The Four Noble Truths: The Spread Of Buddhism In China

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Buddhism was introduced to China through migrants and through trade, and it rapidly spread and several opinions about it sprung about. A large number of people were pro-Buddhism, while various others were completely against it. There were even certain individuals who just wanted unity and for Confucianism and Buddhism to coexist. As expressed in documents one and two, Buddhism is a good, new religion. The Four Noble Truths are spoken of in document one and they are said to help an adherent to steer clear of sorrow and suffering. The document walks the reader through The Four Noble Truths, which include Sorrow, Arising of Sorrow, Stopping of Sorrow, and the Way, which leads to sorrow’s end. The second document discusses how following the Buddha…show more content…
Han Yu, the leading Confucian scholar and author of document four, argues that Buddhism is the work of barbarians and didn’t exist in China in ancient times. The author states that the Buddha didn’t speak the Chinese language or dress the Chinese way. He refers to Buddhism as an “evil” and wants it eradicated and never to be heard of in future generations. This author treats Buddhism as a delusion to the commoners and wants is to be dismissed. Document six is slightly different from the rest, as for it is written by an emperor, Tang Emperor Wu. “Buddhism has transmitted its strange ways and has spread like a luxurious vine until it has poisoned the customs of our nation.” This suggests that Buddhism is detrimental to society and it seeks to destroy the natural order, such as laws. Emperor Wu finds it awful for the amount of people belonging to Buddhist temples and chapels to outnumber the imperial palace. Buddhism is again referred to as an evil that need to be eliminated. These documents appear to make it seem that Buddhism had a hard time finding its place in…show more content…
Because of the question and answer form, the author was most likely Confucian, though had positive thoughts towards Buddhism as well. The author says that not everything had to be the works of Confucius because they don’t comprise everything. This document explains why monks reject getting married and having children. It states that wives, children, and property are luxurious, but monks choose to give up such entities for simple living to gain knowledge and goodness. This document shows that adherents to Buddhism are in no way harming anybody, and Confucianism and Buddhism can exist together without the need for violence or hatred. The author of document five, Zong Mi, a leading Buddhist scholar, calls both Confucius and the Buddha perfect sages. He states, “…all three teachings lead to the creation of an orderly society and for this they must be observed with respect.” I find this statement to reflect extremely well the idea of a unity between Confucianism and Buddhism. It shows how they go hand in hand with each other. This document says that both Confucianism and Buddhism have similar concepts. Even though there were six documents provided, it would have been beneficial to have heard from someone who was either in the lower class or was a woman. All the authors were male scholars and one was an emperor. None of the documents portrayed the views of a peasant and how

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