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(born 538, Hunan province, Chinadied 597, Mount Tiantai, Zhejiang province) Chinese Buddhist monk who founded the eclectic Tiantai sect. Orphaned at age 17, he studied with the Buddhist master Huisi for seven years. He was associated with the imperial governments of the Chen dynasty in southern China and the Sui dynasty, which reunified China. He reconciled the various strains of Buddhism by regarding all Buddhist doctrines as true and present in the mind of the enlightened Buddha, who unfolded his teachings in periods to accommodate his listeners' capacities. He considered the Lotus Sutra the highest teaching and helped establish it as the most popular scripture in East Asia.
Variants of ZHIYI
Zhiyi or Chih-i
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Zhiyi, visit Britannica.com.
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