Tao-cho (Ch: 道綽 Dào Chāo, Jp: Dōshaku), who lived 562–645, was a Chinese Buddhist scholar of the Nirvana Sutra, but later became an eminent scholar of the Pure Land school. In Jodo Shinshu, he is considered the fourth Patriarch. According to legend, Tao-cho once visited the temple of Tan-luan, and read an inscription on the wall that venerated Tan-luan. Tao-cho was so impressed by this inscription that he took up the pursuit of Pure Land Buddhism over his previous studies.
Among Tao-cho's contributions to Pure Land Buddhism was his distinction that there existed two Paths in Buddhism: The Holy Path (monastic practices leading to the purification of the mind) and the Pure Land Path (relying on Amida's grace). He also linked the Buddhist concept of Mappo with the salvation of Amida, by teaching that Amida's compassion was particularly focused on those living in the degenerate age.
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