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 wanted Buddhism to spread as the main religion, but there were also people who liked Buddhism and wanted it to coexist with other religions. In Document 3 a Chinese scholar contradicts himself, his questions are against Buddhism but his answers are for. The questions are showing his arguments against Buddhism’s spread but the answers are giving the reasons why it should spread. It is almost like pros and cons. The last question in his first series asks: “Can the writings of the Buddha exceed the Classics and commentaries and beautify the accomplishments of the sages?” Then as an answer he compares Confucianism and Buddhism saying “To compare the sages to Buddha would be like comparing a...
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