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02.03.2016
Although there are reports of Buddhists in China as early as the 3rd century BC, Buddhism was not actively propagated in that country until the early centuries of the Common era.
The Buddhism that first became popular in China during the Han dynasty was deeply coloured with magical practices, making it compatible with popular Chinese Taoism (a combination of folk beliefs and practices and philosophy). Not only people and goods travelled along the Silk Route, but so did ideas, especially philosophical and religious ones, not to mention art and science. In one of the many caves of Dunhuang, an oasis town situated at the edge of the Gobi desert, a great cache of Chinese manuscripts was discovered by a Christian priest at the turn of the 20th century. As intimated earlier, the Silk Route was a much-travelled series of ancient passageways that connected the civilizations of China, India, Persia, and Arabia with those from Greece and Rome, and thus promoted the interchange of trade and culture between East and West. One should also note that the 'Silk Road' was not a trade route that existed solely for the purpose of trading in silk. Of all the precious goods moving up and down the trading routes, silk was perhaps the most remarkable for the trading merchants of the West. There are no records of Roman traders being seen in Changan, nor Chinese merchants surfacing in Rome, though their goods were appreciated in both places. China, and to this day remains the most mysterious and influential woman in Chinese history. Rare plants, medicines, spices and other goods from the west were to be found in the bazaars of the city. After the collapse of the Tang dynasty, the traffic along the Silk Route subsided, along with the grotto building and art of the period. Note: Historians regard the Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Changan, as a high point in Chinese civilization, equal, if not superior to, the Han period. Buddhism, and more missions were sent towards India to bring back sacred teachings and relics.
Its territory, acquired through the military exploits of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han.
Buddhism, originating in India around the time of Confucius, flourished during the Tang period, becoming thoroughly sanitized and a permanent part of Chinese traditional culture.
Block printing was invented, making the written word available to vastly greater audiences. A government system supported by a large class of Confucian literati selected through civil service examinations was perfected under Tang rule.
A But perhaps an even greater consideration for the Tang rulers, aware that imperial dependence on powerful aristocratic families and warlords would have destabilizing consequences, was to create a body of career officials having no autonomous territorial or functional power base. As it turned out, these scholar-officials acquired status in their local communities, family ties, and shared values that connected them to the imperial court.
Misrule, court intrigues, economic exploitation, and popular rebellions weakened the empire, making it possible for northern invaders to terminate the dynasty in 907. Buddhism indoctrinated China at a time when Confucianism and Taoism were the two predominant religions prevailing in the country.
The arrival of many new Buddhist scholars from the Indian subcontinent and central Asia, like An Shih-Kao, a Parthinian monk, and Lokakshema, a Kushana monk from Central Asia, Dharmaraksha in 3rd century AD, Kumarajiva in 4th century AD, who got a number of Buddhist texts translated into Chinese gave a driving force to Buddhism that had lot of captivating characteristics besides a organized approach to the study and race of religion. China was blessed by its own eminent Buddhist scholars with extraordinary vision like Seng-Chao, Tao-Sheng and Fa-hsien who also contributed richly to the growth of Buddhism China through their translations and knowledge. Despite its prevalence and mass followers, Buddhism lost most of its zest and intensity by the 20th century with the advent of the Communism. First Noble Truth - life bears mental and physical sickness in form of injuries, aging, dying, fatigue, passion, isolation, feeling of disappointment, dismay and distress. Third Noble Truth - Sufferings can be brought to an end when one overpowers his endless lust of materialistic things. By following the Buddhist principles of edification and practicing them, it helps in developing ethereally into a perfect person. Buddhist teaching leads the ways and theories of meditation, rebirth, intellectual evolution and comparisons. Chinese Kunqu Opera (Cultural China)Chinese Kunqu Opera, as we know it today, has a continuous history of some 600 years. As stated above, during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD), Emperor Mingdi sent 18 people to Darouzhi of India to learn Buddhism, and got the Buddha portraits and sutras, then returned to Luoyang together with Indian Buddhists Kashyapamtanga and Dharmaraksha. The translation and spread of Buddhist sutras brought into the Chinese language many expressions deprived from Buddhism, especially figuration and legendary stories, which produced great influence on literature and history of China.
Buddhism in China traversed through a long, eventful history dating back to the second century BC before cementing its position as the dominant religion. Buddhism originated in India during the sixth century BC and reached Central Asia when Emperor Ashoka sent missionaries to Syria, Parthia, Turkey and other tribes of the time. Historical records attest that arrival of An Shigao, a Parthian prince-turned-Buddhist master, in China in 148 AD led to increase in translation of Mahayana scriptures into local languages.
Tang Emperor Wuzong (840-846 AD) declared a nationwide crackdown on Buddhist followers during his rule on the pretext that it was non-Chinese in nature and origin.
More than 13,000 Buddhist religious sites and 200,000 monks continue to hoist the flag of Chinese Buddhism at present. Fresco describing Emperor Han Wudi (156-87 BCE) worshiping two statues of the Golden Man as described, Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, ca. According to European historians, Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great sent royal monk Massim Sthavira to Nepal , Bhutan and China to spread Buddhism around 265 BCE. Central Asian merchants, along with sea-traveling traders arriving in Jiangsu, first brought Buddhism in China. Recent reports in Chinese newspapers say Buddhism was already established in China during the reign of the first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, who is said to have suppressed Buddhism, in the same way that he suppressed all other Chinese philosophy.
An 8th century Chinese mural in Dunhuang describes an Emperor Wu of Han (156–87 BCE) worshiping the Golden Man statues; "golden men brought in 120 BC by a great Han general in his campaigns against the nomads". These Chinese emissaries are said to have visited the country of the Yuezhi and to have brought back with them two missionaries, named Dharmaraksa and Kasyapa Matanga, together with sutras containing 600,000 Sanskrit words. The first documented translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese occurs in 148 CE with the arrival of the Parthian missionary An Shih Kao in China, probably on the heels of the Kushan expansion into the Tarim Basin. Mahayana Buddhism was first propagated into China by Kushan Lokaksema (Ch: ??, Zhi Chen, full name ???? var.
By the end of the second century, a prosperous community had been settled at Pengcheng (modern Xuzhou, Jiangsu).
Most of the Chinese gentry were indifferent to the Central Asian travelers and their religion. It is a well-known fact that since its introduction into China, Buddhism has had a close relationship with Taoism, more specifically with Neo-Taoism.
To thrive in China, Buddhism had to transform itself into a system that could exist within the Chinese way of life. It is conjectured that the shocking collapse of the Han Dynasty in 220 and the resulting period of social upheaval and political unrest known as the Three Kingdoms period may have helped the spread of Buddhism. Subsequent chaotic periods of Sixteen Kingdoms (304 to 439 AD) and Southern and Northern Dynasties changed the situation, resulting in state support of Buddhism. The Tang capital of Chang'an (today's Xi'an) became an important center for Buddhist thought.
The popularization of Buddhism in this period is evident in the many scripture-filled caves and structures surviving from this period.
During the early Tang dynasty the monk Xuanzang journeyed to Nalanda in India and other important sites to bring back scriptures.
Arrivals of several prestigious monks in the early 5th century also contributed to the propagation of the religion and were welcomed by rulers of the Sixteen Kingdoms and Northern Dynasties.
The direct experiential impact of contact with practicing monks should not be underestimated. The Kaiyuan's Three Great Enlightened Masters, Subhakarasimha, Vajrabodhi, and Amoghavajra, established Esoteric Buddhism in China from AD 716 to 720 during the reign of emperor Tang Xuanzong (or Hsuan-Tsung).
They came to Daxing Shansi, Great Propagating Goodness Temple, which was the predecessor of Temple of the Great Enlightener Mahavairocana. They brought to the Chinese a mysterious, dynamic, and magical teaching, which included mantra formulae and rituals to protect a person or an empire, to affect a person’s fate after death, and, particularly popular, to bring rain in times of drought. Subhakarasimha (637-735), an eminent Indian Tantric master, arrived in the capital Chang’an in 716 and translated the Vairocanabhi-Sambodhi-Tantra, better known as the MahaVairocana-Sutra, or Great Sun Buddha Scripture.
Vajrabodhi (671-732), an Indian Buddhist master, and a graduate of the Nalanda Monastery, received complete empowerment and transmission from Nagabodhi, who in turn received from Nagarjuna. He studied all varieties of Buddhism and was said to have studied for a time under the famous Buddhist logician Dharmakirti. Like Subhakarasimha, who preceded him by four years, Vajrabodhi spent most of his time in ritual activity, in translating texts from Sanskrit to Chinese, and in the production of Esoteric art. Like Subhakarasinha, Vajrabodhi had ties to high court circles and enjoyed the patronage of imperial princesses. A Tang Dynasty Amitabha sculpture in the Hidden Stream Temple Cave, Longmen Grottoes, China.
Born in Samarkand of an Indian father and Sogdian mother, he went to China at age 10 after his father's death. After Vajrabodhi's death in 732, and at his wish, Amoghavajra went on a pilgrimage in search of esoteric or tantric writings, visiting Ceylon, Southeast Asia and India.
Instead of the doctrine of no-self, early Chinese Buddhists taught the indestructibility of the soul. At the same time, in the south, Buddhism began to penetrate the philosophical and literary circles of the gentry.
Buddhism was becoming a powerful intellectual force in China, monastic establishments were proliferating, and Buddhism was becoming well-established among the peasantry.
Though the T'ang emperors were usually Taoists themselves, they tended to favour Buddhism, which had become extremely popular. Some of them produced comprehensive systematizations of the vast body of Buddhist texts and teachings.
It did maintain much of its heritage, however, and it continued to play a significant role in the religious life of China. However, the disruptions caused by the Sino-Japanese War and the subsequent establishment of a communist government have not been helpful to the Buddhist cause. Some of the best examples of ancient Chinese Buddhist paintings and rare manuscripts were discovered amongst the monastic ruins near Dunhuang in north-west China. Most of the manuscripts were Buddhist in origin, generally dating from the period of the Tang dynasty, AD 618 to 907.


The description of this route to the west as the `Silk Road' is somewhat misleading, because no single route was taken by all caravans. It is often thought that the Romans had first encountered silk in one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C, and came to realize that it could not have been produced by these relatively unsophisticated people. Chinese legend, however, attributes the discovery of silk to the goddess Lei Tsu, sometimes called Hsi Ling, wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor.
This would obviously have been in the interests of the Parthians and other trader middlemen, who took as large a profit from the exchanging of hands as they possibly could. Changan, as the starting point of the route, as well as the capital of the dynasty, developed into one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities of the time. It is quite clear, however, despite the exotic imports, that the Chinese regarded all foreigners as barbarians.
The Five Dynasties period did not maintain the internal stability of the Tang dynasty, and again neighbouring states started to plunder the caravans. Economic instability, and a harsh military defeat in 751 by Arabs at Talas in Central Asia, marked the beginning of centuries of steady decline for the Chinese empire. Many of the local peoples, the Huihe included, adopted Buddhism as their own religion and way of life. 618-907), with its capital at Chang'an , is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization--equal, or even superior, to the Han period. From Tang times until the closing days of the Qing empire in 1911, scholar-officials functioned often as intermediaries between the grass-roots level and the government. Domestic economic instability and military defeat in 751 by Arabs at Talas, in Central Asia, marked the beginning of five centuries of steady military decline for the Chinese empire.
The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms. During the same period many Buddhist texts were translated from Pali and Sanskrit into Chinese.
The Communist government of China endorsed regulations, they put an end to the practice of religion by abolishing all forms of public worship and shutting down all the monasteries. Ever increasing human desires bring mental depression that in turns brings physical sufferings and weariness in life. He then will enjoy the life emerging out from the clutches of fear, hatred, anger and happiness. The Eight-Fold Path includes Perfect Understanding, Perfect Thought, Perfect Speech, Perfect Action, Perfect Livelihood, Perfect Effort, Perfect Mindfulness and Perfect Concentration.
This will lead one, to the divine path, ultimately attaining contentment in life and also after life.
As inhabitants in the Indian River valley had frequent contacts with people in Yutian of Xinjiang, China, Buddhism was introduced into Yutian via Kashmir in the 1st century BC. They built the White Horse Temple in which were world famous basso-relievos of six horses, but now two of which had been stolen by imperialists and are exhibited in the library of Pennsylvania University, USA. During the reign of Han Emperor Xian Di, Confucian scholar Mou Rong wrote On Buddhism Confusions composed of 37 articles, which was the first Buddhism work in China and the prelude of popularization and climax of Buddhism study all over the country during the following Wei, Jin, South and North dynasties (220-581).
Figuration was first absorbed by high-ranking officials, which was proved by examples found in Cao Cao's and Cao Zhi's poems. Mahayana Buddhism reached northwest China via the Silk Road and from there it spread through the Han Chinese heartland, 500 years after its illustrious founder walked on this earth.
According to Indian Buddhist sources, Massim Sthavira went to China and Mongolia around 250 BC. According to local traditions, Buddhism in China had its first imperial recognition in 67 AD during the rule of Han Emperor Ming. Sui Emperor Wen adopted the faith as his state religion and circulated religious relics among Buddhist temples across China.
In 845 AD, he imposed stern taxes on Buddhist monks forcing them to adopt economic practices.
It has become the most prominent religion in the country and basks with a liberal religious policy followed by the communists.
Many of these schools integrated the ideas of Confucianism, Taoism and other indigenous philosophical systems so that what was initially a foreign religion (the buddhadharma) came to be a natural part of Chinese civilisation, albeit with a unique character.
Though the exact date is unknown, the first written reference to Buddhism appeared in A.D 65 showing an established community of monks and laity under the patronage of a brother of the emperor.
The two missionaries wrote "The Sutra of forty-two sections spoken by the Buddha" to provide guidance on the ideas of Buddhism and the conduct of monks. Historians generally agree that by the middle of the 1st century, the religion had penetrated to areas north of the Huai River.
An Shi Kao established Buddhist temples in Loyang and organized the translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese, testifying to the beginning of a wave of Central Asian Buddhist proselytism that was to last several centuries. As a result of this there developed the method of "matching the concepts" of Buddhism and Taoism, which was known as ko-i.[9] By this method of analogy Buddhists adopted many Taoist terms and ideas to explain their concepts. Buddhism was a minor force, however, compared with Taoism which was directly associated with efforts to defy the emperor (cf.
All the rulers were Han Chinese and had simply never heard of or knew too little of the religion.
Most rulers of the Wu, Hu, and the Northern dynasties originated from more than ten distinct ethnic groups including either non-Han Chinese "barbarians", or Han Chinese after generations of "barbarian" influence. Social upheaval in northern China worked to break down cultural barriers between the elite ruling families and the general populace, in contrast to the south where elite clans and royal families firmly monopolized politics. The Mogao Caves near Dunhuang in Gansu province, the Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang in Henan and the Yungang Grottoes near Datong in Shanxi are the most renowned examples from the Northern, Sui and Tang Dynasties. Printing from individually carved wooden blocks and from clay or metal movable type proved much more efficient and eventually eclipsed hand copying. Daxing Shansi was established in the ancient capital Chang'an, today's Xi'an, and became one of the four great centers of scripture translation supported by the imperial court. It is not surprising, then, that all three masters were well received by the emperor Tang Xuanzong, and their teachings were quickly taken up at the Tang court and among the elite.
Four years later another master, Vajrabodhi (670-741), and his pupil Amoghavajra (705-775), arrived, and proceeded to translate other scriptures, thus establishing a second, though not rival, Mantrayana (Chen-Yen, or Zhen-Yan) lineage. He was born of a South Indian Brahmin family, and his father was a priest for the royal house. Particularly important was his partial translation of the Sarva-Tathagata-Tattva-Samgraha between the years 723 and 724.
He was a prolific translator who became one of the most politically powerful Buddhist monks in Chinese history, acknowledged as one of the eight patriarchs of the doctrine in Shingon lineage.
During this voyage, he apparently met Nagabodhi, master of Vajrabodhi, and studied the Tattvasamgraha system at length.
Accordingly, the emperor dispatched emissaries to India who subsequently returned to China with the Sutra in Forty-two Sections, which was deposited in a temple outside the capital of Lo-yang.
One of the most important contributions to the growth of Buddhism in China during this period was the work of translation. Thus, it is not surprising that, when the Sui dynasty (581-618) established its rule over a reunified China, Buddhism flourished as a state religion. Under the T'ang the government extended its control over the monasteries and the ordination and legal status of monks. There was a great expansion in the number of Buddhist monasteries and the amount of land they owned. On the one hand, Buddhism retained its identity as Buddhism and generated new forms through which it was expressed. The Buddhist community was the victim of severe repression during the Cultural Revolution (1966-69). The earliest dated scroll is from the fifth century AD, and the latest from the late tenth century. Crossing Central Asia, several different route branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. Trading caravans heading towards China carried gold and other precious metals, ivory, gem stones, and glass, which by the way, was not manufactured in China until the fifth century.
The Romans reputedly learnt from their Parthian prisoners, that silk came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they then referred to as the silk people or `Seres'. When a cocoon from a mulberry tree accidentally dropped into the Empress's boiling hot tea, she unraveled a delicate silken strand, and by doing so, had unwittingly discovered the raw material that would later be spun into thread and woven into the luxurious natural textile known as silk. The gifts provided for the Emperors by foreign rulers were simply considered as tribute from vassal states. China was partially unified again in the Song dynasty, but the Silk Route was not as important as it had been during the Tang period. Misrule, court intrigues, economic exploitation, and popular rebellions weakened the empire, making it possible for northern invaders to terminate Tang prominence in 907. It was only by the 2nd century AD, the religion could gain the popularity to some extent by the distinctness of its approach and due to some similarities with Taoism.
Some of these schools spread to countries like Korea and Japan and contributed to the emergence of Buddhism as the predominant religion.
Buddhist Doctrine foretells about the birth, lust, sufferings and finally decaying of human body. Chinese copied Sanskrit lections on their unique writing materials, but without translating the Sanskrit. Kashyapamtanga and Dharmaraksha translated five Buddhist sutras, which are still stored in the Pagoda of White Horse Temple. Interactions with Confucianism and Taoism allowed Buddhism developed a distinct character in China and created a deep-rooted influence on its national culture. Fayuan Zhulin, the Chinese Buddhist encyclopedia, mentions that a team of seven Buddhist missionaries led by monk Li Fang arrived at Qin capital Xia€™an in 217 BC.
Legends say the king sent his envoy to south India to explore about Buddhist thoughts following a divine dream. Lokaksema, an Indian monk who came to China during the second century, expanded the reach of Buddhism in China. His also created edicts throughout the country highlighting principles that govern lives of Buddhists.
Buddhism has played an enormous role in shaping the mindset of the Chinese people, affecting their aesthetics, politics, literature, philosophy and medicine. Maspero established in 1901 that this story had no real basis in fact, but was almost certainly just a pious legend dating from the 2nd century CE.


It is the first Buddhist text in the Chinese language, although its authenticity is a matter of debate.
Emperor Ming's brother Liu Ying the Prince of Chu was the first high-profile believer of Buddhism, although there is some evidence that Emperor Ming himself might have been as well.
Although this somewhat superficial and arbitrary method of matching was discarded as useless and misleading after the great translator and scholar Kumarajiiva arrived in 401 CE, Taoist influence on Buddhism in general was not, and could not be, totally eliminated.
Buddhism was made compatible with ancestor worship and participation in China's hierarchical system. The Nine-grade controller system, by which prominent individuals in each local administrative area were given the authority to rank local families and individuals in nine grades according to their potential for government service, further consolidated the importance of Confucianism.
They did not propagate nor trust the combined philosophical concept of Confucianism and Taoism as zealously as their rivals in the south.
Taoist and Confucian political ideology had long consolidated the political status of elite clans in the south.
The Leshan Giant Buddha, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty and looking down on the confluence of three rivers, is still the largest stone Buddha statue in the world. Kumarajiva was invited by Lu Guang, the founder of Later Liang, and later by Yao Xing, second ruler of Later Qin. Mantrayana altars were installed in temples in the capital, and by the time of emperor Tang Taizong (Tai-Tsung, r.
Vajrabodhi probably converted to Buddhism at the age of sixteen, although some accounts place him at Nalanda at the age of ten.
Leaving India, Vajrabodhi traveled to Sri Lanka and Srivijaya (present-day Sumatra), where he apparently was taught a Vajrayana tradition distinct from that taught at Nalanda.
This Yoga Tantra, along with the Mahavairocana Sutra translated by Subhakarasimha the same year, provides the foundation of the Chen-Yen school in China and the Shingon and Esoteric branch of the Tendai schools in Japan. He returned to China in 746 with some five hundred volumes, and baptized the Emperor Tang Xuanzong.
In actuality, Buddhism entered China gradually, first primarily through Central Asia and, later, by way of the trade routes around and through Southeast Asia. They also taught the theory of karma, the values of charity and compassion, and the need to suppress the passions.
The most important of the early translators was the learned monk Kumarajiva, who, before he was brought to the Chinese court in AD 401, had studied the Hindu Vedas, the occult sciences, and astronomy, as well as the Hinayana and Mahayana sutras. It was also during this period that many scholars made pilgrimages to India, heroic journeys that greatly enriched Buddhism in China, both by the texts that were acquired and by the intellectual and spiritual inspiration that was brought from India. For example, Ch'an artists during the Sung dynasty (960-1279) had a decisive impact on Chinese landscape painting. Since 1976 the Chinese government has pursued a more tolerant policy, but the extent of continuing Buddhist vitality is difficult to determine.
We know now, that by the fourth century after Christ, there was a growing Buddhist community at Dunhuang.
The westbound trading routes all started from the capital in Changan, headed up the Gansu corridor, and reached Dunhuang on the edge of the Taklimakan. In the opposite direction furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer and iron were transported. The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms. Later on the Buddhist religion managed to hold a firm footing and acquired a mass following.
Actually, before this Indian Buddhists had been to Xianyang, the ancient Chinese capital, however, Indian Buddhism had not chances to spread in China. During the reign of Han Emperor Huan Di (158-166), Buddhism was advocated, which made translation of Indian sutras necessary. The Kushanas, an offshoot of Yuezhi tribe of Tarim Basin and who ruled over north India, northwest China, and Central Asia, during the first and second century AD, were followers of Buddhism.
The envoy returned on a white horse along with Buddhist scriptures and two monks Dharmaraksa and Kasyapa Matanga. The migration of Hans to the south of Yangtze River carried the religion to south and southwest China.
The Tang era offered a religious tolerant ambience that helped Buddhism to continue its rapid development.Renowned Chinese Buddhist philosopher Hiuen Tsang returned home in 645 following 17-year extensive tour of India. The prosecution was so ruthless that Buddhism in China could not fully recover from its impacts. The Mongol Yuan Dynasty favored Esoteric Buddhism of Tibetan lamas and declared it their state religion. Nevertheless, the relatively low numbers of Buddhist arrivals precluded the possibility of large-scale transformation of Chinese society through political pressure or assimilation. Works were written arguing that the salvation of an individual was a benefit to that individual's society and family and monks thus contributed to the greater good. The Taoist Zhang family self-governed the Hanzhong Commandry for nearly 20 years until invasion by the renowned Chinese warlord Cao Cao.
Official support of Buddhism would eventually mould a new Chinese populace with a common ideology out of the diversely ethnic population, which would in turn consolidate these dynasties.
Support of another religion would have unknown and possibly adverse effects, for which these clans would not risk their privileges.
Biographies of these monks, among others, were the subject of the Memoirs of Eminent Monks. They had also assimilated the prevailing teachings of China, Taoism and Confucianism, with Buddhism, and had further evolved the practice of The Esoteric School.
From Srivijaya he sailed to China via the escort of thirty-five Persian merchant-vessels and by AD 720 was ensconced in the Jian’fu Temple at the Chinese capital, Chang'an (present-day Xi’an).
Both Subhakarasimha, the holder of the Garbhadhatu Womb Realm teachings, and Vajrabodhi, the holder of the Vajradhatu Thunderbolt Realm teachings transmitted the Dharma Lineage to Amoghavajra, who began the Not-Two Dharma Teachings of Garbhadhatu and Vajradhatu. Until the end of the Han dynasty, there was a virtual symbiosis between Taoism and Buddhism and a common propagation of the means for attaining immortality through various ascetic practices. Buddhism was never able to replace its Taoist and Confucian rivals, however, and in 845 the emperor Wu-tsung began a major persecution.
On the other hand, Buddhism coalesced with the Confucian- Neo-Confucian and Taoist traditions to form a complex multi-religious ethos within which all three traditions were more or less comfortably encompassed. Artists used images of flowers, rivers, and trees, executed with sudden, deft strokes, to evoke an insight into the flux and emptiness of all reality. Many of these trading commodities were bartered for others along the way, and often exchanged hands several times before reaching their final destinations.
At that time, famous monks of different countries came to China, cooperated with Chinese monks in Luoyang, and translated Sanskrit lections. The White Horse Temple at former Han capital Luoyang was constructed based on this story.Historical records also show that when the Han army overran Khotan, a Buddhist center in northwest China, a number of Buddhist monks came under the Chinese suzerainty.
It created a unified culture that prevailed over political chaos and war during the Six Dynasties period.
When the Ming rulers occupied the throne, they discarded Esoteric Buddhism and revived Chan Buddhism, a form of Mahayana Buddhism giving credence to mediation. Furthermore pro-Buddhist policy would not be backed by the bureaucracy, which had been staffed by members of the clans. The Tang emperor granted Dharma instruments to Amoghavajra to setup the first Abhiseka-Bodhi-Mandala at Daxing Shansi, thus began the Chinese Esoteric School. It was widely believed that Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism, had been reborn in India as the Buddha. According to records, 4,600 Buddhist temples and 40,000 shrines were destroyed, and 260,500 monks and nuns were forced to return to lay life.
The Pure Land tradition exerted a greater influence on the population as a whole and was sometimes associated with secret societies and peasant uprisings. Many foreigners were missionaries, merchants or pilgrims, but every other occupation was also represented.
From the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) to the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279), translation of sutras became the most important translating career.
Hiuen Tsang extensively studied Buddhism in India and visited all important religious places.
Southern rulers were in weaker positions to strive for their legitimacy - some were even installed by the clans. We know they were successful because the monks were soon accused of falling into extravagance and their lands and their properties were confiscated by Emperor Wu of the Northern Zhou dynasty and Wuzong of the Tang Dynasty (see below). In life the emperor favored Amoghavajra with titles and gifts, and when the master died in 774, he honored his memory with a stupa, or funeral monument.
There were many famous translators such as Youchen and Youqian (form Darouzhi), Anqing and Anxuan (from Parthia), Kangju and Kang Mengxiang (from Kangju), who translated substantive sutras.
It was not until the reign of Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty that saw the official support of Buddhism.
The first translations of Buddhist sutras into Chinese--namely those dealing with such topics as breath control and mystical concentration--utilized a Taoist vocabulary to make the Buddhist faith intelligible to the Chinese.
The school and translation center he opened at Xia€™an played a key role in popularizing Buddhism in China. During the Taiping rebels under heterodox Christian leader Hong Xiuquan massacred thousands of monks following the 1853 Nanjing battle. Rebellion of Hou Jing near the end of Emperor Wu's reign wreaked havoc on the political and social privileges of the elite clans, which indirectly assisted the spread of Buddhism.
He led to establishment of the Faxiang school of Buddhism.The Buddhist novel "Journey to the West or Adventures of the Monkey God" was written during the Ming Dynasty based on the fictional travels of Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing and the monk xuanzang. This story was written based on Buddhist influence during this period in Chinaa€™s history. In real life, Xuanzang a monk at Jingtu Temple in late-Sui Dynasty and early-Tang Dynasty Chang'an. He was unsatisfied by the poor quality of the Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures at that time and travelled from China to India to obtain the scriptures.



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