Buddhism In China

Superior Essays
How Buddhism transformed in, and transformed Chinese Culture

Throughout China’s history there has been many religious, philosophical, and social ideals that have been widely spread. Many of these, such as Confucianism and Daoism have their origins rooted within. However, one religion that sparks much interest is Buddhism. Buddhism is a foreign religion that spread throughout China and had major impacts on the culture, and at the same time, China had major influence on the development of Buddhism.
The oldest form of Buddhism is known as “Theravada Buddhism,” and as it uses the oldest completed extant early Buddhist canon, the Pali Canon, it can be assumed that it is also closest to the original teachings of The Buddha, though as the Buddha
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Many Buddhist ideals stemmed from Hindu concepts, and the Chinese did not have these same connections in their culture. As a result, Daoism had a heavy influence on Buddhist concepts in China. Many Buddhist concepts were translated with Daoist ideas in mind. Emptiness translated into the Daoist idea of non-being, or to be like the Dao, a causal source and formless essence of all phenomena. Daoism though, eventually became completely overshadowed by Buddhism. This lead to Daoist adopting some Buddhist ideals, such as creating monasteries, and burning incense. China became covered in Buddhist shrines that included temples and living quarters for monks and nuns, and often were visited by lay people who would come to pray to the images of Buddhist deities. The courtyards and pavilions would host Buddhist festivals, parades, and carnival markets, and pagodas towered over China adding religion to the …show more content…
Mahayana was in a reconstruction period when it entered China, thus allowing China to have a large influence on the religion. Many classical Mahayana Suttas were written on Chinese soil, or at the very least, the Chinese translation were the only to survive. Chinese Mahayana eventually influenced the forming of more sects such as the Emptiness sect, a more metaphysical sect intermingled with old Chinese ideas. Or the Pure Land movement, which prays to Amitabha, or the Buddha of infinite light. Or the Chan movement, which, along with Pure Land, offered practitioners nirvana without years of

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