Indeed, Buddhism, unlike the Brahmanic tradition from which it emerged, has nearly always denied scripture as a valid source of knowledge (pramāna), preferring direct experience (pratyakṣa) and valid inference (anumāna). The natural culmination of this tendency is to deny even the one whose words are enshrined in scripture, as in the famous saying. If, on the path to awakening, you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. The picture of Hui-neng tearing up the scriptures represents this, because, as is well known from the Zen tradition, truth does not depend on the words and letters of doctrine and texts but is rather the direct experience of a truth specifically transmitted outside of the scriptures. This is the position that is best known in the West, and fits well with the anti-institutional spirituality and anti-intellectual experientialism that characterizes much of New Age religiosity and postmodern philosophy
It is clear that Hui-neng's central position was Buddha-nature Immanence theory, because he stated in his commentary on the Diamond Sutra, i.e. the Chin-kang ching chieh-i as follows:
There is Buddha-nature, originally pure, in one's own body
In the commentary, he also admitted that Buddha-nature is identical with "aatman" as follows:
"AAtman" is [Buddha-]nature, and [Buddha-]nature is "aatman."