Puan Yinsuan 普庵印 肅 (1115–1169), later known as Ancestor Puan 普庵祖師, was a historical figure of the Linji School 臨濟宗 of Chinese Chan Buddhism, who was active in south-eastern China during the transition between the Northern and Southern Song.
Although in all respects a traditional master of chan, whose teaching focused on the practice of meditation with the use of gong’an 公案 (“public cases”), Puan is also known for his fondness for the Avataṃsaka sūtra and is said to have attained enlightenment from reading a sentence in this impor- tant scripture. The traditional Buddhist sources also mention that he was a rain-maker and a practitioner of pious austerities. Among other feats Puan is said to have copied out the celebrated Vajracchedikā sūtra in his own blood. Nevertheless, as far as the historical figure of Puan goes, we are essentially dealing with a bona-fide Buddhist master, a human being operating in a religious context and in recordable time.
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