Spread of Buddhism in China

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Spread of Buddhism in China

By | March 2013
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During the spread of Buddhism in china, three popular views were that the spreading of Buddhism should be stopped, society benefited from it, and it was the way of salvation (afterlife). One of the responses to the spread of Buddhism was that it should be stopped. Many officials believed that Buddhism was harmful to china because Buddhism was discordant with the already established Chinese traditions, culture, and aristocracy. The leading scholar and official at the Tang imperial court, Han Yu, writes to his leader (document ) “Your servant begs leave to say that Buddhism is no more than a cult of the barbarian people spread to china… The Buddha was a man of the barbarians who did not speak Chinese… your servant is deeply ashamed and begs that this bone from the Buddha be given to the proper authorities to be cast into fire and water, that this evil be rooted out, and later generations spared this delusion.” Han Yu was a Confucian scholar, so it is no surprise that he is opposed to Buddhism which clashes with Confucianism in many aspects including how Confucianism promotes one fulfilling his duties to his lord and country, where as Buddhism promotes detachment to avoid sorrow. The Tang Emperor Wu wrote (document 6) “Buddhism has transmitted its strange ways and has spread like a luxuriant vine until it has poisoned the customs of our nation… Buddhism wears out the people’s strength, pilfers their wealth, causes people to abandon their lords and parents for the company of teachers, and severs man and wife with its monastic decrees… Having thoroughly examined all earlier reports and consulted public opinion on all sides, there no longer remains the slightest doubt in our mind that this evil should be eradicated. ”. Emperor Wu did not want the spread of Buddhism to continue because it advocates one to focus on reaching nirvana, and in order to reach nirvana people would join monasteries and “abandon their lords and parents for the company of teachers.” Obviously...

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