Focusing on the long-neglected corresponding relationship between patience (Skt. kṣānti, the acquisition of wisdom by phases, named as patience of accordance, patience based on awareness of the nonarising of phenomena/ anutpattikadharmakṣānti, etc.) and stages of practice, this paper explores the acceptance and development of patience based on awareness of the nonarising of phenomena in the Southern and Northern Dynasties period. In particular, the paper examines how Huiyuan of Jingying Monastery 浄影寺慧遠,Zhiyi 智顗,and Jizang 吉蔵–the three great masters of the Sui Dynasty–developed a theory of patience based on awareness of the nonarising of phenomena in terms of practice stages.
There was a foundation upon which to build the theory of patience and stage of practice before the three great masters of the Sui Dynasty. Although the views of Huiyuan and Jizang are similar, they differed in their ideas of the stage of practice for Vimalakīrti. Given the special view of four patiences paired with stages of practice in Tiantai doctrine, Zhiyi’s view to bring patience based on awareness of the nonarising of phenomena down to the stage of the arousal of the aspiration for enlightenment, based on his reading of Avataṃsaka Sūtra, can be perceived as a stimulus for the theoretical developments of later periods.