Lauen H Essay

Submitted By 110000lh
Words: 665
Pages: 3

Lauren Hendrix
4th Block AP World
February 17, 2013

In first century CE Buddhism was brought to China, although there was an array of mixed feelings toward this newly culturalized religion- the number of converts inclined. During the first few centuries Buddhism flourished, cultivating and expanding into new territories. In the centuries to follow Buddhism took a turn for the worse when China experienced a patch of political instability, losing nearly 2/3 of their followers. The documents provided relate to each other because they give us a descriptive timeline that distinctively relates to the flourishment and decline of Buddhism in China during these times. Starting off with the earliest development- Document #1 is the Buddha’s first sermon over the Four Nobel Truths. This sermon signals the start of Buddhism as we know it, and the foundation upon which it is laid. The Four Noble Truths are the guidelines for Buddhist converts, the idea of freeing the mind and opening yourself up to opportunities overwhelms ones sensual mind. This Sermon did just that, in a way which gained more converts than ever. After the sermon the Buddha taught, more and more Buddhist arose- expanding their religion into China. The idea of a peaceful awe bearing religion over-took most of china. Converts nearly tripled in number due to this expansion. Hinted by Document #2, the high officials also agreed with the matter, preaching the word of Nirvana. (“He will behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, and then he will enter Nirvana.” Doc. 2) As the same in Document # 3, which states that not all true things have to come from an original source, sometimes to be credible you have to think out of the box and accept new peaceful states. During Chinas politically instable times, we see a major shift in attitude towards Buddhist ways. Buddhism promoted peace and disregarded violence. While China was ‘failing’ they needed all of the violence and war-like attitudes they could accommodate, clearly not graced by Buddhism. Document #4 is the perfect example of this newly found hatred towards Buddhism, Han Yu, a leading scholar at the Tang Imperial court wrote “..Buddhism is no more than a cult of the Barbarian peoples spread to China. It did not exist here in ancient times.” As documents 1-3 flowed together, this document is the first to take a turn for the worse. Instead of the Buddha being praised, he was now looked upon as a non-standardized man that did not live up to Chinese standards. Further down the line you see the same