Buddhism : A Revolutionary Way Of Thinking Across East Asia Essay

927 Words Oct 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
“…the words of the Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, are not empty or false. There is no other vehicle, there is only the one Buddha voice” (Watson 33). Buddhism is (arguably) a religion that originated in India around the 5th century BCE. Siddhartha Gautama (known as Shakyamuni and Buddha) is credited as the founder of Buddhism. Gautama outlined the basis of his beliefs through the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Above is a quote from Burton Watson’s translation of the Lotus Sutra, one of the texts that spread a revolutionary way of thinking across East Asia. Initially, Buddhism encouraged reaching Nirvana (being released from the cycle of rebirth, samsara) by oneself, but, with the distribution of the Lotus Sutra, Mahayana Buddhism was established and spread throughout East Asia. Mahayana Buddhism encourages the attainment of Nirvana through group effort.
Buddhism spread throughout China around the fall of the end of the Han Dynasty, possibly as a result of the turmoil caused by Daoist rebellion. Daoism can be described as a more naturalist ideology, and their beliefs came in to strong conflict with the more structured Confucianist ideas of the Han Dynasty. It is not difficult to imagine people being upset with the hardship both ideologies were causing at the time. Nevertheless, the work of translators, such as Kumarajiva, helped spread the ideas of Buddhism throughout East Asia. Buddhism began to flourish around the Liang Dynasty under Emperor Wu. There was…

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