Talk:Lineage (Buddhism)

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Lineage in non-Zen/Chan schools[edit]

The concept of lineage is important for non-Zen schools of Buddhism and, although there are conceptual similarities, there are of course also disparities, some of which are distinctive for certain schools.

I'm most familiar with the concept of lineage in the Nichiren Shoshu school and know of its existence in Tiantai/Lotus groupings as well. I'd like to write about it, but am not sure whether to change the existings "Lineage (Buddhism)" article to accommodate non-Zen viewpoints, or whether to change its name to "Lineage (Chan/Zen Buddhism)" and start another, new article titled "Lineage (Lotus-school Buddhism)" or something to that effect.

If you've got any advice or opinions on this, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks Jim_Lockhart 09:27, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Interesting idea. I suppose the question is, how different are the two ideas? I'm inclined to say we might as well keep them together in the same article, unless they are so dissimilar as to have nothing in common. - Nat Krause 10:01, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Too late! I suppose I should have read the discussion before posting a contribution. I'm not familiar with NS ideas about lineage, but monastic ordination lineages and vajrayana teaching lineages are pretty-well described by the original Zen/Chan-oriented text. Perhaps it might add balance if there were some discussion of some other specific lineage claims, other than those of Zen/Chan?

--MrDemeanour 18:46, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Who is the true dharma heir of the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche? Trungpa officially designated an American Hindu, Thomas Rich, (Osel Tendzin) to help the Tibetan teachings become part of Western Buddhism. The trouble is that Rich died 10 years or so later. This title was assumed by another person after his death. Who is the true teacher of Trungpa's lineage?

The Sakyong Mipham Rimpoche is "the dharma heir" of Trungpa Rimpoche, and the "head" of the Shambhala lineage. Trungpa was the holder of several teaching lineages, and probably more than one person now holds these lineages. HTH, --MrDemeanour 10:38, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Lineage is important in Tibetan Buddhism, it's not just a Zen thing. Secretlondon 00:46, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Merge Patriarch (Buddhism) and Lineage (Buddhism)[edit]

Any objections to the merge? --Knverma 08:34, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Merged. --Knverma 11:05, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

But now the reference to patriarch is a bit weak. Let's bring the word in the first line and highlight it. --Bernd.Brincken (talk) 11:08, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Although it may be the route the teachings took in the Ch'an tradition, Buddhist lineages in general are not confined to the anthropological perspective of patriarchies. The Mahasiddha Niguma and the Tibetan Machig Labdron being prime examples of matrilineal descent. To speak of the lineage as a 'record of teachers' is a historical perspective, but they are more than just dead museum pieces. They live and affect us as much as Shakespeare affects the English language every day.Aero13792468 (talk) 13:37, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


  • A small explanation for the Lineages "To understand the different systems of lineages one generally has to distinguish two different kinds; the transmission or tradition lineage and the incarnation or tulku lineage."
Austerlitz -- (talk) 19:20, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Austerlitz -- (talk) 09:58, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

-- (talk) 00:28, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Transmission of Ch'an to the Nyingmapa[edit]

Quotation from the article: "The Tibetan Dharma King Trisong Detsen (Tibetan:Khri srong lde btsan) hosted a famous two-year dharma debate from 792-794CE, known in Western scholarship as the "Council of Lhasa" (although it took place at Samye) outside the capital. As part of this debate Trisong Detsen invited the Ch'an master Mo-ho-yen (whose name consists of the same Chinese characters used to transliterate "Mahayana") to debate with Kamalshila. Mo-ho-yen had been disseminating Dharma in the Tun-huang locale at the time. Moheyan lost the important philosophical debate on the nature of emptiness to the Indian master Kamalashila, and the king declared that Kamalashila's philosophy should form the basis for Tibetan Buddhism.[2]. As a result, the Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism has primarily been founded on the madhyamaka philosophy introduced by Kamalashila from India. In Tibet this is generally combined with the Vajrayana practice path introduced by Padmasambhava, also during the Eighth Century."

How did Mo-ho-yen "lose the debate"? What has been the difference in teaching?

Austerlitz -- (talk) 23:19, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I've removed this section from the article for two reasons. We cannot hope to describe every lineage since the Buddha in one article. The examples we use should only be in order to clarify how lineages work in Buddhism. The transmission of Ch'an to the Nyingma school seems to me polemical. The thrust of the Nyingma tradition is based on teachings received from Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and Vairochana. Aero13792468 (talk) 14:35, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Common ground and reducing wordiness[edit]

This is a difficult article to get right. Its very wordy and we are pulling together views from all over the place. I'm going to work on the 1st paragraph a bit. I think it's best if we make it as clean and neutral as possible. How individual traditions work can be investigated in their own sections. Aero13792468 (talk) 13:58, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

see also Mo-ho-yen

Austerlitz -- (talk) 23:37, 1 November 2008 (UTC)