Hua-yen Buddhism (hwä-yŭn) [Chin.,=flower garland], school of Chinese Buddhism centering on the Avatamsaka Sutra [flower garland sutra]. This school has no Indian counterpart. Hua-yen classifies Buddhist scriptures and doctrines on five levels, with its own teaching as the highest and most complete. According to the school, all phenomena arise simultaneously from the universal principle of the Dharma-realm. The ultimate principle and manifested things mutually interpenetrate without obstruction. At the same moment all phenomena both embody the Absolute, and reflect and are identified with each other. The first master of the school was Tu-shun (557–640); he was succeeded by Chih-yen (602–668), Fa-ts'ang (643–712), Ch'eng-kuan (737–838), and Ts'ung-mi (780–841), who was also a master of the Ch'an or Zen school. The name also appears as Hwa-yen.
See C. C. Chang, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality (1971); F. Cook, Hua-yen Buddhism (1977).