Is Huayan Buddhism the one that teaches about infinite universes being held on a jeweled flower garland, or is it another branch/sect of Buddhism?

1 Answer 1


華嚴 (Hua-yan) literally means "flower garland". The name is the Chinese translation of "Avatamsaka". The name Flower Garland is meant to suggest the crowning glory of a Buddha's profound understanding of ultimate reality. The Avatamsaka sutra contains the following verse:

In each dust-mote of these worlds

Are countless worlds and Buddhas...

From the tip of each hair of Buddha's body

Are revealed the indescribable Pure Lands...

The indescribable infinite Lands

All ensemble in a hair's tip [of Buddha]

  • So just Huayan and Pure Land Buddhism teach about infinite universes? I think Chan Buddhism also does?
    – Orionixe
    Dec 29, 2020 at 18:55
  • Chan/Zen interprets this verse as follows:. All levels of reality are related and interpenetrated. This is depicted in the image of Indra's net. This unity in totality allows every individual entity of the phenomenal world its uniqueness without attributing an inherent nature to anything. It focuses more on the interdependence of all universes than on the individual "pure lands".
    – Codosaur
    Dec 30, 2020 at 8:58
  • Oh, so is Indra's Net the thing holding universes together like the Flower Garland?
    – Orionixe
    Dec 30, 2020 at 22:39
  • Not so much "holding together" as being a term for emptiness, and by consequence interdepency. Just like a spider's web doesn't hold the tree branches together between its wires. Imagine a spider web in the morning filled with dew drops. Every dew drop reflects every other dew drop within a dewdropt...to infinity.
    – Codosaur
    Dec 31, 2020 at 6:41

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