China has a broad history and various religions were practiced in China but Buddhism was one of the significant religions of China being adopted as a second religion and still practiced by number of Chinese people in the present time period. Buddhism was originated in India, during the sixth century BC. By the time, Buddhism spread throughout the south Asia. The founder of Buddhism was Gautama Siddhartha born as a prince in 624 BC in a Lumbini place was in northern India and Buddhism entered China via Silk Road (Haw, 2010, p. 85). Buddhism was adopted as a second religion in China, while influenced by Buddhist’s teachings, Buddhist’s arts and Buddhist’s temples in order to maintain the spirituality of Buddhism as a religion. In upcoming paragraphs, will discuss the reasons behind the acceptance of Buddhism in China as a second religion and also how Buddhism gains its popularity in China.
At the very first glances my research focus on the teachings of Buddhism, Buddhist Arts, and obstacles in China to gain the popularity of religion. Buddhism four Noble truths includes that life is suffering, life is suffering because of desires, to stop suffering; stop desires, Eightfold paths: how to stop desires (includes that become vegetarian, stay away from marriage and sexual relationships, stop desiring for alcoholisms beverages and drug addiction), stop thinking about materialistic things (In a lecture for his Asia 200 A class, Cheng… (Lewis). Buddha also said that lot of desires that can’t be fulfilled, so every human being should stop desiring because desiring is increasing day by day while accomplish of one desire.
Buddhism also talks about reincarnation means reborn after death. His teachings told us that every human being is able to reborn again in other life based on his or her Karma. Karma means the process of reincarnation depends on the good or bad activities done by the individual in the present life depends on the human’s future life. For instance, If, I am doing good activities in my present life like helping needy people, donating to poor people, helping the people injured in warfare. On these activities my future birth depends and I can be born as human again in future. On the other side, If, I am doing bad things like hurting others, thinking about myself only, lying to other’s to gain profit and so on that will leads me to born as animal creatures in other life. Buddha talked about the life after the death.
Buddha’s teachings also tells about the Nirvana means that the never be born again in any other life. Buddha himself achieves reincarnations because he wanted to help other people who are in pain (Cui 641). He also said that all the people are same and all have same chance to enter the Nirvana. “Buddhism proposed that all human beings had the virtue of Buddhahood, so that all could reach the same enlightenment as Buddha himself” (Cui 641). In Buddhism, it is also believe that after the dead of a person, the relatives or family members of the dead person should not cry because that would stop the person to entering into the new world, besides that it is also believe that people should not take the organs of the dead body for transplantation, because that affects the next reincarnation of that person (Cai 152).
Secondly, Buddhism wasn’t popular in China before, Buddhism attained his popularity in china after the breakdown of Han dynasty .Buddhism spread in china via trade system between China and India by foreign officers. Buddhism was mainly supported in China by Non-Han Chinese communities like Mongolian, Tibetan. Furthermore, Buddha taught the people of China to help the people who were affected by warfare. By his lessons of Buddhism many people were influenced towards the Buddhism Religion. Also, number of people started to follow the Buddhism while impressed by Buddhist arts. Many of Buddhist temples located in caves (in India) that are amazing in today and also in the past and attracting the people towards Buddhism. Buddhists temples include huge statues of Buddha that are located in the caves on high mountains.
Following Buddhism, Chinese people started build wooden temples in china while only Confucianism temples and Statues were allowed in China. In china people made only covered body of Buddha because that time they were under the influence of Confucianism don’t accept the naked body to accept that they made little change in Buddha’s Statues in China. On the other side, in India Buddhism accept the naked body for Buddhist Arts. Chinese people had to face some difficulties in the past to understand and to follow the Buddhism. People to gone through language barrier because Buddhism came from India, so that the Buddhism Sutras were written only in Sanskrit and Pali (Haw 85).
Later on, Buddhism teachings were translated into Chinese by different schools of Buddhism, they learned the Sutras then translated into Chinese language for the better understanding of Buddhist teachings. In 1966-1976, during the suppression period the education system affected due to political activities. The Buddhists followers were forced to engage in the Chinese nation, for that many students and teachers participated in revolutionary activities and almost all schools were closed down. “Buddhists temples were destroyed and turned into meeting halls and Buddhist Sutras were burnt inside the temples” (Li, 142). Buddhists monks were enforced to leave the country or follow the rules of opponents, all these reasons become barrier in-between the education system (Li, 143).