Buddhism is widespread in China

Buddhism of china, developing influence of buddhism in china

Buddhism is the main religion in China. It is usually believed that Buddhism spread during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220) from Hotan through Xinjiang to central China, namely in 67. And during the development of Buddhism in China, it has been profound and lasting influenced on traditional Chinese culture and thoughts. At that time it was one of the most important religions in China.

Development of Buddhism in China

In a nutshell, the development of Buddhism in China can be divided into the following three periods:

1. The first period is Buddhism in Han Dynasty, when it was just introduced in China. During this period, many Buddhist scriptures were translated and explained. The White Horse Temple (Chinese: Bai Ma Si) built during this period marks the first time that Buddhist teachings were spread in China.

2. The second period is Buddhism in Jin Dynasty (265-420), and in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (386-589), where several Buddhist scriptures appeared. Buddhism entered its heyday from the beginning of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. During this period, Buddhist ideas spread widely across China. And the number of Buddhists kept increasing all the time.

3. The third period is Buddhism in Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty (618-907), when Buddhism welcomed its heyday and achieved unprecedented development. Many Buddhist sects were established during this period. The Sui Dynasty emperors believed in Buddhism. True, the Tang Dynasty emperors believed in Taoism, but they had a protective and tolerant attitude towards other religions, such as Buddhism. Then Buddhism in China achieved rapid and great development during this period.

However, in the advancing society of feudalism, Buddhism with Chinese characteristics developed very slowly because of the social unrest. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China and the implementation of the Freedom of Religion Policy, Chinese Buddhism entered a new prosperous age. Nowadays, Chinese Buddhism is developing very rapidly. And the international academic exchange is constantly expanding.

In addition, the three different forms of Buddhism were developed as Buddhism reached the centers of the population in different times and through different routes. The social and ethnic background in each different eatery affects the way in which each of the three forms evolved. And finally, they are named as Han Buddhism, Tibet Buddhism, and Southern Buddhism, respectively.

Influence of Buddhism on the life of the Chinese

Throughout its long history, Buddhism has had an indelible impact on Chinese civilization. Many words and phrases have roots in the Buddhist origin. Let us take a slang phrase as an example, “to hold Buddha's foot in your arms at the last moment” means “to make an attempt at the last moment” (Chinese: Lin Shi Bao Fuo Jiao). This shows, so to speak, the real attitude of the Chinese towards the utilitarian aspect of the faith. Many people kowtow every god they encounter and burn incense sticks in every temple.

In the literary trail of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism (a school of Buddhism, Chinese: "Chan", Japanese: "Zen") is very evident. Few known poets in the Tang Dynasty, such as Bai Juyi, are Buddhists. But that didn't stop them from indulging in Buddhism every now and then. Just as the current white-collar class (Bai Lin) go to the bar, the scholars of the Tang Dynasty went to the restaurants to drink and flirt with the Almahs.

In present-day China, Buddhist temples, Buddhist caves and grottoes, Buddhist sacred mountains, especially those on the list of national or provincial historical and cultural remains, have become hot spots for tourism. It is not abnormal that income from one temple can cover expenses for an entire area or district.