Spread of Buddhism DBQ
Responses to the Spread of Buddhism
Following Buddhism’s introduction into China in the first and second centuries, C.E., the religion was received in different ways, reflecting the progression of China’s history. Chinese scholars, Confucian Government Officials, and Buddhists viewed Buddhism through their unique perspectives, sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing on the role it played in Chinese life. Chinese scholars generally saw Buddhism as a positive influence because it provided hope for an afterlife. Buddhists naturally embraced the rise of Buddhism and saw it as salvation. Confucian government officials were suspicious of Buddhism and saw it as a negative influence that challenged their already proven authority from Confucianism. Ultimately, the groups response to Buddhism differed depending on how tightly centralized the established Confucian dynasty was at the time, and by how much each group’s position in society would be benefitted or harmed.
Chinese Scholars viewed Buddhism from an intellectual standpoint which lead them to receive it as ultimately positive because they had no special interest, as did the religious or government leaders. As stated by Zhi Dun, “whosoever in China […] serves the Buddha and correctly observes the commandments […] he will...
...Responses to the Spread of Buddhism
Although some elites in China found Buddhism to be important for the development of China between 220 CE and 570 CE, as time progressed through this period, Buddhism’s popularity seemed to decrease. Between 200 CE and 500 CE, scholars and the few followers of Buddhism seemed to have simply been trying to inform the people about Buddhism and they were attempting to gain popularity. Unfortunately, by around 819 CE, people seemed to have started disproving of Buddhism as China started to turn towards a more imperial society.
Shortly after the fall of the Han Dynasty in 220 CE Buddhism started to spread very rapidly throughout the Chinese society. The people of China in this period were in a devastated state with no structured government and a falling economy. For them, Buddhism was a form of mental escape and it gave them a chance to let go of the natural world and reach a peace of mind. The first sermon preached by Buddha (Doc 1) was preached to help people who were unaware of the religion to acknowledge it and realize that it is a religion that will give them an opportunity to forget about the current devastation they are in. The sermon teaches the people that there is no point in grieving over something and instead they should rid themselves of their pleasures and try to look beyond the material world....
...During the spread of Buddhism in china, three popular views were that the spreading of Buddhism should be stopped, society benefited from it, and it was the way of salvation (afterlife).
One of the responses to the spread of Buddhism was that it should be stopped. Many officials believed that Buddhism was harmful to china because Buddhism was discordant with the already established Chinese traditions, culture, and aristocracy. The leading scholar and official at the Tang imperial court, Han Yu, writes to his leader (document ) “Your servant begs leave to say that Buddhism is no more than a cult of the barbarian people spread to china… The Buddha was a man of the barbarians who did not speak Chinese… your servant is deeply ashamed and begs that this bone from the Buddha be given to the proper authorities to be cast into fire and water, that this evil be rooted out, and later generations spared this delusion.” Han Yu was a Confucian scholar, so it is no surprise that he is opposed to Buddhism which clashes with Confucianism in many aspects including how Confucianism promotes one fulfilling his duties to his lord and country, where as Buddhism promotes detachment to avoid sorrow. The Tang Emperor Wu wrote (document 6) “Buddhism has transmitted its strange ways and has spread like a luxuriant...
...The Spread of Buddhism in China
Buddhism was founded in India, and after the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 C.E. it gained many converts in China. While Buddhism was spreading there were different views towards it; some people wanted Buddhism to spread and be the main religion, some were against it, and still others were religiously tolerant but liked the idea of Buddhism.
Many people supported the spread of Buddhism in China. “The Four Noble Truths” were the guidelines of Buddhism. These truths, stated in Document 1, explain sorrow, how it arises, and how to stop it. Buddha is said to have written this himself. Many people looked to these truths as their guidelines. Those supported Buddhism because they were they guidelines for Buddhism and were written by Buddha himself. Zhi Dun, a Chinese scholar states in Document 2 that “He will behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, and then he will enter Nirvana.” So Zhi Dun must believe that by following the path of and doing as Buddha asks, one will reach enlightenment, the extinction of desire and individual consciousness. Zhi Dun wants Buddhism to spread because it is his religion. He agrees with its’ ideas especially the one about entering enlightenment which he must want for all people.
There were many people who...
...The Spread of Buddhism in China
Buddhism was created in India in there sixth century B.C.E., and later spread to China
during the first century B.C.E . In China, when people met Buddhism for the very first time, people had many mixed reactions. Some people began to accept Buddhism and started practicing it. Meanwhile, some people became very critical of the new language, and there were those who were indifferent about the religion, nor praising or declining. In the readings, Documents 2 and 3 show support towards Buddhism and its spread through China. Documents 4 and 6 show great discourage of the religion and the prevention of the spread. Lastly, documents 1 and 5 show great indifference towards Buddhism. They mostly present facts only and don't encourage or discourage the spread, but do provide a helpful third perspective.
Documents 2 and 3 promote Buddhism and the advantages that come with converting. Document 2 begins to talk about how a Buddhist should live their life. He then finishes off the passage by telling us the rewards people will receive if they live their life correctly (serves the Buddha correctly). This was written by a Chinese scholar during the time Buddhism was at its peak; therefore, this passage seems credible. Although, the author could be Buddhist himself, revealing...
...The Han Dynasty fell in 220 C.E. allowing Buddhism to spread and go to China gaining followers. Buddhism was founded in India in the sixth century B.C. Also in India came a time called the Dark Age and then following that was the golden age. Many people in China lost interest in Buddhism and were against it thinking it was a threat to Confucianism; others were pro Buddhism. These groupings helped identify how well and poorly Buddhism’s spread affected China. During the period of political instability Buddhism did however flourish in China. People began seeking salvation because of the constant warfare thus converting to Buddhism. Conversely when an imperial structure started to come back Buddhism was against what was needed for the empire to thrive as people also thought it threatened their political power, it then lost appeal and soon faded but not fully dying. Buddhism came to China as a fresh new religion and attracted many people. A Buddhist tradition (Doc. 1) consists of “The Four Noble Truths”. This was a way of life for people who worshiped Buddhism. The truths are about sorrow, overcoming it, and stopping it. As people began seeking for recovery it was “The Four Noble Truths” they looked to for an outlook on life. Many people believed in Buddhist concepts, and not Confucianism concepts. One thing that was...
... Spread of Buddhism in China
Buddhism started in India during the sixth century B.C.E and had been used all over the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Buddhism has been spreading all over through the trade routes including the Silk Route. Many people use buddhism as a way to end suffering and reach enlightenment. Many people accepted and converted into Buddhist, while others thought that it was wrong and discouraged it from spreading. But at the time where there was no Empire to control the people, Buddhism became very popular. But after authorities rose up, Buddhism was faced with many different opinions.
After its arrival in China, many people defended and supported Buddhism.Zhi Dun, a chinese scholar, says that Buddhism was a path to nirvana and stop suffering. As a high class scholar who probably didn’t feel threatened by invading nomads, he never really reflected on how the lower class people felt and if they felt any danger towards them. Over some period, other scholars started writing text about Buddhism and some of these text were a way to defend it from people who question it and uses logic to support why the “cause of suspicion” is illogical. However since the author is an unknown scholar, he might not share how other people felt just as Zhi Dun had. Both students precisely reflected one of Buddha’s teaching that by...
APWH Period 2
January 31, 2013
Although Buddhism was not accepted when it was first introduced to China, it has its positive aspects and was later on respected. In these documents, the authors- whether they may be a Chinese scholar, Confucian scholar, or a Buddhist scholar- display either animosity towards Buddhism, enthusiasm and encouragement towards the teachings of Buddhism, or a neutral opinion of not only the Buddhist ways, but the Confucian as well.
Undoubtably, when reading over the documents, there are several phrases that exemplify the authors negative ideas about Buddhism. In document four (doc. 4) written by Han Yu- male Chinese Confucian scholar and official at the Tang imperial court- the first statement is, "Your servant begs leave to say that Buddhism is no more than a cult of barbarian peoples spread to China." In that statement alone, the authors thought of the religion is exposed. Referring to the Buddhist followers as barbaric people is an extreme lack of respect and is an insult. The author also states towards the end, "...Buddha be given to the proper authorities to be cast into fire and water, and this evil be rooted out, and later generations spared this delusion." The creator of this document obviously wants the public to know how much he truly detests Buddhism. He refers to it as being evil, and that it is a delusion...