen-hui, is a sudden breakthrough to no-mind: ‘Our masters have all grasped enlightenment at a single stroke [Jap., tantō jikinyū], with no concession to steps or progressions.’
North persisted for several more generations, but the Southern view prevailed and became what is now recognized as Zen. But the different emphases between Sōtō and Rinzai indicate that the issue was never wholly resolved.
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