Responses to the Spread of Buddhism
Although some elites in China found Buddhism to be important for the development of China between 220 CE and 570 CE, as time progressed through this period, Buddhism’s popularity seemed to decrease. Between 200 CE and 500 CE, scholars and the few followers of Buddhism seemed to have simply been trying to inform the people about Buddhism and they were attempting to gain popularity. Unfortunately, by around 819 CE, people seemed to have started disproving of Buddhism as China started to turn towards a more imperial society. Shortly after the fall of the Han Dynasty in 220 CE Buddhism started to spread very rapidly throughout the Chinese society. The people of China in this period were in a devastated state with no structured government and a falling economy. For them, Buddhism was a form of mental escape and it gave them a chance to let go of the natural world and reach a peace of mind. The first sermon preached by Buddha (Doc 1) was preached to help people who were unaware of the religion to acknowledge it and realize that it is a religion that will give them an opportunity to forget about the current devastation they are in. The sermon teaches the people that there is no point in grieving over something and instead they should rid themselves of their pleasures and try to look beyond the material world. The sermon teaches that every negative feeling someone might have is a form of sorrow and getting rid of that sorrow is the only way to attain happiness. Zhi Dun (Document 2) is conveying both to Buddhists followers and non-followers of Buddhism that Buddha is the almighty. He is trying to teach the people that without recognizing and obeying Buddha, it is impossible to attain enlightenment. Both Dun and Buddha are find Buddhism to be relieving and are attempting to gain more followers. Both documents are attempting to convince and inform people of what Buddhism really is and how it can help one’s mental stability. After...
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