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He was the son of the king of a tiny state at the foot of the Himalayas and was brought up amidst the luxuries and pleasures befitting one. However, unlike other Indian princes, Sakyamuni soon became disenchanted with the life of sensual pleasures he was leading, and left the sheltered, comfortable, and luxurious life of the home to become a religous mendicant.

After years of religous striving he attained enlightenment at the age of thirty-five and there after was known as the Buddha. The next forty-five years of his life were spent in preaching his message to his fellow men and at the age of eighty he died.


By the 3rd century, Buddhist thought began to play an increasingly important role in Chinese philosophy, the development of which had been, up to this point, indigenous. During the centuries that followed, the best Chinese minds were attracted to Buddhism. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer.

By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Fareeha Akbar. B Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey Whalen LAI Buddhism occupies a central place in the history of integration while fully recognizing the emerging find- Chinese thought, as the system that attracted some of ings of Buddhologists.

However, inte- interaction are still in use. People still speak of initial grating Buddhist thought into Chinese philosophy Indianization and subsequent Sinicization; of Buddhist poses some problems, because Buddhists worked from conquest and Chinese transformation; of Indians as a different set of texts and spoke what seems to be a proverbially otherworldly and Chinese as, by inclina- different language. Christianity began as a hellenized tion, down-to-earth. Under scrutiny, such generaliza- biblical faith whose theology combined theos and tions often seem simplistic; but at some macrocosmic logos from the start; by contrast, long before Buddhism level they remain useful heuristic devices, and for cer- found its way into China there was an extensive history tain ends they can even lend overall clarity.

The same of reflection by Indians on the Buddhist dharma—so can be said of several periodization schemes. They all that Chinese Buddhists had to think through an inher- depict a rise, growth, and decline of Buddhism—that ited tradition before they could embark on their own is, looking at it from the outside. For adherents of the Sinitic reading. As a result, much of the convoluted faith, and for others who still perceive its vitality, the scholastic detail in Buddhism remains alien to most story is one of seeding, flowering, and continual ten- Chinese.

The fact that the neo-Confucian Zhuxi sion or consolidation. The present overview will mini- — openly advised his students against de- mize historic and political details in order to suggest bating with Buddhists lest they be seduced into the larger sociocultural implications. Also, because of the way the field has developed, Chinese Buddhism is often treated as an interim in a Buddhism came into China sometime in the first cen- pan-Asian development beginning in India and ending tury C.

At first, it remained within the pariah commu- in Japan. Integrating Chinese Buddhist thought into nities of foreign traders and made few inroads into the the history of Chinese philosophy did not begin until larger Han Chinese society. Around C. Only then did the treatises of Nagarjuna c. Only Taoism.

Buddha was seen as a foreign immortal who then was the special status of the Lotus Sutra made had achieved some form of Daoist nondeath. The known. The message of But this teaching was not known to Kumarajiva.

It Buddhism then became timely and attractive. As there came in only after his death, when the Mahayana Nir- was a revival of Daoism during the Wei-Jin era third vana Sutra was translated by Dharmaksema in north- century , there arose a philosophical appreciation of ern Liangzhou. This, together with the later translation the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness. Since Laozi ch. And since the Prajnaparamita Transcenden- teaching. Ultimate reality that Laozi and Buddha had taught the same need to was not just empty sunya of self-nature but, in a more return to the roots of nonbeing, or emptiness.

Mahayana initial teaching of universal emptiness.

Buddhism in China, a historical survey

With that, the Mahayana idea of a nonabiding 3. The freedom ex- 4. Sometimes the was especially appealing. Although Dao-an — ob- permanent principle.

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Although Daosheng c. Daosheng, the last of the great neo-Daoistic patronage. Buddhists, had some notion of the doctrine of universal In this regard, the difference between north and Buddha-nature even before the final chapters of the south is seen in the careers of Faguo and Huiyuan.

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The Nirvana Sutra arrived in the south. On the basis of the north did not record any debates on the immortality of Lotus Sutra, he had already argued that if the truth is the soul; the south had many. He was Buddhists long presumed that if there was to be rebirth, opposed by Huiguan and Sengzhao , who successfully there must be a soul to be reborn, and if a person could defended gradual enlightenment.

That Huiguan won attain nirvana, his soul must be what entered nirvana. Tibetan Buddhism also ad- They knew that the religious Daoists also taught a doc- hered to that general consensus, which can be traced trine of an immortal soul, but they would have held back to Indian Buddhism. Daosheng was ahead of his that the Daoist soul sought a materialistic longevity time.

But then the southern Buddhists were tal, spiritual nirvana. Although this was an imperfect also putting aside his type of neo-Daoist intuitionism understanding, Huiyuan used it to justify the Buddhist and were showing a new patience in working through calling. The quest for spiritual transcendence is what the intricacies of Indian Buddhist thought step by step. If sisted that everything conceivable must be real in itself. With strong the southern Buddhists would spend the next century support from the magnate families, the southern San- interpreting Nagarjuna through a lesser figure: Hari- gha successfully defied the state that wanted to subor- varman, author of the Chengshilun Satyasiddhi, Trea- dinate it.

More on this later. The idea that the ruling king is a bodhisattva destined for Meanwhile, from on, the north had been overrun future buddhahood e. War and chaos were hardly the ideal What might have been new was that the barbarian ruler environment for philosophical speculation, but they Holin Bobo went further and declared himself a living were a perfect setting for seeking out quietude and buddha. The idea of a tathagata-king was also en- rebuilding a community life that could withstand them.

Buddhism in Chinese History - Arthur F. Wright - Google книги

The Wei emperor Taizu r. The Chinese literally took refuge with this holy This set a norm for the north, where the king would man, whose aura of sanctity held the bloody killers at assume the dual roles of king of the domain and effec- bay. He could protect his flock and mediate effectively tively also the vicar of the Sangha. This was based on a Buddhocratic control of the Sangha. If folding naturally overlapped. Beyond nihilism. For the Han Chinese, the doc- of force—the last political resort—would not have trine of karmic rebirth entailed the transmigration of been necessary.

In fact, often a pious ruler woke up the soul—a presumption that they could not do away one morning to find on his hands a state within a state. Since nirvana was seen as a return to a pure ori- bounded. But all that belongs more to a sociopolitical gin, it was believed to be achieved by discarding the history than to our concerns here. Nearly all the early keyi Buddhists believed in re- In , in Loyang, there was a court-sponsored public fining the spirit by reducing being to nonbeing. The debate between the Daoists and the Buddhists over the monk Mindu fl.

He huahu thesis: did Laozi leave China and reappear in became aware, first, that, Buddha had no doctrine of a India as Buddha? Or did Buddha will his own rebirth soul; second, that emptiness was not a Daoist, nihilistic in China as Laozi? This debate was a product of the void; and third, that since emptiness was not other than Han perception of Buddha and Laozi as equal sages, form, one should never empty reality but could only and each side sought to absorb the other. Centuries empty the mind—and only if the mind was emptied later, the Hindus would also claim that Vishnu had would the world appear empty.

A prophet is, proverbi- masqueraded as a heretical Buddha in order to deceive ally, without honor in his own country, and Mindu and weaken the demonic hosts. In the process of the was vilified for denying the existence of the soul. Still, debate, the Chinese Buddhists and Daoists pushed the because his daring concept of xinwu emptiness of relative dates of their respective founders farther and mind challenged the concept of benwu original noth- farther back until Buddha was said to have died in ingness , he provided the momentum for what are B.

The Buddhists won the debate, but that called the six prajna schools—each of which proposed also moved the date of the demise of the dharma, set how emptiness might be better understood. When came around, reality empty the mind, not objects or forms. The other seemed to confirm that prophecy. Yet out of that trial by fire, the Bud- ment. Zhi Dun Zhi Daolin, — probably devel- dha dharma would rise like a phoenix, and a result oped the most complex synthesis of opinions of his would be the Sinitic Mahayana schools that flourished time.

In three steps, he first reduced being to nonbeing in the Sui and the Tang dynasties. The he duly emptied; and finally united this refined mind period of digesting Indian subtleties had ended; a time or spirit with the dao. Thus Zhi Dun roamed psychi- of independent creativity had begun. But before we cally in emptiness while abiding physically in the consider a philosophical analysis of the Sinitic Mahay- world of forms. In a sense, he combined the nonbeing ana schools, we need to consider the building blocks of Laozi and the roving freedom of Zhuangzi.

Sengzhao — , who Paradigm Shifts before C. Before emptiness and the immortal soul. Around speculations on Buddha-nature. Sengzhao was well received in his yin-yang synthesis. They had gathered either the Sanlun or the Tiantai school and was not to from the Nirvana Sutra that the final Buddhist teaching be rediscovered later.

Detour into a higher reality. Harivarman with investigating two layers.