11. The Huayan Metaphysics of Totality
- Steven M. Emmanuel
Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy
How to Cite
Fox, A. (2013) The Huayan Metaphysics of Totality, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch11
- Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
- Published Print: 25 MAR 2013
Print ISBN: 9780470658772
Online ISBN: 9781118324004
- Buddhist concepts;
- Huayan Buddhism;
- philosophy of totality
The story of Huayan Buddhism intertwines in many ways with many other more well-known forms of Buddhist thought. The Buddhist concepts of upāya or “skillful means,” prajnapti from Yogācāra and paramārtha satya from Madhyamaka, justify a range of pragmatic propositions, which represent a healthy way of viewing the world. Upāya refers to the diagnostic and prescriptive skill of a buddha or bodhisattva, who is ostensibly able to discern a particular person's problem and recommend a helpful strategy for solving it. This is a completely contextual approach, though, because different problems lead to different strategies. The metaphysics underlying Huayan's philosophy of totality is based on the central Buddhist model of interdependent causality known as prātityasamutpāda.