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The spread of Buddhism into China had an extensive and
diverse amount of responses from the people. Although it was accepted by many,
it was also rejected by many. People’s reaction changed over time as the
religion spread.

            Buddhism
was a religion originated in India that spread over time throughout many
regions, mostly in the Chinese area. However it changed as it was spreading to
the Chinese lands, it also splitted to various forms of Buddhism.”Doc. #1″
states and shows the various branches of Buddhism, the faith mostly esparced
into China was Mahayana Buddhism. As “Doc #2” explains, Buddhism came into
China in times of war and decentralization, some leaders saw Buddhism as a
salvation because it provided the belief of Nirvana, the Buddhist Heaven, this
idea soon brought peaceful times and stability to the region, but it was not
long enough until Buddhism was rejected by many. The Indian belief had a sense
of foreign to the Chinese. As “Doc.#5” shows, Han Yu, a leading Confucian
scholar and official at the Tang Imperial Court, talked about the fact that
Buddhism was not originated in China, stating the question; why should people
follow such a different belief system than the Chinese, if they are Chinese? He
stated that the religion was so different that not even Buddha was near of
having knowledge of the Chinese culture and way of living, not the culture, nor
the language, neither the clothes that he wore. In addition to this ideas of
rejection in the late centuries to the religion of Buddhism, “Doc. #7” quotes
the Tang Emperor Wu in 845 and explains the rejection that he had towards
Buddhism, in difference to Chin Dun, who believe and supported Buddhism in its
earlier years. In 350, Emperor Wu revealed his strong feeling of unacceptance towards Buddhism, he says “…there no longer remains
the slightest doubt in our minds that this evil should be eradicated”, this
last sentence from the estresses the hateful relationship the emperor had
with Buddhism, earlier on explaining the that no one should follow Buddhism
because it was an economic downturn for the Chinese economy, stating that
Buddhism would eventually lead to the deaths of many Chinese, in contrast to
“Doc.#7” where it is stated that Buddhism should and was rejected. Both
“Doc.#3” and “Doc.#4”, between 399-414 and an extensive period of time later
on, explain the idea that Buddhism was embraced and accepted by the Chinese.
“Doc.#3” especifically quotes that “China was in a time of decentralization and
Indiscipline…and imperfect state of the collections of the Books of
Discipline.” Explaining the importance of embracing Buddhism to restore peace.
“They should go to India and seek for the disciplinary rules.” The document
quotes. Years later, Buddhism was even more accepted by the people, at about
the fifth century, Xvanzang, a Buddhist monk, analyzed the Buddhist religion,
and got to the conclusion that Buddhism was a choice, instead of an obligation,
but clearly stating that everyone in fact, should become a follower in the
religion, and that everyone should embrace it whatsoever, he stated that the
honourable religion was full of logic, that the fact that was foreign made it
interesting and divine.

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Buddhism was a religion that took
its course to expand into China, in its earlier years it was accepted because
it had come into China in times of war and decentralization, however the
religion soon become rejected by most leaders and people, but what now is a
major world religion was soon embraced centuries later, and took a rapid growth
to expand itself throughout China, this came as a result of the extensive
amount of scholars studying the religion and traveling to India at the time, it
is an interesting path to analyze the growth of Buddhism in China in ancient
times because even though the religion was persecuted at times it became to be
one of most followed religions in the post-classical era. In comparison to the
spread and accepted of Buddhism over time, Christianity took its place in a
completely different way, the religion was persecuted at first by many Roman
leaders and society, however it also became a major world religion,
Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean and to many places in several
other regions in ancient times, although Christianity is very different to
Buddhism in terms of faith, traditions, location and development, both
religions spread quickly in the world and were able to succeed, eventually
Christianity was accepted at later times in the Roman Empire by the emperor
himself, as in China, many leaders, including Empress Wu accepted and embraced
Buddhism as the Chinese realigion.

 

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