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Chinese Religion - Chinese Buddhism

Around the Gregorian calendar era, Indian Buddhism began to be introduced into China from India, and the Baima Temple in Luoyang has been respected by Buddhist disciples as the “source of Buddhism”, that is, the birthplace of Chinese Buddhism. After a long period of spread and development, it has formed a characteristic of Chinese nationality. Chinese Buddhism. As time passed, route, regional and ethnic cultures, different historical backgrounds of society, Chinese Buddhism formed three lines, namely, Chinese Buddhism ( Chinese Department), Tibetan Buddhism ( Tibetan Department), and the Yunnan region Theravada Buddhism ( Pali Department).


Buddhist murals


Historical Origins


The founder, Shakyamuni, was born in Lumbini in present-day Nepal and was a prince of the Sakyamuni tribe. Regarding the year of his birth and death, there are still different opinions in Southern and Northern Buddhism. It is generally believed that he was born between the 6th and the 5th century BC. When he was a teenager, he felt that the world was fickle, thinking deeply about how to free himself from suffering in life. At the age of 29, he became a monk. After attaining the Tao and becoming a Buddha ( Buddha, a paraphrase of enlightenment), he promoted his enlightened truth to the public in the central area of the Ganges River in India, and gained more and more believers, thus organizing religious groups and forming Buddhism. At the age of 80 in Kushinagar Nirvana.


After Buddhism was founded, it has evolved several times in India. The Buddhism preached by the Buddha and his direct disciples are called fundamental Buddhism. After the Buddha’s Nirvana, his disciples followed the basic doctrines such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and maintained the conventions of his lifetime in the life of the sect. Since the Buddha had different opinions about different objects on different occasions when he was alive, his disciples had different understandings of this. About 100 years after the Buddha’s extinction, Buddhism split into two major schools, the Theravada and the Masses, called the two fundamental schools. After more than 100 years, the division continued, and it was divided into eighteen or twenty parts, which is called the branch faction. There are different opinions on the order, age, name, and region of the division of divisions. At that time, the spread of Buddhism was from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north to the Krishna River (Krishna River) in the south. It is generally believed that the largest part directly divided by Theravada is to say that everything is part. The Theravada (represented by the Saying of All Ministries) and the Popular Ministries are quite different in doctrine.
Chinese Buddhism-1

The main difference between the two parts is:

①The knowledge of law (things, existence). The Ministry of Public People believes that “the past and the future are not real entities” and “the existing entities are used, but they can be used in the name.” That is to say, all realities arise and die according to cause and conditions. The past has passed away, there is no entity, and the future does not arise. Without substance, the body and function of the law are only present in the instant; it is said that all the ministries claim that the body of law is eternal, and the past, present, and future three lives are also real. “Reality” is called my empty law.
②Knowledge of Buddha. The Public Ministry believes that the Buddha Shakyamuni born and died in the world is an incarnation rather than a real body. The real body of the Buddha is a result of accumulated long-term practice. He has an infinite lifespan and power. All words spoken are random statements. One tone says all dharma; that all the ministries do not recognize Shakyamuni as an incarnation, and that the Buddha’s words are not all sutras, nor do they all say all dharma.
③The knowledge of Shengwen and Bodhisattva. The mass ministry emphasizes the bodhisattva’s compassion and willingness to spread all living beings, and it is the bodhisattva to hear it softly. It says that although all ministries recognize that there is a difference between sound and hearing, karmic enlightenment, the root nature of the bodhisattva’s ability to practice, and the path they practice, they think that the Buddha is derived from the sound and karmic enlightenment. There is no difference in relief.
Before and after the Gregorian calendar, the worship of stupas was popular among Buddhists, which formed the first group of Mahayana-Bodhisattvas. Some of them practiced and preached the Mahayana thoughts and practices based on the ” Madhya Prajna Sutra “, ” Vimala Sutra “, ” Miao Dharma Lotus Sutra ” and other sutras, and formed Madhyamaka (empty school ) and Yogic school ( There are two major systems, and early Buddhism is relegated to Hinayana.
About 500 years after the Buddha’s Nirvana, the Mahayana Madhyamaka Sect emerged. Nagarjuna, the founder of this school, interprets the ideas of ” emptiness “, “middle way” and ” two truths “, and his disciple Deva continues to promote Nagarjuna’s doctrine, enabling the further development of Mahayana Buddhism. There’ll be Bhāviveka and Buddha guard, said last month such as thinking concept from different angles elucidation, forming self-sustaining and should be sent to school. At the same time, Hinayana Buddhism said that everything has a ministry, a meridian ministry, etc. continues to develop.
About 900 years after the Buddha’s Nirvana, the yoga school emerged. The founder of this faction is no peace and family. Wuzhao originally means that all monks who have a tribe, because they feel inadequate about the teachings of all tribes, expound the doctrine of Mahayana. His younger brother Shiqin originally said that all scholars had tribes, but since then they have never changed to Mahayana, and they are called “Master of Thousand Buds”. Wuzhe and Shiqin promoted the theory of knowledge-only of “all dharma- only knowledge ” and ” three ideals “. Since then, there are four main inheritances: Nanda, Anhui, Chenna, and Dharma protectors.
After the 7th century, Indian Esotericism became popular, and after the 8th century, it was close to Hinduism. Pala Empire in Nalanda then build another Vikramashila as a study and esoteric propaganda center; after the 9th century, Esoteric Buddhism flourished successively formed Vajrayana, all students take the wheel and multiply. Starting in the 11th century, the influence of Islam gradually entered various parts of East India. By the beginning of the 13th century, many important temples such as the Chao Jie Temple were destroyed, the monks scattered, and Buddhism disappeared in the South Asian subcontinent.
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Buddhism was originally only popular in the Ganges River Basin of Central India. During the Maurya Dynasty, King Ashoka regarded Buddhism as the state religion. He built pagodas and engraved edicts and instructions on cliffs and stone pillars. From then on, they spread throughout many parts of the South Asian subcontinent. At the same time, they sent missionaries to the surrounding countries to preach, from Burma in the east, Sri Lanka in the south, Syria, Egypt, and other places in the west, making Buddhism gradually become a world religion.
The spread of Buddhism to various parts of Asia can be roughly divided into two routes: the first spread to Sri Lanka from the south, and then from Sri Lanka to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and other countries. It spread from the north to China through the Pamirs, and then from China to North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries.
Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka during the Maurya Dynasty in the 3rd century BC. King Ashoka sent his son Mahatā to Sri Lanka to teach Theravada Buddhism. In the 1st century BC, two schools of Buddhism appeared in Sri Lanka: the Great Temple School and the Wuweishan Temple School. In the first half of the 3rd century, Mahayana Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka, and the Nansi School was separated from the Wuweishan Temple School. At the beginning of the 5th century, Koyin sorted out and annotated the Southern Tripitaka in Pali, establishing a complete system of Theravada teachings. The Dasi School is considered the orthodox school of Southern Buddhism. The Buddhism of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and other countries all inherit the legal system of the Great Temple School of Sri Lanka. After the 12th century, due to the invasion of foreigners and colonialists, Sri Lankan Buddhism was destroyed twice before being re-introduced from Myanmar and Thailand.
Theravada Buddhism was introduced to Myanmar from Sri Lanka in the 4th to 5th centuries. In the middle of the 11th century, King Anuluta of the Bagan dynasty established the earliest unified feudal dynasty in Myanmar. Later dynasties protected Buddhism and built a large number of majestic pagodas, such as the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon in the 18th century.
Buddhism was introduced to Thailand from Sri Lanka around the 12th century. In the 13th century, the Sukhothai dynasty of Thailand declared Buddhism as the state religion. In the 18th century, all the kings of the Bangkok dynasty believed in Buddhism. After the mid-nineteenth century, Rama IV reformed Buddhism, forming the old and the new schools, which continue to this day. From 1919 to 1927, all the commentaries on Tripitaka and foreign books in Tibet were published. Thailand is currently the country where Buddhism flourishes in Southeast Asia and is known as the “land of monks”.
During the 5th and 6th centuries, Buddhism was introduced to Funan (early Cambodia). 6th century helped South renamed Zhenla, multiplying the size of religion is Buddhism and Hinduism coexist, which is obviously reflected in the many palaces and religious buildings 9-12 century Angkor Thom. After the middle of the 14th century, Cambodia became a vassal state of Thailand, and Theravada Buddhism was introduced. Later, Laos introduced Theravada Buddhism from Cambodia.
From the 5th century, Buddhism began to spread to Indonesia, Sumatra, Java, Bali, and other places. According to the account of the Chinese monk Yijing, Hinayana Buddhism prevailed in the Indonesian islands in the middle of the 7th century. After that, the dynasties believed in Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism; Islam began to prevail in the 15th century.
Around the Gregorian calendar, Buddhism was introduced to China. It was regarded as a kind of magical magic in the Han Dynasty. In the Northern and Southern Dynasties, it spread throughout the country and many schools of thought emerged. The Sui and Tang dynasties entered their heyday and formed many sects with Chinese national characteristics. After the Song Dynasty, the various schools of Buddhism tended to merge, and the contradictions between Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism also gradually disappeared. From the 7th to 8th centuries, Buddhism was introduced into Tibet, China, India, and China’s Han areas. After the middle of the 10th century, it formed Tibetan-language Buddhism and then spread to Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, Mongolia, and Russia’s Buryat Mongolians area.
Around the end of the second century, Buddhism was introduced into Vietnam from China. It was widely spread in the 4th to 5th centuries. From the 10th to the 14th century, Buddhism in Vietnam entered a period of prosperity. Thai and Burmese Buddhism also had an impact on Vietnamese Buddhism.
Buddhism was introduced from China to Goguryeo, Korea in the second half of the 4th century. After the Silla Dynasty unified the Korean peninsula in the 7th century, the Huayan School, Faxing School, Lvzong, and Zen introduced from China were very popular, and Zen especially prospered later. ” Korea Collection ” was published at the end of the 14th century. Although the Lee dynasty once adopted a policy of excluding Buddhism and advocating Confucianism in the 14th century, Korean Buddhism still developed. It began to decline in the middle of the 17th century and was revived in modern times.
Chinese Buddhism temple
In the 6th century, Buddhism was introduced to Japan from China via North Korea and has been the main religion in Japan ever since. At the beginning of the 7th century, Prince Shotoku asked all his subjects to “convert to the Three Jewels” in the ” 17-Article Constitution “. From the Sui and Tang Dynasties in China, Japan sent a large number of monks to China to study abroad, and the main sects of Chinese Buddhism were introduced to Japan one after another. After the 12th century, Japanese Buddhism formed many nationalized sects.
Buddhism spread to Syria, Egypt, and other countries during the time of King Ashoka in India, and later spread to some parts of Africa, but it had little influence.
Around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Buddhism was introduced to Europe and North America successively. In 1906, Britain established the “British Buddhist Association”, and European Buddhists began to have their own organizations. In the future, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and other countries will have Buddhist monks and research institutions. After Buddhism was introduced to the United States, it spread to Canada in the north and Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and other countries in the south.
Buddhism has spread to all continents of the world. But it is still concentrated in East Asia and Southeast Asia, where the number of Buddhist believers far exceeds that of other religions.

Buddhist rituals and festivals

Buddhist ceremony

It was originally a religious activity practiced in the Sakyamuni era, and after being introduced to China, it evolved into a sutra and Buddhist activity that satisfies the needs of believers. There are mainly various confession methods, water, and land law meetings, Obon meetings, flame mouths, etc. Buddhist rituals in Tibetan areas, the chanting of sutras, summoning conventions, and other obvious patriarchal rituals are basically the same as Buddhism in Han areas. Besides, there are rituals such as tantric teaching and empowerment and practice. The Buddhist rituals in the Dai area more or less bear traces of ghost worship and elves worship inherent in the residents.

Main holiday

The main festival of the Feast of Buddha (aka Buddha Day), into the Road Festival (also known as the Buddha into the Road Day, Laba Festival), Nirvana Festival, the Goddess of Mercy Festival (Chinese Lunar New Han areas to two, six, nine months of the 19th To commemorate the festival of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva), World Buddha Festival (also known as Vesak Festival, which is a festival in which the birth, enlightenment, and Nirvana of Sakyamuni are commemorated by Southern Buddhism), Ghost Exorcism Festival and God Jumping Festival (Buddhist festivals in Tibetan areas ), Songkran Festival (Buddhist festival of Dai ethnic group), Buddha Tooth Festival (Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka), etc. Some of these festivals have become folk customs.
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