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Han Dynasty Dbq

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After the collapse of the Han dynasty, the teachings of Buddhism began to expand through silk roads. In responses towards Buddhism some commoners believed Buddhism could end suffering; most aristocrats saw it as a threat towards society; whereas many scholars believed that a compromise could be made between Buddhism and Confucianism. Specifically the documents support in a time of crisis Buddhism offered a way to end suffering for peasants. While other documents suggest the Tang government officials referred to tradition should remain without the interference of a new evil, being Buddhism. Scholars believed that Buddhism does not have to compromise China’s Confucius ideas; they believed there was room for both. An additional document to further this analysis from an account of a commoner during the time, because Buddhism gave the poor hope and did not conflict Confucius practices such as filial piety.

Peasants accepted Buddhism because it was a huge attribute to them. For the fact that Buddhism rejected the caste system, it offered peasants a sense of equality and purpose. In practicing Buddhism, a greater life could be accomplished. Zhi Dun once stated “...he will behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, and then he will enter Nirvana.” By practicing Buddhism all desire and individual consciousness would be extinct. (Doc 2) Desire was the reason why people suffered, due to the fact that individuals are self-centered. Nirvana, a way to end all suffering, was the result that all Buddhists wanted to achieve. In a time of chaos, many peasants looked to Buddhism to put them out of their misery. The Four Noble Truths all preach a way that Buddha offers a Stopping of Sorrow. One of the Truths says “The Fourth Noble Truth is the Noble Truth of the Way that Leads to the Stopping of Sorrow.” (Doc 1) It should be noted that peasants were not the only ones who supported Buddhism. For example, Asoka and Siddhartha, of very high status, gave up most or even...

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