An interesting comparison from the JSRI site. I have highlighted the phrase "Shan-tao felt human nature was always in opposition to the nature of buddhas" because I think that this principle has huge importance for out understanding of Buddhist psychology and Buddhist practice, and it is, of course, at odds with much contemporary presentation of Buddhism.
"Before and during Honen's time on Mt. Hiei, a commentary on the Kuan wu-liang-shou ching attributed to the Chinese T'ien-T'ai master Chih-i was held as the orthodox interpretation of this important sutra. Honen, however, was not satisfied with this commentary and came to use Shan-tao's which was viewed as unorthodox at the time.
In 1021, the Fourteenth Patriarch of the Chinese T'ien-T'ai school, Chi-rei (960-1028), wrote his Kuan-chin-shou Miao-tsun-shou which was a commentary on Chih-i's Commentary on the Meditation Sutra. Since that time, it became customary to read Chih-i's commentary in light of Chi-rei's commentary. This custom became orthodoxy on Mt. Hiei.
If we compare Chih-i's commentary (from the Chi-rei view) and Shan-tao's commentary, three basic differences emerge. The first concerns human beings. T'ien-T'ai's view is that the nature of all sentient beings and buddhas is the same, while Shan-tao's view is opposite. Shan-tao felt human nature was always in opposition to the nature of buddhas. The second difference concerns the role of the nembutsu. T'ien-T'ai insists on the contemplative aspect of the nembutsu through simply holding it in one's mind, while Shan-tao stressed the practical use of the nembutsu through frequent recitation. The third difference concerns the buddha body and buddha lands. T'ien-T'ai speaks of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land as elements of one's consciousness to be realized in the mind. Shan-tao, on the other hand, spoke of the substantial existence of both Amida Buddha and the Pure Land. In the end, as Honen became aware of the differences, he abandoned the T'ien-T'ai view and appropriated Shan-tao's which had been rejected by the community on Mt. Hiei."
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