Apocrypha texts are produced by different people with direct mind-to-mind transmission of the Buddha’s teaching starting from Buddha himself (LaRose, 2013). However apocrypha are texts that claim authenticity, which is seen as doubtful due to its lack of direct line of transmission from the Buddha itself. Nevertheless, there have been numerous Apocrypha texts, which have been successful through other means that will be later discussed in this essay. Apocrypha texts share common characteristics but are different in terms of style and content (Tokuno, 2004). The difference is portrayed within the production of apocryphal texts and its nature of Buddhism in each tradition of culture (Tokuno, 2004). As Indian Buddhism assimilated to China, Chinese Buddhists developed apocrypha texts based on the foundation of Indian Buddhism by skillfully synthesizing Buddhist material from India (Tokuno, 2013). However there were modifications made such as focusing on popular beliefs and the practices of China in order to maintain their own Chinese culture and tradition to these texts. Apocrypha is an important text, which provides a more intimate understanding of traditional Buddhist texts with the accommodation of a new culture. In regards to the assimilation of Indian Buddhism into Chinese culture, these secondary sources allowed Chinese practitioners the freedom to interpret the texts on a more human like level by incorporating figurative devices, and a form of escape from preexisting dilemmas, all of these which allowed it to become successful in China.
In the Buddhism religion alone, there was thousands of volume of texts, which were modified in so many ways whether it was through translations or different writing systems as seen in the following quotation. “The translation of Buddhist texts introduced new words, new verse style and deviations from native grammatical rules as well as the use of more Chinese characters as phonetic signs to denote the sounds of Indian letters” (Abe, 2005). In particular, Chinese Buddhists emphasized in their texts, using figurative devices, which consisted of rhetorical and poetics devices because they believed that words were seen as labels that just existed. “The use of metaphors was also very popular, for they believed that metaphors point at more than one thing at one and the fictional words of parables signify no external objects” (Abe, 2005). This shows that metaphors was important in the success of apocryphals as it allowed for in depth meaning to a single word which gave the word a greater meaning that what it initially is. Another prime example of how figurative language was emphasized in these texts was seen in Ekayana. “Ekayana cannot be verbalized as a doctrinal formula instead it represents the actual experience of the practitioners learning the sutra’s figurative language as the sublime display of expedient means (Abe, 2005). It’s the experiential process that the apocrypha provides where the words of the scripture sink into the depths of their minds and becomes part of their bodies” (Abe, 2005). The quotation states that such topics in the apocryphal texts are further elaborated which allows the readers to gain more understanding of topics that are not properly explained in the main Sutra. In addition, the Sutra does not attempt to logically describe what Ekayana is, as they believed that there would not be much experience taken from it. Instead the sutra strives to enable the readers to experience and eventually master Ekayana. This shows that apocrypha allows the practitioners the freedom to actually interpret the text on a human like level understanding by adding more depth into these words by incorporating various figurative language to allow readers to receive a clearer understanding. Therefore Sutra’s texts demonstrates how it represents the greatest Buddhist teaching through the means of figurative devices, which allows it to be broken down in simpler ways,