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The extremes of cultural revolution put an end to whatever hopes the followers of Buddhism had about its restoration. Today Buddhism in China is a historical object of the past, an ancient tombstone that has been ravaged and vandalized by the clash of classes and ideological ideas. It is really uneasy to say how long it would take for the cycle of Dhamma to get back its supremacy and whether it would ever occur at all. (Trevor, 94) So there are evidences of Buddhists in China as early as the 3 rd century as mentioned above, but Buddhism was not popular in China for years because of the cultural development of the Chinese. The most historians think that Buddhism was probably introduced after the Han ruler Ming Ti had a dream of a flying golden deity that was interpreted as a vision of the Buddha.
After this dream, the sovereign sent emissaries to Indian country who returned to China with the Sutra in Forty-two Sections. (Trevor, 84) It is kept in a temple outside the center of Lo-yang. Buddhism come to China from the trade routes of Southeast and Central Asia, and grew gradually. Buddhism first became accepted in China during the Han dynasty, and was full of supernatural practices, like the Chinese Taoism which was extremely popular as mentioned above. So today Chinese Buddhism is influenced by Taoism. It is just a mix. Nirvana was the idea of peace and immortality.
They also skilled karma, which taught the people to be sympathetic. There was always a connection between Buddhism and Taoism until the end of the Han era. Everybody believed that Lao-tzu, had been reborn in India as the Buddha. (Yampolsky, 119) Many Chinese sovereigns worshiped Lao-tzu and the Buddha on the same change. The first translations of Buddhist sutras into Chinese used a Taoist language so the Chinese could recognize it better. One of the most significant reasons why Buddhism grew in China throughout this period was because of transformation. The most vital translator was a very smart priest named Kumarajiva who had studied the Hindu Vedas, the astronomy, occult sciences, and the Hinayana and Mahayana sutras.
The golden age of Chinese Buddhism occurred during the T'ang era. Even though the T'ang emperors were usually Taoists, they liked Buddhism. The government took control over the monasteries and the legal status of monks. At the same time, several Chinese schools developed their own way to lecture the Buddhist texts. There was enormous increase of Buddhist monasteries and the area of land that they owned. During this time many scholars made pilgrimages to India.
These voyages really increased Buddhism in China because the monks brought books back and shared all of their information that they had gained along their trip. It should be concluded that Buddhism could not replace its Confucian and rivals Taoist, so in 845 the ruler Wu-tsung began a major harassment. 4, 600 Buddhist temples and 40, 000 shrines were damaged, and 260, 500 monks and nuns were forced to go back to their old lives. Buddhism in China never recovered entirely after the persecution of 845. (Wood, Ernest, Zen Dictionary, 71) It kept the same backdrop and it still continued to play a important role in the religious life of China. It kept the name Buddhism, but it was expressed in dissimilar books.
An pattern of one of these books is the y lu, or recorded sayings, of well-known teachers that were taught by monks. It also had more creations such as the The Dream of the Red Chamber and Journey to the West. (Yampolsky, 138) Buddhism blended with the Taoist, Confucian- Neo-Confucian and traditions to form one big religious conviction that contained all three customs. There were many schools that were built, but the two that were the most popular were the Ch " an school which was famous because of its emphasis on meditation, and the Pure Land practice, which emphasized devotion towards Buddhism. The former teach had the largest impact on the upper class. The school became recognized through the arts. For example, Ch " an artists throughout the Sung dynasty had a huge impact on Chinese countryside painting.
The Artists used pictures of flowers, rivers, and trees, painted with quick strokes, so that the people would know how empty and terrible reality is. The Pure Land custom had a larger influence on the whole inhabitants and was sometimes associated with secret societies and peasant revolts. (Dumoulin, 96) The two obviously weird traditions were usually linked. They also mixed it with other Buddhist things like the ample for the dead, which had at first has been made popular by the doctors of Esoteric Buddhism. During the first half of the 20 th century, China had a Buddhist reform progress that was supposed to satisfy the Chinese Buddhist practice and changing the Buddhist teachings and schools to todays principles.
The Sino-Japanese War and a socialist government have not been helped out the Buddhist belief. The Buddhist community was controlled all through the Cultural Revolution. Since 1976 the Chinese administration has tried to be more patient, but they are not sure if Buddhism will become well-liked again in China. Although Buddhism lost most of its dynamism and vitality by the 20 th century, it continued to flourish in China till the arrival of the Communism. (Dumoulin, 182) As is well known, the appearance of communism sounded the death knell of Buddhism.
The Communist administration of China did succeed officially in putting an end to the perform of religion by abolishing all forms of public worship and shutting down all the monasteries. Bibliography: Chen, C. M. , 'Comment on Samantha, Samapatti and Dhyana in Ch " an (Zen) ', Philosophy East and West XVI, No. 1 - 2 (1966) Dumoulin, Heinrich, A History of Zen Buddhism (tr. by Paul Peace), London and New York, 1963. Trevor, HM. H. , The Ox and His Herdsman, a Chinese Zen Text, Tokyo, Hokuseido, 1969.
Wood, Ernest, Zen Dictionary, London, Owen, 1963; Tokyo, Tuttle, 1972. Yampolsky, Philip, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, New York, Columbia University Press, 1967
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