Buddhism as a religion has impacted so deep and affected philosophy and art of adaptive country that it penetrated the entire fabric of Chinese Culture. Explain. (200 W)

Mentor’s Comment:

Introduction should mention how the Buddhism got spread in China over their own religion, most probably post Han period popularly called ‘period of disunity’. Further, the great Tang Dynasty popularized Buddhism in great portion of China.

Further talk about Influence of Buddhism on the people over other religion. Meditation, everything truth, monastic life, life beyond reality and religious ideology as well as teachings of Buddha.

Next talk how it influenced Chinese culture such as literature, philosophy, morality, arts, architecture and religions.

Chinese Art, temple architecture, paintings, sculptures etc.

Family life i.e. emphasis on good work, community and egalitarianism etc….

Bring conclusion based on the points mentioned.

Model Answer:

  • Buddhism is popularized in China by a person named Bodhi Dharma. It later easily merged with the local religions, like Taoism and Confucianism etc. and became integral part of everyday life and folklore.
  • By the end of China’s post-Han ‘period of disunity’ Daoism had been completely overshadowed by Buddhism. China was covered with Buddhist Shrines, many comprising large temples complexes that included living quarters for monks and nuns, temples where lay visitors worshipped images of Buddhist deities and towering pagodas that lifted the image of the religion over the landscape.
  • The great Tang Dynasty, which ruled over a reunified China from 618 to 907, patronized Buddhism
  • as a state cult during the greater portion of its reign.

Influence on religion:

  • Confucianism emphasized mainly on the aspect of living one day at a time, while Buddhism verily insisted  on  leading  a  monastic  lifestyle  that  entailed  leading  a  life  beyond
  • To help the Chinese comprehend Buddhist concepts, Buddhists borrowed ideas from Daoism via the Chinese language. Both Buddhism and Daoism benefited from this exchange.
  • It brought  in  the  aspect  of  meditation,  way  of  dressing  of  the  clergy  resembled  that  of  the Buddhist  monks  and
  • Buddhism as a religion is not only based on religious ideologies, but also relies heavily on the philosophies drawn from the teachings of Buddha. These  teachings  were  translated  into Chinese  by  Chinese  scholars  and  it  slowly  got  integrated  into  the  Chinese  cultural

Influence on Chinese culture:

  • For over  2,000  years,  Buddhism  has  interacted  with  all  levels  of  Chinese  culture  such  as literature,  philosophy,  morality,  arts,  architecture  and
  • Guru Padmasambhava  from  Gandhara  is  still  venerated  in  He  preached  the  virtues of  compassion  and  refined  the  tenets  of  prevailing  tantric  Buddhism  in  these  regions, particularly,  in  Tibet,  where  he  is  second  highest  deity  after  Gautama  Buddha.
  • One of the most palpable and pervasive legacies of Buddhism is to be found in the Chinese language of modern times. From the proverbs of the peasant villages to the formal language of the  intelligentsia,  words  of  Buddhist  origin  are  found  in  common  use  by
  • Other words  for  common  objects,  gestures,  and  expressions  are  used  with  a  special meaning  originally  given  them  in  Buddhist
  • The Chinese  classic  “Journey  to  the  West”  is  an  example  of  the  effect  of  Buddhism  on Chinese
  • Buddhism spread  though all  classes  of  Chinese,  influencing  art, thought  and  daily  Tea, which had been used mostly by Buddhists, became China’s national drink, and Buddhists introduced the Chinese to the wearing of cotton.

Influence on Art:

  • Buddhism’s great  temples  influenced  Chinese  architecture  counter  to  Confucianism’s condemnation  of  complex  buildings  as  an
  • Further, the  Chinese  artists  adopted  from  Buddhism  the  development  of  sculpture, painting and murals and the new practice as borrowed from Buddhism grew due to the prosperity  of  Buddhism  in  China  at  the
  • Buddhism in  China  emphasized  charity  and  good  works,  including  working  for  one’s  own salvation by helping others which contrasted with Taoism’s egocentricity. It offered community and egalitarianism.  Some  Chinese  were  attracted  by  the  doctrine  that  those  who  exploited or treated people unjustly would in their next reincarnation be born into poor circumstances or  into  an  inferior  rank  and  suffer  punishment  for  their
  • Some Chinese  found  comfort  in  the  doctrine  that  in  their  next  life  they  might  be  born  into a  higher  rank  and  a  happier

Family life:

  • For those  Chinese  lacking  a  family,  Buddhism  provided  a  substitute
  • Made people go after virtues and pay respect to other people, generally resulting to a society of amicability.



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