Buddhism in China
Buddhism as a religion has rapidly spread from India to many parts of China within a very short time period. Many people converted to Buddhism and started believing in the teachings of Buddha, the founder of this religion. Although the religion spread remarkably fast, most of the practices of Buddhism were not acceptable by the society given the objections raised by different segments of the society. Various teachings of Buddhism are not attractive to what human beings regard as spiritually rich. This means that Buddhism has not received a positive reception in China, meaning that it is not a true religion, despite its appeal to the people of China and subsequent spread. Different observations prove this assertion in one way or the other. To evaluate the validity of this assertion, this essay will be structured into paragraphs that highlight various potentially contradictory or controversial observations that portray Buddhism as false religion contrary to what many its early followers believed.
A man called Buddha founded Buddhism in the 6th century B.C. This implies that Buddha was a person upon whom everything about the religion was bestowed. Since he was a human in nature, it makes little sense to blindly believe in his teachings. The religion requires for everyone who follows it to believe in Buddha and serve him diligently. According to Dun Zhi (350 C.E), the end of life depends on how one serves Buddha. The question that arises from this scenario is whether Buddha, who was an ordinary man, was capable of rewarding people when they die. In addition, the reward is said to be the extinction of desire and individual consciousness. Zong Mi (9th-century C.E) reveals that early Buddhists taught how to perfect good deeds, punish the wicked, and reward good people. This scenario presents a situation where contradicting values of Buddhism emerge. There is no way one could teach about rewarding righteous deeds and at the same time tell people he will eliminate their consciousness, once they are dead. This shows that Buddhism may not have appealed to Chinese people when they joined because it does not seem to be true based on such observations.
Buddhism might have disillusioned the people of China, thus making them convert to its teachings. It is difficult to understand how a very different person could have influenced the people in such a way. Buddha is described by Han Yu (819 C.E) as a barbarian man who wore different clothes of different fashion and did not speak Chinese. This is an indication that the man may have forced the people to believe in his teachings because it was difficult to break into other people’s cultural norms to introduce new things easily. In fact, Buddha is said to be lacking knowledge on the duties that bid sovereign and subject or even the affection of a father and a son. This implies that he was utterly different from the rest of the society, making his teachings inadmissible. Given these obstructions, Buddhism may not have appealed to the people of China, thus proving the point that Buddhism was barbaric and forced its teachings into China. This makes Buddhism appear as a false religion.
The doctrine taught by Buddhism was injurious to the welfare of the society. This shows that Buddhismwas full of fallacies and dictatorial tendencies that make it a false religion. According to the Tang Emperor Wu, (845 C.E), Buddhism was a religion that altered many ways of Chinese traditions. For instance, Buddhism is viewed as a religion that came to oppress some section of the society and consume community wealth in unjustifiable ways. Monks and followers of Buddhism spread all over China, where its followers were also increasing uncontrollably. The society was expected to provide these people with food and clothing to enable them to teach people full-time. Since everybody was expected to toil to earn a livelihood, the presence of monks in Chinese communities was against this belief and thus unsuitable. Although Buddhism spread in China unusually fast, deviations from preferable cultural practices are an indicator that Buddhism was forced into the society because it was less appealing to the people. An anonymous Chinese scholar (500 C.E) asked why it was not possible for Confucius to convert to Buddhism despite the fact that he came after Buddha. Nothing is mentioned in the teachings of Confucius who taught on proper personal morals and righteousness among other positive attributes of life. This shows that Buddhism had weak foundations that could not influence everybody. This is the reason why Confucius rejected its teachings and went ahead to teach other things. This means that Buddhism was untrue and unacceptable because deception and fallacies might have been used in introducing it in China.
Despite the fact that Buddhism spread fast in China, it has many characteristics that portray it as a false religion that did not appeal to the people living in those days. The religion centered many doctrines on its founder who was an ordinary man called Buddha, who had no powers to do what his Religion taught. Buddha was also a barbarian who introduced new things into the Chinese traditions, which was contrary to the people’s will. This lead to unwanted changes in the culture and spirituality of the people and damaged many cultural practices. These observations make it evident that Buddhism was not appealing to the people of China and was a false religion.