comparative classification ［教判・教相判釈］ ( kyōhan or kyōsō-hanjaku): Also, doctrinal classification. The classification of sutras and their teachings. The vast array of sutras and their teachings were in effect introduced in a random manner from India to China and translated into Chinese. Buddhist scholars made an earnest attempt to evaluate them in terms of their relative profundity, the style of presentation, and the order in which they were believed to have been expounded. Thus they attempted to organize Buddhist scriptures into coherent systems of comparative classification, and numerous such systems arose. These differed among the Buddhist schools, with each school holding that its own doctrine and fundamental scripture represented the Buddha’s supreme teaching, or true intent, in its own system of comparative classification. For instance, the T’ien-t’ai school set forth a comparative classification known as the five periods and eight teachings and ranked the Lotus Sutra highest, while the Flower Garland (Chin Hua-yen) school set forth the five teachings and ten doctrines to rank the Flower Garland Sutra highest. Ten schools known as the three schools of southern China and seven schools of northern China set forth their own systems of comparative classification of sutras.