When Asia Was the World Book Analysis Essays

1095 Words Dec 9th, 2011 5 Pages
Before this assignment I never knew anything about Asian history until I got to this class and received this assignment. I can’t believe how much Asian history influenced the way we as Americans look at history now. In Steward Gordon’s When Asia Was The World, I found the story of Xuanzang very interesting. Xuanzang was a Buddhist monk who traveled all over to learn more about Buddhism until he became confused and decided to go to the center of Buddhism, along the way he faced many difficulties, he decided to go back to China and share what he had learned. Buddhism began in India; it was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, a prince, born in Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama wandered around for awhile acting like a beggar to figure out why it was that …show more content…
Although Stewart Gordon’s book When Asia Was The World starts off in China, Buddhism originally began in India, and then spread to Central Asia to China and finally Japan. Throughout the spread of Buddhism very little Indian culture spread and nothing of Chinese culture came to India. The biggest and best monasteries, best teachers and original text were all located in India, thousands of miles from China (Gordon 19). The Kushan Empire in India promoted Buddhism. They have a Buddhist sculpture that was created under their rule (Murphey 79). The first area beyond India that Buddhism spread to was Ceylon. Buddhism did not spread past northern India. The Singalese accepted and still practice Buddhism. From them, they produced Buddhist sculptures and buildings that include mound temples of Buddha (Murphey 81). Fa Xian, a Chinese Buddhist monk, made the journey to India to get real copies of Buddhist scriptures (Murphey 83). Xuangzang visited the courts of Harsha, giving a journal of his journey. One of his reports was that Buddhism was declining and Hinduism was once again dominant. “Two Chinese monks who traveled to India a century after Xuanzang found that more and more, Indian kings patronized Hindu gods and temples; Buddhism slowly disappeared in much of India” (Gordon 20). Buddhism then spread to Southeast Asia where over time it expanded . In Asia only Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam were

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