When one studies history, they will realize and understand that every large movement or spread of controversial ideas will generate a huge variety of responses from people; both supporters and non supporters. With a glance at the information provided in the documents, it is evident that the spread of Buddhism from India to China was not an exception and had its own set of responses. Many Chinese scholars desired to extinguish this new spread of ideas and annihilate all traces of Buddhism in China, but others argued against this in support of Buddhism. The documents demonstrate the views of both sides. However, additional documents from the point of view of supporters will be needed in order to further evaluate the extent of Buddhism appeal in China.
Documents four, and six are both from the writings of Chinese scholars during this particular time period and exhibit responses that are not in support for Buddhism. Document four comes across as very ethnocentric and insults Buddhism and the Buddha. Due to the very ethnocentric view of the Chinese, the scholar calls the Buddha and his people barbarians due to the fact that they are foreign and not Chinese. He wanted to preserve ancient Chinese Confucian traditions and was against the demonstration of the Buddha’s finger relic because it is full of evil and may influence the people to make flesh sacrifices to the Buddha. Chinese scholars were also worried about the future of China under Buddhist influence as is displayed in Document six. In this document from the Edict of Buddhism, the author believes that this new idea has poisoned Chinese customs and is taking away from people’s strength, wealth and family. There were also less people farming and less woman sewing clothes due to the amount of people who have converted. This scholar believes that buddhist monks just sit around waiting for farmers to feed them and women to clothe them. The writers of both documents were against these new teachings because they wanted to restore Chinese culture prior to Buddhism and did not believe that these teachings would benefit China.
Chinese Art The Chinese culture is a very interesting topic to learn about. They have many beliefs, customs and traditions that make them unique. Art was very important to the Chinese culture. It was a way to express or symbolize emotions. The Chinese display many different styles as well as techniques to express who they truly are and believe. Art began in China in stone structures. Large ...
Documents two and three are also both written by Chinese scholars during this time period, but they exhibit responses that were in support of Buddhist influence. In the second document, the scholar discusses how to become enlightened and reach the stage of Nirvana (the extinction of all desires).
He is promoting Buddhist principles because he is saying that only by serving the Buddha and keeping to the commandments will one ever achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth and all sufferings. The third document is an account of a mini debate between a scholar not in favor of Buddhism and a scholar who supports it. As one questions the ways of Buddhism, the other counters them with answers. For instance in reply to why monks rarely marry and live childless, the supporter said that monks choose to practice the Way and the Four Noble Truths mentioned in document one. They exchange worldly pleasures such as marriage and children for goodness and wisdom. The writer of the first document and the supporter of the second document both had varying views from the documents previously mentioned. It is hard to tell, however, how appealing Buddhist ideas were to them because they are mostly just stating facts about Buddhism. Documents two and three do demonstrate a slight sense of support for the new spread of ideas but they do not contain much opinionated statements where the standpoints of the writers are clear.
In order for one to further evaluate the extent of Buddhism appeal in China, analysis of more opinionated documents will be required such as documents four and six where the authors insult and clearly are not in favor of the belief. Documents where the writer openly praises and glorifies the belief would be useful in this evaluation. The varying points of view in documents two, four and five serve to demonstrate the countless different responses to this new spread of ideas from India to China. While point of view of the author in document one is in favor of Buddhism, the one in document four is against it, and the one in fifth document holds a neutral standpoint believing that all faiths must be treated with respect. The writer of document two supports Buddhism because he believes that one must follow the principles of the faith in order to achieve liberation and escape suffering.
One of the Buddha’s most significant teachings is that everyone is different, and hence each individual’s path to enlightenment is unique. For this reason, Buddhists acknowledge that they must take inspiration from a variety of sources to complete their individual journey to Nirvana. Belief in the concept of enlightenment is therefore important within Buddhism with different branches ...
The writer of document four does not support it because he believes that it comes from barbarians and will have a bad influence on China. However, document five is the only one that is neutral because the writer believes that all the sages were perfect and developed ideas which fit the demands of their times and lead to an orderly society. These show that responses to the spread of Buddhism were based on opinion and varied from scholar to scholar. During this time period, when Buddhism was growing in China and gained favoritism after the collapse of the Han Dynasty, many different views were exchanged. A large amount of people disfavored this new belief and wished to return to Confucianism as the main belief. Others found the new idea as appealing and therefore converted and supported it, while a different group did not favor a belief but treated all with equal respect. This contributed to the period of disunity following the Han Dynasty due to people not agreeing on issues such as these.