Buddhism in Tang Dynasty

Topics: China, Buddhism, Tang Dynasty Pages: 6 (1867 words) Published: April 6, 2013
From the mid Han to Tang Dynasty, Buddhism in China had experienced great changes. With the penetration of Buddhist thinking in the past few dynasties, together with the respect of the Tang emperors, Tang had been the most prosperous dynasty of Buddhism in China. Below will introduce Buddhist activities in Tang Dynasty, their influences towards populace and the society, and discuss the reasons for its extensive growth. Respect of Tang Emperor

Emperors in Tang Dynasty were mostly believe in Buddhism. Examples have WuHou(武后) was used to be a nun. After being the emperor, she often invited monks to the palace to give speeches. SuZong (肅宗) had ask his officials to surround and bow to hundreds of monks. As the king believed in Buddhism, ministers would follow in order to help or some may fawn the king. Prime ministers in feudal China like SongJing (宋璟) were experts in Buddhism. The advanced work of translation

During Wei and Jin, the development of Buddhism has started and there were clergies came to China from the West to proselytize. Getting the support and encouragement from the emperors, they had their own monarches to do translation work, and thus, a large amount of sutra then can be readable for Chinese. Nearly 4000 chapters of sutra had been interpreted till the end of Wei and Jin. This provided a solid foundation to those who would like to investigate Buddhism afterwards. Those translators specialize in different areas, they gathered hundreds of people analyzing the shape, sound, and the meaning of words in sutra. This experience had a great impact on the wide spread of Buddhism in Tang Dynasty. The flourishing temple economy

Before Tang, Buddhism already had a special right that the monks and nuns living in temples didn’t have to pay tax and to do servility work for the state. Also, temples at that time could get endless money from the emperor and the devotion of the populace, so monks had financial ability to start their own business and earn money, they could also engage in renting farmland to make themselves a living. Tax evasion was the reason for the poor masses to become monks, which help the growth of Buddhism. The pursuit of Buddhist doctrine

The orderliness of Buddhism was poor when it was first introduced to China in time of the eastern Han, there were many omissions and mistakes in contents, which were not satisfied by the scholars in China. In the early Tang period, many of them took their journey to the west for the completeness, this drove the atmosphere of the pursuance of Buddhist doctrine. In order word, Buddhism in Tang focused on both theories and application, researchers merged the Chinese thinking into Buddhist one and apply them on daily lives. The way they use Chinese thinking to explain Buddhism made it unfold an independent road of development in China. Soon, various sects were generated and prospered the expansion of it. Fits the need of different groups

The internal structure of Buddhism is complex, it contains recondite philosophical thinking, and also a secular state of religious belief. It can satisfied the various requests of different social class, and this is the reason why it was rooted among the rulers, scholars, and general level. Emperor - Consolidation of regime by Buddhist thinking

One of the main Buddhism thinking is the cause and effect relationship. For the reason to consolidate their regime, emperors valued Buddhism very much, to domesticate his people together with the help of Chinese traditional ritual. Like the second emperor of Tang Dynasty, Li Shi Min, he is one of the Tang ruler that encourage the implementation of Buddhism though he is not a Buddhist follower. Some of them wish to lengthen their life by Buddhist power, while the others may want to penetrate the thinking of earning merit by doing good thing into the public’s mind, they thought it has the effect on consolidation of their power.

Civilian – Getting bless and good fortune
Although the general...
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