Spread Of Buddhism In China Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. It is a religion that was founded in India in the sixth century BCE and was brought to China by the first century CE. When Buddhism was brought to China and it gradually won over converts, expanded throughout China, and influenced Chinese culture as we know it. In spite of Buddhism’s dissemination throughout China there were still Chinese people who didn’t convert to Buddhism due to their strong Confucian beliefs.
The Chinese had two vastly different points of iews about Buddhism. The first point of view of the Chinese would be anti- Buddhism. This point of view was popular in that of Confucian Scholars and officials at the Tang imperial court. According to document’s 3, 4, 6 Buddhism wasn’t religion that one should practice. In Document 3 an anonymous Chinese scholar asks readers , ” If Buddhism is the greatest and most venerable of ways , why did the great sages of the past and Confucius not practice it? The Chinese scholar is saying that if Buddhism is so great why did Confucius or Laozi, the great sage of Daoism not ractice Buddhism. This implies that Buddhism wasn’t that great of a religion after all. The Chinese Scholars claims are biased. He writes strictly about the bad things about Buddhism. It is one sided and only answers with what he believes are failings of Buddhism.
According to document 4 Confucian Scholar and Tang official believes that Buddhism is no more than a cult. He states,” Buddhism is no more than a cult of the barbarian peoples spread to China. The speaker is angered that Buddha was being honored by the ruler at the time (Your Majesty). Buddha was not of Chinese escent, he was foreign and doesn’t deserve for his body to be admitted to the palace. ” Confucius said : Respect Ghost and spirits, but keep them at a distance! “. The speaker expresses that he is ashamed of what Your Majesty is doing and begs that Buddha’s bones be burned so that Buddha’s evil be rooted out of China. The Speakers claims are one sided. He is a leading Confucian Scholar and has strict roots in Confucianism.
According to document 6, the speaker, the Tang Emperor Wu says “Buddhism wears out people’s strength, pilfers their wealth, causes people to bandon their lords and parents for the company of teachers, and severs man and wife with its monastic decrees. ” Buddhism goes against the views of Confucianism damaging the five key relationships due to its monastic decree. The emperor believes that Buddhism should be eradicated and that it is evil. His argument is one sided he even states that the Buddhist temples have reached boundless numbers sufficient enough to outshine the imperial palace.
The emperor is fearful of his reign as emperor and his loss of power throughout China. All three of these documents escribe the evils and failings of Buddhism and why it should eradicated in china. All three documents are also biased. An additional document that would also promote anti- Buddhism would be a Journal entry from the father of a convert to Buddhism and his description on how his life has changed as his as lost sight of the way he raised man taught him the Chinese ways ot tilial piety The second point ot view of the Chinese would be pro-Buddhism. Pro-Buddhism views are shown in documents 1,2,and 5.
According to document 1, the end of one’s sorrows is through the Buddhist doctrine, “The Four Noble Truths. There is sorrow in everything if you have cravings or passion. To get over your sorrow you must release yourself from your cravings and passions and Buddhism will teach you how to. The speaker is Buddha himself and is one sided because others might not feel as if they have sorrows because they have passions or that their passions make them happy and not sorrowful. According to document 2 whoever serves the Buddha and correctly observes his commandments will at the end of their life enter nirvana.
This is one sided because some people might disagree and say that there is no nirvana and that ou continue to be reincarnated even if you do believe in Buddha. According to document 5 Buddhism was established according to the demands of the age and the needs of various beings. It encourages good deeds, punishes the wicked ones and rewards good ones. This is not biased because not only was the writer a leading Buddhist scholar, he was favored by the Tang imperial household. He also says that Confucianism and Buddhism were created for the same reason and lead to the creation of an orderly society and they should both be observed with respect.
Another document that would promote pro-Buddhism would be a speech from someone who converted to Buddhism and lost all of his sorrows following the four noble truths. The spread of Buddhism to China was perceived in different ways by the Chinese people. Despite these various perceptions it spread like a domino effect. To this day the Buddhism is still a major religion in China. The Chinese put their own spin on the religion and it has stuck ever since. Today it coexist with Confucianism, a future that didn’t seem too bright in the first century CE.