Dbq Buddhism Essay

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Words: 1077
Pages: 5

Buddhism was founded in India in the sixth century B.C.E. It was brought to China in the first century B.C.E. and gained converts after the collapse of the Han dynasty. As it spread, Buddhism had mixed responses. Some Chinese people believed in and defended it while others discouraged it from spreading. Between 220 C.E. and 570 C.E. China had a period of instability. During this time, Buddhism protected lower class people, such as peasants, but to higher ranking people it was seen as threat to their power. The spread of Buddhism was more accepted by the lower class and peasants than the upper class the rejected it. Some of the Chinese people felt that there was joy in converting to Buddhism. The authors of documents 2 and 3 show a positive response and support of the spread of the religion through their writings. Both tell about the way to find joy in joining the Buddhist religion. Documents 2 and 3 only tell about the luxuries of Buddhism, such as enlightenment in the Buddha’s spirit and having goodness and wisdom instead of a wife and children. Zhi Dun, the author of document 2, and the Anonymous Chinese scholar, the author of document 3, both seem to agree that Buddhism is based on a simple life of happiness. This could be why the peasants accepted it more than the high ranked people. Peasants had nothing, they were used to the simple life and learned to enjoy it which is why the accepted and supported Buddhism, but the high ranked wealthy people didn’t know how to not have their luxurious possessions that were not included in the simple life of the Buddhist religion. Without their material things they had no power, it was all lost to Buddhism. Documents 2 and 3 both support the spread of Buddhism because they accept the way of life in the religion. In contrast to documents 2 and 3, some Chinese people had a negative response to Buddhism and discouraged any spread of the religion. Documents 4 and 6 state the feelings of the people that believed that Buddhism was “a cult of barbarian peoples.” They believed that Confucius held the truth and Buddhism was lies. The authors both write that Buddhism is the cause of problems in the Chinese society; people act out to show rebellion instead of taking in the simple life. They both argue that Buddha and the religion show no respect to ancient rulers of China. Documents 4 and 6 both show negative responses to Buddhism by agreeing in their opinions that is destroys law and injures mankind. In ancient China, the people were not divided equally on their opinions of the spread of Buddhism. Unlike the authors of document 2, 3, 4, and 6, documents 1 and 5 neither give a positive, accepting response or a negative, discouraging response to the spread of Buddhism. Both documents try to make a compromise. Document 1 is direct from the text of Buddhist tradition. Document 5 attempts to create an agreement with the conflicts of the belief system in China. Both authors write that it religion has to be interpreted individually. They state that Confucius, Laozi, and Buddha took different approaches to teach, but each was successful in creating a society. Documents 1 and 5 agree that each leader no matter what you believe should be respected. Documents 1 and 5 both are in the middle and do not have an overall positive or negative response to the spread of Buddhism. The responses to the spread of Buddhism in each document can differ depending on the author. For instance, document 1 is straight from Buddhist tradition and was preached by Buddha himself, document 4 was written by a Confucian scholar, Han Yu, who was outside the Buddhist religion, and document 6 was written by Tang Emperor Wu, who was high in power. Since Buddha founded Buddhism, he is going to have a bias, and since Yu was a Confucian he is also going to have a different type of bias, and Wu will not like Buddhism, either, because he was a high ranked official, and shared the belief that the religion destroys law. Yu will