The Spread Of Buddhism In China Essay Example
The Spread Of Buddhism In China Essay Example

The Spread Of Buddhism In China Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1079 words)
  • Published: November 25, 2017
  • Type: Article
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The Spread of Buddhism in China Buddhism was founded in India, and after the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 C. E. it gained many converts in China. While Buddhism was spreading there were different views towards it; some people wanted Buddhism to spread and be the main religion, some were against it, and still others were religiously tolerant but liked the idea of Buddhism. Many people supported the spread of Buddhism in China.

“The Four Noble Truths” were the guidelines of Buddhism. These truths, stated in Document 1, explain sorrow, how it arises, and how to stop it.Buddha is said to have written this himself. Many people looked to these truths as their guidelines. Those supported Buddhism because they were they guidelines for Buddhism and were written by Buddha himself. Zhi Dun, a Chinese scholar states in


Document 2 that “He will behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, and then he will enter Nirvana.

” So Zhi Dun must believe that by following the path of and doing as Buddha asks, one will reach enlightenment, the extinction of desire and individual consciousness. Zhi Dun wants Buddhism to spread because it is his religion.He agrees with its’ ideas especially the one about entering enlightenment which he must want for all people. There were many people who wanted Buddhism to spread as the main religion, but there were also people who liked Buddhism and wanted it to coexist with other religions.

In Document 3 a Chinese scholar contradicts himself, his questions are against Buddhism but his answers are for. The questions are showing his arguments against Buddhism’s spread but the answers are

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giving the reasons why it should spread. It is almost like pros and cons.The last question in his first series asks: “Can the writings of the Buddha exceed the Classics and commentaries and beautify the accomplishments of the sages? ” Then as an answer he compares Confucianism and Buddhism saying “To compare the sages to Buddha would be like comparing a white deer to a unicorn” obviously stating that Buddhism is the better of the two religions.

So he must accept Buddhism’s spread but wouldn’t mind having Confucianism and Daoism as other religions in the country. In Document 5 Zong Mi, a Buddhist scholar, is for Buddhism but doesn’t disagree with the teachings of Confucianism or Daoism.He says that “Confucius, Laozi, and Buddha were all perfect sages,” which shows his tolerance for the other religions. He explains how these “sages” based their teachings on different people’s and the needs of the age.

Zong Mi says “the sages” used different approaches to the peoples but they all encourage good deeds being perfected, the punishment of wicked deeds, and reward for good ones. He likes the idea of Buddhism but, like the Chinese scholar in Document 3, has no problem with other religions.They all kept order in the society at the time and should be respected in his viewpoint. Though a great number of people were for, or tolerant, towards Buddhism’s spread, there were still many that were against it.

Han Yu a leading Confucian scholar of Document 4 makes his opinion very clear in his first sentence saying, “Buddhism is no more than a cult of the barbarian peoples spread to China. ” Han Yu is

a Confucian scholar, biased against the spread of Buddhism and its’ spread because he wants Confucianism to remain the main religion in China.He believes that by letting Buddhism into China the people will begin disfiguring their bodies and cutting off limbs as an offering to Buddha. Since Buddha didn’t speak Chinese and wore a different clothing style, Han Yu believes that he, Buddha, is a barbarian.

Han Yu goes on to say that “The Buddha’s sayings contain nothing of the ancient kings, and the Buddha’s manner of dress did not conform with our laws; he understood neither the duties that bind sovereign and subject, nor the affections of father and son. ” The tone of the whole document shows his anger towards Buddhism.Han Yu is trying to persuade the emperor not to embrace Buddhism but get rid of it. The Tang Emperor Wu expresses his dislike of Buddhism in Document 6. He speaks of Buddhism like it is a weed poisoning the crop. He states “Buddhism wears out the people’s strength, pilfers their wealth, causes people to abandon their lords and parents for the company of teachers, and severs man and wife with its monastic decrees.

” Emperor Wu is angry with Buddhism for converting his people but also afraid the Buddhist converts will turn against the empire in a revolt.He says that the private chapels and the public temples are numerous and sufficient to outshine the imperial palace. Wu is most likely alarmed that Buddha will outshine himself, where he thinks that he should be the center of the empire, the most honored person. Emperor Wu states that Buddhism should be weeded out of

the empire; he proves this by saying “there no longer remains the slightest doubt in Our mind that this evil should be eradicated. ” There were many views toward Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty. These documents how a diverse range of acceptance or lack of acceptance of Buddhism but there is still an incomplete picture due to the fact that there is only the view point of scholars, the emperor, and Buddha himself.

Would there be a different angle if there was a document in a peasant’s, a warrior’s, a lord’s or in a woman’s point of view? If there was a document in a peasant’s point of view there would be a better understanding of the vantage of ordinary every day people’s reactions towards Buddhism in China. A warrior’s perspective would give viewpoint into his utilization of Buddhism in his battle tactics: taking spoils, hostages or killing people.A lord’s stance on Buddhism would give position on how he treated his peasants and how he governed his household/territory. A woman’s point of view would bring diversity by giving perspective on many different levels. Although there was a great acceptance towards the spread of Buddhism, there were still those who adamantly disapproved of it and others who liked it but wouldn’t mind coexisting with other religions either but there shouldn’t be judgment on what everyone felt until there is a complete story.Similar article: “Gender and optical illusions

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