Japanese painting of Linji Yixuan (Jap. Rinzai Gigen).
Linji Yixuan (simplified Chinese: ?; traditional Chinese: ?; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Lin-chi I-hsüan; Japanese: ? Rinzai Gigen; died 866 CE) was the founder of the Linji school of Chan Buddhism during Tang Dynasty China.
Information on Linji is based on the Línjì y?lù (?; Japanese: Rinzai-goroku), the Record of Linji. The standard form of these sayings was not completed until 250 years after Linji's death and likely reflect the teaching of Chán in the Linji school at the beginning of the Song Dynasty rather than those of Linji's in particular.
This contains stories of his interactions with teachers, contemporaries, and students. The recorded lectures are a mixture of the conventional and the iconoclastic. Despite the iconoclasm, the Línjì y?lù reflects a thorough knowledge of the sutras. Linji's teaching-style, as recorded in the Línjì y?lù, was exemplary of the development Chán took in the Hongzhou school () of Mazu and his successors, such as Huangbo, Linji's master.
Also according to the Línjì y?lù, Linji was trained by the Chan master Huángbò X?yùn (?), but attained kensho while discussing Huángbò's teaching during a conversation with the reclusive monk Dàyú (). Linji then returned to Huángbò to continue his training after awakening. In 851 CE, Linji moved to the Linji temple in Hebei, where he took his name, which also became the name for the lineage of his form of Chán Buddhism.
Chán faced the challenge of expressing its teachings of "suchness" without getting stuck into words or concepts. The alleged use of shouting and beating was instrumental in this non-conceptual expression - after the students were well-educated in the Buddhist tradition.
Linji is described as using The Three Mysterious Gates to maintain the Chán emphasis on the nonconceptual nature of reality, while employing sutras and teachings to instruct his students:
The titular story of Volume 2 of Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima's manga comic Lone Wolf and Cub revolves around Linji's saying "if you meet a buddha, kill the buddha," in which the protagonist must overcome his self to assassinate a living buddha.
|Butsu ni aeba butsu (w)o korose||If you meet a buddha, kill him.|
|So ni aeba so (w)o korose||If you meet your forefather, kill him.|
|Nanimono ni mo torawarezu||Attached to nothing,|
|?||Shibararezu||Bound [to nothing],|
|?||Tada aru ga mama ni onore (w)o ikiru||Live your own life simply as it is.|
|CHINESE NAME||LIFE DATES||VI?T NAME||JAPANESE NAME||KOREAN NAME|
|28 / 1||/ Damo||?||/ tma||/ Daruma||/ Dalma|
|29 / 2||/ Shenguang Huìke||487-593||Hu? Kh?||Eka||/ Hyega|
|30 / 3||/ Jianzhi Sengcan||?-606||T?ng Xán||S?san||/ Seungchan|
|31 / 4||/ Dongshan Daoxin||580-651||o Tín||D?shin||/ Doshim|
|32 / 5||/ Huangmei Hongren||601/2-674/5||Ho?ng Nh?n||K?nin||/ Hongihn|
|33 / 6||/ Caoxi Huineng||638-713||Hu? N?ng||En?||/ Hyeneung|
|34 / 7||? / Nanyue Huairang||677-744||Nam Nh?c Hoài Nhng||Nangaku Ej?||? / Namak Hweyang|
|35 / 8||? / Mazu Daoyi||709-788||Mã T? o Nh?t||Baso D?itsu||? / Majo Toil|
|36 / 9||? / Baizhang Huaihai||720?/749?-814||Bách Trng Hoài H?i||Hyakuj? Ekai||? / Paekchang Hwehae|
|37 / 10||? / Huangbo Xiyun||?-850||Hoàng Bá Hy V?n||?baku Kiun||? / Hwangbyeok Heuiun|
|38 / 11||? / Linji Yixuan||?-866/7||Lâm T? Ngh?a Huy?n||Rinzai Gigen||? / Imje Euihyeon|