Infobox Buddhist biography
name = Gihwa
birth_date = 1376
death_date = 1433
nationality = Korean
Gihwa, also known as Hamheo Teuktong (1376 - 1433) was a late
Goryeo-early Joseon Buddhistmonk of the Seonorder, who was the leading Buddhist figure of his generation. He was originally a Confucianscholar of high reputation, but he converted to Buddhism at the age of 21 upon the death of a close friend. He wandered among the Korean mountain monasteries, until he had the fortune of becoming the disciple of the last Korean National Teacher Muhak.
Gihwa's writings showed a distinctive mixture between iconoclastic and suddenistic
Chánlanguage, and a strong appreciation for the scriptural tradition. Thus, he took up from Jinulthe tradition of unification of Seonand GyoBuddhism. Among his writings, there are four works in particular that made a deep impact on the subsequent Seon tradition in Korea. These are (1) his commentary on the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, the Weongak gyeong hae seorui; (2) his redaction and subcommentary to five famous earlier commentaries on the Diamond Sutra, the Geumgang banyabaramilgyeong ogahae seorui; (3) his subcommentary and redaction of the Collection of Yongjia, the Yonggajip gwaju seoruiand (4) the Hyeonjeong non. As a result of his fourth major work (the "Hyeonjeong non") Gihwa distinguished himself as the primary Buddhist respondent to the rising Neo-Confucianpolemic of his period, as he responded with vigor to the Neo-Confuciancriticisms of Buddhism. He died while residing at Jeongsusa, at the southern tip of Ganghwa Island, where his tomb can still be visited. Gihwa's commentary on the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenmentwas translated by Charles Muller, in 1999.
List of Korea-related topics
* [http://www.buddhism-dict.net/cgi-bin/search-ddb4.pl?Terms=涵虛得通 Digital Dictionary of Buddhism]
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