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The Spread of Buddhism in China

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The Spread of Buddhism in China

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“The Third Noble Truth is the Truth of the Stopping of Sorrow: It is complete stopping of that craving…being released from it, giving no place to it” (Document1). The spread of Buddhism in China was due to the appeal it had on the people and the influence it made on the culture, like the Third Noble Truth states, stopping sorrow leads to one being content and being released from any heavy sorrow weighing you down, a life which describes and explains the spread of this particular religion in China, the way of life appealed to the people. Although many officials and scholars disagreed to the Buddhist ways, it did not stop others from converting and spreading the religion. In this essay I will discuss the spread of Buddhism in China and the impact it had on the culture.

Zhi Dun, a Chinese scholar in circa 350 C.E., stated that anyone who follows in the foot steps of Buddha and commits to the religion, will “…behold the Buddha and be enlightened in his spirit, and then he will enter Nirvana,” (Document 2). By reading this document one must concluded that Dun believes that by following the Buddhist doctrine, one will live enlighten and enter “Nirvana”. Dun was an author and a confidant of the Chinese aristocrats and high officials, so as seeing his beliefs in this religion it is proven that some, possibly many Chinese elites also followed the Buddhist doctrine, which proves that the religion spread to more than just peasants and merchants. In Document 3 an anonymous scholar in circa 500 C.E. answers questions about his reasons to participate in the Buddhist ways. This scholar states that not everything revolves around Confucius and that, whether or not Buddhism is the correct way of doing things does not depend on the writings of Confucius, “The records and teachings of Confucian classics do not contain everything,” (Document 3). The scholar explains that the Buddhist monks don’t take on worldly possessions in order to focus on “the Way”, which gives the monks...

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