Essay on Buddhism in China W

Submitted By 1313Morgan
Words: 1156
Pages: 5

Buddhism in China

The spread of Buddhism in China caused a flurry of responses that ranged from supporting the new religion to questioning the religions history and purpose. Since Buddhism first started surfacing in China during the first century C.E., Confucianists wanted the young religion to leave the country. On the other hand, Buddhism is said to teach the art of living a good life and fulfilling one’s enlightenment. Throughout the six documents, Buddhism has been described in many ways. Document one describes Buddhism in a positive manner and shows how the religion influences people to live their life for the greater good. Written by a Buddhism supporter, the document states the four Noble Truths of the first sermon preached by the Buddha. In short, the Four Noble Truths explain how one’s life is full of misery and sorrow, that craving leads to the need to live another life to reach self enlightenment, and the only way one can reach it is to end the craving. Though this document was written by a primary source, it only shows the downside to craving and how working for something better could be bad. Buddhist believe that the life is full of suffering and one’s soul suffers through many lives before it reaches Nirvana. As explained in document two, one’s soul goes through more than an infinite number of lives before it finds true enlightenment. The life of a peasant can be described as horrible and hard because their soul was bad in the last life. On a completely opposite note, being rich does not mean a soul is any closer to finding enlightenment; it only means the person has a slightly easier life. Another example given in document two is that a Buddha chooses to come back and suffer through another life cycle to help others reach their own soul’s enlightenment. This document was written by a Chinese scholar that was a confident to higher officials, meaning that he was around rich people but that did not change his opinion about where their soul lies with in reaching Nirvana. A leading Buddhist schooler, Zong Mi, stated, “Confucius, Laozi, and the Buddha were perfect sages.” No where in document five, did he ever say that one was better than the others. Mi sees all three as equal and no less respectable teachings. As well as, all three teach the same basic teachings of rewarding good behavior and punishing bad ones. This document helps show that the bringing of Buddhism into China was not very different than the already present Confucianism. That both share the basic teachings and they are not as different as many Chinese people may have thought. Buddhism may have been a good thing to some, but to others, they wanted nothing more than for Buddhism to leave China. Document three is a perfect example to show how many Chinese did not approve of the new religion in their country. Though the author asked questions no one could answer, he opened up the negative side of Buddhism. He questioned why it was never practiced nor mentioned by the Confucius Classic or why it should exceed the accomplishments of the past. The author brings humor to the paper by adding, “To compare the sages to the Buddha would be like comparing a white deer to a unicorn, or a swallow to a phoenix.” By doing so, one can read and understand that he feels very strongly about the topic and/or he was judgmental and narrow minded as to referring to things that are not relatable. Bias opinions are also shown in document six. Written by an emperor, whom showed his biased opinion instead of facts, explains why Buddhism was negative for China. He states that Buddhism caused people to lose their money, family, and loyalty with their lords. As well as, destroyed law and injured humankind. He wrote from an emperor’s point of view and did not separate his feelings about the religion from the facts. This document is not a reliable source for it is full of bias statements. The author stated that if one man did not farm, someone would go hungry. Those