Chin The Four Noble Truths

1353 WordsDec 3, 20166 Pages
Between 220 and 570 C.E., China experienced a political instability and disunity, which opened the way to the spread of Buddhism. Before this new way of life could take hold, however, the Chinese people had to learn the teachings of Buddha, such as the first sermon preached by Buddha in the fifth century B.C.E., known as “The Four Noble Truths.” Although Buddhism eventually became popular throughout China, there was opposition to the new beliefs and Chinese people struggled with replacing their old beliefs, such as Confucianism and Taoism, with this new, strange belief system. In response, Chinese scholars, including Zhi Dun and Zong Mi, published writings acknowledging these struggles, and attempting to put the Chinese people at ease. By explaining that Buddhism was similar to Confucianism, in that it promoted good winning over evil, and that Buddhism would lead to a state of enlightenment known as Nirvana, Chinese scholars played an important role in the spread of Buddhism. However, after 570 C.E., the imperial structure was restored, creating a renewed sense of patriotism and loyalty to the old Chinese customs and beliefs. This renewal led to a backlash against Buddhism. During this time, instead of praising Buddhism, scholars and emperors alike were declaring Buddhism evil and calling for its extermination. The shift in the Chinese peoples’ embracing of Buddhism and their condemnation of it is best seen by comparing the writings dated before 570 C.E. to those

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