Buddhism and Chinese Culture

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Buddhism includes a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting philosophies. Original Buddhism in ancient India as a Sramana tradition begins the 6th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. China is one of the most influential countries by Buddhism. In the development of Chinese history, there are three systems of thought include the Chinese traditional culture. They are Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. The first two are Chinese culture, and Buddhism is a foreign religion.

It introduced from India. Although there had been conflicts among the three systems of thoughts, but integration is the mainstream in the development of Chinese cultural thought. For over 2,000 years, Buddhism has interacted with all levels aspects of Chinese culture such as literature, philosophy, morality, arts, architecture and religions. As a result, Buddhism has successfully integrated into the traditional Chinese culture and has become one of the most important pillars. However, the influence of Buddhism in China is positive or negative? In this paper, I will discuss the Buddhist impact from other writings portrays on culture from philosophy and moral teaching; art and architecture.

The one of most important influence in China that is the effect of Buddhism on the Chinese economy. In many different aspects of Buddhism’s societal role, the economy was changed in both positive and negative motheds. One of the most intuitive effects is the economic changes caused by the government’s establishment of Buddhist monasteries. Most emperors of the 5th and 6th centuries, including emperors who otherwise appeared to hold Buddhism in low esteem, spent a lot of time, money and resources to build extravagant monasteries. They were more interested in erecting great things in their name and in the name of the dynasty, rather than the way their spending affects the economy.

In Wright, Arthur F., Buddhism and Chinese Culture: Phases of Interaction. He mentioned that “It was especially after 465, in Northern China, that unrestrained expenditure for the benefit of Buddhism began to assume proportions dangerous to Chinese society. Colossal proportions were in fashion.” Exaggerated spending and resource use impose a heavy burden on the economy. The labor of ordinary people was used to build great religious buildings and to satisfy the emperor’s whim. When the great monastery was created, a large number of people and animals died. Natural resources such as bricks and beams used to make monasteries are diminishing.

However, the impact of Buddhism on the economy is not completely negative. Buddhism has also stimulated the prosperity of commercialization and production. Buddha statues and other religious ornaments have become popular items for general consumption. From the peasants to the upper classes of the aristocracy, the Chinese people have suffered more from the suffering economy than the emperor or Buddhism. The emperor is not easy to see the problems that are widely spent on Buddhists. He is more concerned with the blessings and blessings of the Buddhist church and less attention to the charges of ordinary people. “Monks eat without having to work the land and are clothed without having to weave.”

This quote portray that Monks as“idle eaters” during the T’ang dynasty succeeded in frustrating both scholars and laymen. Even the emperor’s support for the construction of the monastery through economic support may be to divert the public’s attention to politics. There is some argument as to whether Buddhism really did damage to China’s economy or whether it merely consumed revenue. Buddhism was a luxury for Chinese society paid. The purpose of the Emperor developed Buddhism obviously is not pure admiration for Buddha. But the economics of Buddhism did not play as strong a role in deciding their political power as one may have thought.

Buddhism once is the most important philosophy in China. It did spread their rituals all around China and through their method to observe the world on four levels: existentially, morally, cosmologically, and ontologically. the Buddhist cosmology established in the politics and history of China had an important impact on the political of these territories. As mentioned above, the emperor is not simply spending a lot of money on establishing a monastery and developing a Buddhist place. Generally, it is considered as a political purpose.“The Buddhist approach to political power is the moralization and the responsible use of public power.

The Buddha preached non-violence and peace as a universal message. He did not approve of violence or the destruction of life”. From this quote, we know the positive part that Buddha’s teaching creates a base for the political behavior and a good government, that allows political in a certain period to approach to the stable so that believers, they could have the potential to achieve to accept Buddhist mentioned ‘suffering’ and understand the world. Somehow Buddha’s teaching talks already about the precepts of liberty, justice, equality, and how a government should act based on humanitarian principles for the “supreme peace” for humanity. It is just like Eduardo Shuré explains in his book “Los Grandes Iniciados”, “the law of karma or causal chain of lives, punishment and consequence of freedom, justice and logic of pleasure and misery, reason of the inequality of conditions, organization of individual destinies, rhythm of the soul that yearns to overcome his divine origin through infinity, is the organic conception of immortality in harmony with the laws of the Cosmos”.

Cite this paper

Buddhism and Chinese Culture. (2020, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/buddhism-and-chinese-culture/

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