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Spread Of Buddhism In China Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

Buddhist popularity towards the Chinese grew following the collapse of the Han Dynasty in 220 C.E. It’s influence continued to expand for several centuries. Between 220 C.E. and 570 C.E., China experienced a period of political instability and disunity. During this time, many of the Chinese, specifically scholars, sought for peace in Buddhism and approved of Buddhism. On the other hand, the strict confucianists and the government fought to end Buddhism and make people go against it.

Good things will happen if you accept and follow Buddhism. With that having said, many of the Chinese people tried Buddhism as a new religion when their government was weakening. Buddhism was the answer to their problems and the escape to inner freedom. According to Buddhist tradition, “The Four Noble Truths” are steps of achieving enlightenment. “The Four Noble Truths are the Noble Truth of Sorrow, Arising of Sorrow, Stopping of Sorrow, and the Way that Leads to the Stopping of Sorrow. ”(Doc 1: Buddha). “Whosoever in China… serves the Buddha and correctly… makes a vow to be reborn without ever abandoning his sincere intention… behold Buddha… enlightened in his spirit… he will enter Nirvana.”( Doc 2: Zhi Dun), a Chinese scholar on trying to convince Chinese aristocrats that Buddhism is a good religion and that Buddhism would make a bad life better.

Chinese scholars were positive towards Buddhism and pro-Buddha. In the document of “The Disposition of Error”, an anonymous Chinese scholar answers the challenges to Buddhism in China in an argument about converting to Buddhism between Confucianists and Buddhists. A confused strict Confucianist ask if Buddhism was so great why wasn’t it recorded? “If Buddhism is the greatest and most venerable of ways, why did the great sages of the past and Confucius not practice it? In the Confucian Classics no one mentions it.” (Doc 3: ‘The Disposition of Error’). The Chinese scholar replies, “All written works need not necessarily be the words of Confucius… a white deer to a unicorn, or a swallow to a phoenix… Confucian classics do not contain everything.” (Doc 3: ‘The Disposition of Error’). Doesn’t mean that you’ve never seen it, doesn’t mean it’s not real. One of the biggest problems strict Confucianists had with Buddhism was that it caused Chinese converts to change their values, those who were dedicated enough, changed to the extremes. An important value of the Chinese was family, imagine how strict Confucianists felt when Chinese men were choosing this free-spirited religion instead of creating a family. “Now of happiness there is none greater than the continuation of one’s line, of unfilial conduct there is none worse than childlessness”, claims the strict Confucianist. (Doc 3: ‘The Disposition of Error’). A good example of a person converting to Buddhism and being highly committed towards it would be a monk. The strict Confucianist continues his argument,“The monks forsake wives and children, reject property and wealth....

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